God Mode

aka: God Moders
Good old God Mode. Ever since a small company called Id Software started using the key word "GOD" as an invincibility cheat (beginning with Commander Keen), the term God Mode has migrated as a catch-all term for cheat-code based invincibility in video games.

There are legitimate reasons for having the capability in a game, for playtesters who are trying a particular level and want to stress-test certain parts of a level without having to worry about being killed while testing, and similar such activities. Because they can be used in some very complicated games to allow someone to get past an intractable problem, people (customers) expect most games to have some sort of God Mode in order to allow them to play and finish a game they might otherwise consider unwinnable.

The term has also become popular as shorthand for Nigh-Invulnerability in other contexts, usually in a cynical tone. For example, to say that somebody is using God Mode in a multiplayer game is to suggest that he/she is using a cheat program. This is also the origin of why apparently grossly-overpowered characters are known as God-Mode Sue. The term has also become popular within various role playing communities, where it's sometimes called the similar term "God Modding" (think "modifying" as opposed to "mode" for pronunciation). Saying that somebody "God Modes" in a tabletop game is to suggest that he/she basically refuses to allow anything that negatively impacts him. However, the term "godmoding" is viewed a bit more neutrally than "godmodding" and could just as easily refer to when the characters are given a free pass on potential death for whatever reason.

The God-Mode Sue is a type of character named after this trope. Not to be confused with the webcomic of the same name.


    Video Game Examples 

  • id Software almost always include a God Mode out of tradition.
    • In the Doom engine, God Mode (which is also the function of the Invulnerability Sphere, except that it tints your screen in silver as well as giving you the glowing God Mode eyes) only protects against 1,000 damage per shot. Anything above that and, well...

      Without damage hacks, the only source of damage that can possibly do this is telefragging, and monsters usually cannot do this to a player. All bets are off on the last level of Doom 2, however. Additionally, one infamous puzzle near the end of TNT: Evilution has the player navigating a maze of pillars; take a wrong turn and you'll end up telefragging yourself.

      The ZDoom port for the Doom engine games actually has the "Buddha Mode" cheat from Half-Life 2, mentioned below. Latest builds add in a "god2" and a corresponding "buddha2" cheat code that both prevents the player from dying no matter what, not even from telefrags.
  • Half-Life has a God Mode. Half-Life 2 adds in "Buddha Mode" just for good measure, which allows you to take damage but almost never lets your HP fall below 1, effectively making you immortal. It may eventually fail by taking damage too occasionally.
    • Funnily enough, this applies to Team Fortress 2 as well—Buddha mode, at least. While the basic God Mode appears to be cut out, Buddha mode is available on servers with cheats enabled. You can stand in front sentry guns and jump on sticky bombs all day long and get several Scouts' worth of blood shot out of you to no ill effect. Note, however, that you will be struck dead and either reduced to flying scraps of outfit and body parts or sent flying the moment you get nailed by a Critical Hit.
    • The Magic: The Gathering card Worship also works this way, provided you control both it and a creature card.
    • The conclusion of the Half-Life 2-based webcomic Concerned revealed that Gordon Frohman had been under the influence of the Buddha cheat from the beginning, thus handwaving his ability to survive massive injuries for the sake of comedy. He dies when he accidentally turns it off if you don't count the unofficial sequel Concerned 2: A Concerned Ripoff.
  • All of id's Quake engine games have a God Mode, including those which inherited it by licensing it, as Valve did with the first Half-Life. All Unreal engine games have the same God mode. In earlier games, this was simply left available to anyone who knew how to drop down the console; later games' cheats had to be enabled in a configuration .ini file. This has pretty much become standard FPS games on other game engines as well.
  • Raven Software's Jedi Knight II also has a God Mode accessible through the console. But, in the final boss fight, there is a beam of energy in the middle of the room. The game essentially enables God mode for about a minute for whoever walks into the beam, meaning once the effect's time is up, you'll be vulnerable whether or not you had God mode before you touched the beam.
  • Rise of the Triad takes the concept quite literally. The pickup called "God Mode" makes you slightly taller and allows you to smite enemies in one shot as well as making you invulnerable. You also make 'Godlike' yawns that get annoying very quickly. The game also contains a more traditional God Mode cheat code.
    • ROTT also features a "Dog Mode" power up which makes you shorter, hairier and quadrupedal, with a chargeable bark attack that can disintegrate every enemy on screen. You are also invincible, once again. Effectively, it's even better than God Mode, as your small size grants access to secret areas in some maps.
  • The Warcraft games, as well as StarCraft, all have this as a cheat code. The Warcraft games also let you deal overwhelming damage that will typically kill enemies in one shot with it activated. Warcraft III and StarCraft disable this in multiplayer, for obvious reasons. In StarCraft's case, it's not pure invulnerability. Instead, enemies' weapon damage is reduced to zero. There are still several ways in which your units can be killed, though.
    • Warcraft II and StarCraft both have flaws in their god mode codes. In Warcraft II, the code works by giving your units incredibly high armor values; however, magical damage bypasses armor, so units like Death Knights remain a threat. In StarCraft, not only do instant-kill attacks still work on your units, but because units not under your control can't do damage, certain in-game cutscenes will essentially freeze (as the game is waiting for a unit to be sufficiently damaged before continuing) and any map where enemy units are fighting each other will wind up with a huge glut of enemy units uselessly fighting and almost nothing left to go your way.
    • Starcraft II lets you use cheat codes in single player, but doing so disables achievements.
  • Ōkami has an item you can obtain at the beginning of the New Game+, assuming you collected all 100 Stray Beads in the previous playthrough, that grants Amaterasu invincibility, infinite ink, and attack power that is increased tenfold when equipped. This can make the New Game+ a literal God Mode.
    • Rather appropriate, as Amaterasu is a goddess.
  • Various games that use noclip. With noclipping, you can go through any object and person since they just go through you and any attack also goes through you. Because of this, you're pretty much invincible.
  • RuneScape's first ever grandmaster ranked quest allows the player to access a literal God Mode after touching the Stone of Jas, an item which is said to have created and/or boosted the power of many of the games current deities.
  • God of War subverts the trope by having "God Mode" as an unlockable once you beat the game - it's merely the hardest difficulty level. The sequel ups the ante by having "God" difficulty available at the start with its hardest difficulty being unlockable under the moniker "Titan Mode."
    • In the third installment it gets renamed once again, this time being called "Chaos Mode".
  • Both The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Fallout 3 have a God mode, though most of the time it's activated because of its infinite carrying capacity when looting.
    • The developers apparently noticed this use, since both Fallout: New Vegas and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim have a second cheat called "Demigod Mode", which removes your weight limit and give you infinite ammunition/action points (FNV) or infinite stamina/magicka (Skyrim), but doesn't make you immortal; you still take any damage you would normally take.
  • Mega Man 3 is somewhat infamous for being able to use the second controller to God mode Mega Man in various ways. It seems this was used for playtesting and just never removed. Of course, when 3 gets added to collections, this trick is patched out.
  • Super Sonic, a plot-based Eleventh Hour Superpower in later games, has always led to the true ending of any game it's in, but in Sonic 2, 3 and Sonic & Knuckles, once earned, it is a legitimate God Mode, with Hyper Sonic, Hyper Knuckles and Super Tails taking it further.
    • You can still die from getting crushed, falling into bottomless pits, drowning, and sadistic pits that are too deep for you to jump out of.
    • It's returned to being playable in levels in Sonic the Hedgehog 4.
    • Sonic Colors lets you play as Super Sonic in levels too, and even gives you an automatic S-rank for that level if you do so. Sonic Generations also has unlockable Super forms for both Classic and Modern Sonic that are also usable in the levels.
  • Mass Effect 1: After enabling the console, there are a number of cheat codes that let you obtain just about everything in the game. Money, XP, guns, armor, new abilities beyond those in your Class. Two codes give you a yellow set of armor with 8000 shields and 99% damage resists and a geth assault rife that has 25,000 damage per shot.
  • Neverwinter Nights on single-player allows you to tell the DM to give you stuff. XP, items, gold, invincibility, etc. etc. etc. You can also open up the campaign modules in the toolset and insert hilariously broken items. Among the funniest abilities to abuse are spell name on hit for items and spell name on getting hit for armour, allowing you to have (among other things) a sword that summons a badger every time you hit someone with it.
    • Knights of the Old Republic has a similar system, but if you do so it points out that you cheated every time you load a game after having cheated in it.
  • The God Mode code in the original Dark Forces was LAIMLAME.
  • Using id's God Mode codes in Descent would reduce your shields and energy levels to 1. Using any cheat codes flashes "Cheater!" on screen.
  • The original Jazz Jackrabbit had a cheat that set the temporary invincibility parameter to maximum, meaning it would eventually fail. There was also a cheat to make your enemies practically invincible.
  • Enabling 'All Guns', 'Invincibility', 'Infinite Ammo', and, if you want, 'Invisibility' on GoldenEye allows you to become almost like Jesus, Rambo and your character James Bond in one. You then have the chance to smite the wicked who dare try to stop you with any weapon you damn well feel like. Granted, these cheats do have to be unlocked by performing timed stunts so incredible that you've already proved you don't need them at all.
  • Inversion: Mushihime Sama Futari has a "God Mode" in its Black Label version... except this God Mode was a Harder Than Hard difficulty level, implying that one would have to be a god in order to beat it.
  • In The Sims series, you can use money cheats to make yourself filthy rich. The first game had no aging, so you could pretty much do whatever you wanted, the second game had an aging off cheat, and the 3rd game even has it under options. Thus you could create a person who lives forever and has unlimited money.
  • The creative mode on Minecraft is sometimes referred to as "God Mode". You can fly and have access to the complete inventory including things you can't get in survival, like eggs that spawn mobs. In addition, the only way you can die is by falling into the void and even then, you can survive if you enable flying quickly enough.
  • Star Trek: Elite Force II had a neat side effect to including unlimited ammo when activated, and it's not unlimited on reserve ammo, it's unlimited on magazines as well, this actually causes an odd animation bug with the phaser sniper rifle, which it was supposed to blend with a reload animation since it had one shot per magazine.
  • The Sega Genesis game F-22 Super Raptor had an invincibility setting on the game's startup menu. It basically made the plane immune to any damage it took and prevented it from crashing.
  • In New Super Luigi U, Nabbit is functionally this. While he can't use powerups, he is completely immune to all damage that doesn't immediately kill you (Bottomless Pits, lava, being crushed, and running out of time), plus the odd Invincible Minor Minion that knock him back. He can be played in single-player by holding down the ZL button (B on a classic Wii remote).
    • In Super Mario 3D Land, New Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario 3D World, dying five times on a level you haven't completed yet (or one you have in NSMB2's case) nets you an "Invincibility Leaf" which gives you the White Raccoon/Tanooki suit, or White Fox for Luigi. It's basically a cross between the regular Raccoon/Tanooki/Fox suit and a Starman with no time limit.
  • Slam Scape has a very easy cheat that made you completely invincible to absolutely everything in the game from explosions to being squished in a pneumatic press. It actually made the game a lot funner because of the way you could bounce around and use mines to Rocket Jump, and was pretty much the only way you'd be able to play a level for more than 30 seconds anyways.
  • The Matrix: Path of Neo has an in-game cheat that unlocks The One mode, where Neo is really in God Mode and can't be killed.

    Non-Video Game Examples 

  • In Person of Interest, Team Machine refers to any individual that has one of the near-omniscient AIs whispering in their ear and guiding their actions as being in 'god mode'. (It also serves as the title of an episode.) Among other things, this confers Improbable Aiming Skills, with the AI in question triangulating targets and feeding firing instructions to the individual. Usually results in a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • Destroy The Godmodder is a forum game based completely off of this trope, with the posters attempting to kill aforementioned godmodder being the entirety of the game.
  • In Dora Wilk Series, some blesses angels can Manifest, which results in their aura working like Holy Hand Grenade and makes them Nigh Invulnerable and perfectly aware of everything surrounding them, which usually results in angel in question moping floor with their enemies. Thankfully for said enemies, it doesn't happen often.

Alternative Title(s):

God Moders