Exploits and glitches are almost an expected thing in any popular competitive multiplayer experience. While many are harmless, amusing or stupid, spawning from player exploration and gameplay manipulation, there have been some major unintended or unforseen broken bits within our beloved multiplayer titles over the years that have had serious and/or game-breaking impact on strategy and playstyles.
It's safe to say not all of these exploits are fondly remembered for simply being charming or funny. We take a look at some of the most notorious known exploits to come out of multiplayer gaming.
Super Jumps and BxR | Halo 2 (2004)
Halo 2 marked the first online multiplayer entry of the Halo series, and avid players did many things to stay on top in its super-competitive ranking system.
One common exploit was taking advantage of the "Super Jumps" present on each level- a specific area of the level where a player who knew where to look could jump into a wall or fence and get boosted up to a usually out-of-reach section of the map, which usually proved to be unfairly, but hilariously advantageous. If a player got their hands on a Sniper Rifle and were quick and good with their timing, they could dominate from these spots.
Another exploit, perhaps one of the most notorious on this list, was the BxR "combo": the button combination to instantly kill another player when using a Battle Rifle. A player had to quickly melee someone (B), reload (X), and then shoot them (R) for instant kills. The trick was to hit the X button quickly after the melee, as it canceled out the melee animation, allowing to melee and shoot in a single motion. It was acknowledged by Bungie as a glitch and never found its way to Halo 3 due to its game-breaking nature.
Wavedashing | Super Smash Bros Melee (2002)
While Super Smash Bros Melee was made in a time where online gaming on consoles was just truly taking off, it was undoubtedly the Gamecube's king title of local multiplayer fun, and a favourite in competitive game tournaments. Much skill and strategy is involved in mastering each unique character, and it's safe to say the advanced technique of wavedashing was one which was adopted quickly by serious Melee players.
Wavedashing is a physics exploit which allows a player to slide across a level quickly with the advantages of ground combat and without the disadvantages of normal movement, like dashing. Successful use of it allowed mind-numbingly easier combo-chains and dodges. Nintendo clearly recognised the exploit and pretty much removed its possibility in Brawl.
Invisible Mines | Goldeneye (1997)
The king of FPS console multiplayer gameplay has one particuarly amusing but cheap exploit which allows players to visually remove mines from where they were placed, even though the game still remembers and recognises their position on the map.
All a player has to do is put their preferred mines- proximity being the most logical- on scattered ammo boxes and then pick up said ammo box to trick the game into disguising them on opponent screens. Next time someone steps on the box, they're toast.
While Goldeneye wasn't an online game, it still never ceased to both infuriate and amuse me in my younger years when my older cousins used the exploit in our local Facility deathmatch sessions, only passing on their knowledge to me when the N64's glory days were long behind it.
"Javelin Glitch" | Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009)
The Call of Duty series has had its fair share of outrageous multplayer exploits. One such exploit which remains etched in my mind for its terrible cheapness was the "Javelin Glitch" in Modern Warfare 2.
The exploit involved a player using a certain button combination to have their Javelin launcher and Semtex explode if they died, essentially securing them a kill with any enemy surrounding them. The player had to first change to their launcher, hold their equipment button down and quickly switch back to their launcher and release the equipment button when they felt a light ping. For as long as the player had their launcher out, they would explode when they're killed.
While this issue has since been patched, it no doubt is remembered as one of the cheapest and most infamous kill exploits in CoD multiplayer.
Wallbouncing | Gears of War (2006), Gears of War 3 (2011)
Gears of War multiplayer veterans will know the next two exploits, especially if you were a dedicated player in the original title's multplayer. In between the chainsaw bloodbaths, swear-fests and intense Gnasher duels, someone created the amusing and amazing tactic of wall-bouncing, and around the same time someone else discovered the equally amusing but amazingly irritating 'crab-walking' glitch.
Wall-bouncing involves manipulating Gears' fast-paced cover system in a way where the player literally bounces off each part of surrounding cover to the next without stopping, only exiting when they die or when there's no more cover to 'bounce' to. As a player 'sticks' to whatever cover is closest when the player presses A, the player has to be precise and quick with the look control-stick to 'unstick' and flow to the next cover and the next, all the while blasting through the opposition in the middle of the animations.
You had to be both quick with the camera and accurate with hip-firing to make it work, but when done properly, you could move lightning fast. Combined with a player who knew how to use a Gnasher shotgun, this odd playstyle soon became the deadly favourite path to victory for Gears fanatics everywhere who could master it.
Wall-bouncing brought an abnormal level of online camaraderie in the way players taught each other. Everyone who did manage to play through the testosterone filled swear-fests Gears was well known for probably felt as shocked and confused as I did when one match out of ten had civil and friendly wall-bouncing practice-sessions.
Crab-Walking | Gears of War (2006)
Crab-Walking takes the cake as one of the most irritating, game-breaking, but amusing exploits to come out of a multiplayer game. It was a movement glitch exploited and used by non-host players that basically undermined the thousands of hours Gears players put in to be legitimately good. As a n00b at the time, it's safe to say there were a few controllers of mine broken in frustration.
Crab-Walking involves exiting a cover animation mid-movement (in the original Gears, you couldn't normally exit it until the animation finished) using specific types of cover where you can perform a swat-turn. If done correctly, the player can roadie run and shoot without stopping, all the while literally looking like a hunch-backed crab running around.
In serious competitive Warzone matches, crab-walkers often infuriated team-mates and enemies alike in its cheapness and game-breaking results, though it was hard not to admit it was incredibly hilarious... if you were on the right team.
What are some of your favourite (or not so favourite) multiplayer exploits?
By Nathan Misa