Antivirus programs help you detect malicious programs and viruses and prevent them from infecting your system. However, with the best antivirus for pc gamers, you can do anything without affecting system performance or showing pop-ups while playing the game.
Let’s explore the best PC game antivirus that offers great protection from cyberattacks, is less intrusive, does not consume resources, and has tools to increase game performance.
Do Gaming PCs Need Antivirus?
Contrary to popular belief, avid gamers are just as vulnerable to cyberattacks as any other user who connects to the internet – even when downloading games and mods from legitimate websites. It’s also more likely that you’ve saved your credit card or other payment information with multiple services for quick online purchases.
A gamer account with high quality collectibles and add-ons are primary targets for hackers. Common tactics cyber criminals use to attack players include:
- Phishing– This involves sending a fake email disguised as a legitimate source. When you visit the website, you may be tricked into entering your username and password which will then be sent to the hackers.
- Malware– Intrusive software specifically designed to destroy or take control of infected computers. Some malware like ransomware encrypts and takes the data on your computer hostage for a ransom. Others, like keyloggers, sit quietly in your system, recording every key press and sending it back to the cyber criminals.
Using in-game money generator mods and fake emulators can also result in your account details being shared with shady websites or even a potentially unwanted program (PUP) installed.
What Are the Best Antivirus Suites for Gamers?
While most antivirus suites can protect your PC from these threats, at times these security programs can be intrusive and consume system resources. Fortunately, security companies have tried to fix this problem by adding Game Booster or similar add-ons to their suite.
1. BitDefender Total Security
With an approval rate of 99.9 percent from AV-Comparatives BitDefender Total Security offers an excellent set of security components and bonus functions. It’s available on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS platforms.
To protect users’ privacy, it has a built-in VPN, password manager, video and audio protection, anti-tracker to prevent web trackers from collecting user data, and parenting advisor functions.
You can create and configure custom profiles for games, movies, public WiFi and even save battery life. With the help of the player profile you can optimize product settings for the game, move background programs and updates and adjust the power plan. You can also create a games list to automatically activate the profile when you start a game.
Download: BitDefender Total Security ($ 44.99 / year for up to five devices)
2. Kaspersky Anti-Virus
If you don’t want a whole bunch of advanced security features, Kaspersky Anti-Virus is a great alternative to BitDefender. It offers essential security features in combination with excellent game-oriented and performance-enhancing features.
With an almost perfect rating from independent antivirus test organizations such as AV Comparative and AV-Test, the core antivirus offers the same protection as its older siblings. For example, the System Watcher feature helps protect against ransomware and other crypto-locks and undo any changes made by the virus.
In addition, you can configure the tool to disable scheduled tasks on battery power. Turning on game mode prevents the antivirus from scanning, updating, and blocking notifications when you’re playing games or using apps in full screen mode. In addition, it postpones computer scanning tasks when the CPU and hard drive systems are very busy.
Download: Kaspersky Anti-Virus ($ 29.99 / year for up to three PCs)
3. Malwarebytes Premium
Malwarebytes has steadily evolved into a full-fledged antivirus program, replacing its earlier reputation as a mere assistant to your existing antivirus solution.
It comes with standard cybersecurity features like web, malware, ransomware, and exploit protection. The premium version’s play mode interrupts notifications and updates when the selected apps are open. You can manually add multimedia apps and games to the list to prioritize resources and stop intrusive pop-ups.
In addition, you can install the Malwarebytes Browser Guard extension for Firefox, Chrome and Edge. It can stop annoying ads, phishing websites, and web trackers when you go online.
Download: Malwarebytes Premium ($ 39.99 / year for one device)
4. BullGuard Antivirus
BullGuard Antivirus is another security suite with antivirus, VPN, tuning, and optimization utilities. It handles the antivirus basics well, scans for vulnerable settings, and is relatively more affordable than the competition.
BullGuard’s Game Booster feature is a nice addition for the gamers. When enabled, it will automatically detect the games and add them to its index. This feature is enabled by default, but you can customize it for individual games. When a game starts in full screen mode, a small Game Booster widget appears showing the optimization status.
BullGuard Antivirus is a feature-rich AV with a dedicated game booster utility. For $ 29.99 per year, you can use it on a device with important security features.
Additional functions such as secure browser, firewall, parental controls, cloud-integrated backup, PC tuning and home network scanner are only available for Internet Security and Premium Protection plans.
Download: BullGuard Antivirus ($ 29.99 / year for one device)
5. McAfee Gamer Security
Player safety from McAfee aims to end the debate between performance and security by offloading threat detection to its cloud server, greatly reducing the impact on your system resources. Necessary virus definitions are kept locally on the system for offline protection.
The Game Boost Engine detects when you are playing a game and pauses unnecessary background processes to optimize your system resources for better game performance. With the App Manager, you can filter out processes that have gotten out of control and terminate them immediately.
McAfee also installs the WebAdvisor browser extension so you can browse privately by blocking trackers and phishing sites.
McAfee Gamer Security is priced at $ 59.99 and comes with a fully functional trial version. On the other hand, you will need to enter your credit card details to avail the free trial, which may not be ideal for many users.
Download: McAfee Gamer Security ($ 59.99 / year for a PC)
A gaming PC with antivirus is better than no antivirus
Microsoft offers its own Windows security solution out of the box for the Windows operating system. However, a dedicated antivirus offers complete protection, better control, and performance tuning features.
All of the antivirus programs listed in this article have minimal system impact and have additional game-oriented features. These tools detect when you are in a full screen game and prioritize resources and notifications accordingly. Take advantage of the free trial version and test the security software before making a purchase.
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