Back in the nineties, there was a magazine called “Tips & Tricks.” Young gamers would rush out to the grocery store every month to pick up the latest issue. Tips & Tricks had an index of cheat codes that could be used on a variety of games and gaming systems. Every month they’d update the list with the latest codes.

These “cheats” would allow for certain features within the video game that weren’t designed to be part of the gameplay experience. For example, you might have endless life, making it easy to win “boss battles.” Or, you might have an endless supply of ammunition, or you might start the game with the most powerful weapon.

Resident Evil and Silent Hill are survival horror games that are very difficult. When you beat the games, depending on how you play, you can start the games again with certain weapons or outfits to enhance future gameplay. Well, cheat codes entered in the right way and at the right time can make it so you can play the game with such “goodies” from the start.

Exploring Traditional Cheats

Some cheats can be entered in via simple button combinations. On console games, this would have a developer function. Developers could type in such codes, get the cheats, and skip through the game examining varying aspects of the operation to assure everything was working in conjunction with the intended design.

Well, some of these cheats make it into the finished product. There are also easter eggs that can make it in. Also, sometimes developers deliberately program in “cheats” as a means of adding more value to a game or showing off to either competitor, partners, or for some other purpose.

Now sometimes, there are cheats that have to do with finding “easter eggs,” which can be used to better gameplay, reduce the difficulty, eliminate bosses, or achieve hidden endings. Sometimes cheats involve patterns of activity that “trick” certain bosses. There are sometimes means by which a boss in a given game can be circumvented.

Getting past aspects of a game like this without learning how to do so through trial-and-error, grinding, or some other intended aspect of the game is technically “cheating.” The thing is, some games will take up hundreds of hours of your life if you don’t use cheats, so you might as well, especially if you want to get your money’s worth from the game.

Cheats In Programing Code

Beyond these “organic” cheats, there are also inorganic options that can be used through either software or hardware. Back in the nineties, the “game shark” could be plugged into the N64, and it had a list of “codes” which could be applied to varying games. Now, mods, skins, and other options are available online that can help you augment gameplay as you like.

Beyond actual cheats, which impact how the game plays at the coding level, the internet also includes just the sort of cheats that used to be featured in gaming magazines of yore. Sites such as I Want Cheats can provide some of the latest codes, cheats, and glitch exploitation solutions on the market.

What’s happening now is that decentralization and gaming technology enhancement have made it so that actual virtualized games conducted internationally in real-time aren’t just possible; they’re being played right now. World of Warcraft was a pioneer in this area, but it’s definitely not alone. There are “cheats” for games like these too, and admins watch for them.

Forbidden “Cheats,” And Using Golden Age Options Properly

For many MMORPG games (that’s: Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games), players will secure certain cheats that allow them to always win. This can be very disheartening for new players in a game and accordingly damage the company that produced the game by dissuading new players from getting involved.

These “cheats” are more traditional and less liked by gamers. Perhaps the truth is, there was a sort of “golden age” of gaming which was silhouetted in a “golden age” of cheat codes. Perhaps another “golden age” of cheats is coming—maybe it will be a “platinum age” if you will.

Regardless, there is a place for cheat codes, especially in long or difficult games. FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) can be used to help people get through difficult spots; there are cheat codes that give players specific abilities and even actual codes at the programming level.

Taylor Gilbert is the admin and freelance writer at How About Tech since 2020. He primarily writes Tech articles, How-to guides and Entertainment as well.