Cheating in Online Multiplayer Games

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With the huge popularity of online multiplayer gaming these days, cheats have also been developed for use in such games. Developer will often attempt to prevent the possibility of cheating in multiplayer games to aid in fairness, unlike single player games. Ever since the release of the first popular online multiplayer games, cheating has taken on new dimensions. The internet changed many things with multiplayer cheating. Before such times, it was possible to see if someone cheated as multiplayer games were played on a local area network or a console. The internet changed this by offering players anonymity and giving them an avenue to communicate cheats with others.

Online multiplayer cheating takes many forms. Below you will find a brief summary of some of the types of cheating online.

Selling of Online Game Currency

With the huge popularity of massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs) such as World of Warcraft, Everquest and RuneScape, trading of virtual currency has also become popular. This has lead to virtual economies being formed. With the rise of virtual economies, some players have begun to cheat to get large amounts of in game money. In some cases in-game money can be traded for real cash. The most common method of cheating in such a way is done through the use of macros. A player may write a small script to automate a certain cash generating task.

The terms of service of online games will usually prohibit the trading of in-game items for real money.


Twinking is the practice of passing valuable items to a lower level player who would not otherwise be able to gain such an item. This is common practice in games such an EverQuest as 'power levellers' will employ such tactics in order to increase the rate at which they can progress through the game. In some games however, this is not a cheat. World of Warcraft allows high level players to mail money and items to other lower level players or friends.

The Use of Macro's

Macroing is when a player utilises a script known as a macro. Macro's can be used to automate player actions such as automatically defeating enemies or finding valuable items. This is common in many online games even though it is against the rules of most games. Some games come with their own macro system, but will usually be limited in some way. Through the use of utilities such as MacroMaker, players may be able to use more complex macros in conjunction with the in-game macros allowing players to automate larger tasks.

Cheating is common place in today's online gaming community and there are measures that can be taken to prevent it. The problem with cheating however is much like the problem of viruses. As tools are made to prevent the use of cheats, more advanced cheats get created by players and code writers. It seems that online multiplayer cheating is here to stay.

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