We may commonly associate virtual private networks with matters of privacy and accessing geo-locked content online, but their uses extend way beyond accessing work emails in a coffee shop or watching a movie that hasn’t yet been released locally. VPNs offer many advantages in the world of mobile gaming that can help players to boost their performance and security by those all-important fine margins.
This can be pretty pertinent when playing things like battle royale games like Call of Duty: Warzone or PUBG, where even the slightest element of lag can undermine your actions and give your opponents an unfair advantage.
If you regularly experience lag on your normal network, VPNs can help to reduce the ping rate in your games to enable a more responsive experience.
Because VPNs work by encrypting and rerouting your data, they typically make your internet speeds a little slower – but if you can pick a VPN server that’s located closer to your friends or opponents, you’re likely to experience better speeds. However, not all VPN providers offer access to high-quality servers, so it’s best to choose one that’s been optimized for gaming.
As the data above shows, VPN access by mobile device is quickly catching up to its desktop-based counterparts. With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at the ways in which virtual private networks can enhance the mobile gaming experience:
Creating a Responsive Gaming Experience that Suits You
In the case of Call of Duty: Warzone, players generally believe that SBMM (skill-based matchmaking) systems are in place to match players against similarly skilled competitors.
Although this has been denied by developers, there’s a developing consensus that the game was built in a way where the quality of opposition improves as player stats improve. The reason for this belief is the inordinate amount of times where elite players find themselves up against other elite players and successful hackers in matches.
However, matchmaking isn’t simply based on skill. The location of players and the time of day can also be factors. This means that by using a VPN alongside your mobile gaming experience, you can virtually alter your location to find the level of opponents you want every time you play – at any time of day. This requires a little research and an understanding of region-based skill levels, but it can help to improve your gaming experience by offering more freedom to find the right opponents for you.
Another perk of playing with a mobile VPN is that you can use it to evade network throttling. This occurs when your ISP slows down high-bandwidth users like streamers, torrenters and gamers by monitoring what they’re doing online. However, a VPN can mask these activities – leaving your ISP unable to work out whether they should slow you down.
Secure Your Private Data in Games
Although you may not feel the urge to protect your privacy when you’re gaming on your mobile, you may also be surprised at the amount of personal data that can be linked to your gaming account. Data like your name, email address, home address and potentially even your credit card numbers can be vulnerable to being hacked by someone with bad intentions.
If you enjoy gaming on the go by tapping into public WiFi spaces, you may find yourself especially vulnerable like in a coffee shop, a hotel, or in a public space. While public WiFi networks can be great ways to get you online for free in some places, they’re often unencrypted which makes it easier for third parties to spy on your activities and snatch your information.
By tapping into a VPN you can encrypt your online activity, giving you peace of mind that your personal information will remain private at all times. However, it’s important to do your homework on which virtual private networks offer the best level of security, because low-cost ones may be less effective at encrypting your information.
Access Geo-Locked Games
We may readily associate VPNs with a great way of accessing content like new films on an international version of Netflix, or TV shows via an overseas television network, but these encrypted connections can also be used to access video games that may not be available in your country.
One popular example of this can be found in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. The title became the most popular mobile game in India, with over 50 million monthly active users across the country before getting banned in 2020 over its links to China. However, after the game was outlawed, PUBG still amassed over 19 million monthly users across 2021 due to games working to bypass the ban through VPN tools that could send them to servers in regions where the app wasn’t banned.
By adopting VPNs, you can gain the ability to access and play games that wouldn’t otherwise be available in your geographic region – a great perk for avid gamers who can’t wait for nation-specific release dates or those who have found the perfect game that’s only been released in Asia.
Essentially virtual private networks are capable of much more than users often believe. They make for an efficient, convenient and – above all – safe addition to the mobile gaming experience. If you’re partial to playing video game apps on your smartphone, it may well be worth adopting a VPN to give you peace of mind and level up your gaming experience.