There’s no need to put up with subpar PC performance or annoying gaming interruptions. Protect your system with the best antivirus for gaming and you can focus on fragging without worry. We’ve got the best antivirus for gaming PCs covered, whether you’re looking for free protection or want to shell out for premium peace of mind. So sit back, relax, and let us do the hard work while you enjoy your favorite games.
Being a devoted gamer, I tested the top antiviruses to find the best ones for gamers. Each of the 7 antiviruses was tested by playing 7 matches of League of Legends while monitoring the FPS (frames per second) rate. The results are in!
… Other things to consider are, of course, important features like game mode, anti-theft, firewall, real-time scanning, and more. Based on all this, I have listed the best antiviruses for gaming PCs below.
1. Bitdefender Total Security: The Best Antivirus with an Automatic Gaming Mode
Price: $36 /year
Gaming mode: Yes
Pros: Strong protection against all malware, Anti-ransomware is outstanding, game mode works well
Cons: Not as lightweight as others, so you must have a bit of a stronger gaming PC
Bitdefender is excellent antivirus software for gaming. The company has a special automatic gaming mode that optimizes CPU usage in order to help players avoid any lags or stutters while they play. Bitdefender also comes with several other useful features, including:
- Real-time protection against malware, ransomware, and spyware.
- A firewall to prevent unauthorized access to your PC.
- An anti-theft feature so you can track down a lost or stolen device using GPS tracking technology.
If you’re looking for the best antivirus software overall (not just for gamers), Bitdefender Total Security is our top pick because of its ease of use, great value, and many useful extras like parental controls and banking security tools built right into the software itself!
2. Norton: Flawless antivirus with game boosting mode that enhances CPU performance
Price: $47.99 /year
Gaming mode: Yes
Pros: Game boost mode
Norton is a good option because it has a free gaming mode that can be activated manually. The only drawbacks are that Norton’s gaming mode doesn’t work with all games and that it can cause issues for some users.
3. TotalAV: Speedy gaming-oriented antivirus with system clean-up tools
Price: $49 /year
Gaming mode: No
Cons: Lacking game mode
TotalAV is a lightweight antivirus that can be installed on any device and runs as a background process. It’s fast, doesn’t slow down your computer, and has even been tested in gaming mode to ensure it doesn’t impact game performance. The system cleanup tool will also remove junk files and improve performance.
4. McAfee: Gaming-oriented antivirus with parental controls
Price: From $29.99 /year ($89.99 onwards)
Gaming mode: Yes
Pros: Game mode works well
McAfee is a well-known name when it comes to antivirus software. The company has been around for a long time and offers many different products, including an Internet security suite that can be installed on your PC as well as other devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
If you’re looking for an antivirus program with parental controls, McAfee has you covered. This program lets you set restrictions on what your kids can access online—for example, block them from accessing certain websites or using social media apps during certain hours of the day only.
In addition to these features:
McAfee also provides firewall protection from malware attacks; anti-phishing tools that help protect against malicious links; a game booster that speeds up gaming performance by optimizing system settings; web browsing protection against malware sites (this works only in Firefox); and much more!
5. Webroot SecureAnywhere: Best lightweight antivirus for gaming laptop owners
Price: $47.99 /year
Gaming mode: No
Pros: Lightweight (Good for laptop gamers)
Cons: Lacking important features such as the ones provided by higher listed antiviruses, and limited android support
If you want to go with a lightweight antivirus for gaming laptop owners, we recommend Webroot SecureAnywhere. It scans fast and has no impact on gaming performance. The software is also very easy to set up and use.
If you’re looking for an antivirus that is light on system resources but still provides good protection against malware and other threats — this is the one for you!
6. Avira: Best free antivirus for Gamers on Windows
Price: Free (but with ads)
Pros: It provides decent protection considering that it is free
Cons: Annoying ads, no gaming mode
Avira is free antivirus software that has been around for many years. Avira is a good option if you want to keep your computer protected but don’t want to pay anything. However, many users avoid the free version of Avira because of the many annoying ads. Also, it is the only software on this list that does not have a game mode.
7. Kaspersky Anti-Virus: The best heavyweight antivirus
Price: $29.99 /year
Gaming mode: Yes
Pros: heuristic detection engine
Cons: heavyweight (takes many resources from your PC)
If you’re looking for an antivirus that will protect your gaming PC from all the latest threats, Kaspersky is the one to go with. It has a reputation for being able to detect and block new malware as soon as it appears on the internet. The reason why it can do this so quickly is because of its heuristic detection engine, which automatically looks at how programs work and what they do in order to figure out if they are malicious or not. This means that even though there may not be any known viruses or malware around at the time Kaspersky detects them, you can still feel safe knowing that your computer is protected from anything that might show up later on down the line.
What antivirus do most Gamers use?
Does a gaming PC need antivirus?
So, does a gaming PC need antivirus? Yes, it does. You need antivirus software to protect your gaming PC from malware and viruses.
How do I protect my gaming PC?
- Use antivirus software.
- Use a firewall. This will guard against hackers who try to gain access to your computer.
- Use a password manager, like LastPass or 1Password, to store all of your passwords in one place so that you don’t have to remember them all yourself.
- Use a VPN (a virtual private network), which encrypts data before it leaves your device and then sends it over another network like the internet so that no one can see what’s being sent or received.
What are some essential features that antivirus should have for gaming?
When you’re looking for gaming antivirus software, there are some essential features that you should look for. These include:
- A gaming mode. This mode is designed to improve your performance while playing games by prioritizing your system’s resources and optimizing the software’s settings.
- Game boosting mode. This feature allows you to select individual games and set them as priority processes within the antivirus interface so they run faster than everything else on your PC.
- System clean-up tools—this is especially useful after installing new programs or changing system settings (which happens frequently in the case of gaming). The last thing you want is for an unexpected error message to ruin your gameplay experience!
- Parental controls—if you have kids who like to play games on PC but don’t always have time to watch over them, these controls will help keep them from accessing inappropriate content or spending too much time on their computers without supervision.
If you are interested in gaming and software, be sure to check out our newest articles.
Is Windows Defender enough for gaming instead of paid antivirus?
Windows Defender is the default antivirus software on Windows 10, but it’s not really intended for serious gamers. While we’re all for using free products as long as they work well, Windows Defender has a limited feature set that might not be enough for your needs. For example, it doesn’t have an automated scanner or real-time protection features. It also lacks many advanced features like parental controls and identity theft protection.
Additionally, Windows Defender only works with the latest version of Windows 10—if you prefer to run Windows 7 or 8 (or even older versions), then this won’t be useful to you at all.
Does antivirus software decrease FPS?
The question of whether or not antivirus software can decrease your frame rates is one that’s often debated by gamers. The answer is yes, it can, but for a variety of reasons that aren’t necessarily related to the software itself.
It’s important to note that there are many different types of antivirus programs and they all work differently in terms of how they integrate with your PC. Some are more invasive and constantly scan processes running on your computer, others do selective scanning based on user-defined parameters (such as only checking email attachments when you open an email program). The type of antivirus program you use will impact how much it affects your system performance; if it does slow down your PC significantly, then you should consider switching to a less resource-intensive option, such as WebRoot Antivirus.
Is free antivirus okay to use for gamers?
Free antivirus software is a good option for general users who want basic protection but don’t need the high-end security features of premium software. For example, most free antivirus programs have a firewall built in, which can help prevent malware from infecting your computer through the internet connection and block malicious websites from loading when you browse online.
If you’re looking for the best possible protection against malware attacks and viruses, however, then it’s important to invest in top-tier paid software if at all possible.
Free options might not be able to provide the same level of detection as paid security software, which means they may allow certain types of viruses through without warning or alerting you until after they’ve infected your PC or device. Also, consider that many security vendors offer discounts on subscriptions when purchased with new hardware; if this applies to your situation then forget about using free antivirus altogether.
My final verdict: Which antivirus software is best for gaming?
Based on the performance of each antivirus program, I’ve come to the conclusion that Bitdefender Total Security is the best antivirus software for gaming. It has an automatic gaming mode that boosts CPU performance and it’s lightweight enough for any system. It had a good balance between detection rates and false positives, while also being easy to use and having plenty of features. It’s also one of the cheapest options at $36 /year.
If you prefer Norton over Bitdefender, then you’ll be glad to know it was very close behind in second place. It offers solid protection with great detection rates, though its user interface wasn’t quite as friendly as Bitdefender’s for beginners. If you’re willing to pay more than twice as much for an antivirus from McAfee or Webroot SecureAnywhere (three times more if you choose Kaspersky), then these programs are worth considering because they offer additional features like anti-malware software and parental controls that can benefit your gaming experience.