These methods of cheating are often less reliable than cheat codes included in a game by its creators. Modifying game data usually constitutes a violation of a software license agreement that prohibits modifying the program at all. However, cheating in such games is nonetheless a legal grey area because there are no laws against modifying software which is already owned, as detailed in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Later, cheating grew more popular with magazines, websites, and even a television show, Cheat! , dedicated to listing cheats and walkthroughs for consoles and computer systems.
Users use a third party program to inject the DLL into their game of choice. Cheating can easily be achieved by modifying the game’s data while it is running.
Cheating in online games is common on public game servers. Some online games, such as Battlefield 1942, include specific features to counter cheating exploits, by incorporating tools such as PunkBuster, nProtect GameGuard, or Valve Anti-Cheat.
In online trading card games, creating multiple accounts by jailbreaking device to get more rewards can be considered as cheating because it is unfair to players who have only one account. There are also cheats that increase the size of the enemies’ hitbox which allows the player to shoot next to the enemy, which would usually result in a miss, but the game would detect as a hit. In Tomodachi Life, for example, the shops will not update or display any seasonal exclusive items until the system clock ticks over to the following day. Editing a saved game offers an indirect way to modify game data. By modifying a file in persistent storage, it is possible to effectively modify the runtime game data that will be restored when the game attempts to load the save game.
However, much like anti-virus companies, some anti-cheat tools are constantly and consistently bypassed until further updates force cheat creators to find new methods to bypass the protection. In online multiplayer games, players may use macro scripts, which automate player actions, to automatically find items or defeat enemies for the player’s advantage. The rise of virtual economies has led to cheating where a gamer uses macros to gain large amounts of in-game money which the player will then trade for real cash. The Terms of Service of most modern online games now specifically prohibit the transfer of accounts or sale of in-game items for ‘real-world’ money. Depending on the company running the game, this may or may not be taken seriously.
POKE cheats were replaced by trainers and cheat codes. Generally, the majority of cheat codes on modern day systems are implemented not by gamers, but by game developers. Some say that as many people do not have the time to complete a video game on their own, cheats are needed to make a game more accessible and appealing to a casual gamer.
Somewhat more unusual than memory editing, code injection consists of the modification of the game’s executable code while it is running, for example with the use of POKE commands. In the case of Jet Set Willy on the ZX Spectrum computer, a popular cheat involved replacing a Z80 instruction DEC in the program with a NOP, effectively granting the player infinite lives. On Microsoft Windows, a common type of video game hacking is through the use of DLLs.