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The Best VPNs for Counter-Strike 2

Two primary reasons for using VPN services in gaming are the necessity to hide your real location and to break specific limitations. To do this, VPNs, or virtual private networks, provide users with proxy-servers, physically located in various places, and make tracking internet activities quite difficult.

Counter-Strike 2 players may find it beneficial to use a VPN, but still, it’s not a universal recipe for success. You need to understand what advantages these services bring to the table and what the downsides of playing CS2 through VPNs are. Also, it’s crucial to use high-quality networks that already have a reputation on the market.

In this article on DMarket Blog, we highlight everything you need to know about VPNs for CS2 and list the best services.

Important Features of a Gaming VPN

In general, any VPN service can be described as an extra link in your communication with everything on the internet. Usually, the information from your computer and to it comes through your internet service provider (ISP). All activities are clearly visible on their side. With a VPN on, incoming and outgoing data is encrypted—the resources you want to reach on the internet will “see” you located in the physical place of the VPN server, and your ISP will see some encrypted data coming from you to the VPN and from the VPN to you. That’s it, in a nutshell.

The very technology hints at the main disadvantage of gaming with a VPN: an extra link affects the connection speed.

how VPN is working

The primary advantages of playing games with an active VPN are very subjective; they depend on your specific situation:

  • A different geolocation—if you want to play with a more active or just different community;
  • No limitations—when you are prohibited from playing by your organization or even the government.

In the CS2 environment, changing your geolocation may be helpful for avoiding toxicity of your local community. Or you may want to practice a specific style, traditional for a different region. Checking out some of the best Discord servers may give you an idea of where and with whom you can play Counter-Strike.

Breaking limitations may work for a university network, if your parents want to take Counter-Strike away from you, or when your country bans CS2 for its citizens.

In some, very niche case, CS2 VPNs help:

  • Hide your identity—may your opponents/teammates have a reason to track you in the real world? It’s hard to do even without a VPN. And it’s not a likely problem, so no need to be paranoid.
  • Protect from DDoS attacks—which may be necessary for celebrities. Are you known enough for hackers to want to ruin your CS2 playing sessions?
  • Decrease ping—in some very rare situations, adding a VPN server is beneficial for your connection speed and gaming experience. Good services have a better connection to the “outer internet” than your local machine and your ISP. Getting direct packages of data from them may be faster than direct communication. Also, VPN can improve your CS2 ping when your ISP artificially blocks traffic for gaming. But again, such scenarios are rather an exception.

Considering the real advantages a VPN for CS2 has and the disadvantages it (usually) comes with, we can clearly distinguish a few key features that make a VPN service suitable for playing Counter-Strike 2.

  • Many available servers. It’s important to have a server near you and to have a choice of servers in different physical locations.
  • Speed. VPN servers should provide a very good, super speedy connection to your local machine. Only practical experience may prove this.
  • Reliable connection. You don’t want to get disconnected when your team has almost reached a better CS2 Rating.
  • Reasonable price. Free VPNs for CS2 tend to be bad! But you also don’t want to pay too much, right?

Top VPN Choices for Counter-Strike 2

Having explained VPNs for Counter-Strike 2, we can move to a list of the best services, knowing exactly what we need from them.

Proton VPN

Proton VPN

The company behind this VPN is from Switzerland, and it is also known for an encrypted email service, Proton Mail.

Proton VPN has 3,000+ servers in 70+ countries, which is quite enough for CS2 gaming. The speed of connection is pretty good, as the company promises a 10 Gbps server network and an additional option of a VPN Accelerator. The Proton VPN app is compatible with a variety of devices, including Windows and Linux computers. The interface is simple—just turn the VPN on and play Counter-Strike.

Your privacy is nicely protected with Proton VPN. For the purposes of playing CS2, one feature is especially worth noting—Stealth. It effectively hides players from being tracked in countries with high levels of limitations.

The pricing for Proton VPN is 9.99 Euro for a monthly plan. The cheapest offer is 4.99 Euro per month with a two-year subscription plan.

One more thing to note about Proton VPN is its free subscription offer. It may not be the best for gaming, but it works okay, without the usual ads and hidden tracking.

Pros ✔️

  • Excellent speed
  • Good global coverage
  • High privacy protection, including the Stealth feature
  • Convenient app
  • A decent free subscription


  • A relatively high price, with a decent discount coming only with a two-year plan



This service is well-known in the gaming community. The company originates in Lithuania, with offices across the globe. It quite often positions itself as a VPN specifically for playing games. The number of NordVPN servers is really impressive: 6,000+ servers. But the country coverage is slightly smaller than some competitors: 61 countries. This still may be good, depending on your location—more servers near you to play CS2 smoothly. For some regions though, it’s a disadvantage.

The level of privacy with NordVPN is decent. The server covers you for Counter-Strike and far beyond. The Double VPN feature is interesting, offering an extra layer of encryption. NordVPN’s connection speed is one of the best on the market thanks to using the advanced NordLynx protocol.

This VPN service offers a big range of subscription plans, with regular discounts. The Standard subscription is good for CS2, and its pricing starts from $12.00 per month or as cheap as $3.39 per month with a two-year plan.

Pros ✔️

  • The biggest number of servers among VPNs
  • Reliable privacy protection that includes an additional layer of encryption with Double VPN and the Stealth feature
  • The app helps users choose the best server
  • Regular promo discounts
  • Low price for long-term subscriptions


  • Global country coverage could be better
  • The full package comes only with the premium-tier subscription
  • Monthly plans are rather expensive



The company is registered in the British Virgin Islands, and it has the best country coverage: the service has servers in 105 countries.

ExpressVPN offers a set of features included in one subscription (and actually, one app). You will get a password manager (which may be helpful for your safety in the skins trading industry), extra protection from tracking, and an ad blocker. Sure, CS2 players are more interested in the VPN service itself, but it’s nice to have something extra.

ExpressVPN has a special focus on privacy, providing users with advanced encryption. The connection speed is supported by the service’s unique Lightway protocol. The pricing here is not as flexible as with other VPNs: from $12.95 per month to $8.35 per month with a yearly subscription plan.

Pros ✔️

  • Servers in 105 countries
  • High-speed connection thanks to the Lightway protocol
  • Advanced encryption for protecting user data
  • A package of services in addition to the VPN


  • The number of servers is not specified
  • Not all features are needed for playing CS2
  • The prices are high and not flexible

Mullvad VPN

Mullvad VPN

This VPN service from Sweden stands out from the crowd thanks to its strengthened privacy protection. One of the most unique features of Mullvad VPN is the option for users to pay anonymously, with no recurring payments and no personal info needed to open an account.

The number of servers and country coverage is not mindblowing: 650 servers in 40 countries. You should check if Mullvad VPN operates around you. If yes, the speed of this VPN allows users to play Counter-Strike 2 with no problem. It’s a solid, reliable service.

The price is low and simple: 5 Euro per month.

Pros ✔️

  • Super privacy with anonymous payments and no private data for registration
  • Reliable service, regarding speed and data encryption
  • Addition of Mullvad Browser for extra security
  • Low price


  • Rather small country coverage and a small number of servers
  • Necessity to control your payments manually
  • A simple app, without many additional features

Surfshark VPN

Surfshark VPN

This VPN service comes from a Netherlands-based company, and the actual virtual private network comes in a package with other useful features, such as an antivirus, ad blocker, and protection from trackers.

Surfshark VPN has 3,200 servers across 100+ countries.

Your privacy with this service has been strengthened thanks to its Camouflage Mode that hides data even from sneaky internet providers. Reliable encryption, security protocols, and other necessary features to protect your identity online are also here.

An interesting feature of Surfshark VPN is the option to use the service on an unlimited number of devices. How many computers do you play CS2 on? The pricing is based on three tiers of subscription. The basic one, named Surfshark Starter, is quite enough for Counter-Strike. It costs 10.99 Euro per month and can become 2.39 Euro per month with the two-year subscription but only for the first two years.

Pros ✔️

  • Good country coverage with a decent amount of servers
  • A package of features, including an antivirus and protection from trackers
  • Unlimited number of connected devices
  • Intuitive app
  • Low promo price for new users


  • A relatively high price after the promo period

All these services have a very important advantage—they are registered in countries where they are not legally obliged to save users’ data.

Also, every service in our list of the best VPNs for CS2 offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. It’s a great option to check out how they really work for your exact situation.

How to Use a VPN with Counter-Strike 2

There is no need to adapt your VPN client to playing Counter-Strike 2 or basically any other need. You install the application, and it becomes a gateway to a secure, private internet connection. So, here are the steps you need to take to play CS2 with a VPN.

  1. Choose a VPN service.
  2. Install the application.
  3. Adjust settings if necessary. For the purpose of CS2, you may need to choose a specific server, not the one selected automatically.
  4. Turn the VPN connection on.
  5. Launch Steam and start playing CS2.

You will be connected to a game server closest to your VPN location. You may need to test the speed and general performance before diving into actual multiplayer CS2 matches. Maybe playing on one of the [best workshop maps](I’ll add a link later) will be a good and enjoyable test.

Potential Issues and Solutions

In most cases, CS2 runs just fine with a VPN. But in very rare scenarios, players face issues. Here is a list of potential problems and ways to solve them.

  • No internet after connecting to a VPN. This may happen if you try to overcome government or organization restrictions, but they are tech savvy and can block VPN connections. Your solution can be to switch the active server until you find a working one. Also, you may need to change the service and find what works for you. That’s why the 30-day money-back guarantee is so important.
  • Cannot connect to a chosen server. It may be overcrowded or experience temporary issues. Try to connect to a different one manually. If it doesn’t work at all, this VPN company may experience big issues in your location (in specific countries with high restrictions).
  • You connect to a VPN server and generally have internet, but you can’t connect to CS2 servers. You may need to shut down the Steam app before connecting to a VPN, otherwise there may be a desynchronization.
  • You connect to a VPN and the internet, CS2 runs, but the ping is awfully high. You might have chosen an unoptimized server, located too far away from you, one with too deep encryption that slows everything down, or is just weirdly incompatible with the software/hardware of your internet service provider. Choose a server closer to you. Experiment with different VPN companies.

In general, the solution of switching between different servers and VPN services is universal for most of the issues you can encounter while playing CS2. Sometimes updating your VPN app may be all that’s needed.

Safety and Fair Play

One extra thing we just have to mention is how unacceptable it is to abuse VPN features by being a bad person. If you hide behind a remote server and tricky encryption, this doesn’t mean you can have your dark toxicity spread across the community.

Sure, it’s difficult to find you with a VPN active (still possible, mind). But no one will bother looking for an indecent person anyway, you know. Just be a good teammate and opponent whether you hide your identity/location with a VPN or not.

It also can be said about the fair play principles. Yes, a VPN can help you overcome some bans, as it changes your IP. It’s better not to rely on this in the first place. All sorts of cheating are disgusting, and VPNs can’t hide the shame of CS2 cheaters. Better practice various aspects of the game, [improve your movement](I’ll add a link later), and learn maps—fair victories bring much better satisfaction.

It is certainly normal to play CS2 without a VPN. Only specific situations may need one: “teleporting” to other communities, more active or less toxic, and breaking limitations of your country/organization/family.

Still, VPNs have other benefits, such as giving access to content from other regions and hiding your internet activity from other people. Consider these services as a key to various entertainment and an extra layer of privacy. Then, if you still use one, try CS2 VPN—to check if the optimization will be better somehow or to learn from other regions.

Don’t forget that you need to look cool in the game even with a VPN on. Buy CS2 skins on DMarket and let the others know how awesome a player (and a person) you are.

Stay tuned to DMarket Blog for more helpful info around Counter-Strike 2 and the skins trading business.

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