Spring events affected both the console and PC markets. Most online stores stopped accepting bank cards issued in Russia, plus large publishers suspended sales. Computer users are sharply concerned about how to replenish the Steam wallet and where to look for new items. Moreover, the situation was changing rapidly – some ways of “bypassing the sanctions” fell off, others arose instead. Media like Player One, DTF and championat.com have compiled detailed guides on how to buy games on PC now – we have highlighted the relevant information from them.
How to top up your balance on Steam
Almost all PC games are released on the Steam store. Valve, which owns Steam, has blocked the main payment methods for Russians. There is only one option left – to replenish the Steam wallet (internal account account) and pay for games from it. Here’s how.
Let’s start with the QIWI system. If there is no profile in QIWI, register on the site or in the application – you will need a phone number. Link your account to your profile on Public Services. By default, you have an account in rubles, but you need to add an account in Kazakhstani tenge and assign it as the main one. On the site (top right) click on “Open a new account” and select the currency – tenge. In “Account Management”, set it as the main one.
Replenish the ruble account and transfer funds from it to the account in tenge. Then select “Payments” → “Games” → “Steam (Kazakhstan)”, here enter the Steam account login and the amount.
Attention: the login in Steam is not a nickname. You enter your login when you log in to the store. You can also specify it by clicking on the nickname in the upper right corner in the Steam application. In the drop-down menu, select the “About account” item, on the page that opens you will see the inscription “Account such and such”.
When transferring from QIWI, Steam independently converts tenge into rubles. Rubles will fall on the wallet.
The second way is the WebMoney system. You can transfer money to a WMZ wallet intended for transactions in dollars from a ruble card: click on the tile with a WMZ account → “Top up” → “From a bank card”. Next, find the “Payments” item and type “Steam (USD)” into the search bar. USD – because, as we said, dollars are stored in a WMZ wallet. It remains to specify the Steam login, the amount, confirm the operation by SMS.
Steam replenishment through the MTS Bank application is less popular. You must have a card of this bank or an MTS SIM card. In the application, follow the path “Payments” → “Payment” → “Games, social networks” → “Steam”. Gamers complain about a serious commission and technical errors – it is far from always possible to send money to a Steam wallet.
Those who do not want to mess with QIWI, WebMoney and MTS Bank go to Plati Market (Plati.ru). Here are collected offers from small stores and ordinary users – they offer to replenish their account on Steam, but with a very high mark-up. Let’s say you give the seller 130 rubles, and 80 comes to your wallet. The only plus is that you can pay in a variety of ways, including with a ruble card.
An important point: on Plati Market and similar sites it is quite possible to run into a scammer. Carefully study the seller’s profile: how many transactions he has, whether there are returns. Read the reviews – there is a sorting into positive and negative. Gaming media are advised to look at such sites as a last resort.
And further. Many people forget, but we remind you: sell cards on Steam. Cards are collectible items that drop in games. Someone uses them to decorate a profile in a store, but most of them don’t get their hands on them – they say, trash, what to take from it. Go to the inventory, evaluate the stocks of “junk” and list the cards on the Steam Market. You will definitely earn a few hundred rubles – buy a couple of indie projects. Tangible benefits from the “trash”!
GOG, Epic and other stores
Steam isn’t the only store with digital PC games. Let’s see what happened to its competitors in Russia.
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Bad news. We temporarily closed GOG (a platform with DRM-free and retro games), Ubisoft Connect (a store with Ubisoft projects), Origin (by Electronic Arts), Battle.net (by Activision Blizzard), Humble Bundle (a platform with game sets).
Good news. The Epic Games Store continues to function as before. If you want – take away free games (from one to three weekly), if you want – buy something. Russian cards, YuMoney, QIWI, SberPay, Alfa-click are suitable for payment. Epic limited itself to disabling microtransactions in Fortnite in the Russian Federation.
Where to get games from publishers who left Russia
In our country, they have suspended sales of their Microsoft products from Bethesda, Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft, EA, Take-Two, Warner Bros., Sony (you will not find the publisher’s games on Steam), Sega, Capcom, Square Enix, CD Projekt RED, Frontier, Rebellion. This does not mean that previously purchased games will suddenly become inactive in your library – not at all, everything is in place in the library.
Игра Resident Evil Village (PC)
[18+, action, horror, release date: 05/07/2021, voice language: Russian, English, digital edition]
And how to buy something old or recent from these companies? Key stores come to the rescue here: SteamBuy, Playo, GabeStore, Gamazavr and so on. They are also called discounters, that is, stores where the price is below the market average. They order keys from distributors or directly from publishers. By purchasing a “ban”, you can definitely activate the key on Steam or Ubisoft Connect. The Epic Store does not.
Keep in mind that not all discounters do business honestly, there are also “gray” offices. In order not to stumble upon scammers, read reviews about key stores, ask your friends if they bought there.
Separately, it is worth mentioning the application of the Tinkoff bank: following the path “Services” → “All services” → “Games”, you will find a lot of games, mainly for Steam and with a huge share of indie. This is the result of cooperation between the bank and discounter GamersBase.
Frontier translated Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters into Russian, but did not release it in Russia
Discounters trade keys from old shipments. But what about the new ones? Fresh releases of the companies mentioned above do not appear in Russia. From May’s losses, Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters comes to mind. Or here: how to buy the upcoming Sniper Elite 5? Out of desperation, gamers go to the Plati Market, where users sell keys without regional restrictions and accounts with an activated “prohibition”.
Sniper Elite 5 in Plati Market
Distributors and localizers – those who prepare the product for release in a particular market – also sometimes open stores. Let’s list some.
1CGames.net is a platform from 1C Entertainment. The catalog is limited to the publisher’s own games: Deep Sky Derelicts, Devil’s Hunt, Renoir, Dread Templar…
In shop.buka.ru the choice is wider: Elden Ring, Mount and Blade 2, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, Elex 2, Beholder 3 and so on – there are both AAA and indie. Plus, the Buk has recently attracted domestic projects, such as the Syrian Warfare.
Fogame. This is a service from the Innova company, which specializes in MMORPG localization. In the store you will find two and a half dozen AAA games for Steam and Ubisoft Connect.
MyGames Store. The Mail.ru Group/VK store has only a few products with activation on Steam or Ubisoft Connect.
Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous and expansion packs have recently been available for purchase on the Hobby Games online board game store with Steam activation.
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There are fewer games in the stores of distributors and localizers than in discounters, but no one will definitely deceive you.
The Russian PC gamer has to look for workarounds to purchase games, put up with losses due to commissions and conversions, buy ahead of time and follow the news closely. The press advises to deal with distributors or, in extreme cases, with discounters, and sites with ads from users should be avoided. Journalists express hope that the situation will improve and reassure them with confidence that games from Russia will not go anywhere.
The article partially uses materials from Player One ( 1 , 2 , 3 ), championat.com ( 1 , 2 ), DTF ( 1 , 2 ), Kanobu and other sources