How to fix Fortnite lag?
James Patterson | Last Updated:
Online Privacy & Internet Security Expert
Frustrated at your Fortnite game stuttering or freezing right in the middle of an intense online firefight, losing you a match that you should have won? We’ve all been there, and we know how unfair that feels. There can be many different reasons for Fortnite lag, some which boil down to issues with your internet: your connection might be being throttled by your Internet Service Provider (ISP), or you’re in a location too far away from the Fortnite servers.
Fortunately, these issues can be easily solved by using a Virtual Private Network. A VPN encrypts your web traffic and re-directs it to a second server before connecting to Fortnite, killing two birds with one stone. Your ISP would be unable to see your internet activity, escaping their potential throttling of high-bandwidth activities such as gaming, and by choosing a server location geographically closer to the onling gaming server your ping is lowered as well, reducing lag.
5-step Fortnite VPN set-up
Not sure how to get started setting up a VPN for Fortnite? We’ve got you covered, just follow these five simple steps:
QUICK CONNECT GUIDE: how to connect quickly and easily:
- Choose and subscribe to a reputable VPN provider – we like using NordVPN for lag-free Fortnite play.
- Install the VPN software onto the smartphone or laptop you play Fortnite with. If you play Fortnite on a console, follow the provider’s instructions to install the VPN directly onto your WIFI router instead.
- Run the VPN program.
- Choose a VPN server to connect to. Make sure that this server is located as close to your preferred Fortnite server as possible.
- Great, time to test out your connection! Login to Fortnite, make sure that you’re playing on a Fortnite server close to your VPN server, and watch your ping drop!
Recommended VPN for no Fortnite Lag
Not sure which features to look for in a VPN provider for Fortnite? Read on for two of our top VPN recommendations and a breakdown of their features:
NordVPN is our favorite VPN for reducing Fortnite lag for many reasons, foremost of which is its huge selection of over 5,000 servers in 62 different countries. Having many servers to choose from is extremely important, since you want to connect to a VPN server as close as possible to an existing Fortnite server for the fastest gaming experience.
NordVPN also goes to great lengths to ensure that its customers enjoy a high-speed connection, necessary for competitive gaming. They went as far as creating their own VPN connection protocol Nordlynx which improves upon the connection speed and security of existing VPN protocols.
NordVPN’s other strengths are its impressive roster of security features, including use of AES 256-bit military grade encryption to protect your internet activity. If you are suffering from in-game lag due to throttling from your ISP, this added layer of encryption is more than enough to step them from spying on your activity and deliberately lowering your connection speed.
NordVPN is even able to hide your VPN use from Fortnite itself, by employing obfuscated servers that disguise your VPN connection as an ordinary internet connection. This makes NordVPN perfectly safe to use in Fortnite, a game with a history of banning VPN users.
Best of all, NordVPN supports six simultaneous connections on a huge range of different devices, from your laptop to your smartphone and even Smart TVs, allowing you to play Fortnite on any device of your choice.
Below are the latest NordVPN subscription prices, current as at September 2023:
- 1 Month: $11.95
- 1 Year: $4.92 (Save 58%)
- 2 Years: $3.67 (3 Months Free + Save 69%)
Note: All prices are in USD, and are Per Month.
Our second recommendation is ExpressVPN, which also boasts the high connection speeds necessary for online gaming: Not only are each of their over 3,000 servers optimized for speed, their Smart Location feature automatically selects the fastest server for your choice of location, ensuring that you’re always taking advantage of the fastest network speed possible.
ExpressVPN also has staff on hand 24/7 to help you with any technical difficulties through live-chat. If you’re a first-time VPN user, they can offer suggestions on the best servers and locations to connect to for reducing Fortnite lag, allowing you to start gaming without wasting any time on trial and error.
And while ExpressVPN’s service is on the pricier side compared to NordVPN and many other paid VPNs, they do offer a 30-day free trial for new customers. Try out their service for yourself: paying a little extra each month is definitely worth it to take your gameplay to the next level.
Below are the latest ExpressVPN subscription prices, current as at September 2023:
- 1 Month: $12.95
- 6 Months: $9.99
- 15 Months: $6.67 (Special Deal: 3 Months Free + Save 49%)
Note: All prices are in USD, and are Per Month.
How Exactly do these VPN Services Reduce Fortnite lag?
Still unsure over how a VPN can help you with Fortnite lag? The confusion is understandable: in-game lag is often determined by your “ping”, which measures how long it takes for information to travel between your computer and the Fortnite server. The longer the connection distance between you and the Fortnite server, the higher your ping and the worse your lag. On first glance, using a VPN would appear to increase this distance, since your connection now needs to detour to a VPN server instead of accessing the Fortnite server directly.
But if your ISP has poor routing between you and the Fortnite server, connecting to a VPN server right next to Fortnite servers and taking advantage of your VPN provider’s superior routing might actually allow for a faster connection. This is why using a reputable VPN service is key: a premium VPN service would have the infrastructure in place to efficiently route your connection, and also have good server coverage in the regions where Fortnite servers are located.
What Else can a VPN do for Fortnite?
But apart from reducing lag, many players prefer playing Fortnite on a VPN for a whole host of other advantages. Your Fortnite account might have been “IP Banned”, for example, for breaking the game’s rules, meaning that the game has blocked your IP address. With a VPN, you can easily change your IP address and continue playing the game.
Another consideration is the protection from DDoS attacks which a VPN provides: other players in Fortnite sometimes cheat by targeting your IP address with such an attack, disconnecting you from the game and giving themselves an easy win. They don’t even need to be a hacker themselves to do so, since many shady online websites perform DDoS attacks on behalf of paying customers. A VPN would shield your true IP address, allowing you to stay connected to the game and kicking ass despite your opponent’s cheating attempts.
There are a myriad of benefits to playing Fortnite on a VPN. While the best VPN services often require a paid subscription, we think that NordVPN is a solid investment for serious gamers.
Below are links to some further articles that we’ve written relating to other hot topics in the online gaming niche: