Are you sick of lag when gaming online, or randomly being kicked from a lobby when things are going really well? Using a VPN for gaming could be the answer.
What are the best VPNs for gaming?
From testing and personal experience, these are the best VPNs to use when gaming online:
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Gaming is a favorite lunch-time activity here at the ProPrivacy offices, and we have seen the full power of a VPN for gaming first-hand. From saving you money to improving your connection and overall online experience, VPNs have a wide range of applications for gamers.
Combining a VPN with your gaming setup allows you to prevent DDoS attacks, avoid ISP throttling, and optimize the path your packets take. On top of this, they can also give you more freedom by letting you play games that are blocked in your region and allow you to purchase games earlier or cheaper by geo-spoofing to a different country.
In this guide, we’ll show you the best VPNs to use while you game, how you can use it to save yourself some money and how to set it up on PC or console.
Hands down, the two most important features that make a VPN good to use when gaming are speed and server locations. However, privacy is also important for some leading game distributors – such as Steam. When selecting our favorite VPNs for gaming, we considered:
- Performance on desktop (various operating systems).
- Compatibility with popular consoles & mobile devices.
- If the VPN is fast enough for gaming.
- The number of servers & locations.
So, now that you know what you’re looking for, let’s get into it.
The Best VPNs for Gaming online in 2021
This is a full list of the VPNs that we can recommend for gaming in 2021:
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The fastest VPNs for Gaming in 2021
In this article, we have carefully pinpointed the most stable and fastest VPNs on the market. We tested VPNs with Tier-1 server networks at length to ensure that they provide lightning-fast connections. To help you pick the fastest VPN available to you, we test those VPNs three times per day and automatically update the graph below. That allows you to see exactly which VPN are fastest right now.
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Will a VPN help improve my speeds?
When you connect to a VPN, it must encrypt your traffic and route it via the VPN server. This is why you need a fast VPN with blistering servers. Picking a VPN that runs on an inferior network will slow down your traffic, which is not going to improve your gaming experience.
Even the fastest VPNs in the world (from this article) must still router your traffic via the VPN server to provide their service, and this will incur some added latency. So, only expect a VPN to improve your stability due to the proximity of the VPN server to the gaming server. The good news is that many gamers use VPNs for this reason and it is a good idea to test one to see if it improves your stability and ping times.
The very best VPNs for gaming have super-fast gigabit connections and Tier-1 servers capable of a massive amount of throughput. This means that even while connected to the VPN, your internet speeds will remain constant. As a result, you can game with the VPN on and still enjoy fast internet.
How can VPNs make my internet faster?
On some occasions, ISPs engage in traffic shaping. To do this, they throttle their subscribers’ bandwidth, which limits their connection speeds. ISPs do this to prevent network congestion, and to prevent data hogs (like gamers) from using up all their bandwidth.
If you are suffering from bandwidth throttling when you play games, it is possible that connecting to a VPN will improve your internet speeds. A VPN stops your ISP from knowing what you are doing online, which can prevent them from throttling you. As a result, you will finally get unrestricted internet speeds!
For gaming, you will require internet speeds of at least 10 Mbps. Always check your internet connection speeds without a VPN first to figure out whether a VPN is going to be suitable for you. The higher your benchmark speeds are without a VPN, the more confident you can be about using a VPN for gaming.
Will a VPN improve my ping?
This is not an exact science and (unlike many websites) we don’t like to make any promises regarding ping times and VPN use.
The fact is, many gamers swear by VPNs to improve their ping, and connecting to a VPN server that is close to the gaming server (or between you and the gaming server geographically) can lead to improved ping. If you are having ping issues, we recommend trialing a VPN by using its money-back guarantee.
This is the only way to find out if a VPN works in your specific circumstances and with the games you currently play.
Tips for reducing VPN ping
In this section, we will look at a few helpful tips that may help to reduce your ping when using a VPN.
Some VPN encryption protocols are faster than others. When gaming, it is a good idea to use a protocol that provides the best speeds possible. If your VPN has PPTP, you can give it a try, because it is known to provide the fastest speeds.
For strong data security and fast speeds, we recommend OpenVPN UDP. Alternatively, you can try IKEv2, which is a secure protocol that is known to be very fast. Many VPNs are also now introducing WireGuard, which is known for its super-fast speeds!
At the end of the day, it is a good idea to test each of the VPN protocols available with your VPN to see which performs best. So go ahead and play around with the settings to see what works for you.
Connect to a VPN server that is closer
By connecting to a VPN server that is closer to you or closer to the gaming server, you can improve your connection speeds and ping. If you need a server in the US, consider whether an East or West coast server is closer to your home country. Every second counts, so always choose a server that is closer to you. In addition, try testing a few different servers to see if one works out better for you.
Always test a few servers, as some may be faster than others. Servers can slow down slightly if many people are using them, so try a few different servers (that is why your VPN has so many options). If a VPN server seems slow, just check another that is also close by.
How to save money on games with a VPN
Depending on where you live, games will cost a different amount. Economies all over the world differ, and games companies charge whatever they feel people can afford in different locations. In addition, local exchange rates and sales taxes can affect the price of a game.
With a VPN, you can pretend to be in a different country. As a result, you can take advantage of international game prices. To do so, connect to a VPN server in a different country and browse online game markets to see the differing costs of brand new AAA releases or older games that may be on sale.
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Where can I find cheaper games online?
Alongside Steam and the Epic Store, individual publishers have also established their own platforms on PC, with EA’s Origin, Ubisoft’s Ubisoft Connect, and Blizzard Activision’s Battle.net. In fact, it’s become more common for game developers like Taleworlds, Mojang, and Cloud Imperium to self-publish, releasing games directly on their website. And this isn’t to forget console powerhouses like PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
Besides these online marketplaces, you can also save money on games by checking out the following online game retailers:
With so many options available, we recommend shopping around and testing a few different countries with your VPN. That way you have a much better chance of getting the best possible price.
What games can I get a discount on?
If you are wondering about the kinds of deals you can get with a VPN, we have included a few examples below. The best bet is to look for each specific title you are interested in by spoofing your location to similar countries to the ones in our example (or anywhere else where you believe games could be cheaper). You will find cheaper prices with any of the major platforms listed above by pretending to be in a different place.
Regional pricing fluctuates based on different economies, the internal workings of the video game industry, and sales. For this reason, you might find some price discrepancies. The prices shown below were true at the time of writing but could have changed since.
|Game||Store||UK Price (£ – $)||US Price ($)||European Price (€ – $)||Cheapest option|
|Death Stranding||PlayStation Store||$71.76||$59.99||$77.51||$59.78 (Hong Kong)|
|The Outer Worlds||Microsoft Store||$65.24||$59.99||$66.43||$59.90 (Hong Kong)|
|Fire Emblem: Three Houses||Nintendo eShop||$65.24||$59.99||$66.43||$54.80 (Hong Kong)|
|Untitled Goose Game||Epic Games Store||$20.87||$19.99||$17.71||$4.99 (Argentina)|
|Rainbow Six Siege||Steam||$22.15||$19.99||$22.14||$11.68
|Middle-earth: Shadow of War||Steam||$45.66||$49.99||$44.28||$10.85 (Argentina)|
|Injustice 2||Steam||$52.19||$49.99||$55.36||$14.48 (Argentina)|
|Spyro Reignited||Steam||$45.66||$39.99||$44.28||$16.68 (Argentina)|
|Lethal League Blaze||Steam||$23.48||$19.99||$22.14||$3.76 (Argentina)|
|Call of Cthulhu||Steam||$45.66||$39.99||$44.28||$21.70 (Argentina)|
|Red Dead Redemption (PS4)||PlayStation Store||$78.29||$59.99||$77.51||$59.78 (Hong Kong)|
|Red Dead Redemption (Xbox One)||Microsoft Store||$78.29||$59.99||$77.51||$25 (Argentina)|
|Madden 19||PlayStation Store||$58.71||$39.99||$55.36||$17.16 (Indonesia)|
|Battlefield V||Microsoft Store||$58.71||$39.99||$55.36||$38.36 (Argentina)|
|Overwatch Legendary Edition||Microsoft Store||$76.33||$59.99||$66.43||$38.73 (Turkey)|
|Fifa 20 (PS4)||PlayStation Store||$78.56||$59.99||$66.63||$53.92 (Hong Kong)|
|Fifa 20 (Xbox One)||Microsoft Store||$78.56||$59.99||$66.63||$55.70 (India)|
|Fallout 76 (Xbox One)||Microsoft Store||$45.66||$39.99||$44.29||$15.45 (Argentina)|
|Spider-Man||PlayStation Store||$45.66||$39.99||$44.28||$39.34 (Hong Kong)|
|Devil May Cry 5||Steam||$58.71||$59.99||$66.43||$27.43 (Argentina)|
|Metro Exodus||PlayStation Store||$71.76||$59.99||$77.51||$52.01 (Hong Kong)|
|Resident Evil 2 Remake||Steam||$58.71||$59.99||66.43||$20.52 (Argentina)|
|Far Cry New Dawn||Steam||$49.58||$39.99||$49.82||$33.34 (Argentina)|
|Kingdom Hearts 3 (PS4)||PlayStation Store||$71.76||$59.99||$77.51||$59.78 (Hong Kong)|
|Kingdom of Hearts 3 (Xbox One)||Microsoft Store||$71.76||$59.99||$77.51||$24.35 (Argentina)|
How much can I save?
In the table above, you can see that it’s possible to save as much as $57 on some games with a VPN! A VPN is an excellent way to save hundreds of dollars all year round – particularly if you buy a lot of games.
You can compare game prices for various PS4 stores around the globe – by clicking here! To compare Xbox stores from around the world – check this website.
Buying games at cheaper rates is easy and convenient with a VPN! All you need to do is connect to a VPN server in a foreign country. If a valid local payment method is required, you can get one by following our guide for virtual card services.
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How to install and use a VPN for gaming on console and PC
Installing your VPN depends on whether you game on a PC, PS4, Xbox One, or Nintendo Switch. By far the easiest to set up is a VPN for gaming on PC. But, setting up on console isn’t too taxing and takes around 15-minutes of initial setup.
Setting up a VPN for gaming on a PC
This is as simple as:
- Pick the best VPN for gaming that meets your needs
- Subscribe to the service using the links above
- Install the software on your PC
- Pick a server and connect
That’s it! You’re connected and can start using your VPN with your favorite games and gaming marketplaces.
Setting up a VPN for gaming on a console
This is where things get a little more tricky, but it’s certainly possible. When setting up a VPN to use with a gaming console, you have two options:
- Connect your console to the internet via a desktop computer or laptop that is running your chosen VPN. You can achieve this by connecting an Ethernet cable from your console to the PC.
- Install a VPN on your router (or buy a flashed router) so that every device in your home (including your games consoles) is automatically connected to the VPN server of your choice.
Fortunately, we can show you how to get up and running on any console, step-by-step. Simply check out the guides linked below.
Which option do we recommend?
For console users, a VPN router is always the best solution for playing games through a VPN. But, a VPN router can also benefit PC gamers eliminating the need to install and run a VPN on your PC. This, in turn, reduces some strain on your CPU – which will leave more power for rendering graphics.
What is a VPN router?
A VPN router is a router that has a VPN installed directly onto it. This means every device on your network can be automatically protected by the VPN when running the VPN connection through a router. This is excellent for connecting devices like game consoles to a VPN server (and any other device that you can’t directly install a VPN on). To find out more, check out our VPN routers guide.
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Can I get a free VPN for gaming?
No, unfortunately reliable free VPN services are typically limited in what they can offer users. When it comes to gaming, particularly online, good connection speeds are essential to a lag free experience. It’s highly unlikely that any free VPN service will have the resources available to invest in a robust enough server network to support the speeds needed for gaming online. Those that do offer primarily to their paying users and use their free offering as more of a limited demo, with reduced speeds and server choice to try to entice you to upgrade.
Can I get a VPN for gaming on mobile?
Yes. Whether you want to access a specific game on the Google Play Store or Apple Store that isn’t available in your country, you want to play on foreign game servers by appearing to live in a different location, or you simply want to purchase a game a cheaper price – a gaming VPN can help. For example, some players use a VPN to access a different Mobile Legends server IP address. Check out our Android VPN and iPhone VPN guides for more details about using a VPN on your mobile.
We’ve done our best to explain everything you need to know about gaming with a VPN in the article above. If you still have questions, don’t worry! We’ve put together a FAQ section to tie up those loose ends.
[[post-object type=”accordion” question=”Can I get banned from games for using a VPN?” answer=”Some games state in the ToS that using a VPN is against the rules. However, it is generally rare for individual games to block VPN users from accessing their servers. However, platforms like Steam do sometimes ban accounts that are discovered using a VPN, because they understand that they are missing out on profits when people purchase games at a lower cost. This is why it is essential to purchase a reliable VPN that adequately protects your privacy and conceals your location. All the VPNs that we recommend in this guide are great for gaming and purchasing games.” /]]
[[post-object type=”accordion” question=”Can I game with a free VPN?” answer=”Reliable <a href=’/vpn/comparison/free-vpn-services’>free VPN</a> services are incredibly limited. These services are really only there as a demo service designed to encourage people to buy a premium account. The kinds of speeds and data allowance that you need for gaming will mean that you need to pay for a service, unfortunately. However, a free VPN is useful as it will help to improve your online privacy.” /]]
[[post-object type=”accordion” question=”How fast does my internet connection have to be to game with a VPN?” answer=”To game with a VPN you will need speeds in excess of 10 Mbps. Anything below that is likely to produce a lot of lag.” /]]
[[post-object type=”accordion” question=”Can I use a VPN for mobile games?” answer=”Yes. Whether you want to access a specific game on the Google Play Store or Apple Store that isn’t available in your country, you want to play on foreign game servers by appearing to live in a different location, or you simply want to purchase a game a cheaper price – a gaming VPN can help. For example, some players use a VPN to access a different Mobile legends server IP address. Check out our <a href=’/vpn/comparison/android-vpns’>Android VPN</a> and <a href=’/vpn/comparison/best-iphone-vpns’>iPhone VPN</a> guides for more details about using a VPN on your mobile.” /]]
[[post-object type=”accordion” question=”Do ‘ping boosters’ work?” answer=”Ping boosters like ‘Ping Zapper’ do work for some people. However, their effect is different for people in different locations and can vary depending on the location of a gaming server. In addition, our recommended services have been known to act as a VPN ping booster; by routing traffic more effectively than ISPs. This is rare, but it is known to happen and it is worth using a little trial and error to connect to several VPN servers closer to the gaming server (and between you and the gaming server) to see if it reduces your ping. ” /]]
[[post-object type=”accordion” question=”Will using a VPN add to latency?” answer=”Yes. A VPN will add some latency to your connection. However, there are some cases when VPNs may route traffic faster to the final destination than your ISP. This is due to differing infrastructure contracts that cause traffic to be routed via different cables (and can theoretically result in traffic being routed more directly). For this reason, some trial and error using <a href=’/vpn/comparison/best-vpn-free-trial’>VPN money-back guarantees</a> is recommended to see how a VPN works out for you. ” /]]
Now you are fully armed with all the information you need to know if you need a VPN for gaming, let’s review our top picks:
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