This was prompted by this question: Idling in Team Fortress 2

Seeing as this is a form of cheating, what is our official stance? Do we allow cheats, caveat lector?

This is considered a bannable offence by Valve.

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    It's only a bannable offense if they use an external program, which the poster was not asking for. Idling on real game servers won't cause any problems with valve. Commented Jul 15, 2010 at 13:49
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    I have to agree with Raven. I can't find a reference now, but Valve does not seem to mind actually staying logged in the game. I agree that "cheats" should not be a part of a site, but I see zero problem with this question being asked.
    – Jeffrey
    Commented Jul 15, 2010 at 14:08
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    Gotta agree with Raven, it's definitely not a bannable offense if you are only using the regular TF2 client.
    – TM.
    Commented Jul 16, 2010 at 13:47

3 Answers 3


I don't care about cheating in single-player games / game modes at all, but cheats in multiplayer games (including using external programs like wallhacks and such) are absolutely deplorable, and I would hate to see this site turn into a place where you can get answers to questions regarding cheats in multiplayer games.

  • I'd clarify that this should only apply to things that the games terms of use or creators view as cheating. There are a lot of "cheap" things that some people think are cheating but the game creators have officially stated they have no problems with (see: idling in TF2).
    – TM.
    Commented Jul 16, 2010 at 13:34
  • Just an addition to my previous comment, I think the place where the question under discussion gets itself into trouble is the line: Does Valve still actively punish idlers, and if so, how do I avoid this?. In this case he's asking about how to avoid getting punished by the game creators, which is definitely off limits if you ask me. If he had just asked about idling in general, he'd be ok.
    – TM.
    Commented Jul 16, 2010 at 13:48
  • What about my question? I'm not asking from a I wants to hack perspective. Commented Jul 24, 2010 at 21:29
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    -1. SE exists to disseminate knowledge. Pulling the wool over people's eyes is in direct conflict with that. They are deplorable, but even worse is me not knowing about them, getting all hyped-up to play a game online, only to come to find it's broken by exploits.
    – Mazura
    Commented Jul 30, 2017 at 18:42

We allow people to discuss about actually potentially straight-out illegal operations like modding the Wii -- why would we want to deny discussions about bannable offenses?

As Jeff said:

I don't really care about legality unless it's CLEARLY illegal (linking to warez, gimme teh free softwarez, etc)

I think cheating is not a problem that will go away if you pretend really hard it doesn't exist. Cheating needs to be discussed in the open, if only for the educational advantages of being better able to tell cheaters from gifted players.

  • Wait, we actually allowed a question that teaches you how to mod a Wii? Can you link that?
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Jul 15, 2010 at 13:50
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    Lists questions are also not illegal, but they are nonetheless unwanted on this site. I think we should our standards higher than allowing cheats
    – Ivo Flipse
    Commented Jul 15, 2010 at 13:53
  • Of course. gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/1966/…
    – user56
    Commented Jul 15, 2010 at 13:56
  • Does discussing cheats actually add to the signal to noise ratio like list questions do, @Ivo?
    – badp
    Commented Jul 15, 2010 at 13:59
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    It might not be something that "will go away if you pretend really hard it doesn't exist" but that doesn't mean we should promote it by answering questions on it.
    – user56
    Commented Jul 15, 2010 at 13:59
  • @badp Think about it like utilizing really bad and dangerous code in Stack Overflow. Sure, it solves the problem, but does that make it something we should be promoting?
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Jul 15, 2010 at 14:04
  • @Grace -- giving really bad and dangerous code in an answer makes it a really bad and dangerous answer... giving really bad and dangerous code in a question makes otoh for an awesome question (or at least, it makes the opportunity for an awesome answer). At any rate, neither of these are a good analogy for discussing cheating IMHO.
    – badp
    Commented Jul 15, 2010 at 19:50

I think we should aim to be great gamers, using exploits is not a skill, it's abuse.

So I think these questions should be closed with something related to cheating, exploiting or bannable offenses.

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    We would need to clearly define what constitutes an offensive cheat (one that deserves closing). For example, is the Konami Code safe (the times it gives 30 lives, not the times it just blows up your ship)?
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Jul 15, 2010 at 13:49
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    I think the distinction we should be making is mostly multiplayer or singleplayer. If the former it should definitely be closed.
    – user56
    Commented Jul 15, 2010 at 13:58
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    I don't think we have defined this well enough at all to make it a close-able offense. What about multiplayer Co-op games? Surely there's no problem with a few friends in a private server using cheats that they all agree on (Example: Diablo 2 had a cheat that let you set the monster difficulty, so that you could get better chance for loot, in exchange for fighting harder monsters.). What about server mods that drastically modify the gameplay? Lots of games have custom game types that the community builds, that definitely don't follow the rules of the regular game.
    – TM.
    Commented Jul 16, 2010 at 13:40

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