Last month, we’ve discussed about the top reasons why gamers need VPNs. However, it just occurred to me, and from personal experience as well, that some game developers out there might frown upon seeing VPN IP discrepancies, and for good reason in some cases.
I’ve once read a joke about VPN usage in games, namely that logging into an online game behind a VPN is like walking into a bank with a ski mask on, despite not having any bad intentions.
Why VPNs tend to have a bad reputation in games
While of course, not all VPN users are prone to breaking rules, in some popular games, such as World of Warcraft, Overwatch, League of Legends, and such, VPNs are sometimes used in order to boost players, as part of the account sharing process.
Ironically, the reason for which VPNs are being used for such purposes is to avoid being caught. For instance, if a player from USA wants to purchase a PvP rating boost, and if the seller is from France, the latter would need to connect on the buyer’s account from an USA VPN IP, otherwise he’d get flagged almost instantly.
Furthermore, there are dozens of other bad reasons for which some players are using VPNs, from selling items, gold, powerleveling, skill rating boosts to even using third party software (bots), in order to either gather materials or level up other characters, and claiming someone hacked their account (due to the VPN IP discrepancy) upon getting banned.
With that in mind, it’s hard to blame companies such as Blizzard or Riot for squinting their eyes upon seeing players behind VPNs.
Now, while playing legitimately behind a VPN will not get you banned by any actual Game Master or Admin, there are chances the anti-cheating system could flag you based on some actions and automatically ban you.
For instance, certain actions, such as trading gold to a low level character in WoW while connected to a VPN, can get you automatically banned, or at the very least, would lock your account in order to verify your identity.
How to Prevent Getting Banned for Using a VPN
Say you want to have better ping while playing on a different WoW realm, or simply want to play Overwatch on East or West Coast Regardless of the reason, as long as you play legitimately, you should be able to log in anytime and from anywhere, VPNs included.
Problem is that false positives happen, especially if certain actions are triggered, even without breaking any rules, so here’s how to avoid getting banned for using a VPN!
1. Make sure to use a private VPN!
Using a public or free proxy VPN will almost certainly get you in trouble, because, let’s face it, it’s most likely the go-to option for those that want to just do something bad in-game as well.
Because of this, I recommend using a Dedicated IP plan. With it, you’ll have your very own personal IP to which you can connect to play your favorite online games safely, or stream movies from Netflix, Hulu and so on.
Now, that we have this covered, there’s only one more thing to ensure of before actually being completely safe while playing behind a VPN.
2. Confirm with the Game’s Support that your VPN is whitelisted
Although this isn’t mandatory per se, it’s highly recommended that you contact either Blizzard, Riot or the Support of whatever game you’d like to play behind a VPN, to let them know that you’ll use a dedicated and private IP as of now, and to ask them that they put a note on your account in the event something happens, and a different Support agent will handle the issue.
This, of course, won’t guarantee that a false positive won’t take place, but it will give you a huge advantage upon contacting them to explain what happened and show them the proof that it was actually you using that VPN, as it was noted on your account prior to the ban.
For this, a dedicated IP is preferred, but if that’s out of your reach, any dynamic one should be okay, as long as it’s private and paid for.
This should be more than enough to secure your “alibi”, so to speak, in case somehow you end up automatically banned for using a VPN and playing legitimately.
However, if by some extreme bad luck you end up in trouble for it, and the Support refuses to help you, make sure to get in touch with the guys from Unbanster, which provide unban services for different games, and can help you out.
All in all, whether you just want to watch your favorite Netflix show while fishing in WoW, reduce your Overwatch ping (especially when playing hitscan heroes), or enjoy League of Legends on any server with better latency, all while ensuring you won’t get in trouble for using a VPN, the above mentioned steps should put your mind at ease.