Using a VPN for gaming might sound counterintuitive when you first think of it. However, there are many reasons why you should consider doing so. Some gamers use it to protect their devices from DDoS attacks and maintain their online privacy when playing online. Others use it to reduce ping and improve online performance. Many players even employ it to avoid server geo-blocks or their ISP throttling their connection speed.
No matter what your main gaming concern is, this page will help you resolve it. We’ve tested all of the best VPNs for gaming and summed up a detailed guide on everything you need to know when using a VPN for gaming. Let’s get right into it.
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Here are the best VPNs for gaming:
Is a VPN Good for Gaming?
Many casual online gamers could argue that they don’t specifically need a VPN to enjoy gaming. That said, the long list of VPN benefits includes excellent gaming features. Most notably, these cover DDoS and swatting protection, reduced lag and ping, and unrestricted server access.
You can make sure you access all gaming servers privately and safely, regardless of your physical location. Some VPNs will even help increase your network speed and reduce overall ping.
Of course, you need to pick a reliable and proven VPN that works well for gaming activities for all of this to be true. It should have all of the necessary security and performance features. Also, it should be light and streamlined enough so that it doesn’t slow down your network or increase in-game lag. This brings us to the next important point of the topic.
What To Look for in a Good VPN for Gaming
Not all VPNs can provide you with the convenient gaming features you’re looking for. You need to make sure that the VPN of your choice has a particular set of characteristics that make it a suitable choice for gaming activities. Here are the essential features to look for in a good VPN for Gaming:
- DDoS Protection – DDoS attacks are worryingly common in the online gaming community. For this reason, DDoS protection is one of the essential aspects a good gaming VPN should have. A VPN with DDoS protection will keep your IP hidden and safe from any such attempts.
- Global Server Access – Many game providers split their online multiplayer servers based on specific regions. If you’re not located in the target country, you can’t access the server. A VPN lets you bypass this inconvenience with no effort. All you need to do is connect to a server in the region you want to play at and load up the game.
- Dedicated IP Options – A dedicated VPN IP address means you’re not sharing your address with any other VPN user. Having this option at your disposal can be very useful. It will make sure you never get IP banned from a game or experience any other unpleasantries because of somebody else’s activities.
- Split Tunneling – It allows you to route some of your traffic through the VPN server while directly keeping other parts of it on the Internet. This is a vital feature to have if you’re looking for a gaming VPN that’s also suitable for streaming.
- Fast Speeds – When you’re playing competitively against other gamers online, every second counts. You can’t afford to use a slow VPN, as your experience will suffer. Because of this, you need a fast VPN that’s proven to reduce lag and ping, like the services we’ve highlighted above.
- No Logs Policy – If you want to maintain online privacy and anonymity, you need a VPN that doesn’t log any of your activities. Ensure that the VPN you’re using has a strict no-logs policy on all activities that go through its servers.
The best of the best VPNs featured on our list possess all of these characteristics and are excellent performers for all games across the board. Among the many games you can play online with a VPN, you’ll get safe and unrestricted access to these major game titles:
- League of Legends
Best VPNs For Gaming
After reviewing and comparing all of the top VPNs, we’ve found NordVPN to be the best VPN for gaming. Simply put, NordVPN offers a complete package made up of all of the features you would need from a top gaming VPN. The long list of NordVPNs features includes DDoS protection, CyberSec, and split tunneling.
NordVPN has over 5300 servers in 59 countries. The service also offers a high-performing in-house protocol called NordLynx, which combines the best features of WireGuard with NordVPN’s custom network system. NordLynx provides for even faster speeds without compromising any security features. This lightweight and super-fast protocol ticks off all of the necessary gaming requirements.
NordVPN can unblock any site out there and offers easy-to-use apps. It’s particularly convenient for gamers who play competitively or stream their content and need a capable VPN to back them up.
You can get NordVPN for just a couple of bucks per month if you opt for one of the more extended plans. To top this off, the service offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you’re not risking a single cent. All of these features make NordVPN a user favorite and our top pick for the best gaming VPN.
When it comes to gaming, Surfshark has a simple motto: “Stick to gaming, a VPN will handle the security”. And, it completely delivers on this. It provides you with all of the necessary tools to play in complete privacy and security. It’s one of the fastest VPNs we’ve ever reviewed. In particular, the service’s speeds are very reliable and consistent.
Surfshark offers over 3,200 servers in 65 countries. Each of these servers is equipped with private DNS, making it great for gaming. Aside from gaming, all Surfshark’s servers are P2P-friendly and support NoBorders Mode and Camouflage Mode. This makes the service great for streaming and torrenting as well.
ExpressVPN stands as one of the best all-around VPNs for users who want a robust and strong VPN service with fast speeds. There are over 3,000 servers in 160 locations and 94 countries. ExpressVPN provides blazing-fast connections capable of reducing ping times.
Features include 256-bit encryption, DNS/IPv6 leak protection, DDoS protection, and split tunneling. One of the main downsides we often list when talking about ExpressVPN is that it’s more expensive than most of its competitors. That said, if you can afford to spend a bit extra, ExpressVPN is hard to beat.
Private Internet Access
When looking at the number and variety of servers Private Internet provides, it’s hard to find any other VPN that can hold its ground. PIA offers over 35,000 servers in 101 locations across 78 countries. More important than numbers alone, each of these servers supports the WireGuard protocol.
PIA’s service also comes with many great features. Most notably, these include a kill switch, split tunneling, the PIA Mace feature, port forwarding, and custom DNS. These and many more features can be very handy for advanced gamers looking to custom tailor and personalize their gaming VPN.
The service is based in the US, but this shouldn’t deter you from using it. PIA has a 100% zero-log policy, so it can’t give away any valuable information under government warrants. Generally, PIA maintains an excellent reputation among online gamers. It is undoubtedly one of the best VPN choices for all gamers worldwide.
- Block ads, trackers, and malware
- Can be used with 10 devices simultaneously
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- 3200+ Servers in 29 Countries
- No Traffic or Request logs
- 7-day money-back guarantee
When talking about IPVanish for gaming, it’s hard to overlook all of the benefits this VPN service offers, particularly to gamers. Features include advanced VPN encryption, powerful unblocking, and a zero traffic logs policy. Most importantly, all IPVanish servers support above-average speeds with no data bandwidth caps. This makes IPVanish a first-rate choice for gamers.
All of these features are accompanied by over 1,600 servers in more than 75 locations. In total, this includes over 40,000 unique IP addresses IPVanish’s users can switch between. IPVanish couples up its affordable service with a secure 500GB storage plan. This offers even more practical and convenient data sharing controls for online gamers.
CyberGhost advertises as the best gaming VPN. While they’re not our top choice, there are many reasons why this VPN firmly ranks among the best services in the industry. CyberGhost offers more than 6,900 servers worldwide, all backed up with unlimited bandwidth and traffic. More significantly, it supports some of the highest VPN server speeds out of all VPN services.
CyberGhost ticks off almost all of the necessary security and performance features. This includes DNS and IP leak protection and 256-bit encryption. It also covers several top-performing protocols, including WireGuard. On top of this, the service offers one of the most extensive money-back guarantees around. You can request a refund within the first 45 days of purchasing a subscription.
VyprVPN’s 700+ servers are spread across more than 70 locations all over the globe. This totals at a staggering 300,000+ unique IP addresses. The service secures all of its servers with DDoS protection and a NAT Firewall. VyprVPN has also designed a number of great in-house features. These include VyprDNS, VyprVPN Cloud, and the high-performing Chameleon protocol.
VyprVPN also offers very simple and intuitive apps for all major devices and platforms. It doesn’t matter if you’re a hardcore PC gamer or casual mobile gamer. You can enjoy a great VPN service suitable for smooth gaming and high-speed streaming on Twitch and many other platforms.
Quick VPN Setup Guides for Gaming
Hopefully, the detailed overviews of each gaming VPN above have helped you decide which service is the best option for your gaming needs. But, before you can start using a VPN for gaming, first, you’ll need to complete the setup process. Let’s take a closer look at how to set up a gaming VPN on the device of your choice:
How to Set Up VPN on Windows
Setting up a VPN for a gaming PC is very simple and straightforward. Here’s how to install, set up, and use a VPN service for gaming on your Windows PC:
- Sign up with a VPN of your choice and download the Windows app.
- Install the app, open it up and complete the login process
- Choose a server in a country you want to play from.
- Load up your game and enjoy the benefits of a VPN for PC gaming!
How to Set Up VPN on PS4 and Xbox
If you’re more of a console gamer than a PC one, you’d also want to know how to set up a VPN on your device. There are a couple of ways to set up your VPN for gaming on PS4 or Xbox. We’ll walk you through both popular setup options and leave it up to you to decide which way is best for you.
Set Up a PS4/Xbox VPN Through Your PC
- Download and install your VPNs PC app.
- Connect your console to your PC through an ethernet cable.
- Open up the Control Panel on your PC and go to “Network and Internet” and then “Network and Sharing Center”.
- Choose the option “Change Adapter Settings”. When the window pops up, click on your VPN service’s name. Go to “Properties” then “Sharing”.
- Select the option “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection”.
- Staying in the same tab, under the option “Home Networking Connection” choose your console’s connection.
- Open up the app client and connect to a server of your choice.
- Turn on your console and navigate to the settings tab in it. Go to “Network” then “Connect to the Internet” and choose “Use a LAN cable – Easy”.
- This completes the setup process. All that’s left is to load up the game and enjoy gaming on your PS4/PS5/Xbox console!
Set Up a PS4/Xbox VPN Through Your Router
- Log in to your router’s control panel. You can do so by typing “192.168.1.1.” in your browser’s address bar.
- Navigate to the VPN Client tab and choose the “Add Profile” option.
- When prompted, enter all of the necessary details and opt for auto-reconnection in the appropriate tab.
- Download the OpenVPN configuration files from your VPN’s site.
- Go back to your router’s control panel and import the files you’ve just downloaded.
- Activate your VPN connection and start gaming!
Keep in mind that if you set up the VPN on your router, the VPN will cover every other device, not only the console. Before you try to do so, make sure that your router is compatible with your VPN. Not all routers can support a VPN installation on them.
Besides the two procedures we’ve covered step-by-step above, there are also a few other methods you can use to set up a VPN on your console. This includes setting up a VPN through a smart DNS method or setting up a connection over Wi-Fi.
That said, these methods are less practical than the two we’ve talked about above. We recommend avoiding setting your VPN through these alternative approaches. It’s best to stick with the two most straightforward and most common methods.
VPN For Gaming FAQs
Does a VPN help gaming and improve it?
Yes, a quality VPN, like the ones we’ve featured on this page, can improve your gaming experience. It can help reduce your gaming ping and even speed up your entire network in case your ISP is throttling your bandwidth. It will also allow you to access remote servers that would otherwise be blocked in your location.
What’s the best VPN for gaming and streaming?
After reviewing all of the top VPNs in the industry, we can confidently recommend any of the seven VPNs we’ve listed on this page. All of them are capable of providing you with a reliable and stable gaming VPN experience. You can rest assured that you’ll get your money’s worth no matter which VPN you opt for.
Can I use a VPN for streaming games on Twitch?
If you’re a gamer who also streams their content on Twitch in particular, any of the seven VPNs we’ve reviewed and listed above is suitable for streaming games on Twitch. All of them are equipped with top-tier security, fast and stable network speeds, and a widespread server network.
Does a VPN affect gaming, and can it help reduce ping?
Yes, in some cases, a VPN can help improve ping. It can do so because it will guide data packets to take a more direct route than they would do through your normal ISP network. Keep in mind, some VPNs are more efficient at this than others, and in some cases, using a VPN for gaming will actually increase ping.
Can I use a VPN for League of Legends?
Yes, there are great gaming benefits of playing League of Legends with a VPN. With a VPN for LoL, nothing can stop you from enjoying your favorite servers, regardless of your location. It can help you avoid geoblocks, lags, bandwidth throttling, and many other annoying issues that can diminish your gaming experience.
Can I use a free VPN for gaming?
No, we advise you to avoid using free VPNs for any gaming activities. Free VPNs can’t provide you with the safety and performance features premium VPNs can offer. Free VPN services can’t provide you vital gaming security features such as DDoS protection and protection from hackers.
Plus, most free VPNs are downright scams that sell their users’ private information for money. Given that, using a free VPN to secure your privacy is out-and-out counterproductive. Some of the services on our list offer very affordable plans, and you can secure your gaming activities at just a couple of bucks per month.
Are VPNs fast enough for gaming?
Yes, the top-tier VPNs in the industry all have reliable servers that can support your high-speed demands. Of course, not all VPNs can do so. In some cases, a VPN can be detrimental to your network speed. That’s why we recommend sticking with one of our top-listed options to make sure you get the best gaming speeds.
Which VPN should I pick for competitive gaming?
If you’re a competitive gamer who wants to use a VPN for gaming, you need a robust and feature-rich VPN. From this perspective of VPN and gaming, our top two choices are NordVPN and ExpressVPN. Both of these come with all of the necessary tools a competitive gamer should look for.
Best VPN for Gaming – Which Service Should You Choose?
The VPNs we’ve recommended to you on this page have all been tested for speed, server performance, security, gaming, and many other aspects. From that perspective, you won’t go wrong no matter which of our top seven gaming VPNs you choose.
With the information you’ve learned on this page, you can make a confident and educated choice of what VPN you like most for gaming. If you can’t decide which VPN service is the best choice for your gaming needs, we recommend NordVPN as our first choice. It’s fast, secure, and very affordable. Plus, you can take advantage of a 30-day money-back guarantee to try it out completely risk-free.