6 best antivirus software for gaming PCs [Gamers’ Guide]

Radu Tyrsina
by Radu Tyrsina
CEO & Founder
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  • Looking for a powerful antivirus that features a gaming mode? You’ll find below our top picks.
  • BullGuard offers excellent malware protection and has little impact on system performance.
  • Aren’t you ready to call it a day? Don’t hesitate to visit our Cybersecurity section for more guides.
  • You can also choose to bookmark our Gaming Hub if you want to discover even more handy guides for an ultimate gaming experience.
antivirus software solutions for gaming

Running your system without an antivirus is quite risky even if you are not connected to the Internet. You can still get a virus via Steam, Origin, or Uplay exploits.

Also, if you download games from suspicious sources, there is a high risk that they come with injected malware.

They might cause the addition of new toolbars to your browser and sometimes even steal your passwords from your social media accounts.

To prevent this, consider enhancing your protection with good antivirus.

Check out these best antivirus software for gaming PCs and make your pick according to your needs.

Do gaming PCs need antivirus?

BullGuard (Recommended)

get BullGuard

BullGuard is a top antivirus that will protect your data from viruses and keep your system clean so that you can enjoy gaming.

It isn’t easy to find an antivirus that features a gaming mode, yet BullGuard clearly ticks this box. Best of all, its Game Booster automatically detects gameplay.

When you finish playing, Normal operation mode returns automatically, with no additional actions expected from your side.

We also recommended this antivirus software since it consistently performs well, without being intrusive and having little impact on system performance.

These are some BullGuard key features to take into consideration:

  • Quick and accurate scans
  • Successfully identifies and blocks malware
  • Prevents annoying pop-ups
  • Doesn’t interrupt gameplay
  • Minimum impact on game performance


BullGuard helps you enjoy gaming and informs you of potential threats. You can enjoy it right away!
$23.99/year Get it free

Read our full BullGuard review


get Bitdefender

This is the best full-featured security antivirus, but you should be aware that such a high level of protection doesn’t come cheap.

This is the robust and silent type of protection, and after install, it goes into Autopilot mode by default, making all security-related decisions for you while you enjoy your favorite games.

The program will never bother you with alerts and pop-ups, and it won’t ask you to go through and configure its behavior.

Thousands of users trust this antivirus program because of the experience they’ve had with it throughout the years.

All tests have proven that it can detect every single threat including 213 zero-day malware samples and more than 20,000 widespread and prevalent malware discovered lately.

Let’s quickly look at its key features:

  • Can scan for vulnerabilities such as out of date software
  • Can also check for missing Windows updates and analyzes the strength of your passwords
  • Provides detailed reports about the vulnerabilities and specific security threats it has detected
  • Includes a Safepay option for conducting online transactions, which comes in very handy when you buy games
  • You can call up Bitdefender’s virtual keyboard to protect your system from keyloggers
World's best antivirus
bitdefender 2019 product image
  • Great price plan
  • VPN included
  • Best Windows compatibility
  • Awesome customer support

Kaspersky Total Security

try out Kaspersky

Kaspersky Total Security is packed with some handy utilities, and it’s worth the money.

The software is perfect for protecting gaming PCs. Most users will find that Kaspersky’s default settings are adequate, but if you are after some fine-grain control, you will find plenty of it in its various submenus.

You can also dig deeper by clicking on Advanced Settings to bring up even more options.

Let’s quickly look at its key features:

  • Integrated file shredder that overwrites deleted files (making them impossible to restore)
  • Encrypted folders to keep your valuable data secure
  • Password syncing among more devices
  • In-built PC clean up tools

Of course, you can also find free alternatives to all these features, but having them all together in just a single place is more than convenient.

Kaspersky Total Security consistently performs among the best AV programs both in terms of identifying and blocking malware and having a minimal impact on system performance.

The only downside might be the fact that it can take several clicks to dig your way to a particular setting.

Essential for Windows
kaspersky website logo
  • Blocking ransomware, cryptolockers & more
  • Preventing cryptomining malware infections
  • Real-time protection

Avira Free Antivirus for Windows

get Avira

Avira is one of the best free AV software you will find. Its level of customization is very high, allowing you to customize many options.

You can configure how Avira scans for zero-day threats. However, if you select a high detection level, the risk of getting false positive reports increases.

More than 400 million people already downloaded Avira, and this fact alone confirms that this tool is a powerful and reliable antivirus.

The one thing that you will not get from the free version of Avira is a Game Mode. That’s why we strongly recommend that you go for Avira Pro.

Ready to pay a little extra money to secure your gaming experience?

Next-Gen AI Technology
Avira Antivirus website logo
  • 300 thousand threats blocked per day
  • Endpoint Scanning of malware
  • 100 million sensors for detecting threats

Webroot Secure Anywhere

get Webroot Secure Anywhere

Webroot Secure Anywhere installs in under one minute and uses very little RAM or storage space. Actually, it uses only 5MB of RAM when idle, and less than 15% CPU when it’s scanning your system.

If you’re looking for a lightweight antivirus for gaming, then Secure Anywhere is the perfect choice for you.

As a matter of fact, there is a special version of Secure Anywhere for gamers. This antivirus version comes with a dedicated system optimizer that detects system issues in real-time, and wipes away all traces of online activity making deleted files unrecoverable.

The software is cloud-based, so it will work best when there is an internet connection involved. Secure Anywhere features a series of adjustable settings that you can customize depending on your needs.

Antivirus for PC Gaming
webroot official website logo
  • Full virus protection without impact on speed
  • Gameplay performance
  • Webcam protection

Max Secure Internet Security

get Max Secure Internet Security

The software provides an easy and quick installation process, and you will get immediate protection for emerging threats.

It is the most efficient protection against spyware, malware, adware, Key logger, and Rootkit and it offers Fast Scan Technology.

The Advanced Monitoring feature prompts warn you in case any program makes illegal entries in critical registry locations.

It offers a complete USB block for total safety from external devices and uninterrupted external Drive scan and notification, automated removal of Malware.

Let’s quickly look at its key features:

  • AutoRun and Short-cut creation protection to minimize virus transmission to other PCs
  • Advanced Emulation technology detects polymorphic viruses, packed files, and complex Malware.
  • Heuristic Scanning for Zero-Day Virus Detection
  • Easy Recovery of any quarantined file in case you need it
  • Real-time Active Protection for Virus and Rootkit in memory
  • Multi-language Support
  • Automatic Self Updating threat definition Database

Get Max Secure Internet Security now

Finding the right level of AV protection for your PC is quite a personal thing. There are of course solutions that are much better than others.

Once you manage to separate the good from the bad, it will all come down to features, price, and other criteria that are important for you.

There is also the question if you really need to use a third-party AV program as long as you have the benefits of Windows Defender which is free and built into Windows 10.

The advantage of running a security suite is that it provides a more comprehensive solution into a tidy package.

FAQ: Learn more about antivirus software for gaming PCs

  • Do I need antivirus for gaming pc?

Using one of the best antivirus software tools for gaming PCs is mandatory if you want to efficiently block both known and zero-day malware.

  • What antivirus is good for my Windows gaming PC?

BullGuard is ideal for your Windows gaming PC since it packs useful Game Booster features and no scans will ever bother you while the game is on.

  • Do you need an antivirus if you only game on PC?

Yes. Only an antivirus offers you the necessary protection against viruses and trojans so that you can enjoy an unhindered gaming experience.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in June 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.