How to use Cheat Engine [part 1]
If you ever tried to find topic on the Internet about game cheating, you have undoubtedly seen something about Cheat Engine (CE). CE is powerful memory scanner and editor, which you can use to change values in memory that shouldn’t be available to you. It is not used only on games; you can use it on any program.
In this article you will learn how to use cheat engine. We will start from the very beginning, and finish with the advanced techniques of cheating.
For the first tutorial, we will use simple PC game – Plants vs. Zombies. Game Plants vs. Zombies is chosen because it lacks any kind of encryption.
How to use Cheat Engine
First of all, download Cheat Engine from official site (LINK). I won’t teach you how to find our game, but I’m sure that you know that already.
After you started Cheat Engine, you will see following window. You have to become familiar with this user interface.
- Open process – This will almost always be your first step- to choose which game or program you want to “read”.
- Process list – After first step, in this window you will see all started processes on your system. On this picture, you can see two processes that might be interesting to us – PlantsVsZombies.exe, and popcapgame1.exe
- This is the place where you define which type of value you are looking for, and which scan type you want to use. In our first tutorial, we will use Scan type Exact Value, and value type 4 bytes.
As you will see, this combination will be the most simple example that you will see in practice, usually when you try to cheat offline PC game. On flash games, or games for mobile devices, you will encounter more complicated types.
- First scan – Nomen est omen. First scan, to make list of all addresses that contains same value.
- Next scan – After you scanned all addresses that contains the same value, you will need this button to find if any of the values changed. But let’s stop with theory, and find out how to use cheat engine in practice.
Plants vs. Zombies cheat
Start the game. The main currency in the game is SUN, so first we have to find starting value. In our case, starting value is 150. Write it down, or remember it, and pause the game.
On the CE main window, click on Open process, and choose game from the list. In our example, game creates two processes – “PlantsVsZombies.exe” and “popcapgame1.exe”. You have to open “popcapgame1.exe” to change values in the game. In most cases, when game creates more than one process, we have to try all of them to find out in which one wanted values are stored.
For this tutorial, we will skip this.
Our next step is to find all addresses that contains value 150. To do that, we have to make scan like this. As value write 150, scan type Exact Value, Value Type 4 Bytes, and click on First Scan.
On the left side of the screen, you can see that there is 126 addresses that store same value. We can change them all, but game would probably crash. So we have to eliminate addresses that we don’t need.
Now spend some SUN, or produce some more. Out target is to change our starting value (150) into bigger or smaller number.
After starting value changed, enter that value in CE, and click on Next Scan.
This step will find all addresses that prevoiusly contained staring value, and now contains changed values. In our example, if you are lucky, on the right side you should see only one address.
In some huge games, or games with encrypted values, you will have to repeat previous step ten or twenty times before you find right values. Scan, spend some in-game currency, scan for new value, spend some more, scan again, spend more, scan…Until there is only one or two values left on the screen.
In our case, in the end you should see similar thing.
Double click on address, and it will appear at the bottom of the CE main window. Now, just double click on value that you want to change, and write anything you want.
And click OK, and we are done. If you want, you can check the box under Active. If you do that, our value won’t be changed anymore. That means that you can spent as much money/gold/sun as you want, and the value would be same.
If everything is done right, our ingame situation will look like this.