If you’ve ever seen an online promotion for a digital game that you want, only to discover that you can’t access it because the promotion is region-specific, we’ve got the answer.
Whether you want to access region-specific offers and promotions or you’re tired of paying inflated prices because your console is locked to one region, this article will explain how to access geo-restricted marketplaces on your Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 consoles.
What is a VPN and How Can it Help?
A VPN, also known as a Virtual Private Network, allows you to stay protected online by encrypting your internet traffic. VPNs do this by first directing all your traffic via one of the provider’s private servers.
Using a VPN has lots of benefits which explains why a growing number of people are now using VPNs on their video game consoles.
VPNs allow you to connect to secure networks all over the world, meaning you can use a VPN to access geo-restricted marketplaces on the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One or PlayStation 4.
By encrypting your data, the information you’re transferring is also protected from hackers. As VPNs use more direct access routes to networks, using a VPN can also lower your ping in online multiplayer games. You’ll never be at an unfair advantage again.
How to Access Geo-Restricted Marketplaces on Nintendo Switch
While the Nintendo Switch game carts themselves aren’t geo-restricted, a lot of the content available to download from the Nintendo eShop is. That means you won’t be able to play certain games or download certain apps depending on what country you live in (and what region your Nintendo Switch console has been locked to as a result).
Thankfully, changing the region you’ve set your Nintendo Switch console to is a relatively simple process. Changing your region isn’t against Nintendo’s terms and conditions either, so you can switch between eShops knowing your account won’t be banned.
To access geo-restricted marketplaces on Nintendo Switch, there are two methods you can use: changing your region location manually in the settings on your Nintendo Switch console or connecting your router to a VPN.
You’ll need a Nintendo online account for both of these methods. Thankfully, an online subscription to Nintendo Online starts from as little as $3.99 a month.
Changing Your Nintendo Switch Region Manually
- Access the homepage on your Nintendo Switch console by pressing the menu button on the bottom right of the console and select ‘System Settings’.
- With the System Settings menu open, select ‘Region’ and then change this to your preferred region.
- Once you’ve selected your preferred region, you’ll need to accept a new End-User-License Agreement (EULA). Accept this and select ‘Next’ to restart the console.
- Once your Nintendo Switch console restarts, it’ll now be in your new region. It’s important to note that you won’t be able to change your region until any funds in your eShop wallet have been spent.
- Alternatively, you can visit www.accounts.nintendo.com to sign in to your Nintendo account online. From there, you can change your region location by clicking User Information > Profile > Country.
Changing Your Nintendo Switch Region Using a VPN
There are lots of benefits to having your Nintendo Switch tied to a VPN. As well as being able to access geo-restricted marketplaces and access exclusive games and discounts, you’ll also be able to enjoy online multiplayer games with less lag and play your Switch knowing your information is being protected by a VPN.
As the Nintendo Switch consoles are not directly compatible with VPN clients, you’ll need to use a VPN-compatible router to change your location using a VPN.
- Choose your preferred VPN client and then follow the necessary steps to install it.
- Depending on which router you own, there are a number of different ways to proceed from here. Some routers will need the VPN installed manually while VPN routers come fully equipped with VPN client software already installed on them.
- While the methods for installing VPNs onto routers manually vary according to each router, this is the most common method. Access your router’s control panel by entering its IP address into your settings in your router’s control panel and enter the VPN details you were provided by your VPN. This should be your username, password, VPN server IP address. Contact your VPN provider if you’ve lost or are unable to retrieve this information. Once you’ve input this information, save any changes you’ve made to confirm them.
- Your VPN will now be installed onto your router. Connect your Nintendo Switch to your router.
- You’ll now be able to access any geo-restricted marketplaces you want to. To access different regions, change the location of your VPN by changing your VPN server address in your router’s admin panel.
How to Access Geo-Restricted Marketplaces on Xbox One
Similar to the Nintendo Switch, Microsoft doesn’t use any geo-location blocking practices. This makes changing your region on the Xbox One a relatively straightforward process. We’ll run through how to change your region manually through the Xbox One console and using your router.
Make sure you spend any funds you’ve got tied to your account as these won’t carry over once you change your region. It’s also important to note that while video games aren’t locked to specific regions, you won’t be able to access some movies and music, as the licenses these are granted vary from region to region.
Changing Your Xbox One Region Manually
- Turn on your Xbox One console and sign in to the primary account you’ll be using to browse content.
- Press the Xbox button on your controller to open up the main menu and select System.
- In System, select Settings, open up the System menu again from the new Settings screen and select Language and Location.
- From the Location list, choose the region you wish to access. Once you’ve selected it, restart your Xbox One console.
- When you make your first payment in your new region, you’ll be asked to update your payment information. Some payment methods will not work in certain regions.
- You can also change your location online via the Microsoft website. Log in to your account and at the very bottom left of the page, you’ll see your current language/region is listed. Change this to change your location.
Changing your Xbox One region using a VPN
You cannot directly install VPN software onto your Xbox One console so you’ll need to connect your Xbox One to a VPN using your router, or to a connected laptop by using an ethernet cable. To connect your Xbox One to a VPN, you’ll need to install a VPN onto your router or purchase a VPN router. Follow the instructions provided in the Nintendo Switch section above to manually install the VPN onto a VPN-enabled router.
Once your VPN is up and running on your router, power up your Xbox One console and connect it to the internet. To access content in different regions using your VPN, you’ll also need to change your VPN IP address. Do this by logging into your VPN and selecting the country you wish to change connection to.
How to Access Geo-Restricted Marketplaces on PlayStation 4
Sony’s no stranger to an online sale. The PlayStation Store is packed full of fantastic deals and being able to access any region you want allows you to experience the true extent of their sales.
Unfortunately, unlike the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, you cannot change the location of your primary account. This means you’ll need to create a new PlayStation Network account that’s registered to a specific region every time you want to access different content.
One of the most important things to note is that while video games aren’t geo-restricted, downloadable content is. This means if you were tempted to purchase cheap DLC from a different region to play on a game that you’ve purchased in your own region, it won’t be compatible.
To access geo-restricted marketplaces on the PlayStation 4, we would absolutely recommend using a VPN for unparalleled access to all regions, but we’ll also outline how to change your location by creating a new account for those of you who haven’t yet decided on which VPN they wish to use.
Changing Your PlayStation 4 Region Manually
- You’ll need to create a new PlayStation Network account. You can do this by creating a new user on your PlayStation 4 console or online by visiting the Sony Entertainment Network website. If you’re planning on accessing a region in a foreign language, use the web method as you’ll be able to use Google translate.
- Regardless of which method you’re using, you’ll then need to enter an email address that isn’t already associated with a PlayStation Network account. We’d recommend creating a new email address from scratch for this.
- Follow the steps provided, such as setting your date of birth and password, then choose your PSN region from the drop-down process.
- When you’re asked for your ZIP or postcode, use a generator to create one in the region of your preference. Skip past all of the other options and you’ll eventually land on the homepage.
- You’ll now be able to access your new region’s PlayStation Store content. One of the downsides is that by using this method, you’ll only be able to add funds to your account using a payment method that’s registered to your new region. This includes PayPal. To get around this, you’ll have to purchase PlayStation gift cards. These can be redeemed following the usual method of redemption to add funds to your wallet.
Changing Your PlayStation 4 Region Using a VPN
Let’s be honest, Sony hasn’t made accessing geo-restricted content easy. Thankfully, you can avoid having to create new accounts every time you want to access different regions by using a VPN.
There’s no way to directly install a VPN onto your PlayStation 4, which means, just like the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, you’ll need to connect your PlayStation 4 to a VPN-enabled router.
Some routers come pre-installed with a VPN client, but to manually install a VPN onto your router, simply follow the instructions we’ve provided in the Nintendo Switch section a little further up in this article.
Once your VPN is installed., simply power up your PlayStation 4 and connect it to the internet. You’ll now be able to access deals and discounts from all over the world by changing your VPN location depending on which region you wish to access.
You should know that some apps, such as Hulu, are only available in certain regions, so you’ll need to download them first in the region they’re available from.
The Best VPNs to Use
With so many VPNs out there, how can you be sure which ones are the best? We’ve got you covered, with a selection of the best gaming VPN clients.
NordVPN is one of the most popular VPN clients and there’s a good reason for that. With prices starting from just $2.99 a month, NordVPN offers over 5000 servers across 62 countries boasting reliable and competitive speeds.
There are loads of additional features available to buyers who are willing to pay more than the starting price and NordVPN allows you to secure up to six devices with just one account. It’s incredibly easy to use, but if you ever do find yourself with a problem, its award-winning customer service team is available 24/7.
ExpressVPN’s prices may set you back a little more than other VPN providers, but the additional costs are worth it for the added speeds. ExpressVPN has a split tunneling system, allowing you to control which apps on your network are using the VPN and which will be routed through your normal internet connection.
Cyberghost is the perfect VPN client for gamers. While 650 servers may not seem much in comparison to some of the bigger VPN clients, they’re DDoS protected and are specifically optimized for gamers. You’ll also benefit from added security as a result of Cyberghost’s servers offering double encryption.
Cyberghost also offers fantastic connection speeds, which significantly improves your experience of hosting and playing online multiplayer games. Prices start from $2.75 a month and the provider allows you to connect seven devices simultaneously – better than most other VPN clients.