Usually games and videogames have well defined rules that put constraints on the players actions. This is not to make the game less enjoyable, but rather a way to have the players experience the game the way it was supposed to be.
Minecraft can be considered a sandbox game, where creativity comes first and where the players are able to create and enjoy their own adventures. So, when you have so much freedom, what should be considered cheating?
Let’s start by saying that this kind of ethical questions have always very subjective answers. We are going to see what is usually considered cheating in the different game modes: Creative, Singleplayer Survival and Multiplayer. Let’s start!
Are commands cheating?
First of all, yes, commands are technically cheating. That’s why the option that lets you disallow them in the New World Creation menu says “Allow Cheats”.
But now and then there is no harm in using them to make the game more enjoyable, which should always be the right thing to do when playing (in videogames and in life in general). We’ll see more about this in the Singleplayer section below.
When you play Minecraft Multiplayer it is not you or the game creators that decide the rules. Every server has its own rules, decided by who manages it (see also: What are Minecraft server OP levels?).
In this scenario, cheating is every action that can give you an unfair advantage over other players. This can be either the exploit of some glitch or the use of a third party tool, like a hacked client:
There are also Multiplayer servers where everything is allowed. Literally everything, including the use of a hacked client. These are known as anarchy servers, like the infamous 2b2t. In an anarchy server there are no rules, so nothing is considered cheating. It is the only place where you don’t have to ask yourself this question.
In Creative mode
In Minecraft Creative mode you can do everything. There are no real constraints, or enemies that can get in your way. So, is it possible to cheat in such a free environment?
The only action that could be considered cheating is copying other players creations, depending on the situation. If a player takes part in a creation challenge (where they are challenged to create something starting from an input), copying somebody else’s work would not be fair.
Other than this scenario, nothing is really cheating in Creative mode (see also: How to duplicate Minecraft items in Creative mode?)
In Singleplayer Survival
In Singleplayer the problem becomes more tricky. While in Multiplayer you are competing against other people, in Singleplayer you are competing against yourself. Unless you play to be part of some kinf of competition like for example a speedrun, in which case you need to follow the exact same rules that everybody else is following.
If you are not taking part of any sort of competition instead, you can easily finish the game and beat the Ender Dragon. Granted that you are careful enough and that you never mine the block under your feet. That’s why many players decide to self impose some rules. Common self imposed rules can be:
- don’t kill the Ender Dragon using Beds
- disallow cheats in the Minecraft world
- don’t look at coordinates (by pressing F3)
- don’t program a bot that mines and gathers resources when you are not playing
- don’t use the Bonus Chest
- don’t check the World in Creative Mode, to find places of interest and rare materials
But again, those are all rules that a player may or may not decide to follow to make the game more challenging. When playing in Singleplayer you are cheating only if you yourself consider it cheating. So it is up to you and it depends on what kind of experience you want to have.
As said before, cheating is very subjective and it is not easy to give a standard definition. When you are playing on your own you should choose the rules that you want to follow, but there is no harm in changing them afterwards. When you are playing against other people instead, you should follow the same rule in order to have a fair and more enjoyable competition. Thank you very much for reading the article till the very end and I hope I’ll see you again around here. See you and take care!