Unfortunately, Riot doesn’t allow manual location changes. This is especially annoying if you’re traveling or moving abroad. Your only option is to use a VPN to change your virtual location and create a new free Riot account. I tested dozens of VPNs and ExpressVPN took the lead for Valorant. It has fast speeds and low ping (even on distant servers) for lag-free gaming, military-grade encryption to hide your IP address, and 3000 global servers. You can try ExpressVPN with Valorant risk-free — if you’re not satisfied, it’s easy to claim a refund with the 30-day money-back guarantee. I tested it myself and the money returned to my account within a week. Play Valorant with ExpressVPN

3 Easy Steps to Play Valorant in a Different Region

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Quick Guide: Best VPNs to Play Valorant in 2023

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How a VPN Works With Valorant

When you sign up for a Riot account to play Valorant, your account is locked in a region defined by your local IP address. Riot doesn’t let you manually change your account region, so you can only play online with players in that same region. This is frustrating if you end up traveling or moving to a different region. Fortunately, you can play online with friends in other countries or compete in regional Valorant events by using a VPN to change the appearance of your location. A VPN encrypts your connection and routes it through a server in your chosen location. This hides your true location and gives you an IP address in a different country. Once your connection is secured and your IP address hidden by the VPN, you can create a new Riot account. Riot will detect your location through the VPN server so you can play in a new location — and as Valorant is free to play, you can create as many accounts in different locations as you want! You’ll also need a VPN to access Valorant if you travel abroad and the game is blocked in the country you’re visiting. Some countries like Iran deny access to Valorant, while others prevent users from making VoIP (Voice over IP) calls so you can’t use the in-game chat feature. By using a VPN, you’ll be able to play Valorant from your home region and chat with friends no matter where you are. To ensure you’re getting the best gameplay possible, it’s important to choose the right VPN service. ExpressVPN has a huge global server network so you can create a Riot account in whichever location you need. It also has unlimited bandwidth and fast speeds for smooth Valorant gameplay. Plus, ExpressVPN’s servers have reasonable ping even when connected to distant locations so you won’t be interrupted by lag in the middle of a match. Best of all, every top VPN on this list has a money-back guarantee — you can try ExpressVPN risk-free for 30 days to make sure it’s right for you. If you’re not totally happy, you can get a full refund. While using a VPN isn’t explicitly in violation of Riot’s terms of service, be advised that this could change any time and by using a VPN with Valorant, you do so at your own risk. Play Valorant with ExpressVPN

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Change Your Region in Valorant

By using a high-quality VPN, you can easily set up a Riot account and start playing Valorant. For research purposes, I connected to Valorant in multiple regions and created alternate accounts using a VPN. Play Valorant with ExpressVPN

The Best VPNs for Valorant (Tested January 2023)

1. ExpressVPN — #1 VPN for Fast and Lag-Free Valorant Gameplay

Key Features: ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN for Valorant, making it the best choice for lag-free gaming no matter where you connect. I connected to multiple ExpressVPN servers in its 3000+ locations and had consistently fast speeds. From my top speed of 115Mbps, ExpressVPN maintained speeds of more than 89Mbps even when I connected to servers in Australia — over 15,000km from my location in the UK! Despite ExpressVPN’s higher ping, I didn’t experience any lagging or interruptions while playing. This is crucial for games like Valorant that require fast responses — connections to ExpressVPN’s servers prevent delays for smooth, responsive gameplay. I found switching between ExpressVPN’s servers very easy. Its comprehensive list of global servers is accessible from the app menu and clicking on a location automatically connects you to the best server option. If you want to choose manually, ExpressVPN has an in-built speed test that details the fastest download and ping speeds — this helped me to pick the fastest server for guaranteed top-speed Valorant gameplay. Best-in-class encryption and leak protection secures your IP address and online activity. This can be particularly useful if your ISP (Internet Service Provider) wants to throttle your bandwidth as online gaming can be data-intensive. ExpressVPN’s encryption makes it impossible to see what you’re doing online so you can avoid bandwidth-throttling. Better still, you can purchase with confidence thanks to ExpressVPN’s money-back guarantee. You get 30 days to test the service and if you’re not totally satisfied, you can get a full refund with its no questions asked policy. It took less than 3 minutes for me to have my refund processed and I had the money back in a couple of days. Play Valorant with ExpressVPN ExpressVPN works on: Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Chrome, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, routers, Linux, and more.

2. CyberGhost — Dedicated Gaming Servers Provide Secure Connections for Valorant

Key Features: CyberGhost’s dedicated servers are designed for optimal online gaming, with fast speeds and reliable connections to avoid interruptions. I was surprised to find that CyberGhost’s gaming servers were faster than my standard speeds. Valorant loaded faster and was more responsive than playing without a VPN connection. To pick the best server for gaming in your chosen region, you can find details like server load and ping time in the CyberGhost app. I found it useful that I could sort the servers by distance, ping, and how many users were currently connected — this made it easy to choose a fast server. With so many options available (a huge network of 9633 servers worldwide) you can trust that you’ll find a reliable connection easily. However, I did find that CyberGhost’s distant servers caused my ping to increase quite significantly. Typically, my ping was above 100ms which isn’t ideal for a fast-response game like Valorant. It’s worth considering this if you play Valorant competitively — I’d recommend choosing a VPN with lower ping, like ExpressVPN. If you’re based in a country with restrictive internet, like China, you should know that CyberGhost struggles to bypass these tough blocks. The research team in China wasn’t able to break through the Great Firewall with CyberGhost, and this is also the case for countries like Turkey and Iran. Despite these minor drawbacks, I still recommend CyberGhost for Valorant players who want more control over their server choices — and as it’s a low-cost option, it’s worth trying the service for yourself. CyberGhost has a generous money-back guarantee period of 45 days you can use to see if it’s right for your online Valorant gaming. I had my money back in less than a week and it took no more than a minute to request my refund through the 24/7 live chat. Play Valorant from anywhere with CyberGhost CyberGhost works on: Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Chrome, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and more.

3. Private Internet Access (PIA) — Thousands of Servers to Play Valorant in Every Available Region

Key Features: Private Internet Access (PIA) has the biggest server network I’ve seen from a top-tier VPN — more than 35000 servers in 84 countries. This huge network is advantageous for Valorant as it means I didn’t experience any server lag, even at peak traffic times (like evenings and weekends). It also means you can connect to any of Riot’s available servers in your home region if you’re traveling abroad or facing technical issues. During my tests, I found that PIA has solid download speeds for servers close to my location — connections in the UK and Europe were around 100Mbps, which is only a small drop from my regular speed of 115Mbps. However, servers in locations like Australia and Japan cut my speed by up to 50% and had considerably higher ping. This made it impossible to play Valorant on some occasions as I couldn’t get the game to load. Fortunately, PIA offers a selection of “Squid” SOCKS5 proxies that significantly cut down ping time by reducing the level of server encryption. This boosted server response time and I’d recommend connecting if you find your ping is very high. However, I wouldn’t suggest connecting to a proxy if you’re exchanging sensitive data as these servers aren’t as secure. If you play on a standard server, you’ll find PIA has military-grade encryption and leak protection available to secure your connections. After running multiple leak tests, I found PIA kept my online activity and true location totally anonymous. I’d recommend testing PIA for yourself to see if its vast server network is right for you and your online Valorant gaming. PIA even offers a 30-day money-back guarantee you can use to test the service risk-free. Play Valorant from anywhere with PIA PIA works on: Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Chrome, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and more.

4. IPVanish — Choose the Best Server for Valorant With Detailed Interface

Key Features: IPVanish’s app is fantastic for gamers as you can manually choose a server for the highest speeds and lowest ping. By clicking on the “Server List” side menu, I customized the server list to show locations with the lowest ping. I like that I could switch to a map view too — hovering over different locations on the map showed the city with the lowest ping. This was particularly useful when I wanted to play Valorant in a specific region, as I could easily find the fastest server. My speeds averaged 76Mbps with a ping under 100ms — ideal for playing Valorant without interruptions. The interface and all of its dropdown menus and options may seem a bit overwhelming until you’ve figured out what everything does. I’d recommend IPVanish for users who are more familiar with VPNs and who want a higher level of server control and customization for playing Valorant. IPVanish is one of the pricier VPNs on this list, but it often has coupons available so you can get a great deal — you can check for the latest coupons here. To test the service yourself, you can try IPVanish risk-free with its 30-day money-back guarantee. Play Valorant with IPVanish IPVanish works on: Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Chrome, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and more.

Can I Play Valorant With a Free VPN?

Technically, you can play Valorant with a free VPN but I wouldn’t recommend it. Free VPNs are notoriously limited, with strict data caps and small server numbers that stop you from playing Valorant from anywhere. You’ll also find your speeds are slow as free users crowd 1 or 2 servers, causing high latency and lag — not ideal for a fast-response game like Valorant. There are some free VPNs with advanced security features and decent speeds offered by premium VPN companies. These “freemium” services are designed to entice you to upgrade by showing you a sample of how good the VPN is — but they’re also limited with small data allowances and access to just a couple of servers. Less reputable free VPNs have been known to log and store user data, selling it to third-party advertisers to generate revenue. This puts your data security at risk, leaving you exposed to intrusive tracking and tons of pop-up ads. Even worse, some free VPNs don’t provide any security at all — you could find your connection isn’t encrypted so opponents can send DDoS (Direct Denial of Service) attacks to your network. Plus, some free VPNs have been found to contain malware designed to mine your personal data for profit. Simply put, it’s not safe to download free VPNs to play Valorant. I suggest you take advantage of a premium VPN’s money-back guarantee instead. For instance, you can use CyberGhost for free for 45 days. All you need to do is request a refund within the money-back guarantee period. I’ve even tried it myself — and it works! It only took a few minutes to get my refund approved over 24/7 live chat and the money returned without issues to my bank account. Try CyberGhost for free!

How I Tested & Ranked the Best VPNs for Valorant in 2023

To get the best online Valorant experience, I tested and shortlisted the best VPNs on the market. I measured each VPN against the following criteria:

Lightning-fast servers for fast, lag-free gaming and VoIP chat. A large global server network so you can access your Riot account while traveling abroad. Strong encryption to keep you anonymous and safe online. Reliable desktop apps for easy, fast connections. A kill switch to protect your online privacy in case the VPN connection suddenly drops. A money-back guarantee so you can test the VPN before committing to a long-term plan.

A service like ExpressVPN has no data caps, thousands of global servers, and fast speeds for lag-free gaming. With a top-tier service, you get solid encryption and security to protect your data and true location. Better still, you can test ExpressVPN risk-free with its money-back guarantee. You get 30 days to try the service with Valorant and get a full refund if you’re not totally satisfied. Play Valorant with ExpressVPN

Can Valorant run without Vanguard?

No, you can’t play Valorant unless Vanguard is running. This anti-cheat software is constantly scanning your PC so it can block apps that give players an unfair advantage, like aimbots. Like the top-tier VPNs on this list, Vanguard doesn’t collect any data or send information back to Riot — it purely runs while you’re playing Valorant to prevent cheating. Vanguard will run on your system from the moment Windows is booted, which can cause a slight slowdown if you don’t have a lot of memory or your PC is older. You can switch Vanguard off while you’re not playing Valorant by right-clicking on Vanguard in your system tray and choosing “Exit.” This will help free memory and prevent the software from impacting your PC performance.

Will a VPN increase ping time while I play Valorant?

Only slightly. When I tested the best VPNs for playing Valorant, my latency only slowed down by a few milliseconds to my latency when I connected to servers abroad. This is because traffic sent from my PC is encrypted and travels through the VPN server before connecting to the Valorant server. Connecting to servers that are further away from your physical location are likely to have a higher ping. However, if your ISP is throttling your speed, using a VPN gets around imposed bandwidth restrictions to make your gameplay faster and more responsive. I’d recommend testing multiple servers in your chosen Valorant location to find the lowest ping.

Can I make more than 1 Valorant account?

Yes, you can make more than 1 Valorant account. As the game is free to play, you can make multiple accounts without violating Riot’s terms of service. This also means you can play Valorant in your home region while abroad by using a VPN to access your account. To make multiple accounts, you’ll need to register each account to a separate email address and create a unique Riot ID.

Can I change my Riot region once I’ve already created an account?

You can change your Riot region, but not manually. Unlike when you create a new account and change your region with a VPN, the only way to change your Riot region for an existing account is by contacting customer service. The support agents will check to see if your account is matched to the correct server by checking the IP address associated with your account. Unfortunately, this isn’t something you can alter by connecting to a VPN. Plus, if you have your Riot account region changed your Valorant progress will be reset so you’ll have to start building your account again. This is only advisable if you’ll permanently play in a different region to the one you signed up in, as it’s unlikely Riot will switch your account again. Play Valorant with ExpressVPN

Play Valorant From Anywhere With a High-Quality VPN

Currently, Riot restricts your Valorant online play to 1 region that depends on the location of your account sign up. If you’re abroad and want to play online with friends, you need a top-tier VPN service to access your existing account or create a new one in your home country (or another country of your choice). By using a VPN like ExpressVPN, you can connect to servers in different Riot regions to access your account from anywhere. Simply sign up for ExpressVPN and connect to a server before gaming! ExpressVPN is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so it’s completely risk-free to try it for yourself. If you find it doesn’t meet your needs, you can get a full refund over 24/7 live chat within minutes.

Summary — Best VPNs for Valorant in 2023