5 best antivirus software with improved performance for PC gamers

Antivirus software helps you detect and prevent malware and viruses from infecting your system. However, the best antivirus for PC game lovers allows you to do all this without affecting system performance or showing popups in the middle of the game.

Let’s explore the best antivirus for PC gaming that offers excellent protection against cyber attacks, is less intrusive, does not consume resources, and offers tools to enhance gaming performance.

Do gaming PCs need antivirus software?

Contrary to popular belief, avid gamers are exposed to cyberattacks like any other user who connects to the Internet – even if you download games and mods from legitimate sites. Your credit card or other payment details are also likely to be saved in many services for making quick online purchases.

A player account with high-value collectibles and add-ons are prime targets for hackers. Common tactics used by cybercriminals to target players include:

  • phishing—This includes 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 is then sent to hackers.
  • MalwareAn intrusive program specifically designed to destroy or take control of infected computers. Some malware like ransomware encrypts the data on your computer as hostages for ransom. Others, such as Keyloggers, sit quietly in your system, capturing every keystroke and sending it back to the cybercriminals.

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Related Topics: What is ransomware and how do you remove it?

Using in-game cash generator mods and fake emulators can result in sharing your account details with suspicious sites or even installing a potentially unwanted program (PUP).

What are the best antivirus suites for gamers?

While most antivirus suites can protect your computer from these threats, these security tools can be intrusive and drain system resources at times. Fortunately, security companies have tried to solve this problem by including game boosters or similar add-ons in their suite.

1. BitDefender Total Security


bitdefender antivirus profile

With an approval rating of 99.9 percent from AV-Comparatives, BitDefender Total Security offers an excellent suite of security components and bonus features. It is available on Windows, Mac, Android and iOS platforms.

To protect user privacy, it comes with a built-in VPN, password manager, video and audio protection, tracker to prevent web trackers from collecting user data, and parental advisor features.

Related Topics: Best and Fastest VPN Services (One Completely Free)

You can create and configure custom profiles for games, movies, public Wi-Fi, and even to conserve battery. With a player profile, you can optimize product settings for the game, defer background programs and updates, and adjust the power plan. You can also create a game list to automatically activate the profile when you start the game.

DownloadBitDefender Total Security ($44.99 per year for up to five devices)

2. Kaspersky Anti-Virus


Kaspersky Antivirus

If you don’t want a full suite of advanced security features, Kaspersky Anti-Virus is a great BitDefender alternative. It offers essential security tools coupled with excellent game-centric features and performance optimization.

With a near-perfect score from independent antivirus testing organizations such as AV Comparative and AV-Test, the basic antivirus offers similar protection to its older siblings. For example, System Watcher helps protect against ransomware and other encryption vaults and roll back any changes caused by the virus.

Additionally, you can configure the tool to disable scheduled tasks while running on battery power. Enabling Game Mode will prevent your antivirus from running scans or updates and block notifications when playing games or using apps in full screen mode. Moreover, it delays computer scan tasks when the CPU and disk systems are under high load.

Download: Kaspersky Anti-Virus ($29.99/year for up to three computers)

3. Malwarebytes Premium


Malicious Antivirals

Malwarebytes is steadily becoming a full-fledged antivirus, replacing its previous reputation as a helper for your existing antivirus.

It comes with standard internet security features like web, malware, ransomware, and exploit protection. Play mode in premium version suspends notifications and updates when selected apps are opened. You can manually add multimedia applications and games to the list to prioritize resources and stop intrusive pop-ups.

Additionally, you can choose to install the Malwarebytes Browser Guard extension for Firefox, Chrome, and Edge. It can stop annoying ads, phishing sites, and web trackers when you are online.

Download: Malwarebytes Premium ($39.99/year for one device)

4. BullGuard Antivirus


Bullguard Antiviral

BullGuard Antivirus is another security suite stacked with antivirus, VPN, tuning and optimization tools. It handles antivirus basics well, scans for weak settings, and is relatively cheaper than the competition.

BullGuard’s Game Booster feature is a great addition for gamers. When enabled, it automatically detects games and adds them to its index. This feature is enabled by default, but you can customize it for individual games. When you start a game in full screen, a small Game Booster widget appears showing optimization status.


BullGuard Antivirus is a feature-rich AV software with a dedicated game booster. At $29.99 per year, you can use it on a single device with basic security features.

Additional features such as secure browser, firewall, parental controls, built-in cloud backup, PC mod, 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 برنامج

McAfee’s Gamer Security aims to end the performance versus security debate by eliminating threat detection to its cloud server, thus significantly reducing the impact on system resources. The necessary virus definitions are still kept locally on the system for offline protection.

Game Boost Engine detects when you are playing a game and pauses unnecessary background processes to optimize your system resources for better gaming performance. With the Application Manager, you can filter out processes that are out of control and immediately end them.

McAfee also installs a WebAdvisor extension for browsers to help you browse privately by blocking trackers and phishing sites.

McAfee Gamer Security costs $59.99 and comes with a fully functional trial. On the other hand, you have to enter your credit card details to take advantage of the free trial, which may not be ideal for many users.

Download: McAfee Gamer Security ($59.99/year for 1 PC)

A gaming PC with an antivirus is better than no antivirus

Microsoft offers its own out-of-the-box Windows security solution for the Windows operating system. However, a dedicated antivirus offers comprehensive protection, better control, and performance optimization features.

All the antiviruses listed in this article have minimal impact on the system and come with additional game-centric features. These tools detect when you are in a full screen game and prioritize resources and notifications accordingly. Use the free trial and try the security software before making a purchase.

We hope you like and discuss the items we recommend! MUO has affiliate and sponsorship partnerships, so we receive a share of the revenue from some of your purchases. It will not affect the price you pay and help us provide the best product recommendations.


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