The 5 Best VPNs for Gaming in 2022
If you’re a gamer, you know that a good VPN is essential for online gaming. In this article, we’ll tell you about the 5 best VPN for gaming with all of their features and pricing plans.
Online gaming is not a pastime, but an entire lifestyle now. It is now an industry worth billions of dollars with actual tournaments and championships that give away prizes/awards.
However, the rise in popularity of gaming has also led to problems like geo-restrictions on servers for online playing, speed throttling by ISPs, and DDoS attacks by pesky gamers.
And this is where a VPN comes into the picture. A VPN for gaming can do a lot to improve your online gaming experience.
By encrypting your traffic and re-routing it through a server in another location, you can get around network throttling from your ISP, avoid DDoS attacks, and even get better prices on games in other regions.
Here are 5 best VPNs for Gaming described in detail below, after comparing their price, security features, and performance.
Best VPNs for Gaming: Quick Overview
- ExpressVPN: The Best Gaming VPN | Best Price: $6.67/mo
- NordVPN: Gaming VPN with Consistent Upload Speed | Best Price: $3.99/mo
- Surfshark: The Pocket-Friendly VPN for Gaming | Best Price: $2.49/mo
- CyberGhost: Easy-to-Use VPN for Gaming | Best Price: $2.23/mo
- IPVanish: The Best-Value VPN for Gaming | Best Price: $3.99/mo
Best VPNs for Gaming: In-Depth Analysis
1. ExpressVPN: The Overall Best VPN for Gaming
|Pricing||$6.67/mo on a 1-year plan|
|Servers||3000+ servers in 94+ countries|
The best VPN for PC gaming, ExpressVPN is undoubtedly, one of the premier VPN services in the market for all purposes. So it’s no surprise that its performance was simply superb when we conducted its speed tests.
The ping rate is just under 10 ms which is perhaps, the best ping rate a gamer can hope for while using a VPN.
The user will experience minimal lag and no more latency issues and the download speed of ExpressVPN averaged 552 Mbps which is blazing fast.
ExpressVPN further offers 3000+ servers in 94+ countries to allow gamers to unblock all gaming titles on websites like Steam. The speeds don’t get bogged down when you turn this VPN on for gaming.
You can have 5 simultaneous connections with a single ExpressVPN account from which you can cover your laptop, tablet, mobile phone, and 2 more devices at the same time.
The provider uses military-grade AES-256 encryption to secure your data and allows you to bypass speed throttling attempts by your ISP quite easily, even on iOS and Android devices for mobile gaming.
Other features of ExpressVPN include Network Lock (kill switch), a split tunneling tool, MediaStreamer, DNS & IP leak protection, 24/7 live chat support, Lightway protocol, and a dedicated app for routers.
If you want to get an ExpressVPN subscription then it currently offers 3 plans. A monthly plan that costs $12.95, a 6-month plan that costs $9.99/mo., and a 1-year plan that costs $6.67/mo.
All the plans require an upfront payment and they’re all covered with the 30-day money-back guarantee offer. Also, you can test ExpressVPN by utilizing its 7-day free trial for iOS and Android.
- Great speeds for online gaming.
- Covers 94 countries.
- Multi-logins on 5 devices.
- Netflix and Torrenting Support.
- AES-256-GCM Encryption.
- ExpressVPN trial (Risk-free for 7 and 30 days).
- Plans are highly priced
Want to read more before taking a final decision? Re-direct yourself to this full 2022 review of ExpressVPN!
2. NordVPN: Gaming VPN with Consistent Upload Speed
|Pricing||$3.99/mo on a 2-year plan|
|Servers||5600+ servers in 60+ countries|
NordVPN is fast – really fast – and that too with a consistent download and upload speeds.
It offers a large pool of 5600+ servers in 60+ countries! So you’ll never have to worry about lagging again.
NordVPN also employs some of the best security features out there, so you can be sure your connection is always safe.
It is headquartered in Panama, a country with no data retention laws, and also, it falls out of the jurisdiction of the 5, 9, and 14 Eyes Alliance.
With a global download speed of 498 Mbps, NordVPN gives a remarkable ping of just under 10 ms. So you’ll be playing all your multiplayer games lag-free and without any surprise jerks!
On the streaming front, NordVPN servers can unblock all the major platforms. Whether it be Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, or BBC iPlayer, NordVPN can easily run your movies and TV shows without any buffering issues.
NordVPN offers 3 plans currently. There is a monthly plan that costs $11.99, a 1-year plan that costs $4.99/mo., and a 2-year plan that costs $3.99/mo.
Additionally, NordVPN offers 24/7 live chat support so don’t hesitate to contact them if you get stuck with anything technical.
- Large pool of servers.
- Dedicated IP address.
- Multi-logins on 6 devices.
- Allows torrenting.
- AES-256-bit Encryption.
- Strict no-logs policy (audited).
- No app for routers.
Want to read more before taking a final decision? Re-direct yourself to this full 2022 review of NordVPN!
3. Surfshark: The Pocket-Friendly VPN for Gaming
|Pricing||$2.49/mo on a 2-year plan|
|Servers||3200+ servers in 65+ countries|
The BVI-based provider is one of the few providers that offers a pocket-friendly plan of $2.49/mo on a 2-year plan.
Surfshark exists as one of the best options for gaming, due to the factor of affordability, combined with all the incentives of a premium VPN service.
It offers users access to 3200+ servers in 65+ countries worldwide, each of which delivers great speeds with minor losses.
The average download speed is near 476 Mbps which is good enough for any online gamer. The ping rate we achieved was a fantastic 6 ms, which is my dream ping to game with.
Not to mention, Surfshark is a DDoS protection VPN that offers strong military-grade AES-256-GCM encryption.
Best part of all: There are no limits on simultaneous connections. This means you can cover as many devices as you want by downloading the VPN app on each device.
For mobile gamers, I tested the VPN’s performance on iOS and Android devices for gaming and it worked perfectly. Just make sure to change the protocol from IKEv2 to OpenVPN (UDP) as they’re the best VPN protocol for gaming.
Other Surfshark features that come in handy are a kill switch tool, CleanWeb, Bypasser, split tunneling, and Smart DNS.
Other than the best 2-year deal, Surfshark offers 2 more plans including a monthly plan that costs $12.95 and a 1-year plan that costs $3.99/mo.
- Servers in 65+ countries.
- WebRTC/DNS/IP leak protection.
- Unlimited Multilogins.
- Multiple payment options.
- Headquartered in BVI.
- Limited servers for P2P.
Want to read more before taking a final decision? Re-direct yourself to this full 2022 review of Surfshark!
4. CyberGhost: Easy-to-Use VPN for Gaming
|Pricing||$2.23/mo on a 1-year plan|
|Servers||6000+ servers in 88 countries|
CyberGhost is another excellent choice for gamers. It’s easy to use and has a great interface that makes it perfect for first-time VPN users. It is deadly secure and is considered the fastest VPN for gaming.
That can be proved by the fact that CyberGhost, while testing achieved an average download speed of 388 Mbps with a ping rate ranging between 6 – 10 ms.
The Romanian-based VPN has a massive count of 6000+ servers in 88 countries.
CyberGhost currently offers 3 plans including a monthly plan that costs $12.99, a 6-month plan that costs $7.99/mo., and a 1-year plan that costs $2.23/mo with 6 free months.
The amazing thing about CyberGhost is that it offers the longest money-back guarantee offer of 45 days, excluding the monthly plan, which has a 14-day money-back guarantee offer. Also, CyberGhost has 24/7 live chat support so you can your queries anytime.
You’ll be able to use 7 devices simultaneously with a single CyberGhost account and it offers a dedicated app for all the widely-used devices including Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android.
CyberGhost offers a unique feature called Smart Rules, which starts your VPN when a particular app is launched. It also helps you connect to a server according to your activity needs.
Other handy features by CyberGhost include a kill switch, split tunneling, ad blocking, DNS IP leak protection, and P2P sharing.
Additionally, CyberGhost servers are optimized enough to work on your favorite streaming platforms including Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and more.
- Servers in 88+ countries.
- WebRTC/DNS/IP leak protection.
- 7 Multilogins.
- Smart Rules feature.
- Torrenting allowed.
- No independent audit yet.
Want to read more before taking a final decision? Re-direct yourself to this full 2022 review of CyberGhost!
5. IPVanish: The Best-Value VPN for Gaming
|Pricing||$3.99/mo on a 1-year plan|
|Servers||2000+ servers in 75 countries|
IPVanish offers lots of great features in a cheap pricing plan. If you’re looking for a VPN that’s been specifically designed for gaming, look no further than IPVanish.
It’s one of the few providers that owns and operates its entire network of servers, so you can be sure you’re getting the best possible speeds. And with over 40,000 shared IPs, it’s nearly impossible for anyone to track your activity.
IPVanish is a US-based VPN service that comes inside the jurisdiction of the 14 Eyes Alliance but it has a strict no-logs policy that has been audited by an independent third party.
The provider offers 3 plans including a monthly plan that costs $10.99, a quarterly (3-month) plan that costs $4.44/mo., and a yearly plan that costs $3.99/mo.
Upon testing the IPVanish servers for gaming, we got a ping rate ranging between 5 – 10 ms and a download speed of 362 Mbps.
It offers a total count of 2000+ servers in 75 countries so you can easily find a server to improve your latency, escape DDoS attacks, or beat dynamic pricing on games.
IPVanish imposes no limits on simultaneous connections. So you can easily cover all the devices of your household by downloading the VPN app on each device.
And did you know that you’ll get 250 GB of storage absolutely free if you purchase the best subscription plan offered by IPVanish? This will allow you to store your sensitive data or files.
More IPVanish features include a kill switch, SOCKS5 proxy, and split tunneling. Also, they offer 24/7 customer support so do not hesitate to contact them with your queries.
- Servers in 75+ locations.
- SOCKS5 proxy.
- Unlimited Multilogins.
- Shared IP addresses.
- Split tunneling.
- Lack of optimized servers.
Want to read more before taking a final decision? Re-direct yourself to this full 2022 review of IPVanish!
How I Tested the Best VPN for Gaming?
To come up with the 5 recommendations listed above, I cross-checked 180+ providers on a number of highly critical and important factors, which include:
No gamer would like their connection speeds to go down significantly, as it would affect the performance of the game. Now, when you connect to a VPN, your speeds generally do reduce.
Of course, if your ISP indulges in bandwidth throttling, then you can see a raise in speeds after VPN connectivity. Nevertheless, the VPNs I listed above have been carefully selected on the basis of minimal speed loss.
Whether it is for unblocking geo-restricted servers during online gaming or getting the best speeds, the number of servers provided by a VPN provider are critically important for gaming.
This is why I have only added those providers in my recommended lists that have a server count of above 700+ with names like Express and Nord even touching the 3,000 and 5,000+ server mark.
Not everyone plays a game on the same console or OS. Some like playing games on desktops like Mac, Windows, and Linux, while others prefer on their smartphones like Android or iOS.
Each VPN listed above does offer amazing cross-platform functionality. You have native apps available for all desktop OS and smartphone devices too to ensure you always stay protected.
Security and Encryption
The industry standard for encryption is AES-256. Anything below that range is just unacceptable, as you will easily be vulnerable to the prying eyes of cybercriminals, copyright infringement agencies, or the government.
Rest assured, the recommendations on the best gaming VPN above do meet the industry standards with names like ExpressVPN and Surfshark even going the extra mile offering: the AES-256-GCM cipher.
People Also Ask
How does a VPN provide DDoS protection?
When you use a VPN, your internet traffic routes through an encrypted pathway to an external server, hiding your IP address. This in turn protects you from being a target of a DDoS attack.
What is the best free VPN for gaming?
I do not recommend using free VPNs for gaming, as they do more harm than good in trying to pay for the costs of managing a service via ad-based revenue models and other risky propositions.
Is a VPN better for gaming?
In addition to protection from DDoS and DPI attacks, VPNs offer a number of benefits to gamers like reduced ping in Dota, Minecraft, LoL, World of Warcraft and other MMO games.
Will a VPN affect gaming?
A VPN can have both: positive and negative impacts on your gaming, depending on the provider you sign up with. However, If your ISP throttles speed, you will notice an improvement, as VPNs keep your identity hidden.
Does a VPN slow down gaming?
The added encryption of VPNs does slow down your speeds, but if you choose a premium service like NordVPN, Surfshark, and ExpressVPN, you will experience minimal speed loss.
Does a VPN improve ping?
In circumstances, your ISP throttles your bandwidth and you use a VPN, you will notice an improvement in the overall speeds and ping. However, this depends on the provider you sign up with too.
What is the best VPN protocol for gaming?
PPTP and L2TP do offer the fastest speeds, but if you want utmost protection then it would be wise to opt for the OpenVPN UDP protocol, as it offers great speeds combined with excellent security.
What is the best VPN for gaming on Reddit?
VPNs for gaming are a popular discussion on the hit user-review website Reddit. Although the options may vary on different posts, most reviews indicate that Nord, Express, and Surfshark are quite reliable.
Can you unblock gaming servers with a VPN?
Most gaming servers ban players by blacklisting the IP, not the username. By changing your IP address and shifting your location, VPNs help unblock gaming servers, particularly if you use dedicated IPs.
How do I use a VPN for games?
- Sign up for a VPN service, like Surfshark
- Download and launch the app on the relevant platform
- Select a location based on the gaming server you want to unblock
- Hit the connect button to enjoy reduced latency and a faster connection.
How to lower your ping in online games?
There are a number of steps gamers can take for improving the speeds they receive and lowering the ping for online gaming. Some useful ones also available in detail at WikiHow include:
- Ditch the Wi-Fi and get a cable connection
- Close background websites and programs
- Reduce users connected to the Wi-Fi router
- Use local servers for maximum speeds
- If speeds are still slow, replace your router
What is the best router for gaming?
For the purpose of unblocking gaming servers and protection against DDoS and DPI attacks, the experts at Flash Routers make available some useful VPN routers. Conversely, for gaming, try these options:
- Asus RT-AC86U
- TP-Link Archer C5400 v2
- Netgear Nighthawk XR500
- TP-Link Archer C5400X
- Zyxel Armor Z2 AC2600
- Asus RT-AC5300
- D-link DIR-885L
- Asus RT-AC88U
Wrapping Things Up
This best VPN for gaming guide was an exercise towards explaining the ways through which gamers can receive DDoS protection, indulge in safe online gaming, and unblocking of gaming servers.
If you face any issues or need to give better recommendations, feel free to comment below. Also, do share the guide with friends and family members, who are looking for suitable gaming VPNs.