Best 16 Free Distortion VST/AU Plugins that sound Great!

Last Updated on January 4, 2021.

Here’s a list of the best 16 distortion/saturation/fuzz plugins available to download for free!

Let’s get straight into it…

Table Of Contents

FuzzPlus 3 by Audio Damage (Windows, Mac)

FuzzPlus 3 is an updated version of the original FuzzPlus pedal emulation which is a straight up fuzz-sounding effect and not so much of a distortion- or saturation one.

The interface is super intuitive and it offers five simple control parameters.

It also features a spectrum analyzer that shows you the amount of clipping going on.

All in all, I think FuzzPlus 3 might be a great addition to your plugin arsenal.

You can download it here.

Related: Here’s a huge list of the Best Free VST Plugins ever.

Krush by Tritik (Windows, Mac)

Krush combines the crispy taste of the digital realm with the warmth of its drive stage and analog modeled resonant filters.

A modulation section allows you to quickly add extra life to the sound by modulating any parameter.

The range of sounds you can achieve with this plugin go all the way from extremely dirty signals to crunchy and warm ones.

You can download it here.

Interested in free Synth vst plugins? Here’s an entire post on that topic.

Temper Distortion by Creative Intent (Windows, Mac)

Temper is a modern digital distortion plugin featuring a rich saturation stage and a unique phase distortion.

Use the variable saturation curve to add warmth and edge to your sound, and let the phase distortion bring character and clarity through your mix.

Temper also features a simple resonant lowpass filter and a feedback path to drive the intensity of the tone.

This is by far one of the best distortion plugins available, even when compared to premium ones.

You can download it here.

Related: Here’s a list of the best free Arpeggiator Plugins.

SGA1566 by Shattered Glass Audio (Windows, Mac)

SGA1566 brings the authentic tone of a single channel vintage all tube mic preamplifier.

The whole circuit is simulated in real time using the high performance circuit simulator to recreate every nuance of the preamp circuit, from subtle coloration to overdrive and distortion.

Use SGA1566 to add warmth to a track, as a saturation compressor, or to add “dirt” with tube overdrive.

You can download it here.

Interested in free compression VST plugins? Here’s a post about the 12 best ones.

Tube Saturator Vintage by Wave Arts (Windows, Mac)

Tube Saturator Vintage uses circuit simulation technology to faithfully reproduce the sound of a dual triode preamp.

While it sounds great, the circuit simulation technology is very CPU intensive…

That’s why they released the Tube Saturator 2, which sadly isn’t free but it goes much easier on the CPU.

The reason it uses so much of your CPU’s power is because Tube Saturator uses state of the art circuit simulation technology to capture every nuance of an analog circuit.

Basically, it sounds fantastic… at the expense of using more of your CPU’s resources than other Saturators.

You can download it here.

Related: Here’s a list of the best free Delay VST Plugins.

Saturation Knob by Softube (Windows, Mac)

The saturation knob is literally one knob that allows you to add some warmth and shimmer to the vocals, guitar, and any other track you’d like…

Basically, it just adds volume and warmth.

Just don’t go overboard with the saturation, if it starts sounding distorted, dial it back down a bit… unless that’s what you’re going for.

One huge issue I have with this plugin is not the plugin itself, but all the hoops they make you jump through to be able to use it.

You have to register with them, also register with and then link those accounts…

AFTER that, I know… super annoying, you download the gobbler app and install the plugin, now you can finally use it!

I have to say though, it’s worth the trouble!

You can download it here.

Looking for free guitar VST plugins? Here are the 15 best ones.

Metal Area mt-a by Mercuriall (Windows, Mac)

The Mercuriall Metal Area mt-a is based on the Boss MT-2, which is a super popular distortion pedal.

The funny thing is that most people think that it doesn’t really sound all that great…

However, in the right hands, some pretty cool tones can be achieved.

This just means that some tweaking is required in order to get a good sound out of the pedal, and this is also the case with this plugin.

It comes with controls for Level, Dist, High, Low, Middle, MidFreq, Input Gain, Mono/Stereo, Quality switch and an On/Off knob.

If you’re in need of a distortion plugin that will allow you to create some cool metal tones, then by all means check this one out.

You can download it here.

Related: Here’s a list of the best Guitar amp sims.

Greed Smasher by Mercuriall (Windows, Mac)

Greed Smasher is based on the Mesa/Boogie Grid Slammer overdrive guitar pedal.

Being a virtual overdrive pedal, the plugin is aimed mainly at guitar players and music producers who use distorted guitars in their music…

However, effects like this one can work equally well on virtual instruments and even hardware synthesizers.

Some users reported that this plugin would crash sometimes, but it definitely sounds great and I didn’t have that issue.

You can download it here.

Marauder by AudioParlour (Windows Only)

Marauder is an interesting free dynamic distortion effect which sounds absolutely phenomenal.

It is based on a network of four gain stages which work together to create a superb organic distortion effect.

It can be used as a subtle saturation tool that can add some warmth to you mix, as well as to create some cool distorted sounds.

The truth is that you will need to tweak- and fiddle around with the controls a bit in order to get a great sound…

However, once you get the hang of it, you will be able to create some great sounds!

You can download it here.

Looking for free Drum VST plugins? Here are the best ones.

808 Tube Screamer by TSE Audio (Windows, Mac)

This is an emulation of the Infamous Ibanez TS-808 Tube Screamer pedal and man is it great!

It sounds great, you can use it for all kinds of music, to get a blues tone, to make those rock sounds have that little extra bite to them.

I absolutely recommend this one since it’s just fantastic plugin!

You can download it here.

Tubes Creamer 808 by Mercuriall (Windows, Mac)

Mercuriall Audio Software’s Tubes Creamer 808 Core is a free virtual Ibanez TS-808 Tube Screamer pedal emulation.

The Ibanez TS-808 was used by artists such as Stevie Ray Vaughan which was, in a way, how he got such an amazing tone.

The Tubes Creamer is an emulated version of this pedal and it sounds absolutely fantastic, and best of all… it’s free!

Just add it to the chain in your DAW and you’re ready to go!

If you’re looking for an awesome blues or rock tone, then absolutely give Tubes Creamer a chance!

You can download it here.

Looking for free Modulation VSTs? Here’s a post I wrote about the best ones.

TNT by Ourafilmes (Windows Only)

TNT is a Distortion/Saturation plugin which was originally created for audio processing on drums, as well as FX and bass sounds.

It comes in Multi-band and single-band both with mono and stereo components.

Both share the same saturation/distortion algorithms but the single band features a Tone knob that is not present in the multi-band version.

This Tone knob features a transparent 6dB crossover filter that separates the low and high bands where you can use different saturation/distortion algorithms on each band.

There is also a balance knob that helps to level both bands before final output.

You can download it here.

Plusdistortion by Distorque (Windows Only)

The Plusdistortion plug-in is an emulation of an MXR Distortion+.

It has a wide range of distortion sounds from a little bit of dirt to a giant fuzz/crunch tone.

It emulates the germanium diode clipping used in the Distortion+, as well as the lo-fi op amp and just about every other aspect of the circuit.

Many parts of the effect are also tweakable, so you can craft your own D+ based distortion.

In addition to the normal distortion and output controls, a couple extra ones have been added, such as Input Level, Oversampling, Input Type (Pickups & Buffered), High-Cut and Low-Cut, and more.

You can download it here.

Face Bender by Distorque (Windows Only)

This is an emulation of a Fuzz Face and a Tone Bender MKII with added controls for tweaking.

It runs in mono or stereo, and has selectable 2x oversampling.

The Fuzz Face was first made by Arbiter Electronics in 1966.

It had a thick, fuzzy distortion and was made famous by artists like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and David Gilmour.

The Tone Bender MKII was also released in 1966, by Sola Sound.

Compared to the Fuzz Face, it has a brighter, more distorted sound.

This plugins sounds pretty damn good and is really easy to set up, so what’s not to like?

You can download it here.

Buz by Buzzroom (Windows Only)

This is an old sounding distortion/fuzz pedal effect.

There are loads of VST distortion effects out there (some top ones too -JCM 900, green machine etc), but only a few have a bigmuff sound like this.

Buz has a nice wide tonal range, and the ‘edge’ control really adds some “sleaze” to the sound.

It allows you to get that authentic 60s garage band sound without much effort.

You can download it here.

Ouradrive by Ourafilmes (Windows Only)

This is a basic valve overdrive vst effect.

It uses almost no cpu resources and it’s very simple to use:

It only has two knobs and an on/off switch.

Simply apply the desired amount of valve overdrive to the sound using the DRIVE knob and then adjust the OUT gain knob to the desired output level.

You can also use use the automation feature if you so desire.

This effect works best with sounds that have lots of low – low/mid frequencies.

Use it on synths, basses, guitars, leads, lo-fi sounds, voices or any sound that you want to slightly push harder, warm, overdrive or even distort.

You can download it here.


The one I like the most of all the plugins on this list is definitely Temper.

However, all of them sound great and will surely help you give your mixes more personality.

I hope you found this information useful…

Have a wonderful day!

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