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What IS cheating? - The Thread to define the age old question!


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I'm going to throw something new out here.

Who are you cheating?

Yes you, the player wondering if it's cheating to clip parts or use Mechjeb or anything else.

Are you cheating another player?

If you are you already know it, you're doing it deliberately and you deserve to be disqualified.

Are you cheating yourself?

This is harder to answer, you may be cheating yourself out of the fun of a manual landing if you've never done one before, or by using infinite fuel all the time, but it really comes down to you and how you want to play.

It's fine to use infinite fuel, but if you claim you went to Laythe without using it, you're just cheating yourself.

Are you having fun?

As long as you're not cheating others this is really the question you should be asking yourself.

Don't cheat yourself out of having fun by worrying about what is "cheating".

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Well, the only thing I count as cheating is using the F12 menu.

When I try to shoot for milestones(Planets, landings, ETC...), I always go stock. IMO if you have badges in your sig that say what you've achieved then that's cheating(unless of course you say that you used a modded install).
So there's my likely controversial opinion on cheating. When you're playing the game for fun, however, nothing is cheating.

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6 hours ago, Overland said:

Kerbal Space Program has become the ultimate land train simulator.

Great. I like trains too, but unfortunately I am so hardened realism nerd that I can not enjoy KSP as a train game. But if there were rails, straight, curved, clothoids, switches, doubleslip switches, signals, tunnels, bridges, catenary parts, traffic control systems etc. And wheels, trucks, pneumatic brakes, electric, diesel and steam engines and other building blocks for locomotives, cargo wagons, coaches, etc. You could begin with small and inefficient steam engines and advance to high speed trains. And you could play kerbal way and save money by using light and cheap cargo wagon trucks and undersized braking systems in high speed coaches and have increased probability to crash and lose reputation points. But It may be another game.

But remember that it is cheating to override emergency braking of traffic control device and drive through red signal relying on that it is impossible to crash with oncoming train. :lol:

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Cheating (for me) is using unlimited fuel, no crash damage, Hack Gravity (which I often use to test out things in space since I don't have that mod to "teleport" my crafts in orbit).

Another form of cheating would be to create a magic engine.  Say 25'000 thrust, 1'000'000 efficiency,  that only eats electricity and nothing else. 
( To note that Electric propellers aren't cheating in my book as they do not work in space, nor on any world without an atmosphere... Even the best one "flame out" around 38k on Kerbin.  It does make a good biome hopper tho)

TweakScale / Tweakable fuel tanks / Procedural parts  are kinda cheat-ish... but not by much and require tech levels to work 100%, and are kind of a necessary evil when you start losing frames with a ship 150 parts and over.

Usually if I want to do a Jool-5 and say... tell all the forums about it, I will only use stock landers only.  The mothership will be bunch of procedural parts, and maybe even a nuclear reactor.


I guess if you don't want to spoil the challenge (because cheating will), don't use any mods (parts mods) until you have explored every planet with a Kerbal + explore a couple of it's biomes + safe return, including eve and a Jool-5.
After that, you can install stuff and "Mod it 'til it crashes!"   Whatever helps your interest and fun in the game. 

Edited by Francois424
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It's only possible to cheat in the context of a challenge with clearly defined rules. Otherwise, have fun.

Personally, I take pride in never having used infinite fuel or Hyperedit. I get great satisfaction looking at photos of my own missions and craft knowing that "I launched that sucker and flew it to where I wanted it and did what I wanted to do" while respecting the limitations if the game.

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7 hours ago, Overland said:

So my fellow Kerbalists!

It comes to my attention of late that there is to be a rash that once in a while appears on these forums.. Perhaps a kraken inspired.. in the form of  question without answer, form or substance of any kind..

:huh: IS IT CHEATING TO?...X :sealed:

Regretably even while possibly started in honest wonder and innocence.. soon resorts in fires starting, that should only have a place in general proximity to a rocket engine, one does hope anyway.. 

Threads get locked and good people become hurt

Sadly this tarnishes our great community and generates conflict.. in a place otherwise enjoyed and loved by many.. 

Given that KSP itself is about to be released onto other platforms and waves of new people new to the forums and indeed the game.. perhaps even the game style.. eg.. most games have goals.. and one would naturally wonder if X is cheating if they were such conditioned to in previous gaming adventures 


I put it to you all, that it is time we answered what IS cheating to the respective person.. so that we may direct the poor soul without direction to this or similar threads. where they may have their fill of what IS cheating.. how to avoid it.. its result in summoning the kracken or all seeing blue-orb

and indeed hopefully maintain the spirit of happyness.. while educating those perhaps.. a little new to our beautiful community


This may be a hybrid screenshot thread much like the What did you do today thread.. its my greatest hope though that a great many people might contribute 

to create a long lasting resource of humor, education and fun rather than the initial unfortunate events detailed

perhaps screenshots, explainations.. stories.. anything that'd blend in and help the cause.. to define once and for all.. what IS cheating :)






Is it:

Driving trains.. rather than rockets.. ignoring every single thing regarding space and the beautiful creations squad has made, never touching the orbital dynamics, the gravity whats-its,having delta V being nothing more than a prospective station name or track junction.. admiring kerbol from the surface of a planet and thinking the stars are just painted dots in the sky..  trying to work out if the mun is infact real or made of cheese and the whole thing about the train depot looks disturbingly like a space center like the one NASA has.. yet im never really sure why that is.. especially with the next station being an ungodly distance almost half way across the planet



NO .. is it not cheating.. indeed this is the very nature of Kerbal Space Program for me..  Trains, exotic transmissions.. railway practises and other train inspired madness.. for this player.. Kerbal Space Program has become the ultimate land train simulator.. a beautiful planet to drive on full of vast distances, perfect unexpected beauty and a physics engine that while ment for more adventerous things, definately doesnt disapoint...


So what IS cheating for me?


Simply ignoring 3/4 of the above statement I just made.. ignoring 200km long drives that I enjoy and what have become lore, legend and what is expected within my Kerbal Space Program duties.. driving long distances for a variety of reasons.. 

And replacing it with the likes of strapping aircraft parts on a locomotive.. in a very un-railway like fashion.. and simply flying a spare locomotive to where shes needed..

for this.. I suffer terribly from guilt, a feeling of weakness.. and the constant threat of an angered kraken.. 




It is very bad indeed, and to be avoided.. bringing with it bad luck, a feeling of being defeated.. perhaps conned out of glory.. it never comes with any degree of happyness and instead leaves me...dead inside.. a shell of a former kerbalist, bringing great shame to my mission, my craft and their crew.. 

A terrible experience for all




it leads to a great sadness 




share fellow kerbalists, let us all see what indeed cheating is to you.. simple.. complex.. quirky.. funny. shameful.. 

all within the beautiful context of KSP and G rated for all to enjoy



I gotta ask...do you quite like trains a bit?

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37 minutes ago, Foxster said:

I gotta ask...do you quite like trains a bit?

Indeed I do.. KSPs given me my own class of trains with thier own lore..

But! I once considered the lack of rails cheating.. Until I discovered there was a such a thing as a land-train in real life based off railway technology..eg diesel electric.. 


Slowly not having rails became less cheaty.. And instead became a quite normal thing.. To the point that I can say I admire landtrains as much as thier railbound cousins


Sadly in the realworld most forms of serious land train was abandon to rust after a failure in the middle of nowhere,


LLC1, Snow Frieghter and the US army version all suffering the same fate..

But this is kerbal space program!

It is no longer cheating to have a railway inspired train that doesnt run on rails because theres no spline based track system.. 

Its now home to dedicated land trains and thier operations..

And its a beautiful thing too :)

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Using Mod-F12 or having to edit the persistent file is cheating, either the kraken or myself. We can discuss whether cheating the kraken is cheating, but cheating myself is cheating.

That happens when i realize that i built an inappropriate apparatus for the planned journey or planned an inappropriate journey for the apparatus. I sometimes do cheat, especially when late in a career game and far out there. I must live with it. Which is well possible.


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I personally believe that you can not cheat in KSP, but you can in KSP related things (let me explain). KSP being a single player game means that you can do ANYTHING you want to (as long as you can). There is no cheating against the system. I also think that you can not even cheat yourself. When a person sets up a rule, they do this because they WANT to, meaning that if you break your own rule, you no longer want to have that rule, so therefore it is not there, and you were NOT cheating .

There are some things you can cheat in however, and namely challenges. Doing something against the rules of a challenge or other mission related to KSP IS cheating, and should not be accepted. The rules in challenges and such are made by another person, and if you want to legally complete the challenge (or mission, or whatever) the rules need to be followed, other wise you will be considered "cheating"

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Wow! Talk about beating a dead horse. It's dead, people. DEAD. DEAD. DEAD. It's a rotting corpse that has decomposed into a putrid puddle of goo. It isn't cheating if the "cheats" can be accessed by pressing alt-F12. Sandbox mode is standard and was built and developed first. This horse is so dead that the flies have left it to go play Kerbal Space Program. There is no cheating. As Charles Dickens once said, "[Cheating] was dead: to begin with.  There is no doubt whatever about that.  The register of his burial was signed by the {developers], the [debuggers], the [marketing team], and the chief [producer].  [Harvester] signed it: and [Harvester's] name was good upon 'Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to.  Old [Cheating] was as dead as a door-nail."

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Well...   An interesting point was made in an earlier post which was that of 'comparison'.  If I did something in 'stock' or with mod A and you used mods B and C then we may not be able to compare our achievements effectively.   In this case it makes some sense to let other players know what mods are being used, purely from an interest point of view.

Have either of us cheated though?  No.  Not unless we went against pre agreed rules or conditions.  It just means that my Mun landing with mod A (Hyperedit to Mun orbit) was less of an achievement than yours with mods B and C (Asteroid Day and Kerbin Cup).  Unless we were actually competing against each other then it really doesn't matter.  It just means that we just can't realistically claim to have achieved the same thing.

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Seriously, can we just stop asking that question? The only reasonable answer to the question "Is x cheating?" for any non-competitive single player game is neither "yes" nor is it "no". It's "Who cares?"
Whatever it is, as long as you have fun doing it in the game it's fine. Just do it, if you find it fun, or don't do it if you find it to be cheaty. That's it, no discussions necessary.

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Multiplayer game(loosely defined, so can include the forum challenges, competitions etc.)? Cheating is anything which gives you an unfair advantage (emphasis on unfair, because it is not cheating to use natural advantages, such as skill, planning, hard work, experience or even luck.) So, for instance, using infinite fuel on a "land and get off Eve" in a forum challenge is cheating.

Single player game? Nothing is cheating unless you can't "look yourself in the eye" figuratively speaking and say, "I did that". 


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18 minutes ago, Tourist said:


Single player game? Nothing is cheating unless you can't "look yourself in the eye" figuratively speaking and say, "I did that". 


This ^, I think, is the general consensus, phrased very well.

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7 minutes ago, NathanKell said:

Cheating is doing stuff I don't like.


EDIT: Well, OK, serious answer: breaking the laws of physics. Short of that, not really.

Wait, but doesn't the game kinda sort of do that already.  I mean for example the Atmos of the planets with Atmo are tidally locked with Sol.  So doesn't that mean the Game is cheating.  As afar as I am concerned the only cheating in the game is if you say you did something cool without explaining you used a game modification to do it.  As long as you are upfront about how you did something how can it really be cheating.

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I'm curious.... is there actually anyone on the other side of this debate?

I mean, its come up many times, but I don't recall anyone coming out strongly in the alternative. Is there a vocal cadre of KSP puritans which I'm just skipping over in the comments fighting, gallantly fighting a losing battle for orthodoxy, or does this subject just keep coming up so we can all strenuously agree with each other?

Edited by Tourist
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9 hours ago, Scotius said:

For some reason i consider Hyperedit, save and persistence files editing etc. cheating. I don't use it even to wriggle my way out of problems caused by bugs and glitches. Even if Kraken eats my base or ship i build and send another one. Aside of that everything goes :)

What about when you are trying to understand how the KSp univers work in a timely manner, would it be cheating then?  Not that I care.. per Regex:


7 hours ago, regex said:

Play my way


3 minutes ago, Tourist said:

I'm curious.... is there actually anyone on the other side of this debate?

I mean, its come up many times, but I don't recall anyone coming out strongly in the alternative. Is there a vocal cadre of KSP puritans which I'm just skipping over in the comments fighting, gallantly fighting a losing battle for orthodoxy, or does this subject just keep coming up so we can all strenuously agree with each other?

I have see one or two of them KSP puritans around they are a small but vocal minority. :)

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