In-game cheats are developer-approved cheats you can access on the password prompt, through in-game achievements you have to unlock, or performing a secret code through button inputs or moves during or before the game starts (at the start menu). Hacks, meanwhile, involve hacking the game to make it do what you want. Game hacks don’t always work. Some do, some don’t. Some are based on glitches, so they’re easily patched. Some are bogus, like the Nudality Code in Mortal Kombat or the Sheng Long rumor in Street Fighter II. Game hacks can allow you to do things you normally can’t do, like make the game’s frame rate go faster or allow you to hit Sonic Booms that cover the entire screen, making the game a little unfair.
More About Cheats and Cheating
- Some cheats can do things that won’t help you, like increase the difficulty to impossible or limit your continues. It can even make a game unwinnable or present you with an extra challenge in case you want to play the game at a higher difficulty setting but there’s a lack of a menu screen option for that. Other cheats are amusing at best, like Big Head codes or wacky color palettes.
- Still other cheats are strictly aesthetic in nature and won’t affect game play. Many cheats are mostly Easter Eggs left by the developers for you to discover, like a developer name or credit screen (that wasn’t all that big back in the Atari Era of games, so the first cheats and secrets were just developers wanting to get credit for their creations). Other cheats are available to make the game easier instead of harder.
- These cheats are designed to assist game testers with testing the game even though they lack the skill to play it at a decent level, hence the existence of Doom’s God Mode or perhaps the Konami Code (in Japan, it’s known as the Konami Command and it involves pressing Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start or Select then Start for two players).