Video game cheats can give gamers an unfair advantage over the computer or other players. A cheat is software or hardware that gives the player a way to manipulate the game’s code, memory, and other information. Cheats can be built into games by the original developers, created through third-party software (a game trainer), or realized through exploiting game system bugs. A game hacker can also create a cheat by using the underlying networking technology in a gaming system to modify network packets, but this is illegal and usually punished by the game’s publisher.
Game cheats aren’t just for boosting your score, they can make the game easier for new players or even help you complete a level with less effort. The most popular form of game cheat is an aimbot, which automatically aims your character for you, eliminating the need to practice aiming and keeping the mouse on your screen. Another popular form of cheat is a wallhack, which uses the code in the game to track other players and then displays their location on your screen, making it easy to find them — especially if they are behind a wall or out of sight.
There are a number of websites that offer cheats and tips for popular games. These sites aren’t designed to promote cheating, but to provide a useful resource for people who want to play the game in a different way than it is intended by the developers. These sites often have tips and tricks for specific games as well, such as the level select cheat in Sonic the Hedgehog or the ABACABB code that enabled Mortal Kombat to turn on blood and gore.
The most comprehensive site for gaming cheats is Games Radar, a news and review site with assorted resources including playing guides, buying tips, walkthroughs, and of course cheats. The site is arranged by platform and also features the latest games, as well as a category for “most popular.”
For those who enjoy tinkering with their consoles, there are a number of forums where they can learn how to tweak and customize their systems. These forums often include tutorials and step-by-step guides for modifying the firmware on the console, allowing users to run custom software, or even create their own cheats. Some of these mods may be illegal, but many are just helpful tools for advancing in the game more quickly.
In recent years, some games have included “cheats” as Easter Eggs that can help gamers who are struggling or haven’t played the game for a long time. The “assistant mode” in Super Mario Odyssey and Celeste, for example, reduces or eliminates death penalties, reducing the challenge of the game for casual gamers. The industry is taking steps to ensure that the games they release are fair and enjoyable for all gamers. A large part of this involves limiting the power of the cheaters who would otherwise ruin the experience for the legitimate players.