A gamer takes on Avast Game Mode: Does it really work?

Sandro Villinger 13 Jun 2017

PC gamers don’t want online threats, but also don’t want slowdowns or distractions. I gave Avast 2017 a test-drive to see if Game Mode delivers.

I rediscovered gaming a few years ago and am now totally immersed in the worlds of Witcher 3, GTA V, and, among the latest PC games, Resident Evil 7.  These games are gripping, but they also have a few things in common:

  • They eat even the latest gaming PCs for breakfast, and
  • They’re super-sensitive to applications or other activity running in the background, resulting in reduced frames per second (FPS), perceived by gamers as stuttering, random freezes, and long load times.

This means I, like all lovers of online PC games, have tended just to turn off any security solution while I’m gaming. Sure, that solves the short-term problem (lagging play), but it leaves me open to a much worse problem: hacks.

Let me tell you (as I’ve come to do, myself): Just. Don’t.

There’s a better way to experience the best gameplay than risking your security. And it doesn’t have to mean you need the “best gaming computer.” You can maximize results with whatever you have.

Spoiler alert: Avast Game Mode works

The idea behind Game Mode was simple, and its creation was driven by many of our own customers and users, themselves avid gamers who also care about their safety and security online. The questions our engineers set out to answer (with a product!) were:

  • Could we provide maximum PC protection while not introducing annoying lags or FPS drops?
  • Could we maintain maximum PC performance while the Avast Antivirus realtime engine continued to run in the background?
  • Most important: could we do all this without interrupting gameplay with messages?

I took off my Avast employee hat and put on my gaming customer hat, then dug deep into Game Mode to see if it holds up. Here’s what I found Game Mode does:

  1. It mutes all notifications and pauses updates. This means no interruption while you’re in your session of Overwatch.
  2. It prioritizes CPU focus on your game. This means PC games always perform their best.

And on top of all that, the Avast engineers made sure to avoid false positives for games or any accompanying tools, so you can launch and play your games hassle-free. 


How’s Game Mode work its magic?

Easy: we automatically detect when a game is running and when you’re playing it. We apply the above-mentioned mechanics to your game in order to either improve performance or make sure no immersion-breaking notifications or updates throw you out of your gameplay. If you want all the nitty-gritty about Game Mode with instructions for turning it on, visit our Game Mode page at avast.com.

If for some reason your game isn’t recognized by Game Mode, you can add it manually:

  1. Open Avast and go to the Performance section.
  2. Click Game Mode, then Add Game.
  3. Select the .exe file of your game, which you’ll usually find in your C:\Program Files\ folder if you bought the retail version or under C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\ folder if you’ve installed your games via Steam.
  4. Once you’ve added your game, check Activate Game Mode at launch and Save. From now on, every time you launch the game, Game Mode gets activated.


Get gaming

That’s all there is to it: What took our engineers months to work out is just a few clicks for you. Game Mode helps you stay secured and still deliver the best possible FPS and uninterrupted gameplay.

Image: Nick Woods

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