Games cheats are a code, method or device used by gamers to gain special powers and benefits within a video game. This can include anything from giving the player extra lives to granting them in-game advantages. This type of hacking can be considered as cheating and is not always allowed in eSports competition.

Cheating in video games usually involves a subversion of the game’s rules or mechanics and it can be done through third-party software or hacking devices. It is generally viewed as an unethical practice as it can give players an unfair advantage over other gamers. It can also affect the gaming experience and reputation of a game.

The early days of games saw developers often include hidden features within a title to provide players with additional content and entertainment. Some of the earliest examples were Easter eggs that gave players extra characters, weapons or items. Later in the ’90s, third-party video game cheating became widespread with the introduction of dedicated cheating devices like the Game Genie. This encouraged the development of first-party cheats that would become popular and feature in a number of popular titles including GoldenEye and Grand Theft Auto.

Some video game cheats are created by modifying the original code for the game, despite EULAs that forbid modification of the software. Others are implemented using a separate program that is designed specifically for the purpose of cheating. This program is known as a cheat engine and it modifies a game’s underlying system components, such as the graphics driver, to allow the game to bypass its own protection mechanisms.

There are also scripting cheats that automate specific gameplay actions and can be very difficult to detect. Some of these are known as aimbots and enable cheaters to automatically target their opponents with perfect accuracy. Trigger bots are similar, enabling them to fire weapons when an opponent is in the crosshairs of the camera. Camera hacks provide cheaters with a wider field of view and a better ability to navigate a game world than is possible with the game’s native tools.

The advent of modern online multiplayer gaming has brought a new focus on the issue of cheating in video games. This is because cheating can negatively impact other honest gamers in a game’s multiplayer mode, and may even result in them not playing the game at all (Irdeto’s Global Gaming Survey). This can lead to shrinking revenue streams for games publishers, making it harder for them to create new content for their titles.

While a game’s creator may have the final say on whether a cheat is acceptable, it can still be a huge headache for the developer and its community to deal with. For example, Whyville, an educational game for children, recently had to shut down its online multiplayer after a series of cheating incidents was discovered. Fortunately, some developers are now putting a premium on creating entertaining experiences for their players, rather than trying to force players to pay in order to enjoy them.