7. EVE Online--Trifecta
Which exploit is worse? The one that allowed enemy players to avoid appearing in local chat channels (which would alert nearby players of their presence), giving them a competitive advantage in sneak attack-style combat? The player-owned-stations exploit that allowed corporations to obtain high-end materials for free (and jack the game’s economy full of trillions of ISK that shouldn’t have been there?) Or how about the exploit that allowed ships to blast targets with short-range weaponry from an absurd distance away?
8. Ultima Online--Killing the Invincible
File this one under “F” for both “Funny” and “Fire Field.” When Ultima Online was nearing the end of its official beta test in 1997, the game’s creator--Richard “Lord British” Garriott--took his mighty, invulnerable avatar on a tour through the game’s servers to thank beta testers for participating. Take special note of that “couldn’t be killed” part, because someone managed to kill him anyway.
It was later revealed that the assassination of Lord British wasn’t so much the result of an exploit as the result of Garriott forgetting to set an invulnerability flag on his character following a server crash. The killer, a player character named “Rainz,” was nevertheless banned for allegedly violating the spirit of the game’s beta test--British wasn’t his first kill, just his most famous.
9. Quake--The Stanford Stoogebot
While not an exploit per se, the famous Stanford Stoogebot was one of the first third-party “enhancements” for a first-person shooter that a player could use to become “godlike” before the term even existed in the genre. In other words, it’s an aimbot--an intermediary between your game and the server that controls your player’s aiming and firing while you simultaneously control your player’s movement and enemy-hunting. It’s clobberin’ time!
10. Civilization V--War Chest
It always feels like the computer is cheating in Civilization V, doesn’t it? Give some back with this simple money-making exploit. If you’re about to go to war with a fellow civilization--either because it’s on the horizon anyway, or you’re just a pacifism-hating jerk--set up a trade with the target and exchange all of your gold and resources (important: per turn) for a lump-sum payment of as much of your target’s gold as you can barter for. Before the ink dries on your new agreement, declare war.
11. Mario Kart 64--Duh
If the Rainbow Road shortcut isn’t the biggest exploit to ever appear in a racing game, we don’t know what is.
12. Team Fortress 2--Door Blocking and Invincibility
Griefing? Exploit? Either way, using yourself to block the door (caution: language!) that other players need to use to leave their spawn points in a multiplayer match is just plain funny. Slightly more frustrating is the actual exploit that used to allowed TF2 Medics to ubercharge themselves indefinitely--an invulnerable medic might not be as bad as an invulnerable scout or pyro, but it can still be quite detrimental to one’s health.
13. Star Wars: The Old Republic--Get Down
Go Jedi; it’s your birthday. Of all the tricks one could use to escape harm in a massively multiplayer online game, the exploit discovered within Star Wars: The Old Republic proves to be one of the genre’s best and funniest. If an enemy was targeting you with any kind of power or ability, you used to be able to type “/getdown” in your chat window to set your character a-dancing. Be it The Force, your mad skills, or a broken game mechanic, your “/getdown” command would interrupt whatever your target was channeling or casting.
14. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess--Seriously, an Exploit
There are exploits, and then there are exploits. The glitch found in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, for the Wii, didn’t give gamers a competitive advantage in their single-player romp through Hyrule. Rather, it allowed players to execute custom code placed on the root directory of their system’s SD cards. In other words, glitching the game helped enthusiasts run homebrew software on their consoles instead of the Wii’s default operating system.
15. Mortal Kombat
No, not that Mortal Kombat. The newest Mortal Kombat--conveniently titled “Mortal Kombat,” which definitely differentiates it from the 35 other similarly named games in the series. Naming conventions aside, Mortal Kombat drinks from the same well that many fighting games turn to: infinite combo exploits. Difficult to figure out, but fun when you do, an infinite combo exploit allows you to lock your opponent in a permanent world of pain. Successfully keep the combo going and there’s going to be absolutely nothing standing between your foe and sweet, digital death.