Online gaming offers a great way to connect with people around the world and compete or cooperate with them. Online gaming communities can form all over the world, and long-running groups may end up having people spread throughout the globe. Sometimes players can run into logistical problems when online gaming. Latency makes a big difference in how effective someone is at a game that requires fast responses, such as first-person shooters. If they are a live streamer on Twitch or a similar service, they may have to deal with people trying to disrupt their gaming through various types of cyber attacks. Also, many large-scale games, such as massively multiplayer online role playing games, separate their servers by region and lock people to a certain location. A virtual private network (VPN) can address many common online gaming complaints and offers plenty of value for gamers.
1. DDOS Protection
One of the most common types of cyber attacks in online gaming is called a Distributed Denial of Service attack, or DDOS. This attack method floods a server or the gamer's network with requests from large-scale automated networks. The hackers use compromised devices to make these requests, so they don't get automatically filtered out because they simply appear to be a high volume of legitimate requests. There are a few consequences from a successful DDOS attack.
The gamer may experience high enough latency that their actions are seconds or minutes behind the input. In most cases, the server that they're connected to will time them out and drop them offline, as they would be so lagged out that they're considered inactive. If they're playing in a competitive match, they could lose rankings or tournaments. The frustration that comes from not being able to do anything quickly ruins that game session.
The DDOS attack may be so severe that it causes a crash on the person's system. If the hacker was trying to create an unstable system so they can break into it, this puts the person in a vulnerable position to have data stolen or destroyed.
A VPN for gaming service puts powerful protection in place, as it stops the hacker from finding out the gamer's original IP address. The DDOS attack depends on this address, as it's needed to focus the attacks to a particular computer or network. Plus, when the DDOS attack hits the VPN service provider, they use their enterprise-level filtering solutions to identify this traffic and stop it from going any further. As far as the gamer is concerned, nothing has happened at all.
2. Opens Up International Servers
Large-scale gaming groups often play with each other throughout multiple games. Some have a history going back to the very beginnings of online gaming, so that's a lot of time for people to move to new countries and locations. If everyone wants to continue playing together, but the online game has region locked servers, then those players would be stuck on their home servers.
If they connect to the online game via a VPN, then they can choose a server in their target region.
3. Decreases Ping
Lag is the bane of a gamer, as it disrupts their ability to send commands to the game server. If they're connecting to a server that's far away from their location, they could run into a high ping that makes it difficult to play games. When they route their traffic through the VPN server, they end up eliminating some causes of the latency. This can improve game performance and make it possible to use international servers with less of an issue.
Whether latency impacts game play depends on the type of online game the person is playing. If it's a turn-based game, such as Civilization, then the only real issue with high ping is that it makes turns take longer than they need to. In a first person shooter or a multiplayer online battle arena, such as Team Fortress 2 or League of Legends, not being able to respond in milliseconds can cost someone the match. Since those are competitive games, high ping and lag leads to a lot of issues.
4. Gets Around Game Censorship
Videogames encounter varying levels of censorship around the world. In some countries, the government prevents games from being imported due to content that doesn't meet their acceptable requirements. Particularly violent videogames can sometimes encounter blanket bans from retailers and other sales outlets in these countries. In countries with particularly restrictive laws on the type of speech that's allowed, the government may stop games that show that country's history or unfavorable information about it. Some countries require specific localization to make them acceptable for sale and distribution.
It's frustrating to lose out on a favorite game because it doesn't meet the requirements of the particular region the gamer is in. They may be missing out on a competitive esports scene, or not able to check out the latest games in their favorite genre. The VPN bypasses the content filters that stop the game from connecting to online servers, allowing it to be enjoyed once again.
5. Improve Security
Another way that VPNs improve the online gaming experience is through boosting the security of the gamer. They're able to hide their IP address, which is a piece of information that hackers can use to attack them. It also gives the gamer more privacy, as some people get very upset when they lose games and may try to doxx someone or otherwise get their personal information. The IP address that is presented to the game servers comes from the VPN service, not the gamer, and some service providers even allow users to route their traffic through two or more locations.
After looking through all the benefits that come from using a VPN service alongside online gaming, it's simple to see that this is a must-have accessory for every person. It improves the experience immensely, especially if the player finds a lot of value out of the benefits above.