July 15, 2022  —  Acronis

Why You Need a Gaming Antivirus and How To Get The Best One

Acronis
Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office
formerly Acronis True Image

There are those who will tell you to disable your antivirus software while gaming to enjoy the best gaming experience. While some antiviruses can slow down the game speed, disabling your antivirus can put your system at risk and expose you to cyberattacks. You must have an antivirus solution always running because you never know when you will be attacked.

For example, there can be malicious code even in a game downloaded from a trusted source. These attacks are like supply chain attacks. An attacker hacks a game developer’s servers and injects malicious code. Anyone who downloads the game will be infected. When this happens, your antivirus should detect the code and stop the download. Modern antivirus software that uses behavioral heuristics will also detect any other malicious activity, including if the game is stealing data, injecting backdoors, or infecting your system with ransomware.

What are the cybersecurity threats that gamers face?

Gamers face the same cybersecurity threats as any other user, online gaming risks including viruses, worms, ransomware, trojans and phishing attacks. Cybercriminals target gamers because online gaming continually expands the attack surface. Here are some recent examples of cyberattacks on gamers.

· Capcom recently suffered a ransomware attack when the company become aware of a phishing attempt that was masquerading as early access invites to the upcoming Resident Evil: Village. The phishing emails came from noreply(at)capcom(dot)com and contained links or files that directed the victim to malicious websites to collect credentials or install malware. It is unclear how long the phishing campaign had been operating before Capcom became aware of it and issued a warning to potentially affected customers and fans.

This attack followed a massive ransomware attack that Capcom suffered in November 2020. The attack leaked information about the corporation's business, current projects, and future plans. Capcom also suspects that information belonging to employees, partners, and customers was also compromised during the attack.

· Earlier this year, gamers were battered by a new trojan, BloodyStealer, which has targeted Steam, GOG, Epic Games, Origin, Bethesda, and other gaming-related accounts. BloodyStealer gathers data such as cookies, credentials, payment card details, and even screenshots, among other potentially sensitive data, and uploads the data in a zip file to the attacker's command and control (C2) server.

· A newly discovered piece of malware, dubbed Crackonosh, has infected more than 222,000 computers since June 2018. Crackonosh mines the cryptocurrency Monero, and has earned the developer around two million USD (or about 9,000 Monero coins) in illicit profits. Crackonosh is spread through cracked software, such as game installers, photo editors, and other utilities that are commonly sought out on pirated software websites.

Benefits of using antivirus while gaming

Antivirus software will stop attacks while you are gaming, but if you suspend your antivirus solution while gaming, you may forget to turn it back on. Or, you may turn it back on, but the time delay between an attack and your antivirus detecting the attack can mean that severe damage has already occurred, and your data may already be stolen. And if you have computers or IoT devices on the same network as your gaming system, these can also be infected.

Without an antivirus solution, your computer's performance can also be negatively impacted. Antivirus software cleans up your computer and speeds up its performance, which prevents your games from crashing or lagging.

It is evident that there is a risk of encountering a virus while gaming. Nevertheless, numerous gamers feel reluctant to utilize virus software while engaged in gameplay. The reason is that gamers are concerned, about compromising the experience in the case of multiplayer real-time games. However, if you frequently engage in a gaming mode, on your computer, it is absolutely essential to have antivirus protection installed on your PC. Because you will be provided with the following benefits:

Antivirus software will improve the performance of your PC.

Antivirus software has the ability to improve the performance of your computer. Nowadays, antivirus programs are designed to operate in the background without drawing attention. In fact, some antivirus programs can even enhance your computer's functionality by blocking software and regularly cleaning your drive. So if you have antivirus protection enabled, you may notice an improvement in performance while engaging in activities, like gaming, ensuring an enjoyable experience.

Antivirus programs have the option to clean-up your PC and improve it's system performance.

One important reason to keep your antivirus software active while gaming is that many antivirus programs include PC Cleanup features. This means that after you finish gaming sessions, the program will automatically run on your computer and remove any excessive files and downloads.

By keeping it on when you're not online or in automatic gaming mode, your antivirus can efficiently maintain a secure and well-functioning computer environment for your system. Additionally, if you leave it running while gaming, your antivirus can start the cleaning process as soon as you finish playing a game. Which, of course, will lead to fewer problems with cache data and better gaming performance.

The best antivirus programs have a gaming mode as a feature.

Many top-notch antivirus programs are designed to work in the background, regardless of the platform you're using. Some antivirus software even has the capability to detect gaming platforms, like Steam, and operate in the background apps a way that doesn't disrupt or hinder your gaming experience at all. That is really a huge benefit when you want to get the best gaming experience while being protected at the same time.

In the past, it was considered that antivirus software would have a bad influence on your device performance and that it would slow it down. But nowadays, the truth is that the best antivirus programs have a game booster feature that will make playing games even more satisfying than you could imagine. Last, but not least, you will feel secure while playing your favorite PC games.

Paid vs free antivirus software for gamers

Remember, you always get what you pay for. While you can obtain a free version of antivirus software online, you are not necessarily getting the most up-to-date software to stop the newest cyberthreats. While vendors who sell antivirus software can get new security patches to market quickly, vendors who offer free versions of antivirus software may take weeks, if not months, to deliver that security patch.

The other downside to free antivirus software is that many of the vendors who offer it can collect your data when you register for their software and sell it to third parties.

Common features of paid antivirus software

It is a well-known fact that there is no free lunch. It is the same when using any type of software. For instance, when you use paid antivirus software, you will be provided with a lot more benefits than the same free version of the antivirus program can offer. That is perfectly normal, because behind the paid versions there are professionals developing the value of their software, so the amount you will pay feels like nothing compared with the benefits you will be provided with.

Through the past couple of years, antivirus software companies have developed a lot of innovative features that are actually helping your system resources to be secured and performing at their top level. When choosing the paid version, you will be provided with the latest approaches, additional features, and technologies for protection.

For the letter, you will be able to enjoy and use gaming-focused functionalities, additional features like game boosters and real-time threat protection, anti-malware threats, different scanning options, parental controls, and other bonus features.

Some of the best antivirus programs have extra features like antivirus with a VPN, cloud storage for your file, cloud based scanning or a password manager just add to the best antivirus experience you could have.

The importance of gaming antivirus

When paying for something, you always seek for the best. If you're still unsure, about the importance of having antivirus software for your gaming PC here are some reasons to consider:

1. Safeguarding your device from malware

Malicious software can find its way into games downloaded from unofficial sources. Having an antivirus that can detect and block any malicious code or files is essential for keeping your gaming PC protected and secure while playing on multiplayer servers or downloading game add-ons.

2. Avoid phishing and scams 

Gamers are often targeted by scammers offering deals on in game items, tools, or currency. Fortunately, many top notch antivirus programs come with browser extensions that scan for websites and disable harmful links before you click on them.

3. Protecting your privacy 

Leading antivirus suites offer additional privacy features like VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) and password managers. With these tools, you can hide your IP address to prevent DDoS attacks and generate passwords to safeguard your gaming platform accounts against theft and exploitation.

It is perfectly normal to search for the best option when paying for any type of software, so we can give you some pieces of advice when searching for the best antivirus for a gaming PC.

There are plenty of antivirus software options on the market, but not all of them are suitable for gaming. To determine the best antivirus for gaming PCs, we conducted testing on various services and selected the top ones based on the following criteria in the next section.

How to Choose the Best Antivirus for a Gaming PC?

Optimizing PC performance during gaming.

Since gaming puts a load on the CPU and GPU, it's crucial that antivirus game boosters and performance optimizers function properly without consuming system resources and processing power.

Malware detection rates.

Independent testing labs conduct assessments of malware detection using antivirus tools. Our rankings for antivirus recommendations are based on reports from these labs and our own experiences.

Real-time protection.

It's vital to evaluate how effectively antiviruses respond to real-time threats and prevent malware from infiltrating your device. It is crucial to choose an antivirus program that has a success rate as close to 100% as possible. Play PC games without annoying lag or performance interruptions Real-time protection: No need for “gamer mode” or "silent mode".

User-friendly experience.

Whether you're an expert or a first-time user, it's essential that the antivirus software is easy to download, install, and manage. You should also take into account whether the game mode is activated automatically or if it requires setup.

Cost.

Since antivirus suites can be quite pricey, you have to choose the one that meets and fits your needs. You have to plan the things that are important for you as rapid virus security, automatic gaming mode and a high virus scan success rate. When considering the things you need, you can select the antivirus software that covers your needs, and assures you won't pay more than you can afford.

Customer support.

In the event that you encounter any problems with the antivirus, having skilled and prompt customer support is essential for dealing with any problems fast and efficient.

If you find all these elements in a single antivirus provider, don't hesitate a second and select him as your main antivirus protection.

Why Do I Need an Antivirus for PC Gaming?

In the realm of PC gaming, where epic battles unfold and immersive worlds come to life, it's easy to overlook the importance of computer security. As PC gamers, our main focus is dominating the realm and conquering our in-game adversaries.

However, we mustn't forget that within this playground, our gaming PCs are not invulnerable to lurking online threats. So if you ask yourself: Do I need antivirus software for PC gaming? The answer is, yes! You will need a good antivirus program. Let's delve into the world of antivirus for gaming and explore the reasons why it is an invaluable ally when playing games everyday.

The Hidden Dangers That Lie in Wait.

As PC gamers, we spend hours engrossed in front of our screens, fully immersed in the thrilling worlds that our gaming PCs bring to life. It's important to recognize that while we're busy achieving victories, there are threats silently infiltrating our systems. Cyber threats, like malware, ransomware, and phishing attacks, don't discriminate based on our gaming habits, they can strike at any time. Potentially will compromise the performance of our PCs as well as jeopardize personal data and steal our identity.

Online threats act as assassins, infiltrating your system undetected. They often disguise themselves as game modifications, unauthorized versions of your titles, or even through suspicious links in chat. An effective antivirus program acts as your line of defense against these hidden threats, tirelessly working in the background to safeguard your secure gaming experience and setup.

Keeping resource-draining apps in check.

We've all experienced it, you're ready to launch your game only to encounter performance and frame rate drops. It's frustrating, right? Many PC gamers tend to blame the game itself. Often, the real culprits are those pesky background applications that consume your system's resources.

Top-notch antivirus software does not protect you from cyber threats. Also provides system performance optimization with tools that help you identify and disable those resource-hungry background apps. By decluttering processes, your gaming PC can fully dedicate its power to delivering a gaming experience. Bid farewell to those lags. Embrace smoother gameplay.

Safeguarding Your Gaming Clips and Personal Information.

In this era of streaming and sharing, PC gamers take pride in showcasing their skills by uploading game clips online. However, this habit can inadvertently expose you to vulnerabilities. Without protection, your personal data, game clips, and even account credentials could be jeopardized.

An advanced antivirus scanner does not only provide protection for your gaming PC. It also safeguards your game clips and other sensitive information from unauthorized access. With identity theft protection as one of its features, you can confidently enjoy gaming and sharing knowing that your digital identity is secure.

The Significance of Regular Full System Scans.

You might wonder, "Can't I rely on Windows Defender?" While Windows Defender is an antivirus tool, it may not offer sufficient protection to shield your gaming PC from a complete range of online threats. It's like entering a battle with a sword when you could have an arsenal at your disposal.

A reliable antivirus suite has a scanner that performs full system checks. These scans thoroughly examine your system to detect any threats. By doing so, you ensure that your gaming setup remains consistently protected against all types of cyber threats.

Improved PC performance.

Now let's address the concern many people have: "Won't an antivirus slow down my PC?" This concern is reasonable since some antivirus software can indeed consume system resources. However, finding the right balance is key. High-quality antivirus software won't weigh down your computer, instead, it will improve PC performance, by using device optimization tools.

When you have good antivirus software equipped with built in gaming mode, it will resolve performance issues in time. This ensures that your PC runs smoothly without any disruptions during gaming sessions. In fact, it can enhance your PC's gaming performance by optimizing its system resources.

In the world of PC gaming, the excitement of winning and the satisfaction of leveling up are what we thrive on. However, amidst our pursuit of triumphs, we must not overlook the real dangers that hide in the digital shadows. Cyberattacks can strike at any moment and put our gaming PC's and personal data at risk. We can intercept this danger by choosing software that includes best antivirus suites for gaming.

That's why, as a PC gamer, you need an lightweight antivirus solution that surpasses protection for your gaming computer. We need an antivirus scanner that fortifies our gaming setup against all types of malware threats. It ensures that background applications do not hinder gameplay, safeguards game clips and personal information, and even boosts the PC's performance. You will find all these useful gaming features in a reliable antivirus software provider.

Do yourself a favor.

Instead of searching for the best free antivirus software, invest in the best paid antivirus software. In this changing world of technology, it serve you as a companion to ensure the security of your gaming PC, in any conditions and scenarios. When you find yourself engaged in gaming battles, having the peace of mind that your gaming setup is fully safeguarded becomes paramount, enabling you to concentrate on your strengths and emerge victorious.

Will an Antivirus Affect My Gaming?

Playing video games online has become a way for people to entertain themselves at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it's important to be aware of the increased cybersecurity risks that come with spending a lot of time online playing games or browsing the internet. Surprisingly, even the gaming community is not exempt from these threats. Many people assume that gaming online is safe. Recent research suggests otherwise, so you have to take steps providing yourself with great antivirus software in order to have a safe and pleasant gaming experience.

Contrary to popular belief, online gamers face a lot of different risks, such as credential stuffing attacks and in-game thefts that are really popular, nowadays. In the past two years, there have been over 10 billion instances of hackers trying to steal usernames and passwords on multiple accounts, it sounds scary as a number, right? This can lead to catastrophic consequences for the victims, including account loss, exposure of personal information online, and even worse, identity theft.

Furthermore, it's not just stuffing attacks that gamers need to be cautious about, they also face the risk of contracting viruses on their devices (whether PCs or Android devices) while indulging in their gaming activities. The most concerning thing is that you won't understand being infected with a virus until it is too late. These mean techniques and approaches are very dangerous and harmful because they remain hidden at the very beginning, and the infection spreads through your PC with the speed of light.

For that reason, it is advisable to use antivirus software running while you engage in gaming activities because it will keep you safe from these cyber threats, giving you the chance to play your favorite games with peace of mind. Nevertheless, some gamers, especially those who play MMO games or games with high end graphics, might be reluctant to run antivirus software while gaming.

In fact, some individuals may even hesitate to install antivirus software due to the misconception that having it on their device could negatively impact game performance. With today's antivirus programs, which are a lot different from these used ten years ago, you are provided with antivirus software, giving you the chance to play games without affecting your system performance. Actually, when your PC enters full screen mode it will automatically switch to gaming mode, and will suspend full system scan and any notifications. You can now use gaming modes of the antivirus, that will provide you with the best results of your PC, and of course, with the best protection when playing any game.

In reality it is crucial to have antivirus and internet security suite software installed and running whenever you are involved in gaming, regardless of the type of game you are playing. It is important to understand that having antivirus software will not hinder your gamer mode experience or slow down your installed games. On the contrary, it will ensure your safety while you enjoy your gaming sessions.

So rest assured that keeping your computer antivirus software enabled during gameplay is a decision and will not interfere with your enjoyment of the game.

Protect your gaming with the best antivirus for gaming - Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office

Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office (formerly Acronis True Image) offers everything you need to your data and safeguard your devices from all of today's threats — from disk failures to ransomware attacks. And thanks to its unique integration of backup and cybersecurity in one solution, it saves you time and reduces the cost, complexity, and risks caused by managing multiple solutions. We can definitely say that it is the best antivirus software that provides you with the following key features:

Real anti-malware protection.

Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office checks every file you interact with in real time to ensure your entire system and backups are safe from cyberattacks, including never-seen-before threats.

Ransomware and cryptojacking protection

Acronis protects your data, applications, and system by detecting and stopping ransomware and cryptojacking attacks and by automatically restoring files that are affected.

Videoconference app protection.

 Acronis ensures your privacy and keeps your data secure from cyberattacks when videoconferencing via Zoom, Cisco Webex, or Microsoft Teams.

Web filtering. 

Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office stops you from viewing malicious URLs the moment you try to visit them.

Vulnerability assessments.

Acronis' vulnerability assessment tool evaluates your computer to determine if there are any vulnerabilities, and recommends updates to keep you safe.

Learn more about Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office or even better try it out for free.

Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office
For Home Office

Upgrade Your Cyber Protection - Get Antivirus Today!

About Acronis

A Swiss company founded in Singapore in 2003, Acronis has 15 offices worldwide and employees in 50+ countries. Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud is available in 26 languages in 150 countries and is used by over 20.000 service providers to protect over 750,000 businesses.

More from Acronis