If you are even a little bit familiar with the latest online gaming trends then you’ve surely come across the name PUBG. Brendan Greene’s last-one-standing multiplayer shooter took the world by storm, garnering an insanely high player base from around the world, which has only been beaten by the game’s rival, Fortnite. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is available on desktop, all major consoles and even on mobile too. However, this accessibility is hindered by regional restrictions in certain countries – especially in China and Russia – which forces battle royale fans to deploy a VPN. As it turns out, PUBG should come pre-packaged with a virtual private network because such a service not only adds to the gameplay experience but can even solve issues with launching the game.
Why Use a VPN With PUBG?
There are several reasons why the notion of masking your IP could help while playing the game. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is played across the globe, but the largest percent of the user base comes from America, Russia, and China. Unfortunately, the governments of the latter two are actively restricting people’s access to PUBG. Russia is in a feud with Telegram and Amazon, which is very inconvenient for the game’s players considering that its servers are rented from Amazon. When a Russian gamer tries to connect to a game on a blocked server, they’ll simply be stuck on the loading page while their unmanned character stands in the open as an easy target for others.
The situation is a bit different in China. The country that gave birth to the Great Firewall originally had no issue with the game, in fact half of Steam’s user base – which is no small number – came from China thanks largely to the battle royale game. However, Chinese players have adopted the habit of migrating to western servers because the quality of their local servers is poor, which ends up disrupting the game session for others because of the high lag from their connection. As retaliation for this, western players have started to post anti-propaganda material in the game and on forums to provoke a response from the government, who is now planning to restrict people’s access to the Steam version of the game.
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As these two examples show, countries do have the ability to impede you from playing PUBG. Those who live in Russia or China can only resort to a VPN to continue with their favorite hobby since these tools reroute internet traffic through a foreign server and will therefore disguising your IP to make you appear as a citizen of another country, such as the U.S. or UK.
Errors and Bans With VPN Usage
Brendan Greene and Bluehole – the studio behind PUBG – is pretty lenient when it comes to their players’ gaming habit. They refuse to region lock people and instead support the idea of joining any server you like. They are similarly free spirited when it comes to using a VPN, or at least they are too busy cracking down on cheaters to deal with the issue of VPN usage. Unfortunately the developers aren’t the only ones who have a say on the matter; Steam has a monopoly on hosting the game on PC and it has a strict anti-VPN policy, so if they catch you then your whole account could be banned.
But what about the mobile platform? The smartphone version of PUBG is quickly gaining momentum because it allows battle royale fans to play on-the-go. Interestingly, using a VPN solves an inherent issue in the app version that prevents people from advancing through the loading screen if they are playing from a country where the game isn’t officially released. The infamous PUBG mobile network error can be bypassed by installing a VPN on your phone and connecting to a server located in a valid country like the U.S.
How to Set up a VPN With PUBG
When dealing with VPNs, the hardest part is choosing the right service because service providers make sure that setting up a secured connection is a piece of cake for every level of technical skill. In most cases you will need to subscribe or create an account in order to download and log into the app. The layout tends to differ with each provider but all of them will prominently feature a server change button, likely on the main menu after signing in. Here you’ll find a list of locations that can be connected to, but for this purpose you’ll want to set the server manually to a suitable location instead of letting the app choose for you.
Another important aspect worth looking into before firing up the game is the protocol type. This determines the strength of the encryption and subsequently the latency that is added to the network speed. Unless the app suggests which the fastest option would be, the best idea is to opt for PPTP or OpenVPN. What you should absolutely avoid, though, is using a proxy. While these might offer the same benefits as a VPN at a lower price, the reality is that proxies lack numerous features that VPNs have, not to mention they won’t protect you from malware and tracking software.
What VPN Features to Look For?
Don’t let the marketing blurb bewilder you, because a VPN must provide a specific set of features in order to be worthy of your purchase. First of all, lightning-fast servers are the bread and butter of any gamer otherwise the added latency from the VPN will make playing any game online unbearable. However, the location variety isn’t hugely important here since you will probably want to connect to a U.S. server, which is available with pretty much every provider anyway.
A competent, well-designed desktop or smartphone app is another important aspect, so be sure to consult screenshots before making a decision. Lastly, be on a lookout for kill switch and split tunneling features. The former protects you from accidentally revealing your true IP should the app stop working, while the latter allows tech-savvy users to specify exactly which traffic goes through the VPN servers, saving you from having to toggle the app on and off between play sessions.
Recommended VPN Services
If you are interested in adding a VPN to your arsenal – whether it be for gaming purposes or for protecting your online privacy – there are some candidates already worth considering, with different strengths catering to whatever particular needs you might have.
Behind this rather profound name you’ll find an excellent VPN service intended for streaming and browsing region-locked content. HideMyAss offers a user-friendly app that boils down the server choice into three options, one of them catering especially to netizens whose internet access is restricted. The service is strong on the mobile front too, as it provides an app for both iOS and Android systems and a single account can be used simultaneously on five different devices. HMA offers all this with attractive monthly fees and even has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
PureVPN is a streaming-focused service hailing from Hong Kong that promises warp-speed connections. It has established more than 500 servers in 141 countries and so there are plenty of options to choose from. What’s more important, though, is that PureVPN has 80,000 shared IPs, which means that if you do happen to get IP banned by the game then you’ll still be able to access it. The main drawing point of the service is how feature rich it is because the app is armed with a kill switch and is capable of split tunneling. On top of all that the service gives a 15-day refund period to test the waters.
StrongVPN is a San Francisco-based company that initially sold computers, so they have a deep understanding on what it is that the PC crowd wants. Its desktop client is very expressive, using a map to pinpoint the available VPN servers and switching seamlessly between locations. StrongVPN deserves a pat on the back for allowing its users to set the protocol to their liking, offering five different ones in total and covering the whole range – from faster connections to extra strong encryption but slower speeds. But best of all is how your internet speed won’t be limited thanks to its unlimited bandwidth.
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