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A cheat code is generally a code, method or device used by gamers to advance levels, or to get other special powers and benefits in a video game. It could be series of alphanumeric codes or keyboard combinations which can give the gamers an added advantage over other gamers who do not use a cheat code. Cheat codes are not explicitly made known to the public. The term cheat code can also be used to denote anything a person does other than the traditional way of doing something for the purpose of winning or scoring above their competition.
Cheat codes are special codes or methods which allow gamers access to advantages such as extra lives, more power, extra equipment and higher levels.
Cheat codes were initially used as a tool to aid development and testing of the various modules of the game and kept hidden until a user makes the discovery of the cheat code and uses it to gain an advantage. These cheat codes that are created by the developer may also be known as Easter eggs that are hidden in a game. However, not all cheat codes are devised as a way to aid in game development. Some cheat codes are created by hackers who identify software bugs in the system and exploit them to get better results from the games.
Cheat codes can be secret textual information or some form of executable code or a combination of inputs to the game. Some downloadable cheat codes may contain malware and may cause a system or game to behave in unusual ways.
The use of cheat codes has been decreasing due to various reasons. The usage of cheat codes has lost favor mainly due to the rising popularity of online multiplayer games where fairness is expected and valued for a complete gaming experience. As gamers are more inclined towards experiencing each level than about scores, they tend not to use cheat codes heavily.