So, you want to download soft-launched games like Clash Royale, don't you? We often talk about soft launched games here on TouchArcade (and if you enjoy our coverage, your support is most welcome), with a winking hint toward people who know how to get these games. But the methods to do so are often tricky, left to be known by a few. While getting soft launched games in a country you don't reside in isn't necessarily easy, it's not that difficult to do, you just have to know where you're looking and what to do. Here's how to register an iTunes account in a different country for soft launch games.

The first step is that you'll have to do this from desktop iTunes. Sign out of your account. Go into the App Store on iTunes, and scroll all the way to the bottom to where you see the country flag, or the "Change Country" link. Click that, and now select the coutnry that you want to sign up in. You'll probably want to sign up for a few, but New Zealand is a nice starter country. Games often soft launch there, games release first htere. Canada's a nice choice, lots of games launch there too, and you can nab an iTunes card from there with not too great of difficulty.

How to Soft Launch - Change Country

Now, go and download a free app. Like, say, Clash Royale. It'll prompt you to sign in to the iTunes Store. Choose "Create Apple ID." You'll want to make sure that you download a free app. You can't just register a new account outright as you'll have to put in a credit card number, and well, if you had that, you wouldn't be reading this article, now would you?

How to Soft Launch - Create Apple ID

For the email address, what I recommend doing is if you have a Gmail address, to use + and something to signify the country that the email is for. So, for example, use for a Canadian account. This way, the emails still get sent to your inbox, but it will function differently than your current Apple ID. If your email provider doesn't support the + thing, or if that's too complicated, create a burner email somewhere to use as your alt Apple ID.

How to Soft Launch - Email

Obviously for payment method, choose none. For the personal information including billing address, you'll need some sort of quasi-usable address in the country you're signing up in. Personally, I like the Fake Name Generator website for coming up with usable addresses and info. Fill that out, and hit Create Apple ID. You'll need to verify your Apple ID, but once you do, it should be usable. Now you can sign in with it on your device.

To switch Apple IDs, scroll to the bottom of the App Store, tap the Apple ID section, and choose Sign Out. Then, sign back in with your new Apple ID. The App Store will automatically switch you to your Apple ID's App Store. From there, you can download whatever free apps you want to that account.

How to Soft Launch - Apple ID on App Store

Do note that you can't necessarily buy anything from this account without some form of payment method attached. You could get someone to give you a gift card from that country, of course, or possibly buy a different country's iTunes gift card off of eBay. What you can't do is buy IAP in the app from your home account; Apple requires that you be signed in to the account that you bought the app on to buy IAP in it. There's not really an easy way around this, so you'll just have to play free games for free unless you find a hookup in your country of choice.

How to Soft Launch - Clash Royale Can't Buy

Also, whether you can keep a game's progress is going to depend on whether it supports cloud saves. Something like Clash Royale should work totally fine. But for games that don't do cloud saves, you might need to use something like iMazing to back up the save and then restore it. And that's without pointing out that progress could be wiped. So if you play a soft launch game, don't get super-married to your progress.

It's worth registering a few different accounts. Canada, New Zealand, Australia are all obvious choices, Singapore gets the occasional soft launched game. I've even seen games soft launched in the Philippines and Saudi Arabia. It's not too much of a hassle to register new accounts. If you have an update, the App Store won't automatically update the game, it'll usually just make you sign in with the password of your alternate country's account for the update to download. And when you sign in with your other account, the store will switch automatically to the account's country.

How to Soft Launch - Change Store

In general, the soft launch account process should be pretty painless. This is as compared to the Android process, where...well, it's not as easy to do it yourself since Google restricts it based on the device's region, which is harder to fake. This trick has worked and been known for a few years now, and while Apple could possibly change it someday, you should be good for the foreseeable future to download soft launch games.

  • Based Xatu

    So we're still doing this clash thing?

    • Dueler

      Yeah it's almost too obvious.

  • raymondeigel

    Please also note that you can actually change the country on an existing account to achieve the same effect. Tried both methods with Clash Royale.

    • toofinedog

      Confirmed. I did the same for Royale and Boom Beach before.

  • esty8nine

    ^ is that true ?

  • ocv28

    I wanted to add to this that I was able to do this totally from my iPhone. Just sign out then sign back in, but choose "Create New ID". Then it'll give you a list of countries to choose from before you even make the ID, and you just choose whatever region the game is soft launched in.

    • xelasnewo

      Then there is no option for none?

  • CarlRJ

    For what it's worth, I went this route some years ago, to try out something that soft-launched in Canada, and also bought a $15 iTunes gift card, for the Canadian App Store, from these folks - IIRC, I ended up with a clear hi-res picture of code on the back a legit iTunes gift card, which I then added to my Canadian account. I might trust them a bit more than random eBay.

  • Darkmeteor

    Do you still get app updates after going back to your original store ?

    I did this a few years ago for a game I forgot about, and if I remember correctly the updates would not download.

    • PallaZ

      Yes, but you have to sign in to update the app with the account you downloaded it.

  • Silver Light Storm

    Ok so I can't switch my Apple ID. I've created not one but two of them and can't sign into neither one of them. I enter one of the IDs and password and it says incorrect. There both Japanese accounts. Any suggestions?

  • irettillib

    1. Open App Store
    2. Scroll down
    3. View Apple ID
    4. Country/Region
    5. Change country or region
    6. Agree
    7. Canada
    8. No payment method
    9. Look up Canadian province & zip code
    10. Change province and zip code
    11. Download game

    • scottbailey

      This method will force you to cancel your Apple Music membership, if you have one, before changing regions.

    • RedSatyr

      This question should be directed to you actually, but I did ask this below.

      So, you can switch your region back and forth? Or is it better to just have two Apple IDs to switch back and forth with?

  • Zeillusion

    Eli, this isn't true. You can make purchases once you switch back your country and enter your payment info. If it's a bank account, it will work. Debit card number. Me and my buds are from the US and have made purchases.

    • forsakenxe

      Could you go through this step by step? I have a German credit card, would that work, too?

      I would love to get the Footballmanager games on my devices 🙂

    • RedSatyr

      So, you can switch your region back and forth? Or is it better to just have two Apple IDs to switch back and forth with?

  • madreviewer

    Great work I just recently got a hold on this trick- please show us to record iOS game for Windows.

  • muttso1o

    Why on earth would you dowload Clash Royale!

    • nicoper

      I dunno, but since I'm in Sweden and it was soft-launched here I downloaded it for the lols, I haven't even started it yet.

  • H4nd0fg0d

    On this topic, I prefer a much easier and less convoluted solution.

    • fourampers

      That took me about 5-10 minutes, it's really not hard at all.

  • H4nd0fg0d

    And before I forget, again, what is clash???

  • appfreak

    Another good tip is to log on using any other iTunes account that you may already have to see if the game in soft launch is there. I have a bunch that I've created over the years for specific releases. I created a NZ account just to realise that on 1Passwors I had one already I created like 5 years ago :facepalm:

  • scottbailey

    Ok this worked, but now this:

    when I tested the "cloud save" that will be necessary to ensure progress continuity after the worldwide app launch, nothing worked.

    The game instructions said to link progress across devices, you must ensure said devices were connected to Gamecenter. Guess what Gamecenter doesn't work and Apple doesn't seem to be able to fix it.

    Last the game asks if you have a Link code and provides a space to enter a code, but doesn't explain how or where to get such a code.

    So I don't have much hope my progress in the soft launch will be saved.

    • chief78

      Transformers by chance? I've got the same Gamecenter issue and the code process that seems to be a catch 22.

  • David Cupples

    Thank you Carter for this guide! I finally set up an NZ account using this as a guide and it works perfectly. No more being left out of the test releases!