5 Best VPNs for Gaming in 2020

With a VPN for gaming you can reduce the cost of buying new games. You can also play games online with people living in specific regions, or access foreign game servers usually unavailable to you. A gaming VPN conceals your real IP address and lets you pretend to be in a different country. This can allow you to get new game releases quicker. Some professional gamers even use a VPN to enter foreign competitions, or to ensure that they can’t be DDoS attacked during a game. 

Our experts have tested over 150 VPNs in the last 5 years, and in this guide we have carefully curated the 5 best Gaming VPNs with info that explains why you need a VPN for video games. 

If you're new to VPNs you can level up your knowledge with our helpful guides:

What are the best VPNs for online gaming?

In a rush? Check out the 5 best gaming VPNs listed below, or scroll on for more details.

  1. NordVPN - Hightened security will do away with DDoS attacks
  2. CyberGhost VPN - A great range of servers worldwide for the competitive gamer
  3. ExpressVPN - The fastest VPN ProPrivacy has tested - perfect for gaming
  4. IPVanish - Speedy VPN that eliminates lag
  5. PrivateVPN - Privacy-focused provider that caters to those on a budget

The best 5 gaming VPN services

We want to make choosing a gaming VPN as easy as possible. That’s why our experts have explained the differences between each service below.  The top 5 gaming VPNs are way ahead of anything else on the market - which means that while they are all amazing they do have certain similarities. On the other hand, each service is slightly different - so it is worth reading the summaries below to select the best VPN for you.

1. NordVPN

NordVPN - the best VPN for gaming in 2019

  • Pricing

    From $3.49 / month
  • Available on

    • MacOS
    • Android
    • iOS
    • Windows
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

NordVPN is the best VPN for gaming because of its consistently fast servers, strong security features, and its ability to unblock content. NordVPN has servers in over 59 countries which is great for buying cheaper games and it is perfectly set up to connect to gaming servers outside of your home country.

NordVPN has software for all platforms, and it is compatible with VPN routers. OpenVPN encryption is implemented extremely secure, so this VPN that is fantastic for privacy, and will protect your console or PC against DDoS attacks. Customer care is also superb with this reasonably priced VPN. You can test this VPN for a month thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee.

2. CyberGhost VPN

CyberGhost has servers in 90 different countries - perfect for those eyeing up tournaments across the world

  • Pricing

    From $2.75 / month
  • Available on

    • Android
    • iOS
    • Windows
    • MacOS
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

CyberGhost is a VPN provider based in Romania. It is a secure VPN with a choice of encryption protocols to keep your gaming devices secure. This VPN because is extremely easy to use and has excellent apps for all popular platforms. If you are a console gamer, you can install CyberGhost on a router (or buy a pre-flashed router).

CyberGhost VPN has servers in over 90 countries - which means you can use it to play a large choice of gaming servers around the world and get cheap games. CyberGhost lets people use the software on 7 simultaneous devices and its money-back guarantee lasts for 45 days!

3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN often tops ProPrivacy's speed test, perfect for gaming at competitive level

  • Pricing

    From $6.67 / month
  • Available on

    • Android
    • iOS
    • Windows
    • MacOS
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

ExpressVPN is an excellent VPN for gaming because it has servers in 94 countries. Encryption is provided via robust OpenVPN encryption and users can select between TCP and UDP (UDP is better for gaming). It's fast enough for competitive gaming as well as streaming (it also unblocks US Netflix).

ExpressVPN has 24/7 live chat support and the software is available for all platforms. It's a little pricey compared to other providers but is known for its premium quality and customer care. Worth testing using its 30-day money-back guarantee.

4. IPVanish

IPVanish helps lag disappear with its superfast servers

  • Pricing

    From $4.12 / month
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • MacOS
    • Android
    • iOS

IPVanish is one of the fastest VPNs on the market, so perfect for competitive gamers. This makes it especially good for playing foreign gaming servers. It has servers in over 60 countries, which means you can use it to buy games cheaply. The VPN software is available for all platforms, and it has router compatibility.

IPVanish provides a choice of encryption (including OpenVPN). Customer care is good with this VPN and it even has live chat support for around 18 hours per day. Being US-based isn’t the best for privacy but this VPN is excellent for gaming. We recommend testing it out for a week with its 7-day money-back guarantee.

5. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN stays true to its namesake while keeping its prices low

  • Pricing

    From $1.89 / month
  • Available on

    • Android
    • iOS
    • Windows
    • MacOS
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

PrivateVPN is a Swedish provider that offers a fantastic VPN, with high levels of privacy, at a low price. It's known for its secure apps with a choice of encryption. Although it is not as fast as other VPNs on the market, it is fast enough for streaming. Servers are located in over 50 countries and you can use this VPN to play foreign game servers or to buy games cheaper. Despite its low cost this VPN will unlock Netflix US. 

PrivateVPN has software for all platforms so is definitely worth a test run using its 30-day money back guarantee.

Why do I need a gaming VPN

If you have never heard of VPNs, we recommend reading our VPN beginner’s guide. The list below is designed to let you see exactly how a VPN for gaming can help you:

 

  • Unlimited access to game servers. By pretending to be in a different country you can play geo-restricted servers located in foreign countries.

  • Avoid ISP throttling. Many ISPs throttle internet connection speeds when people do data-intensive tasks like gaming in an attempt to stop congestion. A VPN stops your ISP tracking what you are doing, which means they can’t throttle you.

  • Prevent DDoS attacks. VPNs conceal your real IP address, so that you can’t be inundated with requests during a DDoS attacks. This stops you being booted from games while they are in progress due to the actions of cheaters.

  • Purchase game titles earlier or cheaper by geo-spoofing to a different country.

  • Play in foreign gaming tournaments and competitions by pretending to live somewhere else. 

  • Play game servers in a different country in order to connect with players that speak your language.

Connecting to a VPN server conceals your home IP address (location). This stops the websites and gaming servers you visit from knowing where you are. This is how a VPN lets you pretend to be in a different country.

What features does a gaming VPN service need?

The most important features of a gaming VPN are speed and server locations. However, privacy is also important because some famous game distributors - such as Steam - will block accounts if users are discovered to be geo-spoofing to a different country.

When selecting the best 5 gaming VPN services, we considered:

  • How the gaming VPNs performed on desktop computers (across various operating systems).
  • How easily VPN connections can be shared with today’s most popular consoles.
  • How fast the VPN is.

Remember

If you are new to VPNs all our recommendations provide a money-back guarantee, which means you can test them all to see which you prefer.

Can I save money with a gaming VPN?

People living in different countries earn vastly different amounts of money, and for this reason the price of games varies around the world. Game companies charge as much as they can for their games, but they also understand that not every country can afford the same prices.  And, local sales taxes and currency rates can also affect how much a game costs.

With a VPN for gaming, you can save money on brand new AAA releases, and even older games. You can also make savings on games by checking out the following online game retailers:

Alongside Steam, individual publishers have established their own platforms on PC, with EA's Origin, Ubisoft's Uplay 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.

With so many options available, we recommend shopping around and testing a few different countries with your gaming VPN. That way you will get the best possible price. 

What games can I get a discount on?

The list below provides some examples of the different prices that games can be purchased at. You can use a VPN to buy games cheaper from any of the major platforms listed above, it's all about knowing where to look.


Note

Regional pricing has been known to fluctuate based on different economies, the internal workings of the video game industry and sales. For this reason, you might find some price discrepancies.

GameStoreUK 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
(Argentina)
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)
RimWorld
Steam
$36.27
$34.99
$33.21
$6.51 (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)

The table above reveals that with a VPN it is possible to save as much as $57 on some games. If you often buy games, a VPN is an excellent way to save hundreds of dollars all year round! 

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.

Can a fast gaming VPN increase connection speed?

For the most part, the answer is no (but there is an exception). All VPNs cause a little bit of strain on your connection. This is because your traffic must travel further to the VPN server - and be encrypted to give you privacy. This means that the VPN will slow you internet down. However, a fast VPN with Tier 1 servers can get the job done without affecting your speed much. 

Many VPN services are slow and will cut your speeds by anything between 50% and 90%. That is not going to be fast enough for gaming. That is why we have only recommended super-fast VPNs with high-speed servers that will make your speed drop as little as is possible.

The good news? If your ISP is actively throttling your bandwidth when you play games - a VPN will actually make your connection speeds faster. For this reason it is always worth testing a VPN using a money back guarantee, to see if it can increase your connection speeds.

Will a VPN for gaming reduce ping?

Connecting to a VPN server closer to the gaming server may reduce your ping - so it is worth trying it out. However, generally, a VPN will not reduce your ping much (if at all). Unless your ISP is throttling your internet connection, a VPN is likely to reduce your connection speeds slightly.

For gaming, you will require internet speeds of at least 10 Mbps. Always check your internet connection speeds without a VPN to figure out whether a VPN is going to work well. The higher your benchmark speed is without a VPN - the more confident you can be about using a VPN.

To understand more about how VPNs affect connection speeds please visit our fastest VPN article. Also, remember that our recommended gaming VPNs all have money-back guarantees. So if you are unsure whether your ISP is throttling you when you game, simply trial a VPN to see if it improves your ping rates and connection speeds.

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.

Encryption protocols

VPNs come with various different encryption protocols and some are faster and some offer extra privacy. For gaming, you mainly want a fast-tunneling protocol. If your VPN provides PPTP encryption, you may want to give it a test run as it will provide faster speeds. If you are purchasing games overseas, we generally recommend using a more robust protocol with better privacy (such as OpenVPN or IKEv2).

Connect to a VPN server that is closer

Always connect to a VPN server that is as close as possible. 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 the server nearest to you.

reduce VPN ping when gaming 

Pro Tip

Always test a few servers as some may be faster than others. Servers can slow down if they are oversubscribed due to congestion. If a VPN server seems a bit slow just check another that is also close by.

Use a VPN gaming router

Most games consoles do not let you install a VPN directly on to them. This means you have two options:

  1. 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.
  2. Install a VPN on your router (or buy a flashed router) so that every device in your home (including your games consoles) are automatically connected to the VPN server of your choice.

A VPN router is always the best solution for consumers playing games on consoles like PS4, Xbox, or Nintendo Switch. A VPN router also stops you from having to run a gaming VPN on your PC. This can reduce some strain on your CPU - which will leave more power for rendering graphics.

How else can I speed up my VPN connection?

The best option is to subscribe to a fast VPN in the first place. However, one useful tip is to test servers not only in the country where you want to use a server but also in countries between you and that server (if those countries are permitted to connect to the server).

Doing so could help to reduce ping by routing your internet differently to the final location.  A little trial and error is definitely recommended.

FAQs

We have tried to clearly explain everything you need to know about gaming with a VPN in the article above. However, if you still have questions, we have created the FAQ section below to help you out.

Written by: Ray Walsh

Digital privacy expert with 5 years experience testing and reviewing VPNs. He's been quoted in The Express, The Times, The Washington Post, The Register, CNET & many more. Ray is currently rated #7 VPN and #8 internet privacy authority by Agilience.com.

7 Comments

  1. Crowley

    on January 9, 2020
    Reply

    NordVPN is TERRIBLE for gaming online. Frequent dropouts & disconnects, lag and ping spikes on a server that would normally give me the best possible ping for the region.

  2. Jake

    on January 28, 2018
    Reply

    Hi, Random questions... Can we trust Ea Origin and Uplay clients? Or are they really creepy and will spy and install rootkit/s, etc.?

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to Jake

      on January 29, 2018
      Reply

      Hi Jake, That is a good question! I know that the Origin client caused some privacy-related anger a few years back, but haven't heard anything else. I think this is a valid concern, however.

  3. Rollo

    on August 17, 2017
    Reply

    Started from the cheapest one - NordVPN and don't see any reasons to pay more - works well for all purposes I need - gaming, streaming, torrenting. Great speeds btw

  4. Mark

    on August 17, 2017
    Reply

    From this list i used to test ExpressVPN and NordVPN. NordVPN makes gaming completely impossible (high ping). ExpressVPN is pretty good, but there is no. 1 in my opinion: VyprVPN. They're best gaming VPN in my opinion.

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