Given that you are here, visiting a site called Cheat Code Central, odds are you have some sort of stance in twisting games to your advantage. We live in an age where there are all kinds of ways to beat the odds. Some games have cheats built into them by their developers. Others unintentionally have exploits, due to errors in a game’s code. Even more end up having trainers built or hacks created to make things work that shouldn’t. There are plenty of ways to game the system. The question today is, when is it okay to cheat?
The thing about modern games is that cheating isn’t a solitary experience anymore. In the “good old days,” we could easily cheat on systems like the NES, Genesis, SNES, and PlayStation 2 without any worries. But now, there are so many other factors. If a game has online interactions, are we breaking agreements that could cause a developer and publisher to ban us? If it is mostly multiplayer, are we ruining other people’s experiences? Suddenly, cheating has become even more about morality than ever before.
Fortunately, the more sticky things get, the clearer some things can be. Let’s start with Middle-earth: Shadow of War. Recently, PC players discovered a way to get more Miriam for themselves. By modifying game files, they could get unlimited access to this currency. This would then allow them to buy silver loot boxes. Is this the bad kind of cheating? I would say no. The silver loot boxes aren’t the top tier line. They don’t have the best of the best items. And the way the online in Middle-earth: Shadow of War works doesn’t pit you against real-time opponents. Having easier access to items just means a quicker journey through Act 4 and less time spent on busywork. This kind of cheating isn’t so bad, as it benefits you, doesn’t directly hurt others, and has nothing to do with the paid currency.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ cheating situation is far different. The game has been plagued by people trying to get an advantage. Over 150,000 people have been banned for it so far. If you search for “PUBG hacks,” things like Aimbots and ESP come up. This is not okay. We are looking at a game where the heart and soul is competing directly with other people with what is on hand. Trying to get an unfair advantage is totally wrong. You should all enjoy a level playing field, since attempting to make things easier for you ruins the entire experience for everyone.
Finally, we have a game like Destiny 2. This is where cheating gets murky, because it can be a solo and multiplayer affair at the same time. In some cases, making things easier o yourself isn’t so bad. Like the game has Faction content now, and getting a workaround to earn more Faction Tokens for yourself isn’t so bad. If you can find a speedier way to farm so you can get loot, go for it. Since everyone could take advantage of this, it is fine. But other cheats, such as an exploit that would taint the results of a Prestige Raid, are wrong. While the former sort of workaround benefits both yourself and a whole, the Prestige Raid exploit steals glory and rightful rewards from someone who deserves it.
A quick rule of thumb when cheating would be to think about how many people will be influenced by your actions. If it is only you, then it is fine. When you are making a choice that only alters your own experience, then repercussions would be minimal. If someone else could experience some kind of effect, be it positive or negative, then you need to take a step back and think things through. Don't try to game the system in a way that hurts others. If it is an online only, multiplayer experience, please be more considerate and play by the rules.