A lot of games require a big time investment — at least, if you want to have the best gear, the funniest emotes, the most locations unlocked, a shot at completing all the achievements, etc. And while you could play fair and square, you could also be that person and use hacks, exploits, or other creative techniques to achieve whatever it is you’re trying to do in your favourite title, even if that’s “ruin everyone else’s day by using a utility to kill them a lot faster than they can kill you.” That’s fun too, right?
It's Evil Week at Lifehacker, which means we're looking into less-than-seemly methods for getting shit done. We like to think we're shedding light on these tactics as a way to help you do the opposite, but if you are, in fact, evil, you might find this week unironically helpful. That's up to you.
From “trainers” that allowed you to save and restore another person’s Diablo character to super-advanced bots that you can use to play your favourite MMO for you when you aren’t there, games cheating is nothing if not creative. Here are a few hacks you can try right now—and don’t blame us if you get booted from your latest title:
Download modified APKs for your favourite mobile games
Only suckers play games they’ve downloaded from the App Store or Google Play, right? At least, that’s what you’ll probably be asking yourself as you sit on level 201 of Candy Crush, with a mere 781 levels to go until you can finish the game. (I’m guessing; I usually give up earlier than that.)
While I’ve written previously about why it’s a bad idea to install modified apps or games onto your device, because you never know if that hack that gives you unlimited gold, gems, or whatever is also malware in disguise, this is still the most effective way to cheat in any title you’re playing.
If you’re on iOS, you’ll need to jailbreak your device or use a tool like Cydia Impactor to get modified apps onto your device. It’s a lot easier to sideload APKs onto an Android device. Remember, though—give a hacked game or app root access to your smartphone, and you’re potentially letting malware have its way with your smartphone (and data). It’s your call, though I’d recommend using forums, not just random web links, when hunting down modified games. At least you’ll be able to get a sense from the replies if the hack seems legitimate, is working, or has ruined other users’ lives.
As for where you’ll find these hacked games, there are plenty of forums, websites, and third-party repositories you can check out: iosgods, /r/ipahub, Panda Helper, TweakBox, EMUS4U, AppValley, Android Zone, libre.io, Mobilism, and /r/apkmodgames... to name a very few.
Download someone else’s hard work
While it’s a lesser form of cheating, using someone else’s save game files can be a handy way to unlock everything in a game without having to play it yourself. The easiest way to find save files for your specific game—if they exist—is to perform a simple web search (or Reddit search), but there are also some archives you can hit up if you’re feeling adventurous. They include Save Game World, The Tech Game, Save Game FAQ (though not recently updated), and SavesForGames (also not recently updated).
You might also have some luck finding save games over at Nexus Mods. At the very least, you’ll probably be able to find some tweak for your game (if such things are possible) that grants you powers you were never supposed to have.
Cheating utilities that will probably get you banned
If you want to get fancier—and an account ban—you can try looking for utilities that give you some kind of competitive advantage in your favourite multiplayer title. That can include things like aimbots or wallhacks for a first-person shooter, bots that play an MMO or other random-loot-themed game for you, autoclickers, et cetera.
As before, I recommend investigating forums for these kinds of apps, because downloading any ol’ utility that promises to give you some unfair advantage in the popular game of the day runs the risk of infecting your system with malware. That’s not to say that anything you download via a forum post is going to be 100-per cent legitimate, but at least you’ll probably have other people commenting on whether the hack works or not.
To get started, try checking out sites like MPGH.net, Unknown Cheats, OwnedCore, and MacroGoblin. There are plenty of individual sites (and subreddits) for specific games—like private servers for your favourite MMO, tools that can automatically play your favourite idle game when you aren’t there, etc.