Gaming and Esports are booming day by day. People from every country are joining the squad to play multiplayer online games, thanks to the internet. But the internet is not only for gaming as many people are waiting to snatch your data. On the flip side, there are sites using geo-location in order to show the user the relevant version of the website, which you can see either if you are in the relevant location or by using VPN.
These days VPN providers are also coming with some bold claims about many reasons why you should use a VPN connection while gaming, and today we are going to mostly focus on those.
What is a VPN?
If you are not familiar with the phrase VPN, it stands for Virtual Private Network. In short, it is used to make a safe and private connection for your computer or smartphone to the game you are playing or the site you want to access. People other than you cannot get a hand to the information you are accessing as everything is being encrypted. Many good VPN service providers waiting for your attention, but keep in mind most of the time they are not free.
VPN for Gaming
Most of the time if you are only planning to play games on your hardware, VPN is not necessary, but as mentioned earlier, sometimes it can give you an upper hand. Let us focus on those situations.
1. Access Exclusive Content
Games from Xbox and PlayStation has some content specifically for certain regions. These platforms check your IP, and therefore your geo-location and only permit you to access contents available in your country. If you use a VPN and connect to servers from other regions, you might be able to access content and items available there.
2. Early Access
Nowadays most games launch for a certain region at first and then expand to other countries. If you are not lucky enough, it might take a long time for the game to reach your location and most of the gamers are not ready to wait. If you use a VPN to connect to the location where that game is available you will have early access and enjoy the game before your friends.
3. Short Route to the Server
New games come with a few servers as at first, they need to understand how many people are interested in the game and from which region the most request is coming. With that information, they expand their servers. If you do not have a server nearby you will get a huge ping and will not be able to play multiplayer games with ease. Certain times a VPN connection might solve the problem by rerouting your connection path.
4. Protection Against DDoS Attack
Esports tournaments are held in most popular countries every year and a few players have already seen Distributed Denial of Service attacks (DDoS). In the big tournaments like DOTA2 Internationals or CS: GO Majors these things are unlikely to happen. But if you are joining small tournaments online, a VPN service can save your system.
5. Gaming While Abroad
Just like you can access geo-restricted games using a VPN you can also play games in your home server while you are in any other region. Normally you would connect to the nearest server of the game. So if you want to play with your friends, or need to communicate in your language, this is the only way. You already know communication is the key to win multiplayer games.
6. Play Multiplayer Games
There are some ISPs which blocks peer-to-peer connection and that includes multiplayer games. There are certain times when a VPN connection can solve your issue, but that is not guaranteed.
7. LAN Gaming
Most older multiplayer titles have the option to play with your friends in your local area network (LAN) but if you are away that is not possible. There are some solutions which use VPN, like Hamachi that create a virtual local network to let you play together. But you and all of your friends playing together need to install the software.
8. ISP Throttle Solution
There are situations when ISPs might throttle your connection depending on your bandwidth usage. There is a fine chance that using a VPN can solve the problem.
VPN: Necessary for Gaming?
There are always two sides to the story. You can see all the points I have mentioned here all not that much normal. I mean, developers start supporting most of the region from the day of game launch. There is a major chance that you are in the green zone and even if not, the ping should not be higher than 100, and multiplayer games are still playable with this amount if ping if it is stable.
On the other hand, if you are not allowed to access some items or content of a specific game there is some reason behind it. None of the developers wants fewer consumers, of course. In that case, it is better to wait for official support. There are many past examples of getting banned for using a VPN.
On the note of DDoS attacks, it has a low occurrence in esports or gaming in general. Most of the organizers have a sharp eye about what is going on in their LAN or online lobby.
Also, most of your gaming session is going to take place in your place, so LAN connection or server should not be a problem at all.
Lastly finding a VPN service for the game you want to play is a hustle. Because the performance of them will vary depending on your location and ISP. If the VPN you want to use does not have a server near you, your ping will be high and unstable, rendering games unplayable. So you have to manually try all the VPN service you want may want to use in-game. Checking that is a huge issue, as you already know how frustrating it is for you or your teammates if anyone is unable to play at their peak for network issues.
After reading through all of the pro and cons of using a VPN for gaming, I hope now you can take your decision about when you need to use a VPN and when not to for gaming. But one thing is for sure while accessing the internet on private networks, you should use a VPN service to protect your information.