8 Best VPNs for Gaming (Fast Speeds & Low Ping)

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As an avid gamer, I recognize the need for a VPN for gaming.

After all, if you want to enjoy a stable gaming experience with a low ping, a VPN is necessary.

But there’s a trick to it – you can’t just choose the first VPN you find!

Instead, you need to find the best VPNs for gaming, the ones that offer must-have gaming features (like DDoS protection and split tunneling) and won’t cause a huge speed loss.

Luckily, as an experienced VPN tester, I already did the hard work for you.

Not only did I find 8 VPNs for gaming that go above and beyond their competitors, but my number one VPN for gaming, NordVPN, is an absolute steal.

You’ll enjoy blazing-fast speeds with a low ping, DDoS protection to keep you safe from angry gamers, split tunneling for choosing which programs and apps your VPN covers, and a massive server network that lets you access lower prices on some of your favorite games!

Stick around for the details – you won’t be disappointed!

Top 3 VPNs for Gaming

BEST FOR MOBILE GAMING
Surfshark
Surfshark on many devices

Surfshark is a phenomenal VPN for mobile gaming, thanks to its intuitive, user-friendly app for all devices, including iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS. The VPN provider also offers static servers, so you can keep the same IP while gaming to avoid bans! 

4.6/5
BEST GAMING VPN OVERALL
NordVPN
NordVPN devices

With its Dedicated IP add-on, DDoS protection, split tunneling feature, and blazing-fast speeds, NordVPN is the best VPN for gaming that helps beat lag and high latency! The provider also has a Double VPN so that you won’t become a victim of revenge swatting!

4.7/5
FASTEST VPN FOR GAMING
ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN different devices

ExpressVPN had the least significant speed drop during my speed tests, making it the fastest VPN for gaming! You’ll also appreciate DDoS protection, a split tunneling feature, and 3,000+ servers in 94 countries for unlocking games and discounts! 

4.6/5

There was a lot to consider during my journey for the most reliable VPNs for gaming – speeds, features, strengths, and flaws.

However, all in all, I’m satisfied with my selection… and you will be, too!

Each VPN on my list offers a little something for gamers.

And while some VPNs provide more than others, any of my VPNs are still a worthy choice.

Keep reading for more information on my testing process and the VPNs themselves!

Trying to Play Black Ops 4 With Your Friends? Check Here First – So You Can Play Without Lag!

Are you gearing up for HCTDM on BLO4 with your clan?

Check here first, so you don’t lag out, causing your clan to lose!

(Not that I have experience with that exact situation…)

Here are my top VPNs for gaming:

  • NordVPN – Best VPN for Gaming + Dedicated IP & DDoS Protection
  • Surfshark – Best VPN for Mobile Gaming + Static IPs
  • ExpressVPN – Fastest VPN for Gaming With Easy Console Setup
  • Private Internet Access – Largest Server Network for Discounted Games
  • IPVanish – Low Ping Gaming VPN & Fast Speeds (Good for Android)
  • CyberGhost – Dedicated Gaming Servers + Large Server Network
  • TorGuard – Gaming VPN With Port Forwarding
  • PrivateVPN – Beginner-Friendly Gaming VPN With a Free Trial

But after you’re done stomping noobs in pubs (or doing clan v. clan), come back and read the rest of my guide.

There’s a lot discussed here – and all of it is useful for gamers!

NordVPN logo
NordVPN devices

NordVPN

Best Choice

NordVPN is a reliable VPN for gaming and my number one choice. It offers a stable connection with no lag and low ping, plus it includes must-have gaming features in its (affordable) standard package! This means you’ll enjoy DDoS protection, split tunneling, and even a Double VPN to avoid the risk of revenge swatting.

What Are the Best VPNs for Gaming? A Detailed List

During my testing process for the best VPNs for gaming, I focused on numerous things.

First and foremost were VPNs with fast gaming speeds, minimal (or no) lag, and low ping.

Beyond that, I kept other useful gaming features in mind, like DDoS protection, split tunneling, dedicated IPs, and compatible devices.

I discuss everything in my mini-reviews and buying guide, but here’s a preview of my latency test results:

VPN Provider Windows macOS iOS Android
NordVPN 14-11ms / 0% 16-12ms / 0% 11-10ms / 1% 8-8ms / 1%
Surfshark 16-12ms / 1% 17-13ms / 0% 13-10ms / 0% 9-10ms / 1%
ExpressVPN 11-13ms / 0% 16-16ms / 1% 10-12ms / 1% 10-10ms / 0%
PIA 14-16ms / 2% 14-18ms / 1% 11-15ms / 2% 10-12ms / 0%
IPVanish 10-12ms / 1% 15-13ms / 2% 9-13ms / 2% 9-9ms / 0%
CyberGhost 13-17ms / 3% 16-19ms / 2% 10-21ms / 4% 10-17ms / 2%
TorGuard 14-20ms / 5% 16-24ms / 3% 9-20ms / 5% 11-19ms / 3%
PrivateVPN 14-16ms / 3% 14-20ms / 2% 10/15ms / 2% 11-12ms / 1%

With that out of the way, let’s get started!

1. NordVPN – Best VPN for Gaming + Dedicated IP & DDoS Protection

nordvpn for gaming

NordVPN is definitely the best VPN for gaming – and a favorite among gamers everywhere!

In fact, during my research, it was the most recommended VPN on Reddit.

reddit forum about nordvpn for gaming

And now I know why.

First, during my latency tests, NordVPN scored the lowest ping on all the devices I tested (Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android), though it tied with Surfshark for my iOS.

It also had the second-fastest speeds during my speed tests.

Let me stress the importance of this.

I speed-test a lot of VPNs all the time, and NordVPN regularly places behind ExpressVPN and Surfshark, albeit by a small margin.

But this time, the VPN provider shoveled past Surfshark and almost gave ExpressVPN a run for its money!

Throw in the provider’s extremely low ping during my latency tests, and it’s clear the VPN offers the ultimate gaming experience, ensuring a stable connection.

I also experienced no lag when testing NordVPN with FFXIV, Call of Duty, GTA 5, Fortnite, and Minecraft!

minecraft nordvpn

Plus, with the provider’s proprietary protocol, NordLynx, you can get even faster speeds while zooming through Los Santos on your motorcycle!

The only other VPN on my list to offer a proprietary protocol is ExpressVPN, so you know you’re in good hands.

As for my latency and speed tests (using Windows as my example), take a look!

Speed Without NordVPN:

speed test result without nordvpn

Speed With NordVPN:

speed test result with nordvpn

Thanks to these blazing-fast speeds, NordVPN is perfect for bandwidth-intensive activities like FPS games.

But if you’re noticing any type of lag or network congestion, you might be interested in the Dedicated IP add-on, as well.

With a Dedicated IP, you’ll have your own VPN IP that stays the same – and no one else can use it, meaning your speeds will be even faster.

Plus, there’s no worry of some hooligan getting the IP banned by violating your favorite games’ ToS!

And considering only three other VPNs on my list offer a Dedicated IP add-on, this is an especially attractive benefit of NordVPN.

However, while a Dedicated IP usually costs around $5/month, NordVPN charges $70/year.

That averages $5.83/month, making it the most expensive Dedicated IP option on my list.

nordvpn 1 year plan subscription

Luckily, there’s more good news.

NordVPN also offers DDoS protection – a necessity for avoiding angry gamers who want to start trouble by launching a DDoS attack against you.

Which is just ridiculous.

You won that match fair and square, right? 🙂

Beyond that, the VPN provider supplies you with a double VPN.

While not a necessity, this feature comes in handy if you want to negate revenge swatting.

It’s happened before!

That said, NordVPN’s Double VPN might cause some speed loss, which isn’t great for CPU-intensive games like first-person shooters.

So, you should only use the feature if you think it’s really necessary.

nordvpn double vpn feature

Moving on, NordVPN is compatible with all devices, though I find it most useful for gaming on Windows and macOS.

Of course, you can also use it to game on your iOS or Android device.

There are also console setups for PlayStation and Xbox, though this requires a supported router or turning your PC into a hotspot.

Lastly, NordVPN offers a massive server network (5,200+ servers in 60 countries), making it perfect for unblocking games and/or accessing them at discounted prices.

NordVPN also offers affordable subscription fees!

But for an even BIGGER DISCOUNT, use our exclusive sign-up link!

Pros

Cons

2. Surfshark – Best VPN for Mobile Gaming (+ Static IPs)

surfshark vpn for gaming

Next on my list of the most reliable VPNs for gaming is Surfshark!

One of the reasons Surfshark places second is that it’s my favorite VPN for gaming on my phone – I use it whenever I play Call of Duty: Mobile.

It gives me super-fast speeds and no lag, plus its mobile app offers an intuitive, user-friendly layout.

cod mobile

But beyond that, Surfshark earned high scores all throughout my testing process.

First, it was the third-fastest VPN during my speed tests.

And, during my latency tests, it tied with NordVPN for the lowest ping on iOS, tied with IPVanish for the second-lowest ping on Windows and macOS, and tied with ExpressVPN for the third-lowest ping on Android.

Check out my speed and latency test results (using Windows as my example)!

Speed Without Surfshark:

speed test result without surfshark vpn

Speed With Surfshark:

speed tes result with surfshark vpn

This means, whether you use Surfshark to game on your PC or smartphone, you’ll enjoy a stable connection with minimal to no lag!

And speaking of gaming with Surfshark on multiple devices, the VPN provider offers apps for all major gaming platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and gaming consoles.

Furthermore, if you don’t mind sacrificing a bit of speed, Surfshark also offers easy DNS setups for PlayStation and Xbox.

Essentially, you’ll get DNS addresses to enter in your console’s network settings, changing your location to that of the DNS address.

This allows you to enjoy stable gaming without resorting to router or PC setups.

ffxiv call of the sea

But if you’re part of the PC master race, you’ll appreciate Surfshark’s Static IP servers (also available for mobile users).

Despite being shared by other customers, they help you avoid bans on games that don’t like you switching servers too many times (like LoL) by letting you keep the same IP every time you connect.

league of legends

And there are quite a few to choose from!

In fact, Surfshark is the only VPN on my list that offers free static servers with its standard subscription.

Very generous!

surfshark vpn static ip servers

The provider also offers necessary gaming features like DDoS protection so that you can stay protected at all times – even if you wipe the floor with the enemy team and they threaten to grab your IP.

You’ll also have access to Surfshark’s split tunneling feature, Whitelister, so you can choose which apps use your VPN’s connection while gaming.

surfshark whitelister

Additionally, like NordVPN, Surfshark also offers a double VPN feature called MultiHop that helps you avoid revenge swatting.

NordVPN and Surfshark are actually the only VPNs on my list that offer this feature.

Finally, Surfshark has 3,200+ servers in 65 countries, which is ideal for unblocking games or accessing discounted prices on platforms like Steam.

Best of all, Surfshark’s long-term plans are very affordable!

Check it out:

But if you want to save EVEN MORE, click here!

Pros

Cons

3. ExpressVPN – Fastest VPN for Gaming With Easy Console Setup

expressvpn for gaming

ExpressVPN slides into third on my list as the fastest VPN for gaming!

In other words, during my speed tests, ExpressVPN blew every other VPN on my list out of the water!

This isn’t news to me, though.

The VPN provider is almost always the fastest VPN I test – hence why I’ve been using it for years now.

Unfortunately, my latency test results were a different story.

While it had the third-lowest ping for iOS and Android (tied with Surfshark on the latter), it had the fourth-lowest ping for Windows and macOS out of the 8 VPNs on my list.

But that’s not terrible, and I was still able to enjoy lag-free gaming for the most part, including on Fortnite and LoL!

Here are the results (using Windows as my example)!

Speed Without ExpressVPN:

speed test result without expressvpn

Speed With ExpressVPN:

speed with expressvpn

Additionally, if you use ExpressVPN’s proprietary protocol, Lightway, you’re sure to enjoy even faster speeds while gaming!

As mentioned earlier, ExpressVPN and NordVPN are the only VPNs on my list to offer proprietary protocols, making them stand out from the competition.

Moving on, another reason ExpressVPN places third on my list is its easy DNS setup for gaming consoles called MediaStreamer.

Similar to Surfshark, you’ll get DNS addresses to enter in your PlayStation or Xbox settings.

I’ve been using this method to find American lobbies on Black Ops 3 and 4 on my PS4 ever since moving to Europe (it’s more fun with people who speak English), so I can guarantee it works.

black ops final killcam

The only catch is that it causes some speed loss, but it’s not enough to make the game unplayable!

In fact, considering Black Ops 3 and 4 are FPS games (which require a lot of power), I’m always impressed with MediaStreamer’s speeds.

After all, if you enjoy first-person shooters as I do, you know lag can cause a major L.

ExpressVPN is also available for other gaming devices, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.

And there’s still more good news!

playing ffxiv with expressvpn

While the provider doesn’t offer a Dedicated IP add-on or double VPN feature, it does include must-have gaming features.

For example, you’ll have DDoS protection on all devices (save for the DNS setup), so even if you piss someone off in Dying Light Multiplayer, your IP is safe from DDoS attacks!

ExpressVPN also has a split tunneling feature, making it easy to pick and choose which programs are affected by your VPN.

This is especially useful when listening to local content while connected to a server in a different country!

As a final point, the VPN provider offers 3,000+ servers in 94 countries, making it a great choice for unblocking region-locked games and accessing lower prices.

But there is a downside – ExpressVPN is quite expensive.

Here are its plans:

Luckily, I’m supplying you with a HUGE DISCOUNT.

Pros

Cons

4. Private Internet Access – Largest Server Network for Discounts & Unblocking Games

private internet access vpn for gaming

In fourth place on my list of the most trustworthy VPNs for gaming is Private Internet Access (AKA: PIA).

Once upon a time, PIA was very vocal about having one of the largest server networks in VPN history.

However, unfortunately, the provider removed all mentions of its number of servers off its site.

Still, the last known number is 30,900+ servers in 78 countries.

And if you check the PIA app, you’ll still see a massive selection of servers to choose from.

This makes PIA one of the best VPNs on my list for unblocking region-locked games and/or finding the best deals on games.

For example, if you’re in a European country that charges high prices for games on Steam (check our top VPNs for Steam), you might find a better deal by switching to a US server.

In any case, it’s likely thanks to this massive server network that PIA placed fifth during my speed tests!

It also had the fifth-lowest ping on Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS.

Regardless, these results ensure your gaming experience with PIA is stable with minimal lag.

But to be sure, I tested the VPN with LoL and GTA 5 on Windows as well, and I’m happy to report that my gaming experience was mostly flawless.

Occasionally, I experienced some lag on GTA 5 but adjusting my graphics settings helped.

playing gta 5 with private internet access vpn

Here are my speed and latency test results (using Windows)!

Speed Without PIA:

speed test result without private internet access vpn

Speed With PIA:

speed test result with private internet access vpn

Moving on, PIA is another VPN that offers a Dedicated IP add-on – and, unlike NordVPN, you’ll only pay $5/month for it!

This can further boost your speeds and help you avoid bans due to other players causing trouble on the same IP.

Imagine that, a whole VPN IP to yourself!

PIA also has DDoS protection on all of its servers, keeping you safe from sore losers and cybercriminals looking to have a heyday with your IP.

And you’ll enjoy the app on most gaming platforms, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.

minecraft

For PlayStation and Xbox, however, you’ll need to do a router setup or connect your console to your PC via an Ethernet cable.

Now for some mixed news.

PIA offers a split tunneling feature, making it easy to choose which programs are covered by your VPN.

However, some Reddit users claim the feature isn’t reliable – so don’t expect a flawless experience.

reddit forum about private internet access vpn split tunneling feature

Finally, PIA is one of the few VPNs on my list that offers port forwarding on all of its apps.

The only other VPNs on my list to offer such a feature are ExpressVPN (via its router setup only), TorGuard, and PrivateVPN.

And as a quick bonus, you’ll appreciate PIA’s affordable monthly plan:

But if you opt for a long-term plan, don’t miss out on this deal to help you save big!

Pros

Cons

5. IPVanish – Low Ping Gaming & Fast Speeds (Good for Android)

ipvanish for gaming

IPVanish surprised me during my tests!

I always knew the provider was one of the faster ones on the market, but it even gave some of my top VPNs a challenge.

First, during my speed tests, it came in fourth.

This already had me reeling – I love a good surprise, especially when it’s VPN-related.

But what truly surprised me was IPVanish’s performance during my latency tests.

It had the second-lowest ping on Windows, macOS, and Android (tying with Surfshark for the first two) and the fourth-lowest ping on iOS.

That’s a really impressive feat for IPVanish and the primary reason it’s fifth on my list.

playing gta 5 with ipvanish vpn

These results are likely thanks to the provider partnering with Lag Assassin (back in 2014), a company dedicated to lowering your ping by “avoiding unnecessary traffic paths.”

This makes IPVanish ideal for playing a wide range of games, such as WoW, LoL, CoD, and many others.

Here are my speed tests results (using Windows)!

Speed Without IPVanish:

speed test result without ipvanish vpn

Speed With IPVanish:

speed test result with ipvanish vpn

As you can see, this helps guarantee that your gaming experience with IPVanish stays stable at all times.

Plus, you’ll appreciate minimal lag!

Moving on, IPVanish also offers DDoS protection, so you can flaunt your skills at Call of Duty without worrying that your opponents will retaliate with a DDoS attack.

IPVanish also offers a split tunneling feature, but there’s a caveat: it’s only available for Android and fireOS.

This is disappointing, as most other VPNs on my list that offer split tunneling don’t limit the feature to certain apps.

But, on the bright side, this means IPVanish is another VPN that’s perfect for gaming on your Android phone!

So, if you’re a fan of PUBG and CODM, you’re in luck.   

cod mobile game

Next, IPVanish is available for all major gaming platforms, including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, PlayStation, and Xbox – though PlayStation and Xbox require a router or PC setup.

And while not the most extensive server network on my list, IPVanish also offers 1,900+ servers in 75+ locations.

Finally, IPVanish offers affordable plans (though it places somewhere in the middle when compared to the other VPNs on my list):

ipvanish subscription prices

Don’t worry, though.

You can unlock an exclusive discount by clicking here!

Pros

Cons

6. CyberGhost – Dedicated Gaming Servers + Large Server Network

cyberghost for gaming

Sixth place for the best VPNs for gaming goes to CyberGhost – a provider I wanted to place higher but ultimately couldn’t.

Let’s discuss why.

First, CyberGhost is the only VPN on my list that offers dedicated gaming servers.

These are extremely nifty and include options in the US, the UK, Germany, and France.

cyberghost gaming servers

Unfortunately, there’s a catch.

I’ve been testing CyberGhost’s gaming servers a lot lately, and they’re almost always useless – either the speeds are terribly slow, or I can’t connect to the server(s) at all.

This is really disappointing, as what’s the point of having dedicated gaming servers if they don’t work?

That said, on the rare occasion that I get a gaming server to work and the speeds aren’t terrible, I do enjoy my gaming experience while connected.

But, sadly, that’s not to say CyberGhost is a fast VPN.

On the contrary, it’s pretty slow.

During my speed tests, it actually scored last.

And during my latency tests, it had the highest ping on iOS, the second-highest ping on Windows and Android, and the third-highest ping on macOS.

Here are the results from my Windows tests!

Speed Without CyberGhost:

speed test result without cyberghost vpn

Speed With CyberGhost:

speed test result with cyberghost vpn

This is why the provider places sixth on my list.

However, it’s worth mentioning that CyberGhost is still fast enough to enjoy games like Fortnite, FFXIV, LoL, and PUBG with minimal lag.

playing ffxiv with cyberghost vpn

And, luckily, there’s more to CyberGhost than its speeds and gaming servers!

For example, you’ll also enjoy a massive server network with 6,900+ servers in 90 countries.

That’s the second-largest selection on my list!

CyberGhost also offers DDoS protection and a Dedicated IP add-on (at $5/month).

In other words, you can enjoy your favorite games without concern for DDoS attacks – which is especially helpful if you get the Dedicated IP add-on, as you’ll be restricted to one server!

cyberghost dedicated ip price

CyberGhost also offers a split tunneling feature – but only for its Android app.

I don’t know what’s up with this trend of limiting split-tunneling to Android devices, but it needs to stop.

Split tunneling is beneficial for all platforms and especially for gamers.

Finally, CyberGhost is available for all major gaming platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and gaming consoles.

And gaming console users will appreciate the easy DNS setup, so they can enjoy unblocking region-locked games without resorting to a router or PC setup!

But, as the last downside, CyberGhost’s plans are pretty expensive, even rivaling ExpressVPN:

cyberghost vpn subscription plans and pricing

But if you decide to purchase CyberGhost, grab this exclusive discount to help you save big!

Pros

Cons

7. TorGuard – Gaming VPN With Port Forwarding

torguard vpn

Next up is TorGuard, placing seventh out of the eight VPNs discussed in my list.

The primary reason TorGuard impressed me was its port forwarding feature.

As mentioned earlier, the only other VPNs on my list that offer port forwarding are ExpressVPN (via its router setup), PIA, and PrivateVPN.

Specifically, TorGuard allows any ports above 2048 when you use the OpenVPN, WireGuard, or OpenConnect protocols.

For gamers, this is great news, as port forwarding can enhance your gaming experience for a beautiful performance.

playing ffxiv with torguard vpn

However, even with port forwarding enabled, TorGuard still placed sixth during my speed tests.

That’s not terrible – but I was hoping for better results.

As for my latency tests, well… TorGuard had the highest ping for macOS, Windows, and Android and the second-highest ping for iOS.

Not great.

Here are my test results for Windows!

Speed Without TorGuard:

speed test result without torguard vpn

Speed With TorGuard:

speed test result with torguard vpn

On the bright side, while testing TorGuard with games like LoL, GTA 5, WoW, etc., I still enjoyed my gaming experiences with only some lag.

Moving on, the VPN provider offers a Dedicated IP option and DDoS protection.

But there’s a couple of catches.

First, the Dedicated IP is only available with the provider’s “Anonymous Pro” plan, which costs $12.99 for a month and $89.99 for three years.

All in all, that’s not a bad deal – and the Dedicated IP is included for free, which is really awesome, considering every other VPN on my list charges extra for it.

torguard dedicated ip

Now for the second, much bigger catch: there’s a huge chance DDoS protection is only included with the Dedicated IP, and this means the rest of TorGuard’s servers might be unprotected.

I say “huge chance” and “might” because the only place DDoS protection is mentioned on the website is on the Dedicated IP blog post.

torguard vpn ddos protection

I submitted a ticket for clarification and will update when I hear back.

Next, TorGuard is available for all major gaming platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android.

You can also use the VPN on your PlayStation or Xbox through its router or PC setup.

And you get 3,000+ servers in 50+ countries.

One more downside, though.

TorGuard doesn’t offer a split tunneling feature at all.

I’d rather have the provider only offer it for Android than forgo it altogether.

Hopefully, it will introduce the feature in the future.

But I’m at least pleased to reiterate that TorGuard offers reasonable prices:

torguard pricing

You can also get a colossal discount by using my sign-up link!

Pros

Cons

8. PrivateVPN – Beginner-Friendly Gaming VPN With a Free Trial

PrivateVPN website

Last on my list of the most reliable VPNs for gaming is PrivateVPN!

This VPN provider wowed me with extremely beginner-friendly apps for most gaming platforms, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.

Of course, this does leave out PlayStation and Xbox users, who are stuck with a router and/or PC setup if they want to enjoy PrivateVPN on their console.

But if you game on PC or mobile, you don’t need to be a VPN God to easily set up PrivateVPN for a satisfying gaming experience!

playing minecraft with privatevpn

As for my speed tests, PrivateVPN, unfortunately, placed second to last.

Like CyberGhost, I experienced some lag when playing games, like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, while connected to the VPN.

My latency tests didn’t fare much better, though PrivateVPN did have the fifth-lowest ping on Windows, iOS, and Android (tied with PIA for all of them).

Here are my Windows test results!

Speed Without PrivateVPN:

speed test result without privatevpn

Speed With PrivateVPN:

speed test result with privatevpn

Still, besides some lag when playing CPU-intensive games, you’ll enjoy a relatively stable gaming experience.

And the provider offers port forwarding for enhancing that experience even more!

Now for the bad news – and, sadly, there’s more bad news than good for this one.

First, PrivateVPN only offers 200+ servers in 63 countries.

This is a very small server network compared to the other VPNs on my list.

And considering PrivateVPN isn’t exactly new to the VPN industry, I expected to see more.

privatevpn servers

Next, the VPN provider doesn’t offer DDoS protection, split tunneling, or a Dedicated IP add-on.

That’s a lot of missing gaming features to be considered a gaming VPN.

It’s also the reason PrivateVPN is last on my list.

So, unless you’re hoping for a mediocre gaming VPN with cheap plans, I recommend opting for one of the other VPNs on my list instead.

But if you do want cheap, you’ve found it!

PrivateVPN offers the cheapest monthly plan on my list and includes a free 7-day trial.

privatevpn pricing

Plus, to save even more, you can grab this exclusive discount!

Pros

Cons

Buying Guide: The Top VPNs for Gaming

If you want to explore the VPN world on your own before purchasing one, I won’t stop you!

But do me a favor and check out this buying guide first – it’ll tell you everything you need to know.

Want to Build in Minecraft ASAP? Here’s My Checklist for Finding the Best VPN for Gaming!

minecraft game

Don’t ditch your hunt for the perfect gaming VPN by jumping into Minecraft Survival Mode (or Creative)!

Instead, make the hunt easy by referencing my handy checklist:

Seamless Gameplay (Latency, Speed, Stability)

This might seem like a no-brainer, but there’s a lot that goes into making sure your VPN offers seamless gameplay.

The biggest part is testing the VPN’s server speeds, latency, and overall stability.

For example, if your VPN causes a speed drop (and unless your ISP is guilty of bandwidth throttling, it will), it shouldn’t be to a noticeable amount.

In fact, a speed test should be necessary to see the drop at all.

A good rule of thumb:

  • The best gaming VPNs won’t have a speed loss difference below -10 Mbps
  • Good gaming VPNs won’t have a speed loss difference below -20 Mbps
  • Mediocre gaming VPNs won’t have a speed loss difference below -30 Mbps
  • Anything with a -30 Mbps speed loss difference or greater isn’t worth it

To put the importance of this in perspective, here’s a table detailing the speed test results of all the VPNs on my list:

VPN Provider Speed Without VPN Speed With VPN Speed Loss Difference
NordVPN 212.34 Mbps 206.78 Mbps -5.56 Mbps
Surfshark 202.12 Mbps 195.88 Mbps -6.24 Mbps
ExpressVPN 211.56 Mbps 207.44 Mbps -4.12 Mbps
PIA 200.33 Mbps 189.61 Mbps -10.72 Mbps
IPVanish 224.78 Mbps 218.00 Mbps -6.78 Mbps
CyberGhost 210.23 Mbps 187.87 Mbps -22.36 Mbps
TorGuard 212.67 Mbps 197.78 Mbps -14.89 Mbps
PrivateVPN 203.23 Mbps 183.10 Mbps -20.13 Mbps

As for latency, during speed tests, your ping while connected to a VPN server shouldn’t be much higher than your ping without a VPN.

For example, if your ping falls between 5-8ms, it shouldn’t be higher than 20ms when connected to your VPN.

Of course, your ping can vary depending on what game you’re playing, how far you are from the VPN server, and what platform you’re using.

I’ll use FFXIV as an example.

I’m in Europe, but I play on an NA Data Center.

For this reason, my ping jumps from 120ms to 150ms.

When I use a VPN (it helps stabilize my connection and minimize lag), my ping might jump between 150-180ms – but wherever it lands, it stays there.

No matter what game you’re playing, your ping should stabilize when connected to a VPN.

If it doesn’t, it’s not a good gaming VPN.

Furthermore, in regards to packet loss, 0% packet loss is preferred, and anything between 1% and 3% is acceptable.

However, if your packet loss is above 3%, you might experience issues during your gaming session.

Here’s a refresher of my latency test results from earlier:

VPN Provider Windows macOS iOS Android
NordVPN 14-11ms / 0% 16-12ms / 0% 11-10ms / 1% 8-8ms / 1%
Surfshark 16-12ms / 1% 17-13ms / 0% 13-10ms / 0% 9-10ms / 1%
ExpressVPN 11-13ms / 0% 16-16ms / 1% 10-12ms / 1% 10-10ms / 0%
PIA 14-16ms / 2% 14-18ms / 1% 11-15ms / 2% 10-12ms / 0%
IPVanish 10-12ms / 1% 15-13ms / 2% 9-13ms / 2% 9-9ms / 0%
CyberGhost 13-17ms / 3% 16-19ms / 2% 10-21ms / 4% 10-17ms / 2%
TorGuard 14-20ms / 5% 16-24ms / 3% 9-20ms / 5% 11-19ms / 3%
PrivateVPN 14-16ms / 3% 14-20ms / 2% 10/15ms / 2% 11-12ms / 1%

All in all, you need to do a lot of speed and latency tests before committing to a VPN.

The best way to do this is to utilize a VPN’s money-back guarantee.

All the best VPNs offer one.

So, you’ll purchase the VPN, test it, and if it doesn’t meet your expectations, you’ll request a refund immediately.

Server Network & Coverage

A VPN’s server network and coverage play into its server speeds – the more options you have, the less likely you are to experience network overload, which means you’re less likely to be impacted by a heavy speed loss due to too many users on one server.

But there’s another benefit to a large server network and coverage.

If you’re in a country that blocks or restricts some games (like GTA 5), a VPN with lots of servers in many countries will help you overcome those blocks.

Furthermore, having access to a large server network gives you the chance to find better deals on games by changing your location.

The best example of this is if you’re in a European country that charges ridiculous prices for games that you can buy much cheaper in the US.

All you need to do is connect to a VPN server in the US and purchase the game!

Must-Have Gaming Features

You also need to check that your VPN includes must-have gaming features.

The first thing to look for is DDoS protection – a necessity for competitive games, especially.

DDoS protection will protect you if an angry opponent decides to grab your IP and launch a DDoS attack against you, thus preventing your game from lagging or your internet from cutting out completely.

Another must-have gaming feature is split tunneling, as it lets you choose which apps and programs are affected by your VPN.

This is extremely useful if you only want the game you’re playing to be covered by the VPN – or if you’re trying to watch local content while gaming!

Having the option to purchase a Dedicated IP add-on is also helpful, as it eliminates the possibility of network congestion.

It also eliminates the possibility of a VPN IP getting banned due to someone else violating a game’s ToS, as you’re the only one using the IP.

Or, if the game you’re playing doesn’t like you switching servers too many times, a Dedicated IP will let you keep the same IP every time you connect.

Other beneficial gaming features to keep in mind are a double VPN for avoiding revenge swatting and port forwarding for enhancing your overall gaming experience.

Device Compatibility

All of the best VPNs for gaming will offer support for all major gaming platforms, including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, gaming consoles, and even Linux.

Some VPNs will even offer easy DNS setups for gaming consoles, such as Surfshark and ExpressVPN, though some speed loss is expected with this method.

All of the VPNs on my list are compatible with all of the major gaming platforms – so if you want to skip the stressful testing phase, grab my exclusive NordVPN discount ASAP!

Affordable Subscription Fees

Like any service, you should compare different VPNs, their subscription fees, and their features.

Make sure you’re not paying more for mediocre service, especially when you can get a phenomenal VPN for an affordable price.

BONUS: Other Features

As a bonus, you should look for other features like 256-bit AES encryption, a verified no-logs policy, obfuscation, and a kill switch.

When connected to a VPN server, these features will keep you safe at all times.

Can I Use a Free VPN for Gaming?

Don’t let a free VPN for gaming tempt you.

Not only will you lose out on essential gaming features that protect you from DDoS attacks, revenge swatting, and IP leaks, but there’s a chance your data will be sold to third parties…or worse.

Plus, most free VPNs are limited with bandwidth caps and terrible speeds, which is problematic when gaming.

BUT if you won’t take no for an answer, at least use one of my recommended freemium VPNs, like ProtonVPN or AtlasVPN.

Both offer unlimited bandwidth, a handful of servers, and medium speeds.

free protonvpn

Just don’t expect an amazing gaming experience – or a safe one.

And when you can afford it, switch to a premium provider.

atlasvpn

Remember, my number one VPN for gaming, NordVPN, can be purchased at a massively discounted rate by using my exclusive sign-up link!

How to Set Up My VPN for Gaming on PC & Mobile?

Setting up your VPN for gaming is pretty much the same for PC and mobile users! Just follow these steps:

  1. Choose one of my recommended VPNs (or a VPN you found after thorough research) and purchase a subscription.
  1. Download and install the VPN app on your device(s).
  2. Open the VPN app and sign in to your account.
  3. Enable any gaming features like split tunneling or a specific protocol.
nordpvn split tunneling
  1. Click the Connect button for the fastest server near you. Or, if you need a server from a specific country, select your preferred location from the server list.
nordvpn slovakia server
  1. Open your browser and check for IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks.
  2. Enjoy a stable gaming experience with minimal lag and a low ping! 
league of legends game

How to Set Up My VPN for Gaming on Console?

The following step-by-step instructions are for a DNS setup, using ExpressVPN and a PS4 as my example (however, PS5 and Xbox setups should be similar):

  1. Choose one of my recommended VPNs (or a VPN you found after thorough research) with a DNS setup for consoles and purchase a subscription.
  1. Log in to the website and navigate to your account overview page.
expressvpn for windows
  1. Locate the setup tutorials and find the DNS setup instructions. For ExpressVPN, it’s MediaStreamer.
expressvpn mediastreamer
  1. If necessary, register your IP and activate the DNS service.
expressvpn ip address registration
  1. You should get a DNS address to use. Copy it down and fire up your PS4.
  2. On your PS4, go to Network > Set Up Internet Connection and choose “Automatic” for every option except DNS.
ps4 set up network connection
  1. When prompted, choose “Manual” for DNS and enter your DNS address(es).
ps4 secondary dns
  1. Test your internet connection on your PS4.
  2. Fire up your favorite console game and enjoy a stable gaming experience!
final fantasy XIV

If your VPN provider doesn’t offer a DNS setup, look at its tutorials for gaming consoles.

Your two options will likely be via a router or PC.

FAQ

Will a VPN Improve My Gaming Experience?

Yes, using a VPN can improve your gaming experience by lowering your ping, defeating lag, and stabilizing your overall connection.

Even if using a VPN causes your ping to jump slightly, a good VPN will maintain that ping to prevent an unstable connection.

Additionally, the best VPNs for gaming will protect you from DDoS attacks, revenge swatting, and IP leaks – and grant you access to region-locked games and better prices on platforms like Steam.

Will a VPN Improve My Ping?

The best gaming VPNs might improve your ping by lowering it slightly, such as NordVPN and Surfshark, but that’s hit-or-miss.

That said, a reliable VPN will stabilize your ping to prevent it from jumping all over the place, which can help reduce lag, thus improving your overall gaming experience.

All of the VPNs on my list were tested with various games to ensure a stable ping and minimal lag.

Can I Stream on Twitch With a Gaming VPN?

I recommend using a VPN to stream games on Twitch, as a VPN will keep your privacy safe, and your data secure while stabilizing your connection, reducing lag, and lowering your ping.

However, you need a reliable VPN for Twitch that offers super-fast speeds.

NordVPN is my top choice.

It performed brilliantly during my speed tests and had the lowest ping on all the platforms I tested.

It also offers must-have gaming features like DDoS protection, split tunneling, and a double VPN.

Can I Use a VPN for League of Legends?

Yes, you can use a VPN for League of Legends and doing so might improve your gaming experience as a whole.

However, I recommend finding a VPN with a Dedicated IP option, as LoL is known to ban users who switch locations too often due to their policy against account sharing.

With a Dedicated IP, your IP and location stay the same at all times.

NordVPN offers a Dedicated IP for $70/year ($5.83/month), and PIA offers one for $5/month.

Can I Use a VPN for Call of Duty Warzone?

Using a VPN for CoD Warzone isn’t against the game’s Security and Enforcement Policy, so yes, you can use a VPN to play Warzone without getting banned.

In fact, doing so can help reduce lag, prevent packet loss, and stabilize your ping.

That said, I recommend using a Dedicated IP add-on to avoid suspicion due to switching IPs too many times, as doing so might land you in Warzone’s “cheater pool lobbies.”

Static IP servers, like those offered by Surfshark, will also do the trick.

What’s the Best VPN for PUBG?

I recommend using NordVPN for PUBG, as it offers super-fast speeds, lowers your ping, and reduces lag almost completely.

It also includes DDoS protection to protect you from DDoS attacks and a double VPN to negate revenge swatting.

Plus, its split tunneling feature lets you choose which apps are affected by your VPN while gaming.

You can download the NordVPN app on iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS.

Can I Get a Free Trial With a Gaming VPN?

Many VPNs on my list offer free trials.

Surfshark, PIA, and PrivateVPN offer 7-day free trials, though the first two require sign-up via iOS or Android.

CyberGhost offers a 24-hour free trial.

And TorGuard offers a 30-day free trial when you cancel your current VPN subscription and switch to them.

Otherwise, you can use a VPN’s money-back guarantee to try its service risk-free for 30 days.

If you’re unsatisfied, contact support for a refund.

Conclusion

grand theft auto 5

So there you have it – eight VPNs for gaming that will help you beat lag and high latency while keeping you safe!

And while all the VPNs on my list are worthy choices, my top recommendation is still NordVPN.

NordVPN has everything you need for the ultimate gaming experience, including blazing-fast speeds, DDoS protection, a Dedicated IP add-on, a double VPN, and a split tunneling feature!

It also had the lowest ping on all the platforms I tested.

If you decide to give it a try, don’t forget to click my exclusive sign-up link for a MAJOR discount!

You won’t be disappointed. 🙂

Try NordVPN Risk-Free!

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