Can VPN cause lag to other players? What causes high ping?

Vlad Constantinescu
by Vlad Constantinescu
VPN Expert & Privacy Advocate
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  • VPNs are more than often used to improve gaming sessions (ping reduction, look it up), but can using a VPN cause lag to other players?
  • It's a well-known fact that a player's high-latency will be most likely shared with other players who are active in the same session.
  • Check out the best VPNs to improve in-game ping.
  • Visit the Gaming Hub page to discover more awesome guides, reviews, and tips & tricks.
Can VPN cause other players to lag?

VPNs are more than often used to improve gaming sessions (ping reduction, look it up), but can using a VPN cause lag to other players?

If you’re not a selfish VPN user who doesn’t care about anyone else’s needs and you’ve ever considered this scenario, we’re going to debunk this mystery for you once and for all.

What causes high ping?

First thing’s first, we’ve casually mentioned that you can use a VPN if you encounter high ping. And we’re going to explain how it works right away.

Generally speaking, the farther a game server is from your current location, the higher the ping you’ll get. Low-quality servers will make you experience even more severe latency values.

However, high ping can also be caused by a series of factors that don’t have anything to do with the game you’re about to play.

For instance, your ISP might throttle your bandwidth, which in turn slows down your connection speed and has a negative impact on your in-game ping.

Another similar factor is network congestion. If the network you’re on is heavily congested, you will receive a high ping whenever you’ll try to play your favorite game.

Can VPN improve high ping?

Luckily for you, a VPN can solve every issue we’ve mentioned above. If the game server is in another country, just connect to a VPN server that’s as close as possible to it. This could also improve matchmaking.

If your ISP’s bandwidth throttling is the culprit, VPN can also solve it. A VPN can bypass your default connection, routing your traffic through non-restricted servers, thus letting your connection breathe for a while, away from the ISP’s tight grip.

Last, but not least, network congestion. We’ve covered this topic extensively, but we’ll say it again. VPN can bypass your overcrowded network and reduce the harmful effects of network congestion.

Can VPN cause other players to lag?

With that in mind, we’ve heard some rumors that using a VPN while playing a game can cause other players to lag. It’s worth mentioning that in online games, every player influences on others.

Therefore, if a player has high latency (or lag), other players might experience the same issue, regardless of whether the one who lags has a VPN or not.

But given that VPN is actually used to reduce lag, it’s highly possible that the VPN isn’t actually the problem and what’s making everyone else lag.

VPN causing lag in Mobile Legends

We’ve stumbled upon a peculiar case of VPN causing lag to other players, but only with a specific game: Mobile Legends. Although, it seems that it’s not the VPN causing the lag.

In Mobile Legends, a user can invite other players to join a game. Upon their acceptance, the matchmaking process starts. Note that this only applies if you’re playing the game with your friends (i.e. in a party).

Note that using a VPN while playing Mobile Legends might help bypass long waiting times in queues.

If you’re connected to a VPN server that’s in another country while making the invites, you and the rest of your crew will be most likely queued for that specific country’s server.

For you, it’s no problem since you’re already virtually there (switching locations). However, your party members might lag, since they’re most likely playing on a foreign server without any VPN-assisted routing.

But, as we’ve previously said, the problem isn’t likely caused by VPN usage. Poor matchmaking and possibly queueing with players from other countries is probably what’s causing lag issues in this specific scenario.

More likely, the other players‘ connections might be poor, or their ISP might be throttling their bandwidth. These are both more plausible explanations.

VPN can’t increase the latency of other players

Well, we’re pretty confident that using a VPN can’t cause lag to other players. Not a significant amount, that is. It’s a known fact that one player’s high latency can affect the other players‘ lag.

However, using a VPN has been proven to reduce ping. Therefore, it would make sense to say that VPN can actually stabilize the connection. More so, it could help other users have lower latency.

In fact, most of the time lag is caused by improper server management, network congestion, ISP throttling, or low-speed/low-quality Internet connections.

FAQ: Learn more about VPN causing lag

  • Can other players make you lag?

Yes, if for instance, one player suffers from severe lag, the game server attempts to make all players experience the same thing. A good VPN can take care of that, but only if the one with severe lag issues uses it.

  • Can VPN reduce lag?

Yes, it’s been widely discussed and agreed that using a VPN can improve your in-game ping.

  • Can VPN reduce packet loss?

If your ISP caused your packet loss by means of limiting your bandwidth or not managing the infrastructure properly, you can use a VPN to reduce packet loss.