The Best Games Cheats of All Time

Video game cheats have been an indelible part of gaming history since the early 1980s. They were originally baked into titles as a shortcut to debug games during testing, and players eventually learned how to use them themselves. These days, cheats often augment or change a gameplay mechanic — such as the controversial aimbot featured in Fortnite.

While there’s a certain joy to becoming invincible or unlocking new items, the best cheats add to the story and make you feel like you’re playing a different game altogether. From teleporting to any cavern to becoming a meme before they were a thing, here are some of the most iconic game cheats that changed the way we look at gaming.

This cheat, a string of numbers in the NES title Second Quest that allowed you to teleport into any cave, may have been one of the earliest video game memes. It’s a great reminder of how easy it can be for even the most rudimentary hacks to become incredibly popular and shape a generation’s opinion of what a “cheat” is.

In addition to enabling the infamous invincibility cheat, this code let gamers save their progress at any point in the game, something that was previously impossible without the use of add-on memory cards. These “progress codes” became a huge part of gaming culture in the ’90s and helped make gaming seem less like an isolated hobby and more like a social activity.

The goal of a cheat is to gain an unfair advantage over other players in a game. This can include everything from auto-aiming to speed hacking, and even gaining the ability to see through walls or become invincible. These cheats give the player an unfair advantage over other online users, but what constitutes cheating is dependent on the game and community consensus.

Cheating can be hard for developers to combat, and they spend a lot of time designing updates that are aimed at addressing the issues posed by hackers. This costs them money, and it also creates a cycle where developers must stay one step ahead of hackers in order to maintain fair gameplay for everyone.

In general, a computer program can be decompiled back into its source code. This is how hackers find ways to exploit bugs in a game, and it’s how they get access to cheats that give them advantages over other players. Game developers try to avoid this by using anti-Hooking, anti-Debug and process handle hiding techniques, binary level obfuscators and packing (which usually involves virtualisation).

Despite the efforts of gaming companies, many hacks are still popular and available for download. These hacks can cause financial losses for game publishers, and they can also damage a company’s reputation and brand image. As such, it’s important for them to be able to quickly identify and disrupt sites that promote these cheating tools and tactics. Luckily, this isn’t an impossible task for expert cyber intelligence and enforcement services.