Steam is the go-to digital gaming distribution service for users all across the globe. With over 30,000 games ranging from AAA to indie, live broadcasts, workshops, chats, reviews, achievements, and much more, Steam is without a doubt the leading distribution platform in the gaming community. 

Amidst much controversy, at the end of 2021, it was revealed that the global Steam service had been blocked in China. This leaves gamers in the country with a stripped Chinese-only version of Steam that offers a fraction of the games and features. Many users are unstandably angered at this new restriction and are scrambling to find a way around the blockade.

If you’re someone who lives in or is travelling to China and you want full access to the gaming distribution service, then you’ve come to the right place! We have a helpful trick that allows you to spoof your location and appear to be accessing the gaming service from outside of China. And the best part? It only takes a few minutes to set up! Keep reading to discover how to access Steam in China in 2022 using a VPN.

A controller, phone, and laptop on a desk.

Did you know? In September 2021, Steam reached a peak of over 26 million concurrent users!

How to access Steam in China quick guide

  1. Choose a VPN – To unblock steam, you need a VPN with a large network of servers, military-grade encryption, and obfuscated servers. A VPN we highly recommend for this is NordVPN!
  2. Install client – After you’ve selected a VPN, download the client on your PC or phone. Once downloaded, open up the client to see a list of the VPN’s servers. 
  3. Connect to a server – You need to connect to a VPN that’s located outside of China. Now, your real IP address will be hidden and replaced by the server’s. 
  4. Head to Steam – Steam will now be unblocked, allowing you to play games on all your VPN-protected devices from within China!

Top tip – If Steam is still blocked after following these steps, then try clearing your browser’s cache and reconnecting to a different server.

Why is Steam blocked in China?

The Chinese government is notorious for severely regulating video gaming, as they deem the activity to be unhealthy for young citizens. The authorities have periodically been introducing new restrictions including barring under 18’s from playing video games for more than one hour a day, or preventing them from playing on any day other than Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Most recently, in late December 2021, a data miner revealed on Twitter that Steam was blocked in China. This left users in China with only the Chinese version of Steam, which launched in February 2021 and offers a limited library of only 103 games. By blocking the global Steam service, China can gain almost full control over what games are being played by citizens, allowing them to further limit access to minors and restrict ‘inappropriate’ content.

What is the best VPN for unblocking Steam?

To circumvent Steam’s blockade and access the service from China, you need a highly secure and reliable VPN. Your chosen VPN should use military-grade encryption, obfuscated servers, and have a wide selection of available server locations. To protect your privacy and remain completely anonymous online, you should also opt for a VPN that has a strict no-logs policy. A VPN that provides all this and much more, making it our top recommendation, is NordVPN!

NordVPN

NordVPN’s lightning-fast connection speeds, combined with its strict no-logs policy and top-quality encryption, make it the perfect VPN for unblocking Steam in China. If you’re worried about remaining anonymous online and protecting your privacy in highly regulated countries, then look no further than this provider. 

This VPN has thousands of servers based in over 60 countries, making it perfect for unblocking steam. When you connect to a server that’s located outside of China, your IP address is hidden, spoofing your location and in turn, circumventing China’s Steam blockade. Additionally, all of NordVPN’s servers are obfuscated, meaning that they can conceal your VPN usage. This means that you can safely bypass VPN-blocking firewalls, whilst disguising your data packets to prevent your ISP from noticing that you’re using a VPN. 

NordVPN uses military-grade AES 256-bit encryption to protect all user data. This encryption standard is incredibly secure and almost entirely impossible to crack. To further protect users, this VPN provides other advanced security features including a kill switch, a tool that cuts off the user’s connection to the internet completely if it detects an unexpected interruption. This ensures that your real IP address is not revealed even for a second. NordVPN users can also benefit from features such as multi-factor authentication, dedicated IP, DNS leak protection, and split tunnelling support. 

With one NordVPN subscription, you can have up to 6 simultaneous connections. The app is available on all major OS systems including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux. Other support devices include Android TV, Amazon Fire Stick, Raspberry Pi, Chromecast, and Kindle Fire. If you want to unblock steam on your gaming consoles then you can install NordVPN on your router. This also means that you can connect and protect all devices under your home network using a single device slot. 

For any questions, you can connect NordVPN’s 24/7 customer support team. Alternatively, you can check out the support center for common queries and tutorials, or the official NordVPN YouTube channel for guides, tips, and tricks. 

To conclude, NordVPN is a highly recommended VPN for safely bypassing China’s restrictions and accessing Steam from within the country. This VPN ensures that all users remain anonymous when online and shields them from being identified by authorities, their ISP, or third parties. Furthermore, NordVPN’s super-fast speeds allow you to play games through Steam with minimal lag or buffering, giving you the ultimate gaming experience, even from within a highly censored country such as China. 

If you’re still not convinced, then you can test out NordVPN for free for 30-days with their money-back guarantee

FAQS

When was Steam first blocked in China?

Steam appeared to be blocked in China on 24th December 2021. This was first brought to attention by a popular leaker and data miner through his Twitter account

What other countries is Steam blocked in?

Steam is fortunately not blocked in any other countries. Although, some gaming titles are banned from the website in certain, restricted areas.

What other popular websites are blocked in China?

Other websites blocked in China include Google, YouTube, Wikipedia, Pinterest, WhatsApp, Zoom, Instagram, and Twitter. 


Is it illegal to use a VPN in China?

No! Although frowned upon, using a VPN in China is completely legal. However, many VPN websites are inaccessible in China, so we recommend that, if possible, you install a VPN on your device(s) before you enter the country.