How to fix high ping with VPN for gaming (9 easy solutions)

by Elena Constantinescu
Elena Constantinescu
Elena Constantinescu
VPN Expert & Privacy Advocate
Elena started writing professionally in 2010 and hasn't stopped exploring the tech world since. With a firm grasp of software reviewing and content editing, she is always trying... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • A lot of gamers use VPNs to fix lag and latency issues. However, they end up getting high ping with VPN, even higher than without using a VPN in the first place.
  • We listed 9 easy solutions to help you fix these unfortunate high ping scenarios so that you can get back to enjoying your game as quickly as possible.
  • To find out how else you can improve your gameplay with a VPN, join our Gaming VPN section.
  • Check out our VPN Troubleshooting Hub to fix other VPN-related issues.
fix high ping with VPN

If you’re playing an action-packed game where every millisecond counts, such as a tactical shooter like Valorant or a battle royale like Fortnite or PUBG, then you need the smallest possible ping.

Otherwise, you end up losing matches just because your ping is too high. That’s why a lot of users get a VPN to improve their ping.

However, in some cases, you might get a high ping with VPN.

Here’s how you can:

Best VPNs we recommend

  1. Private Internet Access - Access content across the globe at the highest speed rate.
  2. NordVPN - Secure multiple devices and enjoy stable connections anywhere.
  3. SurfShark - Price convenient VPN service with all-rounded security features.
  4. CyberGhost - Connect to thousands of servers for persistent seamless browsing.
  5. ExpressVPN - Browse the web from multiple devices with increased security protocols.

Does VPN cause high ping?

Yes, a VPN may cause high ping if it’s not used properly.

That’s precisely the issue we’re trying to tackle in this article, especially when considering that you can not only bypass firewalls and unblock games but also improve your ping with a VPN.

Ideally, your ping should be between 60ms-100ms. So that’s the range you should keep an eye on when using a VPN for gaming.

How can I fix high ping with a VPN?

1. Avoid using free VPN

We know how tempting it is to use free VPN apps, especially on mobile since the Play Store and App Store are overcrowded with freebies. But we can’t stress enough how dangerous free apps are, particularly free VPNs.

Besides leaving the door open for malware attacks through ads, free VPNs rarely reduce high ping. That’s because they have few servers and everyone uses them, leading to network congestion.

On top of that, you risk exposing your network traffic to the free VPN provider, which collects and sells it to the highest bidder.

Instead, a premium VPN is worth the money, as long as it comes with a zero-logging policy.

2. Connect to an optimal VPN server

It’s critical to determine the game server and then connect to the same location through your paid VPN service. Otherwise, you might end up with a higher ping than without using a VPN.

It’s generally a good idea to play in the same region as your current location. In that case, you just have to pick the VPN server recommended by the VPN provider since they usually auto-select the nearest server.

However, that’s not possible for some gamers. In that scenario, you can lower your ping when playing in other regions by simply connecting to a VPN server in that region.

If you’re still not getting satisfactory results, explore different VPN servers.

3. Change your DNS servers

All the best VPNs for gaming have exclusive DNS servers. Make sure your computer, smartphone, or tablet uses the proprietary DNS servers of the VPN service before you connect to a VPN server and launch your game.

However, if this option doesn’t exist in your virtual private network app, then you can set up custom DNS servers on your device. We suggest opting for Google Public DNS, Cloudflare, or OpenDNS.

4. Change the VPN protocol

The VPN protocol is responsible for the level of encryption. Generally, higher encryption means a worse connection speed. But that’s not the case of VPNs that support modern protocols.

Open the settings panel of your VPN and select OpenVPN UDP. On the other hand, if your virtual private network solution supports the newer WireGuard protocol, use it instead since it’s faster.

Private Internet Access and Surfshark support WireGuard, while NordVPN created its own protocol based on WireGuard, called NordLynx.

5. Disable the proxy

A lot of VPN solutions come with built-in proxy settings, such as Shadowsocks or SOCKS5.

If you previously used this option, you should know that connecting to a second location increases the encryption overhead, which leads to high ping with VPN.

As such, you should check your VPN settings and disable the proxy. Similarly, turn off any proxy tools running on your computer and check Windows to make sure it doesn’t connect to a proxy.

6. Turn off other tools and set up split tunneling

If your entire network traffic is routed through the VPN server, this could result in high ping with VPN. Consider how many other applications run in the background while you’re playing.

If those tools need active Internet connections, such as a web browser, torrenting client, or streaming app, they could take up your entire bandwidth, especially when encrypting data over a VPN.

What you need to do is disable all these applications and set up split tunneling mode. Although you can manually do this, it’s much easier to use a VPN with built-in support for split tunneling, such as Private Internet Access.

7. Enable or disable obfuscation mode

If your ISP can detect VPN traffic, it might throttle your bandwidth. That translates to a poorer connection speed and high ping with VPN.

But you can hide the fact that you’re using VPN and make your traffic look like HTTPS by using obfuscation mode.

There are currently few VPN services that support obfuscated servers, such as NordVPN or Surfshark.

On the other hand, if you previously connected to obfuscated servers for another activity on the web but forgot to turn it off, this could also be the reason why your in-game ping is higher.

8. Use a better VPN

The high ping problem might not be caused by the VPN settings, your computer, your game, or the quality of your Internet connection.

It might simply be the VPN service itself, which isn’t built to handle VPN traffic.

There are a lot of VPN services we like for gaming, such as Private Internet Access and Surfshark. You can also reduce ping with NordVPN. However, if we had to choose, we would go with PIA.

Made by Kape Technologies, Private Internet Access meets all the requirements we listed above, except for the obfuscation feature.

PIA supports +15,700 servers in 74 countries, exclusive DNS, WireGuard, split tunneling, and a zero-logging policy. Plus, it’s compatible with all major platforms, including Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, Linux, and even routers.

More about PIA:

  • 10 simultaneous connections
  • No IP, DNS or WebRTC leaks
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • No free trial
Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access

Eliminate high ping and enhance your gaming experience with this tried-and-tested VPN.

Check price
Visit website

9. Use a GPN

A GPN is a type of software that works similarly to a VPN. The most significant difference is that a GPN is optimized for gaming traffic.

That means you can’t use it for anything other than gaming, such as torrenting, streaming, or secure browsing. On top of that, GPNs usually support fewer platforms.

Kill Ping is a noteworthy GPN that you can check out if you’re interested in fixing high ping with VPN. However, it’s only available for Windows.

Kill Ping

Kill Ping

Turn to this GPN to fix in-game ping and lag issues, instead of using a VPN.

Check price
Visit website

To conclude, you should be able to fix your high ping issues with VPN by using the 9 solutions we provided above.

And, if you can think of anything else that we haven’t already covered, make sure to leave us a comment in the section below.

Your connection is not secure - websites you visit can find out your details:

  • Your IP
  • Your IP Address:

Companies can sell this information, alongside your location and internet provider name, and profit from it by serving targeted ads or monitoring your data usage.

Use a VPN to protect your privacy and secure your connection.

We recommend Private Internet Access, a VPN with a no-log policy, open source code, ad blocking and much more; now 79% off.

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