Hackbot Hacking Game

Looking for a list of the best hacking games on PC? trò chơi developers have long valued the ‘hacker ethic’ — the will and skill to grab a game by the scruff of its code, rip it apart, & put the pieces together in a new way.

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Id Software prioritized the nascent modding community when they were creating Doom, Valve courted it from Half-Life onward & the entirety of the MOBA genre stems from folks futzing with Warcraft III.

Of course, most players are just that: players. We see numbers and letters in a line of code; not meaning. But, there’s a lineage of games that have sầu sought to deliver the fantasy of being in complete commvà of a computer’s functions; of using that control to lớn wreak destruction, or khổng lồ avert it. Some of these games present a simulation of hacking, with the player inputting real lines of code. Others, though, abstract hacking to the point that it becomes a magical ability you can use with the press of a button. We lượt thích both, & you’ll find both represented in our hacking games danh mục below.


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System Shoông chồng 2

The hacking minigame in System Shochồng 2 is nothing special. Basically, you play a simplified game of Minesweeper where you’re required lớn liên kết three mines in a row for a successful haông chồng. It’s pretty basic. As far as abstracted versions of hacking go, I much prefer the weird pipe puzzles of BioShoông xã, its spiritual successor. But, System Shochồng 2 is notable for its implementation of hacking as one of multiple skill trees that the player could pursue. While the player was cast as a hacker in the original System Shock, they had the toolmix to lớn roleplay a hacker in its sequel.

Many sci-fi RPGS released after System Shoông xã 2 have followed in its footsteps — especially those with an immersive hacking simulator bent — offering hacking abilities as one route to lớn accomplish a goal. None present hacking realistically; you’re not entering lines of code (and NieR: Automata abstracted the process khổng lồ the point that it became a twin stichồng shooter). But, if you enjoy avoiding fights và rigging turrets lớn take out enemies, you have System Shock 2 to thank.

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Uplink

Originally released less than a month after 9/11, Uplinks is a throwback to a simpler time, emulating the aesthetic of ‘90s hacker films in its presentation of code-cracking. Unlượt thích in System Shoông xã 2, hacking is not one option among muốn many here; it’s the whole game, và as a result, your screen is an exact representation of the screen your player interacts with (a presentation that many other entries on this danh sách have borrowed).

After receiving a message from a deceased hacker (a surprisingly comtháng theme on this list), the player has the choice to lớn target a villainous group who is using a vi khuẩn in an attempt to lớn destroy the Internet. Fascinatingly, though, you can choose to opt out of the main story entirely, focusing instead on completing freelance hacking gigs.

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Deus Ex: Human Revolution

The Deus Ex games are the anti-Star Trek — every odd-numbered one is good. The original Deus Ex was acclaimed as a masterpiece, but its follow-up Invisible War was retrospectively regarded as a major misstep. But, Human Revolution, the series’ long-awaited third entry was hailed as a return khổng lồ size.

As in System Shochồng 2, hacking is one skill that protagonist Adam Jensen can dump points into, allowing hyên lớn bypass fights và rummage around where he shouldn’t. The interface is similarly interesting, with players capturing nodes on a grid to build a path between two points. The system returned, mostly unchanged, in the năm nhâm thìn sequel Mankind Divided.

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Watch DogsLegion

While 2014’s Watch Dogs stumbled out the gate with an extremely blvà if grumpy protagonist, Watch Dogs 2 was a more lively and likeable effort. Watch Dogs Legion turns the dial up to eleven, showing a near-future London, and instead of having just one playable character, why not a whole city?

Fundamentally, it’s not massively different from Watch Dogs 2 in many ways, but giving you control of a potential city’s worth of rapscallions and scoundrels opens up new infiltration possibilities, no matter what the job is. Perhaps you need lớn nab some intel from a rooftop? Why not use a construction worker’s drone khổng lồ fly up there. Perhaps you want to bean unassuming granny that just happens lớn be a highly skilled secret agent. No matter which ones are the Watch Dogs Legion best recruits, you’re bound to lớn find some memorable Londoners to add khổng lồ your roster, or thua thảm if you enable Watch Dogs Legion’s permadeath!

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Pretty soon, you’ll also be able khổng lồ bởi vì the Lambeth Walk (oi!) with your mates as Watch Dogs Legion multiplayeris coming very soon. You’ll be able khổng lồ take on heists with some fellow cockneys and make off with some valuable Albion loot, before retiring lớn have sầu a good old knees up at the local pub.

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Hacknet

In Hacknet, you are a hacker with access to lớn flexible code and a database filled with Easter eggs. After a dead hacker contacts you via automated message in a ghostly inciting incident, you phối off on a range of hack-centric missions. As you play, Hacknet simulates real-world hacking, teaching you UNIX commands similar to lớn the ones you would use lớn, say, empty someone’s bank trương mục IRL. A 2017 expansion, Labyrinths, added intriguing ARG elements & new tools to lớn play with.

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Quadrilateral Cowboy

Like Watch DogsLegion, Quadrilateral Cowboy is a game about using hacking to get in, grab the thing, & get out without anyone realizing you were ever there. Unlike Watch Dogs Legion, the hacking in Quadrilateral Cowboy is a lot more lượt thích actual hacking.

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Billed as ’20th Century Cyberpunk,’ Blendo Games’ stylish first-person puzzler casts the player as a hacker thief pulling off Ocean’s 11-style heists with the help of a portable computer or ‘deck’. You’ll open doors, turn off lasers, control a mechanical quadruped — all with lines of code.

Most games abstract hacking khổng lồ make it as quiông chồng and intuitive sầu as possible. But, typing commands, loaded with numbers và odd punctuation, is not an intuitive act, & Quadrilateral Cowboy doesn’t try to make it so. Instead, with a gentle learning curve sầu & a smart tutorial, Quadrilateral Cowboy teaches you the basics of code, and makes you feel lượt thích a badass for being a good student.

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Cyberpunk 2077

This recommendation for Cyberpunk 2077 does come with a major caveat: it’s seen its fair tóm tắt of bugs in its opening few months. That said, Night City is a massive sầu playground of potential, with plenty of places to explore, jobs lớn complete in return for eddies, & a whole city’s worth of valuable things to haông chồng.

Since this is set in a first-person cyberpunk world, there’s plenty of shenanigans khổng lồ be had during combat. You can use Cyberpunk 2077’s quickhackinglớn ping any connected device or person on a network, then upload daemons khổng lồ mess with them. Some may cause the affected enemy lớn drop their gun, while others may blind them for a short time. If you’re facing a particularly difficult opponent, you can inflict multiple daemons at once.

You can also of course forego the whole hacking thing & just blast enemies away instead, but you might as well take a look atthe bestFPSgames on PC while you’re at it.

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Hackmud

Hackmud is an MMO that casts the player as a hacker in a ‘90s-inspired interface. It’s got ample tutorials, but ultimately, to play this game well, you’re going lớn need to learn some Javascript. But, if you bởi, the world is your oyster.

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This crunchy 2016 hacking syên ổn is a hive sầu of scum & villainy that has drawn comparisons lớn EVE Online & Jurassic Park. Equal parts a hacker’s paradise and a social deception game lượt thích Mafia (the các buổi tiệc nhỏ game, not the open-world action series), Hackmud is the next step for master hackers who have sầu cut their teeth on Quadrilateral Cowboy and our next entry.

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Exapunks

Exapunks, the 2018 puzzler from Zachtronics, casts you as a hacker in an alt-past 1997, even if some of its alternative history elements feel awfully at home in the present. The cyberpunk world is ravaged by a plague called the ‘phage’, and our hacker protagonist needs to shell out $700 a day for life-saving medication. A mysterious AI promises khổng lồ keep the doses coming if the protagonist works for her.

You vì chưng that by learning to lớn code — courtesy of Trash World News, a PDF zine that comes with the game — and inputting commands to send little digital robots called EXAs skittering around virtual grids. Like Quadrilateral Cowboy, Exapunks wants lớn teach you a new skill, not just feed you the power fantasy that you already have it. The programming language it teaches you is full-featured enough that you can even program your own games within the game. Exapunks demands more work from you than something like Watch Dogs Legion, but absolutely rewards your efforts.

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Observation

Observation is the rare game that casts the player as the computer. As SAM, a HAL-lượt thích space station OS, your goal is lớn help Emma, the lone (?) occupant of the station after a mysterious event leaves it powerless và stranded. SAM can swap between cameras, providing viewpoints around the station. Eventually, he gains mobility, too, taking control of a spherical camera và floating around the station in zero gravity.

Like No Code’s previous game, Stories Untold, Observation is intimately concerned with the ways the công nghệ we use mediates the stories we can tell. It isn’t a hacking game, per se. But, it does provide the best approximation of what it would be lượt thích to be inside the machine. Assuming that machine completes complex processes by participating in WarioWare-lượt thích mini games, that is.

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Telling Lies

Most of the games on this danh sách attempt to make players feel the prowess of the skillful hacker. Telling Lies, however, focuses on the voyeurism. Like Observation, Telling Lies’ protagonist isn’t strictly a hacker. But, as a former FBI agent with access to a trove sầu of stolen, classified video clips, she sure feels like one. After an initial cut scene that shows our whistleblower plugging a filched USB inlớn her computer, it’s your job to enter search terms that will yield the trove’s secrets. To say too much more would spoil the fun; for all the time you spend fastforwarding và searching terms, Telling Lies’ core mechanic is mystery.