How hard is it to hack a game?

There are a lot of things to think about as a game developer when developing a game. Not only you're thinking about the front-facing part of the game but you also have to be aware of how you write the back-end of the game. You often want to make sure that your code is easily readable and with a lot of comments so you can easily find yourself in it later on. Usually, a good rule of thumb is to aim to write as few as possible. You want to make things as concise as possible. That's generally the case but sometimes you have to make exceptions for different reasons that we might cover on a different post. But one big part to think about as well when writing your code is to have it be hack-proof. 

Can you fully make a game hack-proof?
No. But that doesn't mean you can't try! It also depends heavily on what type of game and infrastructure you're building. Most independent games have the blessing and the curse of not having as many people playing it. That means that the odds of having someone that wants to hack your game becomes fairly low but also, it sucks because you don't have as much people playing your game. Comparatively, a any AAA games, since there are always a lot of people playing from the jump, you'll find a lot of people trying to hack them, and in thoses cases, it's important to be ready for them. 

Indie protection vs AA protection
The way one is going to protect their game against hacking will depend on the target audience and the scale of the game. If the game is meant for young kids and children, you won't have to put that much time and effort into your hacker protection since if someone hacks the game, they wouldn't get much out of it, especially if it's not an online game. On the contrary, if it's a massive online game that affects a lot of people, you'll make sure to take care of all the possible hackers that could happen. There are some add-ons and pluggins that help you with that but you can also make sure that you don't put sensitive information in your code. For example, you can hide passwords and access codes into environment variables so that even if a hacker goes into the code to be able to change things, they still won't have access to that data. 

How hard is it really to hack then?
For a smaller game, not very hard. There are a lot of programs and applications that will let you get into the source code in just a few clicks. Fortunately, there are also other programs and pluggins that allow you to counter these ones. At that point, it's just a matter of knowing who has the better application or pluggin. Obviously, it gets to a level where people program their own malware to get through the code and change specific variables or things in the game. That takes a lot of time and effort for people to do and most of the time, can be fixed and resolved within a few days once the hole has been breached. 

All in all, everything gets hacked all the time and that's why there are people who make a living out of cybersecurity; people keep pushing the boundaries and finding new ways to hack. You just have to learn how to live with it. And Hey, if your game is getting hacked, that's a pretty good sign, You made it!
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