Cheat searching

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Cheat searching, also known as code searching, is a method of inputting cheat codes by looking at a game's data storage in main memory to determine which memory addresses are responsible for certain aspects of the game, such as the player's health or number of lives, and forces a constant value into it. This is typically employed on video game console emulators such as FCE Ultra, ZSNES, and VisualBoyAdvance, as an option to input cheat codes if GameShark or Action Replay codes are unavailable. There may be customized applications for use in other games.


Typically the desired address is isolated using a series of comparison tests since the player usually isn't aware of the address. The isolation process is as follows:

  • The player initiates a search (if the value is known, the player may input that)
  • The player plays the game and finds something to change the value. For example, if the player is looking for health, the player may intentionally take damage.
  • The player runs a comparison test. Depending on how the value was changed, the player will run the corresponding comparison test.
  • If the address isn't isolated, change the value and run a comparison test again.
  • Repeat until the address is isolated.