Video games often come with an adjustable difficulty setting, so even those who don’t have too much gaming experience can fully enjoy the game. However, just because there’s an option to play on easy, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should.

In fact, certain games punish players for doing so – they can, for example, make fun of you if you choose the easiest way of playing, use exploits, or resort to cheats.

Today we’ll take a look at some examples of such games – check out the list down below, where we collected several cool games that punish you for cheating or playing on easy.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Release date:2015-05-18

Let’s start with a game, where developers were aware of a certain exploit and decided to start punishing players for using it. The Witcher III is undoubtedly one of the fullest role-playing experiences up to date. As in other RPGs, gold is an important part of the game as it’s required to buy a variety of goods and repair equipment, but earning gold can be tiresome.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - talking

One of the easiest methods to get money at the beginning of the game is to use a certain exploit – kill cows, loot and sell their hides, meditate to advance time and force the cows to respawn, and repeat the process as many times as you need. However, it was until patch 1.05, when it became obvious that the exploit was an oversight on CD Projekt Red’s part, so the team decided to release a hilarious fix. From now on players who attempt to farm some easy gold will be surprised by a level 27 chort that spawns to protect his cow friends.

Key features
  • A believable vast open-world environment that feels alive
  • Satisfying combat that requires clever use of two different swords and simple magic spells called signs
  • Character progression with several different skill trees designed for different styles of play
  • Top-notch score that helps to create a true medieval-inspired atmosphere


Release date:2012-10-31
Genre:Action & Shooter
Developer:The Farm 51

If fast-paced dynamic shooters with scary demons and heavy metal music are what you’re looking for, you can’t go wrong with a good old Painkiller. Painkiller is a first-person shooter that reminds of classics such as Unreal Tournament and Quake.

Painkiller: Hell & Damnation - monster

Although the game doesn’t directly punish players for playing on easy, certain stages are locked on this difficulty level, and players can’t earn any black tarot cards at all – these are special buff items that can be used to strengthen the character during play, and they are also required to unlock the highest difficulty level, Trauma. With that being said, Painkiller does not only discourage playing on easy – it also encourages playing on Trauma, as one of the cards can be obtained exclusively there.

Key features
  • An addictive first-person shooter with scary locations and an atmosphere
  • Fast-paced gameplay focused on defeating hordes of demonic creatures and finding hidden collectibles
  • Unique weapons with two alternate firing modes
  • An amazing heavy metal soundtrack that perfectly fits the game

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Release date:2012-08-21
Genre:Action & Shooter

In the case of competitive online games, there’s no place for cheating – such games are usually very serious when it comes to violating rules and may even permanently block you from the game.

counter strike global offensive

Competitive online games, such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, revolve around fairness. It’s very important to ensure that all players have equal chances and don’t cheat, or the entire point of competition becomes irrelevant and the game loses its purpose. That’s why Valve is not afraid to severely punish anyone who tries to get an unfair advantage during play.

If you try to cheat in a certain game on a server that is under the protection of the Valve Anti-Cheat System (VAC), your Steam account can be permanently banned from all of this game’s VAC-protected servers. In some games, additional penalties may apply as well – for example, getting a VAC ban in one of Valve’s games may result in a ban in all Valve’s games.

Key features
  • First-person shooter action focused on fights between terrorists and anti-terrorists
  • Requires cooperation and communication with team members to play effectively against the others
  • Competitive nature of the game, where your personal skill will be tested against the skill of other players
  • Lots of modern weapons to choose from, all modeled after their real-world counterparts

The Stanley Parable

Release date:2013-10-17
Developer:Galactic Cafe

Speaking of cheating, the narrator in The Stanley Parable can get really, seriously serious if you’ll ever try to cheat. The Stanley Parable is a story-based game, where you’ll be playing as an ordinary man with an ordinary job as he tries to learn why everyone in his company went missing and why there are no new instructions for him to follow.

The game has numerous different endings that depend on your choices during the game, and one of the endings is made with cheaters in mind. If you try to use cheat codes, you will be teleported to the Serious Room with a serious table, where the narrator will give you a serious talk about how seriously serious he is when it comes to cheating. Although it’s not the most exciting ending, it’s still quite hilarious that developers decided to add it to the game.

Key features
  • First-person experience that puts emphasis on exploration and simple interactions with the surroundings
  • A story-based adventure where the player’s choices shape the narrative
  • Numerous different endings, including some well-hidden ones
  • Breaks the fourth wall occasionally

Postal 2

Release date:2003-04-13
Developer:Running With Scissors

Postal 2 also punished players for playing on easy, but it didn’t directly mock players for doing so. Postal 2 is considered an extremely violent game with certain disgusting features, but in reality, it’s all up to you to use them or not – there are many disgusting things you could do in real life, but you don’t, and Postal 2 is more or less the same.

The game can be completed without killing anyone and doing so will even earn you a special title. Although the game doesn’t punish you directly for playing on easy, there are some indirect consequences that you need to be aware of – people in the city will have their weapons replaced with tasers and shovels, which makes finding ammunition much harder. Additionally, losing the cops also takes longer for some reason.

Key features
  • First-person shooter filled with a specific kind of humor
  • A non-linear world that can be freely explored
  • Can be extremely violent, but can also be completed with little to no violence at all
  • Some uncommon weapons and items to use during play, including scissors and cow heads

Wolfenstein: The New Order

Release date:2014-05-19
Genre:Action & Shooter

A list of games that focused on easy mode mockery wouldn’t be complete without Wolfenstein that insults people right at the beginning, depending on the chosen difficulty.


Wolfenstein: The New Order will once again allow you to experience an alternate history, where the Nazis won the war. Before you start the game, you have to choose the difficulty level, and Wolfenstein is not afraid of telling you immediately that easy mode is for babies.

It changes the names of difficulties, so instead of “easy” or “normal” you get “can I play, daddy?” with the protagonist’s face dressed up like a baby with a teat in his mouth, and “don’t hurt me.”, which is only a bit harder. It’s worth noting that these names are nothing new in the Wolfenstein series – in fact, they are as old as the first Wolfenstein 3D from 1992.

Key features
  • First-person shooter set in an alternate version of history, where Nazis won the war
  • Extremely satisfying gunplay and useful stealth techniques
  • Gorgeous visuals with polished locations and lots of small details
  • A wide selection of available weapons to choose from

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Release date:2015-09-01
Developer:Kojima Productions

Finally, there’s Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain with its famous chicken hat that screams “I’m a novice player, please let me be”. Not everyone is a gamer and it’s totally fine if you find some games too hard. MGS V comes with a feature that provides help for newcomers in a clever way. If you fail to pass a certain sequence too many times, the game will ask you if it should make things easier for you.


But there’s a price to pay – you’ll have to wear a dumb chicken hat that blows all the remaining pieces of seriousness in MGS out of the water. On the other hand, Metal Gear Solid is known for combining a realistic atmosphere with ridiculous events, so there might be people who will purposefully wear the newbie hat, just for how unrealistic and hilarious it is.

Key features
  • Immersive action-adventure game with a great story and memorable characters
  • An open-world environment that can be freely explored
  • Gameplay that allows players to choose between stealth approach and direct combat
  • Beautiful visuals, dynamic weather, advanced enemy AI, and more

Games That Punish Players for Playing on Easy

An easy mode in video games is a great way to introduce new players to the game or even the entire genre. It can be considered a tutorial that is played like a normal game. However, some video games mock players for playing on easy, either by locking parts of the game’s content behind higher difficulties, forcing players to wear silly outfits, or simply embarrassing them by telling them that kids can play the game better than them.

All of that applies mostly to single-player games. Those who play competitive online games know that there’s usually no way to choose the difficulty level because you’re playing against other players and not against customizable bots. For this reason, people who are looking for an easy mode in online games may resort to using cheats. Unfortunately for them, cheating in online games ruins the fun for other players thus it’s strictly prohibited and if you get caught on using them, your punishment will be much more severe than being forced to just wear a newbie costume.

If you want to learn more about some of the best games that punish players for playing on easy or cheating, take a look at the list above.