How to Sign Up for Chinese Online Games

Recently, there have been more and more interesting online games coming out in China. With Monster Hunter Online and Call of Duty Online, there will be two top tier free-to-play games in the middle kingdom. While these games are only available in China, that doesn't mean enterprising players abroad can't play them.

Playing Chinese games abroad is indeed possible. These games at the moment do not check for IP addresses, so you can actually play them on any IP address. The actual problem is with the registration process. Before we begin, here's a disclaimer:

*You cannot play Chinese online games without a valid Chinese ID number.*

With that said, let us begin. Forgoing the need for a Chinese ID, it's actually not hard to play these games. Sure, you probably won't understand the language and it might be hard to pick up the game that way, but therein lies the extra challenge. Truth be told, not being able to read Chinese in a massively online multiplayer game will probably make menu navigation near impossible, but that doesn't make the game unplayable. On top of that, many Chinese players will be able to write and understand English.

So with all that said and done, let's get started on how to sign up for and start a Chinese game. For this tutorial, let's go with the super cutesy MMO, Tao Yuan Online.

The first step is to download the client. Normally the text would read like so: "下载客户端". In this case it reads "下载游戏." "下载" means "download".

How to Sign Up for Chinese Online Games

After downloading the client, the next part is giving up your personal information! Yay! To do so, we have to hit a button that says "帐号注册." This means "to register an account". Here is what the account registration form looks like.

How to Sign Up for Chinese Online Games

Once this is all filled out and done, it's as easy as opening up the client, hitting the login button and starting the game. I have been told by some game companies that they do accept foreign passports. However, being the paranoid person that I am, I am unwilling to give anyone aside the United States Government my US issued passport number.

Some Chinese games require a bit more finesse to sign up for, but for the most part, signing up is just this easy. For Tencent-made games, for example, you can use an even easier method — just sign up for a Chinese QQ chat account. Signing up for a QQ requires little to no personal information, but when signing up for a game, there will be a prompt asking for a real-world Chinese ID. Other companies, like Perfect World, require the use of a bank card because their games are pay to play. This is now changing as more and more of these games are going for the freemium model.

Hopefully, this guide will help some of you get to know the wonderfully weird world of Chinese online games.

Top image captured from Call of Duty Online's "Hero" trailer.

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Eric is Beijing based writer and all around FAT man. You can contact him @FatAsianTechie@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @FatAsianTechie.