Gamers, What’s The Consensus On Walkthroughs?

It’s been a while since I played video games regularly. I played Pokémon White for a week a few years ago and I also replayed some Nintendo DS games before I started my first full-time adult job in 2018, but that was also for about a week. Now with nothing better to do, I plugged in some old consoles (first the Wii, then Gamecube, then N64) and started playing some old games I never played or beat. Games that, unlike with Pokémon, you can get stuck in. 

And when I get stuck, I obviously try and figure things out on my own, but eventually I need help and I turn to the internet, something that is much more accessible now than it was in my peak gaming days a decade ago.

Help Me gif.

There are walkthroughs out there for probably every video game in existence. And as much as I find them helpful and they’re there for this reason, a part of me hates that I have to resort to them. I’m not smart or skilled enough to figure it out on my own like the creators intended.

But I don’t know if I consider it cheating. It’s just helping. I gave it an honest go, and I would not have enjoyed myself or my play time if I spent hours wandering around not knowing what to do, dying over and over as I attempt to figure it out. We play games to have fun and experience the story, and being stuck is the opposite of that. A few times, an answer I looked up was something very close to my efforts/line of thinking, so I may have figured it out with more time. But sometimes it was something I never thought of or didn’t know. I would have wasted so much time before solving it.

Sorry not sorry gif.

What’s the consensus with walkthroughs these days? Do other people, more serious gamers, use them too? Do the big streamers use them? Or are they looked down upon? Are they like theater bootlegs where we just don’t advertise that we use them? Although walkthroughs are not illegal because you can go to a book store and buy a physical copy of a walkthrough if you so desire. I’m probably not going to stop using them, but I’d like to know what people think. I know it’s just a game and not a huge deal, but I’m still curious. I think if there was a walkthrough for life, we’d all be taking advantage of that, ya know?

Whether you’re a hardcore gamer or a casual one or maybe someone like me who is just passing time in quarantine with games, I’d like to know your thoughts on the matter.

Bart Simpson playing video games gif.

That’s all for now!


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10 thoughts on “Gamers, What’s The Consensus On Walkthroughs?

  1. I fall somewhere between hardcore and casual, as I love to play games seriously, but don’t get as many chances to these days. I also enjoy playing them for my enjoyment of the gameplay and story. Though, when I get stuck, I will either temporarily lower the difficulty at times (depending on the game) or look up a walkthrough. I do like to try and figure things out on my own as much as possible, and make my own choices, but in some heavily choice-based RPG games where your decisions matter (a lot!) I’ll also do a bit of general research (avoiding spoilers and whatnot) because I already know the route I want my character to take, and sometimes game choices can get very convoluted (and I don’t want to have to redo all the hours I just sunk in to a playthrough).

    TLDR: I enjoy some challenge, but not to the detriment of game enjoyment, so I have no problem looking things up when needed.

    • I’ve been playing a lot of Zelda lately, so there are no difficulty settings.
      Knowing how to best maximize your limited play time is important for sure. I also like a challenge but having to try over and over again and waste time isn’t fun or productive. I’m glad you know how to make your games fun for you.
      Thanks for commenting!

  2. I’ve used walkthroughs and only for parts I have gotten super stuck on. I can only thi k of two games I have looked up walkthroughs and I only did it once per game. To me cheating is taking advantage by breaking the game to win or get advantages you can’t otherwise get. Watching a video showing how to do part of a puzzle doesn’t break the game.

  3. We use walkthroughs when we get super stuck. For both myself and my fiance part of the joy is solving the puzzle ourselves, finding that NPC or object and working out what the quest wants us to do. However, if we’ve been searching for X amount of time and it’s clear that we’ve covered everything we can think of we’ve missed something. We look it up.

    From a disabled point of view, I’d add that not everyone who games is on the same level. Not everyone will view a quest or respond to a puzzle the same way. As someone with ME, my energy and time are precious to me and I don’t want to waste it trying to look hard (to who, anyway?) by not getting help. Most of the people who whine about walkthroughs don’t realise that the world isn’t a level playing field. They’re the same people who don’t think accessibility options are needed in a game, or using them is cheating.

  4. I’m a pretty serious gamer, but I don’t really read walkthroughs. I usually just wander around the game world until I progress. But if I am REALLY stuck (looking at you, Resident Evil 2), then I’ll Google where to go next.

    Also you should really play Pokemon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum! That is my favourite Pokemon game.

    • I loved Pokemon Pearl! It was such a great Pokemon game and made great use of the DS. My brother had Diamond and we logged several hundred hours each on them.

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