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The 5 Best Antivirus with Gaming Mode

In a world where many desktop and laptop sales are being lost to tablets and mobile devices, there is one breed of PC users working to keep the desktop manufacturers in business: the hardcore gamers.

A well-specified Windows-based gaming rig will blow away any of the modern consoles in terms of sound and graphics. For committed gamers, nothing else will do.

Several Internet security vendors are clearly aware that gamers form a key part of their target market and, as such, have built a gaming mode into their products. In this top-five roundup, we list the five best antivirus products with gaming mode that we’ve encountered whilst reviewing every commercial antivirus product available.

Gaming modes differ in exactly what they do. Some simply suppress notifications so that you’re not disturbed during a gaming session. Others do more, such as disabling background virus scanning and reducing the system footprint of the software to improve gaming performance.

It was surprisingly difficult to produce this top five roundup. Some vendors don’t publicise the fact that they include a gaming mode in their software when the feature is, in fact, hidden away in the settings menus somewhere.

For example, Norton Antivirus 2013, which did well in our overall tests, includes a gaming mode (which it calls “silent mode”), but despite a huge online features list, the vendor makes no mention of it within the online promotional material. We had to review Norton’s support documentation and hunt within the product to find the mode. As a result, the product nearly missed out on its third place position in this top five.

In the past, knowledgeable gamers may have chosen to disable their antivirus completely during a gaming session. By choosing one of the products on this list, gamers can keep their computers secure and still enjoy their gaming time without interruptions or degraded performance.


Rank Provider Score Review Link


Logo 95% Read Review Visit Site


Logo 92% Read Review Visit Site


Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 16.52.06 90% Read Review Visit Site


Screen Shot 2013-08-21 at 11.49.47 89% Read Review Visit Site


Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 16.48.07

88% Read Review Visit Site


Winner – Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus


Positives: Our current favourite product, gaming mode is automatic

Negatives: There are cheaper products on the market

Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus is a product that simply won’t be held down! It topped our overall antivirus league table, and this isn’t the only top five round-up it has featured in.

We thought it may miss out on this occasion, as a gaming mode wasn’t listed on the product’s online features list, but a hunt through the documentation revealed that there is such a mode, and that it is enabled by default.

The mode lowers resource use and “suppresses program functions” during full-screen gaming. Given that the product already has a practically unnoticeable impact on system performance, this extra feature makes us like it even more.

Webroot’s product deserves its place (once again) at the top of our round-up.

Visit Webroot

2. ZoneAlarm PRO Antivirus + Firewall


Positives: Includes several non-standard features including a well-renowned firewall

Negatives: Installation procedure could be better

ZoneAlarm Pro Antivirus + Firewall was another product that nearly missed out on a place in this list, as the vendor keeps quiet about the presence of a gaming mode. However, it is there if you look hard enough.

ZoneAlarm’s “game mode” suppresses “most ZoneAlarm security software scans, product updates, and alerts.” Unlike some similar modes it promises “fewer” interruptions rather than none at all.

Even so, ZoneAlarm’s product is a good choice for gamers, especially given the competitive pricing for up to three PCs.

Visit ZoneAlarm

3. Norton Antivirus 2014

Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 16.52.06

Positives: Great interface, a huge improvement on the Norton of old.

Negatives: The time it took us to find gaming mode is a good example of the bewildering size of the product’s features list!

We were really pleased with Norton Antivirus 2014, especially because (as long-term techies) we still remember the days when “Norton” had become something of a swear word amongst the IT community.

This is a great, low-footprint product, but one thing we did criticise in our main review was that the number of features is perhaps a little excessive.

It ties in well with this observation that it took us a while to find Norton’s gaming mode, not helped by the fact that they call it “silent mode.” We spent some time on Norton’s forums ascertaining the details, and when they didn’t make it clear whether or not it was included in the entry-level antivirus package, we ended up booting our original test machine back up to see for ourselves.

However, the feature is indeed present and correct, and although it’s disabled by default, when activated it suspends program functions and alerts. In addition, it can be set to “auto detect” full-screen activity.

Visit Norton

4. eSet NOD32 Antivirus 7

Positives: Lightweight program, great tech support

Negatives: Perhaps not the best for novices

Screen Shot 2013-08-21 at 11.49.47

eSet NOD32 Antivirus 7 is a great product, with an overall score of 89% in our review. The product has improved since the previous version, and moved up our overall league table.

The product is great for enthusiasts. It uses few system resources and is highly configurable.

Of course, it also has a gaming mode, which further reduces CPU use, postpones scanning tasks and disables notifications. Interestingly, the vendor has chosen to make gaming mode a switchable setting in this version – it was automatic in version 6.

NOD32 has always been popular amongst enthusiasts, and its popularity is well deserved.

Visit ESetNod32

4. Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2013

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Positives: Good user interface, game mode easy to find

Negatives: Product startup can be slow on reboot

Kaspersky has always enjoyed a pretty good reputation, but Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2013 fell slightly behind our leading products when we conducted our reviews. Even so, it still managed a very respectable overall score of 88% and is a product that deserves your attention.

Most importantly, for the purposes of this round-up, it features a gaming mode that is really easy to find, unlike some of the other products listed here!

Kaspersky’s gaming mode promises a completely “uninterrupted” gaming experience, and the product also has a pretty extensive list of other features too. It may be just the thing for the enthusiasts out there.

Visit Kapersky


Rank Provider Score Review Link


Logo 95% Read Review Visit Site


Logo 92% Read Review Visit Site


Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 16.52.06 90% Read Review Visit Site


Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 16.48.07 88% Read Review Visit Site


Screen Shot 2013-08-21 at 11.49.47 85% Read Review Visit Site

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