AbsolutCheats - Basic Cheating Guide

New to Cheating? Start by Reading This
Do you remember the first time you found a secret in a game? Was it a hidden move for a fighter, an extra car in a race, or perhaps a bonus level in a platform game? It's great to have the advantage that a hidden code or secret can give. This week's feature will take a look at the various types of secret and hidden ways to get the most out of your games.

Cheat Codes
By far, cheat codes are the most common type of secret found in games. The purpose of cheat codes is simple - game programmers need a way to test their games during development, so they intentionally put in codes that could be activated by the play testers to allow them to complete games quickly and efficiently.

On PC games, codes are often activated by pressing a series of keys, or perhaps by entering a special name at the opening or high score screen. Codes on console systems usually require the player to press various buttons and directions on the controller at specific parts of the game for activation.

So what happens to the cheat codes after work on the game has been completed, and is ready for the stores? It's all up to the game's developer. Some programmers choose to leave cheat codes in their game, so gamers can also benefit from them. Getting them to reveal the codes is another story. Intrepid gamers can try to find the codes by themselves, either by trial and error or looking through the executable files. Fortunately, some programmers are more than willing to share their secrets to web sites, magazines, or tip lines.

Although simply leaving those play testing codes for people to find and use is helpful, the really great codes are intentionally placed by programmers to unlock features that actually extend a game (new skins, characters or bonus maps for example).

In the worst-case scenario, all cheat codes are completely removed by the programmer in the final version of the game, as in the PC version of Command and Conquer or the PlayStation version of Final Fantasy VII. In such games, there is no possible way to enter a "regular" code to cheat. For the die hard cheater, a workaround such as a trainer or GameShark cartridge can be used to unlock the game's secrets.

Trainers
Simply put, a trainer is a program written by someone other than the game's developer that allows cheating in games that don't feature built-in codes. Trainers can run in the background, along with the target game. They work by modifying specific areas in the PC's memory to always keep your ammo full, shields charged, and lives full. Other trainers actually patch the game's executable, data, configuration, or save files to activate their features.
NOTE #1: Almost all trainers are unofficial programs made by fans or hackers. Some of them require you to load up the trainer first, and then load up the game, but some require you to run the game first and then, while it is running, start the trainer. Also, they usually work with a specific version of the game -- trying to run a trainer created for v1.0 of the game with version 1.1 of the game probably won't work. Sometimes there are also differences between US, European and Asian versions of a game. Make sure you carefully read the info file that come with a trainer (README.TXT, .NFO info file or similar).

NOTE #2: Since trainers are executable programs and often have unknown origins, there is a risk of infection from viruses, and other unforeseen problems... so, please use them with caution! All trainers and executables on AbsolutCheats are daily scanned for viruses, but we cannot guarantee that an author didn't put some new, unknown, variant or anything like that!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Some trainers were made using a utility called "Trainer Maker Kit". Few antivirus programs (such as Norton Antivirus, NOD32, AntiVir...) may interpret it as a keylogger virus/trojan. That is why we do not recommend using them unless you're a highly experienced computer user. Furthermore, those files are password-protected. If you're absolutely sure you want to try them, click here for a list of possible passwords.
Saved Games
Most games aren't meant to be played in a single sitting and use some sort of password or savegame system to allow continuation at a later time. This gives players the opportunity to trade saved games to give other people the items or levels gained, or pump up their saves through file editing.

Usually, the info on how to use saved games can be found inside the downloaded archive. If not, try to follow these steps:

PC
Try to find where the game stores savegame files -- go into the game directory and look if there are folder with named "save" or "profile". Sometimes, games save their data in "My Documents" folder. Always make a backup copy of your files when using the download savegame.

PS2
CodeBreaker saves (.CBS files) require a CodeBreaker disc, a USB drive and a compatible PS2. Action Max saves (.MAX files) require a ARMax disc and a compatible USB drive. Other savegames also require some software, because PS2 alone can't use any of these saves.

PS3
You should copy your files to your console using USB Flash memory:

1. Create a Folder named PS3 and create sub folder named SAVEDATA in it.
2. Extract the downloaded ZIP file to the SAVEDATA folder.
3. Remove the USB memory from the computer and plug it into the PS3.
4. Go to Save Data on your XMB.
5. Press [Triangle] to copy the file to your PS3.

Then just start up your game and the save file should be there.

PSP
You need USB cable with the small connector (Mini type-B USB cable) to connect PSP to the computer. Start the console and choose the USB connection option. Copy the file to SAVEFILE directory on your console.

Wii
Download savegame to your computer and copy it to a SD card (Wii compatible). Put the SD card into your Wii.

If you have a .bin file, you have to place it in a folder structure on your SD card like so: \private\wii\title\GAME\data.bin (replacing GAME with it's corresponding game code from the game code list which can be viewed here: http://www.wiisave.com/gamecodes/).

If you have a .zip file, it most likely has all of it's folder structure in tact, so all you have to do is extract it to your SD card so it shows up like the above folder structure.

Once you have the file in place on your SD card, you can then put the SD card in to your Wii and go to your saved game(s) on your SD card (Wii Options > Data Management > Save Data > Wii > SD card tab), select the saved game that you want and select Copy. Keep in mind that if you already have a save on your Wii that you're trying to replace, it wont overwrite it, so you'll have to backup your save, then delete it off your Wii internal memory to be able to transfer the new one on.
GameShark and Game Genie Codes
The GameShark and Pro Action Replay are devices that allow custom cheat codes to be enabled in various console games. Originally developed by Datel Design and Development, Ltd. in the U.K., this technology is known as the Pro Action Replay in Europe, while distributed by InterAct Accessories as the GameShark in North America. Acting much like a trainer in the PC world, they write to locations in a console's memory to activate their cheat features. GameShark codes are not official products and are not endorsed by console manufacturers such as Sega, Sony, or Nintendo. In fact, Nintendo actively places new code routines in their Nintendo 64 cartridges to disable use of a GameShark. In turn, InterAct has developed a keycode system and ROM upgrades to keep their products working.

Devices similar to the GameShark have existed for some time. The Game Genie (and Action Replay) provided a similar way to cheat on the Sega Genesis, Sega Game Gear, Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo Game Boy, and Sega Master System. The 3DO Multiplayer console system had the Game Guru, which allowed saved games to be edited, then read back into the game with cheat features activated. Intrepid owners of the SNK Neo*Geo system have even had the hardware in their consoles custom modified in order to take advantage of secret DIP switch features buried in their cartridges. The Commodore 64 and other older computer systems had reset cartridges that allowed their RAM contents to be frozen, dumped, edited, and reloaded with cheats.

FAQs, Walkthrough, Guides
The term FAQ is an abbreviation for "Frequently Asked Questions". A FAQ is a text file that answers some of the more common questions about a game. Solutions and walkthroughs are documents that provide a detailed description on how to complete a game. Games in these categories are often linear or semi-linear in game play allowing such a step-by-step description to be useful.

Easter Eggs
Although they may not be helpful in getting through a game, Easter Eggs are surprises hidden by programmers to make their work a little more fun. They can range from cameo appearances from the people that made the game to silly effects that are just for laughs.

Hex Editing
This is probably the most difficult cheat to pull off, mostly because advanced computer knowledge is required from a user. Hex editing allows you to directly alter the game files by changing values stored in the original .exe or data files. Hex cheats will usually come with a location (also called address or offset) you need to modify and a value you need to put there. In order to edit files this way, you will need to download a hex editor program (please check out the 'Cheat Tools' section for more info and download links). You're highly advised to always make a backup of the file you're going to modify!

Editors
Editor is usually a small program that allows a user to modify his saved games or some other game-related file. An editor is basically a front-end for a hex cheat. Someone has created a program to do the hex editing for you, to make the this simple. Note that editors might only work with a specific version of the game, so always read the included info.

Command-Line Cheating
Some games require using of command-line parameters. To start a game with command line parameters you need to do the following:
  1. Right-click on the game shortcut icon, and select Properties -- a new screen will show up.

  2. Add the required parameter at the very end of the Target field. For example, if you need to start the game with ' -devmode' parameter, target line should look similar to this:

    "C:\Program Files\Some Game\game.exe" -devmode

    As you can see, the required parameter is located at the very end of the line, outside the quotes that initially were there, and there is also a blank space in front of it. The following examples WON'T work:

    "C:\Program Files\Game\game.exe"-devmode
    "C:\Program Files\Game\game.exe -devmode"
    "C:\Program Files\Game\game.exe-devmode"

  3. After you've changed the line, click Apply to save changes and then run the game using that shortcut.
UHS
UHS is short for "Universal Hint System". This is a type of cheat that will give you only the hints you need, not revealing the full answer. In order to use them you will need the base program. Look under 'Cheat Tools' section for more info and download links.

UGE
UGE is short for "Universal Game Editor". This is a DOS based cheating tool that allows a user to use UGE modules that will allow altering of game values. A basic program is required for this cheating method. Check out the 'Cheat Tools' section for more info and download links.

Gamewizard
This cheat method is similar to UGE -- users create GW tables of data to alter values in a game. You will need this program to use files with the .gw extension. Check out the 'Cheat Tools' section for more info and download links.


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