Videogames in both the past and the present have had various methods of hacking. Some are malicious with the intent of ruining the game for other players, while others are indented to make the game easier or harder for single players, and some hacks are even used in speedruns.
While it can be tempting to condemn all hacks as cheating by players who don’t want to play fair, that’s not always the case. Some hacks are even helpful to the game and its community as a whole, so here are a few different types of game hacking that might not be so bad.
Cheat codes hidden in games
Whether because the game developers wanted to or not, some items and characters exist in the game and are protected by passwords. A gamer with the correct password, which is mostly retrieved in-game guides or walkthroughs, can insert this password into the game and then unlock these items.
Most in-game cheat codes unlock a certain character/skin, give your character unlimited health or stronger powers, or can even give unlimited money or other in-game items designed to increase the character’s power.
These cheats are legal and often the passcode is all the player needs, and they are either designed to be used on a second or third playthrough or during a tough area.
Cheat codes for difficulty
Contrary to popular belief, cheating in the game industry isn’t just for slackers who want to breeze through a level on their first try. Some people even want to make the games harder, either by decreasing their own abilities or increasing those of the enemy.
Some cheats include: Making it so the player character goes down in one hit, making certain powerful items rarer to use, increasing the number of enemies in a certain room, or doubling enemy health. These cheats and modifications are meant as a challenge, potentially one for those who have beaten the game before.
Cheat codes for speedrunning
Speedrunning thrives on cheat codes, glitches, dexterity, and a lot of luck. Since the goal is to complete the game as fast as possible, normal gameplay is impossible to get the best times, so glitches in the game must be exploited and used to bypass areas and hard levels.
By using a skill called sequence breaking, players can even skip parts of the game, or use codes to skip past previously unskippable cutscenes. Other times glitches are used to give the players abilities in order to move through the game faster.
Not all cheat codes are malicious, in fact, several speed runners have even donated tens of thousands to charities by hosting speed runninglivestreams, and others have made a name for themselves by beating very hard difficulties or self-imposed challenges that have catapulted them to gamer stardom.
In fact, without cheat codes and the challenges and skills they provide, the gaming industry would be a lot different than it is today and it would certainly be a lot less interesting.