[[quoteright:350:[[VideoGame/HeartsOfIron http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Cheating_Computer_9567.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Most games aren't [[DifficultyLevels this honest]].]]

->''"Cheat wherever you can. A.I.s are handicapped. They need to cheat from time to time if they're going to close the gap... Never get caught cheating. Nothing ruins the illusion of a good A.I. like seeing how they're cheating."''
-->-- [[http://kotaku.com/5271733/the-three-or-more-or-less-laws-of-gaming-ai Jonny Ebert]], lead designer of ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar 2'' on video game A.I.
%% One quote per page. This is policy. New ones go on the Quotes page.

The computer player is a cheating bastard whenever the "rules" differ between you and AI-controlled opponents. This can be a quick-and-dirty method of achieving a "level" playing field against a skilled human player (especially in older games, where hardware and AI capabilities were limited and prone to ArtificialStupidity), but can also create FakeDifficulty when the computer has access to moves that a human player (in the same context) clearly does not.

In UsefulNotes/ZXSpectrum forums such as [[news:comp.sys.sinclair comp.sys.sinclair]], this phenomenon (real or imagined) is known as "cheatingbastness".

Some games have even used the fact that their AI is ''not'' a cheating bastard as a ''selling point''. Conversely, arcade versions of games ("quarter munchers") often cheat ''more'' than home console versions.

Though this trope generally applies to impossibilities (things that the player literally cannot do no matter how well they play and no matter how many things they've unlocked in the game at that point, the computer will just have extra resources or abilities), it can also just apply to more conventional cheating. If the game looks at the way your characters have been customized and the AI is then given strategies or abilities specifically designed to counter yours, that's not ''impossible'', per se (it's entirely possible that you could encounter a human player with a team that counters yours perfectly!), but it's something that was specifically given to the computer as an advantage over the player, rather than random chance.

Sometimes this is justified due to the RuleOfFun. Computers are often prevented from using certain tactics that are open to the player, either [[{{Scrub}} because it's "cheap" when your enemies do it]] or [[ArtificialStupidity there's no freaking way that a computer could manage to pull it off at a crucial moment]]. In order to make up the gap and still present a challenge, cheating is required. Ironically, players often think the AI is cheating when it isn't, such as strings of [[YouFailStatisticsForever good luck from an RNG that is actually perfectly fair]], while not noticing at all the subtle and behind-the-scenes ways that the computer is ''actually'' cheating. In fact, some games deliberately manipulate the RNG in the player's favour just to avoid the appearance of cheating.

SubTrope of FakeDifficulty. [[IThoughtItMeant Has nothing to do with]] [[YourCheatingHeart adultery]].

!!!SuperTrope to:
* TheAllSeeingAI \\
Where the computer's AI has information that the player is either always denied, or denied at that level.
* ContractualBossImmunity \\
Any overpowered, OneHitKill, or potent [[StandardStatusEffects ailment-inflicting]] skill will be useless on big bosses. Naturally, this is not cheating in games that also give the player ways to attain immunity to such attacks.
* MyRulesAreNotYourRules \\
Where the AI players break the explicitly laid-out rules of the game.
* NotPlayingFairWithResources \\
In strategy games, the game compensates for the player's intelligence by giving enemies unfair abilities to gain or gather resources.
* RulesAreForHumans \\
In a computer adaptation of an existing game (e.g. chess), the AI may have the ability to pull off moves which are against the rules of the game.
* SecretAIMoves \\
Where a character (generally in a FightingGame) has some crazy move when played by the computer which human players can't do.
* SNKBoss \\
A boss who actively breaks the established rules and mechanics of the game just to be more challenging. Known side effects include [[RageQuit thrown controllers]], [[BloodFromTheMouth frothing at the mouth]], [[AtomicFBomb F-]][[ClusterFBomb Bombs]], and the worst case scenario: Explaining to your parents [[CriticalExistenceFailure just why their new television is pulverised]].

This trope does ''not'' include "fair challenges" of the game (wide pits, [[DemonicSpiders powerful]] / [[GoddamnedBats numerous]] enemies, etc.); those are Real Difficulty. Likewise, one should not accuse the computer of cheating simply because it plays to a computer's natural strengths ([[ComputersAreFast lightning reflexes]], [[LoopholeAbuse omniscient knowledge]] [[RulesLawyer of the game rules]], and so forth), or because you have a single streak of bad luck. Consistent bad luck, however, may be a sign that the computer is using the [[RandomNumberGod RNG]] to cheat. On the other hand, some cheats can actually work to the player's advantage, such as with the RubberbandAI or [[ClassicCheatCode plain old Cheat Codes]].

Compare GangUpOnTheHuman, RubberbandAI, and SpitefulAI. Contrast PerfectPlayAI. See also TheComputerIsALyingBastard, ComputersAreFast, GameplayAndStorySegregation, TheGMIsACheatingBastard, NintendoHard, RandomNumberGod, and RedemptionDemotion. When InUniverse [=AIs=] have these {{justified|Trope}} abilities, see TheSingularity.

'''Note:''' when adding examples here, please make sure whatever you're planning to claim is ''actually true'', meaning you have hard data saying there is cheating going on, not just some vague feeling that you ''always'' [[{{Franchise/Pokemon}} hurt yourself in confusion]] and the AI ''never'' does. The phenomenon making you feel that way is almost definitely ConfirmationBias, as any of the various people who have done actual testing with hundreds of data points can tell you.

This is not a place to complain about enemies that have skills you don't have, or about how unlucky you are and how many times you missed, or about how hard ThatOneBoss is, or how the computer is actually half decent at some of the game's more advanced maneuvers that you happen to suck at. This is only for scenarios where it would be expected for the player and the AI to be on even footing. For example, in the campaign of a strategy game, it would be natural for the computer to outnumber you and/or have more resources than you -- that's part of the challenge of a campaign. However, in free battle or skirmish mode, a computer starting with more resources than you is usually cheating, since you would expect to be on even footing with the computer (unless you can set what everyone starts with).



''Note: Since this trope is so ''incredibly'' common, only JustForFun/{{egregious}} examples should be listed here, otherwise this entry would take over the entire wiki. Aversions or subversions should probably be left out as well, since that's (hopefully) the default.''


[[folder: Fighting Games]]
* While the AI in ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Melee'' and ''Brawl'' isn't of Rubber Band variety, it still can [[TheAllSeeingAI always see everything in the stage]].
** The computer also knows what effect clocks will have. If you see a clock, and don't see the computer gunning for it, when you pick it up, it will slow you down. The same can be said for Poké Balls and Assist Trophies.
** Items, particularly the Dragoon Parts in ''Brawl'', are easier to drop when a human player is attacked, but the computer can hold onto them through a lot more attacks. Don't be surprised if you drop your beam sword after every single hit you take, then the AI grabs it and ''never'' lets go.
** Throughout the series, changing a CPU's difficulty level changes three parameters: how aggressive they are, how likely they are to avoid your attacks, and their reaction time. In both versions of ''[=SSB4=]'', a level 9 CPU has a reaction time of ''one frame'' , meaning that the instant you input the button combination for a certain attack, they're already air-dodging out of harm's way. Meanwhile, of course, they're free to whale on you as much as they want.
** Picking up the hammer item will cause the player to only be able to move and jump for a duration, during which they will rapidly swing it back and forth, dealing heavy damage to nearby opponents. Getting sent offstage will ensure the wielder dies if the effect doesn't wear off fast enough to allow recovery moves. The CPU, however, will invariably drop it on its own if they are placed into a position where they will fall to their death if they hold on to it. In addition, the hammer's head will have a random but small chance of breaking off, leaving you prone to attacks until it wears off. The AI, however, is allowed to drop it under this circumstance too.
* In the ''Franchise/StreetFighter'' series, there are moves known as "charge moves" which require holding the joystick in a certain direction for a short period. The computer, however, doesn't have to do this and can often perform a charge move in the middle of moving in the ''opposite'' direction, such as using Blanka's charge-back roll attack while ''walking forward''. This also applies to "spin" moves (moves which require a 180 degree, 360, or more cycle of joystick motion). Most obvious the 3,000th time Zangief hits you with a full-strength spinning piledriver (the "air" version, triggered by any upwards joystick click, is approximately 3/4 the damage of the ground version).
** The charge move behavior has been fixed in later Capcom fighters, such as Vampire Savior. But perhaps as a throwback to the cheating AI in ''Street Fighter 2'', Baby Bonnie Hood has a super move that enables her to use her high-damaging charge attack, Smile & Missile, without charging (replacing her normal punch attacks) for a short period of time.
** In ''VideoGame/StreetFighterTheMovie'' ([[RecursiveAdaptation the game]] [[Film/StreetFighter of the movie]] [[VideoGame/StreetFighterII of the game]]), when fighting M. Bison at the end, there was a fairly high chance that if the player was winning, Bison would stop taking damage from player attacks, or insta-kill the player with a weak attack, or the player would take damage from his own attacks.
** Another from ''Street Fighter II'': AI opponents could deliver a barrage of crouching kicks at lightning speed. Fortunately for the player, the AI will usually only connect once, which sends the player's fighter flying away from the opponent.
** During one of the final battles against M. Bison with the player controlling Charlie in the story mode of ''VideoGame/StreetFighterV'', Bison will frequently use charge attacks... while ''walking towards the player''!
* In the ''VideoGame/MortalKombat'' arcade series, the computer player often blatantly cheats. Here are some gems for ''VideoGame/MortalKombat2''.
** On ''any'' match after the first few, you cannot throw the computer unless it's stunned or immobilized. It would ''always'' throw you instead. In early revisions, it would even throw you when ''it'' was incapacitated. You could freeze the [=CPU=] solid with your ice ball, but if you tried to throw it, it would throw you back '''''while still looking frozen'''''. If you accidentally did a throw on an opponent dazed for "FinishHim", he'd ''still'' throw you back. And if that took you to no life, ''you'd lose''. Absolutely hilarious, unless you are the one it happened to.
** Whenever you did Scorpion's screen side shifting teleport, the computer would turn around and send a projectile your way... before you even left your side of the screen. Humans can't do this, but actually have to wait for you to wrap around before they turn around. However, if your screen wrapping teleport failed because you were backed into the corner... it would ''still'' turn around and fire the other way! Unless you were playing against a character with a really fast projectile recovery, this resulted in you getting a free chance to harpoon the computer. HilarityEnsues.
** Heaven forbid your feet leave the ground. You want to jump forward? They ''will'' jump kick you out of the air. You want to jump back? Prepare to eat a projectile. (Though those who could warp attack like Smoke and Scorpion could jump back, cancel into the warp, and smack the computer silly when they inevitably fireballed.)
** In ''VideoGame/MortalKombat3'', Kano and Liu Kang could pull their special charging moves almost instantly, sometimes several times in succession. Liu Kang could do several bicycle attacks and then finish you with a combo. Kano could do his spinning attack twice, and sometimes when you were in mid-air.
** One textbook case vessel of the trope and a bane to most players is Jade in ''[=UMK3=]'', who activates her invincibility technique ''the instant'' you throw a projectile at her. It doesn't help that when she activates this, she actually runs at you in the instant she does without any warning whatsoever and devastates you with her uber-long combo with no resistance and does so with impeccable timing.
** Some more things that are painfully obvious are that occasionally, when you're in the middle of a combo, the AI will throw you before you finish it. Naturally, this is not normally possible. Another case is that if you get them with a spear/hook from Scorpion or Smoke, then attempt to jump over them, they'll attack you while they should still be stunned. Finally, in some situations, the AI will kick you or block your attacks in an Endurance match. They'll do this when they're supposed to be down and the second fighter is onscreen, by the way.
** ''VideoGame/MortalKombat9'' (2011) lives up to its predecessors in cheating bastardness. Enemies can counter your moves the INSTANT you throw them and can seemingly block EVERYTHING you throw at times, but that isn't the worst part. The worst part is the bosses. If a boss throws an attack of ANY kind, he becomes immune to being stunned. You jump kick Kintaro in the face while both of you are airborne? Too bad he just started his air throw, so you're getting slammed in the ground. And in Challenge tower levels where there are random powerups being dropped you can almost guarantee that they will be dropped behind the CPU, ESPECIALLY if the CPU is near death.
*** Not to mention, the absolute pain in the ass that is [[BigBad Shao Kahn]]. Most of his attacks are unblockable, though he can block the player's attacks without actually needing to block with his arms. He is capable of unleashing health-bar killing attack strings that are unavoidable, unbreakable, and unblockable once started, and his X-ray attack can take out half of the player's health-bar. Compounding this is that he's ''[[LightningBruiser ridiculously fast]]'' and is usually (but not always) ImmuneToFlinching, making him a boss who can take you out in a matter of seconds!
* ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriors'' games have the bad habit of allowing the computer-controlled opponent to recover or receive random power-ups in a duel...where there is no feasible manner in which they could have obtained these items, as there are no boxes or dead enemy soldiers in duel mode.
** And then we have ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriorsOnline''. Let's not beat around the bush, the computers cheat like a Mississippi gambler(no offense to Mississippi), but a sack of bricks is smarter than than the A.I. (where Mississippi outshines the computer). They collect resources from no source at all, and you can very visibly see while beating them up as it alerts you when they pick up flasks (needed for in battle upgrades). On the other hand this time it's justified because the A.I. simplemindedly pursues one goal: capturing bases. Bases don't give anything until you capture them and even then it's health regeneration, so it balances out.
*** Also, musou generals. These characters, the original cast of the Dynasty Warriors game from 5, don't show up normally. But when they do, they are difficult. They use their original movesets, which is (aside from a few choice weapons) impossible for players, and they have ungodly stats. They have high health, high defense, high attack, high damage. This makes them capable of killing all but tanks in one or two hits. Additionally, they have high flinch resistance, which means you can't prevent them from attacking by knocking them around. This makes them very hard to defeat without using a weapon with a build designed around it. This would be much worse if not for, again, the fact that they only show up on special occasions. Thankfully, unlike players, you only have to beat them once in a match. After that, they're gone for good.
** The empires series. Pretty much every game has at least one advantage the player will never have.
*** DW4E gives you a maximum of 10 officers and 10 Lieutenants. Your enemies? 3 officers and 3 Lieutenants for every territory they have. On the flip side, you never lose your officer maximum. even if you're down to one territory.
*** DW6E has enemies never lack the troops they need. Even if you taunt them for years at a time. The only time it will be ungodly unfair in your favor is if your officers are several levels above theirs.
*** DW8E Is actually pretty fair. but it does do a lot to keep you from winning in anything except battle. Using your various strategies and tactics out of battle will never cause a kingdom to collapse even when it should. Using isolate to cause the ruler to remove every single officer under him will only cause him to take on a free officer for the sake of having more than one character in the A.I. kingdom. Otherwise, the game is pretty good about not giving the computer access to anything that will give them an unwarranted advantage.
*** ''VideoGame/SamuraiWarriors 2 Empires'' have enemy officers rise in levels at ungodly speed. [[FridgeLogic Even if they never fight anyone.]]
** In the main games, enemies will sometimes reappear in the same battlefield. While it's sometimes justified via story (Meng Huos seven defeats), some are not (Zhang Liao has reappeared on the battlefield).
** Sometimes your strongest general manages to fall to a footsoldier just because you didn't get there in time. And that same general, on another faction's story, manages to endure FIVE WAVES OF ENEMIES in that same map.
** Lu FUCKING Bu! Every time he appears, you can only think "I'm doomed!", as he takes down your allies one by one. But when you get to play as him... He's not that strong. Yet he is ALWAYS the strongest one when used by the CPU.
** Inversion with Tadakatsu Honda. He is a decent challenge in the hands of the CPU. But for a player using them? It's like a walk in the park with a walking brick wall with a library of powerful moves! And that is not even getting to his Special Actions!
* ''Franchise/DragonBall'' {{licensed game}}s have this during story missions. For instance, some characters in later stages are programmed to ''automatically'' dodge most combo attacks (like throwing your enemy in the air and teleporting to hit them up there, more than one energy attack, etc.). This becomes a problem in levels where you can get a RingOut. Because the enemy will doubtless be able to break your guard and counterattack whenever he feels like, you'll be easily knocked out the ring by him, while he can simply decide not to be hurt by your attacks.
** Another source of shenanigans are [[TeleportSpam ki teleports]]. Its esentially a counter that will consume an energy bar for teleporting behind the attacker and smack him on the noggin. First off, the smack can be cancelled into a combo of your choice; but then the AI will [[ComputersAreFast immediately pull them off]] wherever a human player has to first input guard, and then the combo. Second, should you do a ki teleport, the AI will inmediatly follow up with another one, and another one, and ANOTHER one, so long as they come up on top. Doesn't help that sometimes the AI will cheat and use less energy per teleport to guarantee getting the last laugh.
** In ''Anime/DragonBallZ Supersonic Warriors 2'', at the end of Mania mode. Throughout the 20 match mode, the player will automatically lose any special attack BeamOWar animation. But for the last 10 machtes, the computer adds two or three of the below tricks. For three of the last six matches, it then pits the player's team against one opponent (Cell, then Broly, and in the final match SS Goku), who has access to about a half-dozen AI exclusive skills, including:
*** A shield to block ''everything'' that can last as long as the AI wants. They can't do anything while it's active, but since they don't need to guard or gather energy, and they have other attack buffs (see below), this just means that the player is lulled into gathering energy so the computer can attack at a moment's notice.
*** Special moves can be spammed at no energy cost, meaning gathered Ki is only used for their ultimate attacks. They can also be done repeatedly, interrupting each other, and with no lag. For example, Broly's giant ball projectile, the strongest projectile in the game, that when spammed can Wombo Combo even another Broly.
*** Ultimate techniques become spiteful overkill for you ''almost'' killing them.
*** Instant teleportation to the space directly behind where you're attacking, as soon as you release that attack. Even without this, the characters can move more quickly than any other character in the game.
*** Base skill enhancements such as absurd speed, counter beams and triple throw range. For the Goku fight, theses enhancements, and ''all'' hitboxes, are doubled again. This results in a regular Kamehameha taking up most of the screen and killing most characters.
** ''VideoGame/DragonBallXenoverse'' was pretty bad about its cheating AI, mainly due to the fact that while players had Ki or Stamina drain for transformations, the AI (who only transform when a mission makes them do so) never run out; this is bad in late game quests that liberally throw Super Saiyans at you [[OhCrap who have infinite Ki and know how to use it.]] While they suffered ArtificialStupidity due to willingly wasting their Stamina on evasive skills and vanishes, they also often packed Super Armor, effectively making them unflinching no matter how hard you hit them as they smack you back.
** ''VideoGame/DragonBallXenoverse2'' removed super armor and infinite Ki, and let you see the enemy's stamina and ki at all times for further assurance that they're not cheating. Except they do anyway; when fighting Frieza and Cooler at the end of the Namek Saga, ''their Stamina regen is jacked up significantly'' to the point that even the FinalBoss can't compare. Meanwhile, the AI can perfectly read player inputs, know when you're holding a button to prepare a Super or Ultimate Skill, and abuse Vanishes, Stamina Breaks and Burst Dashes with perfect timing to the point that using any Ultimate that isn't mostly risk-free will instantly have them Stamina Break you if you didn't break them beforehand.
* ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear'' is very... [[JustForPun guilty]] of this:
** On top of the usual array of unfair SNKBoss attributes for the "boss" versions of otherwise regular characters--dealing dramatically more and taking dramatically less damage compared to their playable counterparts, doing even the most absurdly impossible-to-input moves ''in the middle of combos'' completely at will, gaining a full bar of tension with a thought, etc.--''all'' AI characters on high enough difficulty settings or close enough to the final match of Arcade mode gain the ability to psychically read controller input. Many characters rely on having a good mix-up game, placing continuous pressure on an opponent until they finally make a mistake in their blocking, and going from there. It works pretty well against humans so long as the attacker doesn't get too predictable. Against the CPU, though, mix-up characters are almost completely useless, as every attack is more or less a polite request for the computer to please consider allowing this next one to actually connect for once. Which is usually denied.
** There is also, notably, Boss I-No from Guilty Gear XX -- she happens to have a boss-only move (which has recently been added to the player moveset, but not in the game she's a boss in) called 'Megalomania' which spams heart-shaped projectiles, and if you so much as graze one the entire swarm will mug you. It has three ranges -- one that's fairly easy to dodge, one that's kind of like a wave and needs to be walked through, and one that fills the entire screen in front of her. The obvious solution to that last one might be to block or to leap over and behind her before she lets it go . . . but tell that to the guy who's freaking out at the sight of innumerable 'warning' signs covering 90% of the screen (the attack, it should be noted, is kind enough to tell you where it's going to hit).
* Those who played ''VideoGame/SNKVsCapcomSvCChaos'' learned to dislike Goenitz, an [[SNKBoss SNK sub-boss]] with an attack targeting one of four areas on the screen (close, close-mid, mid, far) that always knew exactly where you would be, canceled projectiles, and was ''spammed constantly'', making getting close enough to hit an exercise in frustrating patience. In a couple of ways, Goenitz was even worse in ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters '96'', since he could do desperation moves without restrictions while giving more and receiving less damage to/from the player.
* In ''VideoGame/GodzillaDestroyAllMonstersMelee'', the AI opponents will often head towards powerups that are offscreen, that the player has no idea that they're there. Fortunately you can counter this by running in the opposite direction and, if the pickup is far enough away, you'll get the computer stuck against the edge of the camera and unable to reach it. The computer will keep trying to get to the pickup while you're free to chuck buildings at it.
** The [[https://youtu.be/ezvwQ4sxcGY Toonami review]] of the game in particular admits that Mechagodzilla is cheap.
* If your attack is blocked by the computer in ''VideoGame/FatalFury 2'', the computer ''will'' throw you. Doesn't matter what difficulty level, or how strong the attack and the subsequent blockstun is - the computer will throw you.
* ''VideoGame/EternalChampions'' on the UsefulNotes/SegaGenesis and UsefulNotes/SegaCD took the unusual approach of requiring "inner energy" for all special moves. Theoretically, this forced the player to learn the characters and apply specific strategies in every possible matchup... Except against the AI, which could always execute specials with sheer and utter disregard of its own energy levels. Even more, well, insulting, characters have an ability called Insult which allows them to sacrifice one piece of their special gauge to destroy a little more of their opponents. The computer, especially the final boss (''bosses'' in the Sega CD version), is quite fond of repeatedly Insulting you from a distance to render you impotent -- usually shortly before, with a blatantly flashing EMPTY gauge, they execute their ultimate full-gauge-requiring attacks, some of which doing things like rendering the character completely invincible (the final boss(es) have these, naturally). Did we mention if you lose in the final battle, you can't continue?
* The SNES game ''Dragon: the Bruce Lee Story'' probably deserves a mention. Whether or not the Demon with the halberd represents Bruce Lee's historically unalterable death, it's almost impossible to beat it.
* In that same vein, Richard Wong in the ''VideoGame/PsychicForce'' games can become unbeatable in a fight by spamming his magically-appearing sword move.
* ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters'' suffered this terribly in the '94 and '95 incarnations. There was an ability called "Evade" that, if timed right, allowed the character to dodge attacks. This translated to "The computer is immune to projectiles". And in a callback to ''VideoGame/FatalFury 2'', getting blocked when you jumped in would lead to an instant throw. '96 pulled Evade completely, replacing it with the trademark "Roll", one of many reasons it's considered the first high point of the series. Another nasty SNKBoss advantage is one that the bosses of XI have. In addition to the usual SNK unfairness, the game uses a gauge system that goes up when you hit the opponent and down when they hit you to measure how well you do and decides who wins at time out based on that. The bosses gauge takes an ENORMOUS leap if they so much as brush past you, you however barely make it twitch even if you hit them multiple times. Combined with the fact the timer acts like it is on speed combines to add yet another layer of evil to the mix.
* ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}} 5'''s Jinpachi Mishima was a great example of this trope. He had The Stomp, an auto-stun move that didn't do damage but left your character floating and unable to block for at least seven seconds, an eternity in a fighting game. This was even worse in Dark Resurrection, when the computer learned how to do juggles with three signature uppercuts in a row, which took off about half your health. The version of the character given to the player, of course, did not have nearly as much priority for the stomp, which also had to be timed with the enemy attack (unlike the AI version which could just be done whenever).
** Jinpachi also gets a few 85%-95% damage attacks, which he will chain along with a teleporting backstep, which in the highest difficulty activates when an attack that would definitely hit is made by the player, it does it by reading controller inputs, but only at the highest difficulty level.
** In a fighting game basically devoid of projectiles, Jinpachi has fireballs and teleports. The teleports are bad enough, since they're basically instantaneous. But the fireballs? Dear Lord. Unblockable, unjumpable, unduckable. He can toss them out with no charge-up and no cool-down. That means that, even if you get smart, and try to sidestep, ''he'll just keep shooting until you take the hit.'' Of course, they do about 50% damage.
** The CPU opponents are inconsistent in their "skill", the arcade mode shifts from "Beginners" to "Tekken Lord", Beginner AI will not attempt to attack and rarely block, while from Shihan rank and above the AI has 100% perfect accuracy, knows what button are you pressing and counters with perfect timing every move, and if that's not bad enough, the AI will 99% of times kick you in the air and do a 10+ combo + finishers that will reduce your health to 15-20%, and if you try to attack, the AI will block it and will counter it before you have a chance to do a combo, mostly forcing you to use cheap moves to best the high level AI.
** Tekken 6's Azazel wasn't quite as bad, but had one very specific cheap cheat trick: he blocks while attacking. ''While attacking''. Normally, characters are vulnerable when performing an attack, and an opponent can interrupt them by landing the proper hit on them first. The only way to reliably hit Azazel is to get behind him and hit him while his back is turned, where he can't (usually) defend.
** To be slightly more specific, Azazel is twice your height, and you hit him in the legs when you attack. And his legs can block while his upper body attacks. It's still a violation of what has been a universal rule of Tekken until right then, and insanely frustrating. (To note: most previous Tekken games had bosses that were not too ridiculously powerful to be made available for playabler use, and who followed all the same basic rules that every other character did. ''5'' and ''6'' where the first games to have bosses that where too obscenely powerful to give to players, or in the latter's case, that didn't even follow some of the basic rules of the game.)
** ''Tekken Tag Tournament 2'' makes things much worse with the return of Jun Kazama and Unknown. Jun isn't anything threatening really, so long as you're careful. But those stupid Attack Reversals can be annoying, especially since Reversals are rarely used by the AI. Unknown however is even more fucking annoying with her many penchants to do a handful of things to interrupt your rhythm: Jinpachi's stun, her branches, her Attack Reversal and that dangerous [[OneHitKill portal move]]. That's not counting her increased health and quick regeneration.
** [[RubberBandAI And don't even think about building a winning streak.]] The computer ''will'' use unavoidable/unblockable attacks, use moves from impossible positions, move/attack faster than you, instantly use moves that require human players to execute a complex command, do combos that are impossible for the player, read your controller inputs and counters you immediately, and become impossible to fake out to punish you for it.
** In ''Tekken 7'' Akuma follows the tradition. As a final boss, he can parry your attacks, teleport around the place ''extremely''' fast, use an unblockable Focus Attack that is also twice as fast as that of his normal version, send 3 Shakunetsu Hadoken in a row (which will juggle you for quite some damage, or eat up most of your health if you happen to use an armoured move before being hit), and use an [[ImmuneToFlinching armoured]] [[TheComputerShallTauntYou taunt]] that [[PracticalTaunt instantly fills his entire Super Meter]], not to mention that his [[SignatureMove Raging Demon]] is a OneHitKill. Of course, he also has a utterly obscene damage output.
*** His parry deserves some elaboration. Not only is he ''the only character in the game who can do that'', but it is instantaneous as well, and [[PerfectPlayAI the computer loves it]]. This means that unless you're punishing one of his attacks he can basically decide to take no damage and punish your every move. So, in the highest difficulty setting, you have a character who can perfectly block everything and counter for ridiculous damage while regaining his health (of which he also has an obscenely high amount).
* By Namco, same as ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}'', ''VideoGame/SoulCalibur'' has been pretty fair for the most part. There are the occasional moments when the enemy moves faster than a human, but still feels beatable. Then there's ''Broken Destiny'' and the introduction of [[LethalJokeCharacter Dampierre]]. ''All'' his moves look like feints and/or mistakes, don't deal a lot of damage, but have a nasty habit of stun-locking you, as well as many moves that are just plain annoying. An extremely devoted player can make him the deadliest fighter on the planet.
** Rock got a similar annoyance upgrade. He is slightly faster than his ''SCIV'' console counterpart and has an arsenal of grabs that can get you while your down or ''midair'', and the AI's ''very'' good at chaining them back-to-back for maximum frustration potential.
** In the original, Cervantes and Souledge have an attack called 'Self-Destruction' (renamed Geo De Rey in later installments); when the player uses it, it eats up 1/3 of their weapon gauge. The computer can decide arbitrarily if this applies to it or not; occasonally for Cervantes, hardly ever for Souledge. Souledge's version also has the advantage of controlling exactly when he launches, thus making it a nightmare when he starts spamming it, which is often, but you can control that too, so that's ok. It doesn't help that they (especially the latter) often get unbreakable weapons too while they suffer as much as everyone else when you control them, so good luck trying to disarm them. As the weapon gauge is never used again in such a fashion, it is no longer an issue from Soul Calibur Onwards.
* In the Xbox remake of ''[[VideoGame/DeadOrAlive Dead or Alive 2]]'', if you are playing Hayabusa (yes [[VideoGame/NinjaGaiden that one]]), Ein will block and counter pretty much every move that you ever make.
** The Tag Team Challanges in DOA Dimensions will make you throw that brand new 3DS right into a wall. Sure, it starts out easy enough to lull you into a false sense of security, but then the madness begins. The opponent AI is damn near PERFECT. With one hit, it can take down almost HALF of your health, whereas if you hit THEM, it's like hitting a brick wall with an inflatable hammer. The computer also controls your tag partner...and is worse then ANY noob you could ever face online. Really, its only use is to be a punching bag so you can recover your health. But considering your opponent can usually kill both you AND your tag partner within two seconds, it doesn't help much.
** In DOA 5, it gets even worse once you get to the last four difficulties. You will be countered out of every string you try, usually by the second hit before the AI springs into a combo that damages at least half your health. There are ways around this, but once you get to survival mode, good luck. All four courses require you to defeat 100 opponents, in a row, with one health bar.
* In ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaJudgment'', Dracula WILL put his back to the screen, and thus you will not see what attack he is going to make.
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}: The Broken Bond'', the computer is seemingly able to use the Rage Mode (which speeds them up and makes them take no damage from anything but damage-dealing jutsus) in the middle of a combo.
** Nevermind that if you make one mistake you get totally owned. They'll juggle you, never letting you even block. If the computer makes a mistake it doesn't matter because you have to have pretty much perfect timing to hit them at that moment anyway. Not to mention that they'll almost ALWAYS be able to charge up their jutsu but you'll never get even one chance.
** The ''VideoGame/NarutoClashOfNinja'' series avoided this for the most part, usual computer tendencies aside. Then English releases began to be developed by [[AmericanKirbyIsHardcore American developers instead]], and now we have story mode enemies who have no stagger animations and PerfectPlayAI mindsets- sometimes in 2 on 1 matches ''against you''. These aren't even optional challenges- you HAVE to kill these people to proceed. The ''optional'' challenges involve similar things, only with the difficulty turned UpToEleven by ''better'' AI.
** The Grandpa Gen challenges in ''VideoGame/NarutoShippudenUltimateNinjaStorm2''. Especially the Chiyo and Jiraiya fights. Both have insanely high attack and defenses, and can either poison you (Chiyo) or regain health (Jiraiya).
** [[Manga/{{Naruto}} Naruto Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3]] has this in four distinct types.
*** Some battles as already mentioned are usually 1 (You) VS two/three, which means one attacks, one charges their chakra, then switch. Repeat until death.
*** Sometimes when you attack the computer it just goes through them, obviously this doesn’t happen to you. It also lets them set up an (Unblockable) attack.
*** Tactics like continuous healing work twice as well and as fast as they do for you.
* The first ''VideoGame/SamuraiShodown'' game was very guilty of this: The CPU could knock you out in as little as 2 hits/attacks, dizzy you repeatedly, connect more hits with the same attacks you used, stun you for more time than you could, or ''all of the above at the same time''.
* ''VideoGame/SuperGodzilla'' for the Super Nintendo did this against, well, pretty much everyone. Your own fighting spirit (a measure of how strong your techniques are) rises pretty slowly, compared to the UFO which is nearly permanently at maximum, or Mechagodzilla, who can go from nothing to max in a heartbeat, and teleport-body-slam you in the process. He will then use eye lasers just to mess with you. If you want to pull off the killer moves with a full bar, you absolutely need the booster item to fill it faster, because the enemy will hit you first otherwise.
* ''Wrestling/{{TNA}} iMPACT!'' the game. Anyone who is an established wrestler will automatically be twice as good as you, no matter who you choose. Certain matches in story mode can consist of you spending 90% of the match beating the hell out of them, only for them to come out of nowhere with enough counters to use a special move, hit it once, and win.
* In ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'', the AI also ignores equipment and accessory rules. Every piece of regular equipment (swords, shields, etc) has a level requirement that your character must meet in order to equip it, but almost every AI opponent will be wearing at least one item above their level. Accessories work somewhat differently. They are ranked from D to Star. The higher the rank, the fewer of that accessory you can use at the same time. Many AI will have three or four of the same Star-ranked accessory.
** Oddly enough, though, because of the way equipment was changed for the sequel[[note]]Equipment only has "tiered" requirements: level 1, 30, 60, 90, or 100[[/note]], the computer no longer breaks that rule.
** And we won't even mention [[spoiler: Chaos]], who cheats like a cheating cheaty-thing, especially with his Summon. (Every single other Summon in the game can only be used once per fight, except in one specific, rule-based case. He however can use his purely at will, as often as he wants.
** The prequel adds to the cheating -- if the game wants to play a character like an SNKBoss, it will -- dodging will be instant, attacks will be instant (even if you're playing the same character), their priority will be scores higher than yours, etc.
** Amusingly, ''Duodecim'' also lets you turn off most of the cheating by setting the ruleset for custom matches to "Official(Skill)", which disables equipment and summons for both sides. It's actually [[TropesAreNotBad kind of pathetic]] seeing [[ArtificialStupidity how badly the AI performs]] when forced to fight fair.
* In ''Manga/{{Bleach}}: Blade Of Fate'', the human character can only FlashStep or use RF Special Attacks when they have enough Spiritual Power to do so. The AI opponents have infinite Spiritual Power. In ''Bleach: Soul Resurrección'', a character can enter "[[SuperMode Ignition Mode]]" to increase attack power, and from there use an "[[LimitBreak Ignition Attack]]", a powerful attack that completely empties the Ignition Gague. Usually the Ignition Gague can only be filled by causing damage, especially many hits quickly. The computer is not bound by these restrictions, and can enter Ignition Mode and use an Ignition Attack whenever they feel like it, which on harder difficulties they will. It's not unheard of for a computer-controlled character to use an Ignition Attack, and then re-enter Ignition mode ''before the player has even hit the ground'', especially when fighting multiple enemies at once.
* VideoGame/BlazBlue is guilty of this. Particularly Unlimited Nu and Ragna in Score Attack Mode.
** In Hakumen's story mode in Calamity Trigger, you get to fight Jin Kisaragi. Throughout this fight Jin ALWAYS HAS 100% HEAT GAUGE. He takes full advantage of this and will constantly catch you in an unwinnable loop with his Special attacks.
** Basically any fight against Hazama due to the fact that he lives up to his cheating bastard status. He will use his Distortion Drives only when you have literally no way to dodge them.
** Nu-13 on her own is bad enough; she can rapidfire summoned projectile swords. Many characters, particularly Hakumen and Tager, have no way at all to approach Nu in her NORMAL state. Based on tournaments, they have around a 20% chance of winning a match against a Nu player of equal skill. Unlimited Nu is Nu, except she summons twice as many swords. Yeah. It's hell.
** Ragna isn't much better. In his Unlimited state he has twice as much life as the tankiest glacier character in the game. He also has increased vampiric properties and his Distortion Drives in his Unlimited form can easily knock off around 75% of your HP, healing him for around 50% of his, and undoing all the work you've been doing through the entire match.
** AI-controlled characters are pretty good about having realistic reaction times, except in one specific scenario: If you're Rachel, and you're trying to manipulate them with [[BlowYouAway Sylphid]], they ''will'' air-dash in the opposite direction, the exact frame you press D. Doesn't matter whom you're fighting, or what you're trying to move them into; they're just programmed to instantly resist any attempts to blow them around. In fact, this can turn Sylphid into an AIBreaker; if you use it to blow them ''away'' from you, and they air dash towards you, they'll use up their air dash ''and'' (if you time it right) move right into the middle of [[LimitBreak Baden Baden Lily]] (or [[FinishingMove Clownish Calendula]] if that's your thing).
* ''VideoGame/BattleCapacity'' had major issues with Pyroak in the past. Pyroak has a lot of HP, excellent projecile attacks, and a useful anti-air attack which comes out quickly at adjustable heights. He is slow, however, and suffers against most characters at close range. When the AI was using Pyroak, there was literally ''no'' slowdown between launching projectiles and using his anti-air, making him all but unapproachable.
* This one is easy to miss, since you usually fight against human opponents in ''VideoGame/RumbleFighter''. However, in Survival Mode, the enemies can use the [[DesperationAttack Panic Attack]] an unlimited number of times, whereas players are limited to using it once per round.
* Never let a fight go the distance in UsefulNotes/{{UFC}} 2. No matter how much you dominated the fight, the computer will invariably award itself the decision victory.
* ''VideoGame/XMenNextDimension'': your counterattacks will work approximately one time in seventeen. The A.I. can pull them off whenever it wants. And the game engine treats interrupting a string of attacks as the ''worst'' kind of impoliteness.
* It's so prevalent with the VideoGame/WWEVideoGames, that they had ''[[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard/WWEVideoGames to be moved to a separate page]]''.
** Smackdown Vs Raw, particularly when the RubberBandAI breaks. The CPU will become a PerfectPlayAI who [[MyRulesAreNotYourRules ignores the rules]].
** In WWE 12 at least, and probably earlier games as well, it seems like matches are predetermined. If the player is meant to lose then counters are ignored to the point that blatant cheating will occur. If the CPU is slated to lose on the other hand then the game is a cheating bastard for the human character, with the computer all but lying down for the pin, and you really have to work to even drag a match out of them.
** In some respects, [=WWE WrestleMania XIX=] for the UsefulNotes/NintendoGameCube, namely in Revenge Mode. It seems as if the game simply ignores your frantic spinning of the control stick or mashing of L and R when trying to get up or counter if it feels like it. And sometimes, when you have to make an opponent bleed, it can be done easily to you, but the opponent can take seemingly hundreds of hits to finally go down. What's worse is the opponent has seemingly impeccable timing with it's counters and dodges, even doing these on your finishing moves.
** ''WWE 13'' is quite possibly the best portrayal of the, ahem, sport ever. It is also unquestionably the most broken. You try and attack your opponent and it reads your inputs and counters perfectly. You try and counter their attacks and the game ignores them. You are not given the chance to use finishers, special abilities or even escape attacks. The CPU recovers and attacks faster than you can. It cancels out you gaining a finisher for hot tags and comeback. The game can warp you into attacks and pins. It can even make use of changing the camera angle to use InterfaceScrew. You name a way the game can cheat and this one will do it.
* The various ''VideoGame/PunchOut'' games all allow the opponents to break boxing rules like ''nobody's'' business while restricting you to legitimate boxing tactics. Enemies are free to chug soda to replenish health, duct-tape a manhole cover over their only weak spot, or blatantly use prohibited moves like headbutts and ''magic'' to take you down. [[TropesAreTools Unlike most examples]] on this page, it's entirely PlayedForLaughs. The only aversion is Glass Joe's protective headgear, as it turns out if ''any'' boxer suffers 100 losses they're allowed to use it and, sure enough, Little Mac [[EasyModeMockery gets a set of his own]] if he suffers 100 losses.
* In ''Videogame/ForHonor'', higher-difficulty opponents in the campaign and higher-difficulty multiplayer bots are able to change attack directions faster than is physically possible for a human player. As a result you'll get situations where an AI Orochi or Valkyrie will initiate attack chains from above and midway through change directions to launch side attacks, the latter of which is physically too fast for a player to block. The only option is to dodge the chain altogether or parry the first hit to prevent it from ever starting.

[[folder: First Person Shooters]]
* Up until ''Vegas'', ''VideoGame/RainbowSix'' seemed quite unfair in that the AI could somehow detect you even if you couldn't figure out where it was. And a major problem with the first games was that being spotted once, even if the guy didn't alert his comrades, meant [[TheAllSeeingAI everyone knew where you were]]. In the original PC trilogy, the AI also had ImprobableAimingSkills: [[ArmorIsUseless no matter what body armor you chose]], a hit was usually deadly because the AI [[BoomHeadshot scored a headshot]] practically every time. And could do it from the other side of the map, with a machine pistol, and ''facing the wrong way''. ''Raven Shield'''s Elite setting is especially cheap, coupled with the ArtificialStupidity of friendly teammates.
* On higher difficulty levels, the bots in ''VideoGame/QuakeIIIArena'' can [[TheAllSeeingAI track your character through walls]] and can one-shot kill you via Railgun the moment a single pixel of your hitbox is exposed.
* ''VideoGame/MedalOfHonor'', especially the PC games. Nazis have [[ImprobableAimingSkills improbable accuracy]] with automatic weapons while yours suffer from ATeamFiring, can shoot through foliage and other transparent objects that you can't very well, don't suffer from aim disruption while supposedly flinching, will draw a bead on you the moment you enter their line of fire, especially the snipers in Snipertown, [[DoNotRunWithAGun run and gun with unlikely aiming skill]], and can even get perfect shots when blindfiring. All of which is true in ''Call of Duty'' as well, made by some of the same developers.
* Enemies in ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty'' love to automatically shoot you ''just'' before you pull the trigger and throw off your aim so you miss your shot, especially when you're using a bolt-action rifle and have to wait a full second before you can fire again.
** Combat training in the ''[[VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps Black Ops]]'' games lets you see for yourself just how much the AI cheats by letting you see killcams from their perspective. Tracking players through walls, absolutely zero recoil or bullet spread, and on higher difficulties nearly infinite look speed. One AI enemy with a semi automatic sniper rifle can kill multiple players spread out over an area in less than a second the instant it has line of sight to all of them. What's worse is [[SpitefulAI this generally only applies to the AI on the opposing team]] - ''your'' AI will frequently forget they have a loaded weapon in their hands and go for knife kills, ''forget they have a knife if they manage to survive to get into range'', and generally just spread out as far as possible and actively ignore enemies, especially ones that are attacking you.
** The stealth in the more modern Call of Duty games is actually quite fair. Occasionally though, your [[HollywoodSilencer amazingly quiet silenced pistol]] suddenly gives away your position as if it fired nuclear missiles and boulders.
* ''{{Franchise/Halo}}''
** After dual-wielding in ''{{VideoGame/Halo 2}}'' and ''{{VideoGame/Halo 3}}'' proved to be rather unbalanced, it was excised in the subsequent games... for players. In ''VideoGame/HaloReach'', Elites are still perfectly capable of dual-wielding weapons, letting them still tear you to pieces with double plasma rifles while you have to wear down their shields the old fashioned way.
** Players acquainted with trying to hijack Wraith tanks for themselves may know the utter rage they felt upon finding that enemy Wraiths can fire mortars ''sideways''. Meanwhile the player in a Wraith can only fire directly forward, since that's the only direction the cannon faces. Covenant baddies being thorns in your side. Nothing ''you're'' allowed to do except slowly turn to hit them. And that's not even including enemy Wraiths' incredibly long-aim with an arcing projectile on Legendary.
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'':
** Under normal circumstances, "facestabbing" as a Spy is a rare, [[GoodBadBugs hilarious glitch]]. Spy-bots in the [[ManVersusMachine Mann vs. Machine]] [[TheWarSequence mode]], however, seem capable of facestabbing players ''whenever the hell they want to.'' This starts making more sense when [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZpGtx3orK4#t=28s you see how loopy the backstab hitboxes can be]], and take into account the spies know ''exactly'' where these places begin and end. Thankfully averted elsewhere: Just like übered human players, übered bomb carriers (and their medics) aren't immune to the Pyro's airblast. Especially useful if the map has a BottomlessPit, which not even über-bots can be exempted from. And as a nice bonus, that resets the bomb all the way back to the beginning. [[RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap And you thought MvM would turn Pyros useless]]. Spy Robots can also backstab Snipers wearing the Razorback. As in, that piece of equipment whose ''sole purpose'' is to ''protect the Sniper from backstabs''.
* ''VideoGame/TimeSplitters''
** The 5* AI in the original ''VideoGame/TimeSplitters'' game's Arcade modes will turn a semi-automatic weapon into a fully-automatic nightmare, and they never have to reload. ''Ever''. If they get hold of Pistol x2 and see you, ''you are probably going to die horribly in an endless storm of bullets''. Curiously enough, they are ''less'' dangerous if using actual automatic weapons.
** And the bots in ''VideoGame/TimeSplittersFuturePerfect'' will frequently walk through solid walls and scenery if you're not facing in their general direction, especially on Mapmaker maps; this becomes a real problem in Virus mode, where the AI will occasionally even ''fall through the fucking ceiling and land on you!!'' It's possible to turn around and catch them in the act, resulting in all sorts of creepy visual weirdness such as arms and faces half-emerged through the walls/windows/doors.
* ''VideoGame/{{Battlefield}}''
** ''VideoGame/{{Battlefield 3}}''. ESPECIALLY on hard difficulty. Let's see, bullets that are flying everywhere? Check. A player that dies in two or three continuous shots? Check. Enemies that can shoot you with just your BIG TOE sticking out of cover? Check. Enemies that can SHOOT THROUGH ROCKS IN THE INDESTRUCTIBLE ENVIRONMENT? THAT'S A [[PrecisionFStrike BIG FUCKING CHECK!!!]]
** If you ever play against AI bots in ''VideoGame/{{Battlefield}} 1942'', you basically can't use airplanes because the AI's aiming is so accurate that it can use ordinary machine guns (as opposed to actual anti-air weapons) to whittle down your health and knock you out of the sky.
* Darksims in VideoGame/PerfectDark's Combat Simulator. They can teleport, shoot with 100% accuracy no matter the weapon or distance, and spawn with every weapon on the map already in their inventory. [[spoiler: They still don't know how to use Remote Mines.]]
* In ''{{VideoGame/Destiny}}'', when lining up your sights on an enemy (Usually through a sniper rifle but applies to other guns as well) the enemy will seem to magically know where you are and start moving to make your shot harder even if you haven't fired off a single round, yet. In addition, once you HAVE fired (Especially annoying if you're using a sniper rifle) the enemies will know JUST where you are and move behind appropriate cover to keep from being picked off so easily.

[[folder: Live Action Television]]
* The ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode "The Mind's Eye" seems to give pointed shout-out to this trope when Geordie [=LaForge=] tries to pass the time on a long shuttle trip by playing a trivia game with the computer. When Geordie acts a little too cocky, the computer blatantly changes the rules:
-->'''Shuttle Computer''': List the [[TechnoBabble resonances of sub-quantum associated with transitional relativity]].\\
'''[=LaForge=]''': That's easy--\\
'''Computer''': In alphabetical order.

[[folder: Maze Games]]
* ''Ms. Pac-Man: Maze Madness'''s multiplayer mode has all AI players being pretty much against all human players if there's any (and should be at least two of them) when it comes to the rules. Generally, they form a team, even though the player can't do so with other players. In Dot Mania mode, dead [=AIs=] lose merely two dots as opposed to the players' ten. In the same mode (and Ghost Tag, in the early moments), they're also notably quite [[SpitefulAI spiteful]], always chasing down power-ups if said power-up appears. Considering that 4 out of 5 power-ups in Dot Mania mode are lethal to anyone who didn't pick them up (though one power-up won't kill anyone but will result in dot loss regardless), this makes reaching the intended goal difficult for the players. Thankfully, the only power-ups that the [=AIs=] actively ignore are the bag of money (steals dots from other players) and the chocolate cake (makes the character [[AttackOfThe50FootWhatever grow bigger]], enabling him/her to stomp on other players), which in their case can only be picked up by accident (though woe betide you if an AI happens to grab a money bag). On the bright side, those [=AIs=] are hilariously [[ArtificialStupidity stupid]] when not doing anything else, often running back and forth or cluelessly going to random places, including using warps for no reason. Obviously, this often results in multiple hilarious deaths by ghosts (Dot Mania), easy tag targets (Ghost Tag and Da Bomb) and plain stupid deaths from running out of time (Da Bomb). For added hilarity, one map has electric hazards, so HilarityEnsues if you play against those [=AIs=] in that map.[[note]]Though, in Da Bomb, don't expect the "it" player to die because of those hazards, as he/she cannot be killed that way, though the untagged player can still take advantage of dying to the hazards if said player is being relentlessly chased. Just hope the chaser won't reach your spawn spot before you fully respawn (which the [=AIs=] will be more than happy to do so). As for Ghost Tag, while all players can die to the same hazard, [=AIs=] are still smart enough to simply tag a "dead" Pac-Person to continue gathering dots, since the foolishly dead player is still vulnerable to tags in that mode.[[/note]]

[[folder:Open World Sandbox]]
* The Rhino Tanks are the definition of Badass in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas'', being incredibly rare to find unless you get a six-star wanted level, or obtain one from the military base (which will give you a five-star wanted level). However, these vehicles are very heavy and definitely ''not'' nimble when ''you'' drive them. However, if you manage to outrun the police, FBI and army in your souped-up Infernus and tear through the countryside, prepare to have the horror of your life when ''a Rhino Tank bursts out of the woods and charges straight for you at speeds upwards of 120 miles per hour''.

[[folder: Puzzle/Board Games]]
* Most versions of electronic Monopoly will use this as a fake difficulty depending on what the AI difficulty is set at, most Monopoly games are meant to have smarter AI that makes better investment decisions when the AI is increased but most also increase the AI's luck when rolling and getting chance cards. As a result it's not uncommon for the AI to never get a negative card during the game and always skip past human players properties, but the harder the AI is set at the more likely it is that the computer will sabotage human UsefulNotes/{{dice}} rolls and make sure the human lands on tax or high value owned property turn after turn.
* A certain TabletopGame/{{chess}} program, when it was close to losing, would actually flash the message "The [piece] has escaped!" and that piece would appear back on the board. Obviously, only the computer's pieces ever 'escaped'. One suspects this ''isn't'' how Deep Blue beat Kasparov.
* This trope is taken to the extreme in ''VideoGame/DigimonDigitalCardBattle''. The BigBad ''literally hacks'' his GameBreaker-filled deck to always get the same cards every time! This can be used against him if you have the 'Hacking' card, which swaps the HP of both Digimon as long as yours is a lower level.
* The Magic online game Magic Duels has an AI mode which states: "Duel against [[BlatantLies Randomized AI opponents]]". The "randomized AI opponent", however, is actually a script that analyzes your deck card-for-card and then proceeds to build a deck out of the entire game's card pool specifically to counter your build. Not only that, but the AI [[RefugeInAudacity knows what cards are in your hand at all times]]. Also, the "Easy/Medium/Hard" difficulty levels don't actually do anything except dictate how many coins (5, 10, or 15 respectively) should you be victorious and win.[[note]]However, it should be noted that the AI '''occasionally''' mana-screws itself, and/or sometimes plays a card that makes zero tactical sense.[[/note]]
* Invoked in ''VideoGame/CardCityNights'' where [[spoiler: the final boss sneaks an illegal deck into the game by playing a friendly game with the Card King before hand. Since it was a friendly game, the Card King didn't bother to check the card and implicitly accepted the deck; and since the final boss only used fair cards from the illegal deck (itself a feat of luck, since it requires always having a legal card in hand to play) it didn't rouse suspicion during the game, and since they won they technically defeated the Card King before you did. The end result is a final boss deck with no card limitations and loaded with some of the best in the game.]]
* All ''Franchise/YuGiOh'' games have a list of restricted cards, just like the real card game, and usually matching the official one when said videogame came out. But computer opponents were not bound by it. The computer could have 3 copies of GameBreaker cards that you were only allowed to have one of (many of which would later be outright banned with the introduction of the real-life game's "Advanced" format used in official tournaments). This was probably to make up for AI [[ArtificialStupidity so stupid]] that it often seemed like it was ''trying'' to lose. Of course, that works both ways; in a lot of situations, you have to duel with someone as a partner, and your partner is usually kind of stupid too.
** In ''Tag Force 3'', F.G.D. and all other dragons on its side of the field deal piercing damage (Their Atk - the target's Def) when they destroy a defense position monster, and no trap or spell cards can be activated when F.G.D. attacks, unless you're the one controlling it...
** And the trend has continued in Duel Transer, the game will always follow the March 2010 Banlist even if you change it to the September 2010 Banlist. Sure, you'll be able to use Dark Hole and Monster Reborn when your opponents can't, but they get Heavy Storm, Brain Control, Rescue Cat, and Substitoad in exchange. Oh did we forget to mention the post-game content where the game doesn't even hide that it's cheating. Multiple Pot of Greeds, Graceful Charities, Harpies Feather Dusters and RAIGEKI's abound
** ''7 Trials To Glory'' was relatively good about the banlist. You had to obey the banlist, and the same cards wouldn't show up in the computers' decks.
*** However, you'll eventually notice a pattern of the days when Card Destruction is off the banlist (it works that every card is cycled on and off it), it will show up in your opponent's hand within the first three turns about half of the time. Aside from the AI also knowing your facedown monster's defense before it's flipped, it's pretty fair otherwise. The only place the cheating really shows up is when you're facing the anime characters, as nameless side characters will usually display pretty jarring ArtificialStupidity.
*** One other place where you'll see cheating (or just really, really good planning) is in the Limitation duel against Joey. In this duel, trap cards are banned, and almost all of the monsters he has in his deck have at least 1900 ATK. So you summon Gora Turtle, which prevents anything with 1900 or more ATK from attacking. Within two turns of summoning this, guaranteed, he'll summon Spell Canceler, the only monster he has with less than 1900, and it still has 1800. It's also a card he never uses in any other duel.
** Opponents in ''Eternal Duelist Soul'' will only attack face-down monsters with a DEF lower than their monster's ATK. Each opponent has a threshold of error with their "card reading," the weakest opponents blatantly attacking any face-down monster you have while stronger opponents will single out all of your weaklings and ignore any face-down monster capable of withstanding the attack. Fortunately, this makes it easy to exploit the A.I. using cards like [[http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Man-Eater_Bug Man-Eater Bug]] (they'll read your card's Defense, but they ''won't'' any effects so you can draw the opponent into attacking and triggering them).
** The really worst part is that, of course, the game knows which cards you have and the opponent AI will actually base the cards it plays on whichever cards you've played. This is easily tested with an emulator that allow save states. Save before playing a particular card, and see the AI play a card that counters yours. Load the save state so you can play a different card that counters the AI's and it will actually play an entirely different card that counters your new one.[[note]]Of course, if you actually use save states to give you an advantage, that counts as cheating on your part[[/note]]
** ''[[VideoGame/YuGiOhForbiddenMemories Forbidden Memories]]''. Not only does the AI have cards that you can't obtain without cheating devices, but it doesn't even bother to stack the deck, no; it ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vo3hNgUAjPM turns the cards in its hands into other cards.]]''
* In old video games based on game shows such as ''Series/{{Jeopardy}}'' and ''Series/WheelOfFortune'', particularly the Gametek versions, the computer players are subject to this.
** On ''Series/{{Jeopardy}}'', if a computer player rings in it will either give the right answer to a question or [[ArtificialStupidity type in nonsense]]. If you go too far ahead, the game will sometimes [[RubberBandAI make it impossible for you to buzz in at all while the computer player(s) starts closing the gap.]] In the SNES version, it is so extreme that the computer buzzes in on the first possible frame. This means that, even if you're playing on an emulator and use the tools to play it frame-perfect, it's still literally impossible to buzz in before the computer. Essentially, it cheats so hard that you can't out-cheat it.
** On ''Series/WheelOfFortune'', if a puzzle is about half complete, expect a computer player to go on a hot streak, giving correct letters while missing penalty wedges, before solving the puzzle.
** Similarly on the Genesis and SNES versions of ''Series/FamilyFeud'', whenever an AI player gives an answer, expect it to be on the board. When the computer doesn't feel like doing that, it will say [[ArtificialStupidity "I give up"]] and penalize itself.
* Even old handheld toys based on game shows had the computer cheat. If the game was based on luck, you would be screwed over quite often. If you went against a computer opponent, they would always know the answer to the questions very early in the rounds or simply be much luckier than you.
* In {{Yakuman}} DS, a TabletopGame/{{Mahjong}} game from the same people at Nintendo who make the VideoGame/MarioKart and VideoGame/MarioParty games, the tougher computer opponents have ridiculously good luck. The AI performs Double Reach (only possible when your opening draw is one away from a winning hand) numerous times, often multiple times in a single match, not to mention a suspiciously high rate of Tenhou/Chiihou hands (i.e. when your opening draw ''is'' a winning hand. Tenhou and Chiihou are basically the equivalent of being dealt a Royal Flush in poker). [[http://www.reachmahjong.com/home/index.php?option=com_content=view&id=79&Itemid=48 More details on Double Reach, Tenhou, and Chiihou here.]]
* This is the whole point of [[http://blahg.res0l.net/2009/01/bastet-bastard-tetris/ Bastet]], a ''VideoGame/{{Tetris}}'' fan clone with a piece generator designed to always give you the worst possible piece for your situation.
* In the NES game ''VideoGame/{{Anticipation}}'', which is basically ''Pictionary'', computer controlled opponents can guess the subject's entire character length and can screw up as many times as there are letters in the word(s) while humans only get two chances to guess a letter before their turn is over.[[note]]This can actually be somewhat beneficial; wrong AI inputs will be marked with asterisks, while correct ones will be left as is.[[/note]] On the hardest difficulty, the opponents buzz in the instant the die shows the number of spaces they want to move and can give the answer correctly without even knowing what the category is, how many letters are in the answer, or even before anything is actually drawn.
* In the ''Dokapon'' game for DS you can expect that the computer will get the exact roll it needs 99% of the time. Savestates show that the computer always gives you the same predetermined "random" roll, regardless of any luck manipulation that would work in games with fair [=RNGs=]. The CPU players are essentially saying, every turn, "I want to move X spaces". At least this doesn't carry over into combat. Technically, this is because the game uses a "random seed" method of determining rolls. The game has a randomly generated number that it uses as a basis to find the numbers for rolls, spins, etc. Since there is some form of pattern, the number rolled at a given time will always be the same, unless the seed changes. That happens when certain actions are performed (for example, using an item before you roll). You can still bet the AI has a say in its roll, though.
* The generally fair AI powerups for ''Videogame/TotalWar'' games have a few cheat moments (free money, quick build/recruit times etc) to balance the fact that it's an AI and you're not (presumably). However, a blatant cheat in ''[[VideoGame/MedievalIITotalWar Medieval II]]'': your own crusader/jihad/warpath armies will gradually lose units to desertion if you don't progress towards the designated target each turn. The AI however can raise such an army, park it near your settlement and wait 50 years until the crusade/jihad/warpath is over, without losing any units, at which point it will be free to turn the army against you. Of course, there's nothing to stop you pre-emptively attacking that army anyway, excommunication aside...
* Another notable example in Total War games would be in Total War: Shogun 2. That army of peasants with spears and bows? No threat at all... until they walk into the fog of war, and 2 turns later return as an army of elite samurai, ignoring the cost and time requirements of actually building such an army.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Scrabble}}'' on the Playstation 1. Firstly the game seemed to arbitarily decide if something was an authentic word; many common words that are in any dictionary would be denied to the player but the computer could seem to use any combination of letters, [[ScrabbleBabble even total gibberish such as "gxfsetf"]], and score. The harder the AI was set to, the more nonsense it would score with.
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/GetterLove!!'', in which ''you'' get to be a cheating bastard. Mainly because of the map screen, in which you can see exactly where each of your opponents will be going before you choose a destination. (This aspect of the game would have worked better if, instead, you chose by pressing a button, instead of toggling on the map.[[note]]Let's see: For destinations, you have your home, Itoh Mart, the department store (divided into three sections for information, fashion, and CD&BOOK), China Hao Hao, Panda Amusement (two sections here, one each for gaming and karaoke), Panda Burger, the school plaza, the school grounds, the library, Panda Park, and Cafe Liquid. A Nintendo 64 controller has a d-pad (four directions), four C buttons (which aren't used for anything in this game as it is), and six other buttons (L, R, Z, A, B, and Start). Fourteen possible destinations, fourteen buttons to select with (not even counting the joystick), it's a perfect match![[/note]] And that's saying nothing about ArtificialStupidity.
* ''VideoGame/InfinityWars'' features Campaign 8 of the Descendants of the Dragon. While the A.I. uses a triple–Purity Sleepers deck (evident from all 3 Commanders belonging to the Sleeper faction), there's a Flame Dawn Dragon in the Grave (which requires at least 2 Flame Dawn Commanders) just waiting to be resurrected, ''right from the start of the game''.
* ''VideoGame/SonicShuffle'' had this badly. The game, to differentiate itself from ''VideoGame/MarioParty'', uses cards to move players around instead of dice. However, instead of pulling from a deck, everyone has seven cards and the computer, even on the easiest mode, knows who has all of the 5 cards, 6 cards and "S" cards. Predictably, they will take them at the first opportunity, thus depriving you of any chance to get far in the game. What makes this worse is when you try to pick one from the computer, [[MyRulesAreNotYourRules you can't see their cards]]. It becomes a crap shoot that may lead you into picking a 1 card or the Eggman card. This sort of setup works for an actual multiplayer set up, not when it's one against the computer.
* In the CuteMonsterGirl-centric card battle game ''Monster Monpiece'', the computer will ''always'', in every single deck throughout the single-player campaign, have three copies of Fairy +2 and Poison Toad +2. These cards each cost 1 mana, provide 3 mana when they enter play, and are very easily killed -- whereupon they add another 3 mana to the player's pool. These cards are also impossible to obtain during the single-player game, being ''very'' rare drops from post-game competitive online play. The computer opponent will also get ''at least'' one of these cards on its first turn, meaning that every single-player match effectively begins with the human player at a [[NotPlayingFairWithResources disadvantage in terms of resources]] with no effective means of balancing the odds.
* ''VideoGame/MariosGameGallery'': In Go Fish, it's rather obvious that the AI knows what's in your hand. Often times, it will ask for the card you just drew when you go fish.

* The ''Cruis'n USA'' port on the Nintendo 64 featured drastic RubberBandAI from the few lead cars that would try to pass you, including "[[FanNickname That F**king Blue Car]]". The top two cars in any race would drive perfectly and always managed to avoid crashing into traffic, even clipping through traffic that was going to wreck them if the player couldn't see it. The only way possible to achieve victory was to force other racers into the oncoming cars. Even then, it wasn't foolproof, as not only did you have to get lucky with the timing (since oncoming traffic is nearly impossible to predict and/or see coming), the AI cars would be back on your tail in less than ten seconds. On the higher difficulties, the only way to win was to knock a car into the opposing lanes towards the end of the race and [[LuckBasedMission hope an oncoming car rammed them off the road]].
* ''VideoGame/RoadRash 3'' for the Genesis thoroughly abuses this trope. One racer (Lucky Luc) always manages to stay ahead of you. You can have the same bike as him, and he still manages to get ahead of you so he can spam his oilcans. If you decide to grab the next higher bike, or two after that, he STILL is usually a bit faster than you, or can at least catch up to you with no problem. The game also has some ''serious'' RubberBandAI. The super secret bike tops out (when not using the nitro) at around 215 MPH. You get this bike (with the proper code) on the first races (if you decided to cheat back). You can speed past every other racer and take first place within the first 11 seconds of the race, but if you crash any time after that (most noticeable when you're at the end of the race), at least five other racers will pass you before you can get back onto the bike, even if you don't get flung too far away from it.
* ''VideoGame/RCProAm'':
** In certain races, the yellow car will suddenly move twice as fast as all of the other cars on the track (including your own, even a fully-upgraded car). If you hear a high-pitched squeal and see the yellow car slingshot ahead of the pack, you'd better take it out quickly or forget about a first-place finish.
** You can be a cheating bastard too. You have [[SecretAIMoves Secret Player Moves]]: Weapons. Even at super turbo speeds, if the yellow car eats a missile or bomb, it goes boom and loses its super turbo for a bit. What's worse is the late game tracks where EVERY car does this the instant they pass you up. If you don't blast them out of the starting gate, you can't win!
* In ''VideoGame/TheSimpsonsHitAndRun'', each level has a series of races to win a car. Almost every race will feature the next level's starter car as the lead opposing car, and it is always superior to any car you can access in the current level. This is especially bad in the second level, where Lisa's level 3 Malibu Stacy car is insanely better than anything Bart can access in his level 2 arsenal, making the races a nightmare to win. Special mention also must go to Marge having to solo-race Frink's Hover Car in one of her races, which is the most nimble car in the game. Her starter car, by comparison, is a crappy SUV that will tip over at the slighest provacation (which, given the car in question, is likely intentional). In addition, the AI cars are nigh-impossible to push off the road and are generally perfect drivers except on really sharp turns. Of course, you can always come back to the early levels with a better car, making it a cakewalk.
* ''VideoGame/{{Burnout}}''
** ''VideoGame/Burnout3Takedown'' features broken one-way RubberbandAI in many of its events. When you're in the lead, driving perfectly and constantly boosting, the AI will be, as a helpful yellow pop-up caption exclaims, "right on your tail!" no matter how many times you wreck them. The moment you crash, they start to take an insurmountable 30-second lead that is nearly impossible to overcome.
** In ''VideoGame/BurnoutParadise'', the computer drivers will always get a head start in race events, allowing them to boost past you before you even get control of your car.
** Of course, this is done for theatrical appeal, as well as to give the computer a fighting chance. In most cases you will start in 4th or 5th rather than 8th like in most games, so there is that. Also, experienced racers will find literally dozens of shortcuts on a route to give them quarter mile leads.
** Marked Man, on the other hand, is a bitch on Class A and Elite levels. There are way more parked cars, gridlocked traffic and they throw the best aggression cars in the game at you regardless of what you are driving. Sometimes you will be lucky to make it a mile in a four mile Marked Man.
* In ''Videogame/CrashTeamRacing'' for the [=PS1=], Nitrous Oxide literally starts the race ''before the green light'' that signaled the race's start.
** That isn't all. All the bosses would have an unlimited amount of weapons after passing through the first crate. (Or "Passing by" the first crate area, if you jump ahead and take the crate they would, they would still get the items even if they didn't break a weapon crate.) The only advantage is that they would only use one weapon type and would always fire behind them. The Final Boss uses weapon types of every other boss in the game!
** Also, all racers crash and stop to recover whenever you hit them with missiles, bombs, or TNT/Nitro crates. N.Oxide ''spins a few times'' but is otherwise unhindered by any weapon you throw at it.
** ''Crash Nitro Kart'''s final boss Emperor Velo puts Oxide's cheating to pure shame. Not only is Velo substantially faster than you, he races with two companions that drop extra power-ups for you to dodge and act as a shield to him from your projectiles. He drops static orbs like mad and can roll bombs backwards at you with pinpoint accuracy, to the point that there is no way a human player could pull off the stunts he uses with those bombs. Now, other bosses in the series, their challenge is to get in front then stay in front as they cannot hit you while you're in front of them; but if you're in front of Velo not only does he speed up immensely, but he starts spamming homing missiles on you! Better pray to the RNG gods you get in front of him early and stay ahead or he'll get so far ahead, you'll never even see him during the race.
* Abused to a bizarre end in the Super Nintendo game ''Super Off-Road: The Baja''. Each and every one of your competitors had their own preferred place in the lineup, and Heaven forbid you should attempt to take that place from them. For example: Should you take third place from the AI driver who typically came in third, he would become a super driver fueled by rage; he would gain speed, cut corners, ram your truck mercilessly, and pretty much suddenly become the Uberdriver in his efforts to dislodge you from third place. Once you dropped back to fourth place, though, that driver would return to normal, and never challenge Mr. Number Two for HIS place. (Of course, then Mr. Fourth Place would have ''his'' turn at harassing you.) Coupled with the tendency for the AI in first place to absolutely obliterate you should you dare violate his sacred position AND stage last-minute comebacks at speeds approaching those of a low-flying jet fighter, winning any race at any difficulty level became far more based on luck (and your ability to keep from being rammed into oblivion) than skill.
* Classic F1 racing game ''Super Monaco Grand Prix'' featured a version of this that kicked in only after you'd become World Champion. In order to speed up the process by which a driver rose in the ranks, the game featured a system of "challenging" whereby if you beat someone in a better team twice in a row, you'd be offered their place (and thus, a better car). Once you'd won the championship, you were automatically placed in the best team ([=McLaren=] [[CaptainErsatz ersatz]] "Madonna") and then promptly challenged by some unknown newcomer in a team halfway down the rankings. Scoffing as the first race of the new season begins, you can only watch in horror as his blatantly inferior vehicle accelerates past you and proceeds to completely destroy you. Two races later, he's driving your supposedly top car (even though he shouldn't need it...) and you're stinking up the field in the crappy blue and turquoise thing he started in.
* In ''VideoGame/RidgeRacer 6'' for the Xbox 360 (and perhaps other ''VideoGame/RidgeRacer'' games), the computer cheats so often it's almost pointless to even try the harder difficulty levels and race types. Special races, for example, pit you against a car that you can win if you beat it. This car is always better than any car you have available at the time. Also, the "Reverse Nitro" races are well known for rampant cheating. In a Reverse Nitro race, your car cannot gain nitro from drifting like it can normally, so you are given an extra two tanks to work with and the only way to get them back is to go into what the game calls "Ultimate Charge" (coming out of a nitro blast while drifting). Somehow, all computer-controlled cars in these races can gain nitro simply by driving in a straight line for a couple of seconds, completely ignoring all the rules for nitro boosts set out for you. This means they can, suddenly, blow past you with a fully charged 3-tank nitro boost just after they finished another 3-tank nitro boost.
** In ''VideoGame/RidgeRacer 64'', not only did the rival car have ridiculously effective RubberBandAI but if you crashed into it, you stopped dead while the rival wobbled a bit but basically carried on unaffected. This was the case even if the rival crashed into you ''from behind'', in which case it would drive right through your motionless car.
* Every ''VideoGame/TokyoXtremeRacer'' series game has nearly invulnerable AI, with impossible handling abilities. "Boss" racers will always catch up with and pass you, regardless of your cars' relative stats. If a race starts with you slightly in front of another car, there's a chance you will accelerate faster. If you start a race behind the exact same opponent, they accelerate into the distance and are never seen again. Also, another game in which the traffic is actively trying to destroy your car, changing lanes to block you in and adjusting the timing of their lane changes to hit your car at any speed.
* In ''VideoGame/MidtownMadness'', some racing modes involve competing against computer-controlled cars, and since you are always in danger of smashing into vehicles or obstacles, it helps greatly that they are too (not to mention that it's gratifying to see them smash head-on into oncoming traffic or miss a critical turn). Except that if they ever leave your immediate surroundings and end up in a part of the city of Chicago that isn't currently being "simulated," they go into cruise mode and move quickly and safely wherever they are meant to go next. In one of the races, a single computer car takes a very different route than the rest, meaning that in order to win you must be very lucky to have it crash during the parts of the race when it ends up being near you.
* The game based on the ''WesternAnimation/DragonBooster'' television show is guilty of this. While you only ever have five energy points, and have to recharge by getting powerups, the AI racers have unlimited energy, ignore obstacles (offscreen, at least; onscreen, they just charge into nearly all of them), and even have equipment that is unable to be obtained by the player. It's made up for in that the AI is dumb as a post.
* In ''Red Baron Arcade'' (as with many, many flight/driving/racing type games), if there is any penalty to being rammed, you can bet that the computer has any number of planes or cars (or whatever) cheerfully lining up to ram the absolute ''crap'' out of you as soon as you start targeting the thing that will let you win that level.
* ''VideoGame/NeedForSpeed'' is basically built on this as its norm:
** ''[[VideoGame/NeedForSpeedUnderground Underground]]'' combined RubberBandAI with your opponents always having just slightly better cars than you. Because of that, it was easier to deliberately ''downgrade'' your car in the endgame by using a weak engine and so on. The AI would be downgraded as well so that relatively everything stayed the same, but the race would be a lot slower and therefore more forgiving. Your top speed for the race could be reported as ''x'' MPH, with your opponents given as ''x''-n. Even if, at that top speed, the opponents had passed you. The AI actually deliberately steers traffic so they'll cross paths with you. Cars come out out of an intersection with precise timing so that you'll hit them. If you're in the lead on the last lap, this becomes even more likely. The best tactic is to swerve wildly just before every intersection so you won't be where the computer thought you were going to be.
** Furthermore, ''Underground 2'' and ''[[VideoGame/NeedForSpeedMostWanted Most Wanted]]'' also had an JustForFun/{{egregious}} feature whereby even if you managed to build up a decent lead in spite of the RubberBandAI, in the last lap of the race one of the opponents would make a miraculous comeback and pass you unless you managed to block him or had a lot of nitro to burn. This was presumably done to make the races more dramatic, but of course the end result was just more frustration.
** In ''Most Wanted'':
*** Car damage initially seems [[InvertedTrope inverted]], since police vehicles suffer from damage - both mechanical and visual - and can be destroyed, while your own car is [[MadeOfIndestructium indestructible]].[[note]]This is outweighed by the fact that the computer has an infinite supply of them, though.[[/note]] But it's actually [[SubvertedTrope subverted]], because your car has an AchillesHeel in the form of Spike Strips, which will almost always result in you getting immediately busted without [[LuckBasedMission getting extremely lucky]] and [[NintendoHard being extremely skilled]]. Police cars can drive through spike strips with impunity.
*** It is possible to drag a car with it facing the opposite direction, because it got its rear wheel caught on your front end, and then not only free itself, but proceed to gain magical turning abilities where it obtains a zero-degree radius turn, and speed off. Past you.
*** The cops also rarely go after the computer players. There may be one or two occasions where if you deliberately slow down and give up your position so the other can get the cop first, they will actually go after the more egregious speeder. Otherwise, the cop will usually go after you, and completely ignore everyone else.
*** ''Most Wanted'' even goes so far as to actively ''lie'' to the player. One of loading screen tips tells you that with a well-executed pursuit breaker it's possible to take out all your pursuers at once and get away easily. But doing that just causes a new police car to instantly spawn nearby. Following the advice and slowing down to allow cops to catch up and get them all can then easily have the opposite result than the tip claims, since even though the car is invulnerable, it can still get caught in the pursuit breaker and immobilized just long enough for that new cop car to bust you.[[note]]However, this can be considered AntiFrustrationFeatures if you're trying to accomplish pursuit milestones like, say, Bounty and Cost to State, as destroying police cars counts for both.[[/note]]
*** Cop cars in ''Most Wanted'' can also travel ''sideways'' across the road in a controlled fashion (not power-sliding) to get in your way, as though they have 4-wheel steer with a 90-degree capability.
** Every PSP version of Need for Speed seems to put a lot of effort in ensuring that its AI has a new annoying trick at its disposal. By the time of NFS Undercover, the cpu cars could drive faster than you, no matter what was your car and how well it was upgraded, were not affected by crashes (they were back on your tail in just few seconds), could TELEPORT if you somehow managed to make them stay really behind, or TURN MID-AIR! In one of the urban stages, there is a 90 degrees turn just after a really long straight that ends with a significant bump. To drive past it you simply have to slow down, but the cpu cars can drive into it at full speed, jump and turn in the air. Funny sight when you are looking behind at that time.
** Your opponents in ''VideoGame/NeedForSpeed Shift 2: Unleashed'' are rather fond of the Reverse PIT manoeuvre. It's performed in exactly the same way but it's the guy pushing that spins out. It's incredibly annoying when you've got a fast car and it gets congested. Generally, your opponent's cars weigh twice as much as yours according to the physics engine.
** In ''Need for Speed: Undercover'' (non PSP), even if you have the pedal thoroughly buried in a Mclaren F1, police [=SUV=]s will still lazily pull in front of you as though you were parked. For those still confused; this is a scenario in which a Cadillac Escalade is represented as faster than one of the fastest production cars ever produced.[[note]]The F1 remains as of 2011 one of the fastest production cars ever made; as of July 2010 it is succeeded by very few cars including the Koenigsegg CCR, the Bugatti Veyron, the SSC Ultimate Aero TT, and the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport.[[/note]]
** In ''Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010)'' you can pass a parked police car, at top speed, in the ''fastest car in the game'' (Veyron) and it will be on your tail in just a couple of seconds, even if you didn't slow down at all.
** While most people point ''Underground'' as the debut of [=rubber-banding AI=] in the franchise, it is OlderThanTheyThink - ''Hot Pursuit 1'' had opponents that would [[FranchiseOriginalSin quite literally cheat]] in many ways:
*** Their cars could zigzag around the course very quickly without losing any speed, so they could block you from overtaking them. Even if you were able to zig-zag as fast as they can, you'd lose a lot of speed and fall behind.
*** They're able to negotiate extremely tight corners without losing a sliver of speed. All of your cars understeer and need to slow down a lot to make the many 90-degree turns without crashing.
*** They can easily ram you off the road and continue like nothing happened. Try to do that against them, and it will feel like trying to shove a brick - you'll lose a ton of speed and likely even [[HoistByHisOwnPetard lose control of your car and fall behind]], while your supposed victim continues like nothing happened.
*** They do not lose speed or traction when driving through dirt, mud or snow. You do.
*** Even if your car is much faster than theirs - say, a [[GameBreaker Spectre R42]] against its [[CantCatchUp C-Class peers]][[note]]The Spectre R42 is a C-Class car whose performance matches that of a B-Class car - even ''surpassing'' them in a few aspects - outclassing pretty much everything in its tier[[/note]] - they will catch up to you and easily overtake you. And if they're more than 7 seconds ahead of you, [[{{Unwinnable}} might as well restart the race]].
* In ''VideoGame/StarWarsEpisodeIRacer'', the AI racers never crash, never run into walls, always hit turns perfectly, and never have to use the boost. And they know pretty much every shortcut; if you miss one, they'll take it and get way ahead, such as the upper route on Abyss.
** A good example is in one of the earlier tracks - a fairly simple track with multiple alternate paths that shave small amounts of time off your run and are generally ignored by AI racers, it is pretty easy to get a decent lead. Then, coming round the second last corner is a short run up to a huge jump. Boost as much as you can and pull back for maximum airtime - in a decent podracer (and that early in the game you do not have one) and you might just make it. Finally, the jump, which you just hit at maximum velocity, is followed by a hairpin turn to the finish line.
** In keeping with the film, Sebulba's racer is equipped with flame vents which can fry your engines if you sit there too long. To be fair, you can play as Sebulba and do it too... except the AI racers are totally immune.
* ''Cel Damage'''s AI players can make sharper turns than the human player. This can be seen when the player is killed, and for the brief seconds until the respawn, the computer player (most likely the assassin) can make some incredible curves, even while standing on the same place.
* ''VideoGame/TestDrive'' for [=PS2=], Xbox and GC.
** This game exhibits extreme RubberBandAI. No matter how skilled you are or how powerful your car is, the AI will always gain a ridiculous speed boost and catch up, sometimes "teleporting", making races a LuckBasedMission. And they almost never crash or make other mistakes.
** Try this (At least on the PC version): Play Test Drive 5 and use the "nitro boost" cheat, race on a track with a lot of straight roads so you can boost your top speed way past logical top speed like on the Sydney track, and take a look at the racer stats at the end of the race. If you've logged a top speed of around 400mph, then the AI will log a top speed of around 800mph just to keep up with you. Granted you would be cheating yourself in the first place, this is still an amusing way to prove the audacity of the rubber band AI under magnified proportions. And also shows you can't cheat a cheating opponent since it will just cheat more anyway.
* ''VideoGame/MidnightClubLosAngeles'' was criticized in an IGN review because of its rubberband techniques making the game often harder than it needed to be. Not only can they rocket off the line faster, but they have NOS by the bucketload, often blowing right past you. Another gripe by that same review was for markers being in places that are hard to spot, such as on corners you will often blow past. A patch eased some of the Rubberband problem for the first third of the game.
* ''VideoGame/MidnightClub3'' seems to be malevolent and benevolent at the exact same time. In races, your opponents are always in better cars unless you have an A tier car(to the point that races can play out with you in a D tier and your opponent in a B tier BEFORE you've completely upgraded it.), your opponents always have more nitrous shots than you (or in the case of bikes, HAVE nitrous shots.), and, somehow, obey the copenhagen interpretation, because even if you overlapped a car, if you are not watching him on the minimap, he will warp right behind you and be able to put you back into second place. However, you can outrun them on straightaways, they cannot use slipstream turbo, and cannot use any special abilities.
* ''VideoGame/MidnightClub2'' actually has a ''literal'' example: in one of the Career races, Angel gives himself a head start. It doesn't help, though, as he's almost deliberately one of the worst AI opponents you'll ever face.
* ''VideoGame/{{Forza}}'':
** ''Forza Motorsport 2'' exibits several of the stated examples (not to extreme levels, but they appear). But the worst offense is when you end up with the car in 2nd place pulling a PIT Maneuver on you, giving them and their 6 other AI buddies a chance to speed off as you are forced to get back to the track ''while the penalty meter is growing''. The worst part is that you can have this happen with the AI set on Easy.
** ''Forza Motorsport 3'' is a little different.:
*** Even on Medium difficulty, they'll bump you to-and-fro in a pack-like manner, cars in front of you will seemingly drive in a tandem formation to block you from overtaking, and they're not afraid to ram you off on their way to first place. Combine this with Realistic-level damage modelling, and you can kiss your credits goodbye.
*** When you hit an opponent, you spin out, but they remain unfazed. They can also brake later and take turns faster than you.
*** If you're on the inside lane during a turn with an A.I. car next to you on the outside lane, you can't push it off the track. Instead it will push you to the inside. If you do that to a human player in a multiplayer race, however, you can easily push him off the track.
*** A.I. cars also aren't slowed down much by the grass/dirt/sand/gravel in chicanes and tight corners that slow you down to a crawl to prevent you from taking shortcuts.
*** Any car in the same class as you can and WILL outperform your car if driven by the #1 or #2 AI. Have the fastest car model in that class, fully upgraded and tuned to be literally a millimetre away from being the next class up? Too bad. #1 AI is going to fly past you as soon as you hit the straights.
*** The starting grid is sorted (or at least supposed to be sorted) according to the cars' performance index, or PI for short; the higher a car's PI, the better the starting position. And while A.I. cars will always be positioned according to their respective [=PIs=], you are almost always positioned behind A.I. cars if their PI is only a few points lower than yours. This can be especially aggravating in races where the [=PIs=] of all cars - including yours - are very close together; even though your car has the best PI, you're placed at the end of the grid.
* ''VideoGame/GranTurismo:
** In ''VideoGame/GranTurismo 4'':
*** In the rally races, if you hit the wall, you get a 5 second penalty. If you run into the computer opponent, you get a 5 second penalty. If the computer runs into you, you get a 5 second penalty. And of course, the computer can pinball down the track without so much as applying the brakes, let alone catching a penalty for tapping the (occasionally invisible) track barrier.
*** The computer will also use cars that it specifically disallows you the use of. (Cadillac Cien and VW Nardo W12 Concept in a race specifically limited to Production Vehicles Only, for example.)
** Back in GT2:
*** The AI would also sometimes use cars that exceeded the HP regulations for the races, eg the Vector M12 LM on the Trial Mountain Endurance Race, [[{{Unwinnable}} making it impossible for you to win.]]
*** A special example goes to Rome Circuit on the Historical Car event. horsepower limit? 295hp. One of the opponents has a Ford GT40, which happens to have the maximum allowed Horsepower (Except when you buy the car. It shows at the dealership it has 295hp but it actually has 305hp! Which means you can't use the car on the race). But it's horsepower isn't the problem. Ford GT40 is a road version of a LE-MANS RACING CAR! So you're facing a road-going version of the legendary car that won 3 consecutive Le-mans in the 60s. HAVE FUN! Want a tip to win this? Buy the Mini that costs half a million credits. It doesn't have 74hp, it actually has 200hp and it's nimble enough to face the GT40.
* ''VideoGame/FullAuto'' for the Xbox 360 suffers from this a bit. RubberBandAI, while prevalent, is not the biggest problem - enemy cars in Career mode are also equipped with what appears to be much, '''MUCH''' stronger armor than the player's vehicle, making blowing them out of the way a time-consuming task. For example, it takes an enemy vehicle approximately 3 rough hits with the hood-mounted shotgun to completely annihilate the player (the same number it takes a player to destroy another player in Multiplayer mode), but it takes the player 5 precise hits to a single side of an AI car ''at minimum'' to take them down. Also, the player's car can completely lose its front armor after hitting only 2 mines dropped by an enemy and explode when hitting the third, but enemy cars can run over multiple mines and suffer no visible damage. They also may or may not be subject to the "Weapon Overheat" period resulting from firing a weapon too rapidly without a break. Factor in the AI cars' exclusive ability to destroy the player simply by ramming them and their unannounced ability to change their driving pattern while the Unwreck function is used (designed for the player to undo mistakes by rewinding time), and it's quite a bit to handle. Fortunately, the AI cars are also busy blasting away at each other, often leaving them damaged enough for the player to swoop in and finish them off. The cheating AI seems to be exclusive to Career mode. Multiplayer and Arcade modes appear to give the AI cars the same speed, abilities, and armor as the player (only 3 shots from the shotgun before exploding, 3 mines = death, etc.), but Career mode steps it up with the cheating elements. Very odd...
* ''Motorm4x'' is one of the few games that feature RubberBandAI in time trial mode, whereby at the end of each trial you're treated to a results table with the other drivers' times, some of which are likely better than yours. Beating those times, however, you find out that the other drivers have improved as well and you still didn't win. A particularly ridiculous example exists in one of the last races, where the developers even make a big point in the race description of how the best time so far of just over 6 minutes is extraordinary for this trial, the average being around 11. Finishing at just under 6 minutes, you find out that you've didn't even make the upper half of the results table, ''nobody'' posted a time over 8 minutes, and the time you ''really'' need is 5:30.
* The AI opponents in ''VideoGame/SonicRiders'' have been known to literally vanish from their previous position on the track in order to go zinging past you when you least expect it. Since aside from breaking the laws of physics the computer races flawlessly without outside interference, this makes the game particularly frustrating, as even without the cheating, there's pretty much no way to win if you don't take the lead in the first lap and race flawlessly from there on out.
* ''VideoGame/TrackMania DS'' has you playing the same circuit multiple times in an attempt to earn bronze, silver, and gold medals. While the bronze and silver ghost racers generally play fair, the gold ghost racer is blatantly faster despite driving the exact same car as the player, forcing the player to use unconventional tactics and shortcuts in order to win.
* The A.I. in ''VideoGame/DiddyKongRacing'' will go through all oil slicks, mines and bubbles as long as they aren't on the screen and extremely close to you, making the green balloon power-ups nearly worthless.
** Also, possible example: it is ''damned'' hard to make any useful gain on Tricky the Triceratops when using the volcano track's tunnel "shortcut".
* Even though ''VideoGame/SleepingDogs'' isn't primarily a racing game, the underground racing circuit the player can optionally join and the ''friggin cops'' employ rubber-band tactics, so much that it's much easier to just to slow down, wait for the cops to catch up to you, then ram them off the road rather then simply outrun them. In the racing side missions, you'll notice that you always start last and they always accelerate faster then you (no matter if you are using the best motorcycle in the game). On straight-ways, you could be going at the max possible speed and be using the same vehicle, except they'll still overtake you, then ''slow down'' right in front of you. Incredibly infuriating if this happens near the end of the race.
* Hellooooooooo ''{{VideoGame/SplitSecond}}'', whose idea of RubberBandAI is to give opponents virtually limitless Power Play ability, the wicked sense to wait til the final stretch of the last lap to use it on ''you and only you'', and to make Elite Races impossible for anyone who isn't a robot.
* In ''VideoGame/TwistedMetal 2'', the player's use of certain special moves is governed by a meter which slowly regenerates, to prevent you from spamming them. The AI is under no such limitation, leading to situations like being [[StunLock stun-locked]] to death by an infinite stream of ice blasts.
* The opponent Drivitar cars in ''VideoGame/ForzaHorizon 2'' blatantly skip checkpoints to no penalty.
* In ''Forza Motorsport 6'', there is often one Drivatar that is nigh-uncatchable and will always pull away from you and the rest of the pack. On lower difficulties, he's not the best at cornering, but that doesn't make a difference as he will accelerate to full power instantly and fly down the straights. Oftentimes, the only way to even compete with him is to resort to dirty tactics like ramming or corner cutting. Even if you manage to ram the current cheating bastard off the track, he will either catch up to you in no time, or the game will designate another Drivatar to be the new cheating AI that will make your race miserable. To add insult to injury, this can even happen on "New Racer" difficulty.
* In Wacky Races Starring Dick Dastardly & Muttley for Dreamcast and Playstation 2 has Dick Dastardly in his boss levels starting the race during the countdown, while you have to wait until the narrator says "Go", Justified since it's Dick Dastardly, he has to cheat somehow.
** It can also be apparent in normal races (Specially Wacky Cups) that a COM Controlled Creepy Coupe will almost always have a (Mostly) unfair lead on the race, since it possess the best Top Speed in the game, and the A.I. seems to ignore its crappy Acceleration and Grip stats.

[[folder: F-Zero]]
* Grand Prix is tough but fair. In GX's Story Mode, however, everything is stacked against you. ''Everything.''
** [[http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=711267 I'll let SA speak for me on this one.]]
*** And then you realize that that post refers to the ''easiest difficulty level'', and that there are two more to beat. And those are the ones that net you the unlocks.
** There is no way to understate the insanity that is this race in Master Difficulty. Since F-Zero tracks are sometimes upside down, it is possible for the AI cars to go so fast that they'll actually ''knock you out of the course'', causing an instant One-Hit Kill.
* In the original, you've got blatant cheating by ALL vehicles on Master mode. All vehicles can go max speed with perfect handling. If you are ahead of them, they are always right behind you, barely off the screen. Always. On the Death Wind course, it is literally impossible to win with the Golden Fox with speed alone, so you have to block your opponents' way with your rear to pull that off.
* Also in the original, computer vehicles (on all difficulties) are utterly invincible. You can knock the AI off the track into what should be an instant, unavoidable death, and they will literally drive on the air, pass through the guard rails, and continue on as if nothing happened. They take full advantage of this as well, behaving more like deterrents to your survival than actual competitors hoping to win the race.
* ''F-Zero Climax'' takes a few pages from the very first game's book; if you can see the AI, it will slam into walls and move at the normal car's top speed. If you lose sight of them however, they suddenly become godlike and navigate courses perfectly. Even worse is the fact enemy cars can frequently pop up right behind and bump into you. ''Even if you're in mid-air.''
* ''F-Zero Maximum Velocity''. In the hardest difficulty level, ''all'' of the vehicles have a higher top-speed than you do. ''All'' of them. Even the Fighting Comet (granted, you won't see it until everyone ''else'' is done flying past you). The only possible way to counter this advantage is using Boost pads, jumps, and the vehicle's own boost to their best possible effect. Oddly enough, it doesn't cheat that much when it comes to corners, as machines with poor turning performance fall ''really'' far behind in tracks with tight turns; skilled players only have to actually worry about four machines.
* ''F-Zero X'' is fairly simple if you can figure out the Side-Attack Turn and the right boosting technique, even on Expert. When you get to Master, however, you'll want to start ripping your hair out. For starters, it feels like every single pilot just slams on their brakes once they're directly lined up in front of you. Because of the sheer speed you're going at, this can be impossible to react to. Combine this with the fact that an absolutely perfect first lap is required to win at some tracks (Example: Silence - High Speed) and you have a race that comes down to a total crapshoot. Oh, by the way...if you make contact with any of them, even if it's them hitting you, you'll immediately be sent into an uncontrollable slide. (Unless you let off the accelerator, then punch it again straight after.)
** Well, every single pilot slams their brakes...except for three, that is. Every single character in the game has 3 "rivals" of sorts. (Example: If you play as Captain Falcon, your "rivals" will be Samurai Goroh, Blood Falcon, and Black Shadow.) These 3 rivals will surpass any speed you can manage to get out of your machine, almost as if they have a magnet which attracts them to the player. The kicker: They never use their boosters...not even once. Add the constant side attacks these 3 do when you're anywhere in their general area (which, by the way, can make you lose half, or even all your speed) and you'll swear these guys don't just want you to die in the game. They want you to die in real life from a stroke.
** Thought you were done after the Joker Cup? Well, surprise, surprise, it gets even worse in the DD-Cups! Some of the track designs in these 2 Japan Exclusive Grand Prix just have "sadism" written all over them. What could that possibly have to do with the computer, though?
*** Enter Silence 3 - Outside Loop. This track...if there were ever an interactive definition of "crapshoot" this would be it. First of all, the sand in the middle of the loop is so wide that it takes the world's most steady thumb just to get through cleanly, without touching the sand or the wall. But after you figure out the right angles to hold the joystick, you're in the clear, right? WRONG! If you go just 1 kmh too fast on these loops, you will fly off the track, straight to your death. You know how you could push the Joystick up in Silence 1 to prevent yourself from flying off? Well, not even that works here! The real kick to the nards: THE COMPUTER CAN TRAVEL MUCH FASTER THAN YOU AND STILL HANG ON! Once Lap 2 and Lap 3 roll around, expect them to milk this for everything it's worth.
*** For one final injury atop all those insults, you think you can just set the machine at its slowest speed to avoid falling off? Ha ha ha ha...NO!!! There's a jump after the 2nd loop which you absolutely must take if you want any hope of winning the race, and if you set your machine settings too far to the left, you'll never be able to lift off the ground to make that jump! So, you're effectively forced to put yourself in constant danger of an instant death just so you can even have a chance of winning. It's not even guaranteed, it's just a chance! Think about this for a second...if you lose all of your lives and get a Game Over, you have to go through this nightmare all over again. The only positive is that this is the very first race in its respective cup, so you won't have to do much to try again if you die here.
** On other tracks, however, you become the cheating bastard yourself in a way. Red Canyon 1, Mute City 2, Big Blue 2, Devil's Forest 3, Big Hand, Devil's Forest 4 (64-DD Only), Devil's Forest 5 (64-DD Only), and Space Plant 2 (64-DD only) come to mind. If you've mastered the Side Attack Turn, then these particular tracks will be cake walks...even on Master.

[[folder: Mario Kart]]
* ''VideoGame/MarioKart 7'' is the biggest offender yet (which is saying a lot, honestly). There was an exploit that has been discovered in the Maka Wuhu track that allows you to skip one section of the track. Pull it off, and the CPU pack is no less than 5 seconds behind you when you are ferried onto the upper section of the course, rendering the entire exploit moot in 1-player mode.
* In ''VideoGame/SuperMarioKart'', the AI opponents didn't just have RubberBandAI, but had infinite stores of super-special weapons and items that in several cases the player was never able to use -- namely, the poisoned mushrooms, dinosaur eggs, and meandering fireballs. Then there's the Mario brothers, who could activate Stars at will, making them nigh-impossible to beat if they were in the lead. For the items the player ''could'' launch, the AI opponent also had the ability to dodge by ''jumping'' the kart its own height above the track (basically an infinite supply of jump feathers).\\
They also out right clip through course obstacles like Thwomps and pipes while you need a Star to smash through the same things yourself. The only thing they ''can'' bump into that slows them down are the walls, and that's if you push them hard enough into a wall.\\
Furthermore, the Grand Prix mode would select an order of skill for each of the computer-controlled players, based on your own character selection. If one of the Mario Bros. were picked as the "champion" racer (which happened if you chose Bowser or Koopa Troopa), you could expect perfect racing lines and cornering coupled with infinite and arbitrary use of the Super Star, allowing them to go at increased speed with no slowing down, plus invincibility. Having one of the plumbers trigger this on the final stretch, powering either past or ''through'' the player and being unable to stop regardless of what's fired at them (or even more annoyingly, just as that red shell was about to knock them out of first place) meant that it was often easier just to start a new game and hope you didn't get one of them as the top racer again.
** The character selection in ''Super Mario Kart'' is arbitrary. The order of the racers is chosen by which racer you chose, it's the same every time. You can alter it but knocking them down a few places in the last lap, and then crossing the finish line before they catch up. If the screen fades to black before they overtake anyone, they are stuck in that position. It's a decent strategy when playing as Bowser to knock either Mario or Luigi down to 4th place or lower just before the finish line. Preferably both.
* In ''Mario Kart: Super Circuit'', whichever AI racer has the most cup points at the time will get their special powerups more often. Luigi and Bowser will always start with "champion" level skills, but if you attack them and cause them to lose to other AI racers, the new points leader among AI will take up the "champion" mantle instead. If Yoshi or Mario get this points lead, they'll start to spam consecutive Super Stars from nowhere and finish races 5 seconds ahead of the rest of the pack. Conversely, since poor AI Wario always starts in the back of the pack, he's rarely seen using items at all and is doomed to finish last every race.
* Another ability the computers have in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioKart'' and ''VideoGame/MarioKart64'' is the ability to instantly recover from items as long as they weren't on screen when the item hit. The best items would simply stop computers for a moment if you couldn't see them, while the same items used on you would make you fly through the air.
* Choco Mountain. The final part of the track involves a few item crates, a 90 degree turn, and then three "hills". You better be lucky and get a mushroom from those crates, else once you jump from the first hill, you'll collide with the second and third ones, while the [=CPUs=] that are right behind you (thank you rubber-band AI) magically have enough speed to jump both. Not getting a mushroom in those crates indeed makes the difference between being first or fifth in this race.
* Apparently, the computer player chosen to be the first-placer in ''Mario Kart DS'' always has a maxed-out speed stat, regardless of what the kart they're driving should have. This makes characters that drive karts with already high acceleration [[spoiler:(Dry Bones)]] nearly impossible to beat. This may be because the designated top 3 are given boosts in top speed with the first placer given the biggest boost. If it happens to be a kart with high acceleration, your only chance of winning is to snake, simply put.\\
[=CPUs=] in ''Mario Kart DS'' will also move back into place if another kart knocks them away in midair.
* The AI in ''VideoGame/MarioKartDoubleDash'' seems to entirely ignore the weight system and kart stats -- heavy karts (the only ones available to large characters such as Bowser) all have crappy acceleration but high top speeds. Go ahead, knock Bowser off the track. Invariably, he'll be right on your ass in no time flat -- despite the nice long stall that getting put back on the track gives you, and the fact that his crappy acceleration should leave him far behind a cart that's already running at top speed with no slowdowns. In fact, most of the karts in ''Double Dash!!'' can reach ridiculous speeds trying to keep up with a human player in first, which can give a second human player further down the pack an extremely hard time when it comes to clawing their way back to the front.
* Ditto Petey Piranha, often a thorn in the side in two-player GP races at 150cc due to his '''ludicrous''' bursts of speed and acceleration.
* In ''Mario Kart 64'', computer players just used items at random rather than actually using the item boxes. This actually worked out well for the player (despite lack of realism, since they would never use certain items), since the distribution was fair. In DS and Wii, they actually use the item boxes, which means the last-place players are constantly getting the good stuff. So this is actually an instance where having the AI follow the rules actually made the game seem less fair (though technically it's ''more'' fair).
* Moreover, the computers' finishing positions aren't actually determined by the order in which they cross the finish line; rather, it's what position they're currently in when the last human player finishes and ends the race. For example, you finish in 1st place and Mario is in 3rd, but he falls back to 5th place before the results screen shows up, it will still show him finished in 3rd due to being in that spot when the player finished.
* Just let the AI get behind you with Star Power. It's like you're being tracked by a homing missile.
* Of course, all the items are at general, aimed at you, with only the occasional shot toward other AI and accidental hits if they drive the same racing line. It gets ridiculous when one sees the second place racer throw a red shell (which only homes if thrown ''forward'' in most installments, and even then, only after someone passes it) ''backwards'' towards a player-controlled third place kart when the first place kart could be easily overtaken if only the shell were thrown forward instead. More a case of 'cheating' for the AI opponents who get to avoid all attacks (their advantage being that they get to go whole races without a single item aimed at them, save for Lightning, Bullet Bills and Blue Shells, which a character has no say in controlling). The AI racers that target you rather than their competitors ahead, however, are a case of SpitefulAI.
** It couldn't be more obvious than when you play a team race in ''Mario Kart Wii'' with AI opponents, and your computer-controlled ''teammates'' start aiming shells and bananas at you.
** This carries over to ''Mario Kart 8'' and its team battle mode. At best, it'll simply be a rule of thumb to stay away from ''everyone'' until you've confirmed that the racer you're about to pass is an enemy and you should attack them, lest you run into a teammate who suddenly decides it's a good idea to throw their boomerang. At worst, you can get all three of your balloons destroyed nearly immediately just because you wound up in a populated area and you trusted your AI partners not to start throwing their items at random.
*** The irony of this is that it somehow makes the AI ''closer'' to a human player rather than putting them above them. You're given very little chance to see who's on your team during battles, and it can be difficult to tell what color another racer's balloons are from a distance (and the balloons are the only differentiation between teams). Chances are that you'll accidentally attack your teammates as often as they'll attack you.
* On the bright side, if you and a computer-controlled player have the same amount of points, it will be in favor of you. So if you and Donkey Kong are tied for 1st place with 32 points each, you'll be in first place.
* In ''Mario Kart Wii'', the AI racers almost always skip the item roulette, allowing them to use their item while you're still waiting for yours. You can do the same by pressing the "use item" button during the roulette, but it still takes time to perform (it's not perfect or immediate, whereas the opponents will be ready to go once they hit an item box).
* The Blooper item in later games is a notable exception. For human players, it's little more than a nuisance, but it will cause the AI to start randomly swerving side-to-side like drunk drivers, slowing them down significantly. Justified, though, in that an AI that simply follows a course would obviously be unhindered by an item that blocks your screen without [[ArtificialStupidity flaws programmed in]].
* Red Shells normally target the next racer ahead of the user, but they're programmed to skip racers who are very close to the racer unless they're in 1st place. When the player is in 1st, the AI is programmed to have the 2nd and 3rd place CPU racers hang close together to exploit this behavior so that any Red Shells fired by the 3rd place CPU target the player instead of the 2nd place CPU.
* This [[http://www.suppermariobroth.com/post/155589413010/in-mario-kart-double-dash-cpu-drivers-that-are blog post]] proves what we've been suspecting for a long time, [=CPU=] racers can outright clip through hazards as long as they're far enough from the player.

[[folder:Real-Time Strategy]]
* In ''Mud and Blood 2'', there's a reason why the game tag line is "Unfair Random Brutality"...and it's this: Many a game has ended upon the arrival of German tanks or large numbers elite infantry onto the screen at unfortunate times, and randomized artillery barrages and air strikes can ruin even the most well manned defensive line.
** There is actually a mechanic around them doing this - [[http://mudandblood.net/wiki/index.php?title=Six_Man_Rule the Six Man Rule gives a chance of bad stuff happening every second for every unit over 6 you have that's unconcealed by cam nets]]. [[http://mudandblood.net/wiki/index.php?title=Category:Blitz_Waves Blitz Waves though]], those are just there to ensure you'll lose at some point.
* One egregious example occurs in the final GDI mission of ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer'', wherein the AI possesses the unique ability to build structures very far away from its own base and sometimes, even inside yours.
* In the Nintendo DS game ''VideoGame/LostMagic'' the enemy ai mages always have the home field advantage, being surrounded by their respective element (eg: the fire sage is surrounded by lava, that she can walk on without taking damage instead getting healed each second), which wouldnt be cheating in itself, but it lends extra annoyance when they cast spells on your from across the map with no mana constraints. The lava or shifting sands becomes a lot more annoying when you have to walk carefully around it at the same time as getting fire dropped on your head or long walls being cast to bar your way. Your player character can cast any spell that the AI can (once you have the right runes), but you have a very limited range on almost all your spells and your mana limits you to casting only 2-3 spells before needing to recharge. Of course the ai isnt nearly as intelligent as the player character and they dont have as wide a range of spells to choose from, so if they didnt cheat like they do the game would be far too easy.
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Warcraft}} Warcraft II]]'': The AI is bad enough with its ability to see the whole map and ignore resource requirements as it is, but the Ogre Mages are outright ''evil'' in the AI's hand. The player can only cast spells with the Ogre Mage, Wizard, Paladin or Death Knight by selecting one unit at a time, selecting the spell, and targeting it. Not so with the AI, oh no. The AI is fully capable of having ''every single Ogre Mage'' cast Blood Lust on ''the entire Orc army at once'. And they spam it ''constantly''.
* ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'': On Insane difficulty, the main difference is that the AI harvests and gets gold twice as fast: for every ten gold mined, it gets twenty.
* In ''VideoGame/RiseOfNations'', the game straight up tells you that on the two [[HarderThanHard higher]] difficulties they will get a resource handicap. Inverted, however, on the two [[EasierThanEasy easiest]] difficulties: the human gets the handicap instead.
* Inverted in the ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar - Dark Crusade'' and ''Soulstorm'' campaign modes. On Easy and Normal, computer players receive a penalty to the hit points of their units, while Hard levels the playing field. This is to make up for the fact that all but the weakest battles are fought two-on-one.
** Although played very straight in Dawn of War skirmish games, where the computer has a serious case of TheAllSeeingAI. If you try to turtle up in your base, the AI will simply sit just out of sight outside the entrance. The instant you leave to attack its base, its army will run around the corner and attack yours. Cheats available in single player allow you to clearly watch it reacting to the movement of your army that it can't possibly see. This is on top of it always knowing exactly where your base, and any extensions, are without needing to scout for them and to know where stealth units are in order to target them with radar scans and the like.
** As the page quote suggests, Dawn of War 2 was trying to be a lot better about this, or at least attempting to not get caught doing so. What actually happens is referred to as the "Dawn of Resource". The A.I. is completely and utterly ''obsessed'' with securing all of the resource points on the map. [[https://1d4chan.org/wiki/File:DOW2Guide.jpg It will try to grab all of your points, constantly allowing its units to get killed just so the A.I. can complete the capture.]] It knows how far your units can see to the last pixel, and will make its units perfectly avoid the sight radius of yours. The only time the computer actually starts playing the game is when it finally has all of the resource points, where it suddenly becomes reasonably competent. As soon as you take back a single point, it immediately reverts back to its kleptomania.
* In ''VideoGame/LordsOfTheRealm2'', the nobles will always seem to be able to field large armies against you, even after you've defeated several of theirs, especially on harder difficulties. And if you invade one of their counties that doesn't have a castle built yet, they will often force conscript a large portion of the population to fight you with, along with sending all of the food to one of their counties just to spite you. If you take over one of their counties, and they have a county close enough, they will often immediately attack the county you just took over before you can even get a chance to put defenders in the castle, and promptly retake it back from you.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Colobot}}'', there is a mission where you have to chase a rogue robot who's flying away with the Black Box that is crucial to continuing the mission. After the robot drops the Black Box and flies away, he will continue to float indefinitely even after his battery should have clearly ran out.

[[folder:Role Playing Games]]

* The Triple Triad card game in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' has some examples of cheating:
** Normally, the human player and the computer can see each other's hands, making the card game fairly easy to win. However, whenever the hands are concealed, the computer's win rate goes up more than tenfold, as it seems [[{{TheAllSeeingAI}}perfectly aware what cards you have]], and its cards are not so much "hidden" as "the computer's single remaining card has the exact combination of three values, in three specific locations, needed to win." This is especially frustrating as you watch it happen ten times in a row.
** The ever-hated Random rule. ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin, it picks out completely random cards from your collection for the current match. Whereas most players are trying to complete the collection and therefore have a LOT of weak cards and a few strong ones, it's to be expected that you'll end up with 2 or 3 (or more, if you're really unlucky) low-level cards, but you'll almost never see the computer with the same weaklings you just drew. There's a reason everyone loathes this rule, and god help you if you let it spread...
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' has this in a few areas, but the most obvious use of this trope would be the Blitzball mini-game. Though at first appearing to be a pure sports-like mini-game, it actually relies quite heavily on numbers. Also, during skirmishes against other players, the numbers aren't always accurate; the actual value in the calculation used is partially random, being anywhere from half the listed value to getting a 50% increase. Naturally, the computer will favor the enemy by lowering your values while giving the opposition favorable boosts. To no one's surprise, it happens far more often in close matches. And if that wasn't enough, one team in particular, the Al Bhed Psyches, are so ungodly powerful that playing against them is just asking to lose unless you're very, VERY good (or several levels higher with cheap techniques).
** Certain BonusBoss monsters can ignore status defenses, guaranteeing a successful [[TakenForGranite petrification]] or [[OneHitKill instant death]], even if the target is supposed to be immune. Deathproof armor will not save you from the BonusBoss Fenrir.
* The big battle at the end of ''[[VideoGame/BaldursGateTalesOfTheSwordCoast Tales of the Sword Coast]]'' (the expansion for the first ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'') had an ability that allowed a save--but blatantly overrode the results of the save to affect the target anyway, ''every single time'' to ''every single party member'' in over a dozen tries. Even when not a ''single'' one of the main character's saves was greater than 1 (and some were ''less'' than one). Without a save penalty on that ability of at least -10, it is... highly improbable at best to miss all the saves.
** Various [=NPC=]s have stats that should not be physically possible within their class. Some have in-game justification. Most don't.
** From ''VideoGame/BaldursGateII'' and onwards, all high-level enemy mages (and there are a lot of these) get something called a 'tattoo of power', which is a spell trigger that can activate any number of defensive spells instantly and without any action from the user and stacks on top of existing spell triggers and contingencies. It's probably to counter the fact that the [=NPC=]s can't "pre-buff" (cast support spells shortly before a fight to avoid having to waste turns on them) like the player.
** Speaking of teleportation, nearly every mage in ''Baldur's Gate II'' can teleport - except for you. No one in the universe has a ''dimension door'' scroll for you to buy, with no explanation given ''at all.'' (This is a result of the developers removing the spell and citing 'potential abuse' as the reason. Jerks. Fortunately, there is a downloadable mod, the [=D0Tweaks mod=], that'll restore dimension door to the game for player use. Nonetheless, ''dimension door'' only allows you to teleport within a certain short range; how mage after mage uses the spell to teleport seemingly all over the world goes unexplained in-universe. (The game justifies this by saying that they use it to teleport into nearby shadows; they then dissapear.)
** Jon Irenicus at the end of ''Baldurs Gate 2'' has '''infinite''' ''magic missile'' spells memorized. Not even the best [[MinMaxing MinMaxed builds]] in the ''tabletop game'' can pull that off. On the other hand, if you've got [[AttackReflector the one magic item in the game which reflects spells back at their caster]], it can make for a [[HoistByHisOwnPetard hilarious final battle]].
** Certain characters (increasing in frequency the further you get in the games) will automatically cast True Sight if an invisible character tries to sneak up to them, even when the character shouldn't know that someone is nearby.
* This trope is hilariously invoked in the ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC. [[RobotBuddy Legion]]'s online gaming profile indicates it has been hit with multiple infractions because it was so skilled the game designers thought it was cheating. While it later challenged and overturned those relating to superior micro-management, reaction time, and tactics, it accepted a suspension for taunting its inferior human opponents during an event.
** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' you have the infamous Banshee magnet hands, which got patched, but now got replaced by the Praetorian magnet claws. Double tapping Geth Rocket Troopers and Geth Hunters with unlimited cloak. Hell, even Geth stunlock in general.
*** The Marauders use a Phaeston assault rifle that's so devastating that they are the equivalent of the player's version upgraded to level 32 (max level for players is 10). Similar case with all the enemies on higher difficulties, but especially evident with enemies that tend to sustain fire, such as the Marauder and the Collector Captain.
* Surprisingly enough, ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'' suffers from this. When in battle, the party can only use their element magic attacks when they have generated enough "Combo" through basic attacks to charge their element grid, and they can only use each slotted element once per battle. ''Your enemies are not limited by this.'' It is especially frustrating when fighting bosses, because they can immediately use high-level elements without generating a single normal attack, and they can use any of their elements, even the unique special-attacks, as many times as they want. The longer the fight goes on, the less you have to work with as your element grid runs out... not so for your opponent!
** This becomes especially critical in the final fight, in which the only way to get the "True Ending" is for elements, either yours or your enemy's, to be cast in a certain order. Invariably, the AI will cast an element to mess up your order if you try this on your own without doing it the "proper" way of using your opponent against himself. Players who don't figure out the somewhat obscure system of how to get past this will never be able to get the "True Ending", and it is never explained at any point during the game.
*** All things considered, though, only a handful of Chrono Cross bosses were unfair. The secret boss from whom you obtain the Mastermune is the only character in the game that will instantly counter literally any element you throw at him, based on his own system of preset counters that will always immediately follow any element you use. Not knowing this ahead of time and attacking normally is a very speedy return to the main menu, but you are given no warning whatsoever of this unique ability a single enemy in the game has. On the plus side, once you figure out what he's doing, it's very easy to [[AIBreaker game the AI]] and turn it into a cakewalk.
* In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', at the Argent Tournament, the jousting opponents will run in random directions to set up a charge or a ranged attack, which is fine, except that sometimes they will choose to run right off the tournament grounds. Guess what happens. Hint: it doesn't end in a tie.
** At the same Tournament, the mechanics mean that the player must maintain a small range to use power attacks, wait several seconds between using them, and execute slow, ponderous turn after one of said attacks. The AI can execute pinpoint turns (on HORSES), to execute both attacks at the same time while outside of attack range and immediately stop to attack you again.
** The Faction Champions encounter of the actual Argent Tournament raid pits you against 6-10 randomly-assigned race/spec combo [=NPC=]s that typically adhere to a set of PvP-ish aggro rules (ignoring threat to focus-fire people with lower health/armor, etc.) While this would be fine on its own, to drive the point home, you are subject to the rapid diminishing returns on crowd-control spells typically employed in player encounters... and they are not. It's not uncommon to have such a spell last 2-3 seconds if its target hasn't already been rendered outright immune, while people on your side can be locked down for 30 seconds or more at a time by the enemy's spammage of the same skill.
** Mobs have a tendency to use moves that a player of their equivalent class can't use at that level. For instance, the naga mages in Blackfathom Deeps can use the spell Blizzard at around level 23 or 24. Player mages don't learn Blizzard until ''level 52''.
*** To be fair, mages used to have this ability at 23-24. It's just a matter of the instance mechanics not updating with the player mechanics.
** Mobs can also be race-class combinations that are not available to players, for instance, the human shamans in Stranglethorn or the undead paladins found in certain areas in Lordaeron.
** Mobs can shoot a target through walls while a player's target must be in their line of sight.
** If a mob attacks you from behind, their melee attacks have a chance to apply "daze" which slows your movement speed down by 50% and also forces you off your mount if you were riding one, and it can't be removed by abilities that remove "movement impairing effects". This chance increases as the higher their level is than yours. Even a max-level player can be Dazed by mobs in the early areas, even if they otherwise pose no threat to them whatsoever, making them nothing but a hassle. TA player can't daze a mob or another player outside of a few class specific abilities, such as a hunter's concussive shot or a druid's wild charge when used it cat form, but those dazes CAN be removed by abilities that remove movement impairing effects.
** Mobs also have many movement and pathing advantages over a player: They can walk and swim faster than you (excluding mounts or speed enhancing abilities, but they also have daze for those), walk over most kinds of mountains, cliffs, and structures (they don't need to jump either), and when they either can't find a path to you, get stuck, or start running back to their regular position, will evade all of your attacks and instantly heal.
** If a mob stuns or spell locks you, they do not have diminishing returns to shorten the duration of another stun or spell lock that gets put on you right after, unlike a player. This is particularly noticeable when facing many mobs who can all stun or spell lock you right after one another.
** Mobs that are 4 or more levels higher than you have a chance to deal crushing melee blows to you, which deal 1.5x their normal damage. The chance of a crushing blow happening increases as the difference between the mob's level is higher, up to the point where every hit against you is a crushing blow (aside from critical hits, which are still 2x normal damage). Of course YOU can't deal a crushing blow against either a mob or another player no matter how much higher your level is than theirs.
** Aggressive/Red mobs that are 4 or more levels higher than you (not passive/yellow mobs, who don't attack you unless you attack them first), will start gaining ridiculous amounts of ranged spell evasion for each level they are higher than you as well. This is probably to discourage lower level players from killing higher level mobs (because melee spells and attacks still have to get through a mob's dodge and parry rating to hit them while ranged spells do not), but it's still an unfair advantage over you. Of course players who are many levels higher than another player will only gain normal amounts of ranged spell evasion (the same as a passive mob of the same level).
** In 4.0 Tank specs gained access to passive talents which reduce the chance to be critically hit by 6%. Although said passives do mitigate crits altogether for tanking purposes, if you keep track of how often you hear your character's "being critically hit" agonized scream while solo questing, you will know that there is no way in hell the baseline crit chance of mobs is actually that low. Unless you're a Tank spec (or have maximum Defense Rating, prior to 4.0), your actual chance to recieve a critical hit will be at least double that.
** Pet battles take place with the player not knowing what move their opponent, computer or other player, is going to choose. However the computer can see the player's move before selecting its own move and will use evades or similar abilities to counter large attacks rather than using their standard move set.
* The RPG ''MetalHearts: Replicant Rampage'': When the player gets to the first part of civilisation they will note the following: By moving, the [=PCs=] will be penalised and completely lose their dodge bonus to range attacks, and when the guards are moving, the player will almost never hit. Small scorpions with poison at the start are easier to hit lying down from about 10 metres away with a handgun than point blank with a shotgun, SMG, or Sniper Rifle. Allies with firearms are less likely to hit than the players, but they tend to have weapons and gear that give bonuses to marksmanship, have the weapons strong enough to hurt evil guards. The players can't use those weapons due to stat requirements.
* In the ''Franchise/StarWars'' ''VideoGame/JediOutcast'' and ''VideoGame/JediAcademy'' games, all Force-using characters (enemies and friends) but you possess immense (though not bottomless) Force batteries, have bullshitime perfect reflexes and cannot be surprised. Furthermore, their Force powers don't cool down and can be reused instantly. All this is designed to make them impossible to kill without a lightsaber, since they will deflect blaster bolts and telekinetically redirect missiles and explosives straight back at you. (Theoretically, one could lure them into a heavily-mined area, but that's more trouble than it's worth.) When you have a Jedi NPC, a Dark Jedi NPC and a missile launcher (or better still the concussion rifle) in the same room, it is actually possible to get the two to play an infinite game of Force Push tennis.
** Also, similarly to enforce lightsaber combat, if you do attack them with normal weaponry, their powers and sword strikes are suddenly mega-effective and you will die in five seconds.
** ''Also'' also, and there's no excuse for this: each lightsaber type has a different Force-assisted unbreakable kata. Enemy force users can use ''any'' of these with ''any'' saber, even when the movements of doing one of the sword katas with a lance should rightfully make chop suey of the user.
** While enemies don't seem to do it, some of your allies can split their lances into two sabers. You can't.
*** If you've got the single saber, your three fighting styles are subject to MultiFormBalance: Fast style is weaker, strong style is slower, balanced style is, well, balanced. High-ranking enemies can use strong style at lightning speed and kill you in two blows.
* The ''VideoGame/MonsterRancher'' series suffers from the same cheating as Pokémon, that PC simply ignores the missing rate, and top on this, your monster has far more chance of doing "foolery" instead of attacking, even when both are supposed to be equally unloyal due to master inexperience.
* Several enemies in ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' screw the rules on numerous occasions. You have to be in overlimit to use a mystic arte. Several bosses that have them can use it randomly. They may also not only go into overlimit numerous times in a row. The final boss does both - when you take out half his health and get a cutscene mid-way through the boss battle, he may use Celestial Elegy without even going into overlimit or immediately go into overlimit twice in a row. The player can not do this themselves.
* The major antagonist of ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'' , [[spoiler: Alexei]] is famous for ripping out his Mystic Arte, Brilliant Cataclysm, multiple times in a battle and he can do it up to 10 times on higher difficulties. Brilliant Cataclysm has a huge area of effect and does enormous amounts of damage. He cheats in multiple ways. First, he can use a skill that is a powerful attack and a healing spell at the same time without consuming TP, often spamming it to a point at which he heals faster than you can damage him. If you set your AI to stay away from the enemy, they will move in on him before he uses Brilliant Cataclysm to ensure that they are within the area of effect. If you get close to actually winning the battle, he can activate Brilliant Cataclysm without having to go into Over Limit, and it will override an All-Divide (that is supposed to halve all the damage dealt by both you and the enemy), usually killing your entire party in a single blow.
* In both ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' and ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia,'' the traditional climactic DuelBoss ([[spoiler: Asch]] in ''Abyss'' and [[spoiler: Flynn]] in ''Vesperia'') can actually interrupt your Mystic Arte and counter with their own, which is downright ''absurd.'' Getting Luke's Radiant Howl off on [[spoiler: Asch]] is made damn near impossible for this reason; he interrupts you ''every time.''
** In Vesperia it is literally impossible, as the player will lose control while the boss overlimits and uses his Arte even if he was stunned or on the ground, he would immediately recover. In Abyss it's possible though if the boss isn't in a position to attack by being stunned or in the air. Simply chain the MA from a full connection of Luke's Light Spear Cannon and the boss will still be in the air for the final hit and unable to counter.
* Your ''allies'' cheat like rotten bastards in ''VideoGame/TalesOfXillia'' when you link with them. AI link partners will position themselves flawlessly behind your target, time their attacks to the frame to help with your juggles, use free abilities they otherwise don't have access to, and will move to defend your back the femtosecond a hostile decides to go for it. In fact, the system relies so much on AI omniscience and hidden abilities you can't link with player-controlled allies.
* The Struggle in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII''. When you get your opponent down to 0 HP, they are frozen for a few seconds so you can collect more orbs, before reviving with full health. When YOU get knocked down to 0 HP? You lose instantly.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII''
** The wrestling minigame in the Gold Saucer. It's set up in a rock-paper-scissors style of punch-kick-block, but at stage 4, the AI will land a hit when previously your attacks would cancel out. And if you manage to beat Stage 4, Stage 5 takes the cheating to a whole new level - the opponent in ''invincible'', and ''all'' of their attacks cancel out yours, so it's physically impossible to win!
** And the chocobo racing minigame. From time to time, Joe will race against you, and his black chocobo, Teioh, isn't slowed down by obstacles AND will always have higher stats, even if this means breaking the limit. With weaker chocobos, this means the race is lost before it even started, and even faster chocobos can have a hard time with him. Fortunately, this is a downplayed example thanks to some workarounds: if you [[spoiler:hold down some of the shoulder buttons]] your boost meter heals up, allowing you to overuse it - constantly, for some Chocobos - for an easy win. Plus, a Gold Chocobo is not held up by obstacles, so although Joe still has better stats, a player can still beat him far easier than with other chocobos.
* Speaking of Final Fantasy, the Chocobo spinoff title ''[[LighterAndSofter Fables: Chocobo Tales]]'' has the minigames. When you're against the GoldfishPoopGang, they're competitive, but fair. When [[ThatOneBoss Volg]] joins in? You're ''screwed''.
* Referenced in ''Franchise/StarWars: The Essential Guide to Droids'', when explaining the dealer droid. These are programmed to deal for sabacc, and are occasionally told to ensure a house victory by, you guessed it, cheating like a bastard. This is usually reserved to gambling establishments that routinely frisk their guests, because droids are expensive and cheated customers are prone to using their weapons, [[Webcomic/EightBitTheater which are designed to inflict damage]].
** Pazaak in ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' is ridiculously biased toward the computer. It's played similar to blackjack, but with a side deck to modify the total value and the top is 20. The computer always goes second, so you're more likely to bust than it is. If you go bust, the computer wins without having to take its next turn, but then this applies to you, too, so it's more than likely a rule than cheating. It counts cards, so it knows when it will get a 20. Finally, it gets 20 more often than you do. The only advantage you have is that your side deck is better by the time you leave Dantooine. There's also a guy in the first game who actually does cheat... more than the computer usually cheats, that is. Fortunately the player can cheat by [[SaveScumming saving before each game]].
** ''Knights Of The Old Republic II'' is far better about this. You now trade turns with the opponent and 20s are equally likely on both sides. The only minor unfairness is that the [=NPC=]s have cards you flat out cannot buy; you have to beat them for their best card. Some are real killers, too, like a tiebreaker card that beats even a straight 20 on your part. Cut content has Atton lampshade the unfairness of the first game. He accuses [=T3-M4=] of counting cards and forcing him to go first in pazaak. The little droid will then proceed to clean him of credits anyway.
** Interestingly enough, if you read Atton's mind, it turns out that he counts cards as well. Admittedly he wasn't actually playing at the time...
** A dealer droid seen in the Literature/XWingSeries is mentioned having "cheater prods" that are used on, what else, cheating players. This may be more of an example of the Computer ''Stopping'' Cheating Bastards.
* This is part of the premise of Extra Mode in ''Phantasmagoria of Flower View'', the 9th game in the ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' series. In Extra Mode, the AI opponent is invulnerable at the start of each stage, until a timer runs down to zero, with the timer getting longer in each successive stage. To compensate, it is also on an AIRoulette and extremely weak, so it will usually die within seconds of the timer running out.
** A common flaw in the ''Phantasmagoria'' installments is that the AI can literally dodge like the machine it is, meaning that barring the use of an AIBreaker, a computer opponent can ''choose when to eat a bullet''.
* In ''VideoGame/SpyroYearOfTheDragon'', you have to race a gang of rhynocs to get a dragon egg. The good news is that you get a special skateboard that can do turbo boosts. The bad news is that they have this too. It's even more frustrating when you find out at the start of the race that they can ''automatically'' use the boosts whenever they want while ''you'' need to use tricks in order to fill up the turbo meter at the start and whenever it gets empty.
** Can be inverted by the player, by refusing to start the race, walking onto the track and standing under one of the auto-boost stars sitting above the track for 5 minutes, the auto boost effect stacks and activates once you start the race, so you can beat the race without ever doing a single trick. The ''Player'' Is A Cheating Bastard, indeed.
* The flight sim ''VideoGame/IL2Sturmovik'' cheats a lot (even discounting nasty surprises from the random mission generator, like being strafed on the airfield, before you can even get off the ground). CPU planes ignore much of the hardcore similationist aspects of flight, no matter what settings you use: they never fall into spin (which allows CPU to pull fairly ridiculous aerobatics even on planes unsuited for that); their pilots do not suffer from blackout/redout and have 360-degree field of vision, allowing them to unerringly foil surprise attacks and notice you even in heavy clouds; they pretty much ignore the severe winds and other adverse effects of the weather; they also can fly at maximum engine power as much as they want, while human-controlled planes, on the other hand, risk overheating and damaging your engine on realistic settings.
** They also micromanage their trim and engine settings much faster and more precisely than a human can possibly manage and can outclimb aircraft that normally climb much faster than their own.
* The "enhancements" to the Sentinel remake ''Zenith'' include fog, which can be so thick as to make it difficult or impossible for the player to see what's happening; the game can be totally unplayable because of this. Of course, the Sentinel and any Sentries are totally unaffected by even the densest fog...
* The VideoGame/DragonQuest series gives you a rare opportunity to put the cheating AI to work on your behalf. Normally, you have to enter battle commands for your party at the beginning of each round of battle. However, in several of the games, including ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVIII'' and the UsefulNotes/NintendoDS [[VideoGameRemake re-releases]], the AI doesn't have to commit to an action until it's actually time to perform that action. Enemies [[MyRulesAreNotYourRules that can break the rules that the player has to abide by]] is nothing unusual, but if you set your party members to AI control, then they get the same advantage that the enemies get - and because your party members will almost certainly have a greater range of skills than the monsters that you're fighting against, they'll be a lot better at taking advantage of it. It's arguably a ''better'' idea to tell the healer to be controlled by the AI, as they'll be able to think on their feet instead of having to think at the beginning of the turn and guess which heal is the best one to use.
** Another useful trait is the AI knowing which enemy has the current least HP (the player needs an EnemyScan to know that) and concentrating on that one. This leads to ArtificialStupidity when a monster that could die [[BoringButPractical in two regular attacks]] is instead hit with an MP-intensive spell that [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill reduces it to zero several times over.]]
* ''VideoGame/WhiteKnightChronicles'' gives players strictly set ranges for melee weapons, bows, and spells. Get outside the range, and you can't use that attack. The computer characters, using the same attacks, have no such limits.
* In ''VideoGame/BatenKaitosOrigins'', the AI can apparently see your decks and figure out what to do, which is problematic thanks to the way the combat system is set up. As any veteran player can tell you, it ''loves'' to take out any character with a healing item. There are ways around it, but they mostly involve stalling and, in the long run, waste valuable turns.
* ''VideoGame/InazumaEleven'' has a show off section of the opponents in almost every matches. They steal the ball from you, zip pass your team as soon as you kick off, and score a free goal as Endou suddenly forgets to use his skill to stop those shots.
** This also plays in your favor, from time to time. Some story related events require you to use new skills that result in goals/saves/steals/dribbles, no matter the players' levels. Justified in that from the second game onward the games started following the anime's story much more strictly.
** Neo Raimon, Red Team, and White Team in the third game. The team you're facing have alternate versions of Inazuma Japan players, they have a larger GP and TP pool, plus they have some of the most powerful moves in the game and they're fully evolved. For example, Neo Raimon Hiroto has Tenkuu Otoshi V3, Boost Glider V3, True Planet Shield, and Chowaza![[note]]A skill that powers up moves by 20% at the price of 20% more TP[[/note]]. Luckily, this is at least mitigated by the fact that most of the moves used by these alternate versions are some of the most TP consuming moves in the game (sometimes even more thanks to Chowaza!), and they only have two (one for Red Team and White Team) subtitutes.
** Before that you have to fight The Ogre. The first match against them was already a ludicrous DifficultySpike, now imagine doing that again; except now they have infinite TP to spam moves such as Killer Fields (strongest grass-type dribble), Ground Quake (one of the strongest shot blockers, comparable to Kabeyama's The Mountain), and High Voltage (strongest wind-type save hissatsu).
** In the ''Chrono Stone'' game, playing against Inazuma Legend Japan in the post-game story mode can be a nightmare. All of their players are as strong as a Keshin Armed player, without the Keshin Armed. Luckily none of them can use a Keshin, but it also means that unlike them; you don't have much time until you're screwed. Even if you Mixi-Maxed and use your player's Keshin Armed, you might still be screwed by a small margin. The bright side is that they're nowhere near as bad in the Taisen Route, but good luck getting there; because you need to finish the post-game story if you want to play them there.
*** Imagine the above scenario with Inazuma Legend Japan, now give all their player a Keshin and give their captain a Mixi-Max. That's basically you against Tsukigami no Ichizoku (Nepuu) or Vamp Time (Raimei), and here you thought Inazuma Legend Japan was hard.
** Shinsei Inazuma Japan and Chrono Storm in ''Chrono Stone'' is a downplayed example. These two unlike the teams mentioned above aren't unfair, but it doesn't change the fact that they evolved moves that couldn't be evolved. Such as Kinako who Mixi-Maxed with Master Dragon that has Kirakira Illusion G3[[note]]Which is impossible to do since Master Dragon isn't recruitable until Galaxy[[/note]].
* Tecmo's ''VideoGame/CaptainTsubasa'' is NintendoHard because your oppernents have infinite Gut, meaning they can keep spamming special moves while you're struggling with saving your bests of an offensive tactic. Their overall stats overpower your, and their [[TheAce aces]] usually have superior shooting power that it doesn't really matter if your team has a goalie. Even when you have the famous [[RedBaron SGGK]] Wakabayashi, some really powerful strikers can still easily blow him away. Characters that used to be powerful like Matsuyama and Tachibana Twin, by the time you get them in your team, can barely get their shots past a keeper.
** CT-2 is very harsh. There's no offside, so if a goalie catch the ball you throw at him, he'll send it directly to an offside player that you can almost never catch up.
** This carries over into ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' fangame based on ''Captain Tsubasa'', ''Touhou Soccer Moushuuden''... except the residental SGGK ([[RealityWarper Yukari]]) is usually on ''opponent's'' side. You get only [[ChineseGirl China]], who has problems stopping anything that isn't a normal shot.
* The "Silence" status (and by extension the Silence geo effects) in [[VideoGame/DisgaeaHourOfDarkness the first Disgaea]] works differently depending on whether you or the AI are affected by them. For the player, it seals off skills, be they magic, weapon-based, or character-specific, entirely. For the AI, all it does is prevent them from using ''magic''. All other skills are fair game.
* ''VideoGame/CustomRobo Arena'' has computer players who ''literally'' cheat by turning up with illegal parts. You yourself cannot unlock these parts until you have already beaten the primary story and moved into grand battle mode.
* Several ''Franchise/YuGiOh'' games - most notably ''7 Trials to Glory'' and ''World Championship 2004'' - allow the AI to use multiple copies of limited cards, which they will periodically abuse to destroy everything on your field with Dark Hole and Raigeki. Almost all ''Yu-Gi-Oh!'' games also have "luck" as a stat that enemies possess, meaning certain enemies WILL draw their best cards at the exact moment that you get ahead.
* Some enemies in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' are strong against Almighty, who's whole schtick is being NonElemental and thus no one is supposed to be strong or weak against Almighty attacks. ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' is even worse, because there is at least one enemy that is '''immune''' to it.
* ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei'':
** A common element in the ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei'' games is that physical skills (apart from basic attacks) are CastFromHitPoints... unless it's an enemy. They get to use physical skills for free.
** There is one opponent who regularly breaks the level cap of 99. While some may break it once (generally in the Famicom or Super Famicom games), this one has broken it in every appearance. [[spoiler:It's YHVH, who debuted in ''Megami Tensei II'' at Level 150 and returned in ''Shin Megami Tensei II'' at Level OneHundredAndEight and ''Shin Megami Tensei IV: Final'' at Level 100]].
* This is prevalent in ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'', and it just adds to the game's difficulty. Disregarding the broken hitboxes (as in an enemy can still grab/hit you even if the weapon misses, but you're barely near it), some of the laws of physics that apply to the player do not apply to the enemy AI. Arrows shot by the player go where ever you shot them. Arrows and bolts shot by the AI will ''curve in mid-flight'' in order to hit you. Also, when you swing a sword in cramped places, it will bounce of the wall and leave you exposed. For AI, their weapons will just phase through the wall. Also, you have a limited amount of magic. They, of course, do not. And the tracking of their attacks is ridiculous at times. Several heavy weapon enemies give the illusion that the player can simply move behind them while they are drawing back. Instead, the player will watch as they miraculously pivot 180 degrees mid-swing to one-shot them. It certainly forces you to master the timing of your dodges.
** In Dark Souls 2 NPC invaders often have more poise than their armor actually should have. More than that, NPC invaders have seemingly infinite stamina and mobility, having shorter recovery time after their attacks. To add insult to injury, mages have infinite casts, most infuriating exaple being Armorer Dennis, who appears in Forest of Fallen Giants and can one-shot players with a single cast.
** Similarly there's the boss fight with Ancient Soldier Varg, Cerah the Old Explorer, and the Afflicted Graverobber from the ''Crown of the Sunken King'' DLC. They're tough opponents overall, but it's also extremely difficult to stagger them and impossible to stunlock them, their stamina is huge if not unlimited, and their movements aren't even inhibited by the water that covers the lower level of the boss arena, which is really a problem given that one of the best strategies to use against them involves hit-and-run tactics.
* ''VideoGame/Borderlands2'' has the "Rabid" variants of common mooks, who have pragmatism on their side, they have high health, high damage and attack in multiple hit charges at the player, quickly decimating even the tankiest of players. Luckily these loathed variants don't spawn until at least the second play-through (True Vault Hunter Mode, or TVHM for short, They also spawn on Ultimate vault hunter mode or UVHM), where Slag triples any consecutive non-slag damage, making these mooks more glass cannons with the right builds if anything.
** Averted in the Mission "Hunting the Firehawk" where just before confronting the Firehawk, two overlevelled Brutes are spawned, luckily [[spoiler: Lilith (the Firehawk) takes them out easily in a case of Cutscene Badassery]].
* In ''VideoGame/AWitchsTale'', the CPU always knows exactly what your total is in the Blackjack game.
* ''VideoGame/XenobladeChronicles'' also has this in the player's favour. A big part of the game's battle system is being able to knock down enemies. However, some enemies will have an ability referred to as "Spikes" that, when you knock them over, deals damage to everyone nearby them. The only way for a player to know this is to knock down an enemy and get hit. The CPU allies, however, somehow know this by default, so the ''real'' way to figure out an enemy has a spike ability is to note that Reyn never uses his Break-topple combo (something his AI is [[ArtificialBrilliance actually pretty good at]]) or that your party members never knock down enemies you use "Break" on.
* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' has the Killcam. Did you ever laugh when you first saw a guard being bitten and tossed by a dragon? You won't be laughing when it happens to you. The worst part is that the system that governs when it happens takes no regard for resistances: Armor rating, shield up, behind cover... When it wants to kill-cam you, it ''will'' kill cam you.
* Invoked in the [[KillEmAll No Mercy]] route of ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}''. The final boss of the route [[spoiler:(Sans)]] knows about your ability to reset, and therefore knows that they can only hold you off until you get past them. That doesn't mean they're going to make it easy for you. They screw with the game's mechanics to make the battle [[SNKBoss as frustrating as possible]] in the hopes of making you either RageQuit or reset.
* The Glitz Pit segment of ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'' gets pretty blatant with this, some unjustified and some justified:
** For unjustified, are the restrictions are placed on Mario's party. Instructions from simple things like "Appeal three times" to disastrous things like "don't attack for three whole turns" will be given to you and failing to meet these means you won't go up in rank (or win the championship belt) even if you defeat the opponent. While it's implied such restrictions are placed on all fighters when Sir Swoop shows up, it never shows up otherwise and you'll never see an opponent holding back for three turns.
** For justified, are blatant cheating done by Rawk Hawk, the Armored Harriers ambushing you immediately after a battle to take you down "now that you're tired", and Bowser jumping in to fight you despite not even being a registered combatant. Grubba lets all of this slide because said characters are {{Heel}}s, and because rule-breaking adds drama [[TheShowMustGoOn that sells tickets]]. Of course, Mario never gets the option to do such things, save for the option of simply stealing the belt rather than competing for it which only [[ButThouMust only forces you to compete anyways]] after your party member [[WhatTheHellHero scolds you]].
* In ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'', [[spoiler:Aribeth]] has a special Implosion spell with a high chance of instant death. Immunity to death will not save you, spell resistance will not work and your only chance is having a high fortitude save. On the other hand, the Implosion spell used by a Cleric player allow the enemy to have a saving throw.

[[folder: Pokémon]]
* [=NPC=]s, even ones with no plot significance, often have Pokémon that know powerful moves about five levels early. In later games, Pokémon learning moves early is actually [[JustifiedTrope justified]] -- a skilled breeder can get level-up moves and moves the Pokémon otherwise couldn't know (Egg moves) bred onto Level 5 (and, from Generation IV onward, Level 1) Pokémon if the father knows it, so presumably the computer-controlled trainers bred their own. While the player can't do this at first, many TournamentPlay fans use this in the {{Metagame}}.
** However, there are still instances where the player is at a disadvantage, as there some Pokémon that the player just won't have access to, making breeding for egg moves literally impossible without trading and getting them early from other players.
* [=NPCs=] in Generation I could never run out of PP. Have fun with the Elite Four-Champion gauntlet...
* Speaking of the Elite Four, Lance's Dragonite in Generation I has Barrier. Go on. Check to see how the line learns it. Done? Yep. Dragonite's line has forever been incapable of learning Barrier, no matter how much breeding you do. What's more, in Generation II, his Aerodactyl knows Rock Slide, which it couldn't learn until ''[[VideoGame/PokemonFireRedAndLeafGreen FireRed and LeafGreen]]''.
** In 2016, Dragonite finally gets to learn Barrier legally.... at least, the event Dragonites that are in themselves a reference to Lance's Dragonite.
* In a similar vein, various characters have Pokémon that have evolved at levels lower than their designated evolution level, if you were to train up its pre-evolution. Also {{justified|Trope}} in that various areas contain wild evolved Pokémon at lower levels than ought to be possible, allowing the player to catch them -- the [=NPC=]s may have caught their Pokémon in places the player simply hasn't been to.
** Ghetsis in ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'' has a particularly notable example of this in his level 54 Hydreigon, which is 10 levels lower then when it can normally be obtained. {{Fanon}} claims that this action led to Ghetsis [[http://images5.fanpop.com/image/quiz/832000/832998_1334165220971_160.jpg?v=1334165104 losing his right eye]].
*** In ''VideoGame/PokemonBlack2AndWhite2'', Ghetsis still has his Hydreigon, now two levels ''lower'', albeit with a weaker moveset. [[spoiler: Iris]], however, is packing one of her own that's almost as nasty as his was in the prequel (and just as nasty in Challenge Mode).
** Another infamous example is the grossly underleveled Purugly and Skuntank belonging to Galactic Commanders Mars and Jupiter, respectively, in ''VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl'' due to the EarlyGameHell and ForcedLevelGrinding they can put players through.
** Lance in GSC and HGSS has ''three'' underleveled Dragonite in your champion battle!
-->''"Tell that to my three inappropriately leveled Dragonites!"''
--->--'''Lance''', [[https://youtu.be/Hm5Jlnq8NHk Pokémon Golder 3]]
** Up until ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'', in the event that both trainers had their last Pokemon KO'd as a result of Self-Destruct or Explosion, the AI would be declared the winner no matter what, despite the fact that the trainer who ''used'' one of said moves is supposed to lose by default.
* ''Emerald'' is also a blatant offender. It introduced the Battle Frontier, and set the standard for all subsequent games. It has multiple Gym Leaders with Pokémon they should not have at certain levels, such as Winona's Altaria. To top it all off, regular trainers in Victory Road have completely impossible movesets. One in particular is absurd: a Lanturn in a Double Battle knows NOTHING BUT EARTHQUAKE, a move it cannot learn in the first place.
* In ''VideoGame/PokemonHeartGoldAndSoulSilver'', during your first battle with Brock, he has a Rhyhorn with Sturdy. No other Rhyhorn can have this Ability as of Gen VII.
* The AI of the battle facilities of Generation III onward (the Battle Tower/Frontier/Subway/Maison/Tree) are designed to gain knowledge about your team as you accumulate winning streaks, despite the fact that you're facing new opponents over and over again and thus it wouldn't make sense for "Schoolgirl Jane" to know anything about the team that "Punk Sid" just battled. Specifically, you'll be forced to face teams that are increasingly designed to counter yours the higher your streak.
** While this may seem like a coincidence in many instances, the most damning evidence is that players that have used hacked Pokémon -- Pokémon with special abilities and sets that literally do not exist anywhere in the game and thus the computer cannot ''possibly'' have had the knowledge to counter them beforehand -- and still encounter teams that are tailor-made to overcome their strategies.
** The most popular of these hacks (prior to the introduction of the Fairy-type) was the powerful Wondertomb/Wondereye[[labelnote:Explanation]]A combination of Wonder Guard -- an Ability that will only allow attacks if you're hit by something you're weak to -- and a Pokémon with no weaknesses; Spiritomb and Sableye, respectively[[/labelnote]]. Get a high enough streak, and you'll find opponents carrying Mold Breaker (which lets them ignore Wonder Guard); not too strange, since Mold Breaker is a good ability and you'd encounter that anyway. Go farther, and they'll use ''nothing but status moves'' (which Wonder Guard can't block, and would be a baffling strategy unless the computer knew what it was dealing with beforehand). The strangest, of course, has to be the move Fire Fang. Due to a glitch, Fire Fang will hit opponents with Wonder Guard regardless of their type, and it's completely unknown why this move, and this move alone, has this ability. Even considering that this is a glitch, the computer ''will still use this, knowing that it works against you''.
** Another of these hacks is to give a Pokémon OneHitKO moves (that cause anything they hit to [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin immediately faint]] in exchange for poor accuracy [[AwesomeButImpractical that makes it unlikely that they'll actually work]]) combined with the ability "No Guard" (that allows you and your opponent to [[AlwaysAccurateAttack bypass all accuracy checks]]). Use this strategy to sweep enough teams and you'll eventually start encountering Pokémon with the ability "Sturdy", an ability that, during Generations III and IV at least, does ''nothing else'' except block OHKO moves.
** For evidence this still exists in Gen VI's Battle Maison, try entering a Pokemon with Sand Stream[[note]]An Ability that stirs up a sandstorm when the Pokemon enters battle[[/note]] as your lead plus an Aron with Sturdy[[note]]If it's at full HP and takes a hit that would normally KO it in one hit, it'll hang on with 1 HP[[/note]] and Endeavor[[note]]A move that brings the target's HP down to the user's[[/note]]. In the Battle Maison, you'll quickly start encountering a disproportionate number of Pokemon who are immune to sandstorms, or have Mold Breaker, or [[BreadEggsBreadedEggs Mold Breaker]] ''[[BreadEggsBreadedEggs and]]'' [[BreadEggsBreadedEggs sandstorm immunity]].
* In the Pokemon World Tournament of ''VideoGame/PokemonBlack2AndWhite2'', the matchups tend to pit you against opponents whose Pokémon have a general type advantage. For example, if you're participating in a single battle tournament with a Serperior, a Volcarona and a Hydreigon, chances are you'll be pitted against a Bug Type Gym Leader in the first turn, as Bug Types hold a type advantage against Serperior and Hydreigon; for the Volcarona, chances also are that at least one of the opponent's Pokémon will know a convenient Water, Flying or Rock-type move too. And then, by some miracle that you do beat that Gym Leader, you'll find your next opponent just happens to be an Ice Type user (again with at least one Pokémon that knows a move that's super effective against your Volcarona) and so on...
** Additionally, one of the most obvious examples of this trope happens when using Zoroark first, while having a Ghost-type Pokemon as your last slot in your party. Zoroark's ability Illusion makes it appear the same as the last Pokemon in your party, complete with the same name. In the Battle Subway, neither player is supposed to know what the opponent's team is composed of. However, when facing any Pokemon (for example Alakazam, a Psychic-type) as Zoroark with a Ghost-type Pokemon's name and appearance (for example Spiritomb, a Dark/Ghost type), the computer will always choose to perform a Fighting-type attack to the fake Ghost. Note that this exact example is not uncommon, and that while Dark and Ghost are both super effective against Psychic, the opponent's Pokemon stays on the field to do a Fighting-type move that the Dark/Ghost Pokemon would be completely immune to, had it not been a Zoroark using Illusion.
*** Although this may not always happen, resulting in a situation such as a Gallade repeatedly using Psycho Cut against a "Crobat" (Zoroark).
* One particular opponent/partner in the Battle Tree uses a Latios. This can potentially hold a Latiosite, but the player is completely unable to acquire Latiosite themselves, as with a few exceptions, only the Mega Stones for Pokémon in the Alola Dex can be obtained.
* The usual instance of the computer's Pokémon having illegal moves has been {{subverted|Trope}} a few times; Battle Maison Evelyn's Entei has Sacred Fire, which it got added to its moveset in Generation VI, though a Move Reminder is needed to relearn it. ''VideoGame/PokemonSunAndMoon'' also had a Kommo-o in the Battle Tree that knew Shell Smash -- a move the line can't learn. A patch ended up changing it to the more sensible Draco Meteor.
* The Mewtwo that serves as the FinalBoss of the first ''Stadium'' ([[NoExportForYou or second, if you're Japanese]]) has infinite PP.
** Pokémon Stadium also has a check in place to catch players cheating; if the player uses a Pokémon with an impossible move set or its stats are higher than it's supposed to be, the game declares that Pokémon illegal and won't allow the player to use it. Naturally, the AI has hacked move sets up the ass and possibly hacked stats as well. In other words, [[{{Hypocrite}} you're punished for cheating, but the AI is free to cheat as much as it wants]].
** Pokémon Stadium 2 goes the extra mile in cheating. All of the rentals in Pokémon Stadium 2 are effectively useless. The AI has hacked movesets and hacked stats; the rentals available to you have stats that are about 10% lower than they should be and the evolved Pokémon know utterly useless attacks. Unevolved rentals know decent attacks, but have far more pitiful stats that render them even more useless than their evolved counterparts. It is pretty much impossible to make any progress in Pokémon Stadium 2 without using homegrown Pokemon- as long as they're not from a Yellow Version... the game is known to delete saved games on Yellow Versions.
* ''VideoGame/PokemonColosseum'':
** There's one particularly annoying quirk in that the opponent gets to decide his moves ''after'' you use any items or send out any Pokémon. It leads to the very annoying problem of not being able to cure a Pokémon of confusion as, when you do, the opponent uses Confuse Ray on it again, despite that there's no way he'd use it normally!
** When you battle a Shadow Pokémon, it will have all four of its moves, but when you catch it, you're stuck with only Shadow Rush (though this is more of a case of RedemptionDemotion).
** Due to the increased number of Shadow moves available during Cipher's second coming, this is done away with in ''XD''.
* Last Resort, introduced in Generation IV, is a powerful move usable after every other move has been used by the Pokémon at least once. [=NPC=]s can use it early, though.
* Try using the Mean Look/Perish Song combo on a Trainer with multiple Pokémon. When you switch your Pokémon out to avoid getting [=KOed=] by Perish Song, your opponent does the ''exact same thing'', despite the trapping effect not allowing switching. [[note]]To elaborate: Perish Song is a technique that makes both Pokémon faint after three turns. Mean Look is a technique that prevents switching. By using Mean Look, then using Perish Song, the opponent's Pokémon will faint on the third turn, while you can switch out just before the final turn to avoid fainting. For human players, the player who is trapped has their switching function disabled. For the computer, however, as long as you switch out, they can switch as well.[[/note]] [[note]]This turns out to be because, technically, the AI can switch whenever it wants, and ''chooses'' not to switch when it is trapped, but then when deciding whether to switch out on the last turn of Perish Song, it erroneously checks whether ''your'' Mon is trapped, not its own.[[/note]]
* Particularly in the Masters Battle part of ''Pokémon Battle Revolution''; the computer players have an uncanny ability to know precisely what Pokémon the player is going to switch to or use at any given moment.
* The slot machines in the Game Corners are based on Japanese pachisuro machines (see the Real Life section), and thus they will slip to prevent paying out a winning combination. However, the slots in the Japanese versions of ''[=HeartGold and SoulSilver=]'' take this UpToEleven: They'll actually continue spinning well after you hit the button (even if it takes more than a half-revolution) to force two Poké Balls or two 7's to line up on the first two reels, then force the third reel to avoid lining up a third 7 or Poké Ball to achieve a near miss. This would actually be highly illegal to program into a real pachisuro machine.
* In one of the bonus downloadable tournaments in ''Black and White 2'' (which is as of yet only available in Japan), Fantina's Giratina is in its Origin Forme but is holding a Ghost Gem. Giratina can only be in Origin Forme if it is holding a Griseous Orb.
* In Generation I, your rival's Pidgey evolves into Pidgeotto at Level 18. This is perfectly normal, yet for some reason the remakes decreased its level by 1 the first time you fight Pidgeotto. And Pidgey doesn't evolve until Level 18, making an evolved Level 17 Pidgeotto impossible. It is possible that your rival simply caught a different Pidgeotto in the wild, but it is heavily implied otherwise.
* Salamence from Pokémon Ranger ''ignores'' your starter's assist, despite that an Electric-type attack should deal normal damage.
* Actually downplayed in the Battle Maison for VideoGame/PokemonXAndY. Cheating (but may be averted with future games and distribution events): Instances of abilities/items unavailable in regular play, such as Contrary Serperior [[note]]recently distributed as a special Pokémon[[/note]], or Snow Warning Aurorus [[note]]later distributed as a participation prize for the Enter the Dragon Type competition[[/note]], and Jaboca Berry [[note]](available in Gen 5, but unavailable in, and cannot be transferred via PokeBank to, Gen 6[[/note]] etc. Playing fair: Pretty much everything else. With the exception of the above, all movesets/abilities of opponent's Pokémon are obtainable by the player, and the legendaries being used in the consecutive battles are all '''legal''' in rated battles. This is averted in ''Omega Ruby'' and ''Alpha Sapphire'', when Contrary Serperior and Snow Warning Amaura were released as Mystery Gifts, and the Jaboca Berry, among other rare Berries, was made available as a prize in one of the Pokémon Global Link minigames.
* In the TCG Online game, watch how many times your computerised opponent gets potions, roller skates, and other lovely and convenient advantages, versus how many times they occur for you, the player. Clearly, the AI really is a cheating bastard.
* In Hoenn Contests (both gen 3 and gen 6), the AI will always, without fail, know when you're about to use a jamming move, and if they can will immediately use a move preventing jamming.
** When you play a Contest against Lisia in ''OR/AS'', her Altaria will have a Condition that is higher than you can possibly reach through the use of [=PokéBlocks=], even if you also add a scarf.
* Bulbapedia has two pages dedicated to showing moves your opponent (or in rare cases, your Pokemon) cannot [[http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Game_move_errors legitimately know in games]] or the [[http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/TCG_move_errors Trading Card Game]].
* [[GameMod ROM hacks]] of first and second-generation games will often have you face against Pokémon that are ''over'' level 100. For example, in ''[[VideoGame/PokemonBlueKaizo Pokémon Blue Kaizo]]'', the [[spoiler:Elite Four and Champion have level ''115'' Pokémon]].
* ''VideoGame/PokemonDarkRising'' has a certain boss character use Pokemon the player can't capture. [[spoiler:the final boss uses a Shadow Lugia with altered base stats and a powerful fan made move with 200 base power]]

[[folder:Simulation Games]]
* In the ''[[VideoGame/{{X}} X-Universe]]'', [[BoardingParty boarding operations]] against [[AIIsACrapshoot Xenon]] capital ships fail automatically if there are less than eighteen (out of twenty-one max) surviving marines when they reach the computer core.
* In the ''VideoGame/AceCombat'' games, enemies usually can maneuver better than you can using the same planes and lock-on much faster. Some, like [[spoiler: Solo Wing Pixy]]'s Morgan from ''VideoGame/AceCombatZeroTheBelkanWar'' or Alect Squadron's Fenrirs from ''VideoGame/AceCombatXSkiesOfDeception'', even have capabilities you'll never get to use.
** Another pretty blatant example: in ''VideoGame/AceCombat04ShatteredSkies'' it's impossible to even ''hit'', let alone shoot down, any member the Yellow Squadron until about 3/4 of the way through the game.
** ''Videogame/AceCombat5TheUnsungWar'': It's only obvious with bomber aiplanes at low altitudes, but the AI pretty much ignores terrain. Watch in awe as an evasive C-10 flies ''through the ground'' and comes up a mile away without missing a beat. Obviously, your weapons cannot reach the plane through the planet itself, which sucks if it's a mission target and you're almost out of time.
*** The most obvious example in the game is in the mission where you have to follow Pops around an island. You then see him literally fly through first a mountain (not a cave) and then the ocean, and think to yourself "but I can't do that".
*** A very rare bug in ''VideoGame/AceCombatInfinity'' replicates this with the Scinfaxi - it will just refuse to actually surface as it's supposed to, still able to launch its missiles and [=UAVs=] while making itself completely immune to everything except your machine guns.
** This seems to be taken UpToEleven in ''VideoGame/AceCombat6FiresOfLiberation'' with how much advantages the enemy AI is given. Speed match you in any plane instantly? [[note]]Commonly used to either outrun the enemy or dump speed suddenly to upset their pursuit similar[[/note]] Check. Fly in such a way that breaks the laws of aerodynamics? Check. Guaranteed hits if you're flying below a certain speed or heading? Check. This is quite obvious with the fight against the SuperPrototype fighter, the [[EliteMooks Strigon Team]], and the enemy F-22 and Su-47s. But there's glaring flaws in all of them that you can shoot down said SuperPrototype with an A-10.
** The AI can also execute [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pugachev%27s_Cobra Pugachev's Cobra]] (in ''any'' fighter) to dump speed and upset your pursuit. Guess what the player can't do?[[note]]The devs did want to allow players to pull it off in ''VideoGame/AceCombat2'', given the player character's "official" plane in that game is a close relative of the one that invented the maneuver, but they weren't able to implement it in time for release and never bothered to try again for later games.[[/note]]
* Similarly, AI planes in ''Creator/TomClancy's VideoGame/{{HAWX}}'' can accelerate and maneuver at speeds that should be not only pasting the pilots but breaking the planes apart; they can instantly change direction 90 degrees or more if they're supposed to be fighting you, and your allies will instantly go to full speed when you give them an attack order.
* In ''[[Videogame/MicrosoftFlightSimulator Flight Simulator X]]'', AI airplanes, especially from Third Party DLC, will occasionally turn off the runway and onto the taxiway where you are holding short of the runway to line up and wait. The AI continues on his merry way, while the game yells at ''you'' for crashing!
* In Creator/{{Kairosoft}}'s ''VideoGame/PocketArcadeStory''. Let's get this out of the way first: Yes it is, during tournaments. Your player tend to crap AI that you have to tell the player what to do constantly, and that depletes a "stamina bar". If the bar gets depleted your player's fighter become stunned for a bit. The computer side's AI is far more competent and do not have a "stamina bar" to bog him down. It becomes extremely egregious in the final tournament in that the computer's fighters have a permanent power boost... and your player's fighter doesn't.

[[folder:Stealth-Based Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots'', the game uses its highest difficulty as a free license to do whatever it wants. Ignoring the super-vision and super-hearing, the game takes it to the extreme with the stealth suit; even if you've got a 99% Camo Index (READ:Snake is invisible ''even to a thermal extent''), an average {{mook}} investigating something as little as footstep noises ''will see straight through your entire disguise if he gets within a 15 meter radius.''
** [=MGS4=] is especially guilty with its warzone areas; [[SkewedPriorities despite being in the middle of a Militia-PMC battle]], enemies will happily [[http://www.awkwardzombie.com/index.php?page=0&comic=110110 drop everything to open fire on the elderly spy not bothering anyone.]] This can thankfully be somewhat mitigated by finding a disguise and/or giving rations and the like to the militia, but the [=PMCs=] can not be swayed in this manner and will continue focusing on you when you're detected (even in disguise), even if it means their own death by ignoring the fifty ''other'' guys who are actually shooting at them.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Hitman}}'' series is very fond of this. Something as innocent as holding the wrong item in the wrong disguise means you're in for either a great deal of scrutiny ''or [[DisproportionateRetribution unprovoked assault.]]''
** The newest entry is better about this, with distinct differences between "trespassing" (if you're caught, guards will escort you out and only attack if you resist) and "hostile area" (guards attack you immediately if you're caught). However, you are still the only person in the universe they care about; the most noticeable example is areas where you have to be frisked to enter - {{Non Player Character}}s will walk right past the same guards without them so much as turning their heads.
* Up until the third installation, the ''VideoGame/SplinterCell'' series was guilty of this as, upon entering the sight of a mook above 75% visibility, he will begin firing immediately whilst everyone in the area promptly charges directly towards you and can now see you in the dark. The kicker? Running anywhere but to the next area means they'll constantly pursue; even if you hide out of reach, they'll follow as close as possible ''and wait for you to come back. '''Indefinitely.'''''
** Also, enemies alerted to your presence will ''never'' miss when firing at you with a pistol, even if the enemy in question is outside the range of the player's scoped rifle... Even if the enemy is far outside the range of the game's ''draw distance''. Oddly, they will occasionally miss if shooting with a rifle.
* ''VideoGame/SniperEliteV2'', thanks to both the game's focus on sniper kills and this trope, is almost impossible to play as a stealth-based game, outside of the few areas where there is loud enough background noise for you to mask your shots. In particular, you have the ability to toss small rocks to distract unaware enemies, but no matter where you throw them at or from, any enemies whose attention they grab will immediately know where you threw it from, investigate, and find you.

[[folder:Survival Horror]]
* ''VideoGame/HauntingGround'': Each of your stalkers has a single instant-kill ability that cannot be dodged, averted, or prevented in any way. It can strike at any time, like, say, when you are nearly done with the block-pushing PuzzleBoss and have to start ''all over again''. What makes this particularly JustForFun/{{Egregious}} is that your CanineCompanion Hewie can attack enemies during ''any'' other attack animation to help you, and there is an accessory (the Diamond Choker) that is supposed to ''prevent these moves from happening''. [[GogglesDoNothing It doesn't]].
* The ''VideoGame/FiveNightsAtFreddys'' games sometimes abuse this. Most prevalent are Freddy's behavior and 4/20 mode from 1, the later nights and 10/20 from 2, the later nights and Nightmare night from 3, and the last two nights and Nightmare night from 4. In 1, Freddy can teleport into the office when when ''both doors are closed'', 4/20 mode makes every animatronic want your blood. 2's later nights ''and'' 10/20 mode turn the robots into ''murderers'', and since you require lightning-fast reflexes to put the mask on after you put the camera down when an animatronic is in the office, as well as managing Foxy and the Puppet, will kill anyone not ready for the challenge. 3 downright cheats with the phantom's rate of attack, as even putting the camera down can potentially trigger one, even if you did not look at their triggers. All the time they take up and the time you spend rebooting your systems, Springtrap could be making a mad dash towards you, even when he was in ''CAM 9'' last. Lastly, 4 is murderous on the last nights, especially before the patch that increased the in-game volume, since you rely on sound so much. Any one of the death robots could be right outside, and you being impatient and flashing your light at them just gave them a [[BrainFood free pass to your frontal lobe.]] Fredbear and Nightmare are absolute hell before the patch, and they will still murder you regardless of patch.

[[folder:Third Person Shooter]]
* In ''VideoGame/Uncharted2AmongThieves'', the crossbow is a powerful weapon that can kill most enemies in one hit. In the player's hands, it needs to be reloaded after every shot and reloading takes some time. Guardians wielding crossbows are capable of [[AutomaticCrossbows firing several shots in quick succession]], easily killing the player if they're not careful.

[[folder:Turn-Based Strategy]]
* In the PSP remake of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'', the Onion Knight job is marked by being able to use any piece of equipment, being unable to use abilities, yet having ''extremely'' high stats when mastered. However, in one link mission, you and your partner must defeat a team of master Onion Knights who have a full range of powerful abilities equipped. They'll hit you back and more than likely screw you over.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsAdvance'' has some boss enemies who are granted immunity from the game's law system, while you're stuck playing by the rules. Ice abilities are illegal for the battle? The boss will laugh while casting Blizzaga every turn and the judge will just yellow card him repeatedly. Some other characters are given ribbons, granting them immunity from the law.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsA2'', enemies will regularly be given 'bonus' turns at the beginning of a battle before you can act in any way, on top of their [[RandomNumberGod statistically unlikely shenanigans]]. Probably the worst of it is the fourth round in the Brightmoon Tor, where the enemy is given ''twelve'' bonus turns, GameBreaker abilities that cost no MP, and massive level advantages that did not exist in the previous stages. One of these abilities casts Haste and Protect on their entire party, resulting in an approximate minimum of ''twenty-four bonus turns before you can do anything.''
* ''Franchise/FireEmblem'':
** Many arena opponents have stats higher than the stat caps their particular class is supposed to have. In addition, Murdock from ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBindingBlade The Binding Blade]]'', Fargus, Limstella, [[CameBackWrong Brendan, and Darin]] from ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBlazingBlade The Blazing Blade]]'', and [[spoiler:[[FinalBoss Takumi]]]] from ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemFates Fates: Conquest]]'' all break the playable HP cap for Generals, Berserkers, Sages, Warriors, Generals again, and [[spoiler:Snipers]], respectively. Finally, enemies in the {{Brutal Bonus Level}}s of ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening Awakening]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemGaiden Echoes: Shadows of Valentia]]'' also get to break the playable stat caps.
** Numerous stages are blocked by FogOfWar. You cannot see enemies through this, yet they all know EXACTLY where you are.
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemShadowDragonAndTheBladeOfLight'', ''VideoGame/FireEmblemGenealogyOfTheHolyWar'', and ''VideoGame/FireEmblemThracia776'' take this to another level. Enemy units have infinite uses for their weapons and staves. Additionally, any enemy in the latter two games holding weapons with different ranges will automatically switch between them when attacked so they can counterattack you no matter what, when your characters are stuck with whatever weapon they currently have equipped no matter what range the enemy attacks from.
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemPathOfRadiance'' features the "feral" Laguz; Laguz who have been warped by drugs, forcing them to remain in their beast state at all times. Essentially, that limitation on Laguz, that they have to build up their transformation gauge before they can shift, as a measure of balancing their crazy stats? Doesn't apply to the AI. Post-chapter 15, the only Laguz you'll be seeing are the Feral Ones.
** ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening Awakening]]'' has a few tricks that could be described as "The Computer is a Cheating Bastard: The Video Game", namely the Lunatic+ difficulty (which gives the already intense Lunatic enemies skills that are incredibly powerful, such as Luna+, an always-active skill that halves your physical and magical defense) and the map "The Strongest One's Name", which pits you against multiple waves of enemies with +30 modifiers (A little note, the best modifier you can get is +11 and that takes selective breeding of units. You can get Limit Breaker, to increase all your caps by 10, but that takes a skill slot) and adds the final boss's Dragonskin skill (negates Lethality (a OneHitKill) and Counter (returns adjacent damage) as well as halving damage taken) and Lunatic+ skills like Aegis+ and Pavise+. There is even a never-missing, Nosferatu (HP-vamping spell) wielding boss who has 99 LCK and Miracle (can save a unit who takes a fatal hit if above 1HP, activation chance equal to their LCK stat.)
*** Not to mention the enemy-forged weapons. Players are allowed a total of 8 Forging Points, with a maximum of 5 points in any given stat. (+5 MT, +25 HIT, or +15 CRT) A basic forged weapon by the enemy uses 6 points (+4MT, +10 HIT)... they have a better "[[FanNickname Hack Forge]]" that uses 12 (+8MT, +20 HIT). Expect this forge on just about everything on Lunatic.
** In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates'', the AI doesn't seem to particularly care about accuracy. Expect enemies with 19% accuracy to seemingly hit about as reliably as your units do at 75% accuracy.[[note]]This is actually a result of the game's bizarre hybrid [=RNG=] system; hit chances over 50% are weighted to make the actual odds of hitting higher, while hit chances below 50% are not weighted in any way, meaning that that 19% chance of hitting is actually the just-about-1-in-5 chance it bills itself as, and not secretly less as in most previous installments.[[/note]]
** Also in ''Fates'' is a Sorcerer boss capable of using staves.[[note]]This is only an InformedAbility in ''Birthright'' and ''Revelation'', but he puts this ability to deadly use in ''Conquest''.[[/note]] Sorcerers can normally only do that in the DS remakes of ''VideoGame/FireEmblemShadowDragon'' and ''Mystery of the Emblem''; none of the sorcerers ''the player'' can have will be able to use staves.
** ''Awakening'' and ''Fates'' both have numerous skills that are enemy-exclusive. A few of ''Awakening''[='=]s were listed above; a couple in ''Fates'' include Wing Shield, which removes fliers' weakness to bows, and Inevitable End, which allows the stat debuffs inflicted by daggers, shuriken, and certain staves ''to all stack with each other'' (normally, if a unit is hit by multiple daggers/shuriken, the highest/most recent debuffs take precedence; not so with Inevitable End). Unsurprisingly, a lot of the worse ones are more common in Lunatic Mode in both games.
*** ''Fates'' also has quite a few enemy-exclusive weapons, including more types of 1-2 range weapons than the players can buy for themselves. Notable since most 1-2 range swords, lances, and axes were nerfed heavily in ''Fates'' to account for BreakableWeapons being averted.

* The original VideoGame/{{Civilization}} for the PC has a lot of ways for the computer to get a huge advantage over you:
-->1) Improvements in the Emperor Level are about a third of the cost for the computer.
-->2) Technologies are discovered at alarming rates.
-->3) Wonders can be built almost instantly.
-->4) The computer's caravans are transported instantaneously.
-->5) The computer never has production penalties despite city-wide riots.
-->6) Your Triremes sink if they end their turn too far from shore. Computer controlled ones can sail across the Atlantic with no problem.
-->7) The computer can build spaceships without the required technology
-->Et cetera.
** It also seems that the game tries to force averages to occur. Try using saves to make sure you always win. If your win chance is 50%, your chance of winning the first fight is 50%, right? Right. Second fight (after your unit is healed), displayed chance to win is still 50%--but try saving before it and loading. Your chances are closer to 25%. Winning a third fight in a row is likely to have even worse odds--but the displayed chance to win is still 50%. The question exists, does it work in reverse also? Sacrifice a dozen or so units for a run of good luck?
*** What you're seeing here is a bug in the game due to a programmer who doesn't understand probability theory. The displayed battle odds are calculated by the naive method of multiplying each unit's hitpoints by the odds of winning a single round of combat, and using that ratio as the odds of winning the battle. The actual odds of winning, based on the battle mechanics, are much harder to calculate, and can deviate significantly from the displayed odds: your "95% victory" fight might actually be a "0.1% victory". Once you do them right, though, it becomes clear that the computer isn't cheating in battle, just [[LiesDamnedLiesAndStatistics lying through statistics]].
*** For context, units fight multiple rounds within a single combat until one dies. Thus winning one round in actuality only reduces the opponent by a certain amount of HP. So while a unit with low life may have a 50% chance of winning a round, if they can be killed with one hit, the first hit they take in combat (pretty likely at 50%) will kill them.
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}}'' sequels, the game manual actually details exactly how much the computer cheats and in what areas at various difficulty levels.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJcuQQ1eWWI Here]] is a video that explains the AI cheating of Civilization 3 and 4 in more depth (25 minutes in), as well as the reasons they were designed that way.
*** There's also an example of HoistByHisOwnPetard. In Civ 3, the computer can see through the fog of war and always attacks the city with the least defense. By moving units just outside of a city faraway, you can trick the AI into marching back and forth without attacking any cities.
** You can't see strategic resources on the map in Civ 3 until you have the skills to use them. The AI can see them all right from the start of the game though, and will make an effort to build cities next to them to give itself an advantage later on.
*** Often, the AI will have building towns in the middle of the desert for oil as a very important priority during the expansion phase.
*** In Civ 4 this also works for you, the blue rings for city suggestions on your settler often uses the resources around to make it a good choice. In really rare occasions it will suggest empty fields, just to find iron, coal, uranium and oil once you have the appropriate techs.
** Also in Civ 3, the [=AI=] have their production phase after their turn instead of at the start of the next turn; or more precisely, you always have the first turn, which means the turn order goes You->AI's->Your Production Phase->AI's Production Phases->You Again, which means that they can hurry units and have them produced before your next move, while you can't, as the production phase for the units you hurried won't occur until after the AI takes their turn. You can tell when they did this because they haven't had the chance to fortify the unit yet. Sometimes, while you're fighting an AI civ, one of the cities you took will revolt back to them during your production phase, which spawns a defensive unit in that city- and they'll draft two more defensive units and rush a fourth that still completes before your turn.
** If you cheat so that you can control the enemy's cities, you will see that despite having far inferior cities, they have ''huge'' commerce and production bonuses, making them far better than yours.
** However, in the interest of fairness, the ''player'' can cheat mechanically too -- one of the ways lower difficulty levels are made easier is by giving the player free Happiness and Health.
* Computers in Civ4 will always know what you have access to, what you have explored, etc, and use this to become massive cheapskates in trade. If you have no access to horses and thus decided not to research Horseback Riding for awhile, the computer will do everything in their power to push the technology down your throat while making off with as much of your gold and technology as they can. And you can be sure that the computer will ''never'' offer their world map at a halfway decent price unless you've already explored everything they have.
** For example, the AI will pop up with a ton of trade requests for your world map if you find a second continent. While a smart human would know you would find it some dozen turns after you sent that galley off to the side of the map, they wouldn't know ''when'' you found and mapped a good portion of the new world with the crazy precision the AI does.
** If the computer uses nuclear weapons against the player or another AI then they take the "you nuked our friend" relationship modifier. If the player uses nuclear weapons they get a reputation hit with EVERY civilization, even their worst enemies.
* A subtle one in ''[=Civ5=]'': You can't place a new city within 4 hexes of a pre-existing one. Your computer opponents? [[MyRulesAreNotYourRules Don't have that problem]].
** More on Civ 5: on the nice side, no matter how rampantly the AI cheats on higher difficulties, they will never build wonders at accelerated speed; not even on Deity (although their other advantages will certainly help them build wonders sooner). On the not-so-nice side, the computer's happiness and maintenance costs are always as though the computer were playing on Chieftain ("Beginner"), so even if you're playing on Warlord ("Easy"), they still have an edge for happiness and gold. This is pretty obvious; press F9 on the first turn and your civ will already be in dead last for approval. Ever wonder why an AI can expand so much faster than you when you're playing on "Normal"? Wonder no more. Also an example of TheComputerIsALyingBastard since the game implies that Normal is fair.
** Ever settle a city nowhere near an AI player's empire, yet still get the "they covet lands you hold" message under diplomacy? Or how convenient the placing of things like Oil and Uranium are within enemy territory? That's because all the resources in the game, including future ones that haven't been revealed yet, are pre-determined upon map generation. The AI players know from the get-go where the best resources in the game will be, and settle their cities accordingly.
** Another one for Civ V, the computer can have ships that cannot cross oceans on deep sea tiles, like Civ 1. This creates a problem in Gods and Kings if you use a pirate ship to capture the enemy Trireme and then find you can't move it next turn.
* VideoGame/FreeCiv, the open source version on Civilisation has the AI settings "Experimental" and "Cheating".
* Civilization Revolution
** On Emperor, the AI gets a 20% handicap on all costs (unit production, science needed for techs), which increases to 40% on Deity
** The AI can teleport units throughout the Fog of War (even previously uncovered). Explicitly. The devs did this to save on processing resources for consoles, but it's quite annoying to have armies marching out of ANY tile you don't currently have vision of at the moment.
** Boats also count as outside your vision, as you can't see what's in them. The AI uses them like conduits to vomit units into your borders no matter how far away their cities actually are.
** AI culture is much more powerful and supercedes yours in almost all cases unless you specifically crank out culture buildings/wonders. An AI with only the Palace can push 3-ring borders just a few tens of turn into the game.

* ''IXL'' is practically the trope codifier. You only earn 1 - 3 points for each correct question, and then the program takes away 8 points for each wrong question. Let the RageQuits and PercussiveTherapy ensue.
* ''ReBoot'' is a show about the inhabitants of a computer, where any game won by the user results in damage to the system and (what is effectively) ''death of the participants''. As you can imagine, they will pull every trick possible to keep the user from winning games. This includes things that are so unfair that it's surprising the User even keeps on playing on that computer, like moving ammo and extra lives from where they're normally situated.
** ... leading to [[spoiler:Megabyte-]]Bob encouraging Matrix to break the game rules when caught in a game parody of Franchise/{{Pokemon}} and Franchise/DragonBall and the user is clearly going to win. "You're a renegade! CHEAT!!!"
** ...and Matrix shooting the player from behind. In a miniature golf game.
** In one amusing instance, due to the game cube coming down on half of the Principle Office while the energy was being siphoned out of the core, they had to retrieve the energy and return it to the half of the office in the game or it will leave with the game. So this meant they couldn't win or lose. Unfortunately, no one told Enzo this, and Bob ended up having to stop both him and the User. It got to the point that the User felt like the game was ''ignoring him'' and desperately tried to stay relevant.
* Cartoons often have games cheating to exaggerate how hard they are. Especially if they're coin-guzzling arcade machines.
** In ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy'' when Grim complains that the game he is playing is cheating, the in-game character actually calls him a wimp and shoots his score, resetting it to zero.
** Taken to extreme levels in the ''WesternAnimation/RegularShow'' episode "Rage Against the TV". No one can beat The Hammer.
* Teal'c encounters this trope in a season 8 episode of ''Series/StargateSG1''. He says a computer simulation is too easy and the computer takes him at his word. Hijinks ensue.
** Notably the computer cheats so blatantly and repeatedly that in the end they resolve the situation by doing what any self-respecting gamer would do: [[GoodBadBugs exploit a bug in the program]] to cheese the system, sending Daniel in to help while granting him tactical precognition.
* The Doujin game ''Mikuman'' (a parody of ''Franchise/MegaMan'') parodies this. Rin faces against the boss of the second stage -- [[spoiler: Mario]] -- who [[SaveScumming loads a state]] every time you hit him. In truth, [[HopelessBossFight you are supposed to lose]], until Miku saves you.
* The VideoGame/JediKnightJediAcademy might be devoid of this in most cases but when you hit the multiplayer version, you have bots that can suddenly give you a one-hit kill even if you have a very high hit points augmented with shields. For example, a saber throw could just give at least a 9 deduction with a 60 damage at most but here comes the computer with a simple saber throw that reduced your 100 HP and 75 shield points down to zero. Another example would be a single moderate slash could give you an instant killing blow even if your HP and SP are so high that chances of dying is virtually zero wherein that critical slash is just capable of reducing your HPs down by 80 or 90 at most.
* ''[[Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet A Nightmare on Elm Street: Dream Warriors]]'' for the PC and the Commodore 64 bluntly advertised its cheating as a feature listed on the back of the game box, warning potential players that "Freddy cheats!"
* ''VideoGame/WiiSports'' does this a lot, usually by changing the path of the object in question. Baseball has to be one of the worst offenders - how do you get a foul ''more than 20 times‽''
* In the stadium part of ''AntiIdleTheGame'', the AI opponents will not only accelerate in growth much faster than you can but can also go over the cap allowed for stats. Trying to beat an opponent with a top speed you can't even approach is frustrating. This is on top of the already [[NintendoHard frustrating]] difficulty, even on the easiest setting.
* So you are playing the poker mini-game in ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVII'', and you are having an incredible doubling streak: You have doubled 6 times already, and have 640 coins, and the current card is a King. You simply can't resist the temptation of doubling once again as the odds are just incredible. You naturally bet for low. The next card is an Ace. You lose. You scream in frustration and resist your urge to throw the controller at the screen. Well, more the reason for that because you most probably got cheated. You see, when you start doubling the game decides in advance how many times you are allowed to double, and if you get that far you will lose no matter what you choose (if you choose low, it will deliberately give a higher card, and vice-versa). This can be corroborated with an emulator.
* Infamously, VideoGame/MetalGearSolid had Psycho Mantis, an in-game example of this trope who not only reads your button input to perfectly dodge attacks, but also reads ''your memory card'' in order to mock you. To defeat him you have to move your controller to the second port, which bypasses his "psychic" powers.
* FIFA 07: If you're needing a goal in the last twenty minutes or so of play on a decent difficulty, it is virtually impossible to tackle the opponent, or to string together two half-decent passes. You're also much more susceptible to concede goals from nowhere, from players who usually wouldn't dare shoot in normal play.
* The classic Commodore 64 baseball game Hardball was virtually impossible to strike out in later innings as the AI would never swing at anything outside of the strike zone and would hit practically anything inside, racking up singles and doubles with ease.
* An enemy Navi in ''[[VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge]]'' will always have more Program Deck space than you do -- even when you're using that same Navi. [=WoodMan=], for instance, only has room for a couple of the best Wood-type chips when you control him. When Sal is controlling him, expect to be hit with those chips ''every round.''
** You could ''technically'' argue that the greater Battle Network justifies that: you're not using the Navi ''proper'', you're using a Navi Chip (which is a simplistic replica). It's still a valid example, since higher tournament Navis (and the Free Tournament dummies) are all rolling with enough Deck Space to make ''Hub Style'' blush.
* Played straight and lampshaded in ''Film/TronLegacy'':
--> ''Sam Flynn'' (failing to duplicate his disk just like the AI): Aw come on, is that even legal? [[note]] Actually, it ''is'', the discredited Tron 2.0 called it a Sequencer.[[/note]]
* On space maps in ''[[Videogame/StarWarsBattlefront Battlefront 2]]'', computer-controlled fighters with fixed-forward weapons actually have about a 90-degree fire arc. Also, sometimes your own auto-turrets will kill you.
* [[http://online_casino_news.hundredpercentgambling.com/2011/02/rigged-blackjack-vip-golden-club-sets.html This report]] is on what just might be the most hilariously badly-programmed rigging in the history of Blackjack. Evidently, the dealer has an ace up its sleeve - or rather, about four of the Ace of Diamonds.
** The most hilarious (and by that we mean ''cringe inducing'') is the player having his ''blackjack'' beaten by the dealer's ''soft 17.''
* Sometimes in the ''TabletopGame/BloodBowl'' computer game, the AI does something no sane human would do (e.g, a hand-off and pass with dwarves past a high-agility intercepter, ''while'' it's possible to score another way'') and succeeds. Although the nature of ''Blood Bowl'' mechanics is such that actually succeeding on just about anything is certainly possible, especially with re-rolls, the computer seems to succeed almost every time it tries something so unlikely that only the most desperate human would dismiss the possibility out of hand. Furthermore, frequently the AI has set up so it can attempt this but then doesn't even try, so it's not like the AI has some bizarre preference for high-risk moves. The sequence of dice rolls in any given game is set before it begins, so the most likely explanation for the computer's overall behavior is that it consults the list of rolls then randomly decides whether to exploit that knowledge or to calculate odds like it doesn't have access.
* In ''VideoGame/MaddenNFL'', the AI on higher difficulties will know exactly what play you called and respond accordingly. If you audible back and forth between run and pass plays, you can watch the defense react to them even though none of your players moved. And this happens early in the game, long before they could figure out a tell. Similarly, the AI can audible into, out of, and within the Wildcat formation, which the player cannot do for Game Balance reasons. There are many, many more examples.
** It can actually get worse: when during the Season your team has gotten to a 10-0 or better record, the computer will switch into what Bill Simmons calls the "There's no fucking way" difficulty, which takes the previously mentioned quirks UpToEleven.
* A European sci-fi comic played an interesting inversion. The hero and his friends are trapped aboard a ship where the AI in charge decides to kill them all by cutting off the oxygen supply but offering the hero a chance to earn both air and freedom by beating him at chess. Stuck and on the verge of losing, ''the human cheats:'' he claims that the AI's last move is against some obscure medieval chess rule that he just made up, and thus that the AI has forfeited. They are all released, but the AI is last seen fulminating and grumbling that [[MadnessMantra "nobody cheats against me... nobody cheats against me..."]]
* Many argue that having [[ComputersAreFast lightning reflexes]] when it came to buzzing in is how IBM supercomputer ''Watson'' managed to completely curbstomp ''Series/{{Jeopardy}}'' champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in Feb. 2011. Though he was a good sport about it, Ken later [[http://ken-jennings.com/blog/archives/2554 suggested some ideas to level the playing field]] should a similar experiment ever occur.
* In ''VideoGame/LordsOfMagic'' each faction has a legendary creature that can only be summoned once per game, (except Water's which can be produced freely). Unless they're computer controlled, in which case they'll make as many as they want, even having multiple copies of the unique creature in a single party. They also summon their Great Temple's magical creatures from the city's mage tower instead of the more distant temple so they can defend it immediately.
* VideoGame/ArmoredCore is a series where you build a HumongousMecha and go wreck stuff, and when one of the big themes series-wide is [[AIIsACrapshoot Crapshoot AI]] of course it's going to cheat. Examples include having all the optional parts on one of which takes up all the slots for optional parts, ungodly boosting speed and aiming ability, somehow getting almost destroyed and becoming better or reactivating, use overweight mecha, using stationary weapons while moving [[note]]this was possible for the player in older games[[/note]] or turning a piece of the environment into a OneHitKill weapon.
* ''Inverted'' by the Film/{{Rollerball}}-esque future-sports game ''VideoGame/{{Pararena}}'': no matter which size of target you select for your own goal, the computer will resolutely play with the smallest and most difficult size.
* In the majority of the ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' games, whenever you are tasked to chase someone down, the car they use will usually have the power to plow through traffic like a truck, even if they are using a sports car. This is a case of ScriptedEvent gone wrong (some car chases have the target be immune until you're allowed to hit them) as it makes it look like the game is favoring the enemy while you have to avoid all the traffic and keep up with the winding roads. On top of this, the enemy AI will always have perfect handling no matter how fast they are going while you trying the same stunt will make you spin out or flip over.
** This also extends to the side missions involving racing against other people. Even if you are using a car that is exactly like the competition's, their cars can never be destroyed while yours can. They are also much harder to force into a spin (it's certainly doable, but they correct a lot better than street traffic does), and the AI has perfect handling. To compensate, the AI tends to get rather dumb at certain choke points.
** ''San Andreas'' has a rather blatant example with a tanker truck. The mission involves driving up alongside it and having your passenger jump to it. To facilitate the constant speed and direction of the truck, it can magically hit the oncoming traffic so hard you'd think they were rigged with Hollywood-style flip devices. While the truck is certainly no slouch in our hands, the best you can hope is to get them roll over, and that's on a side hit.
** There's also the infamous glitch that's persisted in the series since [[VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIII the third installment]] where an on-foot police officer you pass by may suddenly warp over to your door no matter how fast you're going, pull you out and bust you against all laws of gameplay and physics. [[FanNickname The community's dubbed them Ultracops.]]
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0dvqK9_1Gg Tails' version of Windy Valley has you race against Sonic to the end of the level]] in VideoGame/SonicAdventure. There's spaces where you can literally fly across the level to get a big lead. Sonic responds by [[RubberBandAI shooting right up near to your position]] judging by the indicator on the bottom of the screen.
** Later on, you race against Eggman on Speed Highway... And he actually doesn't cheat.
* On the similar-to-Countdown-but-not-actually-Countdown wordgame website [[http://www.apterous.org apterous]], the strongest computer opponent, Apterous Rex, will always spot the longest available word, will always solve the numbers game perfectly (or get as close as possible if it can't be solved exactly) and always spots the conundrum in under a second. Hilariously, if you somehow manage to beat Rex to a conundrum, it will sometimes accuse the player of cheating.
* ''Kid Speedy,'' one of the Videlextrix games not directly linked to on ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'', puts you against 3 CPU opponents who run at constant, randomly-chosen speeds, and you have to come in at least 3rd place by grabbing healthy food items to increase your speed and avoiding fatty food items, which slow you down. Unfortunately, sometimes all three of the other racers will run at speeds ''higher than your possible maximum speed'', the game will not give you nearly enough healthy items to have a ghost of a chance of competing, or it will completely flood the screen with unhealthy items to the point that there's no possible path through them.
* Gets quite egregious in ''VideoGame/MountAndBlade'':
** When defeated in battle, Lords escape capture approximately 80-90% of the time. The player is captured and loses money or gear as a result ''every time''.
** Lords respawn automatically with a full party of their kingdom's units with a mix of tiers and types (infantry/cavalry/missile). If the player is defeated, even if they hold a fief for one of the factions, they must manually recruit and level their troops unless they had the foresight to garrison some at their castle (if they own one, and then risk an attack from the rival faction on the now weakened garrison). You could have a dozen highly prosperous towns, and must STILL go door-to-door begging for recruits.
** AI parties don't require food to maintain party morale.
** The AI can enter the parry stance with weapons that are flagged as "No Parry" in the Equipment screen. On higher difficulties, Looters can parry with kitchen knives and no shields.
** If the player starts his swing first the AI will ''still'' land his hit first a substantial percentage of the time, even if the player's weapon is faster.
** The AI can stop mid-attack and immediately change directions. The player ''can'' stop an attack and change directions as well, but must engage in a block to do so, which forces a small but noticeable delay no matter how fast the player is. The AI is not subject to entering the block animation to change attack direction, allowing them to instantaneously change their attack direction.
** AI troops ''never'' inflict friendly fire. This gets ''really'' bad if doing melees at the arena, which are allegedly free for alls. Until four AI opponents decide to charge across the entire field to gang up on the player. And can swing through each other to beat the crap out of you.
** For the most part, the relative speed engine used to calculate damage is fair, but then there are instances where you are swinging your weapon at a target riding at your same speed for almost no damage, when an enemy doing the same thing to you in the same situation would put you in a tight spot, ''especially'' if you are using a bow at the moment.
** AI archers have both X-ray vision and sniper scopes. They can find you from a ''significant'' distance, even if line-of-sight is completely and totally blocked.
*** For that matter, no matter ''how far away'' your army is, and no matter ''what'' sort of terrain you're fighting on, your opponent's ''entire army'' will always adjust to every move the player makes when positioning his troops, making outflanking another army impossible. Additionally, when charging AI troops will always know ''exactly'' where the last enemy soldier is hiding and zero in on his position like a GPS satellite.
*** Fortunately, this is not restricted to the AI commander. The player only directly controls his own character and ''all'' AI troops on both sides work the same way, so the player can benefit from the x-ray vision and total lack of fog of war as well (and the player ''does'' get a minimap showing the position of each individual soldier on the map on both sides). Fights in forested and hilly areas will often come down to archer duels in which neither side can actually see the other through the foliage.
* The [=iOS=] turn-based strategy ''VideoGame/RavenmarkScourgeOfEstellion'' has several limitations imposed on human players ''only''. The player can only give orders before a battle turn, requiring great planning in order to anticipate enemy moves. Computer players are very clearly giving orders to units in the middle of the battle turn. Alternatively, the computer knows which orders you gave to your units (still cheating) and gives his units pre-turn orders with this knowledge in mind. Another clear violation of the rules is the computer being able to give orders to all its units on the battlefield, while the player is only limited to 6 orders per turn. The latter is not so much a problem in the sequel ''VideoGame/RavenmarkMercenaries'', which is focused primarily on multiplayer matches and small battalion engagements but is ''very'' evident in the first game, where the main focus is the single-player campaign and large-scale battles.
* This is the bane of many a [[LetsPlay Let's Player]]. Among others, LetsPlay/TheRunawayGuys made a running gag out of "the Anti-Peach Brigade" (as the AI controlling Peach in ''VideoGame/MarioParty'' had a serious tendency to do this).
** They also brought up in their ''VideoGame/MarioParty2'' LP that the computer player is able to 'button-mash' buttons not only faster than a normal human but faster even than an N64 controller is capable of registering.
* ''[[VideoGame/OneHundredPercentOrangeJuice 100% Orange Juice]]'': While the game's heavy reliance on dice rolls means you might always think the computer is cheating, the final boss, Tomomo, explicitly rigs her dice so she rolls high, making it very difficult to directly attack her.
* ''VideoGame/YuGiOhReshefOfDestruction'' is infamous for this. The computer can have three Torrential Tribute, three Swords of the Revealing Light, three Raigeki, three Harpie's Feather Duster, three Pot of Greed, three Monster Reborn and/or three Change of Heart while you can have these cards only once in your deck.
* ''VideoGame/AdvanceWars'' features the character of Flak (and later Jugger), considered a JokeCharacter by many players because his gimmick (his "luck spread" is very high, meaning his attacks randomly deal much more or much less damage than they should) makes the game into a LuckBasedMission. Standard strategy with Flak, especially when he gets his CO Powers and his luck spread gets even crazier, is to ZergRush with all units and pray that at least one crits. However, the computer appears to be aware ahead of time how well Flak is going to do on a given assault, and will plan accordingly. This gets particularly obvious when it activates Flak's Super CO Power and passes the turn after shuffling its units a bit, having detected no cases where its units would do more damage.
* [[UnwinnableTrainingSimulation The Kobayashi Maru test]] in ''Franchise/StarTrek'' assesses how a Starfleet cadet handles a HeadsIWinTailsYouLose situation. The cadet, in command of a starship, receives a distress call from a freighter (the Kobayashi Maru), which has broken down in The Neutral Zone between Klingon and Federation territory, and whose crew will soon die unless action is taken. The politically correct choice is to abandon them to their law-breaking fates; if the cadet chooses to intervene, s/he is preemptively attacked by angry Klingons. Whether the cadet chooses to help or not, the cadet ''must'' be defeated and the computer will happily break the laws of physics, probability or reality to ensure a HumiliationConga-worthy win.
** James T. Kirk is noted as being the only one to ever beat the scenario, and he's known to have cheated to do so. In a novel that went into how several of the crew dealt with the scenario, Kirk justified his own cheating by pointing out that the computer cheated first. This was later worked into the 2009 reboot film in which he point-blank tells Spock, the test's programmer, that the test ''itself'' is a cheat.
* ''Series/WhoWantsToBeAMillionaire'' has the 50:50 lifeline which randomly eliminates two wrong answers, leaving one wrong answer and the correct answer. Almost every time a contestant struggled between two answers, then used the 50:50 only for it to leave them with (or worse, eliminate) ''the two answers they were struggling between''. It happened so frequently over the years that many viewers complained the "random removal" felt more like rigging (a fact Norm [=MacDonald=] caught on to), especially at the very end of a themed week where the contestant's only options are really Quit or Fail. Several fans suggested to potential contestants that, if they considered using the 50:50, not to say the answers they were considering out loud. The fact that it originally ''wasn't'' random (though this wasn't told to the viewers or contestants) doesn't help any — the answers least likely to get picked were always the ones removed, including when Norm was on.
* Chess on Mac is full of this. The CPU in this game ''does not tolerate being beaten''. For example, the program will automatically call a draw at certain times; this is useful in breaking stalemates - e.g. when it's just the two kings and they're chasing each other around the board - but ''when you're within three moves of winning'' and the game has been going on no longer than usual, the CPU declares the match is a draw. This program has also been known to ''force pieces to simply disappear from the board for no apparent reason''.
* The BigBad of the anime film ''Anime/SummerWars'' is a massive case of this. Love Machine was programmed to enjoy games and competition, but he's a terribly SoreLoser and resorts to cheating whenever it looks like the heroes might win.

[[folder: Casino/Amusement Park Games]]
* Many arcade games are programmed to only make the jackpot or grand prize possible to hit once out of so many games. This is usually set via some kind of mechanism inside the machine, behind the coin box, or in the operator menu activated by a button behind the coin box for games with a monitor. One common implementation is to have a setting can go from 1 (or some other small number) to some maximum value X, or alternatively a "difficulty level" with each level mapping to a numerical setting in that range. Every game, the machine rolls a random number from 0 to X-1. If the roll is less than the setting, the jackpot can be won on that game; otherwise, the machine rigs the game to be {{Unwinnable}}. The other common implementation is to allow setting a minimum number of games that must pass since the last time the jackpot was won before it becomes winnable again. This is why some arcades will have one of those "stop the light" games with a four-digit progressive jackpot that hasn't been hit in over 1,000 games in spite of skilled players who can hit the jackpot at least once every 10 attempts on the same game at other arcades.
* On British pub fruit machines, when a player spins a winning combination he is given the option to go higher/lower for the chance to win the next biggest payout. The machine decides in advance how far the player will be allowed to go, and there will come a point where a player who chooses to go higher/lower is guaranteed to lose regardless of the option taken. This has been proven by the Fairplay campaign, who ran the fruit machine software on a PC emulator, saving the game state before the choice is made. The machine cabinets are now required to display the message "This machine may occasionally offer a choice where the player has no chance of success".
** The British National Lottery online games do exactly the same thing. For instance, there is a game where you can guess whether the next ball from the machine will be higher or lower, giving the illusion that skill is required to win. However, whether you will win or lose the game is decided beforehand. Sometimes it's funny to deliberately choose the least likely answer and then watch as a highly improbable sequence of balls emerge - again and again.
*** Sometimes you can get an extra high low win by going low on a 2, or high on a 11, forcing a 1 or a 12 to come up, which is then followed by another winner you wouldn't have had if you didn't. When the win for tat guess is predetermined, it's best to go agains the odds.
* Coin-operated pub quiz machines were fair for a few years after they first came out, until the makers realised that some RenaissanceMan types were making serious money off them. The response was to introduce gambling elements to the games that reduced them to LuckBasedMission even for people who knew all the answers to the questions. Some games even introduce elements ostensibly requiring manual dexterity - for example, on ''Bullseye'' a player must hit a prize segment with a dart, and ''Battleships'' involves hitting it with a revolving turret. However, even when aimed perfectly, the game decides whether or not the shot will hit.
** When the rules were changed to stop that, they resorted to having a separate database of "spoiler questions." Ones which no one can reasonably be expected to know the answer to. If you get good enough, they start throwing them at you. The game keeps track of the spoiler questions that have already been asked, so it can keep asking new ones as needed to stop winning.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stacker_(game) Stacker]] machines actually decide--before the game has even been played--whether the player is allowed to win a major prize or not; this means it's possible to "waste" winning games, as well as make your way to the end but never have a chance of winning. If the last square stacks up, it simply moves another step before stopping after you press the button, oops, you missed. Though this is understandable, as the major prizes tend to be expensive things like game consoles or MP3 players, it is cheating nonetheless. The machine doesn't cheat for the minor prizes, but that's because nobody cares about winning hair scrunchies. In case you had any doubt, there's no warning of this (at least in Canada).
* Claw Machines. Good lord. It's amazing how many people don't know this, but almost all claw machines are rigged in various ways. For instance, many machines lower the claw slowly and then pull it up quickly, tending to drop the prize with this sudden motion. The most common method of rigging a machine is to rig the claw so that it only actually closes tight enough to grip a prize every so often. If the machine is set to grip a prize, an experienced player will almost always win...but these instances are rare. On some machines, you get a chance to win every X amount of plays. Someone in-the-know could let other people play until the machine is ready to spit out a prize, then swoop in and take it. However, most modern machines use a Random Number Generator.
** Also, it's often easier to grab a prize if it's lying on its side...and more often than not, the items (usually toys) are placed upright or some other way to make grabbing even more difficult.
** Since claw games are really popular in Japan, quite a few of them are less about luck and more about skill. It boils down to how few coins you need to put into the game to get the item which is carefully placed to be manipulated out, rather than lifted out.
*** To elaborate, claw machines in Japan will often feature a single object placed in the center of a flat surface, and the captured object is then traded for the actual prize. Players are expected to make multiple attempts, nudging the object closer to the goal each time. If a player accidentally moves the object into a disadvantageous position, they can flag down one of the arcade operators to reset it to its original placement and start anew. In the end, you've paid a reasonable price for the item, but the prizes are often specialty pop culture items that cannot be found in retail stores (apart from secondhand shops in the months that follow).
* Many video slot machines are programmed with weighted reels, so that some stops are more common than others. This is virtually always used to make "near misses" happen many, MANY times more often than an actual win, in order to make the player think he's close to winning and continue playing. For example, the [[http://wizardofodds.com/slots "Red White Blue"]] slot machine pays out the jackpot for hitting a red 7, a white 7, and a blue 7, from left to right. But for one configuration, each reel only has a 1/64 chance of hitting the properly-colored 7, a 3/64 chance of hitting the blank right above it, and a 3/64 chance of hitting the blank right below it - which means the proper combination is 27 times more likely to line up just above the pay line than it is to be actually hit, as well as 27 times more likely to line up just below the pay line. (And this is a milder case; it's not uncommon to make the adjacent blanks each the legal maximum of 6 times more likely than the jackpot space.) In addition, the white and blue 7's are 6-7 times more likely to show up in each of the other reels - red-blue-white is 49 times more likely to be hit than red-white-blue, and blue-red-white is 126 times more likely.[[note]]Note that the law requires reels to be independent, so the odds of the blue 7 hitting on the third reel, for example, must be the same regardless of what symbols hit on the first two reels. However, it's legal to simply make the blue 7 common on reel 2 and rare on reel 3, and the white 7 common on reel 3 and rare on reel 2, which is how the game achieves these near misses. This does, however, depend on jurisdiction, as in some places the only requirement is that the machine pay off at least the state minimum percentage of play in, and how it does that is of no concern to the gaming commission.[[/note]]
* Japanese pachisuro (a.k.a. pachi-slot) machines spin until the player manually stops the reels, attempting to time the button presses to line up a winning combination. However, the machine is legally allowed to skip up to 4 symbols after each button press before stopping the reel; this is most frequently done to make the third reel skip past a winning combination. (The slot machines in ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' also do this, since they're based off pachisuro as opposed to Western slot machines.)
* A particularly glaring example would be the casino game tournaments in the otherwise above-average Hoyle Casino 2011 PC game. While the human player sits at third base, the human must always place bets prior to the AI bots at seats 1, 2, and 4 deciding how much they are willing to stake. You can change your bet amount, but the bots will then do the same. In real tournaments, you're at least given the option of making a secret bet by writing down your bet amount and handing it to the dealers, to prevent other players from basing their betting on how much you stand to win or lose. This option does not exist in Hoyle Casino because, frankly, of this trope.
* The arcade redemption game ''Tippin' Bloks'' was fair (i.e. the jackpot could be won on every game), although it would adjust itself to be harder for a while after a couple jackpot wins - it would spawn blocks on the opposite side of the screen, but you still had just barely enough time to catch them. But then many arcades discovered they were ''losing'' money on the machine due to people who practiced the game to the point where they could win the jackpot more often than not. This prompted the manufacturer to create a software update, which makes the game drop blocks so fast that they're impossible to catch in time, making the game UnwinnableByDesign.
* ''VideoGame/AnimalKaiser'' is a terrible offender at this. In order to attack your opponent, you need to get a higher power roll than them. So the game often rigs your attack roll in the opponent's favour, especially against the final one. If you stop your roll last, you'll roll one level lower than your opponent (even when it was supposed to stop earlier- they make it roll to the next number!). If you roll first, the opponent roll one level higher than you. Either way, you're screwed!
** And if you got a "Doubling", which is the highest roll possible? The opponent will also get a "Doubling" and draw with you, forcing both to roll again!