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Video game cheats, codes, and guides are the focus of topics found in this category.

A video game cheat refers to a player using a non-standard means of gaining an advantage or disadvantage within the game, for the purpose of making the game easier or, in some cases, harder than it would otherwise be.

A common cheat involves the use of a cheat code, generally a character combination that is entered in order to change the behavior of the game. A cheat code might move the game to the next level, give the player's game character additional powers, or cause some other effect. The code could be a series of keyboard combinations that were programmed into the game code, but not made known to the general public. Some cheat codes are activated by entering certain high score names, holding keys or buttons while a player's character is dying, or picking items up in a particular order.

Originally, cheat codes were added to the code by the game developer or programmer for the purpose of testing the various modules of the game without having to start from the beginning each time. The use of cheat codes by game developers has been decreasing, however. One reason is the popularity of multi-user games today, where fairness is valued and expected. The objectives of gameplay have also evolved, moving away from high scores and completing games to experiencing the gameplay. Thus, many contemporary video games have removed cheat codes entirely.

Other cheat codes are created by hackers who modify game data, and may be released by third-party software that exploits software bugs in a game.

Cheating in a video game can also be achieved through hardware. Cheat cartridges are devices designed to connect to cartridge-based video game systems, allowing the user to input cheat codes to manipulate the gameplay in various ways, usually to gain infinite lives or ammunition, unlock secrets, or gain some other advantage during the game. For newer consoles, cheat cartridges have been replaced by cheat discs, which serve the same function.

Memory editors can be used in PC games to locate the memory areas where known values, such as the number of lives, are located, then allowing the user to freeze these values, preventing the game from altering the information.

Regardless of the method of execution or delivery, topics related to video game cheats or cheat codes are appropriate for this category, which in no way implies that it is appropriate to use them in a game.

For the purpose of categorization, sites whose focus is on teaching players to play specific or multiple video games, or which provide guides to gameplay, may also be listed in this category. Game support forums or gamer community forums should be listed in the Forums & Discussions category, however.



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