Best Electric Guitar VST Plugins – Free & Paid 2024

Best Electric Guitar VSTs

The days where musicians having to learn every instrument are over. Electric guitar VSTs are being added to producers arsenal all over the industry.

The reason is simple: you can instantly test out your newest songs with guitars and you can even play them with your keyboard.

Today we are going to be taking a deep look at the best electric guitar VSTs both free & paid. All of the options listed are highly regarded & great for different genres.

To make this review, I set out to test over 14 different electric guitar plug-ins to compile my favorites.

My Favorite Electric Guitar VSTs – A Quick Glance

Editors Choicemusiclab-reallpc MusicLab Les Paul
  • Incredibly realistic Les Paul Custom
  • Play chords or riffs
  • Tweak your tones inside the interface
Budget Pick Bright Electric Guitar
  • Classic Fender Strat Sounds
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy To Use
Film Scoring Heavyocity Scoring Guitars 2
  • 5 GB Of Guitars
  • Incredible For Film Scoring
  • Includes FX & Additional Synths

I still remember the first keyboard that I purchased had electric guitar sounds on it. They were pretty terrible compared to the VSTS that are out today.

It is my opinion that the best electric guitar VSTS actually sound incredibly realistic. You can get a wide variety of sounds and change from a wide variety of amps with some VST’s. 

*These VSTs are not in ranking order as some of them are just different styles and it will come to personal preference.

At the bottom of this article, I have included my favorite free guitar plugin. This is great for those who want to test the waters before spending money.

I recently did a review on my favorite electric piano plug-ins that you can check out here. These have some nice grit and are being used all over the industry today.

What’s The Use Of Electric Guitar VSTs?

These VSTs are so realistic that producers are using these sounds in the final versions of their songs.

They have a huge range of purposes as you can use them to write with, but also use them as your main guitars.

Is this a little discouraging to guitar players? No, I don’t think so. People will always desire real instruments, but there will always be a demand for VST’s as well.

I feel like we’re living in a world where they both coexist. It will just depend on the producer or the band’s preference.

How Do They Work?

Just like every other VST. You simply draw in the MIDI and then you can manipulate the sound with your VST. With a lot of the guitars, you can dive super deep into the customization.

What To Look For In Guitar VSTs?


You will immediately be able to tell the quality of the VST based off of how the pre-sets sound.

If you are digging the pre-sets, you will definitely dig the final products. The sound is obviously the most important factor of the equation, so make sure you really love what you’re hearing.


Some VST’s come with more effects than others. These allow you to customize the sounds to your liking.

Guitar Amp Sims

Amp simulators do exactly what you’d expect; simulate amps. The more amps you can choose from in a VST, the better in my opinion. You will most likely find some go-to’s that you really enjoy.

I recently did a review on my favorite bass guitar VSTs, check them out here. These are very similar to electric guitar plugins, only bass guitars.


These can get expensive. Make sure you’ve done your research and feel confident with the purchase you choose.

Some of the programs will allow you to try them out for a month or so with a money-back guarantee. If cost is an issue, maybe go this route.

Different Guitars

Depending on which VST you choose, you can sometimes change up the guitar that you’re using.

This will result in a completely different sound that you could find yourself really digging for certain styles.

Best Electric Guitar VST Plugins

Below is our list of all of our favorite electric guitar VSTs. Each plugin has a use for different styles of music. If you’re looking for free guitar VSTs, continue to the bottom of this article.

MusicLab RealLPC Electric Guitar Software Instrument – Best Overall

Incredible Les Paul Custom
MusicLab RealLPC Les Paul

The MusicLab RealLPC gives you the ability to channel your favorite guitarists and quickly lay down some riffs or chords in the absence of your guitarist. I have been using this since August and I'm loving it.

View Price At Sweetwater
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

MusicLab RealLPC allows you take control of a Les Paul Custom via MIDI. I downloaded this in August of 2023 to use on a few demos, and I have to say, I was blown away.

I used my Novation Launchkey 88 with this and I instantly came up with tons of new song ideas. This plug-in seriously plays extremely close to having a real guitarist.

MusicLab also makes a Stratocaster and Rickenbacker VST, which both are as good as the Les Paul, I’m just biased towards the Les Paul.

MusicLab meticulously captured each sample in RealLPC by utilizing an authentic Gibson Les Paul Custom. Employing advanced multi-channel layering technology, they crafted a bespoke sample library extracted from every fret across all six strings.

Electri6ity – Huge Library

Best Overall

Electri6ity has one of the largest sample libraries. This is a tried and true plugin that will give you plenty of different options.

View Price At Sweetwater Plug In Boutique
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

This plug-in is brought to you by Big Fish Audio and it is personally one of my favorites. Electri6ity is relatively easy to use and it comes with 8 different virtual guitars that are out of this world. A downside to the plug-in is that it is rather expensive and memory intensive.

The Sounds

The sounds are simply great. I honestly think this sounds as close to a real guitar as you can get. When you use this in your mixes, you can’t really tell a difference and they actually sound rather good to me.

If you’re a producer, you know that recording a great guitar tone can be tricky. This virtual guitar sounds great immediately and it comes with a ton of effects and amps.

What I like

It loads up easily with Kontakt and it has a simple layout. From the sounds to the interface, this virtual guitar simply rocks.

Recorded variations per each sample

  • Downstroke/upstroke / Picked/strummed / Seamless velocity layers
Overall Thoughts

If you’re looking for an all-around electric guitar VST that you will use for many years, this is a great choice. All of the sampled guitars are recorded clean and this allows you to filter them and change the effects to your liking.

Heavyocity Scoring Guitars 2 – Best For Film Score

Best For Film Scores
Heavyocity Scoring Gutiars 2

Heavyocity Scoring Guitars 2 is a fantastic guitar vst. If you are into film scoring or you're just looking to develop some crazy cool sounds, this is worth checking out.

View Price At Sweetwater View Price At Plugin Boutique
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Scoring Guitars 2 is brought to you by Heavyocity. This company is one of the premiere companies when it comes to cinematic productions and this electric guitar plugin is stunning.

It has a smooth interface, and it really provides for a nice workflow for your productions. If you’re looking for some heavy guitars that are reminiscent of Hanz Zimmer, this is your choice.

The Sounds

You can expect pulses and phrases with this plugin. They are short and sound crisp. There are a lot of minor chords presented to you and I’m personally a big fan of this.


Scoring Guitars 2 is your choice for cinematic music production. You will get a ton of use out of this plugin for different genres as well.

Bright Electric Guitar – Sonivox (Best Budget Electric Guitar VST)

Sonivox Electric Guitar

I would recommend this plugin as a safe budget option. It's not my favorite in terms of sound, but if you like brighter sounding guitars, it's solid.

View Price At Plug In Boutique
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Bright Electric Guitar is an emulated strat that sounds beautiful. If you’re a fan of strats, this could be to your liking. You get a lot of different strum patterns and variations of chords with this plugin as well.

The Sounds

Stratocasters aren’t for everyone, but I have found that people who enjoy them, truly enjoy them. They have a bright twangy tone that I personally do enjoy. This VST crushes it in the sound department and it’s crazy that this is a cheaper plugin.

What I Like

The price and the sounds. For this price, it’s tough to compare to it. Especially if you’re a fan of strats. When it comes to electric guitar VSTs, I love the pure simplicity and beauty of this Stratocaster.

  • Mutes – 3 different velocities
  • Tones – 3 different velocities
Overall Thoughts

This plugin isn’t for everyone, as I doubt metal producers would be into it, however, if you’re into strats, you’ll dig it. The sound quality that you get for the price is the main selling point with this plugin.

Shreddage 3 – Impact Sound Works ( Metal Guitar VST)

Shreddage 3 VST

Impact Sound Works are the creators of this plug-in and it is pretty awesome. Founded in 2008; it instantly became one of my go-to’s for when I needed some serious metal guitars.

Shreddage 3 has been long-awaited and for good reason; it seriously shreds. If you listen to the samples, you will find yourself actually thinking that your listening to some of your favorite classic metal bands.

The Sounds

For metal, this easily one of the currently available. It’s rather new and the technology and sounds it brings present that. I am a big fan of the clean tone on some the presets. I feel the human dynamics in it even though it’s a plug-in and that’s something that is very hard to capture.

What I Like

The layout is very simple and easy to navigate through. You can tell that Impact Sound Works spent some serious time here. VST’s can be confusing, so when something is laid out in an easy fashion, it really goes a long way.

They also have some great basses that sound pretty great.

Overall Thoughts

Shreddage 3 delivers a powerful punch with endless possibilities. If you’re a fan of metal guitars, give this plug-in a try.

OrangeTree Samples Rock Evolution

Rock Evolution VST

Orangetree samples have some of the most realistic sounds on the market. They do other VST’s as well. They have a bunch of different sample packs for guitars that you can choose from, Rock Evolution just happens to my personal favorite.

The Sounds

The reason why I have the Rock Evolution sample pack up here is because of the sound. This is one of the most realistic plug-ins for the electric guitar to date. OrangeTree samples make some outstanding VST’s and this another one of them.

The crunch that you get on the electrics are is jaw-dropping. When using this plug-in you’re going to think that you actually recorded a real guitar.

What I Like

You can easily do articulations like palm mutes, divebombs, string slaps, and natural harmonics. The sample sounds come with different abilities in the picking. You can change the direction of the picking easily.

There is a built-in effects engine that gives you some great blues tones that you can use right off the bat.

The mapping system is very in-depth and allows you to set how you want to change articulations.

Overall Thoughts

Overall, I am a big fan of the Rock Evolution pack. The sounds are top-notch and the effects and customizability don’t fall short either.

AmpleSounds Ample Guitar G II

Ample Guitar G II

AmpleSounds are known for their metal and heavy rock guitar tones. With this plug-in, they have sampled the Gibson Les Paul. If I’m ever working on harder rock songs, I find myself going to this plug-in often.

If you’re also a fan of acoustic guitar VSTs, Ample Sounds makes a great acoustic guitar plugin. You can read more about acoustic guitar VSTs here.

The Sounds

The Ample Guitar G II sounds very close to a Gibson Les Paul. If you’re a fan of this guitar, then chances are you will dig this plug-in. Some of the pre-sets take some tweaking to get them sounding more realistic, but after some practice, it will sound great.

What I Like

You Get a ton of different effects pedals that really change up the tones quite nicely. This plug-in is great for solos and also for chugging along with darker chord progressions.

The humanization settings are awesome. They really help make this plug-in feel real and in-depth.

Overall Thoughts

AmpleSounds is revered in the VST community for having some great realistic samples. I think this is a great instrument pack to try out. If you’re not a fan of metal guitars, I would recommend checking out their Stratocaster sample pack.

Overall, this is a solid VST that is worth a try. It’s a deep program with lots of different effects you can dig into.

Chernobyl Studios Metal Guitar – Best Free Guitar VST

I recently stumbled upon this option and I was pretty surprised that it was a free option. If you watch Youtube videos and compare, the tones that you get with this free guitar VST are pretty great. I personally would describe the tones as brutal in a good way.

The downloading might be a little bit confusing, and you will want to make sure that you’re using an up to date version of your DAW. If you’re using dated software, it may not work.

The Sounds

Pretty surprising in this department to me. I wasn’t expecting them to have the grit and tightness of a paid guitar plugin.

What I like

The fact that is a free electric guitar VST is a huge plus. It also doesn’t hurt that it sounds ripping for metal music.

Overall Thoughts

If you’re working on a metal mix and on a budget, check this plugin out. You should easily be able to use this plugin and you might fall in love with it seeing how it is free. Follow the steps from the link and you should be all set.

Free Electric Guitar VSTs

Below is a list that includes some great free options. If you’re on a budget, have no worries.

  • Boogex (Windows & Mac) Easy to use free plugin that gives you a minimalist approach
  • Bluecat (Mac & Windows) free amp simulation plugin
  • NRR-1 (Windows & Mac) 3 channel pre-amps

Are Guitar VSTS Believable?

Absolutely. We’ve all heard recordings of bands who aren’t familiar with recording. Typically, the guitars sound pretty bad. It takes practice to learn how to record real instruments properly in order to get a good tone.

VSTS can immediately sound better than a real guitar. While some people may disagree with me here, I believe that you can do a lot with VSTS and that they can greatly help a recording.

Do I Need A MIDI Controller To Use A Guitar VST?

Technically, no, you don’t. However, I would recommend one. I think MIDI controllers are amazing for music production.

If you have a controller, you can simply play the notes on your keyboard, rather than having to hit computer keys.

Something has always struck me the wrong way when writing in melodies or playing them on a computer. While a lot of people still do it, I just really love playing the notes on the keyboard. With that being said, I am a keyboardist, so it definitely benefits me.


Electric guitar VSTs can be incredibly diverse in the fact that you can find different plugins that work better for different genres.

You will notice above that I talked about Shreddage 3 being great for metal. That was specifically designed for metal music and it does a phenomenal job for that style.

If you’re into a different style of music, you can more than likely find a plugin for that style.


There are many different options when it comes to electric guitar VST’s. The most important thing you can do when deciding is to figure out what style you prefer. All of the plug-ins are going to be better at certain things.

Do you have any guitar VSTs that you go to frequently? If so, which ones? Let me know in the comments below!

  1. I watched part of the Chernobyl video, but it appears this is about using free plugins to make a real recorded guitar sound good. They don’t talk about a virtual guitar sound at all. Did I miss something?

  2. i love the EASTWEST QUANTUM LEAP Ministry of Rock (1 & 2). bass, drum and guitar setups. Opus software is amazing

  3. These are samples from real guitars and are used by professional producers. It offers a full 1GB of premium acoustic and electric guitar samples (loops, one-shots, chords & more

  4. It’s unfortunate and not useful to put the July, 2022 date on this article, when there are comments from 2019. That’s misleading. Why no mention of the industry leader Native Instruments, who came out with new guitars this year?

  5. Hi there. While I would typically agree with you, I just updated this article last week. I have not tried the new Native Instruments, but am going to check it out this week! Thanks for the note!


  6. Electric guitar VST plugins are being added to the producer arsenal all over the industry. The days where musicians had to learn every instrument is over guys! And what better way to maximize your production skills than by using these rather affordable VSTs.

  7. That’s good recipe, I tried it as soon as on this weekend with my husband and my children. Thanks for your sharing this recipe. I alway following your website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like