10 Reasons You Need a VPN for Gaming

Want to stay anonymous, or help your kids stay anonymous while gaming online? Just want that extra layer of privacy? Tired of dealing with laggy or unstable connections? Hey, you deserve all of that, and more. And a VPN can help.

If you’re not familiar with VPNs and what they do, this article will take you through all of the benefits of gaming with a VPN, and explain how VPNs provide these benefits. 

I’ve been a gamer for most of my life, and a VPN aficionado for a few years now, so I’ve compiled most of what I know into this one article. It’s a long one, so grab a coffee or other beverage of your choice, and settle in for quite a bit of information on the topic. 

CyberGhost VPN is specifically designed for gaming, whether you’re playing on our gaming-optimized VPN servers or the regular kind. With 10-Gbps servers in our busiest locations, industry-standard security, and support for consoles, CyberGhost isn’t just a VPN, it’s a great gaming VPN.

What Is a VPN?

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a network that allows you to route all of your internet traffic through it. This has the benefit of allowing you to hide your home IP address, and appear to websites, apps, and games as if you’re in a different location.

But, unlike your usual Local Area Networks (LANs), a VPN can be spread out all over the world, giving you greater access to… anything, including games. Also, it encrypts all traffic between your home and the VPN server of your choice, which creates an extra layer of security for those who value their privacy.

For more information, see the following: What is a VPN?

Should You Use a VPN for Gaming?

The short answer is yes. Online gaming can be a way to meet many new, wonderful friends, but not everyone out there is friendly. The more layers of security you have, the better. Also, a gaming VPN can actually help you get better, faster connections to your games. Better connections make you more likely to win.

10 Reasons You Should Use a VPN for Gaming

1. Protect Your Identity

People have all sorts of reasons for wanting to remain anonymous as they game. Parents, in particular, want to keep their kids’ information from leaking if at all possible, and it’s not always easy.

Games, networks, and consoles can be compromised, and reveal your IP address. And if you have a static IP address, well, that can be traced to your home, and reveal the identities of anyone living there. A VPN masks your IP address by routing all traffic through a VPN server. That way, if anyone finds “your” IP, they actually haven’t found anything of note.

2. Protect Your Data

One of the most important things a VPN does is encrypt all traffic between your gaming device and the VPN server of your choice. This means that no one on your local network – or even your ISP – can see what you’re actually doing. It makes it harder for people to spy on you and steal your data.

This is especially useful if you do any gaming on public Wi-Fi networks. Whether you’re at college, in a coffee shop or airport, or at work, you should always assume someone is watching. Or at least they’re trying to watch you; a VPN makes that very difficult.

3. Avoid DDoS Attacks and Swatting

Using a VPN is a bit like going invisible in Halo: they can’t hit what they can’t see. At least, not without considerable luck. The point is that changing your IP address by routing all your traffic through a VPN server makes it harder for other people to hit you with DDoS attacks and other things of that nature. A good VPN will also have DDoS mitigation, to prevent your game from even slowing down.

This also makes it less likely that someone will find your physical address via your IP, which means they can’t swat you or harass you in other ways at your home. It’s especially good for streamers.

4. Potentially Lower Your Ping

If the universe were just and fair, the signals that go between your home network and your favorite games’ servers would take the fastest route possible. Due to bad traffic routing from your ISP, networks that are too full, and other issues, this doesn’t always happen. 

The universe, it seems, is not fair at all.

Well, a VPN can help to balance it out a little. The better ones will automatically look for the best possible route between your network and the VPN server. So long as you connect to a VPN server that’s close to your game server, you can sometimes actually reduce lag, and lower your ping.

5. Play Games from Other Regions

It seems strange that, in a world that’s so connected, some games are released in some countries but not in others. I’m not even talking about places where certain games are banned. 

And once again, VPNs come to our rescue. The ability to make it look like you’re in a different country means you can access games that wouldn’t normally be available in your own location. Whether it’s Korean MMOs or Japanese-made RPGs, on PC or console, a VPN can help you experience new digital worlds.

6. Play with Friends Who Live Far Away

The beautiful thing about the internet is that you can make friends anywhere in the world. The downside? Physics. The physical distance between countries means that playing with friends can be a choppy, laggy experience. VPNs, as mentioned above, can help with that.

Mind you, even VPNs are subject to the laws of nature, so keep in mind that while a VPN can potentially reduce lag, it won’t be eliminated. The big selling point, in this case, is actually more stable connections. For games that are less twitchy and reflex-oriented, this can be all you need to have a good time.

7. Play Some Games and DLC Early

The international date line and its accompanying time zones are a wonderful thing, especially when new games are coming out. Why? Because some of them come out in some parts of the world before they come out everywhere else.

Heck, sometimes time zones aren’t even the major factor, and the games come out weeks or months earlier in one country or another.

In either case, a VPNs ability to make it look like you’re in another country is exactly what you need. Just connect to the country where the game is already available, and get to playing. Then, brag about it to your friends.

8. Get Around Network Blocks

Want to get in some rounds of League of Legends: Wild Rift on your lunch break at school? Want to battle your coworkers in Counter Strike 2 on a slow day? Don’t want the local network rules getting in your way? Remember how VPNs encrypt all of your traffic, and route it through VPN servers? That’s what’s going to save you, in this case. 

I mentioned that the encryption keeps anyone from seeing what you’re doing on a local network, and that includes network administrators, or even your ISP. Just get your whole squad to install a VPN on their own phones or PCs, and you’re set.

9. Avoid ISP Throttling

Some ISPs will intentionally throttle traffic to game servers and streaming sites, for reasons I don’t even want to understand. This is very sad if you want to play some competitive Apex Legends while binging The Office for the fifteenth time, and frankly, we don’t think your ISP should be able to make those decisions for you.

Once again, the same traffic routing and data encryption that protect your identity and get around network blocks comes to the rescue! Since your ISP can’t see what you’re doing, or the endpoints for your internet traffic, they can’t selectively throttle your internet activity.

10. Avoid Unreasonable or Accidental IP Bans

All in all, I do not recommend ban evasion. Most of the time it’s tacky at best. Even if you don’t agree with the reason for a ban, you should consider that perhaps you and the people who banned you just aren’t compatible. Besides, most games don’t bother with IP bans these days.

But, if you’ve gone and locked yourself out of your own Minecraft server, or if you’ve been playing with some people you like and you want a chance to plead your case, a VPN can help you do that. Frankly, VPNs are one of the reasons why IP bans are basically useless.

The Pros and Cons of Using a VPN for Gaming

Well, I’ve gone on at length about the specific benefits of using a VPN while gaming. It’s time to take a more general overview of those benefits, and compare them to the drawbacks of using a VPN.

    👍 Pro: Greater Security

As mentioned before, VPNs definitely provide a layer of security that can help you (and any child gamers in your house) stay a little safer. Between hiding your IP, encrypting traffic between your network and the VPN server, and DDoS attack protection, VPNs make gaming a fair bit safer than it would be otherwise.

    👍 Pro: Better Connections (Usually)

Between misconfigured ISP routing servers, intervening networks where everyone is trying to watch Netflix at once, and other issues, your signal can get slowed down or delayed. VPNs help to bypass all of that.

    👍 Pro: Greater Anonymity

Sometimes this isn’t even a matter of security, mind you. Sometimes you just want to be someone else for a while, and that’s okay. Really, that’s what video games are for. Also, that’s what VPNs are for.

    👍 Pro: Access to More Games

Whether it’s a game that won’t come out in your country until tomorrow, or one that’s locked to Korea or Japan forever, a VPN can help you get access to experiences you might otherwise miss. It’s one of the biggest selling points of VPNs for gaming, really.

    👎 Con: Some Games Ban VPN Users

Not every game plays nice with VPNs, plain and simple. Whether it’s an attempt at securing their systems, or for some other reason, some game studios will ban people they catch using VPNs. You can technically still do it, but you play at your own risk.

    👎 Con: Using a VPN with Consoles Sometimes Requires Separate Accounts

So using a VPN on a PC is easy. In most cases, you can just connect to the country you want to play in, load up the game, and go. On consoles, it gets trickier. Xbox will allow you to change your account region to play in other parts of the world, but they won’t let you do it often, and you still need a VPN. PlayStation doesn’t let you change your region without making a new account.

Either way, that means playing without the achievements and unlocks you’ve earned on your usual local account.

    👎 Con: Potential Added Latency

VPNs don’t always provide better connections. There are some few times when a VPN can actually slow things down a little. After all, encrypting and decrypting your internet traffic at either end takes a little processing power, and the laws of physics are still a thing.

To help you avoid this, get a good gaming VPN, and make sure you always pick a VPN server close to your game server. Try it again if you experience undue lag.

    👎 Con: It’s Cheap, but It’s Not Free

There are free VPNs, but most of them are terrible. Even the good ones aren’t designed to handle gaming, and other activities that require low latency. For gaming, you need a paid VPN to do it right. Fortunately, CyberGhost VPN isn’t expensive at all, so it’s a small barrier, and one that I think is worth climbing over.

How to Set Up a VPN for Gaming

Setting up a gaming VPN really isn’t that hard, but there are two major ways to do it, depending on how and where you play your games.

On PC and Smartphones

  1. Sign up for CyberGhost VPN.
  2. Download the app for your platform.
  3. Connect to the VPN server of your choice.
  4. Load up your favorite game and play!

On Consoles

Consoles don’t support native VPN apps, so you’ll have to do things a little differently:

  1. Sign up for CyberGhost VPN.
  2. Configure your router to use CyberGhost’s VPN network. You can also use a PC or phone as a virtual router, install the CyberGhost app on it, and connect your console to the internet that way.
  3. Load up your favorite console game and go!

Why CyberGhost Is the Best VPN for Gaming

CyberGhost VPN brings a huge suite of features to the table, and almost all of them will directly improve your gaming sessions in one way or another. First, there’s the worldwide network of VPN servers, designed to handle anything you can throw at them, and get you the best possible connection to almost any game server.

If you like to game on your PC, you can access CyberGhost VPN’s dedicated gaming-optimized servers in New York, London, Frankfurt, and Paris. Game, watch your shows in the background, and do it all without lagging.

We also bring you 256-bit AES encryption, a proven no-logs policy, a kill switch to keep any data from leaking on public networks, and so much more. You can try it all out risk-free with a 45-day money-back guarantee, and ask our 24/7 live customer support for any help you need.


What is the best VPN for gamers?

We’re partial to CyberGhost VPN for many reasons. There’s the ultra-fast network of servers all over the world, to help you get the best connection possible and even potentially reduce lag. There’s also the military-grade encryption, the no-logs policy, the DDoS protection, and the 45-day money-back guarantee. These all add up to a great gaming VPN.

Should I use a VPN when gaming?

It’s almost never a bad idea. Hiding your IP address to protect yourself from attackers, encrypting your internet traffic, and the ability to play games from other countries all make compelling reasons to use a VPN. Plus, you can get around local network blocks on games, avoid throttling, and get smoother connections with friends who are far away.

Is it illegal to use a VPN for gaming?

No, and in rare cases yes. In some countries, it’s illegal to use a VPN altogether. But everywhere else? It’s perfectly legal to use a VPN when gaming. However, just because something is legal, doesn’t mean it’s always allowed by the game you want to play. Be sure to double check the terms of service for your game before using a VPN.

Does a VPN improve your ping when gaming?

Sometimes. It certainly is a potential benefit of using a VPN, but not guaranteed. The simple explanation is that sometimes your signal gets slowed down by bad routing, or congested networks along the way. If this is happening to you, a VPN can actually bypass those issues, as long as you connect to a VPN server that’s close to the game server.

What happens if I don’t use a VPN while I’m gaming?

Well, the sky won’t fall, and chances are you’ll be fine for the most part, if you’re careful. But your experience would almost certainly be better with a VPN. Casual gamers and pros alike swear by the benefits of VPNs, including: the extra security, the better (and sometimes faster) connections, and the promise of greater anonymity.

When shouldn’t I use a VPN?

There are a couple of occasions when a VPN might hurt more than help. If the game you’re playing specifically prohibits the use of VPNs, then consider the consequences of getting caught before you play. There may also be very rare instances where using a VPN significantly increases lag, and it can’t be fixed by trying another VPN server like usual.

Will I get banned from games for using a VPN?

Not usually. Some games specifically prohibit VPNs, and even all of those won’t necessarily ban you if they catch you. Some will, though. But really, most of the people who get banned from most games while using VPNs aren’t banned for that. They get banned for using the VPN to do something shady or cheaty, and their bans are deserved.

Why is my VPN not working when gaming?

There can be some rare technical issues involving VPNs… but usually if a VPN isn’t working with a game, it’s because that specific server has been IP banned. This typically happens when someone gets caught using the VPN to cheat, or evade bans. This affects everyone on the VPN server, sadly, but can usually be fixed by just trying a different server.

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