Gaming's 15 funniest, most unfair, and memorable exploits

Exploits. Sometimes, they break games in your favor, allowing you access to powers, abilities, and cheap ways to accomplish difficult tasks that a game’s developers didn’t intend for you to have (and a game’s testers somehow overlooked). But these exploits can sometimes turn the tables against your peaceful adventures--especially in massively multiplayer games like World of Warcraft or EVE Online, where game-breaking bugs can give your peers untold advantage over your hapless, plays-by-the-rules self.

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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.

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