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Is NordVPN Good for Gaming? Ping and Latency Tested

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Playing games with NordVPN is an incredibly surefire way to safely unblock and access titles like Dota 2, League of Legends, Fortnite, Minecraft, PUBG, World of Warcraft, Counter-Strike, Overwatch, GTA 5 online, and many more.

Continue reading as I unveil all the benefits of gaming with NordVPN, optimization tips, and set-up guides on PC, Playstation 4/5, Xbox X/S, and mobile devices for gaming.

Why Is NordVPN Good for Gaming?

nordvpn gaming grab the deal

NordVPN takes the crown in my rankings of best VPNs for gaming.

Here are a few qualities that make NordVPN an excellent choice for smooth & secure gaming:

  • DDoS Protection: Sore losers in online game lobbies may try to gain a competitive edge by bombarding you with DDoS attacks. NordVPN ensures your real IP stays invisible. If you become a target, swap to the next server.
  • Unblock Geo-Restrictions: Many games are banned in certain parts of the world, like PUBG in India. Some countries’ real-life gambling laws even prohibit GTA 5 Online players from entering The Diamond Casino & Resort. With NordVPN, you can bypass all these restrictions by switching your IP address to locations where you can access these games/in-game features.
  • Blazing Speeds: NordVPN is one of the fastest VPNs in the industry, thanks to its NordLynx protocol that balances security with top speeds. With this setup, I play Valorant on NordVPN with no notable lag and 30-40ms ping.
  • Access on All Devices: The VPN service provider can connect up to six devices per account. Plus, you can set up NordVPN for PC gaming, mobile gaming, and even console gaming on Playstation 4/5 & Xbox Series X/S.
  • Safe Gaming Over Public Wi-Fi: NordVPN encrypts your internet traffic, wrapping you with an invisibility cloak, a must for gaming over public Wi-Fi. It also packs extra safety features like Threat Protection to block malware and ads during your gaming experience.

How to Use NordVPN for Gaming? (Step-By-Step Guide)

Here are tutorials to help you set up NordVPN for the first time on every platform.

But first, you need to purchase the NordVPN subscription. Here’s an excellent value deal.

Set Up NordVPN for PC Gaming

To use NordVPN for your hardcore Apex Legends or PUBG sessions on your Windows gaming PC, follow these simple steps:

  1. Download the NordVPN app from the official website.
nordvpn windows pc download
  1. Follow the installation wizard to install the NordVPN app.
nordvpn pc installer
  1. Launch the NordVPN app and log in using your credentials.
nordvpn pc log-in
  1. Once you’re in the app, you’ll see a list of available servers on the left. You can manually select any server from here or use the quick connect feature to connect to an optimal server nearby.
nordvpn quick connect and server locations
  1. Go ahead with your safe and secure gaming session.
nordvpn connected to us server

Here’s a detailed guide to using NordVPN on macOS for playing games like Civilization VI, Stardew Valley, or other preferred titles.

Set Up NordVPN for Smartphone (iOS & Android) Gaming

If you’re into spoofing mobile games like Pokémon Go, follow these steps to set up NordVPN. Note that the steps are similar for Android and iOS:

  1. Download the NordVPN mobile app from Google Play Store or Apple App store.
  1. Open the app and log in using your credentials.
  1. Approve connection requests if you’re on Android or allow the app to add VPN configurations on iOS.
  1. Choose your preferred server location and enjoy seamless location spoofing on smartphone games like Ingress and Pokémon Go.

Set Up NordVPN for Console (PS4/5, Xbox Series) Gaming

Are you more of a controller gamer? If yes, you’re lucky since you can also use NordVPN on Playstation 4/5 & Xbox Series X/S.

For Playstation 4/5

The speediest way to use NordVPN Gaming on Playstation 4/5 is by configuring NordVPN’s Smart DNS feature with your Playstation console:

  1. Discover your public IP address provided by your ISP from here.
isp public ip address
  1. Log in to your NordVPN account and select the smart DNS feature. Enter your iPv4 IP address here and click “Activate your IP address for Smart DNS.”
nordvpn change ip address settings
  1. On your PS4/5 Console, go to Settings.
playstation 4/5 network settings
  1. Select “Network” and then “Set Up Internet Connection.”
playstation 4/5 set up internet connection settings
  1. If you’re on PS4:

a. Select “Custom” to personalize your connection.

playstation custom settings

b. Choose WiFi or LAN connection, depending on which one you’re using.

playstation use a lan cable settings

c. Select “Automatic” for IP address Settings.

playstation automatic settings

d. Enter “Do Not Specify” in the DHCP Host Name section.

playstation do not specify settings

e. Choose “Manual” in the DNS Settings field.

playstation manual settings

f. Set the “Primary DNS” according to the NordVPN Smart DNS you got.

g. Set the “Secondary DNS” to the same value as your Primary DNS.

playstation primary dns and secondary dns settings
  1. If you’re on PS5:

a. Click on your existing internet connection.

ps5 advanced settings

b. Go to “DNS Settings” and choose “Manual” under “Advanced Settings.”

ps5 manual dns settings

c. Change the Primary DNS to the NordVPN Smart DNS you got.

d. Then, change the Secondary DNS to the same value as the Primary DNS.

ps5 primary dns and secondary dns settings

So, I suggest you don’t use NordVPN’s Smart DNS for any private activity because it won’t hide your internet activity. Continue reading for an alternative to Smart DNS.

For Xbox Series X/S

Xbox consoles don’t natively support VPN connections, but you can set up NordVPN on Xbox X/S via a Windows PC via the given steps:

  1. Sign in to your NordVPN account on your Windows PC and connect to a server.
  2. Connect your Xbox console to your Windows computer using an ethernet cable.
  3. Open the Control Panel on your PC. Go to “View network status and tasks” under Network and Internet.
view network and tasks on windows settings
  1. Right-click on your NordVPN connection and select “Properties.”
windows nordlynx properties settings
  1. Visit the “Sharing tab” and enable “Allow other network users to connect through the computer’s internet connection.”
windows nordlynx internet connection sharing settings
  1. Under ”Home networking connection,” choose the Xbox’s ethernet to pair with the NordVPN connection.
  2. You’ve now turned your PC into a “virtual router.”
windows private network connection settings
  1. Finally, go to Network under your Xbox’s settings and click “Test network connection” to connect to the internet via NordVPN.
xbox test network connection feature

Need more help? Read this in-depth guide on NordVPN for XBox Consoles.

Set Up NordVPN for Router for Gaming on All Devices

Are you a hardcore gamer with multiple systems, including consoles, PC, and smartphones? Consider installing NordVPN on your router, so all your internet traffic passes via the VPN.

Please know that not all routers support this. You can only set up NordVPN on routers that support the OpenVPN protocol. Here is a list of routers unsupported by NordVPN.

  1. Download the OpenVPN configuration files of the country you want to connect to through NordVPN. Preferably the UDP config.
nordvpn openvpn udp
  1. Type your “router’s IP address” into your browser’s URL bar and log in using your credentials. It’s usually 192.168.1.1.
dhcp on router ip address
  1. Once logged in, go to the control panel. It can also be labeled “Network Settings.” All routers’ interfaces differ, but all have clearly labeled sections. You’ll know you’ve arrived at the right place when you see the heading “DHCP” and an option to “Add Profile.”
  2. Add a profile by entering your NordVPN username and password available on the NordVPN dashboard.
  3. Name your connection and import the .ovpn file you downloaded earlier.
  4. Save the changes and test your router connection.

If you need more details on this router setup, here is an in-depth tutorial on setting up NordVPN on a router.

How to Optimize NordVPN for Gaming?

Before you go and have fun with NordVPN, here are some pro tips to optimize your gaming sessions:

  • Update the NordVPN app: NordVPN keeps optimizing its servers and technology with every new update, which rolls out quite often. So, ensure your app is up to date.
  • Select the NordLynx Protocol: The NordLynx protocol is built around Wireguard, the gold standard for NordVPN gaming, with faster speeds and security.
  • Don’t use Obfuscated servers unless you need to bypass censorship: Obfuscated or Onion-Over-VPN servers, designed to bypass restrictions, compromise on speed. So, if your chief goal is only to stay encrypted, it’s wiser to use standard protocols like NordLynx.
  • Connect to a VPN server geographically not far from you: The salient concerns for gaming are speed, ping & connection reliability. This is why the best NordVPN server is the one closest to you, as it’ll take the least time for the data packets from your end to reach the VPN server and return the needed games.
  • Switch to a wired Wi-Fi connection: A wired connection will serve you utmost achievable speeds. Once you get accustomed to gaming over wired Wi-Fi connections, there’s no going back.

FAQs

In most cases, using NordVPN to stay encrypted is permissible and will rarely result in a gaming platform ban.

However, online storefronts like Epic Games forbid VPNs’ usage for purchasing games and other digital content to impose regional pricing and availability.

It’s unlikely for NordVPN to boost your gaming ping or latency.

However, if your ISP tries to throttle your connection, NordVPN will help enhance your gaming experience by hiding your online activities from the ISP to bypass such throttling attempts.

NordVPN is an overall better package than ExpressVPN for gaming because it’s more affordable; offers six simultaneous connections, whereas ExpressVPN supports five; and has more servers. However, ExpressVPN has more server locations, uses fast obfuscation on all servers, and boasts an in-house Lightway protocol for faster gaming speeds.

Yes, NordVPN is perfect for battle royale gaming. Millions of players worldwide like to get their adrenaline rush from Battle Royale games like Fortnite, PUBG & Call of Duty Warzone. As a result, high-ranking players get ambushed with DDoS attacks from jealous competitors.

NordVPN’s server defenses will soak up any attack against you.

You can also use NordVPN to switch your IP address to another region to play battle royale games with friends in a different country.

Wrapping Up

NordVPN offers top-notch security at top refresh speeds.

So, there is no need for settling or sacrificing your security for speed, or vice versa.

Thus, the VPN deserves to be a part of an ideal modern gaming setup, just like a powerful GPU or the fastest CPU. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee for you to evaluate NordVPN gaming performance.

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