If you’ve found yourself unable to connect to Lost Ark‘s servers recently, it may be because you have a VPN active. While this was never an issue beforehand, Amazon has elected to put blockers on VPNs so you have to play the game in whatever region you live in. And, if you’ve been using a VPN to access the game from a region where it isn’t available, you unfortunately can’t play the game period.
As for why Amazon has done this, one of the game’s community managers Roxx explained on the Lost Ark forums that it’s to combat against bots. They apologize for the inconvenience and recognize that many players use VPNs for other reasons, but it technically violates Amazon’s terms of service which states that “You may not use any technology or technique to obscure or disguise your location.” On the plus side, previous use of a VPN won’t get you banned.
“We have put blockers in place to prevent users from connecting to Lost Ark through VPN services. This is one of the steps we are taking [to] combat botters, as it will help prevent them from being able to circumvent some of the restrictions we have in place and make it more difficult for them to connect to the game,” explains Roxx. “We apologize for any inconvenience, but also hope players understand the necessity of this.”
The reception has been very mixed. Some players, while disappointed with the decision, acknowledge that it’s a viable solution and think it’s something everyone else just has to deal with. Others are less accepting, arguing that this only hurts the player-base. Some are even declaring that this has ruined the game for them and will no longer be playing.
Lost Ark isn’t the first game to do something like this, however. In 2020, Riot Games had to block VPNs for its League of Legends: Wild Rift MOBA as the use of the software was causing a number of issues.