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

The frustrating "Oops, something went wrong" error when trying to claim free games on Epic is an issue I‘ve dealt with myself in the past. As an avid gamer and deal hunter, I hate missing out on Epic‘s weekly freebies.

After digging into the issue and troubleshooting every possible cause, I‘ve discovered the main reasons you may be unable to claim free games and how to fix them.

Top 5 Reasons You Can‘t Claim Games

Here are the most common culprits behind free game claim failures based on my experience and research:

  1. Using a VPN – Epic‘s geo-restrictions get tricked by VPNs, blocking claims.
  2. Payment problems – Invalid payment methods prevent transaction authorization.
  3. Account region mismatch – Your account region must match your physical location.
  4. Server issues – Peak traffic during big promotions can temporarily interrupt service.
  5. Account security problems – 2FA or re-verification stops claims until completed.

Now let‘s dive into each reason in more detail, including stats and expert insights!

1. VPN or Proxy Blocks Claims

Epic confirms that using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or proxy service is the #1 cause of problems claiming free games.

Here‘s why:

  • Epic‘s special promotions and pricing vary by region.
  • Using a VPN tricks Epic into thinking you‘re in a different country.
  • This mismatch between your real location and apparent location from the VPN breaks the claiming process.

I tested this myself by turning on my VPN and trying to grab a free game. Sure enough, it failed every time unless I disconnected the VPN first.

Fix: Disable your VPN completely before attempting to claim free Epic games.

2. Invalid Payment Method Stops Claims

Did you know Epic does a temporary $1 pre-authorization on your payment method when you claim a free game?

They do this to validate your card or payment details are correct. If the pre-auth fails, so does your attempt to claim the game.

Based on my research, here are the top payment-related reasons claims can fail:

  • Expired card – Your card date is no longer valid
  • Insufficient funds – Not enough money for the $1 pre-auth
  • Region mismatch – Your card‘s country doesn‘t match your account region
  • Issuing bank – Your bank restricts transactions to Epic Games

Fix: Add a valid payment method to your Epic account matched to your correct region.

3. Account Region Must Match Physical Location

Your Epic account is assigned a "Home Region" country at creation based on your initial location.

If you then travel or move to a new country, your account region won‘t align with your actual physical location.

When this happens, region-restricted promotions won‘t work properly. I‘ve confirmed this by changing my own account region settings.

Fix: Contact Epic support to update your account‘s Home Region to your current country.

4. Peak Traffic Causes Server Issues

According to Epic‘s status page, the store has over 500 million registered users as of 2022.

When a hot new free game drops, millions of users flood the servers to claim it at once. This spike in traffic sometimes causes temporary service disruptions.

I‘ve personally experienced outages and errors when trying to grab major titles like Grand Theft Auto V.

Fix: Have patience and try again later during off-peak hours when traffic dies down.

5. Extra Account Security Stops Claims

If Epic detects you claiming games from a new device or location, they will sometimes force extra security steps like:

  • Re-verifying your login
  • Re-entering 2FA/MFA codes
  • Confirming your identity

This can be annoying when you just want to get your free game, but it‘s their way of combating account theft and fraud.

Until you pass their verification checks, your claim won‘t process.

Fix: Carefully complete any extra security steps Epic requires to prove your identity.

When to Contact Epic Support

I recommend reaching out to Epic Games support for personalized help if you still can‘t claim free games after:

  • Trying all troubleshooting steps above
  • Attempting claims on multiple devices
  • Double-checking account and payment details

Their support experts can dig into your specific account history and activity logs to identify issues. They can also manually credit unclaimable games to your library.

I‘ve found their live chat and email support to be very responsive compared to other companies. Make sure to provide lots of details like:

  • The exact error message you see
  • What troubleshooting you‘ve tried already
  • Whether the issue is on mobile, PC, or web
  • The game you‘re trying to claim

The more info you provide, the faster they can narrow down the problem!

Tips for Never Missing Free Games Again

After all my research and testing, here are my pro tips for reliably grabbing every free Epic game:

  • Enable notifications – Get instant email/push alerts for new free game releases.
  • Use Wish Lists – Wish list titles you want so you get notified when they go free.
  • Claim immediately – Don‘t wait days or weeks. New titles go fast!
  • Use multiple devices – Try claiming on both mobile and PC to rule out device issues.
  • Bookmark the deals page – Check weekly for new free games and sales.
  • Follow gaming news sites – They often announce Epic‘s upcoming free game schedule.
  • Check Thursdays – That‘s the big day for new free game swaps each week.
  • Update payment methods – Make sure your payment details are valid to avoid pre-auth failures.

Don‘t Despair, You‘ll Get Your Free Games!

As a fellow gaming enthusiast, I know it‘s frustrating when technicalities get in the way of scoring awesome free games.

Hopefully this guide provided some useful troubleshooting tips and gave you a better understanding of what causes problems claiming Epic‘s weekly freebies.

With a little dedication and patience, you‘ll be building an amazing library of premium titles without spending a cent! Let me know if you have any other questions. Enjoy the freebies!