Cheaters are not always welcome in gaming. But what actually are cheats? In this article, we’ll explain what’s behind the term and why cheating wasn’t so bad in the first place.
What does cheating mean?
Cheating comes from the English language and means to cheat. In gaming, it means enabling the advantage to greatly simplify the game. Such advantages range from resources to invulnerability to winning instantly. Cheats can also simply be used to customize the game character and serve as amusement.
As a general rule, cheats are less frowned upon in single-player games than in online games. This is mainly because single players only gain an advantage over the game world. By doing so, they are mainly cheating themselves, because they are missing out on a part of what the developers had actually specifically planned. However, those who cheat in online games are giving themselves an unfair advantage over other players. Cheating in online games is comparable to doping in sports.
Forms of cheating
Cheats can be used in a variety of ways:
- Exploiting Game Mechanics: Players sometimes find ways to twist the mechanics of a game to their advantage. This most innocuous version of cheating is called an exploit. Bugs and glitches are also commonly used for this purpose.
- Programmed cheats: Some games allow you to enter a code in order to influence the gameplay. This is especially the case in single-player titles and may even be intended by the developers.
- Cheat programs: For some games, programs are written and sometimes even sold to cheat with. Normally, these programs are also used more as a single player.
- Reprogramming: Some resourceful players find ways to gain advantages by cleverly interfering with the game code. In online games, such machinations are usually discovered quickly and prevented by appropriate patches.
- External devices: In addition to programs, you can also use devices to cheat. These are often USB sticks or similar devices that are connected between the input devices of the computer or the game console.
Widely used cheats
- Aimbot: An Aimbot is an aiming aid used mainly in multiplayer FPS. This makes it easier for the game to hit enemies. Most of the time, this is achieved through external devices. Don’t be confused: some games have an integrated aiming aid. Unlike the Aimbot, this aim assist is not a cheat, but merely an adjustable option.
- Wallhack: With a Wallhack, a player can see through walls. In multiplayer games, this gives them an advantage over the opposing team by knowing their position at all times. In some FPSs, there are even wallhacks that allow you to hit through walls.
- Invulnerability and God Mode: With this cheat you become invulnerable. This means that HP can no longer be lowered and you can no longer lose. The God Mode is an enhancement of this. With this cheat, you are not only invincible yourself, but you also defeat every enemy with one blow.
- Infinite resources: Especially in strategy games, raw materials are very important and valuable. Cheats that allow you to get the necessary resources directly without having to wait or work for them come in handy.
- Instant win: Especially in games where you have to shimmy from mission to mission, cheats that allow you to finish missions with an instant win are very helpful.
- Statusbooster: This means cheats that adjust a certain value in the game, such as the construction time of buildings or the level of the game character.
- Bighead Mode: This cheat brings little to no advantage, but serves only to amuse. In Bighead Mode, the characters’ heads are blown up to amusing sizes.
The history of the cheat
When gaming was in its infancy, cheats had an important role. Cheats allowed game testers to quickly access certain parts of their game for closer testing. Often it was not even the intention that players discover these cheats. However, this could not be completely prevented and cheat codes quickly made the rounds. There were even entire magazines, television formats, and websites created around cheat codes.
With the advent of online gaming, the industry also grew around external cheat devices, cheat modules, and programs designed to detect cheating. With so-called anti-cheat software, games try to detect cheaters even before they enter the game.
After cheating slowly established itself in the gaming world, developers also started to intentionally incorporate cheats into their games. Modern cheats are therefore designed to change and enhance the gaming experience rather than just make it easier.
These different developments make the term cheat as ambivalent as we know it today. On the one hand, cheats can enrich a game, on the other hand, they can completely ruin the gameplay. This is very dependent on the game in question.
Examples of the use of the term cheat
- You’re cheating!
- Cheats make the game even more fun.
- Cheating is really killing the game.
- This place is full of cheaters!
- Ever since they caught him cheating, his e-sports career has been in shambles.
- What’s the point of the anti-cheat software if there are still cheaters around?
- Is this a cheat or a bug?