First things first: Is there such a thing as a dedicated antivirus for Xbox One? You guessed it, there isn’t. But that does not mean you should not deploy airtight protection while gaming and this includes console gameplay.

Here comes the million-dollar question. Do you need antivirus for Xbox One? A unanimous opinion is no more than a utopian concept, so we figured the best way to help you make an informed decision is by presenting both sides of the story. After all, information is power and we are here to place control back into your hands.

Consoles have come a long way since their early days and they are much like standalone computers now. A rather widespread misconception is that Microsoft’s popular gaming concoction, aka the Xbox One runs on Windows.

Thus, it’s only normal to imagine it is prone to viruses and malware commonly found on Windows-based devices.

In reality, consoles run on their specific OSs and the famous Xbox One is no different. While it’s no secret that the Xbox OS incorporates core Windows functionalities, Xbox One does not run on Windows.

Does Xbox have virus protection?

Ignorance is bliss more often than not. While Xbox One incorporates security features, we dare say it’s the penury of Xbox-specific viruses that makes it so safe. Don’t worry, further clarification is on its way.

Here’s what makes an Xbox One less susceptible to attacks:

1. Consoles (including Xbox One) run on different operating systems than conventional PCs. Hence, a console-targeted attack would require specific coding.

Since viruses tend to exploit very specific system-based vulnerabilities, it is less likely to encounter cross-platform bugs. It will take a great amount of technical prowess to develop an Xbox-specific virus and any other kind of nuisance will simply not affect your console.

2. Money makes the world spin, hence profitability is a major hacking criterion. Is going after Xbox One users profitable enough?

It turns out, Xbox does not represent such an enticing target for hackers as there is simply not that much to gain except for maybe payment details and game-based rewards. Instead, targeting PCs makes much more sense in regards to their popularity and larger audiences.

In addition to extensive client databases, PC-associated habits such as storing sensitive data, shopping, banking, and so on are more lucrative and thus, more appealing to hackers searching to enhance their profits.

3. Last, but certainly not least, Xbox One is packed with Microsoft-owned security technologies. To begin with, it is impossible to access system files, by yourself or by anyone or anything else, including viruses.

Here’s one thing that seems to plague users’ thoughts often: Microsoft Edge virus on Xbox One. While you can browse the Web via the Internet Explorer app, it is impossible to use it to download or run files on your Xbox.

You cannot download custom programs at all. Your console is designed to run only executable files from the Microsoft Store to make sure software is not counterfeited.

In other words, you will only be able to install digitally signed Microsoft-approved programs and the OS on your Xbox will always verify that a specific cryptographic signature is associated with a legitimate retail certificate before allowing it to successfully download.

At least, that’s how the legend goes. How does all of that apply in the real world?

Can you get viruses on an Xbox One?

All this considered, one must ask: does Xbox need virus protection? We’re here to tell you that you will need a good antivirus for Xbox One, yes. But before we help you pick one out, we should also explain why you need it in the first place.

Despite all the security measures, all it takes is the right combination between time, skills, and incentive to burst the Xbox’s closed environment bubble.

Even if Xbox One runs programs in a locked environment and can technically detect code tempering which ultimately leads to signature invalidation, we must not forget that just as much as any other device going online, consoles can get infected.

Can an Xbox get malware? Can Xbox be hacked? Yes and yes. The infiltration method may not be conventional just as the viruses can be different from threats usually found on Windows. But that does not mean Xbox One is not vulnerable to hacking attempts.

A common tactic implies disguising malicious code into apparently harmless files or links so that it can bypass your console’s security protocols and run undetected.

Here are the most frequent methods hackers use in order to infect your Xbox One:

  • Deceitful or malicious links in forums and other gaming platforms containing viruses that will access your traffic upon clicking
  • Devices linked to your Xbox accounts such as PC or smartphone, infected removable media such as USB sticks, or other corrupted storage media, pirated discs with counterfeited games, and even connecting cables
  • Speaking of piracy, discounted games, free prizes, and giveaways are common phishing-based methods designed to lure you on malicious websites and steal your credit card details
  • Man-in-the-middle attacks disguised as game updates
  • DDoS attacks plaguing the gaming servers with ill-intended network traffic
  • Catfishing schemes, phishing, and social engineering techniques (infected messages on forums or via the in-game chat, requests disguised as genuine notifications from the manufacturer, and so on)
  • Further fraud attempts based on behavior observation including sniffing communications via the service provider’s network
  • Any malicious code tailored to match your Xbox’s OS that can infiltrate undetected

Do I need antivirus for Xbox One?

As you can see, your Xbox is just as vulnerable to infections and attacks as any other device intended to connect to the Internet and it can be hacked via both software and hardware components.

With this in mind, our experienced QA team here at Windows Report worked long and hard to come up with an antivirus selection that will not only keep you safe during gameplay but will also enhance your overall experience.

As always, high virus detection rates are quintessential, but the device itself called for an entirely different testing methodology. The famous Xbox One is once again a game-changer, in more than one way.

While decent antivirus programs suitable for gaming PCs are not so hard to find, protection options for gaming consoles are an entirely different breed.

Conventional protection was downgraded in regards to the device’s particular operating system which implies that your Xbox is immune to Windows-based viruses.

The fact that the console is overall less prone to catching viruses since downloading is strictly controlled also influenced our selection a lot. So, how did we choose the best antivirus for Xbox One?

First of all, we granted a particularly high ranking to antiviruses with dedicated Gaming modes that can facilitate your gaming experience. We chose to focus on this type of software since security tools such as VPN and antiviruses are often believed to hinder gameplay and cap your in-game performance.

So does antivirus slow down gaming? Not if you pick the right one and that is precisely what we intend to do.

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How did we pick the best antivirus for your Microsoft-powered gaming console?

Here are our major selection criteria:

➡ Dedicated Gaming mode or Gaming Booster
Discreet notifications and permission requests
➡ Minimal impact on performance/connection/download speed, low CPU and GPU consumption rates
➡ Specialized anti-hacking suite (device control, apps management, vulnerabilities scanner)
Safe browsing mode, malicious link detector, downloads verification
➡ Network security module (network threats detection and prevention, traffic protection, firewall)
➡ Multi-layered security (anti-ransomware, anti-spyware, anti-adware, anti-phishing, anti-keyloggers)
➡ Additional privacy tools (VPN, webcam protection, and more)

What are the best antivirus software options for Xbox One?

ESET Internet Security

We declare the hunt for the best antivirus for Xbox One open and what better tool to make our top’s headline than an award-winning security software with a soft spot for gamers?

We said it many times before, we know, but we still cannot stress enough the importance of deploying strong protection that is also lightweight and not resource-intensive.

But first things first, let’s have a look at ESET’s Gamer Mode. Designed for uninterrupted gameplay, this module will automatically postpone anything from system updates to notifications while you run programs in full-screen.

The big idea behind this is not only to provide a distraction-free, immersion-ready environment but also to save on precious system resources by cleverly focusing processing power where you most need it. We know it, you know it and ESET does too: prioritization is key.

We’re sure you don’t need us to remind you how important is a good FPS rate for smooth gameplay. The entire ESET infrastructure is conceived to be as lightweight as possible.

And the program itself has a small system footprint that will allow you to engage in intensive foreground action while it runs its discreet, real-time protection in the background.

Eager to test its fine-tuned defense, we launched a full system scan and started playing Warzone in parallel. We enjoyed serious COD action with no input lag and a constant FPS rate of around 120.

While we’re at it, here are more impressive features designed to help you make the most of your CPU without interruptions and without compromising your system’s performance:

  • Battery-saving mode to stay online longer without charging
  • Smooth upgrades (delivered in small update packages to save bandwidth)
  • ESET SysInspector (a complete diagnostic tool to troubleshoot a wide range of issues from security and incompatibility glitches to resource-hogging processes that are responsible for slowdowns)

Keeping resource consumption in check is important, but there is more to consider if we are to find the best antivirus for Xbox One.

With the right amount of network security features under its belt, ESET Internet Security does not fall short of anti-hacking and exploit prevention tools.

You can rely on a unique combination of settings, tailored to deliver iron-cast protection at all levels.

Here’s what to expect in terms of privacy, browsing, and network defense functionalities:

  • Network Inspector and Smart Firewall
  • Webcam, IoT, and router protection
  • Built-in secure browser or safe browsing mode compatible with the app of your choice for safe banking, shopping, and payment
  • Full protection against digital fraud including ransomware, phishing, and keylogger attacks (the most common attacks targeting Xbox One)

Certified testing institute AV-TEST corroborates our claim with ESET Internet Security ranking a max of 6 out of 6 points for protection, performance, and usability during the latest tests run in September and October. What’s not to like?

Get ESET Internet Security

F-Secure SAFE

Many gamers are vulnerable to vicious online attacks because they would rather sacrifice security to boost up performance. So, does antivirus affect gaming? It used to be like that.

Let’s face it, where there’s smoke, there’s fire, or at least it has been at some point in time. But technology evolved and antiviruses have come a long way.

Thus, the two are no longer exclusive and you can enjoy the outstanding performance together with airtight defense without compromise. To help you make the most of both worlds, F-Secure delivers an antivirus solution that is fully optimized for gaming.

Its impressive Gaming mode will make sure your PC is sealed against digital threats without slowing you down. If smooth gameplay is what you’re after, you can set your mind at ease.

Does antivirus affect FPS? Not if it’s F-Secure Safe.

When you activate the Gaming mode, all notifications, as well as updates and other settings and functionalities, are automatically pushed back to create the perfect premises for uninterrupted and unhindered gaming sessions.

With distractions out of the way, you can now fully immerse into combat and give 100% to vanquish your enemies, knowing that your computing resources will do the same.

Thanks to SAFE’s Gaming mode, you will be able to free up bandwidth, CPU, and memory and pump them into your gameplay to boost performance and enjoy the uncompromised speed with no lag.

Smooth gameplay is crucial, but an overall satisfying gaming experience requires multi-faceted protection.

Since gaming-targeted threats are intensifying, this best antivirus for Xbox One steps up its own game with suitable, multi-layered defense.

Gaming-specific ransomware, in particular, is on the rise, and phishing and social engineering-based attacks increase their presence across all gaming devices, Xbox included.

As shown above, hackers will even infiltrate in-game chats to distribute infected messages or trick you into clicking malicious links or downloading harmful content disguised as discounted games, service updates, mods, and so on.

And the numbers are staggering! Just a have look at these statistics from Securelist that indicate the number of files corresponding to the top 10 games used as bait to pave the way for malware distribution.

F-Secure SAFE stays one step ahead of threats with a powerful browsing protection module that will block harmful websites and prevent you from walking into phishing traps.

Similar to ESET’s Safe Browsing mode, this feature will secure the communication between your keyboard and the sites to which you connect to prevent keystrokes registration.

Should you feel the need to reinforce your defense against this very particular type of spyware, you can always add an extra layer of protection with dedicated anti-keylogger software.

Banking credentials represent a particularly appealing prize for keyloggers that will try to exploit anything from gaming purchase history to Xbox account information to steal valuable content both in-game and out of it.

However, F-Secure SAFE’s banking protection module should be able to provide the right amount of security for shopping, banking, and payments.

Get F-Secure SAFE

Norton 360 for Gamers

Common sense leaves us no choice but to admit when we simply cannot say it better. Norton nailed it with its special antivirus edition designed for PC gamers, by PC gamers.

Multi-layered defense is becoming more and more a trend in cybersecurity, but as we already mentioned, gamers are a different breed of users.

They require protection against common cyber threats along with specific mechanisms tailored to secure gaming information, accounts, devices, tags, and assets.

What makes this antivirus for Xbox One stand out from the crowd is more than a Gaming Mode. It’s an end-to-end security suite that covers real-time virus protection, network, privacy, and more while focusing entirely on gaming-specific needs.

Let the first power combo come into play: Full-screen detection Mode and PC Notification optimization. Norton will automatically detect when you are using full-screen mode and silence all notifications (except for critical alerts) to remove all interruptions.

You can minimize distractions while you’re gaming and even customize the notifications you want to permanently silence for better control.

But notifications are far from being the only thing that is optimized here. Just as it automatically engages silence mode when you activate the full-screen layout, Nortin 360 for Gamers will automatically detect games and adjust its entire configuration to pump power into your gameplay.

The Game Optimizer feature will quickly identify resource-intensive processes and gaming-related programs and optimize them to free your system’s capacity.

Just as it enhances the capacity for gaming-focused apps, Norton will be quick to pinpoint and isolate non-essential system functions to a single core, thus optimizing your CPU as it goes.

Faster, boosted gaming performance with smooth graphics, no lag, and no slowdown is guaranteed. Nevertheless, performance is merely the tip of the iceberg.

Gaming assets are particularly vulnerable to hacking and Norton knows it very well. Its interruptions-free gamer booster accommodates a suite of features specifically designed to protect gamers.

Here’s what is included in Norton 360 for Gamers at a glance. First of all, the Dark Web Monitoring feature will keep an eye on your personal information as well as gamer tags, usernames, and email addresses associated with your gaming accounts.

More privacy-focused tools come to the rescue including a secure no-log VPN to repel DDoS attacks, webcam protection for safe streaming, anti-phishing, and proactive exploit protection to block fraudulent websites and zero-day attacks.

From OS or apps-based vulnerabilities, in-game security flaws, phishing attacks via email, fraudulent websites, and malicious links to prying eyes, no threat can defeat Norton’s unrivaled security.

Get Norton 360 for Gamers

Bitdefender Total Security

Bitdefender has it right – the combination between the best virus detection rates and a lightweight, feather-easy infrastructure is the key to unlocking gamers’ hearts.

You probably don’t need us to tell you how effective Bitdefender is. After all, its reputation as a worldwide trusted and security experts’ endorsed solution speaks for itself. So we will focus on its gaming-oriented features instead.

You guessed it, the Gaming Mode tops our list. Under the Utilities screen, you will find dedicated profiles. Once you activate the Game Profile, you can sit back and relax. We’re just kidding.

It’s the precise moment you will go all-in, sweat, blood, and tears included, and enjoy uninterrupted, fully immersive, intense gameplay.

Everything else from notifications to background activities will be suspended to remove all distractions and any other resource-hogging processes and apps.

The Battery Mode completes this gaming-friendly environment by further adjusting display settings, system updates, and cooling, as well as Bluetooth connectivity to concentrate your entire processing power into your gaming session and allow you to enjoy your rig to the maximum.

Now, this best antivirus for Xbox One is designed to be as lightweight as possible by default. It takes no more than 2 KB on our drive.

We run a complete scan on our breezy ASUS SonicMaster notebook with i7-8565U CPU, 8.00 GB of RAM, and 500 GB HDD (out of which 118 GB worth of files already occupied).

A full system scan will take a little over 20 minutes (depending on your specs and storage occupancy rates, of course) with no drag whatsoever.

Resource consumption numbers during a full scan with Bitdefender Total Security

Heavy scans run directly in the cloud to maintain your system resources unspoiled. This uncompromised performance is possible thanks to the Global Protective Network feature.

As if it weren’t enough, you can further improve your performance with a series of optimization tools that are both highly effective and easy to use.

The OneClick Optimizer, just as its name implies, only requires one single click to speed up your device and enhance its bootup time as well as its overall performance.

The patented Bitdefender Photon technology then takes over to make sure your system’s configuration is fine-tuned for a minimal impact on computing resources.

With the built-in Vulnerability scanner, you are bound to unleash your device’s full potential and never miss a beat during gameplay.

To make sure you will never fall victim to phishing attacks, this best antivirus for Xbox One delivers top-rated anti-fraud tools such as web filters to block harmful websites, and advanced anti-phishing protection when you shop, bank, or browse.

Speaking about banking and browsing, there is even a dedicated secure browser called Safepay that you can use in conjunction with the built-in Bitdefender VPN to encrypt traffic and secure your most sensitive credentials against hacking.

The anti-tracker tool is a nice addon to make sure your data is beyond interception or collection, be it for marketing purposes or more ill intentions.

Advanced audio-video protection for your mic and webcam completes this impressive privacy suite and allows you to regain control over your devices.

Finally, your network will also benefit from a well-deserved protection shield in the form of a privacy firewall designed to block intrusions. Last, but certainly not least, the Network Threat Prevention feature will block network-level exploits, brute force attacks, and more.

Get BitDefender Total Security

Kaspersky Internet Security

Kaspersky’s Gaming Mode is all about full immersion and performance optimization. Thus, it takes all distractions out of your way to help you achieve it.

This great antivirus for Xbox One does not run scans or display notifications and most importantly it’s not resource-intensive, so it will not slow you down.

It also boasts a comprehensive anti-hacking suite that will prevent cybercriminals from breaching your network and stealing your data.

This includes powerful protection modules against spear phishing, man-in-the-middle attacks commonly targeting gaming consoles, anti-keylogger, anti-adware, and anti-ransomware defense.

To top it all, you also get webcam protection, a built-in VPN, and a safe browser for payments to make sure your Xbox transactions history is beyond grasp.

Get Kaspersky Internet Security

Bottom runners

Besides the products that made the list after our rigorous testing process, there have been other antiviruses that proved their capabilities.

Even though they will most likely not with an award for the best antivirus for Xbox One anytime soon, they could still make good options to consider.

Avira Prime

Backed up by state-of-the-art real-time virus detection technologies and PC-optimization tools, Avira Prima is gamers’ best friend.

To begin with, it includes an unlimited VPN that will encrypt your traffic, unblock streaming and anonymize your web browsing to make tracking obsolete.

It also boasts a PC cleaner, software updater, and privacy settings optimizer that combines their skills to reduce lag, speed up your boot time, and free up space and memory on your device for more games to comfortably settle in.

Along with your drivers, it also improves system processes to allow you to make the most of your CPU and enjoy smooth, fast, and dynamic gameplay.

BullGuard Internet Security

If finding a good antivirus for Xbox One is your ultimate goal, BullGuard will tick pretty much all boxes in terms of privacy, performance, and of course, protection.

Besides its top-rated multi-layered, machine learning-trained defense, you will have all the tools you need to stay protected while gaming right at your fingertips.

Its most appealing functionalities include a Secure Browser, Home Network Scanner and Firewall, Vulnerability Scanner, and of course, a Game Booster with improved support for broadcasting during gameplay.

Reduced file sizes for virus signatures will further enhance your system’s performance.

How to tell if your Xbox has a virus

If anything, hackers are highly resourceful specimens that always come up with new ways to exploit whatever vulnerabilities they can spot. And they are relentless.

While your Xbox One is less an attractive target for cybercriminals, there is still good profit to be made out of gaming and console hacking, including user account credentials or game purchases transactions that further open the door to credit card details theft or in-game inventory theft.

Look out for these signs if you suspect your console has been hacked:

  • Unusually slow performance, unresponsiveness, drag
  • Ads and pop-ups taking over your screen or frequently interrupting your gameplay
  • Sudden and unprovoked shutdowns
  • Frequent crashes and system glitches
  • Unauthorized changes noticed at settings, homepage or account levels
  • Unknown applications launching at startup
  • Device memory erased

If you notice any of these signs or more of them in conjunction, your console has likely been compromised. Of course, there can be other manifestations depending on the code of the virus, so make sure you do not disregard any suspicious activity or odd behavior.

The oppositive is also available. While slowness is generally a red flag for virus infection, culprits can just as well not be bugs. Don’t be shy to inspect your storage space and explore more useful tips to speed up slow Xbox One game downloads.

How to get rid of a virus on Xbox One?

To regain control of your Xbox, the first thing you need to do is to perform a factory reset. It will delete all the information associated with your Xbox, but that’s a small price to pay considering.

Here’s how to reset your Xbox to its defaults settings:

  1. Press the Xbox button to open the main menu.
  2. From the Settings menu, select System and then Console info.
  3. Now, press Reset console and go for the Reset and remove everything option.

Finally, make sure you deploy a good antivirus for Xbox One from our list above to secure your device against further attacks. Precaution is key and sticking to basic internet security awareness guidelines will most likely keep you out of trouble.

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