$6.67/mo over 15 Months
85Mbps same city speed
Based on a 100Mbps test connection
94 countries, 3,000+ servers
Gamers like to consider themselves tech-savvy, but when you’re too busy having fun playing online you can be exposing yourself to a world of issues if you don’t use a VPN.
What gaming issues can a VPN fix?
Consider DDoS attacks, hacks that target individual IP addresses and cut off your internet connection. That spells game over if you’re in an online multiplayer game.
A VPN changes your IP address to the one of the VPN server you’re connected to, so that you’re real IP address is safe while playing online.
This also means that if your IP has been unfairly banned by a gaming platform, using a VPN will let you gain access once again.
A VPN service also prevents your ISP from slowing down your connection and lagging out your game, which it can do if it considers you to be using too much data.
A lot of video game content is also subject to geo-restrictions, meaning you might be missing out on great games! A VPN bypasses these geo-blocks and gives you access to DLC, Xbox Live and PlayStation PSN exclusives from around the world.
You can even access games before they’re released in your country, purchase them from regions where they’re cheaper, and play multiplayer games in any region you want.
Basically, a VPN service gives you the definitive, uncompromised gaming experience.
But with the VPN market becoming overcrowded, what’s the best VPN for gaming?
We spent thousands of hours testing 74 VPN providers, and using our in-house speed-testing tool we’ve recorded the most accurate VPN speed data across several global locations.
No matter where you are, you can’t go wrong with one of the gaming VPNs below.
What We Look for in a Gaming VPN
- Servers all over the world
- Reliable, fast speeds
- Low ping times
- Strong logging policies & no IP/DNS lekas
- Robust security features
- Working with gaming consoles
Wondering why you should trust our reviews?
See How We Review VPNs.
Best Gaming VPNs: Our 5 Recommendations
$3.99/mo over 12 months
84Mbps same city speed
Based on a 100Mbps test connection
50 countries, 1,300 servers
$1.89/mo over 2 years
86Mbps same city speed
Based on a 100Mbps test connection
59 countries, 150+ servers
$2.75/mo over 3 years
87Mbps same city speed
Based on a 100Mbps test connection
89 countries, 6,200+ servers
$3.33/mo over 12 Months
89Mbps same city speed
Based on a 100Mbps test connection
32 countries, 3,300+ servers
Do I Need a VPN for Gaming?
Connecting to the internet without a VPN can pose some risks, gamers included.
But do you really need a VPN for gaming alone?
In certain situations, we’d say yes:
- If you are into competitive online gaming and e-sports, using a VPN can protect you against DDoS attacks by masking your true IP address, making it virtually impossible for wannabe hackers to cut off your internet connection and ruin your chances of winning.
- If your ISP throttles your internet connection when playing online, a VPN can mask your traffic and unlock your broadband’s maximum speeds.
- If you connect to gaming servers located far away from your physical location, ping time will increase and cause lag. Using a VPN allows you to experiment with connecting from different servers, making it possible to reduce latency, improve performance, or simply play with friends who are in a different region to you.
- If you want to encrypt your gaming traffic to ensure your personal data, such as financial details and save files, remain safe and private, then a VPN is a must-have.
In a nutshell, you should use a VPN while gaming if you want protection from DDoS attacks and ISP bandwidth throttling, or if you want to keep your gaming data and save files secure and private.
If none of these apply to you and gaming isn’t the main reason you’re going to be using a VPN, we’d recommend checking out our roundup for the best VPNs of 2020.
How Do You Use a VPN for Gaming?
Depending on the device you use, there are several simple ways to use a VPN while gaming.
Most VPNs are compatible with Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android, covering the majority of desktop and mobile devices.
You can also install most VPNs at router level, which is especially useful if you wish to use them with any games consoles.
One major advantage of this is that every internet-connected device in your home will be protected by the VPN, however it does make switching between servers significantly more difficult.
If you want the fastest performance speeds and the smoothest gameplay, be sure to connect to the closest server to your physical location.
Most providers will automatically do this for you, but if the one you have chosen doesn’t offer this feature, connecting to a server in the same country will do the job.
This will also ensure the lowest possible latency so you don’t experience any lag.
For more information about using a VPN on your router, check out our user-friendly installation guide here.
What is a Gaming VPN?
A gaming VPN is simply a VPN that you may also use while you play video games.
It’s no different to using a VPN while using your laptop, smartphone or tablet.
Differences only arise if you’re playing on console (such as Xbox or PlayStation), as they don’t allow for native VPN apps. Unlike with your computer and smartphone, you cannot go to an online store and download the software.
But there’s a lot of sensitive information on your console that you want protected, so a VPN is a great means of added security.
To get one working on your console, you’ll need to install the VPN on your router. We have a simple guide for how to install a VPN on your router here.
More than that, when it comes to a gaming VPN some are better suited than others. From our list of 74 reviews, we’ve chosen the best picks for the job and put them right here on this page.
Which VPN for Gaming Has the Lowest Ping?
When you’re gaming online, the last thing you want is lag. This is especially the case if you’re a competitive gamer.
In order to have a lag-free gaming experience while using a VPN, you need a service with low latency (also known as ping), and fast speeds.
We’ve taken all this into account with our top picks. Some services have ping times as low as <5ms, alongside quick, consistent local download speeds. You shouldn’t even notice a difference when these VPNs are running.
PrivateVPN, for example, has only 5ms on same-country connections – one of the lowest we’ve recorded.
Check out our VPN speed test results for more detailed information on specific locations.
Which is the Best Gaming VPN for Windows PC?
If you’re a PC gamer then we have good news.
The VPNs in our list all have dedicated apps for Windows PCs.
Whether you’re playing Fortnite, World of Warcraft, League of Legends, or any other game and you want a VPN, simply choose the best VPN for you from our list.
We also have a guide for the overall best VPNs for Windows that’s worth checking out if you spend a lot of time on your PC.
What is the Best Gaming VPN for Mac?
As with Windows, all of our picks have custom apps for MacOS.
There are some Mac-exclusive games that you may enjoy playing like European War or Sky Gamblers.
The VPNs on our list are great options for those of you who enjoy these games – all of which have good MacOS apps available.
We think ExpressVPN provides the simplest and most attractive app for Mac, but Private Internet Access and CyberGhost are strong contenders too.
What is the Best Gaming VPN in China?
China puts a lot of restrictions on the web. It’s unsurprising, therefore, that it doesn’t like the idea of Chinese gamers talking and communicating through online video games.
A VPN bypasses geo-restrictions and undermines what’s called the Great Firewall of China – or the good ones do, at least.
ExpressVPN and PrivateVPN are two of the best at this: they are featured on both this list of VPNs for gaming and our list of the best VPNs for China.
These are the best choices when it comes to VPNs for gaming in China, capable of getting around the Great Firewall and offering plenty of benefits to the gamer outside of that.
What is the Best Gaming VPN for PS4?
Your games consoles can have a lot of personal and sensitive information on them, like your payment details, so they certainly benefit from the added protection of a VPN.
Our choices for the best VPNs for gaming are available to use with game consoles, including the PlayStation 4. You can do this by connecting a VPN at router level, but it also protects all of the devices connected to the router.
Best Gaming VPN for Xbox One?
Like with PlayStation, you can use a VPN for your Xbox One by connecting it at the router level.
All of the VPNs on this list are compatible with router installation, so you simply need to consider which of these VPNs is best for your needs before using it with your Xbox.
We recommend a VPN with low-ping, fast local connections and are P2P compatible.
What is the Best Free VPN for Gaming?
Many of us want to protect ourselves when we are gaming. That’s sensible as you decrease the risk of DDoS attacks. More than that, you can prevent throttling from your ISP.
However, bear in mind: when it comes to free VPNs, they present serious limitations to the gamer.
Free VPNs often feature minimal server lists and serious data caps. 10GB is as generous as it gets, which simply isn’t enough for gaming. You’ll run out of data fast.
Worse than that, free VPNs often just don’t cut it when it comes to privacy and security. Some are actually more dangerous than not using one at all.
If you want a VPN for gaming, we highly recommend a paid VPN.
If you’ve never used a VPN before and want to get a feel for one before spending any money then you should read our list of the best free VPNs.
What is the Best Gaming VPN for Steam?
Steam is a platform buying, downloading and playing games on PC, Mac, and Linux. Some users wonder whether you can use a VPN with Steam.
This is because Steam has strict download limitations determined by geo-restrictions, just like movies and TV shows on Netflix.
Some users want a gaming VPN to access content otherwise restricted to them. It can also allows you to access content launched earlier in other countries.
Many report no problems when using a VPN with Steam. The problem is using a VPN is against the Steam Subscriber Agreement – we’ve screenshot the relevant part here:
Using a VPN runs the risk of having your account terminated. We wouldn’t recommend it, and if you do so then it’s at your own risk.
Should I Use a VPN on Fortnite?
If you’re a gamer, you’ve heard of Fortnite. It’s a cultural phenomenon. Fortnite Battle Royale attracted 125 million players in its first 12 months and now has a steady 250 million players playing per year.
But Fortnite’s popularity has lead to some problems.
We undertook research that showed as many as 50% of unofficial Fortnite apps available are loaded with spyware, adware or malware. In other words, they are designed to monitor, track and spy.
Fortnite has proven to be a privacy and security nightmare.
Naturally, we think you should use a VPN when playing Fortnite. It adds layers of security and privacy otherwise not available. It protects you against malware and will go some way to protecting you against these scams, and we also strongly advise you only ever download the game from the official Fortnite website.
More than this, Fortnite is susceptible to getting banned. It has been banned in China, Jordan and Iraq. Even in the UK, Prince Harry expressed his desire to see the game banned.
To regain access to Fortnite within censored countries and protect yourself in case your country is next, we recommend ExpressVPN – a reliable service at bypassing censorship and keeping its users secure.
Which Gaming VPN is the Best for PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds)?
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, popularly known as PUBG, is an almost equally popular online game. In Japan, it is the most popular video game in the country, while the majority of its market sales come from China.
But people want to play rest assured that they are safe and private when playing an online video game.
A VPN is the solution to this, keeping you secure and also protecting you against DDoS attacks.
When it comes to PUBG, a VPN is particularly useful.
That’s because PUBG has been banned in some countries, including Iraq, Jordan and Nepal as well as parts of India and Indonesia.
A VPN empowers you to play whatever games you want again by bypassing any national or regional censorship.
ExpressVPN is a particularly good VPN at undermining censorship, and so you can bet it’s going to be a good choice in case any more countries decide to implement a ban.
What is the Best Gaming VPN for Overwatch?
Another big-name FPS, many gamers ask: is it worth getting a VPN for an online game like Overwatch?
Well, it’s not uncommon for gamers to experience bandwidth throttling by their ISP due to what it considers to be overly extensive data usage. This causes a gamer grief by enforcing slow internet connections.
The use of VPN can avoid this. With a VPN, ISPs cannot tell the difference between regular web browsing and Overwatch traffic.
If you’re a competitive gamer, a VPN also protects you against DDoS attacks.
ExpressVPN, first on this list, is a VPN that offers connections designed against DDoS attacks, which is a real advantage for competitive gamers.
We say ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Overwatch.
What Is the Best Gaming VPN for Mobile Legends?
Mobile Legends: Bang Bang is a mobile battle arena game that’s particularly popular in Asia. It was the most-downloaded game on the iPhone in 2017 and there are even competitive tournaments held.
With competitive games when the stakes are high, the risk of DDoS attacks is increased. But not when you have a VPN, which helps protect against this.
It’s important to note that a VPN is almost sure to increase your ping, sometimes called latency. This leads to lag, which can ruin any online game.
A small increase isn’t a cause for concern, but just bear in mind that you want a gaming VPN to increase your ping as little as possible.
In this case, we’d say the best VPN for a game like Mobile Legends is ExpressVPN – it has a low latency across global locations and very fast speeds.
The mobile app is also very nice and comes with all the same features as the desktop version. ExpressVPN is the perfect VPN for Mobile Legends.
Which Gaming VPN is Best for The Elder Scrolls Online (ESO)?
The Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) is an online multiplayer game, originally released for PC and Mac followed by consoles a year later. It currently has 2.5 million monthly active players.
Among those 2.5 million playing ESO, many want to access geo-restricted content. Mostly, though, they want to protect their privacy and secure themselves online.
When you enter the fantasy world of Tamriel, you want to know that your information and privacy remains secure in the real world.
Many question whether the benefits of a VPN is worth it, considering the likelihood of an increasing ping score. However, ESO players report positive results when playing with a VPN, as you can see:
Some even report a decrease in ping from their usual average:
We recommend a VPN least likely to add to your ping when playing ESO, like ExpressVPN, IPVanish, or PrivateVPN.
It has been reported that ESO have servers in Texas, Maryland, and Frankfurt. ExpressVPN has servers in or near all of these locations, making it ideally suited to use when playing ESO.
It also happens to be our #1 VPN, featuring very fast speeds and reliable connections – great for gamers.
We have seen at least one testimony suggest that CyberGhost is not a good VPN for ESO, so be cautious if you were interested in this VPN for this purpose.
It’s definitely worth scrolling up and checking out our list to see which one best suits your Elder Scrolls needs.
What is the Best Gaming VPN for Final Fantasy XIV (FFXIV)?
Like The Elders Scrolls Online, Final Fantasy XIV is a massively online multiplayer game, and a very popular one at that.
But it’s a game that has a lot of restrictions based on where in the world you happen to be. Thailand, for example, has a regional version while other countries don’t want players communicating across borders too much.
Customer service is only available in certain regions, too.
Those who want the uncompromised gaming experience become interested in the benefits of a VPN.
The VPNs included in the above list we consider to be the best and definitive choices for gamers. It’s unlikely that you will encounter problems when using ExpressVPN to bypass blocks.
It’s also a good choice at keeping the risk of increased ping as much at bay as possible, featuring very fast speeds and stable connections.
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