Cheating At Video Games: Arduino Edition

[Javier] has put in his time playing Final Fantasy X. In the game, there’s a challenge where you have to dodge 200 consecutive lightning strikes by pressing a button at just the right time. [Javier] did this once, but when he bought a new PS Vita handheld, he wanted the reward but couldn’t bear the drudgery of pressing X when the screen lights up 200 times.


So he did what anyone would do: hooked up a light-dependent resistor to an Arduino and rubber-banded a servo to press the X button for him. It’s a simple circuit and a beautiful quick hack, all the more so because it probably only took him a half hour or so to whip up. And that’s a half hour better spent than dodging lightning strikes. According to his screen-shot, he didn’t stop at 200 dodges, though. He racked up 1,568 dodges, with a longest streak of 1,066. You can watch a video on his blog and pull the code out of his GitHub.

Why do this? Because that’s what simple computers are for. We hate these silly jumping mini-games with a passion, so we applaud anyone who cheats their way around them. And while not as hilarious as this machine that cheats at Piano Tiles, [Javier]’s hack gets the job done. What other epic video game cheats are we missing?

9 thoughts on “Cheating At Video Games: Arduino Edition

  1. I played through FF-X on PS3 and enjoyed it. I then put in the FF-X2 and played it for five minutes, discovered there was quicktime events, then permanently removed the disc.

    1. I also hate the forced neuromuscular skill challenges. I wouldn’t mind so much if I could either bypass and still experience the story or cheat code past the challenges; but I play to relax and I cheat so I can play through the story not to compete challenges. GTA San Andreas was a pain for the forced training schools and dance challenges, they didn’t further the story but blocked progress; only recently did I go back to some savegames and actually get to play through the heist after completing the ridiculous and pretty random driving school unlocked missions. I commend this hack and wish it were easier to automate more reflex and eye-hand skill challenges, especially for alternatively capable players.

  2. There is a long history of using auto-fire controllers to cheat various games. Final Fantasy 3 (or 6 if you’re pedantic) has a segment where you can level your characters to the maximum by leaving a button taped down overnight.

  3. The older/cheaper belt-clip step counters would use a weighted magnet that would pass over a reed switch. for the Pokemon Pikachu toy of this variety, I would place it on the edge of a turntable and put a couple of magnets on the platter and let it spin and max out on points whenever I wasn’t issuing rare candies to my pokemon gold/silver/crystal games.

  4. I did something similar open cv, my laptop an arduinos clone and servo for lute hero in fable 3

    Good times but it was my first dabble with open cv and template matching I got 90% accuracy which isn’t good enough for a game which ramps up difficulty to earn decent money.

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