Pokémon Go is incredibly popular, but due to the way the game works, people in rural areas see far fewer Pokémon than those who live in a city. Changes are on their way, but there’s no guarantee they’ll address the lack of spawns in your neighborhood. Here’s the good news: with a Virtual Private Network (VPN), a GPS spoofing app, and a little bit of configuration, it’s possible to change your location in Pokémon Go without moving a muscle.
VPNs encrypt your traffic and hide your IP address, replacing it with that of the server you’re connected to. If the server is in the US, for instance, geo-restricted services will think that’s where you are. This means that VPNs are useful for more than just Pokémon Go; you can also use them to enhance your security or access your usual streaming services while on vacation.
Looking for the quick version? Here’s an overview of the best VPNs for Pokémon Go, read on for the more in-depth review of each provider.
Best VPNs for Pokémon Go
- ExpressVPN: Our top VPN for Pokémon Go. Fast and versatile, with servers in 94 countries. It’s strong on security and privacy, plus it lets you unblock all kinds of services abroad.
- NordVPN: The best low-cost VPN for Pokémon Go. This VPN boasts excellent unblocking ability and a huge network. What’s more, it doesn’t compromise when it comes to security.
- CyberGhost: A speedy, novice-friendly VPN with more servers than any other. Includes pre-configured security features and great unblocking capabilities.
- IPVanish: An inexpensive, zero-logs VPN with fast speeds and strong security.
- PrivateVPN: Very speedy service with no logging whatsoever. Great for Pokémon Go, watching Netflix, or just browsing safely.
- Surfshark: With cutting-edge security features, no logs, no connection limit, and good unblocking potential, this VPN is ideal for anyone looking to spoof their GPS in Pokémon Go.
- Hotspot Shield: Boasting high speeds, easy-to-use apps, and strong security protections, Hotspot Shield offers an excellent way to play Pokémon Go, wherever you are.
We know that choosing your first VPN can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s a tip: get one that does everything well, instead of one that excels in one specific area (speed, for instance). With this in mind, we decided that the best VPNs for Pokémon Go should meet all of the criteria below:
- Provides high enough speeds for lag-free gaming and streaming
- Can be used to spoof your location in Pokémon Go and similar services
- Keeps you safe with industry-leading security features
- Doesn’t store any logs that could be used to identify you
- Offers apps for a wide range of systems and devices
Best VPN for changing location in Pokémon Go
Below, we’ll take a closer look at each of the best VPNs for Pokémon Go:
ExpressVPN is an excellent choice for anyone looking to spoof their location on Pokémon Go. It offers access to thousands of servers spread across 94 countries, and even lets you access tricky region-locked platforms like Netflix US, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video. What’s more, ExpressVPN allows users to secure up to five of their devices at once.
This VPN includes a wide range of security features including 256-bit encryption, a kill switch (that stops sending data right away if your connection drops), and protection against WebRTC, DNS, and IPv6 leaks. Most importantly, ExpressVPN maintains your privacy by refusing to keep any logs that could identify you. It’s even possible to sign up almost completely anonymously by paying in Bitcoin. 24/7 live chat is on-hand should you need it.
ExpressVPN offers easy-to-use apps for MacOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android. You can also install this service’s custom firmware on your wireless routers to protect every device you own simultaneously.
- 3,000+ servers in 94 countries
- Top-class security and privacy protection features
- Great capabilities for unblocking geo-locked content
- Pay anonymously with Bitcoin
- Some rivals are slightly cheaper
BEST VPN FOR POKÉMON GO: ExpressVPN is our #1 choice for Pokémon Go. With fast, reliable servers in 94 countries, you can go wherever the Pokémon are in a matter of seconds. This VPN comes with powerful security features and a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free.
NordVPN has a huge network, with more than 5,000 servers in almost 60 countries. This makes it ideal for accessing geo-blocked services like BBC iPlayer while traveling abroad, or for changing region in Pokémon Go. With strong speeds, unlimited bandwidth, and up to six simultaneous connections permitted, there’s very little you won’t be able to do.
This service comes with plenty of advanced security features. There’s DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leak protection, for instance, as well as an app-specific kill switch, 256-bit encryption, and even special servers that are optimized for total privacy in countries with widespread censorship. NordVPN doesn’t keep any logs at all, so your activities can’t be traced back to you. Also, it accepts three different kinds of cryptocurrency. If you run into any issues, live chat is available 24/7.
NordVPN comes with Windows, iOS, MacOS, Android, and Linux apps. Select network routers are also supported, but you’ll have to install the VPN manually.
- Wide range of security features
- Keeps no logs and accepts cryptocurrency payments
- Excellent unblocking ability
- Operates over 5,000 servers in 60 countries around the globe
- The desktop app is a little clunky
BEST BUDGET VPN:NordVPN is the best low-cost VPN for spoofing your location in Pokémon Go. It’s fast, security-conscious, and offers access to thousands of servers around the world. As if that isn’t enough, there’s even a 30-day money-back guarantee.
CyberGhost is a highly versatile VPN that offers access to more servers than any of its rivals (over 7,000 in 90 countries) and still manages to be beginner-friendly. It boasts high speeds, which means you can spoof your GPS location in Pokémon Go or just watch Netflix abroad without being interrupted by lag or buffering. Plus, with a seven-connection limit, this VPN is great for sharing with family.
We really like that all of this service’s security features come pre-configured. This means that you’re automatically safeguarded by 256-bit encryption, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, a kill switch, an ad-blocker, and a malware-scanner. Further, CyberGhost doesn’t log any personally identifiable information (although you can pay in Bitcoin if you’d like extra anonymity). Need help? Customer support is available 24/7 over live chat and email.
CyberGhost apps are available for Android, iOS, MacOS, and Windows. If you’d prefer, you can manually configure it for use with your Linux system or home router.
- Very user-friendly
- Fast enough for lag-free streaming
- All security features enabled by default
- Doesn’t offer much control over advanced features
IDEAL FOR NOVICES:CyberGhost is an easy-to-use VPN with high speeds, strong security, and the largest network of any major provider. There’s also a 45-day money-back guarantee and 24/7 support in case of any issues.
IPVanish provides consistently high speeds and has 1,300+ servers in over 50 countries. As such, you can use it to freely go anywhere in Pokémon Go, but it also has plenty of other uses. For instance, this service effortlessly unblocks streaming platforms like CBS and Netflix US. What’s more, unlike many of its rivals, IPVanish has an especially generous ten-connection limit.
Don’t be fooled: this low-cost service takes your security seriously. It uses 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, DNS and IPv6 leak protection to keep your traffic safe from snoopers. There’s also a traffic scrambling feature that can help you access networks and services that usually block VPN traffic. IPVanish follows a strict no-logging policy, so your privacy is in good hands. Support is available via 24/7 live chat.
IPVanish offers powerful, lightweight Windows, Android, MacOS, and iOS apps. It can also be manually installed on Linux systems and select internet routers.
- Keeps no logs whatsoever
- Solid speeds
- Use up to ten devices simultaneously
- Has difficulty unblocking larger streaming services
ZERO-LOGS VPN:IPVanish is great for changing your location in Pokémon Go, but its no-logs policy, fast servers, and powerful security features make it ideal for safely streaming and browsing too. This service includes a seven-day money-back guarantee.
PrivateVPN has fewer servers than the other VPNs in this list (around 150 in 60 countries), but it makes up for this by providing some of the highest speeds we’ve seen. As if that wasn’t enough, PrivateVPN can also unblock all but the most stubborn region-locked services, so it should have no problem whatsoever helping you spoof your location in Pokémon Go. Users can connect up to six devices at the same time.
This VPN enhances your privacy using a combination of a kill switch, protection against DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks, and 256-bit AES encryption. You can even enable stealth mode to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN at all. There’s the option to pay with Bitcoin and PrivateVPN is a zero-logs provider. Live chat-based support is available 22 hours per day.
PrivateVPN has apps for iOS, MacOS, Android, Windows, and Linux devices. Some network routers are also supported, although manual configuration is required.
- Exceptional unblocking capabilities
- Very fast speeds
- Strong security and privacy protection features
- Fewer servers to choose from than other providers higher on this list
VERY HIGH SPEEDS:PrivateVPN is one of the fastest VPNs around, which means it’s great for anything that uses a lot of bandwidth (like playing Pokémon Go or watching Netflix). Also, PrivateVPN boasts a no-logs policy, powerful encryption, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Surfshark offers access to more than 1,000 servers in 60+ countries, so it’s a great way to collect region-exclusive Pokémon without flying all over the world. Better still, this service unblocks major streaming platforms and is fast enough to watch without any noticeable lag. Surfshark has no connection limit whatsoever, which is great news if you’re looking to protect lots of devices at once.
This service comes with a built-in ad-blocker, malware-scanner, and kill switch. It also offers 256-bit encryption, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and a split tunneling feature. Finally, Surfshark has a NoBorders mode that lets users bypass country-wide web filtering in places like China or the UAE. This VPN doesn’t log any personally identifiable data and provides round-the-clock support over live chat.
Surfshark provides MacOS, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS apps. This service can even be manually installed on select internet routers.
- Offers plenty of security features
- Solid speeds and good unblocking capabilities
- No limit on number of devices connected
- A relatively small server network
- Were some slow speeds recorded during testing
GREAT EVERYDAY VPN:Surfshark offers decent speeds, strong security and privacy protections, and over 1,000 servers worldwide, so it’s ideal for anyone looking to change country in Pokémon Go. It also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Hotspot Shield provides very high speeds and has over 3,200 servers in 80+ countries. This means it’s perfect for anyone looking to catch those last rare Pokémon without leaving the house. Of course, this VPN can also unblock services like BBC iPlayer, Netflix US, and Amazon Prime Video. What’s more, it lets you connect up to five devices at once.
This service keeps your traffic safe at all times using 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and protection against IPv6 and DNS leaks. There’s also split tunneling and automatic wifi protection. Hotspot Shield doesn’t store any personally identifiable data after your session is over. If you need help, you can reach support staff 24/7 over live chat.
Hotspot Shield comes with Windows, iOS, MacOS, and Android apps. It also has support for select home routers.
- Very fast despite the price
- Unblocks major streaming services
- Good range of security settings
- No Linux support
- Working to repair reputation after past privacy issues
FAST AND VERSATILE:Hotspot Shield provides fast connections, a wide range of security features, and servers in 80+ countries. What’s more, it comes with a generous 45-day money-back guarantee.
How to change location in Pokémon Go with a VPN
Until recently, you didn’t even need a phone or tablet to spoof your location in Pokémon Go; you could just run an Android emulator and go wherever you wanted. Now, however, many older methods no longer work, and you’ll need a physical Android or iOS device.
Here’s how to change location in Pokémon Go:
Note that this method only works with Android versions 6–8.
- Start by downloading version 12.6.87 of the Google Play Services app. Don’t install it just yet.
- Go into the settings menu and search for Device admin apps. Now, turn off Find My Device and Google Pay.
- Next, install your older version of Google Play Services.
- Browse to Settings > Apps > Google Play Services > Mobile data and turn off Allow background data usage.
- Find Google Play Store in your list of installed apps and hit the Disable button.
- Clear Pokémon Go’s stored data and restart your device.
- Finally, turn on your GPS spoofing app, connect to a VPN server that’s near wherever you’re hunting Pokémon, and you should be able to go anywhere you like.
If your device has Android 8.1 or higher installed, it’s still technically possible to spoof your location but you’ll have to root your device. This is a tricky procedure and there’s a lot that could go wrong, though. Once rooted, you’ll find the most up-to-date setup guides on the Pokémon Go spoofing subreddit.
Note: spoofing your location on iOS devices is more likely to result in a ban since the most widely used methods involve installing a modded version of the Pokémon Go app. Additionally, since these apps cost money (and you don’t know who will have access to your payment details), we strongly advise against changing your country in Pokémon Go on iOS. If you’re dead set on doing so, though, you’ll find walkthroughs on the Pokémon Go spoofing subreddit mentioned above.
Can I just use a free VPN with Pokémon Go?
Understandably, Niantic isn’t crazy about the idea of users who can go wherever they want in-game. In fact, they’ve invested considerable effort into stopping VPNs and GPS spoofing apps from working. As such, free VPNs are highly unlikely to work. Additionally, these services tend to have more users than their networks can support, so you’ll likely notice extremely slow speeds. In some cases, this could even lead to you being kicked from the game.
The second problem is that free VPNs pose a real threat to your security. Recent studies have found that there are huge numbers of malware-carrying apps pretending to be VPNs on major app stores. Worse still, of the ones that were malware-free, 18 percent used no encryption at all. We’ve even seen major providers take advantage of their users; back in 2015, Hola was caught selling idle user bandwidth to help facilitate a botnet. In short, the best way to protect yourself online is to use a reputable, security-first VPN with a strong record on privacy.
Will I get into trouble for using a VPN with Pokémon Go?
Technically, GPS spoofing is forbidden in Pokémon Go. Also, the player guidelines do not make exceptions for users who live in really remote areas (where Pokémon rarely spawn). As such, if you decide to change your location in Pokémon Go, you do so at your own risk.
So what’s the worst that could happen? Well, your account could be permanently banned. This is unlikely for a first offense, though; you’re far more likely to receive a warning per Niantic’s three-strike policy. If you continue to spoof your location, you could be temporarily banned for up to a month. Keep it up and finally, your account will be banned for good. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from making another, but you will lose all of the Pokémon you’ve caught.