VPN for Uma Musume on DMM
Update: As of 2022-04-27, DMM has reversed the country block for most of the world. The steps described in this article are most likely unnecessary now.
For a complete guide on how to play Uma Musume on DMM, see this article instead.
If you've recently tried to launch the game through the DMM launcher from outside of Japan, you've probably noticed that it... doesn't work. The platform now blocks access from outside of the country, and you will most likely need a VPN to get around it.
Just to be completely clear, this is the DMM launcher blocking the access, not the Uma Musume game itself. The mobile versions are not affected (unless your IP was already blocked before).
Updating the DMM launcher
If you haven't done so already, you need to update DMM to the latest version. If that doesn't happen automatically, use this direct link.
Getting a VPN
VPN is now necessary to launch the game through DMM. If this is not your first rodeo, you probably already have your favorite free/paid VPN, so just use anything that can connect to Japan.
If you're completely new to VPNs, many users are reporting ProtonVPN to be a currently working free option. TunnelBear is another confirmed working service.
Launching Uma Musume
When you try to launch Uma Musume for the first time in the new client, DMM will ask you for an install location. Select the folder your game is installed in; it shouldn't download any new data.
If you're getting error 801, you're in an unsupported region. Refer to the previous section and use a VPN (or try a different one, if you're already using it).
After a successful launch
If you manage to open the Uma Musume game, you've successfully made it past the DMM hurdle.
You should disconnect from your VPN at this point, because you're about to connect to the Uma Musume servers now, and many VPNs don't work with the game itself.
If you actually did need a VPN to play this game before this update, disconnect from the Japanese one and connect to whatever you were using before.
If something doesn't work, first try restarting your computer, connecting to the VPN, and then launching DMM.
If you're getting error 801, you're either not connected to a VPN, or connecting to a wrong region (needs to be Japan). If you're still getting this error, try a different VPN service.
If you managed to open the game and the loading bar is stuck at 0%, you most likely forgot to disconnect from your VPN.
If there's some problem with your game installation, try clicking the 🛈 symbol on the Uma Musume icon in your DMM game list, and then selecting ゲームファイルの整合性チェック (verify game integrity).
If you're a Bitdefender user, you might have to add an exception for Uma Musume (either the executable file, or sometimes the entire folder).
If all else fails and you need to finish your Champions Meeting before dealing with this, remember that this is just a DMM thing, and the game will likely work on your phone as usual. If you can't play on a phone, try an android emulator (e.g. BlueStacks).