A VPN for gaming might seem a bit unnecessary, but the fact is that it can seriously improve not only your gaming experience but also online security.
The best gaming VPN, such as NordVPN, will offer your quality protection against DDoS and other cyberattacks and malware. By changing your IP address, you’ll also be able to hop through game servers, get better match-ups, and even access geo-restricted games. In some cases, a quality VPN will also improve your ping and overall connection speed, especially if you’re being throttled by your ISP.
To make choosing a little easier, we compiled a comprehensive list of the best VPNs for gaming. Take a look, get familiar, and choose the one that suits your gaming needs the best.
5 best VPNs for gaming
- NordVPN – overall best gaming VPN with blazing fast speeds
- Surfshark – affordable and extremely fast VPN for gaming
- IPVanish – the most secure and easy-to-use gaming VPN
- PureVPN – feature-rich VPN for gaming that is also budget-friendly
- ProtonVPN – a gaming VPN with some of the fastest speeds
Why do I need a VPN for gaming?
You might think that a gaming VPN will just hinder your gaming experience – we have reasons to say otherwise. Here are some ways in which a VPN for gaming can help you:
- Prevent DDoS attacks. These attacks are fairly common among gamers, and the best gaming VPN can help you avoid them. It will hide your IP address and make you invincible when faced with the great evil that is DDoSing. You’ll be able to play your games in peace.
- Access blocked games. Some games are blocked in certain parts of the world, but a quality VPN can help with that. By changing your virtual location, you’ll be able to access geo-blocked games, deals, and more.
- Avoid server bans. Got banned from your favorite community server? No worries – a gaming VPN will change your IP address and get you unbanned in a matter of seconds.
- Get better game deals. Online game marketplaces often use region-based price discrimination. For example, some games are cheaper in Brazil than in the US, and a VPN will help you make the best of such deals – just connect to a server in your desired country.
- Reduce lag. The best gaming VPN will help you reduce lag caused by ISP throttling, and improve your gaming experience a significant amount.
- Get that remote LAN party started. Only the best VPNs for gaming have features that allow users to connect to LAN (local area network) remotely, without having to be in the same place physically. This creates a perfect opportunity for online gaming gigs with your friends from all over the world.
The best gaming VPNs - our detailed list:
Whether a VPN is good or bad for gaming doesn't depend only on latency. The overall impact on speed, the number of servers, and other aspects can be significant. We filtered out the services that can provide only the highest degree of performance necessary for a comfortable gaming experience. Here are the ones that made the cut.
1. NordVPN – overall best gaming VPN with blazing fast speeds
|Servers/countries:||5500+ servers in 59 countries|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get NordVPN with 68% OFF + 3 months FREE 🔥|
NordVPN is the best gaming VPN for sure. During our thorough tests, we found that it offers light-fast connection speeds, robust security features, intuitive application, and a dozen of possibilities to improve your online gaming experience.
Speed: NordVPN has a wide array of tunneling protocols like NordLynx, OpenVPN, and IKEv2. Using its in-house developed NordLynx tunneling protocol will offer you an excellent connection speed of around 249 Mbps, at the baseline of 300 Mbps. No wonder why NordVPN is one of the fastest VPN services on the market.
Servers and apps: the convenient map-based interface will make things very easy – just click on a country and you'll automatically connect to the fastest server in that country. Of course, finding the best VPN server for specific online games and game servers can take more time. But the selection of x servers in x countries ensures that everyone gets to enjoy an uninterrupted gaming experience.
Features: with this VPN service, you won’t have to worry about annoying ads – the Threat Protection feature will take care of that. You will also find specialized servers (such as P2P, which is excellent for torrenting), and other essentials such as split tunneling. Moreover, the meshnet feature will let you enjoy a never-ending remote LAN party with your gaming bros from all over the world.
To find out more, check out our full NordVPN review.
- Great speed test scores
- SOCKS5 proxy
- P2P servers
- Independently audited no-logs policy
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Meshnet feature
- No free version
2. Surfshark – affordable and extremely fast VPN for gaming
|Based in:||The Netherlands|
|Servers/countries:||3200 servers in 99 countries|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get 82% OFF Surfshark + 2 months FREE 🔥|
Another contender for the crown of the best gaming VPN is Surfshark. Not only is it available at a very attractive price but it also proved to have as many features as the most expensive providers for a lesser price, as well as offer fantastic network speeds.
Speed: with WireGuard, ShadowSocks, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 tunneling protocols, Surfshark covers all the bases. WireGuard download speeds aren't that different from your connection without a VPN (on average 263 Mbps, baseline speed – 300 Mbps), so downloading that huge new patch won't make you bang your head on the keyboard. The latency gains aren't dramatic either, especially if you're connecting to a nearby server.
Servers and apps: Surfshark VPN apps are one of the most intuitive programs we have ever seen. You can very quickly connect to the fastest server that’s available at the moment. On the other hand, every server has a marker of how loaded it is, so you can pick the one you prefer. And with over 3200 servers, you can be sure that there will be a lot to choose from.
Features: if you're on PC or mobile, there's a handy Whitelister function. With it, you'll be able to route your favorite games through a VPN. The IP rotator feature will help you to stay invisible online. And you will also find tools like GPS spoofing, obfuscation, and more.
Security and privacy: Surfshark VPN keeps no logs about your activities and uses industry-standard AES-256 encryption. Plus, you get an unlimited amount of simultaneous connections to cover all your devices.
To find out more, take a look at our in-depth Surfshark VPN review.
- Excellent speeds
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- GPS spoofing feature
- Affordable pricing
- Strict no-logs policy
- Mac client doesn’t have Whitelister feature
- No free version
3. IPVanish – the most secure and easy-to-use VPN for gaming
|Based in:||United States|
|Servers/countries:||2000 servers in 50 countries|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get up to 69% OFF IPVanish + Antivirus 🔥|
IPVanish is a reliable gaming VPN that offers fast VPN services. During our in-house tests, we learned how comprehensive it is by offering a large server fleet, useful security features, and user-friendly apps.
Speed: IPVanish supports the WireGuard tunneling protocol, so the speed drops only by a maximum of 20%. Moreover, the speed remains stable, so you’ll be able to enjoy uninterrupted gameplay whenever.
Servers and apps: even though IPVanish’s apps can look like something that requires technical knowledge, it’s actually a very easy-to-use program. It has an informative and well-organized interface with all the servers (2000 servers in 50 countries) and features listed neatly.
Features: IPVanish servers support P2P connections and you also get a split tunneling feature. This way, it’s possible to use an encrypted VPN connection on specific apps only. Not to mention the rest, like obfuscation, SOCKS5 proxy, and more.
Security and privacy: when it comes to security, IPVanish doesn’t disappoint either. Your traffic and data are encrypted using AES-256 cipher which cannot be cracked via brute-force attacks. The application has been independently audited by Leviathan Security Group. And you also get unlimited simultaneous connections, so you can use it for gaming and security on as many devices as you need.
Read our IPVanish review to find out more about its features.
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Fast speeds with WireGuard
- P2P support
- Split tunneling
- Strong security
- Not a lot of extra features
4. PureVPN – feature-rich VPN for gaming that is also budget-friendly
|Based in:||British Virgin Islands|
|Servers/countries:||6500 servers in 78 countries|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get PureVPN 82% OFF + 3 months FREE 🔥|
PureVPN is an affordable VPN for gaming that guarantees a successful time online. This provider allows you to select from an impressive number of servers, and our tests showed how well it manages to score great connection speeds.
Speed: PureVPN’s WireGuard protocol works just as well as you would expect it to. During our tests, the average speed has dropped to the lowest of 17%, which rivals that of other top providers. Other protocols, such as OpenVPN, also showed pretty good results.
Servers and apps: with more than 6500 servers in 78 countries and P2P supported by nearly all of them, PureVPN stands as a solid gaming VPN. Also, the minimalistic application allows to easily navigate between servers and features.
Features: this provider supports port forwarding which can be used to set up gaming servers. What’s also worth mentioning is that a split tunneling feature is also available, but only on Android and Windows. However, it’s great if you’re playing mobile games and want to use a VPN connection on the specific gaming app only.
Security and privacy: In terms of security, PureVPN employs an industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption. It’s also widely used by the military since this algorithm is nearly impossible to crack without a unique decryption key. The VPN provider is also one of the few ones that are always on-audit.
Read our detailed PureVPN review to learn more about its features.
- Affordable pricing
- Supports port forwarding
- Strong encryption
- 31-day money-back guarantee
- No split tunneling on Mac and iOS clients
5. ProtonVPN – a gaming VPN with some of the fastest speeds
|Locations:||1700 servers in 63 countries|
|Simultaneous connections:||Up to 10|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get up to 50% OFF Proton VPN! 🔥|
ProtonVPN is one more great VPN for gamers. It has a large VPN server list, a free version, and features that are excellent for gaming, such as a VPN accelerator and advanced split tunneling implementation.
Speed: ProtonVPN uses the very best WireGuard tunneling protocol which makes the connection speed stay around 237.5 Mbps, with a 300 Mbps baseline speed. Also, you can change the protocol to IKEv2 or OpenVPN, which provides pretty good speeds as well.
Servers and apps: perhaps ProtonVPN’s server fleet doesn’t seem like the most extraordinary one with 1700 servers in 63 countries. But it’s definitely enough not to bump into an overcrowded server. And the app itself is very clearly distributed. You can see a server list on the side next to the map, which allows choosing the server in the way most convenient for you.
Features: with ProtonVPN, you can enjoy advanced implementations of a split tunneling feature. You can not only include or exclude specific gaming apps but also IPs from using a VPN tunnel. There’s also a VPN accelerator for boosting your connection speed and more features to benefit from.
Security and privacy: All traffic is secured using AES-256 encryption. This means that your data becomes a tough nut to crack for the most advanced intruder. Additionally, ProtonVPN relies on an independently audited strict no-logs policy.
Check out our full ProtonVPN review to learn more about this provider.
- Good connection speeds
- P2P-optimized servers
- Free version
- VPN accelerator
- Not the cheapest option
How we selected and tested these gaming VPNs
We tested more than a dozen VPN providers, and these are the questions we asked when choosing which of them will get to be on our list of the best VPNs for gaming:
- How many servers does the VPN have? Not enough VPN servers mean overcrowding and less optimal locations, which results in reduced connection speed, high ping, and lag. We made sure that each VPN on our list has thousands of servers in the most convenient locations.
- Is the VPN fast enough? We tested these best gaming VPNs with various video games that require fast speeds and chose only the ones which slowed down the baseline speed the least and had the lowest latency. You can take a look at the VPN speed comparison table below.
- What extra features does it have? We chose those VPNs which have features that make gaming with a VPN easier, smoother, and overall more enjoyable. Examples of such features include meshnet, port forwarding, split tunneling, and the fastest tunneling protocols.
- How secure and private is the VPN? We tested all the gaming VPNs on our list for DNS and IP leaks, as well as their encryption protocols. We also took care to include those VPNs which have had their privacy policies independently audited and approved.
- What’s the price? We made sure that all of the VPNs for gaming are also good for your wallet. Free versions, free trials, and money-back guarantees are all very desirable, and make VPNs much more affordable without compromising on security, speed, or features.
How to choose the best VPN for gaming?
With so many different VPNs on the market, it is difficult to pick the right one. Here are some tips on how to choose the right VPN for gaming:
- Speeds. If you’re a gamer, a VPN for gaming with fast speeds is a must. Since all VPNs slow down your speed, you should choose the one that does this the least and doesn’t mess up the FPS ratio. It’s a good idea to pick a service with fast tunneling protocols like WireGuard.
- Compatibility. A good gaming VPN should have quality applications for lots of different desktop and mobile devices. And in case you’re using a gaming console or a device that doesn’t support VPN connections, look for a VPN that offers SmartDNS or has an app for routers.
- Large server fleet. If a VPN has an insufficient number of servers in very few locations, they may become overcrowded, which results in slow speeds and high ping. Thus, it’s best to look for a service that offers a lot of servers worldwide.
- Extra features. Features such as proxy servers add privacy without compromising the performance, while port forwarding or similar features can make hosting servers possible with a VPN. Split tunneling is also important, as the possibility to route only the traffic of a particular app – or game – through a VPN tunnel is always handy.
How to set up a VPN for gaming on your device
Setting up a gaming VPN is easier than you might think. The process may vary depending on what device you’re using, but generally, everything is pretty straightforward. Just follow the steps below:
- Head to your chosen VPN provider’s website or find it on App Store or Google Play Store. We recommend NordVPN as the best gaming VPN, now 68%OFF.
- Register for a free trial or purchase a subscription.
- Download and install the VPN client app.
- Launch the app and log into your account.
- Choose the fastest tunneling protocol.
- Connect to a VPN server in your chosen location.
- Launch your game and start playing.
Can a VPN reduce ping for gaming?
Yes, a gaming VPN can reduce ping in certain situations when your internet connection speed is being throttled. This can be the fault of your ISP, or some other restrictions and/or issues.
However, under normal circumstances, a VPN will inevitably slow down your connection speed and increase ping. That’s why it’s important to choose the best VPN for gaming that slows down your internet speed the least. For example, NordVPN is currently regarded as the fastest VPN on the market, largely thanks to its custom NordLynx tunneling protocol.
Another way to avoid a huge increase in ping while gaming with a VPN is to choose a VPN server that is the closest to your actual location.
Fastest VPNs for gaming compared
The table below allows you to quickly compare the download and upload speeds of the VPNs featured on our list. It also includes ping, as it is an important factor for a smooth online gaming experience.
- Baseline: 2ms ping/300 Mbps download/300 Mbps upload
|Ping||107 ms||125 ms||123 ms||166 ms||126 ms|
|Avg. download speed||218 Mbps||260 Mbps||242 Mbps||257 Mbps||212 Mbps|
|Avg. upload speed||248 Mbps||235 Mbps||258 Mbps||218 Mbps||263 Mbps|
|Prices start from||$3.09/month||$2.30/month||$3.33/month||$1.99/month||$4.99/month|
For these tests, we used the fastest tunneling protocols available on each gaming VPN. For example, we tested NordLynx on NordVPN. Meanwhile, the fastest protocol for Surfshark, IPVanish, PureVPN, and ProtonVPN was WireGuard.
If you want to see the live speeds of these VPN providers, be sure to check out our VPN speed test tool.
Can I use a free VPN for gaming?
Yes, you can use a free VPN for gaming, but we don’t recommend it.
Many VPNs which offer free services often make money through in-app ads, as well as by collecting and selling user data to third parties. They also tend to have much fewer features than paid providers and allow only a limited amount of data usage. Besides, free VPN speeds are often very slow, which is not ideal for gaming.
However, there are VPNs that have free versions, and also offer paid subscriptions. Some of the best freemium VPNs are AtlasVPN and ProtonVPN. They won’t log your data, and if you want more features, you can always upgrade to a paid plan.
But for the best gaming experience, we strongly suggest giving paid gaming VPNs a chance. They have much more features, stronger security, and blazing fast speeds. What’s more, the best VPNs such as NordVPN or Surfshark also have free trials and 30-day money-back guarantees, so you can try them out for free, risk-free.
Is a gaming VPN worth it?
Gaming with a VPN isn't as uncommon as you might think. It can be the only way to get particular matchups when playing online or fix the lag if your ISP is throttling traffic. Yet, this makes choosing the right VPN service all the more important.
And if you manage to choose the best gaming VPN, like our favorite NordVPN, only the best things come. Outstanding server fleet and the improved WireGuard tunneling protocol for the best connection speed on the market. Plus, next-gen security features and intuitive apps for durable protection and flawless experience.
So, hopefully, our guide for choosing and recommendations for the best-in-class services will help you out. Stick to our tips, and you will drastically improve your gaming experience.
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What is the best VPN for gaming?
According to our list, NordVPN is the best VPN for gaming. It has blazing fast speeds with NordLynx protocol, as well as more than x servers all around the world. Excellent security and exceptional features such as the meshnet, threat protection, and split tunneling make it the top gaming VPN.
Can you get banned for using a VPN on Fortnite?
No, you can't get banned from Fortnite for using a VPN because their Terms of Service don't specify it as a bannable offense. If you want to add extra privacy on Fortnite or bypass your IP ban, you can use a VPN and not worry about it.
Is it legal to use a VPN for gaming?
Yes, it is generally legal to use a VPN for gaming unless VPN services are illegal in your country, or you are using it to gain an advantage over other players, execute cyberattacks, and otherwise tamper with game mechanics. You should always read the Terms of Service of every game or gaming platform and make sure that using a VPN is allowed.
What is DDoS in gaming?
DDoS attack, or distributed denial of service, is a cyberattack that gamers might execute against other players to get them kicked out of the game lobby. A good gaming VPN, such as NordVPN, can help you protect yourself from a DDoS attack. It will hide your real IP address and redirect the attack to the VPN server, which will usually have some kind of DDoS mitigation measures.
What is the fastest gaming VPN?
NordVPN is currently the fastest and the best VPN for gaming. Its custom NordLynx protocol was modeled after WireGuard and consistently delivers the best speeds on the VPN market.