This article will show you how to use NordVPN for Gaming on your PC, Xbox and PlayStation. We will also explain how to easily set it up on your computer and consoles, and why you should use a VPN in the first place.
Are you a gamer looking for a way to enhance your gaming experience? Maybe you found that some games you wish to play are geo-restricted. Or, you are looking for a way to access bot lobbies in titles like Warzone and Modern Warfare 3, so that you can experience them casually.
You can do all of this by using NordVPN for gaming. This is a premium VPN that will let you unblock regionally locked games. It will also ramp up your security, protecting you from DDoS attacks, and keeping your sensitive data private.
While VPNs are not technically available on consoles, we will show you a few workarounds, so that you can experience the benefits of using NordVPN on your Xbox and PlayStation consoles as well.
Let’s delve into the world of gaming with NordVPN.
Key points for using NordVPN for gaming
- NordVPN provides secure and reliable gaming with its advanced security features, and optimized and fast server connections.
- To get the best deal on NordVPN, use this 67% off coupon.
- You can easily set it up on computers, smartphones, and consoles, making it perfect for users who want to elevate their gaming experience.
- Using NordVPN can improve performance by decreasing ping and latency and protecting you against DDoS attacks while gaming on public Wi-Fi networks.
What does a VPN do?
A VPN allows you to change your IP address by connecting you to one of its servers anywhere in the world. This connection is also encrypted, meaning that hackers and other third parties aren’t able to access your outgoing data. This will neutralize all DDoS attacks while also preventing your ISP and the government from tracking you.
Once you are connected, all sorts of benefits from using a VPN will become apparent.
Why use NordVPN for gaming?
Imagine you’re in the middle of an important match. Your team is depending on you, and suddenly, your game starts to lag. Or worse, you’re hit by a DDoS attack and your game crashes. Frustrating, isn’t it? Here are all the ways in which NordVPN can help in this and similar situations:
- Stay Safe While Playing – With its advanced AES 256 encryption, NordVPN will prevent DDoS attacks and keep you safe from hackers even while gaming on public Wi-Fi networks. Its Threat Protection tool will block all ads and malware, while its kill switch will prevent your data from leaking even in worst-case scenarios.
- Improve Your Speed – Your Internet service provider (ISP) may be slowing down your connection when gaming. This can have a noticeable effect on your performance, which can, in turn, take all the fun out of playing CoD with your friends. NordVPN will protect you from bandwidth throttling, reducing lag and enhancing your gaming experience (the best no lag VPN).
- Unlock Restricted Games – Plenty of gaming titles are unavailable in certain regions. For example, PUBG was banned in India for quite some time. Since NordVPN has 6,000+ servers worldwide, you can easily connect to another country where these limits don’t exist.
- Unlimited Bandwidth – Download and play as many games as you want without worrying about reaching bandwidth limits.
- Available on Multiple Devices – NordVPN is available on computers, smartphones, and similar platforms. By installing it on your router, you can also use it on your Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4/5.
- Powerful Smart DNS Feature – In case your router doesn’t support NordVPN, you can use Smart DNS to access some geo-restricted games. Keep in mind that this is not an encrypted connection, so you may still be vulnerable to DDoS attacks.
- Many Simultaneous Connections – This VPN can hold 6 connections at the same time, allowing you to protect multiple devices in your home network.
- Remain Private & Anonymous – This is a no-logs VPN with RAM-only servers, so nobody will be able to track your online activities. By connecting to one of its obfuscated servers, your ISP won’t know that you’re even using it.
- Affordable Pricing – NordVPN strikes a solid balance between price and quality, and you would be hard-pressed to find a VPN with better features for a lower price.
- Money-back Guarantee – This VPN offers a 30-day refund guarantee, so you can reclaim your money if it doesn’t meet your expectations.
How to start gaming with NordVPN
Now, let’s jump into tutorials on how to set up a NordVPN. Since this process varies from platform to platform, we will do a guide for each major platform.
1. Setting up NordVPN on PC
Configuring NordVPN on your PC for gaming necessitates the selection of a server location near you or the gaming server you aim to connect to. This way, you’re likely to have a secure and smooth gaming performance. Also, NordVPN can decrease your ping during multiplayer games.
Setting up NordVPN on a computer is very straightforward. All you need to do is follow these five steps:
- Subscribe to and download NordVPN (use our 67% off coupon).
- Follow the wizard to install it on your PC.
- Start NordVPN and log in with your username and password.
- Connect to a VPN server in a country of your choice.
If you’re unsure which server to choose, use the Quick Connect button, which automatically picks an optimal server based on your location and network conditions, including internet connection speed.
- Use NordVPN for gaming on your computer.
2. Using NordVPN on PlayStation 4
You can quickly start gaming with NordVPN on PlayStation consoles by using its Smart DNS tool.
Note: Smart DNS will mask your location but won’t provide you with encryption and further secure your connection. To do that, you will have to install a VPN on your router and connect to it via WiFi or ethernet cable. More on that a bit later.
- Find out your IPv4 address by visiting this website.
- Log in to NordVPN and go to your dashboard
- Under SmartDNS click Enable > Activate SmartDNS
- Start your PS4/PS5 and visit Settings > Network > Set up Internet Connection.
- For PS4, select Custom and pick if you want to use a LAN or Wi-Fi connection. We highly recommend a cable connection as it is faster and more reliable.
- Choose Automatic for your IP address settings and Do Not Specify under DCHP Host Name.
- Manually set up your DNS Settings.
For Primary DNS, enter the value you’ve received from NordVPN’s SmartDNS. Do the same for Secondary DNS.
3. NordVPN for Gaming on PlayStation 5
- Repeat the first four steps of the PS4 guide.
- Click on your connection and visit Advanced Settings > DNS Settings > Manual.
- Enter the same Smart DNS values for your Primary DNS and your Secondary DNS.
- Start playing geo-restricted games!
Remember, SmartDNS is useful for accessing unavailable games, but since it doesn’t encrypt your data we wouldn’t use it if our goal was to remain private. We’ll mention an alternative method a bit later.
4. Gaming with VPN on Xbox
To use NordVPN for gaming on your Xbox Series X/S or Xbox One, you will have to create a virtual router on your computer. Don’t worry, this isn’t as complicated as it sounds.
- Log in to your NordVPN app on your computer.
- Connect to a VPN server you wish to use for gaming.
- Use an ethernet cable to connect Xbox to your PC.
- On your computer, visit Control Panel and open View network status and tasks under the Network and Internet tab.
- Locate your NordVPN connection, right-click on it, and select Properties.
- Under Sharing, enable the box that says Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection.
- In the Home Networking Connection window, pick Xbox’s ethernet.
- Open Settings on your Xbox Series X/S and select Test Network Connection to pair it with NordVPN.
- Use your virtual router to play geo-restricted games on your Xbox console.
If you are looking for alternatives to NordVPN, take a look at our guide on the best VPNs for Xbox.
5. Gaming on Smartphones (Android and iOS)
Many gamers use NordVPN on iOS or Android games like Pokemon Go. Since you can easily hop from server to server, it’s a perfect tool to help you catch exotic Pokemon. Setting up NordVPN on all smartphones is very similar, you’ll just have to follow these 3 steps:
- Download the NordVPN app from your Apple App or Google Play Store.
- Start NordVPN and register or log in with your user credentials.
Make sure to allow the app to create a VPN connection.
- Connect to a VPN server of your choice.
For the most performance, use IKEv2 protocol. If speed is what you are after, choose NordLynx.
How to set up NordVPN for Gaming on your Router
If you like to play games on multiple consoles, computers, or even smartphone devices, consider installing NordVPN directly on a router. This way, you can use a VPN connection instead of SmartDNS, which will also make you private. Not to mention that it’s much more convenient, as you won’t have to manually set it up on each device separately.
Note: NordVPN can only be installed on routers compatible with OpenVPN protocol. Here’s a list of recommended routers you can use. For more alternatives, take a look at our article on the best VPN routers.
- Check if your router supports NordVPN.
To do this, just enter the model name in the search bar on the NordVPNs tutorial page.
- Find your router IP address
It’s usually written on a sticker at the back of your router. If it is missing, simply google “control panel IP address for *insert router model*.
- Open the router’s Control Panel.
Simply paste your router’s IP address into your browser.
- Configure your Router.
This step will heavily depend on the type of router you use. Make sure to visit the tutorial page to find specific instructions for your model.
- Connect Xbox to your computer
- Start gaming with NordVPN on your Xbox Series X/S
Note: In case you get stuck, we advise you to contact NordVPNs customer support, which is available 24/7 through live chat.
How to Improve your Gaming with NordVPN
If you are into competitive gaming, just subscribing to NordVPN may not be enough. Here are a few things you should do to optimize NordVPN for gaming:
- Use NordLynx Protocol – This is NordVPNs unique implementation of WireGuard. It offers low ping and latency, blazing speeds, better security, and instant server connection, which makes it perfect for gaming.
- Connect to Close VPN Servers – They will provide you with the best ping, top speed, and most reliable connection. It’s a good idea to do a quick speed test before jumping into a game. It may save you frustration and a few unnecessary deaths due to high latency. Do this every time you hop onto a new server.
- Use a Wired Connection – Forget Wi-Fi and get that ol’ ethernet cable from your drawer. It will provide you with a much stabler and faster connection, which is crucial if you are a competitive gamer.
- Improve your Security – Make sure that important safety features, like kill switch and various leak protection tools, are always enabled to shield yourself from potential threats.
- Disable Unnecessary Applications – Some background applications may use a lot of bandwidth which can affect your in-game performance.
- Ignore Obfuscated Servers – Unless you live under an oppressive regime enabling obfuscation isn’t ideal for gaming. In fact, it will actually slow down your connection. The same is true of Onion-Over-VPN servers.
- Keep NordVPN Up to Date – NordVPN is frequently rolling out updates that can optimize your connection to servers. Make sure that you always have the latest version of the client.
Potential issues with using NordVPN for gaming
Even when using a top-tier VPN, you might encounter occasional issues.
- Slow Connection – Latency and high ping may be frustrating, but they are also generally easy to solve. Start by switching servers and perform a speed test before jumping into the game. In case that doesn’t work, you can switch to another protocol or restart your app. If you are gaming with NordVPN on a console, make sure to only use a wired connection.
- Can’t Change my Location – If your IP remains the same while you’re connected to a new VPN server, something is off. Disable all unnecessary background apps that may be revealing your identity, such as μTorrent. If you use NordVPN for browsing the Web, make sure to clear your cache and cookies. Here’s how to do it on Firefox, Chrome, and Edge.
- NordVPN isn’t Connecting – The most common culprit in this scenario is your firewall. To test this, temporarily disable your firewall or create an exception for NordVPN. For Windows users, you can access it by going to Start > Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Defender Firewall.
Note: We don’t recommend turning your firewall for a longer period of time due to security issues.
If these steps didn’t resolve your problem, reach out to NordVPN customer support. Luckily, it is available 24/7 via live chat.
Alternative gaming VPNs
Though NordVPN is an excellent choice for gaming, there are other VPNs you may want to consider. Here’s a quick summary of the best VPNs for gaming you will find on the market. All of them have router support, so you can use them on your consoles as well.
1. Surfshark – Affordable Gaming VPN
Surfshark is a powerful gaming no-logs VPN that is perfect for people on a budget. This VPN has 3,200 servers in 100 countries and uses WireGuard protocol to provide the fast speeds needed for gaming. It also uses AES-256 encryption and advanced security methods to prevent cyberattacks. Surfshark can hold unlimited simultaneous connections and has Smart DNS, so you can use it on Xbox and PlayStation consoles if your router isn’t supported.
Get a better picture of the service in our Surfshark VPN Review
ExpressVPN is another reliable VPN with a no-logs policy and high-end AES encryption. It has 3,000+ servers in 105 countries, making it easy to access bot lobbies worldwide. ExpressVPN uses Lightway protocol, which is a bit slower but still suitable for gaming. SmartDNS is also available, and there are specialized ExpressVPN routers you can buy to make the whole setup really convenient.
Find out more in this ExpressVPN Review.
IPVanish is a high end no-logs VPN app with AES 256 encryption and strong cross-platform support. It has 2,000 servers in 50+ countries. It uses WireGuard and provides some of the fastest speeds we’ve seen yet. This VPN also has unlimited simultaneous connections, so you can pair all devices that you own. It comes with one drawback though – it is based in the US which raises privacy concerns.
Visit our IPVanish VPN Review for more info.
Since everyone has different needs, picking out the best VPN for gaming is not an exact science. Feel free to try out multiple services and see which one resonates with you.
Conclusion on using NordVPN for gaming
NordVPN is a top-notch choice for gaming, offering benefits such as DDoS protection, improved ping, and complete privacy. It easily bypasses geo-restrictions, letting you play limited early access games and join bot lobbies in different countries, making it an ideal VPN for Warzone.
Its powerful cross-platform support, extensive server network, and advanced protocols will give you an edge even during competitive matches. Better yet, you can use it on consoles, which are naturally incompatible with VPNs.
Other relevant links:
- Best VPN Services
- Best VPNs for Call of Duty
- Best VPN for Android
- Best VPN for iPhone & iOS
- Best VPN for Streaming
NordVPN for Gaming FAQ
Which NordVPN protocol is best for gaming?
NordLynx is the best VPN protocol for gaming due to its blazing-fast speeds, low ping and latency, and high-end security.
How do you use NordVPN for gaming?
To use NordVPN for gaming, install the app on your device, open it, and connect to a server near you for improved speed and full access to geo-restricted games.
If you want to use it on a gaming console, either install NordVPN on your router or use its SmartDNS feature.
Does a VPN slow down gaming?
A VPN can slow down your gaming if you connect to a remote or congested VPN server. Expect an increase in latency and speed reduction, which affects your ability to download and play games. Don’t use a free VPN for gaming as they come with bandwidth limits and subpar server networks.
Does NordVPN work for gaming?
NordVPN is the perfect choice for gaming as it offers some of the fastest speeds, with over 6,000+ servers in 60 countries to pick from. It also provides excellent security and privacy features, as well as fast connection speeds to guarantee smooth gameplay.
How does NordVPN protect against DDoS attacks during gaming?
NordVPN masks your real IP address and reroutes DDoS attack traffic to its server, allowing gamers to stay secure against such threats.
Can I use free VPNs for gaming?
While possible, we wouldn’t recommend it. Free VPNs have far fewer servers and their speeds are much slower than premium alternatives. These services also come with bandwidth limits, and it’s easy to spend your monthly limit just in a few gaming sessions.
The “NordVPN for Gaming” article was last edited on February 5, 2024.