Cheating in Video Games: Is It Always Bad?

Many of us have experienced the feeling of playing against someone in a multiplayer match, losing, and then wondering how the opposition won so easily.  Was it due to cheating or were they really that good?  Some forms of video game cheating could be as simple as following a walkthrough, while others involve using cheat codes to make your character invincible or more powerful.  But are all forms of cheating in video games bad?  In this article, we’re going to look at the different forms of cheating and work out just how bad they really are.


Walkthroughs are popular on gaming sites and forums as they help players to more easily get to the end of a game or level.  These can either be written in text form, like those on, or filmed as videos which show players exactly what to do and where to go.  Most people don’t see walkthroughs as cheating, they view them more as a way to help them progress in a game that has become impossible without help.  From the beginning, walkthroughs were never meant to be used as a ‘hand-holding’ tool, and with many players using them to get out of tricky spots, we don’t think they can be considered a form of cheating.

Hardware Mods

Modifying hardware involves making changes to the device you are playing on or your controller.  For example, some Call of Duty players went to great efforts to modify their controllers so that a single shot weapon became an automatic, making them much more powerful.  Others used an ethernet lag to enable them to move around freely while their components were frozen.  Both of these mods offer an unfair advantage and are most definitely classed as cheating.

Software Mods

Software modification involves changing the game that is being played on.  Some developers encourage this, such as the Fallout games which encourage users to submit their own content for use in-game.  However, some people take software modding too far, adding cheat codes and ways to make the game easier.  With so many gaming companies using free to use engines to develop games, it’s easier than ever to software mod a game.  Whether this is cheating or not depends on the mods being created, but those that provide an unfair advantage can be classed as cheating.


Finally, we have glitches.  When a game is first released, it has usually been through periods of beta and alpha testing, which help game developers to discover glitches and correct them before the game is released to the public.  However, with large open world games, a lot of glitches are still apparent upon release.  Many gamers take advantage of these glitches to earn achievements or trophies, duplicate items, and other exploits.  This is a bit of a gray area as while most gamers believe taking advantage of a glitch is okay, it can give you an unfair advantage that later players won’t get once the glitch has been patched.

What do you think constitutes cheating in video games?  Have you ever been victim to it?  Let us know in the comments.