Solopreneurship for Software Developers

Why Do Game Developers Create Cheat Codes

Why Do Game Developers Create Cheat Codes?

Game Developers create cheat codes to help them test their games during development. If a game has many levels that unlock after completing the previous level, developers will not play the entire game to get to the level they want to test.

In other cases, game developers would want to test gameplay without the worry of being killed by the enemy or running out of ammunition. As a result, they will create cheat codes to help them test any level or any weapon without being killed or running out of ammunition.

In the early days of game development, some games were made using the Assembly language. Assembly language is not very easy to work with and late alterations (removal of cheat codes) increase the chance of breaking the game which would result in more testing and fixing time.

As a result, some games would ship with the cheat codes still in the game, it did not take long before word about cheats would spread out among game players, and then these cheat codes would be exploited by gamers for fun and profit.

With time, game publishers discovered that game players love cheat codes, as a result, most game developers and publishers started deliberately adding cheat codes as game features even if they were not needed for testing.

Game cheat codes were initially intended for testing and debugging but later on evolved into a feature to help game players feel like they have discovered some hidden mysteries. cheat codes become a love letter from game developers to their fans.

Game cheat codes are also helpful for many people who do not have the time to complete the entire game on their own, cheat codes may be needed to make a game more accessible and appealing to casual game players.

It is also worth noting that most game developers who develop games that are sold for a once-off fixed price do not bother to remove cheat codes from the game; because, as long as you buy the game, it does not matter whether you cheat or not.

On the other hand, most games that require a subscription, in-app purchase, or has multiplayer mode are less likely to ship with cheat codes, and using cheat codes in such games is hugely discouraged.


Making game cheats is generally not illegal. Most game cheats are created by the developers of the game and there is nothing wrong with adding cheat codes to your own game.

However, there are some cheat codes that are created by third parties without the permission of the original game developers. These third parties may take advantage of the game’s vulnerability to create code that manipulates the game’s normal gameplay.

This can be done in many ways, some of the ways include modification of runtime data, modifying the memory values of games status information, modification of the game’s executable, or code injection by modifying DLLs on Windows, and many other options.

These practices are considered illegal and depending on how serious the game publishers are, legal action may be taken.

Game developers who monetize their games using in-app purchases consider it illegal to use cheat codes to access content that requires payment to obtain. This practice is illegal because it is tantamount to stealing from game developers.


Cheat codes were initially meant for game testing and debugging. As game players showed great interest in cheat codes, game developers began to intentionally add cheat codes as game features to attract more players.

In recent times however, many games ship without game cheats for monetization purposes among other reasons. It is also not common for multiplayer games to have cheat codes so that no one player should have unfair advantage.

Recently, using cheat devices, or cheat codes in general, is generally frowned upon in online gaming and could result in your account getting banned.