Cheat codes have largely gone away in the modern gaming landscape. With the advent of online multiplayer, achievements, and trophies, getting an advantage by putting in a code seems unfair. However, a select few games still carry on this tradition, either as a way to unlock everything without doing the work or by giving the characters buffs to make the game easier.
The next ten titles all have cheat codes in some capacity, which give the player an upper hand. The ethics of using them are debatable, but as long as they don't interfere with someone else's enjoyment of the game, then we say have a field day.
Updated On March 26, 2022 by Ritwik Mitra: Cheat codes are a classic part of gaming that hasn't died out... even though the industry itself has tried its hardest to run this classic aspect of gaming to the ground. After all, most modern games don't feature cheats in any capacity, which is a shame. Thankfully, this isn't the case with the following games, which were released recently yet still feature a bevy of cheats that players can use to enhance the overall experience. The best cheats of the bunch are mentioned below.
15 Fallout: New Vegas
While Fallout: New Vegas doesn't feature cheat codes per se, there's no denying the fact that the game's console lets players do whatever they want. From spawning items to enabling god mode — the sheer number of cheats players can enable in Fallout: New Vegas are immense.
Of course, barring a few special occasions, it's recommended that players should try and go through the game on their own merit. After all, Fallout: New Vegas is far from a difficult game, with the title becoming easier to manage after the player gains a few levels.
14 Age Of Empires 4
The Age of Empires series is renowned for some of its imaginative cheats, and Age of Empires 4 is no exception to this rule. The game is full to the brim with amazing cheats that make the regular gameplay loop downright hilarious.
While there aren't cheats for any special units, these codes are still pretty useful in their own right. Players can do everything from spawning new troops to gaining a bunch of resources.
13 The Sims 4
The Sims is one of the most popular life simulation games of all time. The latest title might've had a particularly rocky start, but there's no denying that this title has picked up the pace with its fair share of updates and content packs.
The Sims 4 has its fair share of classic cheats that increase a household's funds and fill all their needs instantly. It might reduce the overall challenge of this game, but there's no denying that these cheats circumvent a lot of the frustration that can arise otherwise in the game.
12 Shovel Knight
Shovel Knight is an ode to retro games that players absolutely adore. So, it's only a given that this game would also feature its fair share of cheats.
By changing the name of the character to certain specific titles, players can unlock unique powers for their run. The list of names is pretty great and makes repeat playthroughs a blast!
Skyrim is considered by many to be one of the greatest open-world RPGs of all time, and for good reason. The game's amazing landscape and gameplay loop keep players hooked for hours on end.
As is the case with other Bethesda games, the console of Skyrim lets players experiment around with various cheats. It's a great way to tweak the overall experience for fans who might be getting tired of the game's mechanics after a point.
10 Grand Theft Auto 5
With Los Santos being such a playground of destruction, it wouldn't feel right if cheat codes were left by the wayside in Grand Theft Auto 5. The PS2 era entries had their lives extended significantly through wacky codes letting players do all kinds of things, and the HD games continue this tradition.
Granted, GTA Online grants nigh endless replay value to the experience, but sometimes people just want to go haphazard by themselves in the city. The codes, accessible either through button prompts or dialing a phone number, deactivate trophies and achievements, so think about that ahead of time. For example, open up the cell phone and input 1-999-3844-8483 to lower the wanted level by one star. It should make surviving rampages a little easier.
9 Mega Man Legacy Collection 2
This follow up to the first Mega Man Legacy Collection includes Mega Man 7 through Mega Man 10. The series is notorious for its brutal difficulty, meaning unlocking everything is a tough challenge.
Fortunately, a short button combination will help access the DLC for the ninth and tenth entries. At the title screen for either game, simply press up, down, left, right, left, right, down, up, up, down, and the content which normally requires the game to be beaten will be readily available. It even comes with a sound effect to notify the player of its activation.
8 Spyro: Reignited Trilogy
This trilogy completely remakes three classics from the PS1 era from the ground up. Back when these games first came out, cheat codes were commonplace. Fortunately, the developer opted to leave these inputs in and let players fool around with them.
They don't even disable trophies, though none of them really help with those challenges. A myriad of modifiers exist within these cheats. On The PS4 version, input R2, L2, R2, L2, Up, Up, Up, Up, O for an instant ninety-nine lives. Look here for a full list of cheats for the Xbox One and PS4 versions.
7 Red Dead Redemption 2
While Rockstar Games' recent open-world opus goes for a more grounded approach, it is not completely void of the developer's signature mayhem and sandbox game design philosophy. Actions definitely have more severe consequences, but one can run amuck if they are not concerned with a high bounty. On the pause menu a button prompt brings up the cheat menu.
While they are all locked at first, each can be accessed by inputting the right code. Some of them are subtle, like adding money to the wallet, but the player can also spawn horses and get the best weapons right off the bat. Like with GTA V, this will also disable trophies and achievements. Unlike other games, these can found in the world either scrawled somewhere or from buying newspapers. Type "Greed is now a virtue" for an instant $500.
6 StarCraft 2
In RTS games, inputting cheat codes is fast and simple. Just bring up the keyboard, type in the code, hit enter, and whatever code put in will activate. Each of the games in the StarCraft 2 trilogy comes with their own set of cheat codes, letting players do things like activate god mode or instantly add resources.
Some missions are long and arduous, so it is understandable if a player would rather use a cheat than restart. Maybe they botched a save file, and the only way out of the sticky situation it to input a code like "WhySoSerious" to instantly add five million credits to your resources. Whatever the case, who are we to judge?
5 Call Of Duty: Black Ops
Call of Duty: Black Ops' title menu has more interaction than an average one. If players get out of the chair and search the room, they will find a computer. Inputting the code 3ARC INTEL will grant all the intel files, letting players read them and get the full story without having to find them in the campaign.
3ARC UNLOCK will also let one play any campaign or zombie level without first going through them in the story. The terminal also holds other secrets, like the entire game of Zork, but those are more easter eggs than anything helpful to the player.
4 Lego Games
The Lego series of video games has been going strong since Lego Star Wars first came out on the PS2. Each entry features a plethora of unlocks players slowly accumulate while going through the levels, unearthing secrets, and buying up items using collected studs.
For those without the patience or time for this, they can always put in cheat codes to unlock individual characters or get studs at a faster rate. The effort put into getting these collectibles and characters is often half the joy of it, but some just want the instant gratification. Most of these simply unlock characters, like going to the extras menu and inputting P8KXSA to unlock Nien Nunb, a fan favorite supporting character.
3 Saints Row IV
Getting far enough in Saints Row IV's character progression already feels like playing with cheats codes, but a few extra modifiers can give the player an even bigger advantage. A dedicated menu for codes grants access to things like invincible cars, infinite money, or unlocking abilities before getting them in the story.
In a game where players fly through a computer simulation of their recently destroyed turf, cheat codes really don't seem out of place in the story. In the cellphone, which doubles as a pause menu, go to the cheat tab, and enter "letsrock" to unlock every weapon instantly.
2 The Orange Box
The miracle of a new Half-Life game brought The Orange Box back into our memory. Surprisingly, this five-game collection includes cheat codes for every part except for Team Fortress 2.
Refilling ammo, getting infinite health, and even unlocking all chapters can be done at any time by simply pressing some buttons. The PC version has a different set of cheats done by typing in passwords, though they first have to add the console option by adding "console" in the target field before starting up the game. Sadly, no game has a cheat granting old scientists invulnerability against impalement through the head.
Firaxis' XCOM series are some of the hardest games ever made. For those without the willingness to power through it fairly, cheat codes are readily available if one knows how to get them.
One can give themselves a slight edge in battle by materializing a soldier with the best weapons, or they can go all the way and make a unit invincible. If aliens are going to fight dirty with their unfairly advanced technology, why can't the player respond in kind? You have to do a little manipulating before actually starting the game, but once you do, typing in "TakeNoDamage" will make you invincible.
MORE: Games That Punish Players For Using Cheats