One thing worse than having to wait months for a new video game to release is the final 24 hours—the anticipation swelling throughout the day. And with many games releasing at 11 P.M. EST, most can only play a couple of hours of their anticipated release before having to head off to bed.
But what if I told you there was a way to access these games quicker? A way to play your future Game of the Year before the official release date in your location? Let’s look at a couple of ways to do just that.
How to Play New Releases Early
Visit a different country’s digital shop
The first way to access a new release earlier than the official release date is to buy it through a different country’s digital shop. Depending on the publisher, some video games release earlier in some countries, like New Zealand, before they release in other countries. So, if you didn’t mind the hassle, you could order certain games off a region-specific store to access it earlier. But like I mentioned, the process could be a hassle depending on the platform.
For example, all you need to do on the Nintendo Switch is to order a game off the country in question’s digital storefront, while the PlayStation Store requires you to create a brand new account to access another country’s storefront.
Yeah, it’s a hassle that might eat up an hour of your day, but if you really want to play Final Fantasy VII early, it’s a worthwhile endeavor.
However, this won’t always work—most PC games use one digital storefront, Steam, in order to launch games. In those situations, is there any hope for you and accessing your most anticipated releases?
As it turns out, yes. And the best part? The process to do so isn’t near as much of a hassle as the previous solution.
Use a VPN
The other solution? VPNs designed for gaming. VPNs are primarily used to reinforce a user’s security, but they have their benefits inside the gaming world too, and one of these benefits includes accessing the newest releases early. Click here for information on VPN for gaming.
These are especially helpful if you use your PC as your primary gaming device. Fortunately, the process is pretty simple.
To use a VPN to access the newest releases, all you need to do is enable the VPN and relaunch the program/device you’re planning on using to access the game. Once you do that—and you make sure the device is connected to the VPN—there will be nothing stopping you from playing the newest release.
What to Watch Out For
99% of the time, you won’t run into any issues concerning your use of a VPN or another digital storefront in order to access a new game release. However, a couple of publishers have banned people from online services due to their early access. Basically, if you want to access a multiplayer game early, your best bet is to wait until the official release date.
Also, don’t buy a game key from “grey markets”, digital storefronts designed around selling game keys sourced by third-parties. Even if these services promised you early game releases, their reputations are surrounded by shadiness, scamming, and overall lack of trust. Even game developers despise the existence of grey market sites such as G2A.
However, as long as you avoid grey markets and don’t mess with the wrong publisher(s), you’ll be totally safe. That is to say, most games can be accessed early. Though, I implore you to research the publisher before risking any trouble you may get in.
I’ve accessed games early plenty of times in the past and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. After all, what’s the harm? I mostly play single-player games, meaning developers won’t be too upset by me accessing the game.
There’s no harm in it, so I encourage you to do so if the wait starts driving you crazy.