Maybe The WarZ Is More Fun If You Use Cheats...

It's easy to lose sight of it amongst the politics and apologies, but The WarZ isn't a very good video game.

Its inspiration/competitor DayZ is an exercise in tension and mood. The WarZ, on the other hand, is an exercise in boredom and broken code.


Making things worse, my first five games all ended in some way or another with other players killing me, and I suspect at least two of those, given the range and immediacy of my death, were the result of cheating.

Now, normally, I'd find this practice abhorrent. In a game that works, cheats subvert the rules and undermine most regular player's experience.

But The WarZ isn't a game that works. To call it an alpha would be to give it too much credit, so shonky is the world and its inhabitants, and if you stick to the rules, there's very little to do except hold down the W key and develop a lingering sense of regret.

So cheating in The WarZ might just be the only way, at least at the moment, to have some fun with the game. Which might explain why cheating is already so popular with such a new title.


A community has exploded around the idea, with many major cheating sites offering a range of cracks, hacks and trainers to let people tailor their WarZ experience.

The speed with which they've been able to offer these programs, usually for a price, suggests The WarZ's protection measures against such activity aren't exactly top-shelf. But the scale with which they've been picked up also suggests many customers who have paid for the game are now paying a little more to see if they can salvage some enjoyment from the title.


Some of these cheats are straight-up cheats. Access to better weapons, instant headshots, etc. But others reveal an interesting side-effect of The WarZ's broken launch: a form of community improvement. Below is a tweet I saw earlier today from ArtificialAiming, one of the biggest cheat sites on the internet.


In the game, that's an actual problem. And here's a fix, not from the developer, or a mod, but from cheaters. Other sites are offering similar programs, offering ways around other things people have issue with, like The WarZ's excessive (and even more boring) night cycle.

It doesn't atone for the fact most other cheats undermine other people's experience with the game, or that sites like AA are profiting off such behaviour, but it is a strange and wonderful thing to see regardless.


WarZ Hacks - The WarZ Hacks [AA]

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Stephen Totilo

Some readers have criticized Luke and Kotaku for this article, claiming we're promoting cheating and/or were paid by the cheat sites to run this.

Kotaku is a news and opinion site. Much of what we publish is what we consider to be interesting news, and much of that tied to video games. When there is a busted game like WarZ on Steam, that's news. When the game's creators stumble all over themselves to explain their game's defects, that's news. When the game is pulled from Steam, that's news. Since we also provide opinion, if we have the opportunity to play the game and write impressions of it, we do that too. Yesterday, Luke and I noticed that, of all things, paid cheat sites were offering cheats that might make the game more playable. That's a no-brainer to me. It's news.

Luke hates online cheating. We don't advise our readers to cheat. But we also hate self-censorship and hiding information from our readers. We've drawn a few lines on Kotaku. We don't promote piracy or the theft of our peers' reported content, so you'd be hard-pressed to find links to torrents or stolen magazine scans on our site. But self-censorship is a dangerous thing for any news organization to allow and I, as editor-in-chief, am not going to expand the category of what we won't publish to other things our readers may not like. What would come next after not posting about paid cheat sites? Not posting about walkthroughs? Not linking to spoilers? Not writing about fan translations or unofficial mods? Not writing about people who want to ban video games or otherwise legislate against them?

Some might say: fine, write about them; just don't link to them. The decision to do so falls with me, and my decision is not to insult our readers' intelligence nor to begin making implied moral decisions about what to link to in an article and what not to. Either we run the article, or we don't. But we will not try to have it both ways and write about something without allowing our readers to see that which we saw online and judge it for themselves. I'm disgusted by the kind of moralizing I occasionally see in online media and on message boards by authors who seem to care more about heroically spiting the people they are writing about from some traffic than they do about informing their readers.

To not link to what you're writing about is to treat readers like children who can't think for themselves. I prefer to treat our readership like grown-ups.