Usenet is great for movies and music. But what about games? Well, that’s a little more complicated.
But not to worry. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about using Usenet for games, including the best places to find them, the risks involved, and how it compares to torrenting.
Is Usenet Good for Games?
Before we get into the tips, let’s cover the advantages and disadvantages of using Usenet for games. Because there are some pretty important ones to consider, especially when compared to torrenting.
Usenet vs. Torrents for Games
Many gamers download from torrents. And for good reason. You can find almost any title you’re looking for, they usually have a decent number of seeders, and you can use trusted uploaders and torrent site comments/reviews to vet files before you download.
However, Usenet does provide some advantages over torrenting for games. For starters, it’s faster, which makes a big difference when you’re downloading game files that are anywhere from 10 GB to 100 GB+ in size.
You don’t require seeders to download, and you don’t have to seed files either. This is a major plus for download speeds, bandwidth usage, and safety.
And yes, in general, it is safer to download from Usenet, since you’re downloading from a single server, rather than a “swarm” of seeders and peers.
With that said, let’s recap the benefits of Usenet vs. torrents for games:
Pros of Usenet for games:
- No seeding or seeders needed
- Faster download speeds
- Can be automated
Pros of torrents for games:
- More games/uploads available
- Easier to download updates or older games
Is It Safe to Download Games from Usenet?
In general, Usenet is pretty safe, and it usually carries less risk than torrents when downloading things like movies and music.
For a more detailed breakdown, check out our article: Is Usenet Safe?
However, downloading games or other software from Usenet does create a slightly different set of problems than media files. That’s because games are “executable” files, which actually run a program when you open them. In many cases, they’re even installing things on your computer.
Unfortunately, this makes them a big virus risk, since a hacker can disguise a virus as other software, like a game. When you try to run the “game”, it installs a virus on your computer instead.
This is also a risk with torrents, but torrent sites have a better vetting system for files. For starters, users can comment on or review uploads. If the file is malicious or just doesn’t work, they can warn others.
Plus, there’s a more established community of trustworthy game uploaders in the torrenting scene, like FitGirl or IGG Games. The Pirate Bay makes it even easier, by adding a pink or green skull next to the names of trusted uploaders.
Usenet doesn’t have most of these things, though there are a few trusted game uploaders, like ElAmigos.
That doesn’t mean that every – or even most – games on Usenet contain viruses. But you do need to exercise caution. An anti-virus software can be a good idea, just keep in mind that they will label some legit “cracked” games as viruses.
An even safer option is to run any games you download on a virtual machine before installing them on your actual computer.
Best Indexers for Games
These days, indexers or NZB sites are the easiest ways to find files on Usenet. However, the game selection can be pretty hit or miss. Here are a few indexers that are worth trying first.
- G4U – G4U.to is one of the only indexers that specializes in games, and you’ll find a huge number of releases here.
- DrunkenSlug – This private indexer doesn’t specialize in games, but it does have a slightly better selection that most NZB sites.
- NZB.su – Like DrunkenSlug, NZB.su has a wide variety of content, but they have a decent catalog of games and membership is public.
- NZBPlanet – Another private indexer with a larger than average selection of video games.
You may be able to find games on some of the other Best NZB Sites, but we can’t guarantee it.
Best Newsgroups for Games
If you can’t find what you’re looking for, or just don’t want to sign up/pay for an indexer, you can try searching public newsgroups with a newsreader. There are tons of them out there, but we’ll highlight some of the most popular below.
For PC games, these are some of the most popular newsgroups:
If you’re on Mac, you can also try:
And for emulators of all types, these are very popular:
Usenet for Games: Wrap-Up
Now that we’ve covered the main advantages and risks of using Usenet for games, as well as filling you in on some of the best places to find them, you should be ready to go.
As we discussed, you may ultimately find that Usenet doesn’t live up to torrents for games. But some people still swear by it.
If you have any other tips for finding or downloading games on Usenet, leave us a comment!