7 Best VPNs for Gaming in 2022

The chances are that you’re looking for a VPN after experiencing issues with your online gaming session. Or perhaps you need a way to unblock new games or even unlock them earlier by going around timezone limitations. No matter the reason, you'll want to find the best VPN for gaming, which will require you to put some extra effort into your research.

We're saying that because finding a VPN that maintains your Web connection's speed without messing up your latency is easier said than done. In other words, unless you find a capable VPN, you'll make your gaming sessions less enjoyable, especially if you rely on action-packed online or cloud-backed games where every single second counts.

With that said, know that we've tested more than 60 VPNs so far (you can find all those reviews published on TechNadu). And also, we made sure to check their gaming-related capabilities. So, let's use that experience and knowledge to help you uncover truly the best gaming VPNs available right now, shall we?

Tip

In case you need a VPN app for a Windows PC, you have a wide range of options in front of you, many of which are suitable for gaming (because you can install just about any VPN on Windows).

However, if you play games on an Xbox or PlayStation console, we recommend getting a router and then installing your chosen VPN on that router. That's because you can't install or run a VPN on gaming consoles natively (no matter which game console you own and use).

How to Choose the Best VPN for Gaming?

First and foremost, let's talk about how to find and pick the best gaming VPNs. With that said, you'll want to find one that brings the following:

  • Sizeable Server Fleet: To get the best possible speed, you'll want to use a nearby VPN server. If you force your data to travel more, you'll experience slowdowns - unless you find a VPN that implements optimizations for remote connections. In short, find a VPN with a sizeable server fleet, as that comes with numerous benefits attached.
  • Customizable VPN Protocols: There's a range of VPN protocols out there, each of them offering a specific set of instructions on handling your data. When it comes to gaming, you'll want a robust protocol that hides your data and protects you against notorious DDoS attacks. Still, you don't want an overly secure protocol, which can slow you down quite a bit.
  • Native Software: VPNs that force you to create manual server connections are not the best option. To get an enjoyable and lag-free gaming session, you must use native VPN software. That means that you need to install your chosen VPN on your device and then run it in the background each time you launch a game.
  • Reliable & Stable Performance: Remember not to trust any marketing messages out there, as pretty much every VPN out there says it's the fastest. Instead, find a VPN with plenty of servers and multiple VPN protocols, which is always a good start. And more importantly, pay attention to hands-on reviews and do your research.
  • Extra Features (Split-Tunneling, Kill Switch, Dedicated IP): Depending on your needs, there's a set of VPN features to keep in mind and look for in a gaming VPN. For example, split-tunneling allows you to use your VPN for gaming but then also send your traffic the regular way when needed. A kill switch will keep you protected if your connection drops. And, a dedicated VPN IP helps you bypass even the strongest anti-VPN blocks.

The Best Gaming VPNs Available in 2022

Finally, these are the 7 best gaming VPN services that reduce your ping, handle your latency, protect your privacy and do much more than you can expect.

Editor's Pick
Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chromebook
Kindle
Nook
Chrome
Firefox
PlayStation
Apple TV
Xbox
Amazon Fire TV
Roku
Parallel Connections
Live Chat
Encryption / VPN Protocols AES-256 / OpenVPN, Lightway, IKEv2, PPTP.
Windows PC Compatibility YES - via native software.
Xbox & PlayStation Compatibility YES - via Wi-Fi sharing or router installation.
Data Logging No data logging (recently audited).
Money-Back Guarantees Up to 30 days.

ExpressVPN is based out of the British Virgin Islands and has a footprint in over 90 countries, which is a major feat. The product itself (and its interface) is pretty simple, with cutting-edge encryption out of the box. The company also offers top-of-the-line customer support and a 30-day money-back guarantee, which are all the reasons why this is the best VPNs (overall) available right now.

To make sure that your gaming is uninterrupted, ExpressVPN provides flawless performance. You can test the speed of individual servers before you connect (hamburger button > Speed Test), which minimizes the chances of encountering an overcrowded server. That option also gives you latency-related estimations, so you'll get a pretty clear picture of what to expect even before connecting to a server.

And in terms of protecting your privacy, this is an award-winning VPN with plenty of years of experience. So, it's safe to say that you'll be covered more than well. But if you need details, know that ExpressVPN is powered by OpenVPN and Lightway protocols, both of which are suitable for gaming. You'll also find a range of less powerful protocols.

Only a few key points are discussed here, and if you need to learn more about this service, you must check our ExpressVPN review. If you decide to install it on your device, follow this guide.

PROS

  • Plenty of VPN servers available.
  • Incredibly easy to use.
  • Fast, stable, and reliable performance.
  • Split-tunneling and kill switch on board.
  • Great for unblocking new content online.
  • 24/7-available customer support.

CONS

  • Incredibly fast, but not the fastest.
  • No in-depth fine-tuning available.

2. NordVPN - Best for High-End VPN Users

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chromebook
Chrome
Firefox
PlayStation
Xbox
Amazon Fire TV
Nintendo Switch
All game consoles
Chromecast
Parallel Connections
Live Chat
Encryption / VPN Protocols AES-256 / OpenVPN, IKEv2, NordLynx.
Windows PC Compatibility YES - via native software.
Xbox & PlayStation Compatibility YES - via Wi-Fi sharing or router installation.
Data Logging No data logging (recently audited).
Money-Back Guarantees Up to 30 days.

No matter where you're located, NordVPN promises excellent privacy and security. This VPN is well-known for encrypting connections flawlessly. The 'DoubleVPN' encryption system is one of the strongest encryptions we have tested on a VPN service for gaming, as it's designed in a way that NordVPN can encrypt both outbound and inbound data with AES-256-CBC encryption twice.

In other words, if you want to protect your gaming sessions from DDoS attacks and prevent online trackers, NordVPN should be your pick. Still, know that NordVPN might also slow you down a bit, especially once you start using its specialized servers. In that sense, you'll find servers that obfuscate your Web traffic, send it through the Tor network, and more.

To alleviate that, NordVPN also offers "standard" VPN servers - more than 5,000 units. That means that plenty of fine-tuning is available, which is why we recommend this capable VPN to more advanced users. Besides all that, we'll also mention that NordVPN is a verified no-logs VPN service, which is always good to keep in mind.

A lot more core features are provided, and all of them have been reviewed and noted in our recently published (and updated) NordVPN review. Take a look.

PROS

  • Incredibly polished VPN software.
  • Sizeable network of servers.
  • Specialized servers on offer.
  • High-end protocols and encryption.
  • 24/7-available customer support.

CONS

  • Remote connections can be slow.
  • Fine-tuning is highly recommended.

3. CyberGhost VPN - Best for Dedicated Gaming Servers

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chrome
Firefox
PlayStation
Apple TV
Xbox
Amazon Fire TV
Samsung Smart TV
All game consoles
All smart TVs
Parallel Connections
Live Chat
Encryption / VPN Protocols AES-256 / OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard.
Windows PC Compatibility YES - via native software.
Xbox & PlayStation Compatibility YES - via Wi-Fi sharing or router installation.
Data Logging No data logging.
Money-Back Guarantees Up to 45 days.

CyberGhost VPN can be fully automated, which means that you can allow the VPN to pick the most suitable protocol and server based on the planned usage (and speaking of that - this VPN offers servers specialized for gaming, available on Windows PCs). However, more advanced users can take all these things into their own hands, so there's plenty of freedom overall.

This VPN is known for covering pretty much the entire planet - having thousands of servers on offer. It comes with reliable performance, keeping all your private data out of anyone's hands and guaranteeing complete protection for your data. You can also use it to unblock new types of digital services, which means you'll get to unblock new gaming marketplaces.

Let's not forget to mention that CyberGhost VPN allows you to get an anonymous dedicated IP address (associated with the US, the UK, Germany, France, and Canada). That's not something many VPNs offer and could help bypass even the strongest anti-VPN systems.

So, want to hear more about this VPN? We're sure you do - and that's why we recommend you check our hands-on CyberGhost VPN review. And then, learn how to install CyberGhost VPN on all your devices.

PROS

  • Specialized servers for gaming.
  • Lots of fine-tuning available.
  • Sizeable server fleet.
  • Split-tunnling and kill switch on offer.
  • 24/7-available customer support.
  • Generous money-back policy.

CONS

  • Requires fine-tuning for best performance.
  • Gaming servers available on Windows only.
  • Lacks a more recent audit.

4. Ivacy VPN - Best for Gamers on a Budget

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chrome
Firefox
All smart TVs
Parallel Connections
Live Chat
Encryption / VPN Protocols AES-256 / OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP, IPSec.
Windows PC Compatibility YES - via native software.
Xbox & PlayStation Compatibility YES - via Wi-Fi sharing or router installation.
Data Logging No data logging.
Money-Back Guarantees Up to 30 days.

Next, we have a Singapore-based VPN service known for its privacy-oriented features. In terms of keeping your Web data private, Ivacy uses a whole range of VPN protocols and comes with 256-bit AES encryption. This means that all your data will be routed through an incredibly secure VPN tunnel, taking away any worries.

In terms of gaming, note that Ivacy covers more than 180 locations across 100+ countries. So, there's a big chance that you'll find a nearby server that should provide a pleasurable gaming experience. And then, keep in mind that Ivacy comes with native applications for pretty much any popular platform out there. If you play games on your console, you can install this VPN on your router, which is a huge benefit.

Then, there are two things you'll want to know. Like our previous recommendation, Ivacy can give you a dedicated IP associated with the UK, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Germany, and Singapore. And lastly, this is the VPN of choice for GamersOrigin, one of the most successful eSports clubs out there - which tells a lot right off the bat.

Plenty more could be said about why this is one of the best gaming VPNs. So, dive deeper and make sure to check our Ivacy VPN review.

PROS

  • Fully-automated VPN solution.
  • Very easy to set up and use.
  • Wide range of VPN protocols.
  • Sizeable server network.
  • Suitable for streaming as well.
  • Dedicated IPs on offer.

CONS

  • Very limited fine-tuning.
  • Not the most polished UI.
  • Find the best server taking some effort.

5. Surfshark - Best for First-Time VPN Users

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chrome
Firefox
Apple TV
Amazon Fire TV
All game consoles
All smart TVs
Parallel Connections
Live Chat
Encryption / VPN Protocols AES-256 / OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard, Shadowsocks.
Windows PC Compatibility YES - via native software.
Xbox & PlayStation Compatibility YES - via Wi-Fi sharing or router installation.
Data Logging No data logging.
Money-Back Guarantees Up to 30 days.

Our collection of the best VPNs for gaming wouldn't be complete without Surfshark. This is an incredibly powerful VPN that's also very simple to use. It works entirely on its own, without much input from you. So, all you need is to connect to a server and keep this VPN in the background while playing games.

Surfshark supports several capable VPN protocols (including WireGuard since recently), and it promises not to collect your private data. It can also unblock any website out there, including some notoriously hard-to-unblock media streaming services. Also, let's not forget to mention that you get unlimited connections with this VPN, so it's clear that it offers plenty for its price.

With all that said, we still haven't mentioned Surfshark's best gaming-related feature, and that would be its speed. This VPN can provide very fast speeds without any optimization, even when using very remote servers. Of course, doing a bit of tinkering with its settings goes a long way, letting you barely notice this VPN running in the background.

Our strong recommendation would be to consider using this VPN service. So, to learn more, don't forget to read our Surfshark review.

PROS

  • Suitable for first-timers.
  • Can be a fully-automated VPN.
  • Highly polished interface.
  • Sizeable network of VPN servers.
  • One of the speedier VPN services.
  • 24/7-available customer support.

CONS

  • No in-depth customization.
  • Anonymous dedicated IPs not available.

6. IPVanish - Best Fully-Automated Gaming VPN

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chromebook
Amazon Fire TV
Parallel Connections
Live Chat
Encryption / VPN Protocols AES-256 / OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2, L2TP/IPsec.
Windows PC Compatibility YES - via native software.
Xbox & PlayStation Compatibility YES - via Wi-Fi sharing or router installation.
Data Logging No data logging.
Money-Back Guarantees Up to 30 days.

IPVanish is a well-known VPN that has been reviewed year after year. Based out of the US, the network spreads over more than 75 locations, giving you plenty of digital freedom. If you are looking for a premium gaming experience with top speeds and zero lags, IPVanish has the job cut out for you.

This VPN comes equipped with various protocols, letting you pick from WireGuard (introduced just recently), OpenVPN, IKEv2, and more. You're free to switch between those at any moment, which means that you'll have some influence over your Web connection's speed and its security (useful in terms of DDoS protection during your gaming session). Still, know that IPVanish comes fully automated, so we recommend it to those not wishing to fine-tune their connection.

We'll also mention that IPVanish now supports unmetered VPN connections. Therefore, you can install and use it on any device out there - and yes, this VPN does have a wide range of apps for desktop and mobile platforms. That also implies that IPVanish doesn't log your private data.

Don’t miss a chance to read our IPVanish review before you decide to sign-up for the service. Having an in-depth knowledge of a VPN service before buying is always a good thing.

PROS

  • Wide compatibility.
  • Fully-automated VPN service.
  • Strong and leak-free VPN protocols.
  • Unmetered connections.
  • 24/7-available customer support.

CONS

  • Forced AES-256 encryption.
  • Doesn't allow in-depth fine-tuning.
  • Can be slow at times.

7. PIA VPN - Best Far-Reaching VPN Server Network

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chrome
Firefox
Parallel Connections
Live Chat
Encryption / VPN Protocols AES-256 / OpenVPN, WireGuard, L2TP/IPsec.
Windows PC Compatibility YES - via native software.
Xbox & PlayStation Compatibility YES - via Wi-Fi sharing or router installation.
Data Logging No data logging.
Money-Back Guarantees Up to 30 days.

PIA (Private Internet Access VPN) is a long-standing VPN service that originates from the USA, known for implementing high-end features and expanding its set of options quite aggressively. With that said, if you need a more advanced gaming VPN, Private Internet Access is what you'll want to try.

First and foremost, PIA is for those willing to dive deep into VPN protocols, different types of encryption methods, VPN automation, and more. It works out of the box just fine, but since it brings a plethora of options and customizations, it really requires you to spend some time working on this VPN. As a result, you'll get the lowest possible ping, making PIA highly suitable for gaming.

Next, know that PIA is one of the VPNs with the highest number of servers. That comes in handy if you want to unblock gaming marketplaces in specific countries. With that said, PIA allows you to play games with minimal ping and latency while getting access to more games, more cloud services, and new game marketplaces. What else could we ask for?

To check whether this is the right VPN for you, take a good look at our Private Internet Access review (done after testing the VPN hands-on, of course).

PROS

  • Highly advanced VPN service.
  • Allows in-depth customization.
  • Huge server fleet.
  • Improves your Web connection's quality.
  • Can lower your ping and latency.
  • 24/7-available customer support.

CONS

  • Not recommended for beginners.
  • Requires some technical knowledge.

Why Do You Need a VPN for Gaming?

You need a VPN for gaming if you want to enhance your Web connection, protect your sensitive information, and hide your IP address, among other things.

If you check our guide that explains what VPNs do, you'll see that they boost your security and privacy online. With that said, here are a few gaming-related benefits:

  • Secure Any Web Connection: Since VPNs encrypt your data and keep it within a secure tunnel, they come as a solution to securing any Web connection type. So, if you connect to public Wi-Fi networks or play games on the go, know that a VPN will come in handy.
  • Bypass ISP Throttling: Your ISP imposes certain limitations to your Web connection in relation to bandwidth-hungry activities like gaming and streaming. Based on a degree of throttling by your ISP, a VPN helps you bypass network throttling, giving you better speeds and lower ping.
  • Protection Against Hackers & DDoS Attacks: Since VPNs hide your IP address (you can even hide your VPN IP address), you'll make it harder for malicious individuals to reach your device. That means that you can forget about DDoS attacks.
  • Unblock New Types of Gaming Content: A new IP address gives you access to new types of online content. So, if you pick a Brazilian IP (for example), you'll get to access the Brazilian version of various gaming e-stores (and save money along the way). On top of that, a VPN will help you grab new skins and other freebies that might be available in select countries only.

Tip

A reliable and gaming-friendly VPN will help you elevate your gaming session up to a whole new level. To learn what else to expect and why you should use a gaming VPN, use the provided link.

Is It Legal to Use a VPN for Gaming?

In general, it's legal to use a VPN for gaming. However, know that some games might ban the use of VPNs as a precautionary measure.

In terms of their legality, VPNs are 100% on the safe side. They protect your right to privacy, so you can feel free to pick any VPN service out there. Still, know that there's a very small group of countries where VPNs are illegal, and those are primarily countries with authoritarian regimes. So, be aware of your country's laws.

Then, also know that some online games (MMORPGs mostly) may prohibit the use of VPNs, as per their Terms of Use and other legal documents. Since VPNs can give you a competitive edge, they could be considered a way of cheating. In that case, you'll see a message that you need to turn off your VPN to continue.

Tip

Even though VPNs are legal to use and even though they protect your privacy, make sure that what you do using a VPN is legal as well. In other words, a VPN is not an excuse to use cheating mechanisms in games, which is what can get you banned.

Can You Get Banned for Using VPNs While Playing Games?

In theory, you can get banned for using a VPN while gaming. However, in practice, that most likely won't happen - unless you decide to cheat, of course.

The biggest problem that companies like Valve, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, and Epic have with VPNs is related to cheating systems, as people typically use VPNs to bypass certain limitations. Of course, that is against many games' Terms of Use and could lead to a ban.

Still, there are practically no reports online about someone being banned only for using a VPN. And if something like that happens, the reason will be in your VPN's IP address. Since they're shared, you could end up getting an IP previously used to cheat, which draws attention to your account.

Tip

Getting banned due to a shared VPN IP address happens incredibly rarely. Still, if you want to be 100% on the safe side, consider using a VPN with a dedicated IP address.

Does a Gaming VPN Reduce Ping?

Yes, a VPN can reduce ping - which is crucial when playing action-packed online games. Still, to reduce ping, you must pick a VPN server carefully.

VPNs allow you to connect to servers from all around the world. So, if you connect to an overly remote server, that can increase your ping and latency. With that said, you should always go for the nearest server you can find (based on your physical location).

Also, some VPN services offer specialized servers for gaming, such as CyberGhost VPN. Those are optimized for speed and performance, so you should prioritize those over standard servers.

To learn more, check our guide that explains how VPNs reduce ping in games, giving you valuable tips on interacting with your VPN during gaming sessions.

Is a VPN Good for Gaming?

Yes, a VPN can be quite good for gaming - based on your goals. If you want to secure your Web connection and minimize latency, a VPN comes as a powerful ally.

With that said, know that you shouldn't use just about any VPN. Very few of them are useful for gaming, as they don't come with optimized servers. So, if you're not careful (or picky) enough, you could end up with a VPN that makes your gaming session less enjoyable.

As mentioned earlier, go for a VPN with plenty of servers and protocols. Also, we recommend using a VPN that lets you fine-tune its settings and parameters, letting you achieve low ping values while encrypting your Web traffic.

Tip

You might want to pick a VPN based on your favorite game(s). With that said, we offer guides to the best VPNs for Battlelands Royale, Heroes Stike, ScarFall, Ring of Elysium, Roobet, Warframe, and Apex Legends.

What a Gaming VPN Doesn't Do?

A gaming VPN doesn't really help you if you're into cheating. It can protect your IP, but you'll always be exposed to a possible ban if you're caught.

Then, speaking of what a VPN does not do, they don't protect you from malware (they provide the base layer of protection, though), stop cookies from identifying you (unless you delete that type of data), and they don't keep you 100% anonymous online (but they make it much harder to someone to track your whereabouts).

What Should a Gaming VPN Have?

There are several factors to consider when choosing a gaming VPN. Let's talk about the most important things to keep in mind.

  • Speed & Performance: Make sure to know what kind of performance to expect before buying a VPN subscription. Want to find out which is the fastest VPN service right now? Read our comprehensive comparison and overview of the fastest VPN services.
  • Plenty of Server Locations: When you are looking to play a game earlier than its release in your country, pay attention to where the servers of a VPN service are located. Top-quality VPN services have their servers all around the globe.
  • High-End Encryption & Security: Not many gamers seem concerned about this, but a VPN provides DDoS protection during online gameplay. You should consider other security benefits, including a secure private network for LAN games.
  • Support for Routers: If you play games on an Xbox or PlayStation console, know that you'll need a VPN that runs on routers. That's the only way to extend your VPN connection to your game console, as they don't support VPNs natively. So, ensure that your chosen VPN can run on a router by using dedicated firmware or via manual configuration.
  • Customer Support: Finally, you won't want a VPN messing up your gaming session. So, if something unexpected happens, you'll be happy to have access to a customer support team that's available 24/7. Any reputable VPN will also offer live chat via its website.

How to Use a VPN for Gaming?

Getting started with a gaming VPN is quite easy, especially once you make up your mind and get a VPN subscription. From there on, it's all smooth sailing.

In short, once you get your subscription, you'll need to set up your VPN on any device you use for gaming. When it comes to desktop operating systems (Windows, macOS, Linux) and mobile operating systems (iOS, Android), they offer native VPN apps. So, install your VPN app, log in, and connect to a server.

If you want to cover your game console as well (like an Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo console), you can install a VPN on a router or extend your connection from your computer (by turning it into a virtual router).

Of course, you'll need more detailed instructions, which is precisely what you'll find in our guide on how to use a VPN for gaming.

What's the Best VPN Protocol to Use for Playing Games?

At the moment, the best VPN protocols to use when gaming are IKEv2/IPSec, L2TP/IPsec, WireGuard, and OpenVPN.

In general, IKEv2, IPsec, and L2TP are secure-enough protocols that help you maintain your Web connection's performance (without any fine-tuning). Then, we have WireGuard, which is still a new protocol and works amazingly well in most cases. However, because it's still new and used by default by many VPNs, its performance can vary.

And then, OpenVPN is the protocol of choice for many VPNs because it's incredibly secure. As such, it's not the fastest option out there unless you're willing to dive into your VPN's settings.

Tip

We highly recommend taking your time to learn more about VPN protocols. Use the provided link and read our overviews of protocols such as PPTP, SSTP, L2TP, IKEv2, OpenVPN, and WireGuard.

Can I Use a Free VPN for Gaming?

Sadly, no - because free VPNs simply aren't suitable for any bandwidth-intensive activities, such as gaming.

There's a small group of free VPNs that bring unlimited bandwidth. However, all of them limit your access to their servers, which are typically overcrowded. That translates to severe speed, latency, and ping limitations. That's why we recommend free VPNs only to those who need them for quick Web browsing sessions.

If you insist on trying a free VPN for gaming, we can help (but keep in mind our advice from just above). With that said, here are the best free VPN services for gaming.

In The End - Which Is the Best VPN for Gaming?

The best gaming-friendly VPN right now is ExpressVPN - which we recommend to a broad range of users. That's the only VPN that checks all the right boxes.

Of course, based on your specific needs, you have more options. For example, NordVPN seems suitable for more advanced users (especially those who prioritize privacy over gaming). And then, there's CyberGhost VPN, which brings specialized servers for gaming on Windows PCs.

Finally, you've reached the end of our guide to the best VPN for gaming in 2022. If you have any questions for us, make sure to post your comment below. And also, thank you for reading!

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