The practice of cheating in video and console games is not always a bad thing, and might help keep you more interested and give you new reasons to play an old game.
Once in a while, you'll encounter a game that features impossibly difficult or totally unreasonable tasks that are just about impossible to complete without some serious help and it might seem the only way to complete the game successfully is to cheat a bit. However, not every cheat method will give you a real advantage in the game. Some cheat codes actually make games more challenging by making enemies tougher or reducing a player character's resistance to damage. Others might give you extra skills not normally found in the game such as the ability to fly or walk through walls. If you have the right equipment and you can insert a few lines of code, it might make a challenging game much easier to complete. Not every player has the skills to alter code while at the same time making sure the game stays playable.
There are usually many different ways to cheat in video games and not every method works with every game. Working a console game can be very different than cheating in a computer game. Online play adds an entirely new set of challenges and you could be affecting other players and many online game communities consider cheating unfair. Cheating with codes can be rather straightforward as some games have a designated screen into which players can enter codes. Others may require players to enter a sequence on a game controller.
Expert hackers might be familiar enough with computer programming languages to examine the video game's code and find ways to create cheats. But most gamers have to rely on the skills of knowledgeable hackers to create the shortcuts. Some hackers allow the player to make changes to the video game character they control, while others make changes to the game world itself. Some hackers will alter the game's code and it will become part of the game permanently. The Internet is full of sites that host hacker codes but you need to be careful to make sure they are not really computer viruses in disguise as even legitimate hacks can sometimes freeze a game or make it unplayable in the future.
There are lots of hacks for computer games but most video game consoles are closed systems and hacks must be made without making physical changes to the console and may require extra hardware for cartridge-based systems or a special CD for CD-based consoles. The cartridge-based game consoles are often the most difficult to hack because those games are often in read-only memory (ROM) format, and it's very difficult to alter codes without special equipment and a background in programming. Consoles games that employ compact discs can be handled by using a CD that loads a few lines of code into the system's memory before removing the disc and replacing it with the actual game disc. Some systems may also require a solid-state memory stick to be used in conjunction with the cheat CD. There's less of a need for hardware cheats today, since many game developers now include the cheat codes within the programming of the game itself.
Another tactic some cheaters use is to create scripts of commands called macros to automate tedious tasks. These are considered cheating because the developers intended players to build character skills organically instead of setting up an automatic schedule and try avoid the time and effort required to build up a character by paying someone else to do it for them. They may farm their character out to someone else who plays the game normally, and slowly builds up that character's abilities. Once the augmented character reaches a certain level of abilities, the real player again resumes normal control.
Remember that many online games have administrators who often take a dim view of cheaters, and some rely on the community of players to monitor a game and report any instances of cheating. Although you could risk getting suspended or banned, cheating doesn't always have to be a bad thing, and it might help keep you engaged and give you new reasons to play an old game. And like many things in life, you’ll be better off if you don’t over-do it because even though your computer doesn't care if you cheat, other gamers may not feel the same way.