How to Hack Video Games, Part 1: Introduction
Hello, fellow hackers.
I'm sure we've all seen it somewhere: the undying question of "How do I hack the game so-and-so?" And the answer usually is, "Come back when you actually know how to hack!" But how does one even go about "hacking" a game? What could that even mean?
What we will cover
In this series, I'm going to explore and demonstrate some ways we can use our knowledge and skills to find and use exploits in the context of video games. I want to make it clear that this is not a tutorial on how to pirate games, or anything of the sort. Rather, we're looking into how these games work, and what vulnerabilities we can exploit. We'll be doing things like making custom clients, and writing scripts to accomplish certain tasks that might normally be done through an in-game GUI. My hope is that you'll come away with a better understanding of how to pick apart a system and find exploits.
I haven't got a locked-in plan for each part of this series, in fact, I'm hoping for some input from you all on what you'd like to see! Here are some things I do intend to cover, however:
- Client/server interaction
- Tools for examining network communications from a game
- Understanding multiplayer architecture
- Client-side hacking and game modifications
- Writing your own scripts to interact with a game server (For example, list online players, manipulate data coming back to be displayed, etc...)
Finally, a few disclaimers. This series, as always, is for educational purposes only. I cannot be responsible for anything you do, inspired through the content here or not. Also, I don't encourage "cheating", that is to say, using your hackery to do things that other players can't do. I'll warn you now, the vast majority of games have anti-cheating/hacking mechanisms in place; you don't want to end up banned, fined, or worse. And where's the fun in cheating? (besides the first 5 minutes of rage...)
Video games are both fun to play, and a great way to acquire hacking skills! I hope this series will serve to show the limitless nature of what you can do with some nifty tools and your mind.
Also, I intend to regularly work on this series, but as a busy student, I can't always guarantee punctuality in my releases... I'm looking forward to this series, and I'm always open to questions and suggestions. Thanks for reading, and I'll see you in the first part!