Do Antivirus Gaming Modes Really Make A Difference?

September 15, 2016

While not all antivirus gaming mode features are designed to do the same thing, all of them are meant to make your gaming experience smooth and lag-free. They do this by pushing your antivirus into the background so it doesn’t interfere with your computer’s performance.


The Benefits

Basically, while some products just disable notifications so that you’re not bothered by them while in-game, there are others which also turn off background virus scans and decrease the software’s impact on system performance. The goal is to not slow down your gaming experience or cause bad game performance in any way. This is especially important with online gamers – one lag and you might have gained damage for yourself and your teammates.

Before this feature was first introduced, some gamers would disable their antivirus program entirely so that it doesn’t interfere with their gaming process. This was not at all safe, but obviously performance was more important to them then safety. Now that gaming modes have been introduced, you can have the same effect, while still having your PC protection on as well.

How It Works

The gaming mode means that the antivirus, firewall and spyware will be running in the background, but consuming as little resources as possible. All alerts will be hidden and will not pop up except for perhaps extremely important ones, and updates and scans will be canceled until the gaming mode is switched off. In more sophisticated antivirus programs, this mode is actually automated, so as soon as you turn a game on the mode will initialize and go back to normal once you quit the game. This is indeed a convenient feature for gaming enthusiasts who don’t want to think about turning off their antivirus whenever starting a game.

However, for some reason, in many antivirus products, the gaming mode is a bit hard to find. Sometimes it is called “silent mode”, and other times the antivirus company doesn’t even inform its customers about it. It is unclear why this is such a prevalent issue, but perhaps antivirus companies will pay more attention in the future to pointing out the fact that they offer a gaming mode, and make it easier to find in the interface. On a brighter note, several security products out there let you create game profiles to make it easier for it to recognize when you are running your favorite game, which seems like a fun idea to incorporate.

Play Safe!

Remember that with most products you will have to turn the gaming option on before starting the game, but also turn it off after quitting. Even though with current antiviruses you are protected even while the program is running in the background while you are having fun with a game, you need it to run full power afterwards in order to have optimal protection. So, take note of this handy feature and be a responsible gamer!