Geek Proud, GeekOut.

Console Commands in Video Games

We’ve all been there; Faced with a boss level that’s so hard, or fallen off the edge of a mountain and your character is stuck to plunge to its death, or remain stuck. I feel your pain, but for the PC gamer, this isn’t always a problem. Sometimes a dire situation calls for a few console commands, allowing us to either turn our characters to God mode, disable the gravity in a game, perhaps noclip makes an appearance? No matter what you choose to do, console commands open the realms of possibility for us!

The wealth of possibility stems from the fact there’s no limits to how powerful, or how wacky you can make things – At least within limit – Which seriously changes the way you play. From Bethesda and their infamous tgm command, through to CS: GO’s noclip, console commands are an integral part to modern pc gaming. This article sets out to examine a few commands, showing the power and the funny side to these video game commands and why they were included in the first place.


The Elder Scrolls – Bethesda

Notice I haven’t specified WHICH Elder Scrolls game? That’s because some of these work over more than one game in the franchise, allowing for hilarious antics, or just game progression speed like no other. Whilst the games are generally well known for their bugs, these commands add an exclamation point on the already well documented bugs. Some will fix, some will break further, but all of them are useful in their own silly ways. From breaking gravity, to upping every stat, The Elder Scrolls lets you do it all.

However, the command I remember most is a debug room in Skyrim, a special map with every enemy, every item and everything in between. You could get soul gems, filled soul gems! You could get all the Daedric artifacts, or all of the quest items in the game. The command is coc qasmoke, which sounds strange, but coc means change of cell, which is the term used to load in/out different areas of the game. So when you type that in, it looks for qasmoke as an area, notices it’s the devs place matches this reference and takes you there. There’s no other way to get to this place, so enjoy the ride, then feel free to take and sell everything! This type of dev place is also in Oblivion, allowing you to equip your character to the bone with great gear.

Counter Strike: Global Offense

Are you fed up with people playing the game and just want to kill them, because they keep hiding behind walls? Well fret no more my dear geek, as noclip is here to save your day! Annoyed at having to walk around that building? Walk THROUGH that building! Can’t get to that annoying player on the roof? Hah! Just noclip your way up to them and shoot them a few times. Hilarious. Except it’s kind of not hilarious – In fact, it’s just cheating in its purest form! You take the challenge out of the game by just travelling wherever you want, without consequence.

CS: GO’s rife with these kinds of opportunistic cheaters, wanting to mess around and call you a ‘uber noob’, because you can’t kill them and yet, they use a command that makes them invincible anyway. It’s frustrating, it’s despicable, it’s cheating in an online game. Funny if you’re playing in a server alone or with friends, not so funny if you use it on unsuspecting victims in your online game. Seriously, don’t do this, or you’ll look like a really, really bad player. For shame!

Quake

The grandaddy of console commands in video games, the oldest known implementation of such commands as we know them, Quake is famous for having so many different commands, both useful and aesthetic. From the famous introduction of noclip and god mode (yes, they were around in Quake times), up to the bright examples of character customisation, with the colour command, Quake had started console commands off in a big way. So big, a lot of people are caught mentioning/advertising console in their games as “Quake-like”.

Whilst it’s true that consoles in games are commonplace now, Quake really is to be thanked for the ‘debugging’ implementation we see in many big titles. Of course, it’s more than just a debugger; it’s now a way of life for some people to get through games in general.

The Sims

Thought I’d throw in this last, very quick example – The Sims was known for having commands, such as ‘rosebud’, or add on ‘;!’ to get another 1,000 Simoleons on top. Amusingly, you could string this as many times as you want: rosebud giving you 1,000 by default, ;! giving you a further 1,000 Simoleons. You could do that say 10 times, making a cheat of ‘rosebud;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!’ to give you 10,000 Simoleons or you could add a 1 at the end, so you don’t have to retype it each time, as it parsed each bit separately! Crafty cheaters caught onto this… and the infamous move_objects on command. Infamous, because naughty teenagers and adults liked to do that when Sims were doing WooHoo. No really; that’s what it’s called from the Sims 2 onwards.


That’s it for this look at console commands and three games that implement them properly, but now as ever, we pass the question over to you. Do you know of any consoles in video games that you have played around with? What’s your favourite implementation of it and why? What’s your favourite console commands and have you ever used one to get out of a bug, or just to mess around? As always, let us know what you think in the comments below or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.

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