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Is Using Gaming Guides Cheating

Updated on January 30, 2019
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An old-school gamer, Jennifer Branton enjoys her Nintendo games on the Switch when taking a break from survival horror and RPG titles.

The Art Of 100 Percent

Growing up there were only two occasions a year that we got video games, maybe a title or two for Christmas and another for a birthday. My brother got all the "boy themed games", the latest in whatever season of sports ball was out that time of year and I got all the RPG, and action and survival style games, and in those early days it meant a lot of games being rented from the corner video store.

Given only two or three days to complete something even on the Nintendo was daunting in itself and I was careful to only select games that someone had the newest Nintendo Power or later strategy guides to be able to complete at least the main game even if it meant not getting all the times, and bonuses.

Gaming got a lot harder though and even if you aren't an achievement hunter trying to get all the trophies and 100% the game, sometimes just knowing where to go next even in a game that has a good map- something that young people will never have known the job of playing without.

Between streamers and gaming communities, figuring out what to do in the latest title has become a lot easier when there is no clear objective but outside of competitive gaming is that considered cheating?


Modern camera settings, adjustments to brightness, and aim assist are lifesavers when it comes to getting completion of the newest games but should you really be getting all the credit for the trophies? Most software is built to give bronze level trophies for completion of story events and areas but even with all the help turned on getting those gold trophies on your runs is completely up to the player.

If Lost, Find A Steam And Watch, Watch Again

I have consulted the map.

I have the basic idea of where I need to be, just not finding how to get there.

After trying for over an hour, its time to consult the professionals.

Depending on the game, we have all been there with either a website walk through opened on our tablet next to the console for stills of maps and critical areas. Pulling up a detailed map showing where the items are stashed around the environment, checking on which doors are opened with what key.

Even with assist mode on in many games, some even showing a guide doing a bit of a test run of the area, there are plenty of times we are just stuck.

Or don't know what to bring into an area before a cut scene and are afraid to be without.

I do a lot of research on YouTube in the survival horror games I like to play. Especially now since many games allow you to be attacked on a map or inventory screen.

Watching a bit of a test run first through an area where I may not have the time to spend as much exploration such as a timed area, following what the gamer on YouTube did might be the best way to go about it.

Granted, unless its a gamer that is really experienced in the game at hand, someone else muddling around a first play through in an area might be missing items as well but that is the chance you are taking.

Being able to rewind the footage as watch how they attacked an enemy several times before doing it yourself usally gives a better outcome and saves on the waste of weapons, or critical health...especially in games where health kits and other items that add to HP are hard to come by.

When doing a first run of a game, have many save files to be able to come back to sections as needed if you are running low on inventory or make a choice that could be critical to the outcome and need a second play through without restarting the game. Making different choices on save files as well can also earn trophies as sometimes a bad choice or failure also has its own reward.

Choosing A Walk-Through

There is a lot of gaming media out there and opinions do differ, especially in more open world segments of games. While leveling up or customization of a character is a personal choice in many RPG's, finding a walk-through that explores more than one option for those types of games is best rather than a one sided writer that feels there is only one way to do such.

Usually though, every possible option is explored be it mainstream game media or Reddits and Wiki sites devoted to games where fans lead open discussion on the message boards.

I usually try to find a few different resources online to compare routes. As competitive as gamers are, those that love the games they are playing are more than happy to share what worked for them and advise players that may be stuck.

With a written walk-through or, if you can find them still, a strategy guide for the game at hand, lost hours in trying to find an objective or how to best defeat an enemy are saved.


As adulting takes up way too much time during the week, most adults can only devote a few good hours into playing and want to finish a game as quickly as possible first, and maybe save weekend play for side quests and 100% on items so by using an means necessary to have an objective in mind for each session by researching first, it makes time in front of the console more fruitful and rewarding.


It Takes A Village

We aren't always in guilds just to have backup on the raids.

Just like the olden days of sitting on the floor next to the Nintendo as the tethered cords were never long enough for anyone to sit on proper furniture; it took the community of our friends to get through games.

Even in side scrollers, once there was choice brought into the equation, it was a community vote on opening chests, using items, and which levels to play next. As usually the person with the control in hand, I would wait through the arguing and see who had the most experience in said game and hope that their boasting of having already cleared the level was true enough to pass over the control and see what their planning had in store.

This is exactly like looking at forums and reading walk-throughs now. Those nerds on the Twitch streams are our friends screaming from the living room floors when we were kids.

Playing games, even in single player are still community events and we need the help of others as we get more savage titles tossed in front of us.

Whether you want every collectible in the game or just to see the closing cut scene, it is going to take whatever and whoever you can get on your side.

Using guides is not cheating in gaming. It is enhancing the experience that might otherwise have you turning away from a game deemed to difficult.


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