Glossary:Ad-supported

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
Ad-supported
Definition
Examples
Notes
Monetization

Ad-supported
DLC
Expansion pack
Free-to-play
Freeware
Sponsored
Subscription

Games that are ad-supported will usually display an ad ticker on the game screen (e.g. Microsoft Solitaire Collection); or, less commonly, forced video ads (NBA 2K21). Some smaller games have a microtransaction dedicated to removing ads permanently (e.g. My Land), but such a feature is far from universal.

Issues fixed[edit]

Remove ads with OS-wide adblockers[edit]

Method 1[edit]

Add the ad domains to the OS' hosts file
  1. Use an app process scanner to see which web domains it connects to; add some of the most common domains used in ads (e.g. ad.doubleclick.net) and hope for the best; or use a compact and well-maintained online hosts file, e.g. Peter Lowe's List.
  2. Open the OS' hosts file. On Windows it is located at %SystemRoot%\System32\drivers\etc\hosts, on macOS it's at /private/etc/hosts, and on Linux it's at /etc/hosts
  3. At the bottom of the file, paste the domain(s) to be blocked, preceded by 0.0.0.0 or 127.0.0.1 , e.g. 0.0.0.0 ad.doubleclick.net
  4. Save the file.
  5. Restart the computer.
Various third-party tools exist to help keep the hosts file in sync with online hosts files, including (but not limited to) hostsmgr and Gas Mask
Using the hosts file, also impacts web browsers. And since hosts files are unable to differ between the contexts in which a site is loaded (in contrast to browser-based adblockers), this will cause many redirection links to display a 404 error, including ones used on PCGamingWiki game pages.
Hosts files used in operative systems, are unable to automatically treat entries as applying to all subdomains. For instance, 0.0.0.0 ad.doubleclick.net will not block subdomain.ad.doubleclick.net

Method 2[edit]

Try or purchase AdGuard for Windows/Mac
  1. Install the 14-day trial period for the Windows or Mac version.
  2. In the initial setup, say yes to blocking ads (or otherwise enable AdGuard Base filter in the Installed filters settings after the initial setup).
  3. Add the game/launcher featuring the ads, to List of filtered applications (where it is possible to also choose to make AdGuard disregard specific web browsers).
  4. Restart the game if applicable.
Considered the only tool that is able to apply browser-style adblocker filters systemwide, although only URL paths and scripts can be blocked in non-browser games. This makes it able to block ads that are hosted on the same domain as normal content, e.g. https://example.org/advertising-scripts/, that hosts files can not.
Every targeted game and launcher has to be added manually to List of filtered applications.
Requires a license purchase after 14 days. Choice between yearly and lifetime.