Coming from this answer, I felt that we need a tiny discussion. While cheats are typically on the way out in gaming, some games still use cheats and allow access to the developer console. Quite a few questions that get asked on this site ("How do I beat X?" or "How do I get X?") can be solved with a simple "open up the dev console" or "Press Up+Up+Down+Down+Left+Right+Left+Right+B+A".

The question is, should we accept cheats as valid answers?

5 Answers 5


As we determined pretty early on, a cheat is a valid answer if and only if the only person you're cheating is yourself.

If your question is how to be a better spy in TF2, an answer suggesting you run your own server and noclip through the map so you can easily sneak around and retreat to absolute safety is not for the purposes of our website a "valid" answer.

  • ♫ Cheats for one, now that is fun, But hacks for some, benefits none. ♫
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 3:12
  • 1
    Cheating is not hacking unless you designed and wrote the cheat yourself. And even then...
    – badp
    Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 10:28
  • whoops it was supposed to be 'cheats' instead of hacks
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 23:24

Cheats are valid answers, it's as simple as that. People come to Gaming.SE to find solutions to their problems and cheats invariably solve those problems. If we say to limit cheats to questions that specifically ask for cheats or "there is no other way", then we have a problem.

How do we know when "there is no other way"? Like our problem with lore, that implies that we need to paradoxically know the answer before we know there's an answer. If we simply allow cheats as answers, that doesn't affect our ability to answer questions definitively.

  • 2
    I agree. They're a perfectly valid answer, but if it's not what the asker is looking for, it won't get accepted. It may even get downvoted by those that feel it doesn't really answer the question. It's perfectly valid, though.
    – SaintWacko
    Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 17:20
  • 4
    @SaintWacko This is true. The heart of the matter is that cheats answer questions. Period, end of story. If the answer doesn't suit the asker, then the asker won't accept the cheat as an answer. But questions need to be dissociated from their asker. Just because the asker doesn't want cheats doesn't mean that someone who runs into the same problem later won't want cheats.
    – Yuuki
    Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 17:22
  • 2
    Except in multiplayer games. We do not provide assistance with cheating when it will affect somebody else's game in a detrimental manner
    – kalina
    Commented Jan 8, 2014 at 21:28
  • Cheats can be answers, but I don't think they count as good answers whatsoever. Rather than providing a good strategy or other information that can help the player, it trivializes the problem and is a single line answer; "use cheats and turn on god mode", or something similiar. Answers like that actively damage our capabilities. If we must keep them around, at least downvote them into oblivion.
    – Frank
    Commented Jan 11, 2014 at 17:24
  • 1
    If I'm going to mention cheats or other "degenerate" options, I usually do so as part of a better answer, assuming that I have the knowledge required and in the absence of an answer that has the "legit" options already spelled out. That's my take, anyways. Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 17:45

I think that OF COURSE a cheat should be allowed as an answer. But, unless the question is "How do I cheat on X?" a cheat should never be the accepted answer. Of course, we cannot control the community, but, we can make comments, votes, and suggestions to help people make the right decisions.

For example: "Is it possible to get Splinky to do the funky chicken?"

A quality answer could easily be:

No. This is not possible. Only Zippy has that power in-game. There is, however, a cheat that enables this:

Mash your face into computer keyboard until every key has been pressed twice
Hit Enter 37 times

I also think we should use comments to encourage people to post the sources of their cheats. There have been occasions where things have been presented as cheats which have deleterious effects on people's games, etc. I think this is especially true of mods, but that perhaps is a whole separate discussion.

  • 1
    We simply do not get to dictate an accepted answer.
    – user98085
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 16:57
  • @FEichinger edited to make my explanation clearer.
    – David M
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 19:25

Cheats: not a valid answer, because they obviate all other answers.

If you were to ask, how do I get Cloud in Final Fantasy Tactics, the most correct answer, if cheats are accepted, is to pop a gameshark into your Playstation and input the following:

3005xx74 0032 | 8005yy42 0032 | 3005xx7A 00A0 | 3005xx85 0020

Which is a crappy answer! Indeed you do get Cloud, but the whole game is trivialized. A cheat should be in its own question, like, "What is the gameshark code to get Cloud in Final Fantasy Tactics?"

Or better yet, lets have a CheatExchange forum where all the cheaters can exchange their cheatey cheats.

EDIT: Added "cheatey" to "cheatey cheats" just to be clear on where I stand

  • You have the option to down vote answers that are that crappy. It doesn't require a ban or even a Low Quality Flag.
    – David M
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 15:14

While cheats are technically a valid answer, they should not be used as answers on Gaming.SE unless the asker specifically asks for cheats or the problem is unsolvable through any other method (e.g. Asker wants an item that can only be given through the developer console).

The reasoning is that providing cheats as answers is typically low-quality, akin to a "Google X" or link-only answer. They're essentially catch-alls since you can accomplish almost anything you need just by opening up the developer console. I feel that, unless there are extenuating circumstances, cheats should not be valid answers.

  • 2
    There is nothing inherently low-quality about cheat answers. If they give a specific way to solve the given problem, then they are just as good as any other answer, and it is up to each visitor to decide whether that particular answer was helpful to them. Obviously, answering "How do I beat the final boss in Contra?" with "Use the Contra code" is a bad answer, but that's because it's equivalent to saying "Get to the boss with lots of lives", which doesn't actually solve the problem, not because it suggests using a cheat. Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 17:24

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