Fortnite is an epic ‘battle royale’ style player-versus-player shooter game which has taken the world by storm, counting celebrities such as Drake and Travis Scott among its legion of fans. There are an estimated 40 million players of Fortnite around the world and it has had an impact on mainstream media as well as the gaming community at large. Whether you prefer single player, team mode, or the thrilling 100-player, last-man-standing free-for-all, there is no doubting that Fortnite is hugely addictive and compelling.
But for many players it has also proved hugely frustrating too. Fortnite has some strict terms and conditions and seems to be very liberal in their interpretation of these. Players deemed in breach of these have their IP address blocked and are barred from playing the game again. While some of these blocks are legitimate, many players vigorously dispute the reasons given, with cheating the most contentious of these. To date, Fortnite’s developers are yet to adequately deal with these concerns, leaving users having to find a solution for themselves. A VPN is the most obvious way around these IP blocks and this is just one of a number of reasons why more and more Fortnite players are choosing to play the game with a VPN. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about using a VPN with Fortnite as well as recommending our pick of the best VPNs to do the job.
- 1 Best VPNs for Fortnite
- 2 How to use a VPN with Fortnite
- 3 Why do I need a VPN for Fortnite?
- 4 Other reasons to use a VPN when playing Fortnite
- 5 Conclusion
Best VPNs for Fortnite
While there are a lot of reasons to use a VPN with Fortnite, the decision over which provider to opt for is a tricky one. The main criteria you need to apply when choosing a VPN to use when playing Fortnite are:
- Fast Connection Speeds – online gaming requires fast and consistent internet connection speeds. Not all VPNs cannot deliver that, so it is important to choose one that can.
- No bandwidth restrictions – Online gaming is very data intensive, so Fortnite players need a VPN with no bandwidth restrictions, allowing them to play as much as they want.
- Size of server network – the more international servers a provider offers, the easier it is to play Fortnite around the world.
- Encryption strength and security – Strong encryption is important to keep Fortnite players safe and secure when playing the game, especially if you are evading an IP block.
- Effectiveness of privacy policies – to help keep your online activity safe from prying eyes from either hackers or the Fortnite developers.
Having identified these criteria, we set about looking at all the main VPN providers on the market right now to see which ones could tick all of these boxes. There were just a few that we felt offered users the necessary qualities to suit Fortnite players. So, here is a rundown of our recommended VPNs for Fortnite players:
ExpressVPN specialises in super-fast connection speeds which are perfect for online gaming. These are also consistent and reliable and are delivered across their entire network of servers, which currently numbers more than 1,500 servers in 94 countries around the world.
Their security and privacy protections are also excellent too. Encryption matches anything IPVanish offers, while being based in the British Virgin Islands means that ExpressVPN take advantage of their excellent local privacy laws to offer a truly trustworthy no activity or connection logs guarantee. There are no bandwidth restrictions for ExpressVPN users either, and they also have a great range of apps for most devices.
IPVanish‘s reputation is built on its super-strong encryption provisions, with both their L2TP and OpenVPN protocols employing 256-bit encryption as standard. They also uses shared IP addresses, which brings an extra level of security and privacy–a feature which not all VPNs can offer. Rest easier with an automatic kill switch to help guarantee no data leaks should your VPN connection drop out. Crucially, IPVanish keeps absolutely no user logs. This means Fortnite players can be sure they are safe from possible reprisals from Fortnite developers, as well as other security threats, if they use IPVanish to evade an IP block.
IPVanish’s connection speeds are lightning-fast and importantly, consistent across their entire server network. That server network is a sizable one, too, with more than 950 servers in 60+ countries around the world available to all subscribers. This means you will be able to log in and play Fortnite from just about anywhere. There are no bandwidth restrictions for any subscribers, so if you really are addicted to Fortnite there is no stopping you playing as much as you like.
NordVPN is one of the most cost-effective VPN provider around, and it ticks all the boxes for Fortnite users. There was a time when NordVPN had a reputation for being a bit slow and we would probably not have recommended them for online gaming. But they have made huge recent investment in upgrading much of their network to super-fast servers and their speeds are now as fast and consistent as all their main rivals.
That server network is a big one too, with a whopping 1779 servers available in 61 countries globally. This means you will be able to play Fortnite from just about anywhere. NordVPN’s security provisions are pretty robust as well, with 256-bit encryption on OpenVPN connections as standard and the usual features such as a kill switch and shared IP addresses available too. NordVPN also an impressive range of additional security features too, such as a Double VPN server option, which reroutes your internet data via two servers for extra protection and Onion over VPN servers, which pushes your traffic through the TOR Network as well as a VPN for additional security. There are no restrictions on bandwidth either, which means NordVPN is another perfect VPN for Fortnite players.
VyprVPN is the cheapest VPN we recommend for Fortnite users, so if price is a factor for you they are definitely one provider worth considering. Low prices don’t mean you have to compromise on quality though and VyprVPN’s service is still on a par with many of its rivals. They also offer 256-bit AES encryption used as standard, and if you want pay up for their premium package, there is even a unique extra-secure Chameleon protocol you can take advantage of. The VyprVPN no logs guarantee is a sound one and they also have a built-in kill switch as standard too.
The VyprVPN server network consists of more than 700 servers which is more than big enough for Fortnite players. And while their connection speeds do not quite live up to those of the other providers on this list, we have never encountered any issues when playing Fortnite through VyprVPN. With a great range of apps for all devices and no restrictions on bandwidth for even basic package subscribers, VyprVPN are definitely another VPN worth consideration for Fortnite players.
How to use a VPN with Fortnite
If you want to use a VPN to protect yourself when playing Fortnite, or if you need to use a VPN to get around an IP block from Fortnite’s developers, the process to do so is a pretty straightforward one. It will vary slightly depending on which VPN provider you choose, but broadly speaking, all VPNs work the same way. We understand that some Fortnite players will be new to VPNs, so to help you get back playing as fast as possible, here is a short guide to help you get back playing the game as quickly as possible:
- Sign up with one of the VPN service providers we have recommended in this article.
- Next, go to the apps section of their website and download and install the VPN app to the device want to play Fortnite on. They offer dedicated apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and Apple devices, and many more.
- Open the VPN app and sign in using the VPN account details you were given earlier.
- In the IPVanish app, connect to any of the listed VPN servers. For optimal speeds, we suggest using the server closest to your actual location.
- Now launch Fortnite on your device. It should open as usual and you are ready to play.
Why do I need a VPN for Fortnite?
There are a number of different reasons why you may need to use a VPN to play Fortnite. One of the most common issues which we have been approached about is the dreaded Fortnite error pop-up message. This pop-up window can appear at any time during game-play and means that your session has ended. There is no way that we are aware of the get your session back and, for many users, it can mean the end of their Fortnite playing altogether.
The pop-up window is entitled ‘A Problem Occurred’ and it states that “You were removed from the match due to your IP, VPN, machine, or cheating. We recommend not utilizing VPN or proxy services while attempting to play Fortnite.” There are a number of reasons why this pop-up window can appear according to the games developers. One is that your internet connection is experiencing an unacceptably high network lag. But a more common reason is that the Fortnite developers have decided to block your IP address because they have decided you are either cheating or otherwise in breach of their terms and conditions.
The Fortnite Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions of Fortnite are complicated, but it is important to understand them in order to understand how a VPN can help you to play Fortnite despite an IP block and without any other interruption to your gameplay. Before playing Fortnite, you will have to agree to the terms of service of the games developer, Epic Games. You can, if you so wish, read these in full here. They state that any player deemed to be playing Fortnite for in a way or for “purpose[s] that [are] illegal or beyond the scope of the Services’ intended use” will be banned. There is no broader explanation of what these ‘purposes’ are, but Epic Games do make clear that have a number of mechanisms they can use to detect breaches.
The terms of service also make clear that Epic Games “has the right to terminate your access to all or part of the Services for any or no reason, including without limitation, any violation of these Terms.” They do this by blocking a users IP address, but they are under no obligation to tell users why they have done so. The above error message is all that most users get and there have been numerous cases of players being blocked, yet having no idea why.
We should stress at this point that, despite the wording of the message above, there is actually nothing in the Epic Games terms of service which prohibits the use of VPNs when playing the game. Using a VPN is not against their rules and is not a reason why they should be blocking you from playing Fortnite.
How Epic Games blocks you from playing Fortnite
While Epic Games might keep the means by which they identify whether some is cheating or otherwise breaking their terms of service secret, they are very open about how they go about punishing those they deem have. They identify the IP address of the user in question and then block it from accessing their content. This block can last for a few hours or a few days, but sometimes it is also put in place indefinitely. It is when your IP address has been blocked that you will receive the error message above.
This is when a VPN can help though. When you connect to a VPN, all of your online data is rerouted through one of their servers. When it passes through that server, the data is tagged with the IP address of the server rather than your own. This means that you should be able to access and play Fortnite even if your own IP address is blocked. If it doesn’t work, the most likely reason is that another players has got the VPNs IP address blocked too. If that happens, simply switch to a different server and try again.
Other reasons to use a VPN when playing Fortnite
Latency and lag
Another common problem Fortnite players encounter is decreasing latency and lag. This is the term used to describe the situation when your internet connection slows down so much that you are unable to play the game anymore. This can be a natural occurrence if your internet connection is not up to the job. But quite a few ISPs have been known to slow down the connections of online gamers. This is either because they deem their actions too much of a drain on their system, or because they are throttling all users as is sometimes the case at peak times.
When this happens, a VPN can help. When you use a VPN, your online data is encrypted and then passed through a server before it heads off to the website or service you are using. As a result of this process, your ISP is unable to see either the contents of your web data or its final destination. This means they cannot proactively throttle your connection speeds for playing online games. Some VPNs themselves can slow down your connections, but all of those recommended in this article were deemed to be fast enough in our testing to be fine for games like Fortnite.
Security and accessibility
Another good reason to use a VPN when playing Fortnite is security. Hackers are increasingly targeting online games. This is because online gaming accounts will often contain personal data including credit card details which is a valuable commodity in this day and age. It is also not unknown for disgruntled fellow players to also try and hack other Fortnite players too. But by encrypting all of your data with a VPN, you are ensuring that you are safe and secure when playing Fortnite.
Some keen Fortnite players may find access to the game being blocked for different reasons too. Some locations which offer public Wi-Fi connections may choose to block certain ports which Fortnite and other online games use for security reasons. This is why it isn’t that unusual for gameplay on public Wi-Fi in places like shops and hotels to be unavailable. Also some private networks may choose to restrict access to online games like Fortnite. If you are trying to play in places such as schools, university campuses and workplace you will often find access blocked. But again, by connecting to a VPN, it is possible to circumvent these blocks and play Fortnite as usual.
Many Fortnite players are far from happy about the game developers’ policy of blocking the IP aaddresses of users they deem to be in breach of their terms of service. But if you want to play the game, it is something you have to come to terms with. Fortunately, it is something that can be easily overcome. If you connect to a VPN, you will be able to change your IP address and so play Fortnite even if you have had your IP address blocked. There are a number of other benefits to using a VPN when playing Fortnite too. And as it is expressly not forbidden by the Fortnite developers to use a VPN to play the game, more and more players are, very sensibly, choosing to do so.
Are you a Fortnite player? Have you had your IP address blocked? Have you used a VPN to get around this? How did you find the experience and which VPN provider did you choose? Were there any issues you encountered which our readers should know about? We always welcome the comments and feedback of all our readers, so please do share them with us using the comment box below.