The Big Question: Do You Use Guides Or Cheats?

When I was younger I was absolutely rigid in my thinking: no matter how stuck I became I would never use cheats or guides. Never. The first exception to this rule was Goldeneye. In the final mission I had absolutely no idea how to retrieve the golden gun and kill Scaramanga. Turns out you had to move over very specific tiles on the flooring so as to not set off booby traps.

I always regretted giving up on Goldeneye and resorting to FAQs, but at that point, with the solution being so vague, I'm not sure I had any other choice.

How about you? Do you guys and girls resort to FAQs or cheats?

Even as an older dude with limited time, I'm still quite limited in my use of guides. I can count on one hand the amount of times I've had to use them. There was Goldeneye, discussed above, Batman: Arkham Asylum (because I stopped playing for a year and had totally lost the context of where I was in the game) and Dark Souls.

Actually, Dark Souls is probably the only time I looked online for advice and didn't feel guilty. I think there's a communal aspect of sharing hints and tips for that game. I don't think there's any shame in googling for help with that one!

So, this is the question for today: cheats and guides. Yay or nay?


    I'll dip in if I'm utterly stuck.

      +1 this. Sometimes it's just not clicknig with me or there's something I'm unsure of, or if I'm hunting collectibles and there's a few pain in the butt ones I just can't pin down, but I don't resort to guides as a matter of course.

      I have a friend who buys the strategy guide with every final fantasy game that comes out and he basically just follows the instructions from beginning to end, spending more time reading the book than watching the screen. What's the point? :/

      using a guide is always down to time efficiency. There is no puzzle that cannot be solved eventually, but its up to you how precious your time is. there is no shame in using a guide.

    I use guides if I need them but never touch cheats because they just seem to drain the fun out of the game for me (I know that others say the same of guides).

    Then again, I'm pretty obsessed with speedruns these days. Been watching people beat all of the bosses in Dark Souls in about an hour and a half. That does kind of give me an idea of what to do next when I play.

    Oddly enough, that kind of backfired on me when I got to Duke's Archives. Speedrunners always do a skip early in that level that involves jumping off of an elevator. When I got around to doing the level, I got completely turned around because I just didn't see the door that I had to go towards.

    Found it in the end but felt like a right idiot while I was running around trying to find anywhere that didn't lead back to the start.

    Anyhow, when it comes to guides I find the challenge in most games is pulling off what you need to do, not finding out what you need to do. I don't see it as any different than asking a friend for tips.

    If I have no idea yes, but generally no.

    I remember playing through MGS2 with a guide next to me. After about halfway through I put it under my bed, I felt as though the guide was spoiling it for me as there were no real surprises or challenges.

      Also, I played through Vice City using cheats the entire time as well as a guide book. I went to 100% the game but found out that if you used a cheat you wouldnt obtain 100%. Crushed me. Havent thought too much about cheats since.

    Cheats, no... guides, Hell yeah I do.

    This is something I do for enjoyment, If I wanted to belt my head against a wall for 15 hours I's go back to work.

      My primary objective in playing games is to have 'fun'.
      Challenge can be fun... until it's too challenging for too long. Then it stops being fun.

      I use guides because I have two jobs, part-time study and other commitments. I can't spend 30 hours a week playing games so if I'm going to get through parts of a large game like GTA, I need to have a guide at hand rather than trying to spend 10 hours getting through a roadblock.

    Have a quick look if I get stuck. I don't have as much time as I used to and being stufk takes the fun out of what I'm doing.

    Occasionally will look up cheats after I've finished to see what is available - you can have some more fun.

    Was able to work out the Golden Gun bit myself though. Trial and error.

    I use guides if I'm really stuck.

    I use cheats if I'm playing a game that I want to have a different kind of fun, or if I'm bored with the gameplay but want to know how the story ends.

    No cheats and occasionally will use a guide as a compass to point me in the right direction but rarely read any further than "when you get to location you should be at" and then muddle my way through from there.

    nope, guides spoil the fun, and any decent RPG where you have a skill tree you have to tinker with it to suit your play style, no good in leveling up skills and attributes of your char that you dont use so i never see the point to them

    I never, ever use a guide or FAQ to get through the game's main story mode. If I get stuck I'll sit there until I figure it out. My reasoning is that it ruins the overall experience.

    I do on occasion use a FAQ to find collectables or something like that that have no real impact on the rest of the game. For example in the new Tomb Raider there was one section in that bunker there was a sidequest to find some flags to burn to finish the area 100%. I searched and searched around that area for a long time and could not find the final flag for the life of me. Checked a guide, and it was right at the top of a tower and was barely even visible -_-

    So yeah, I don't use guides to play through the main story, but I do on occasion quickly check them for small stuff like that.

    And this is coming from someone that has written FAQs myself.

    Last edited 18/09/13 11:29 am

    Cheats if I want to have a bit of fun with a game, eg. Gta, sr.

    I'll use guides if it's some inconsequential jrpg from years ago that tells you your objective once during the longest conversation on earth and gives you no way to remind yourself. Other than that, I avoid them like the plague.

    I use guides a bunch.

    Cheats not all the time, but you know what? I'd use them if they were around anymore!


    The thing I miss the most is how I could use cheats as a last resort when a game got terrible hard or broken. I mean, really terrible too, to the point that trying to do things legitimately is now less fun than just thrashing it with god-mode or whatever.

    Last edited 18/09/13 12:31 pm

      Yeah I was just thinking "Do games even have cheats anymore?"

        Not since they adopted the "achievement" or "trophy" systems. Built-in cheats, at least in console games, are almost non-existant due to this reason. If you have cheats, "achievements" mean nothing (*rolls eyes*)
        PC games often have console-mode or key triggers that will allow debug modes or whatever, but that is on the way out too.
        PC still has the upper-hand because you have access to the memory of the system. If you have access to the memory of the game, you can modify pretty much any (client-side) value you want (with a bit of skill). Use a debugger like Cheat Engine, for example.
        PC also have direct access to the savegame files (although this is on the way out too, with cloud storage).

          Too bad they couldn't just go the route of "cheats on, no progress/achievements." I mean that worked in bloody Goldeneye and it was pretty classic...

          And now I wanna be able to play DK mode in Borderlands 2 :P

          I know, achievements have ruined so much of old gaming.

    I try to avoid them unless I am really stuck on something that's stopping me from advancing in the game. If it's a side quest, I normally come back to it later on.

    Guides are only for when I'm honestly tearing-my-hair out stuck. It takes me a while before I cave too, because I feel guilty. It doesn't happen often.

    Cheats are only for when I've finished/gotten bored of the game and I need to breathe some new life into it. Most cheats I find shorten a game's lifespan drastically if used too early. Depending on the cheat, it just ruins all challenge and lets you see/use content you haven't had to work for.

    If there's collectibles in an open world (like those stupid GTAIV pigeons) then I'll usually resort to a guide to find the ones that I've missed. I have no idea what the GTAV equivalent is...

    Guides yup when I am stuck or trying for completion stuff that has me running in circles..

    Cheats are for post-game fun... like god mode with unlimited ammo.. run around and have a bit of fun after the game has been completed.

    I bought GTA V yesterday and along with it I bought the 400+ page, full colour guide book.. I don't really plan on using it all that much but it is such a huge guide book, with all the wonderful colour and glossy pages etc.. I couldn't resist.. :)

    this used to be a no but as i don't have long to play if i get stuck for more than a few minutes i will likely quickly call up a guide on my tablet and then pass the section and continue guide free.
    i don't want to waste an hour figuring something out (unless it actually is a puzzle game) not having fun when i only have an hour to play

    I am not a fan of spoilers (and more often than not cheats and guides will reveal huge ones), and so I would avoid both if I can help it. The only time I remember actively using a guide was to figure out how to best use the level system for FFXIII, or maybe Skyrim to figure out little silly things like what you needed to get your character married (which never happened anyway).

    Guides for when I'm STUCK stuck, or going for 100% completion. Cheats are only used when I'm bored with the game and want something to spice it up.

    When I was younger I may have cheated in the odd single player game. Either because it was too hard, or it was fun. However this is like 15 years ago since I stopped.

    Now I would never cheat. I fucking hate the fact that in MP games like Battlefield and COD you come across cheaters. FUCKING HATE IT!!!

    Anyway I will sometimes use a guide if I am stuck or can't be bothered. Like AC2:B I totally couldn't be arsed finding the last couple of glyphs, so just google. Also sometimes there's puzzels and things, which I can't be arsed spending the time doing, so will just google if I can't do it with in a minute.

    Sometimes I just don't want to be stuck wasting time on something.

    I don't think I use guides for telling me how to do anything. Unless it's something like I loaded up Far Cry 2 and it's been years and I forgot what to do with the malaria attacks and so googled an answer.

    Guides and Cheats aren't the same thing and shouldn't be conflated.

    I don't use cheats, but I do use guides occasionally. Usually it's if I'm playing something long with heaps of content like an RPG, and I know I'm only going to play it once. I use guides to make sure I wring all the content out of it in one playthrough.

    Also if watching a video of a hard sequence eg a boss battle that I can't figure out on youtube counts as viewing a 'guide' then I've done that a bit as well.

    That's not cheating, though. It's avoiding frustration and getting the most content and enjoyment out of the game possible.

    I just check a trophy guide before playing if I'm considering going for platinum trophy, to check for missable trophies etc. Otherwise, I only use a guide if I am genuinely stuck (for more than a few minutes).

    Interestingly, I find that these days developers seem to be a little more sloppy with game design as they are aware of the ubiquity of guides on the internet. That said, I still remember tearing my hair out over The Last Ninja II, where you needed to punch a panel to get out of the first building you are in. For the life of me, my 8-year-old self could not figure it out. And don't get me started on that clown juggling the knives! Took me months to figure out how to get past!

    I play about a quarter of the game blind and then I'll guide or cheat my way through the rest for the story or for secret endings or items. I pretty much only play story centric rpgs so challenge isn't usually an issue, though I do admit that it often spoils the story abit.

    Uh... Do you use cheats or guides?
    Do you used cheats or guides?

    I thought this was a question BETWEEN cheats or guides!

    Does that make me a bad person?

    I'll use wikis sometimes, mostly to avoid missing stuff in RPGs. I did use the Oghma glitch in Skyrim to get to level 81, but that was really just because I wanted to kill a legendary dragon without having to manually grind all the skills I don't normally use to get there. And of course I used all the cheats in GTAIII and VC to go on mindless rampages when I was 13. Who didn't at that age?

    I use guides, not cheats primarily because I hate it when developers put missable achievements into their 30-60 hour game. I'll scan over a guide, if there is nothing missable then I'll gladly throw the guide aside until I finish the game.

    If not, and there are missable things like decisions to make at key points, collectible items that cannot be revisited, then all bets are off. Its the developers fault IMO. Why have an open world game that you can't return to portions of it to finish off.

    Walking Dead - marvellous. Nothing missable, so never touched a guide.
    Saint's Row series - pretty good, though #3 had one missable (finish Act 1 another way), otherwise great.
    Rage - utter crap. Missable collectibles, missable secret areas, not to mention the rest of the game.
    Bioshock 1 - missable collectibles in the very first area, with everything else able to be revisited.

    You get the point. If a game has things to collect, let people have the freedom to explore and do so after the game is over, don't punish them with a 99% statistic because they didn't think to explore in an area they had no idea would be sealed off forever. Cheap tactics like decision-based achievements do not extend gameplay, they have people look for work-arounds so they dont have to endure your crappy game more than once.

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