10 Genius Ways Video Game Developers Outsmarted You

These God-tier tricks left players none the wiser.

Jak and Daxter
Naughty Dog

One of the many great things about video games is the freedom they grant players to explore and make the adventure their own. In exceptional instances, players can even think outside the box and bend the game to their own ingenious will.

But there's the flipside, that some games are designed so meticulously that they're actually playing the player themselves in ways they can't even begin to comprehend.

These 10 video games all saw developers pulling off mind-boggling feats of trickery and deception, often to ensure the smoothest and most entertaining experience possible, or perhaps to even cover their own ass.

Needless to say, these 10 feats of genius video game engineering went totally unnoticed by pretty much everyone, proving just how much under-the-hood brilliance goes into some of your favourite games.

Video games are at the best of times a beautiful fusion of artistry and science, and that's perhaps no more evident than by these gob-smackingly sly acts of 4D chess by some of the industry's most beloved developers.

Clearly, they don't pay them the big bucks for nothing...

10. Game Secretly Restarts Your Xbox During Loading Screens - The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

Jak and Daxter

Morrowind may be fondly recalled as one of the greatest RPGs of its era, but those who played it on the original Xbox are just as likely to remember the game for its famously lengthy loading times.

But the loading screens were actually a devious smokescreen by Bethesda, who used the opportunity to literally reboot your Xbox console without you ever knowing in order to clear its memory cache, as the game's director Todd Howard confessed in a recent interview:

"There's been great tricks that [Xbox] taught us...My favorite one in Morrowind is, if you're running low on memory, you can reboot the original Xbox and the user can't tell. You can throw, like, a screen up. When Morrowind loads sometimes, you get a very long load. That's us rebooting the Xbox. That was like a hail Mary."

Given that this trick went completely undetected for almost an entire 20 years, and is surely preferable to players having to literally reboot the console themselves and load the game back up, it clearly paid off dividends.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.