Modifying, or “modding” games has been happening for as long as gamers have had access to game code. From the days of classic keyboard PCs like the Amiga 500, all the way to PC gaming of today.
While in the early days of computing this could require adding or changing a bit of code to cheat a game, today’s definition is a bit more complex, but more commonly it allows players to add things to games that the developers may have never even thought about.
Games like Grand Theft Auto and Skyrim have a huge modding community creating various different mods to either improve the visuals, or add weird and wonderful items or characters in the game. Other titles, like Farming Simulator, have players painstakingly recreating real world tools and equipment for others to use in the game.
Some notable mods include adding Thomas the Tank Engine into Skyrim, others like the NaturalVision Remastered mod bring some incredibly realistic textures and lighting to Grand Theft Auto V. Sometimes mods even become their own standalone games, take DayZ and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds for example, two popular survival games which first started life as mods.
In order to grab these mods however, players have to look to the Internet. Fortunately the more popular titles have dedicated websites, such as Nexus Mods and even Farming Simulator’s own website, hell, even Steam has Steam Workshop for players to create their own mods for certain games. For other perhaps more niche or classic games it requires looking a little deeper and that’s when things can get a little sketchy.
Don’t get me wrong, downloading mods has been a thing since the dawn of the Internet, however as the Internet has evolved so have the various ways in which malware, adware, and viruses can slip through the cracks. The good news is that simply activating good anti-malware software can be one way to prevent having your computer compromised just because you wanted to run around as Elmo in GTA.
Decent anti-virus software doesn’t have to be expensive either. Regardless of what your local PC World tells you, there are an abundance of free antivirus software online that offer protection against malware, adware, and even the recent rise in ransomware.
That being said, the best form of protection comes from players themselves. If a website looks sketchy, it might be worth avoiding. If a website is full of ads posing as download buttons, it’s probably worth avoiding.
Simply put… Don’t be a dummy.
This post was created in collaboration with Bitdefender. All thoughts and opinions are our own.