Is VPN Necessary While Playing Online Games?

Written by smoothie

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A Virtual Private Network has provided so many benefits for majority of the online population, especially when it comes to privacy and security. However, as technologies evolve, so are the needs of every individual. For example, initially, a VPN is only used to enhance the security of an individual online. But with the growing number of streaming services and its viewers, they started using VPNs to bypass georestrictions and enjoy more content – and that’s just the beginning of it.

Now, many gamers are asking, is VPN necessary while playing online games? There are several factors in play when deciding whether a VPN is necessary for online gaming or not, and one of those is your internet service provider. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you find the right answer for this. Let’s start!

Can You Play Online Games with a VPN?

Definitely! You can play online games with a VPN. The thing is, just because you can, does it mean you should? While technically possible, using a VPN for online gaming introduces a layer of complexity that requires careful consideration. On the plus side, a VPN encrypts your data, which enhances your privacy and security when connected to public Wi-Fi networks. This is crucial, as public Wi-Fi can be breeding grounds for hackers looking to steal information or confidential data (e.g., mobile banking details, credit card numbers, account info, etc.).

However, the convenience of a VPN comes with potential drawbacks. The biggest concern for gamers is the possibility of increased latency, also known as ping. A high ping means lags or delays that can ruin your entire gameplay. Since latency is a crucial aspect of online gaming, many opt to turn off their VPNs while gaming.

Does Using VPN Slow Down Your Internet Connection while Gaming?

VPNs are notorious for slowing down internet speed regardless of the activity you’re doing. Even though you have the best internet provider, some VPNs can significantly decrease internet speeds. That’s the biggest issue most VPN users face, and it’s normal. A VPN works by adding an extra layer to your internet connection. So, instead of the data traveling to the game server directly, it will need to go through the VPN server first. This adds distance and increases the possibility of traffic congestion if the server is overloaded.

Considerations Before Using a VPN while Playing Online Games

To answer the question, no, a VPN is not necessary while playing online games. However, there are certain considerations you must keep in mind when choosing between using a VPN or not while playing online games.

  1. Do you have an existing VPN subscription or are you planning to buy one for this specific reason?

If you have an existing subscription, whether you use it for security reasons, streaming TV and movies, or any other reason, it’s worth giving a try. There are certain internet connections and games that are sensitive with latency, so it can affect your gameplay and ruin your experience if you lag too much. So you must also consider that factor.  But if you’re planning to subscribe to a VPN software just for gaming, we’d say think twice and consider all the factors before making a decision.

  1. What are the types of games you play?

For those who primarily enjoy single-player experiences or less demanding online titles like turn-based strategy or puzzle games, it might not make a big difference to your internet connection or your overall gameplay. However, if you play fast-paced online games like FPS or MOBAs, the potential increased latency can significantly affect your gameplay.

  1. Do you often play online games using public networks?

Public Wi-Fi hotspots are very unsafe. They lack the encryption measures found on private networks, which then makes it easier for hackers to intercept your data. This could be very risky for online gaming, where you might be transmitting login credentials, payment information, or even voice chat conversations. A VPN encrypts your internet traffic by scrambling your data and making it unreadable to anyone trying to eavesdrop on a public network. While it can’t 100% guarantee protection, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you have another layer of protection online.

Wrapping Up

VPNs have always been very useful for many individuals who spend most of their time online. However, with gaming, it’s not something that we’d call a “necessity” but more of a personal preference. If you want to guarantee your safety even at the expense of slowing down your connection while gaming, then go ahead. There’s nothing wrong with it. Plus, not all VPNs significantly slow down the internet speed, so if you’re ever considering of using one for gaming, look for a gaming VPN instead. Good luck!