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Cheating is violating the rules of a game in a way that gives you an unfair advantage, usually to the detriment of other players of the game.

In a computer game, behavior that the game designer did not intend to allow and that unfairly benefits you or harms others is usually considered cheating. Often, cheating explicitly breaks written rules, exploits bugs, or uses workarounds to violate game designer's intent.

Where no explicit written policies exist, accusations of cheating are usually backed by "spirit of the game" arguments. However, when a significant portion of the gaming community enjoys or engages in or acquiesces to behavior, spirit-violation claims are unlikely to be persuasive. For example, while some people might be unhappy with player-killing or with human-zombie alliances, these sorts of things are not considered cheating.

Some of the most frequently cited examples of cheating are:

  • multi abuse: using two or more of your characters for the same immediate goals, but when the characters are not in the same area.
  • zerging: having two or more characters controlled by the same player near each other.
  • bot abuse: replacing yourself with a computer program (usually in conjunction with multi abuse or zerging).
  • IP abuse: using an anonymizer or IP redirect to circumvent the IP hit limits (unfairly loading the server and/or ripping Kevan off for $5).