Do Game Developers Still Make Games With Cheats

I remember back when I had my PS1 I could press some combination of A-B-Up-Down-Circle-ad nauseum and equip Lara Croft with all weapons, or skip a level, or make the enemies have big giant clown heads, or whatever.

However, on current-generation gaming systems (read: the DS and the Wii, which is what I have), the cheats are more along the lines of “complete the game on easy, then replay on medium and all the enemies will have big giant clown heads” or something similar. I haven’t seen any button combinations to enable me to do this or that.

Are game developers no longer making these? Or have I just not been playing the right games?

Nope. They’re still out there.

What’s more, some modern games are arguably unplayable, or at least hugely diminished, without cheats–I’m thinking in particular of The Sims family of games. That didn’t happen in the old days. Now get off my lawn!


Note: The poster may not have actually used the Konami code, but understands most people feel that way about the game.


Also, not sure if it counts or not, but many PC games (especially ones with level editors or modding communities) come with “cheats” (console commands) for just about anything imaginable, give yourself an ability or item, set your stats to asinine level, complete or give yourself a quest, jump to another map*, change global settings (I think NWN had PvP on/off) and other assorted things to make testing easier, but work just as well for giving yourself loot and godlike powers when you’re actually playing.

  • Unreal Tournament 2004 actually had a fun one where you could launch a map as whatever map type you wanted, so you could launch the (usually) ONS-Torlan as a team deathmatch or survivor for instance.


Speculation on the apparent lack of cheats nowadays. On old consoles cheats were for testing purposes, of course, most of the really old consoles were cartridge based and for various reasons I won’t get into clearing a random piece of memory like that is a Bad Idea™ from what I gather (and can make educated guesses as to why, but won’t for the sake of time), so they were left active due to time constraints and/or the pain of dereferencing them. This is also why in a lot of older games you can still find tons of removed content through gamesharks and the like, even more than you can find in archived files in modern games. By the time of the PS1 having push-button codes was pretty much just inertia, so many developers left them in because cheats were so common, and even added more for fun like the previously mentioned Big Head codes.

Eventually, for various reasons, probably disc space constraints or game design choices the cheats were actually taken out, or locked to some checks that specify that the machine is a dev kit (or a Boolean variable set at construction, or something) so we simply don’t see them, or even that modern dev kits (I’ve never worked with one, so I’m not sure), may come equipped with debuggers that allow you to change variables and such that invalidate needing to code the debug tools yourself. In fact, even in PC games with development cheats you usually have to activate the console by adding a line like DevConsole=1 in the ini file, so it’s simply a case of them being left in specifically for the community that will use them, rather than lacking them altogether.

Just a WAG though, and there are possibly enough games that still have cheats (Warcraft 3 for instance, and I’ll be shocked if Starcraft 2 doesn’t) that invalidate my “why you don’t see them as much” point.



And I did that from memory.

It’s idspispopd actually. Always starts with ID.

The consoles do occasionally still have cheats, though I agree that the benefits are usually minor. “Enter 15 button presses in the Options menu to get NEW LAME WEAPON”… oooooh.

And the PC cheats (really, console commands) are so boring these days.
“give all” or “set x = blah”. What happened to Ye Olde Random Phrases like gabbagabbahey? Blacksheepwall? Quantifigon?

I suspect that as gamers (as a whole) get better, cheats become more and more unnecessary. Few single-player games are a challenge to the true gamer anymore, and as more and more games rely on multiplayer for replayability, “cheats” tend to migrate towards outright hacks that give you an advantage against other humans.

Smashing Pumpkins Into Small Piles Of Putrid Debris.

(I played that game, too, though I didn’t finish it).

I always fond of “dncashman”.

Mainly because dncashman + jetpack = money raining down from the sky.


Though I hope Blizzard will give us some fun-named ones again. WhosYourDaddy, IocanePowder, ISeeDeadPeople, GreedIsGood etc…

When I was doing game testing on (current gen) dev systems, the codes were programmed in exactly the same way they are in home games, via button combinations. (Like pressing start, B, A, B, Y= invincibility). They would then get removed before the game was released, and in fact would be considered a bug if they were still in at launch.

Possibly the dev systems might have capabilities beyond that to change variables or something ala gameshark, but that would be some white-box testing for someone more technical than what I was doing.

I don’t think that the codes being in older games had to do with cartridges honestly, just a different philosophy in game design now.

Perhaps the taking them out has something to do with what the Hot Coffee fiasco, too.