Let’s admit it, probably every gamer has cheated at least once. Entering a cheat code into the game to unlock invincibility, obtain better weapons or infinite ammo – You name it. Such codes exist that the developers could allow players to skimp through unwanted levels or play the game differently. Yet such kind of cheating is not really cheating – it is more like bending game rules with creators’ permission.
In a stricter sense, cheating is going against the rules and benefiting from that. There are several ways in which cheating becomes a violation of game rules. Usually, that includes using hacks and bots that third parties create without permission from game developers. While this may seem similar to cheat codes, it has a significant difference – it is not permitted to be used by developers.
Cheating against others
It is widely accepted that multiplayer games should be fair and balanced. And as the cheats appear, they are not there by design but by malicious intention. Wallhacks to know enemy positions, aimbots for humanly impossible accuracy – these are the main ways cheaters try to gain an advantage. Just a single player using an aimbot can easily swing the outcome of a match, especially in positional shooters such as CS:GO or Valorant. Farming scripts and bots executing spectacular precisely-timed combos in MMOs are not a rare sight either.
image from github.com
When it comes to online gaming, cheats are not used to bend the rules – they are used to break them. Cheaters are unwilling to accept the way of playing that everyone else does and believe they are entitled to have an unfair advantage against others.
If You use cheats and still lose, that is humiliating. If You win, that still does not mean You deserved the victory unless a massive entitlement says otherwise. Besides that, getting used to winning without actually trying to decreases a sense of accomplishment over time, leading to a more frustrating and less satisfactory gaming experience.
Cheating in singleplayer games still gives an advantage to the player. Yet opposed, unlike multiplayer ones, game developers are usually anticipating or even creating them. They typically include but are not limited to infinite ammo, faster movement speed, in-game currency drops, and others. While such cheating still retains an aspect of more accessible victories, it does not give an advantage over other players. And as there is no one to compete against, it quickly becomes boring to complete levels with cheats.
image via rockpapershotgun.com
Besides that, just like in multiplayer games, cheating in singleplayer ones does not bring a fulfilling sense of accomplishment after winning a fight or completing a level. Thus players often resort to cheat codes to rather vary the gameplay instead of effortlessly skimping through levels. What is the point to feel superior if there is no one to admit that? And just like so, many resorts back to playing the normal way.
The long-term experience
When used in a multiplayer environment, cheating can easily become addictive. It allows them to be superior to others and begin to feel entitled to win. This usually leads to a gradually less and less satisfying online gaming experience while using more and more impactful cheats. From wallhacks to help locate enemies to fully blown-out aimbotting, the player is left to spectate the algorithm to play the game while trying to convince themselves they are better than others.
Meanwhile, in singleplayer games cheating can allow for easier playthroughs, but as the player is only responsible for themselves, using cheats usually takes away a sense of accomplishment that is one of the main appeals of the gaming. Even if the cheats are created by developers, they usually are treated as a way to add occasional variety to the game.
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