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Why can‘t I claim free games on Epic Games?

Epic Games Store has become hugely popular in recent years for offering free games every week. However, sometimes users run into issues trying to claim the free titles. Here are some common reasons why you may be unable to claim free games on Epic Games and potential solutions.

VPN Issues

One of the most common reasons for being unable to claim free Epic games is using a VPN or proxy service. Epic Games does not allow users to redeem free game offers if they are connected to a VPN.

This is because VPNs can be used to circumvent regional restrictions and allow claiming games not available in your country. So if you are connected to a VPN, you will likely get an error when trying to add the free game to your library.

Solution: Disable or disconnect from your VPN and try claiming the game again over your regular internet connection.

Regional Restrictions

In some cases, free game promotions on Epic Games Store may be limited to certain regions or countries. So if you are traveling or moved to a new country, regional restrictions could prevent you from claiming the weekly free game.

Epic confirms that free games are generally available globally. But occasionally for legal or licensing reasons, giveaways may be limited to North America or Europe.

Solution: Use a VPN service to tunnel your traffic through a supported country to bypass regional restrictions. Note you‘ll need to disconnect the VPN before actually claiming the game.

Slow Internet Connectivity

Sluggish internet speeds can also interfere with properly verifying your Epic Games account and claiming free titles. Slow connectivity may lead to timeout errors or failure to communicate with Epic servers.

Solution: Try connecting to a faster WiFi network or using a wired Ethernet connection to improve connectivity. Cellular data on a smartphone hotspot could also provide a more reliable connection.

Epic Server Issues

With millions of users rushing to claim free games each week, Epic‘s servers sometimes struggle to keep up with demand. Server outages or downtime during a popular free game promotion can prevent successfully adding the game to your library.

Solution: Be patient and try again later once Epic resolves any server issues. The free games are usually available for claim for at least a full week, so you have plenty of time.

Account Region Mismatch

Your Epic Games account region must match the region you are trying to redeem a game from. If your account is locked to a different region than your current IP address, it could trigger errors.

For example, your account may be configured for Europe while you are traveling in the US. Or you may have moved between regions since creating your account.

Solution: Log in to your Epic account and check the Country/Region setting under Account. Switch it to your current country if needed.

Invalid Codes/Links

Sometimes there are invalid codes or links spreading for the free Epic games promotions. Clicking these bad links or entering incorrect promo codes can obviously prevent you from claiming the actual free game.

Solution: Only redeem codes and links from official Epic Games communications and store pages. Don‘t trust random codes from unknown sources.

Account Security/Age Restrictions

Epic will block free game claims from accounts that are unable to meet security and age verification requirements. Things like not having two-factor authentication enabled or being underage can trigger restrictions.

Solution: Make sure your account is properly verified and meets Epic‘s security guidelines. Parental supervision and content restrictions may be required for underage accounts.

Payment Errors

Despite the games being free, there is still a checkout process. Any payment issues, like expired cards on your account, can block the transaction. Epic requires a valid payment method on file even for free games.

Solution: Add or update payment details like your credit card info under Payment Options. Removing old or invalid cards can resolve checkout errors.

Claimed Already

If you already claimed the free game during a previous promotion, you won‘t be able to claim it again. Epic prevents users from building unlimited libraries of the same free game.

Solution: None needed – you already own the game, so you can relax! Check your game library to verify and install it.

Too Many Claims

There are also reports of accounts being temporarily blocked from claiming free games after redeeming a large number constantly over a short period. This seems to trigger fraud prevention limits.

Solution: Wait a while before trying to claim more free games. Spread out redemptions over time instead of constantly at each weekly reset.

Banned or Locked Account

Accounts banned or locked for policy violations obviously cannot claim free games. Suspensions for cheating, fraud, or other offenses will block free game access.

Solution: Appeal the ban or wait out the suspension period. Resolve any outstanding account issues before attempting new free game claims.

Free Game Period Ended

The window for claiming Epic‘s weekly free game only lasts a limited time, usually one week. If you missed the claim period, the free promotion has expired.

Solution: Watch for the next free Epic game offer each Thursday at the store reset time. Set reminders so you don‘t miss out again!

Already Own Game

If you bought a game in the past, you won‘t be able to claim it again for free. The Epic Store will not let you "buy" the free game if you already own it.

Solution: You already got the game, so no need to claim it again. Install it from your existing library if you want to play.

Other Tips for Claiming Free Epic Games

Here are some other tips to ensure you can reliably claim free games from Epic without issues:

  • Keep your Epic account details like payment methods and contact info up to date. This prevents validation and checkout problems.

  • Add two-factor authentication for account security. Epic may restrict some promotions on accounts without 2FA enabled.

  • Try claiming from both web and Epic Games Launcher. Sometimes one method works better than the other.

  • If your account was created recently, you may have to wait up to 14 days before redeeming free games.

  • Restart the Epic Launcher and refresh the store page if you have trouble claiming through the client.

  • Don‘t wait until the very end of the claim period, as high traffic can cause problems.

  • Contact Epic Games Support if issues persist for help troubleshooting and claiming your free games.

Is There a Limit to Free Games on Epic?

There is no limit to the number of free games you can claim on the Epic Games Store. Some users have reported being able to redeem hundreds of free games over time with a single account.

However, Epic may temporarily block your account from claiming additional free games if you appear to be abusing the system. For example, rapidly collecting an extremely high number of free games in a short period may trigger anti-fraud measures.

But with normal usage, you can continue claiming the weekly free game indefinitely and build a sizable library over time. Just pace yourself instead of obsessively hoarding every single offer.

Do Epic Free Games Have DRM?

Most games given away for free by Epic do not have any DRM or copy protection. You can download and play them without the Epic client after claiming them.

However, some titles may have third-party DRM like Denuvo implemented by the publisher. Epic cannot control DRM included by outside developers.

Games that require the Epic launcher to play will be clearly marked. So you can tell before claiming a game if it will be fully DRM-free or not.

Can You Play Epic Games Offline?

Offline play is supported for most games once fully downloaded and installed. The key exception is any games relying on Epic‘s online services for features like matchmaking, servers, user content, etc.

But the majority of single-player experiences can be played offline without an internet connection. Only the initial game claim and download requires internet access.

However, offline play is not possible on the Epic mobile app. You have to launch games through the desktop application at least once before going offline.

Does Epic Games Store Share Data?

Epic claims they do not share any customer data with third-parties or sell it for marketing and advertising. They also do not share data between their divisions.

For example, your Epic Games Store data is kept separate from Epic account info for Fortnite or other titles. Purchases and activity on Epic Games Store will not surface in other Epic apps.

However, they do collect analytics like sales data in aggregate to share with development partners. But this is anonymous and does not include identifiable personal information.

Is the Epic Games Store Profitable?

Despite massive investments in free games and other incentives, the Epic Games Store is not yet profitable according to the company‘s own figures.

Documents submitted in the Apple vs. Epic trial showed a loss of $181 million for the Epic Games Store in 2019. Losses were projected to grow to $273 million in 2020 and $139 million in 2021.

The main driver of these losses is the free games program. Epic spends an estimated $11 million per month giving away free games. When combined with discounts and coupons, most experts believe the store is still operating at a substantial loss.

But Epic can afford to run the store at a loss, using Fortnite profits to subsidize growth. They are playing the long game, prioritizing gaining market share before optimizing for profitability.

Does Epic Games Monitor Your PC?

There were some concerns about Epic Games launcher spying when it first launched, but Epic has made changes to address privacy.

The launcher does collect basic analytics like usage stats and hardware data. And their games may integrate anti-cheat tools that run in the background.

However, third-party testing found the Epic Games Store logs far less data than platforms like Steam. Epic also allows users to opt-out of data collection entirely in settings.

So while not 100% hands-off, the Epic Games Store launcher does not appear to collect more usage data than other gaming platforms. There is no evidence currently of spying or excessive data gathering by Epic.

Can You Get Banned for Using VPN?

Officially Epic says VPNs are not allowed when claiming free games to get around regional restrictions. But we found no evidence of accounts being banned solely for using a VPN.

Claiming games not in your region may be grounds for blocking or banning the account. But just having a VPN enabled itself does not seem to warrant disciplinary action.

Of course, using a VPN to access restricted content you don‘t own rights to or committing fraud are against Epic‘s rules. But occasional VPN use is unlikely to lead to an outright ban.

Does Epic Games Know Your Location?

Epic does determine your approximate location based on your IP address, for regional pricing and restrictions. But they claim not to collect or store precise location data.

When you create an Epic Games account, you provide your country and region. This sets pricing and available offers. Epic may also check your IP location to verify it matches your account country.

But they insist they do not use GPS or other means to pinpoint your exact real-world location. Any location tracking would require your consent through Epic Games apps.

So in summary, Epic knows your country and region from account details, and may check IP location to validate. But they should not have access to exact GPS coordinates or location data without your permission.

Can You Get V-Bucks with Epic Coupons?

No, V-Bucks and other in-game currencies cannot be purchased with Epic coupons. The coupons specifically exclude currency for games like Fortnite.

Epic Coupons can only be applied to game purchases and DLC. The coupons page states:

"Not valid on pre-purchases or any other purchases such as in-game purchases (e.g. V-Bucks or currency)."

So while you can use Epic coupons on discounted games, you cannot use them to get cheaper V-Bucks, Apex Coins, Rainbow Six Credits, etc.

Why Does Epic Games Launcher Use So Much RAM?

The Epic Games Launcher tends to use a relatively high amount of system memory compared to other launchers. This is due to some performance-impacting design choices.

The Epic Games Launcher is built on Electron, which is also used by apps like Slack and Discord. Electron provides cross-platform compatibility but is resource intensive.

Each game installed also runs as a separate process, cluttering up your memory. And the overlay integrations with games cause additional bloat.

Epic themselves have acknowledged that memory usage is higher than it should be. They continue to optimize the launcher to reduce RAM usage in updates.

Closing unused game processes in Task Manager can help reclaim some wasted memory. But in general, higher RAM usage is an acknowledged technical limitation with Epic‘s launcher.

Does Epic Games Launcher Slow Down Computer?

Some users report the Epic launcher causing decreased gaming performance and general system slowdown. This stems from the high memory usage mentioned above.

Having the launcher and several game processes running eats up RAM that could be used for your active game. CPU cycles are also consumed running Epic services in the background.

So having the Epic launcher installed can indirectly impact your gameplay experience. Less available RAM and sluggish CPU performance means slower frame rates and longer load times.

Closing unused Epic processes in Task Manager before playing can help. But in general, running the Epic launcher has some minor but measurable performance impact.

Is Epic Games Owned by Tencent?

Chinese conglomerate Tencent owns approximately 40% of Epic Games‘ total equity. They originally acquired a 40% minority stake in 2012, and have not increased the share since.

However, Tencent does not have any operational control or management authority at Epic. Founder Tim Sweeney retains majority control and decision making power.

Epic emphasizes that Tencent is only a passive investor, not an operating partner. They do not have access to or authority over any customer data or products like the Epic Games Store.

So in summary – Tencent owns 40% equity but has no control or access. Epic maintains full independence from Tencent.

Can You Merge Epic Accounts?

Epic Games accounts cannot be merged or combined at this time. Your game progress, friends, and purchases remain tied to separate accounts.

Previously Epic did allow merging Fortnite accounts in special cases, but this program was discontinued in May 2022 due to fraud and abuse.

However, you can add multiple accounts to the same Epic Games Launcher installation. This allows managing and accessing different accounts from one place.

But each account and its associated game data remains separate. There is no way to transfer content or friends between accounts as of now. You have to choose a single main account.

Hopefully Epic someday adds official account merging. But for now your only option is starting fresh by adding new games to one chosen account.

Should I Buy on Steam or Epic?

Here are some key factors to consider when weighing buying games on Steam vs. Epic:

  • Exclusives: Some major games like Borderlands 3 are only on Epic Games Store

  • Free Games: Epic gives away 1-2 free games per week which is a great way to build a library

  • Prices: Epic offers weekly discounts and coupons that can provide better deals

  • Social Features: Steam has more mature social tools like user profiles, achievement showcases, forums, etc.

  • Mod Support: Steam Workshop provides better integration for finding and managing mods

  • Library Integration: Steam allows adding and organizing non-Steam titles, Epic is more walled-garden

Overall, check both stores for the title you want and compare prices and features. Epic tends to offer better deals, but Steam provides a richer experience outside of just buying games.

Can You Get Banned for Using Epic Coupons?

There are no reports of Epic banning accounts simply for using the weekly Epic coupons. However, there are scenarios where attempting coupon fraud could potentially risk a ban:

  • Trying to use fake or altered coupons
  • Using VPNs or other tricks to obtain region-restricted coupons
  • Applying the same coupon repeatedly by creating multiple accounts
  • Attempting to sell coupons for real-world money

Within normal usage limits though, there is no danger of getting banned for coupon use. Epic even encourages stacking multiple valid coupons on the same purchase to maximize savings.

Just don‘t try to exploit coupons or use them in ways that violate Epic‘s rules. As long as you obtain and use Epic coupons ethically, no ban is likely.



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.