A guide to exploits, and how they can ruin a gaming experience.

21:00, 05 Apr 2020

The literal meaning of an exploit in video games is the use of a bug or glitches, game system, rates, hitboxes, speed or level design, etc. by a player to their advantage in a manner not intended by the game's designers. The reason video games have glitches is that they are programs written by people. People make mistakes, and if a mistake is made, the device has no choice but to roll the program along with the bugs, since they blindly follow all instructions they are given because the code has no understanding of what’s right or wrong. Even though a game is thoroughly tested before its release, they are extremely complex works. It is far too easy to make mistakes when developing a game. 

Generally, glitches are considered to be cheats since they are means of unfair advantage and can ruin the experience for other players who might be oblivious to these cheats. Players probably won't realize they are carrying on against the developer’s intention. According to some people, glitches aren’t cheats, since they don't change the game in any capacity, and subsequently could be available to all players on the off chance that they realize how to do it.

However, while possibly troublesome and ruinous to the expected encounters of a game, glitching empowers an assorted scope of results and interactivity encounters. Glitching can essentially harm the experience of a game, making it unjustifiable, unenjoyable and indeed, even unplayable. They can profoundly modify the equalization of a serious multiplayer FPS by making glitches undetectable or resistant, virtual economies may destabilize and hyper-blow up because of the duplication of uncommon and rare items or empower the player to specifically renegotiate their progress through a game.

Types of Glitches

Every game has glitches in varying amounts, type or effectiveness. There are some types of glitches that are similar throughout, these include:

Geometry 

Exploiting how the game world is constructed. Ordinarily, the objective of these glitches is to arrive at typically inaccessible regions or take unintended alternate ways in the game world. These are generally accomplished by crossing undetectable hindrances made by the software engineers, or scaling edges not proposed to be climbable. An example will be Fortnite, where players could go under the map and make their way into the storm and win games without participating in battles; therefore, ruining the experience for other players. 

Game Physics

Taking advantage of the systems that make up the gameplay. In these glitches, the game is working as designed, but at the same time is not working as intended. An example is the "wavedash" in Super Smash Bros. Melee, where the momentum gained from using a directional aerial dodge could be retained on landing; with proper timing this allows characters to use a stationary attack while sliding across the ground.

Duping

This refers to duplicating money or earning free in-game currency. These glitches are amongst the most common ones and are unfair to other players, especially people who spend their hard-earned money on items. One such example could be the duplication of Gems in a popular mobile game: Subway Surfers.

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Response to Glitchers

Since glitching is considered to be using unfair methods, game developers have a strict protocol and certain rules to get rid of them, which include temporary suspension or even a permanent ban. But developers find it difficult to identify and respond to an exploit because a player who discovers a vulnerability in a game may be reluctant to inform the game's developers. Games nowadays have strict policies for glitching, a great example can be of Fortnite banning FaZe Jarvis for using Aim Bot on stream. 

Albeit he used it only on Creative mode, Epic Games displayed a strict response to hold up the diligence of their policies, and the fact that they mustn’t be taken with a grain of salt. Epic Games confirmed to CNN that Jarvis has been banned, saying;

"We have a zero-tolerance policy for the usage of cheat software. When people use aimbots or other cheat technologies to gain an unfair advantage, they ruin games for people who are playing fairly."

Such an attitude shows that the rules for everyone are the same, and does not rely upon their fame, or recognition.

Once a glitch is identified developers change the game’s code with the upcoming update, or sometimes even welcome the exploit. The positive aspect of the exploit can lead to the designers embracing it as emergent gameplay, popular example includes rocket jumping. 

The problem with glitches is plain and simple; they can be fun to use. This is why many players exploit them, not realising they are using them for personal gain, i.e to win. However, the roll-on effect this has on other players, the fanbase in general, and the overall fairness of the game structure is not something to be taken lightly. 

 

Disclaimer: All of the glitches shown in the videos are meant to represent what they are, and how they used within a game. We do not endorse or condone anyone using these glitches and won’t be responsible for any actions taken.

 

Image via Epic Games

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