Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.


Cheese Strategy

Go To

"They're using cheesy, underhanded tactics against us. Like logically extrapolating the possible consequences of the powers they have and then invoking those options, instead of just following the obvious intention and playing fair!"

In many video games, player skill is a requirement to improve or to advance. After all, in order to prove that you are prepared to face higher-level enemies or higher-skill levels, you have to prove you are capable of dealing effectively with enemies at the current level.

These requirements will often be true tests of a player's skill or mettle, perhaps even more than the Final Boss itself. Be it a challenging boss fight, a notoriously difficult level, a sidequest involving sheer luck or a ludicrous degree of skill, there will occasionally be moments in the game where a player's patience is tested just as much as their ability.

Most of the time, there's an intended strategy, and no real other way to beat it. So all you can do is keep playing, keep trying, keep restarting, and getting better over time. Sometimes there are tactics that a player can exploit to make things easier for themselves, either intentionally programmed or not. But at the end of the day, you can stand victorious and feel satisfied at having successfully defeated such a difficult test of skill.

And then there's these strategies.

What separates a cheese strategy from other more accepted strategies can vary; often, they're considered "no-effort" or "low-skill" strategies by a large chunk of the fandom, be it in a single or multiplayer game. Sometimes, they're considered boring to play with or watch. Sometimes they egregiously break immersion with a story or character, lock out interesting game content, or make preferred or "canon" endings impossible. Using such a strategy will net you a large amount of hate from viewers, Scrubs and "Stop Having Fun" Guys alike, yet at the same time, these are the kinds of strategies that whoring players will devote their energy toward.

In order for something to qualify as a cheese strategy, however, it must fulfill a number of criteria.

  1. It must be considered the "wrong" way to play the game. In any gaming community, there is almost always a "right" way to play a given game. Cheese strategies will almost always run counter to that out of necessity, given it involves circumventing difficulty brought on by this "correct way". Whether that means that the strategy is too easy, makes the game dull to play and/or watch, or causes any other number of "unwanted" results is up to the game and community.
  2. It must succeed relatively often. Strategies wouldn't be quite so widespread if they didn't work. Cheese strategies do, and thus that makes it an attractive option for everyone to try and advance their in-game rank.
  3. Optionally, it may be reviled by a large section of the fanbase. In any game with Self-Imposed Challenges or a Casual-Competitive Conflict, there will inevitably be a set of "acceptable" strategies or tactics, and this would not be one of them, leading to a lot of players with negative feelings about it. However, usually more in single-player games, cheese strategies may not only be accepted, but praised for how well they exploit game mechanics. Some cheese strategies may be seen as funny, interesting or even more immersive to the story/game world than the "real" solution. It very heavily depends on the game and the community.

Obviously, bringing up such strategies can be a huge Berserk Button for some players, especially if counter-playing such a strategy isn't terribly easy to do or if it is seen as an invalid way to complete a challenge. Use such a strategy in a multi-player environment at your own risk.

The term "Cheese" as use for questionable gaming choices originates from the Street Fighter II fanbase. Has nothing to do with using a strategy that revolves around actual cheese.

May overlap with A.I. Breaker, Easy Level Trick (especially in single-player games), Dungeon Bypass in games centered around puzzle-solving and exploration, High-Tier Scrappy, or a Game-Breaker mechanic, where a character, object, strategy, etc., is so fundamentally broken that merely using them elicits anger.


    open/close all folders 

  • The "tush push"/"Brotherly Shove" form of quarterback sneak is causing serious debate among defensive players and fans due to it being an extremely reliable form of short-yardage play that the defense finds difficult to counter. The offense lines up with eight players on the line of scrimmage, the quarterback under center, and two running backs immediately behind the QB who will physically shove him forward with their hands as soon as the QB snaps the ball. This was invented by the Philadelphia Eagles (hence the second name) in the 2022-23 season and was used to great effect, to the point where other teams have started to use it as well. What makes it such a contentious topic, however, is that the defensive side of the ball is not allowed to do something similar on plays such as field goals or punts, with the NFL previously citing health and safety reasons, so many players and fans are decrying the double-standard and how it creates an unfair advantage for the offense that is created when the defense is not allowed to counteract it via doing the same thing.
  • Underhand throws (also known as "granny style") in basketball. Despite being highly effective (as borne out by physics), the style tends to be avoided by professional players.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In BattleTech, the use of massive numbers of small, fast units like the Savannah Master hovercraft (which weighs a mere five tons) is considered this. If the terrain favors them, they can zip around a force of fewer, heavier units and attack from all directions, or make 20 hex ramming attacks that will likely kill the Savannah Master but potentially cripple or destroy the leg of a mech, and if you've got 12 Savannah Masters vs 4 mechs, that's almost always a winning trade off.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • 3rd edition had "CoDzilla" (Cleric or Druid + Godzilla), in reference to the fact that those two classes had extremely powerful physical and magical abilities that allowed them to dominate the game.
    • Also, the famous Dungeon Bypass technique "scry-and-die." Use a divination spell to pinpoint the Big Bad, buff up for combat, teleport to his location and kill him in the surprise round, bypassing any and all defenses he's built up. There has been a significant amount of gaming ink spilled on how to stop this.
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • A mono-Red "burn" deck consisting largely of direct damage spells is often called a "cheese deck".
    • There is a mono-Blue equivalent containing mainly counterspells and bounce spells. Appropriately, it's called "Blue cheese".
  • Pokémon: Base Set Mewtwo has a move that expends a Psychic Energy but nullifies the effect of all attacks. One viable deck consisted of 1 Mewtwo and everything else as Psychic Energy, the "Mewtwo Mulligan," ensuring that once Mewtwo shows up, it cannot be harmed as the opponent slowly runs out of cards to use unable to do anything about it. This resulted in two changes to the game to prevent this: The first is that if you start a game with no Pokémon, the opponent is no longer required to draw a card—this was the crux of the Mewtwo Mulligan deck to ensure the opponent had fewer remaining cards; and the second is that Base Set Mewtwo was eventually banned from official tournaments and no Pokémon card printed since has had an attack like it (when Base Set Mewtwo was retrained in the Evolutions set, the offending move was changed to be unusable if you used it last turn).
  • Risk: The well-known Australia fortress strategy. In Risk, at the start of each turn, factions gain a certain number of armies each turn based on the total number of provinces they own and whether or not they own an entire single continent. The minimum amount of armies they can gain is 3. Owning all of Australia adds 2 extra armies per turn. In addition, if a player captures even a single province on their turn, they get a card, which they can cash in either a set of these cards or three of a kind in exchange for even more armies. On top of all of this, Australia only has a single point of entry into the continent, meaning the player in control of it can just stick all of their armies into this chokepoint to create a massive plug that forces any would-be opponents to throw all of their armies at this single point, setting up a major disadvantage. Thus, the strategy is simple. Take over all of Australia, move all armies into Siam, then take one additional Asian province once per turn to get a card, while the player simply sits back and waits for their opponents to wear themselves down so they can sweep across the map and overwhelm everyone.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The "Fish of Fury" exploit (which even Tau players didn't like) allowed Tau players to move their Devilfish hovertanks as mobile cover by hiding hard-hitting Fire Warriors behind the surprisingly hard-to-kill Devilfish to protect them from melee attacks.
    • 5th edition's Grey Knights were widely reviled for the immense Character Derailment they received in the fluff and for being utterly overpowered in the crunch (notably, one of their special weapons made the Tau unable to shoot them).

    Multiplayer Video Games 
  • Command & Conquer has the Engineer rush available in the majority of the game editions. It involves loading engineers into an APC vehicle and making a beeline for the enemy base to capture vital structures and end the game by preventing them from building new structures as well as quashing their ability to train engineers to recapture the stolen buildings (if applicable). It was nerfed in Command & Conquer: Red Alert by requiring structures to be damaged into red health for a capture, but this style of Engineer nerf was not used in future titles (Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun even incorporated the strat into its multiplayer AInote ). It was eventually decided to give engineers a countdown when they're capturing a structure to give them a period of vulnerability so the capture can be stopped with combat units.
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive:
    • The use of "Auto-snipers" and scoped automatic rifles will get a player called out in a competitive match. Oftentimes, the reasons for this being so are silly, such as the scoped rifles being "COD rifles", but auto-snipers (sniper rifles that can fire several shots in quick succession rather than needing a bolt pull after every shot) are seen as a no-skill weapon. However, to counter-balance this, they also have the highest price tag of any rifle in the game, outpricing the much more acceptable AWP by $5,000 to $4,750, only outpriced by the M-249 machine gun. Notably, the professional circuit does not use them almost at all, in favor of the AWP, preferring the one-hit kill potential to the idea of a semi-rapid-fire sniper.
    • Until it was patched around, the "Olof Boost" on Overpass was considered a cheese strategy. A CT player would boost on top of an ally to be able to peek over a high wall on the map, allowing them to see everything in the middle and snipe freely. Enemy players would be forced to go long ways to points, or else put themselves at risk of getting sniped from a position that was hard to fight back against, and this pretty much forced the entire Terrorist side to commit to one direction and easily be detected and played around. It should be noted that in the infamous series the name came fromnote , Fnatic (the team that won using the tactic) voluntarily forfeit after the tournament organizers called for a do-over.
  • The "Noob Combo" from Halo is a common tactic where a player uses the Plasma Pistol overcharge to immediately drop an enemy's shields then switches to a headshot weapon for a One-Hit Kill. While most games have included nerfs to make the combo less effective, its ease of use and lack of effective counterattack make it a reliable strategy across the series.
  • You wouldn't think a MOBA would have one of these, but Heroes of the Storm does, in the form of the "Juice Pirates" strategy. It centers around using Lt. Morales' Medivac ("Summon a ship that you and your team can jump into. It will then drop you off at any location you desire") to bypass the enemy team and go straight for their buildings, relying on Tyrael's Sanctification ("All allies standing in this circle are invincible for 3 seconds") to protect yourselves while you siege. Your whole team will probably die doing this, which is typically bad in a MOBA... but it works by focusing on the "Instant-Win Condition" element of the genre. To win a MOBA you don't need to win, or even participate in, any PvP: all you need to do is destroy all the buildings in a lane and then knock down the Core. Juice Pirates attempts to do this at all costs and to the exclusion of all else; it's not uncommon to win the match while behind in levels and with something like a 0-to-13 kill score. But since Heroes of the Storm and its fanbase is a game that cares a lot about PvP, this strategy has suffered its share of controversy.
  • In Left 4 Dead, one of the best ways to survive a horde of Infected is to simply have the entire team huddle in a corner while spamming the shove key. With everyone on top of each other and shoving, it's virtually impossible for a Hunter or a Smoker to nab someone, as they're immediately shoved off by another teammate. Meanwhile, normal Infected are left stumbling into each other to be easily shot down, while the Boomer's main weapon (the Horde and the blinding effect of his bile) is rendered ineffective as a result of everyone being so close to each other. Nothing short of a Tank or the Survivors running of ammo will break this formation, making it incredibly unfun to play against in Versus. This is the reason why the sequel introduced Infected specifically designed to counter this strategy, namely the Spitter, who punishes players who sit in one place with ever-increasing amounts of damage, and the Charger, who can toss an entire team with one attack. A stamina gauge is also added to limit the number of times a Survivor can shove consecutively, further neutering this tactic.
  • Love Live! School Idol Festival ALL STARS: Super Big Live events are the only competitive multiplayer events in the game, with lobbies of 10 or 20 players all playing the same song while competing with each other for prizes in categories such as high score, most skill activations, most heal activations, and most SP activations, as well as a "best overall" award for whoever has the best combined finish in all of the selected categories. Theoretically every player is expected to compete for "best overall," but it's common for players to build teams that focus entirely on one prize, usually healing or skill activations, while intentionally sacrificing every other category, especially scoring. The player base refers to these kind of builds as "cheese teams," though in a notable aversion to most examples, cheesing in this fashion in SIFAS is not only accepted but expected, since the game's brutal progression curve makes it almost impossible for newer and f2p players to compete on a level playing field against high-level veterans no matter how skilled they are.
  • Marvel vs. Capcom 3: In the Ultimate expansion, Morrigan became infamous for her Flight-cancel/Soul Fist/Astral Vision Bullet Hell combination strategy. Soul Fist is a projectile that Morrigan can fire in the air or on the ground, and the recovery can be canceled if Morrigan activates and deactivates flight immediately after firing one. On its own, this creates an annoying amount of projectile spam on the screen, but if she has her super move, Astral Vision, active, the problem becomes doubled because two Morrigans are doing the same thing. She can make things even more difficult on her opponent by having Doctor Doom as her assist partner, because he can fire missiles that fall from the sky, preventing the few characters that can fly away from the Soul Fists from doing so. This strategy is one of the major reasons that FGC Pro Chris G. became a villain during his dominant run in UMvC3. You can view it in action here (also, note the commentators' reactions to the tactic).
  • Overwatch:
    • The most prominent "Cheese Strategy" involves a player using the character Bastion — a robot that transforms into an extremely powerful (but immobile) turret that can dish out more damage-per-second than an entire team combined. The rest of the Bastion's team simply picks characters designed to protect, heal, resurrect or move the Bastion. It's considered the most annoying strategy to use in Overwatch, but it takes a surprising amount of team coordination and planning to pull it off. It rarely works well at a high level or when the enemy is expecting it, because if the Bastion dies once, then the element of surprise is gone and it will be difficult to set up the formation again.
    • A strategy considered "cheesy" for being easy, simple, and old is for one player to pick Pharah while the other picks Mercy. Known as "Pharmercy", this results in a fast, mobile airborne threat that can spam missiles at enemies from a safe distance in the air. Pharah's normal weakness (that she has no protection in the sky) is countered by having Mercy accompany her, as Mercy can heal her from most forms of damage while also boosting Pharah's damage, making it much easier to kill low-health targets.
    • Other "cheese" strats within Overwatch include the use of "Builder" characters like Symmetra and Torbjorn, who can leave turrets behind at locations they believe the enemy will attack from and make it difficult for said enemies to get close without taking automatic damage. The turrets do all of the work for the player, which can feel extremely cheap to an enemy.
    • One of the more infamous "cheese" strategies was the "Goats" team composition. It involved completely eschewing any of the damage-dealing characters. Instead, the team would pick three Tank heroes alongside three Support heroes. Two of the Supports - Brigitte(a brawling support with melee attack and constantly Area of Effect healing as long as she hits something) and Lucio(provides a movement speed boost to his entire team as well as more Area of Effect healing) were the lynchpins of the strategy. The result is that you have a mobile team that has a lot of HP and a lot of healing. They may lack in damage compared to a typical lineup, but they can simply force a fight and outlast their opponents due to having more tanks and more healers than a traditional lineup. What's worse is that the best way to fight a Goat strategy was to use it as well. This would result in very long and protracted fights where nobody would die for minutes on end, because nobody has that much damage, but everyone has plenty of HP and healing. It got to the point where developers had to force every team to always consist of 2 Tanks, 2 Damage Dealers and 2 Supports just to kill off that strategy for good.
  • Primal Rage is probably the first game to acknowledge the term, as spamming cheap moves leads to a "no cheese" sign, making the hit not count and breaking the combo.
  • Starcraft II has a number of hated or controversial cheeses. Admittedly, the word "cheese" has been used so loosely in the Starcraft II fandom that it can now refer to almost any rush-type strategy that isn't classic macro, and doesn’t carry as much of a negative connotation as it used to. Still, there are a couple of strats that meet the trope definition, and will at the very least frustrate or annoy many of your opponents. Something worth noting before we proceed is that (as explained by WinterStarcraft) the Starcraft fandom makes a distinction between a Cheese and an All-In, the main difference being that the success of a Cheese largely relies on the opponent not scouting it early enough to shut it down, while an All-In doesn’t necessarily lose its effectiveness even if they find out it’s coming. An All-In is also defined by the fact that you stake everything on one all-out attack, and are almost certain to lose if it fails; some cheese builds can be done with partial commitment and aborted if the opponent doesn’t fall for it. So although many cheeses are all-ins, not every cheese is all-in, and not every all-in is cheese.
    • Before discussing specific cheese strategies, there are at least two important concepts which make a lot of the cheese builds possible.
      • The first is the way that buildings are constructed, which is different for each race. Terrans have the most mundane system, where one SCV worker starts a building and keeps working on it until completion, after which it becomes available for another task. The Zerg make structures by having a worker drone mutate into the building, consuming the drone in the process. The Protoss method of constructing buildings is to have a probe open a portal to teleport the whole building in from another world; while it takes time to warp in, the building needs no further help from the probe to do so, which allows even just one probe to initiate multiple building warp-ins very quickly. This is why Protoss are generally considered the cheesiest race. Also, both Protoss and Zerg buildings have the advantage over Terran that there is not an exposed worker constructing the building, and you can’t just stop construction by picking off the worker; unless you pull together enough units to out-DPS the growth of the building’s hit points, it will finish regardless of being attacked during construction. This even makes it viable to wall off using warping buildings!
      • The other is proxy buildings, which are buildings which a player constructs outside of their own mining bases, often but not necessarily closer to the enemy base. This is either to hide a tech choice from the enemy—since they will usually scout your main for tech buildings—or to reduce the amount of time it takes for the units it produces to reach the enemy base.
    • The most widely used cheese for the bulk of the game has been Protoss players doing the Photon Cannon Rush. Photon Cannons are static defense structures intended for base defense, but are relatively cheap and have very high HP and damage for their cost. To execute a cannon rush a Protoss will construct a forge as their first building while sending a probe to the other side of the map, which builds one or more pylons and then a bunch of cannons directly outside their opponent's base. The chance of success is improved if one builds the first ones just outside of the enemy’s vision and the enemy fails to scout it, or if you use obstacles such as cliff edges or mineral patches to wall off parts of your cannons or pylons and reduce the surface area that mêlée units can attack. Once a beachhead is established, the Protoss will slowly creep forward building more cannons until the enemy is killed. Failing that, the Protoss can at least contain the enemy while transitioning into either Void Rays or Dark Templar. Pro player PartinG is notorious for cannon rushing even at the pro level.
      • Cannon rushing used to be even easier to abuse when the game first came out, since it was possible to plant three pylons at the bottom of the opponent's ramp and trap them inside their base at the start of the rush. This was nerfed by a patch of rocky ground being added to the bottom of every main base ramp, which could not be built upon until it was destroyed; this would ensure the defending player could not be easily trapped inside, while still allowing them to destroy it later if they wanted to.
    • A Protoss can build a proxy Nexus in or near an opponent's base, and either use battery overcharge to increase the rate that a shield battery will heal their attacking units (such as a Void Ray), or use the Recall ability to teleport a superior army right into the opponent's base.
    • In the Wings of Liberty days, many levels of play were dominated by the Protoss Void Ray Rush. A Void Ray is a mid-tier air unit that fires in a continuous beam, and in its initial incarnation this beam did more damage the longer it was maintained. The Void Ray Rush was a build designed to hurry out a Void Ray as fast as possible, with the expectation that if an opponent didn't specifically prepare for it, the Void Ray could first charge up to max damage by firing on a building, and then maintain that damage bonus when it switched fire to another unit, thus quickly killing any anti-air unit that could threaten it as soon as it was produced. The cheese was prevalent enough that Blizzard completely changed how Void Rays worked. Instead of a passive ability that progressively increases damage dealt to all types of targets, Prismatic Alignment is now a manually activated ability that temporarily gives a damage bonus against buildings and armored units at the cost of reduced move speed.
    • In Legacy of the Void the Void Ray rush still exists in a different form, which takes advantage of shield batteries being added to the game as well as the fact that the Void Ray is fairly durable for an air unit. The Protoss player will produce out of proxy stargates, and build shield batteries on the low ground outside the opponent’s main base. The Void rays can keep up constant pressure by alternating between attacking while their shields are high, and falling back to recharge depleted shields at the shield batteries. The cliff—which normally serves to protect the defender's main base from attack by ground units—instead hobbles the defender by preventing their ground units from giving chase to the Void rays as they withdraw, or from taking out the shield batteries that are built just out of reach.
    • Proxy Tempest is another Protoss option, which involves proxying stargates near the opponent's base and rapidly building a Fleet Beacon to enable tempest production. The cheeser may begin with proxy Void Rays to initiate the pressure early, and quickly transition to building tempests. Tempests are slow-moving siege flyers that have relatively low DPS, but they have very long attack range. With the help of observers or oracles for vision, a sufficient number of tempests can abuse cliffs and shield batteries to bombard the enemy to death from a safe distance, picking off the defending units and destroying the buildings before they can get out enough anti-air fliers to counter. Upgrade them with Tectonic Destabilizers, and they do double the damage to structures, allowing them to melt through them at an alarming rate.
    • Protoss players also had the "Archon Toilet" tactic where they used the Protoss Mothership's Vortex ability to trap enemies and then sent in Archons after the enemies. Since Archons dealt Splash Damage, all the units emerge at the same time and are overlapping each other, this allowed the Archons to shred the opponents in mere seconds. The sheer rage-inducing sight of watching an army instantly destroyed often often led to the other player going "gg" once they were on the receiving end of a successfully executed Archon Toilet, even if they had the resources and capability to rebuild their army. In particular, people have also complained that the tactic turned Protoss-vs-Zerg matchups into a coin toss where victory more or less depended on if the Protoss successfully pulled off the "Archon Toilet". Blizzard attempted to patch out this tactic by giving all units that emerge from the vortex Mercy Invincibility but even that didn't work and by Heart of the Swarm, they were forced to replace the Vortex ability with the Time Warp ability.
    • Worker rushes are their own category of all-in cheese. In the early game, when the combat units are few or zero in number, pulling workers off of mining to attack the enemy is a viable strategy.
      • Zerg Drone Rushes involve attacking the enemy base with all of one's Drones almost immediately, with the help of what's known as the Extractor Supply Exploit. Zerg buildings are constructed by having a Drone transform into the building, consuming the Drone in the process; the loss of drones in the building process is compensated for by the Zerg's ability to produce workers at a faster rate than the other races. However if you cancel the building before it finishes, you get back the drone and part of the resources you paid for it. By starting to build two Extractors, the cheapest buildings, and then beginning production on two more Drones before cancelling the Extractors, the Zerg goes past the normal Supply limit without needing to spawn an Overlord. This allows the Zerg to reach the opponent's base with as many or only slightly fewer workers compared to the opponent before the opponent has gotten any actual combat units, and the Zerg relies upon surprise and better micro to win the Worker vs. Worker fight. But regardless of who wins, the game is generally over in less than 5 minutes.
      • Another option is to rush the production of combat units, and then pull anywhere from several to all of the workers to reinforce the all-in attack. For example, a Zerg can start building their spawning pool at their starting worker count, spawn zerglings as soon as it finishes, and pull the drones to send together with the zerglings to the enemy base. It doesn’t hit as early as a pure worker rush, but the combination of combat units for DPS and workers as meat shields/cannon fodder has a surprisingly good chance of winning.
      • One technique for a pure worker rush is to invoke Actually Four Mooks by clicking all of the workers onto a single mineral patch or gas geyser, causing them to all converge inside one worker’s footprint and overlap together. This stack of workers will look and move as if it were just one worker, as long as you keep them all selected as you move-command them to the enemy base. Even if there’s a potential giveaway such as some out-of-sync animated movement of their body parts, the average opponent probably won’t pay enough attention to notice because they assume that it’s the obligatory single worker scout snooping around their base, which is not usually a big deal. Therefore, they won’t realize the danger until the moment when that one worker suddenly splits into twelve or more and starts attacking their mineral line. Probes are especially good for the stacking trick because they’re floating, limbless objects with no potential for out-of-sync animation, so that the only tells are the brightness of overlapping energy trails behind them, or the brighter glow of more than one of them carrying minerals.
    • The Zerg equivalent to a Protoss cannon rush is the Spine Crawler Rush. Spine crawlers are the anti-ground static defense buildings of the Zerg, but unlike bunkers or photon cannons they have the ability to uproot, walk, and root themselves again on any ground that has creep on it. A cheesy Zerg player can plant a proxy hatchery in the opponent's natural expansion area—or even sneak a drone to build it in a blind spot inside the opponent’s main—and when the creep starts to spread from the completed hatchery the cheese player will mutate drones into spine crawlers and start poking away at the enemy's units and buildings, uprooting and advancing forward as needed. Queens are also a necessary part of this cheese, as they can heal the spine crawlers and plant creep tumors to advance the creep forward. Hell, in Zerg versus Zerg you can even build crawlers on your opponent’s creep; it doesn’t discriminate!
      • Furthermore, it is technically possible to build at least one spine crawler in the enemy base without needing to complete a proxy hatch, because if you start building the hatch and cancel it, there will be a patch of creep left on the ground for a split second which allows the drone to start building the crawler. Being built off of creep does mean it's going to lose half of its health by the time it completes, but if it goes un-scouted and is joined by zerglings it can get some real work done.
    • In Legacy of the Void, a Terran can do a Battlecruiser rush by opening with a 1-1-1 build order and starting to build the Fusion Core a little after three minutes in, using a gas-saving unit composition for early-game defense and map control while banking up for BCs. If the Terran is paranoid about being scouted, they can proxy the Fusion Core. BCs are an extremely expensive 400 minerals and 300 gas, which is why you normally don’t expect to see them until the late game, but they have a ton of hit points and armor, a high DPS rapid-fire laser attack, the ability to fire while moving, the tactical jump ability to teleport anywhere on the map regardless of distance or vision, and the Yamato Cannon upgrade that gives them a powerful long-range special attack. They become even more survivable if accompanied by repair SCVs. Not even five minutes and thirty seconds into the game, the cheese Terran can tactical jump their first Battlecruiser right over an opponent's mineral line to massacre the workers. Actually, because a ghostly outline of the BC precedes the ship's actual exit from the jump, it can be better to jump to the nearest out-of-vision area behind the enemy mineral line so as to fly in with less warning. The BC user must micro carefully and know the right time to escape so they don’t lose this first BC to defending fire, but success means dealing a serious blow to the enemy economy and grabbing the initiative. Once one or two more BCs have been made, and the first one’s been fully repaired, the Terran can combine them with ground forces and move out quickly to potentially steamroll an opponent who is caught off guard. Even if the victim of the rush manages to roll with it and apply pressure to the Terran in return, the herd of BCs becomes a constant thorn in their side by flying in to raid bases or deny expansions, jumping away before any of them can be taken out, and returning each time fully repaired and in greater numbers. The BC rush is mainly an anti-Zerg cheese, since Zerg's only early game anti-air units are Queens and spore crawlers. It's less likely to work against Protoss because Stalkers can be an effective counter to the first BC jump.
    • One of the simplest ways a Terran can do their own spin on the cannon rush, most easily against a Protoss player, is to create a diversion for the opponent with their army while an in-flight Command Center loaded with 5 SCVs (or up to 10 with the Neosteel Armor upgrade) is landed next to the Nexus in the opponent's main base. Immediately upgrade it to a Planetary Fortress while you're engaging their forces and if taken completely by surprise, they are suddenly dealing with a giant cannon firing upon their workers and structures. The Protoss can be caught off guard the worst as they don't have the ability to lift-off like Terrans do and don't generate protective creep that would block the structure from landing. The SCVs come into play by unloading and keeping the Planetary Fortress repaired and repairing one another if targeted and can hide in their SCV "bunker" if under heavy fire. If Neosteel Armor is researched, then the opponent has to deal with 3+2 armor on top of that, which is a real grind for early-game units. Against a Zerg player, cheesing with a Planetary Fortress is still doable but needs to be modified due to creep preventing a Command Center from landing. The Terran may instead land the Command Center at the top of the Zerg player's ramp or land it near or at the Zerg's natural expansion and reinforce the Planetary to confine the Zerg player to their starting base.
    • Thanks to Starcraft II making Ghosts a Tier 1.5 unit with good amount of health and powerful spell abilities, it is now possible for Terrans to rush out a Ghost Academy a scant few minutes into a match and start training Ghosts from a Barracks with an attached Tech Lab. While 2-3 Ghosts are being trained, Personal Cloaking is researched and the Ghosts are sent out on a round-about path while research is finishing so the opponent doesn’t suspect something fishy. The invisible Ghosts sneak into the opponent's base and start firing upon workers to take out as many as possible which can be devastating. If the opponent holds on past this point, the Terran may build a Factory for the sole purpose of enabling Nuke production from the Ghost Academy and may build additional Academies as resources allow; now the opponent has to deal with Nuke strikes hitting key or dummy targets while mass Ghosts are surprisingly tanky and can hold up well in a straight fight. Against a Protoss army, Ghosts can strip away shields with EMP to even the odds and/or snipe key targets, while against Zerg, any of their units are vulnerable to Steady Targeting (the aforementioned snipe attack). Even if the opponent brings out detection, the Ghosts can use their abilities to eliminate many detection methods; EMP decloaks Protoss Observers so they can be shot down (Orbital Command scans work too), Zerg Overseers can be sniped in two shots, and opposing Terran Orbital Commands can be EMPed to remove their energy to deny detecting scans. All of this makes mass Ghosts a major problem to deal with if the opponent isn't prepared with the proper counter-army. Notably, Steady Targeting got a nerf by giving it a maximum range during the channeling phase, so that the opponent can counter it by fleeing out of range, and Snipe was later changed to only do its full damage to Psionic targets (spell casters usually) to curtail its overwhelming power against anything Biological.
    • Wings of Liberty (Campaign):
      • Most missions against Zerg become a cakewalk once the jetpack-equipped Reaper unit is unlocked, as they combine high speed, the ability to jump up and down ledges, high anti-Light damage (which includes most Zerg ground units) and devastating anti-building damage. Building up a large force of Reapers and a few medics becomes a near-unstoppable deathball that ravages infantry swarms and bases alike. It's helpless against air units, but with enough Reapers you can simply ignore this problem, especially if you get the Tech Reactor upgrade from the Protoss research tree that lets one barracks train two reapers at once.
      • At a certain level on the Zerg research tree you can choose the Hercules dropship, which compared to a medivac has far more HP, several times the capacity, and unloads troops faster. In many missions it allows you to simply fly through enemy anti-air defenses while ignoring their damage, and unload an army directly onto your objective.
      • A number of missions can be cheesed using the Orbital Strike upgrade from the highest level of the Protoss Research tree, which allows units built at your barracks to be deployed instantly in drop pods to any location on the map. In some cases you can totally bypass all A.I. defenses and win the mission in mere minutes by simply scanning for vision, and mass-dropping Marines or Reapers directly onto the target. One notable mission is "The Gates Of Hell", in which you're supposed to build up an army by rescuing groups of friendly units that are scattered across the map, and then use it to save the imperiled camp of General Warfield by killing the Nydus worms which keep spewing out Zerg attackers. The cheese method is to build some Academies and tactical nukes, drop Ghosts or Specters into Warfield's camp by Orbital Strike, and call down nukes on the Worms to clear the mission with minimal effort.
      • One of the easier ways to complete the final mission "All In" is to select Hive Mind Emulator from the Zerg Research menu in the Hyperion Lab, complete "Belly of the Beast" to select the air version "All In" and construct Hive Mind Emulators en mass. If done right, you'll be able to steal many of the Zerg fliers that approach your base and build up a death ball of fliers well beyond your supply limit and turn the tables against the Zerg force who are supposed to be fighting you at an advantage.
  • Street Fighter:
    • The earlier installments featured "Hadoken spam", due to a lack of viable ways to deal with projectiles. Players could just pick their favorite Hadoken user and simply spam the attack, and their opponent would either die from chip damage or have to risk finding a way past the constant barrage.
    • This video and subsequent article throw a spotlight on old days of fighting games (Street Fighter II in particular) and how "cheap" throws used to be. In short, back in those days, throws were one-button close-range attacks that couldn't be blocked or broken in any way, and some characters could even use them repeatedly in loops. To make matters worse, since throws did not have a "whiff animation" back then, messing up the execution or timing for a throw usually meant that the attacker still got an attack of some kind or (with more advanced tech like "negative edging") simply did nothing. It's mentioned both in the video/article and their comment sections that there used to be a lot of house rules regarding throws, such as the loser getting back their quarter if they were beaten this way, that were in place to prevent the all-too-common fistfights that would result from such annoying tactics.
    • A common strategy in Fighting Games is "chipping out" an opponent, forcing them to take Scratch Damage from blocked attacks and slowly whittle away their health until they die. This strategy is so derided that the Street Fighter Alpha series literally had a small "cheese" icon appear on the screen instead of the normal victory icon if a player won this way. In later games, the icon was simply replaced with a "C", which can either mean "Cheese" or "Cheap" depending on the game. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Street Fighter X Tekken both included ways to avoid taking any chip damage completely, while Street Fighter V, Tekken 7, and Soul Calibur VI all made it impossible to win a round by chip damage outside certain specific situations.
  • Street Fighter X Tekken has a faster timer than most fighting games, leading to a lot of rounds ending in a time out. As a result, some players will switch to playing all defense as soon as they get even a small lead, aiming to win by running out the clock.
  • Super Mario Maker:
    • Often referred to just as "cheese," it references a design oversight that allows players to skip parts or the entirety of levels. This design oversight can be a wall being too low (thus allowing players to jump over it), the player being able to use their frames of Mercy Invincibility to skip obstacles, or the ability to bring an item or Power-Up into an area where it shouldn't be.
    • Notably, cheese can also be done on the part of developers. Normally, both games require them to test and beat their own level in order for it to be played by others online, as a way of preventing the spread of deliberately unbeatable levels. Some developers, however, may bypass the whole process with either a "Dev star" — a hidden Invincibility Power-Up that lets them skip difficult sections — or a "Dev door" — a hidden door or pipe the developer can take to skip right to the end. This allows one to create a ridiculously hard level that is clearable in theory, but next to impossible for any but the best players in practice, and developers who do this are widely regarded as lazy for not bothering to check if their levels are genuinely beatable.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • Super Smash Bros. Melee
      • The Ice Climbers were, at one point, considered a Low-Tier Letdown of the worst variety, until the player Wobbles discovered the technique of Wobbling. By managing to de-sync Popo and Nana, he would grab an opponent and begin headbutting them. Normally, when Popo and Nana headbutt a grabbed opponent, they do so at the same time, with a window of time between hits for the opponent to react, so that there is still some room for them to escape the grab like with every other character. But because of the desync, Popo and Nana would instead stagger their hits instead of doing them at the same time, and the opponent would be stun-locked while the Ice Climbers could indefinitely build damage before throwing the opponent out with a guaranteed death. Following the discovery of the technique, Ice Climbers had a number of character-specific tournament rules put in place, legalizing the move but heavily regulating its use (such as a damage cap before an opponent must be KOed), and now they're a fairly regularly used character, but are routinely booed if a player starts using Wobbling with no other strategy.
      • Much like the Ice Climbers, Jigglypuff was once considered one of the worst characters in the game, until a player named HungryBox figured out that it was possible to play the small, fast and floaty puffball with extremely defensive hit-and-run tactics that slowly wore down an opponent until either the opponent grew frustrated or desperate and made a mistake that could lead to a K.O., or the clock ran out while Jigglypuff had a stock lead. Then Armada fought HungryBox's defensive strategy with an even more defensive game, essentially taking HungryBox's own strategy and turning it against him with a hard counter champion (Young Link), and dominating matches against HBox for several years. HBox was eventually forced to adopt a far more balanced approach to deal with Armada, and eventually rose to become the top Melee player in the world, dominating several tournaments. Unfortunately, his tactics became so reviled by the Smash community that debates have raged to ban Jigglypuff simply because its slow, campy style supposedly "doesn't belong in Melee." HBox has also become one of the most hated players in the Smash community, often receiving boos, verbal abuse and other harassment both online and at live events (including once getting a crab thrown at him after winning a tournament).
  • War Thunder:
    • Spawn camping in general, but its extent varies depending on the game mode. In ground battles, it could be annoying, but tanks are intended to be played by firing at long range rather than dueling at close quarters, and when the enemy starts to target your spawn zone, probably it's because you were losing anyway. However, in air battles, patrolling above the enemy airfield gives an impressive advantage in terms of altitude and speed to any enemy who landed to repair/reload and is now slowly taking off. If you're quick enough, you can easily strafe enemies that just landed and get free kills without any opposition (except the AAA but you might manage to avoid being shot down). In arcade mode, this is even more blatant as there are players who patrol above a specific spawn zone (which is mid air and not an airfield) precisely to dive and shot down oblivious players who just spawned and are focusing on the distant battlefield rather than their spawn zone.
    • Climbing up to very high altitudes ("space climbing") to avoid confrontation until battle tickets run out, usually in favor of the side that is resorting to this tactic, thus winning when normally the player would have been shot down by superior enemies. It is usually done by bombers, which already spawn at altitude and that can use turrets to fire at whoever tries to reach them, making interceptions harder. To counter this, the game mode provides ground targets to be destroyed in order to bleed tickets and win even if your opponent avoids confrontation. Problems are: 1) destroying ground targets requires time, so even if you end winning you might get annoyed by the time wasted; 2) sometimes this is not enough, e.g. if the enemy team also destroyed ground targets; 3) for some reason in certain maps ground targets don't earn significative tickets bleeding; 4) if the only ground targets available are hard ones like pillboxes, and your team only has fighters without bombs, you can't destroy them.
    • Bushes in ground battles are usually considered this, as some players entirely cover their tank becoming virtually invisible to many players when immobile, at least for the first precious seconds when you aim in their direction failing to see them before they fire at you. Since bushes are paid content, they are considered even pay-to-win.
    • Camouflaging your tank with an enlarged black decal to look like your vehicle is burnt. Even if the result is not optimal, you might still gain 1 or 2 seconds while the enemy is checking if you are an active player or a destroyed tank.
    • Certain vehicles which have unrealistic damage models that are never patched, like the Ka-52 which can even resist direct hits by missiles, or which are downtiered, like the Me-264 during the initial release (when its speed and climbing rate were unmatched by other planes at that battle rating) or the Ju-288 (which was faster than most aircraft it coul face when first released).
    • Do you need to get a lot of research points and silver lions in a quick time? Just enter sim battles, spawn a bomber with a lot of payload and high rewards (the premium A 2 D was favored), go to bomb an enemy airfield, bail out to save time (or crash), respawn and repeat ad libitum. Your gains will vastly exceed the respawn costs. This strategy was called "zombing" because bombers kept respawning like an endless horde of zombies even if you attempted to target them. It was so cheesey that the devs nerfed sim battle rewards and introduced a rule that your gains are halved if you die before returning to your airfield, to the outrage of players who didn't pursue this strategy.
    • Speaking of sim battles, there was technically nothing preventing two friends to join opposite teams and help each other to farm kills and score points. In one day you could unlock an entire tree just by abusing this possibility. Although unwritten, this was blatantly an exploit that after some time led to dedicated farming rooms where organized groups (usually with the assist of bots and alt accounts) set up staged battles where one team constantly sacrificed reserve planes (which were free to spawn) to make the other accumulate kills and points. The devs nerfed so much rewards that the sim community revolted. It was also possible to win wagers (like the golden eagle wager that required you in each battle to kill 3 enemies and win until 10 battles were completed, and normally golden eagles are paid content) or easily unlock event vehicles (i.e. summer and winter events with tasks like "kill # enemies" or "drop # bombs", which could be achieved unopposed when cooperating with friends). Since at this point the developers were losing too much money, particularly because people unlocked event vehicles without effort rather than playing long regular battles or paying their way to get them, this resulted 1) in golden eagle wagers being not available anymore, 2) sim battles not counting anymore for events, and 3) the structure of the simulator being deeply altered in an effort to limit such strategies.
  • NBA 2K: In the PlayStation 4 & Xbox One versions of the basketball game NBA 2K21, come "curry slides". The "curry slide" is a dribble move which is performed by the ball bouncing behind a player's back from side to side whilst they slide in the direction of the ball. While it being used on its own is one thing, they tend to be used by builds (Avatars you can create in game that specialize in specific basketball skills) in multiplayer called "playmaking shot creators" (A build that, at the time was believed to be overpowered in its own right due to its high ability to score 3-point shots!) that typically have big men (power forwards/centers in basketball) standing in screening position (Example of this move seen here. Pay attention to the basketball player on the left) around them, allowing them to slide side to side until their defender has been screened off. Imagine this move being used on repeat by a large amount of the community, and it's easier to see how this can provoke the community's ire.
  • Multiple missions in Guild Wars could be cheesed, and in some cases it was encouraged to:
    • The Doppelganger throughout the game's entire life and even after Maintenance Mode was That One Boss due to Artificial Brilliance. Even if you could take advantage of skills it doesn't know how to use (ie Ranger pets) almost everything else it could be quite difficult to deal with as the player would be limited too. Multiple guides existed specifically to teach players how to use these and after 2010, the player could make it waste a lot of its skills by carrying PvE-only abilities.
    • Varesh Ossa was also That One Boss in Guild Wars Nightfall - to the point where people often "hired" Monks with specialised builds and took advantage of the AI to isolate her, rather than do what was intended.
    • Gyala Hatchery in Guild Wars Factions had many people cheesing it. Like most other missions in the game, this is an Escort Mission - however you are escorting a caravan of slow-moving turtles while protecting a few baby turtles. The actual "Cheese" part is that the mission does not start until the smoke cannister is picked up - so there isn't much stopping you from taking a second route and running around the whole mission, then fighting your way up to get all the patrols and reinforcements (As very few are actually linked to the Caravan's progress itself, most are triggered by defeating the existing enemies). This is clearly not the intended way to beat the mission - and in some ways it is a little more difficult as the player will not be able to drop a smoke cannister to trigger cannon-fire, but with the right hero setup or coordination with other players it's a consistent way to beat it and make the Escort Mission part actually super easy.
    • Touch Rangers were seen as this as a PvP example. Rangers would pick Necromancer as a secondary profession which gave them access to "Touch" skills that would drain life and never miss, combined with Ranger abilities to increase movement speed and/or defend against incoming attacks. Combined with rangers' passive resistance to elemental damage damage and further Necromancer skills to transfer conditions onto a nearby opponent, they were very very tough to take down.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic has a few cheesy strategies like the kiting enemies while you hit with ranged attacks, using stealth on some classes to bypass boring mook fights, or equipping a healer or tank with DPS gear to get through daily areas and planets quickly, saving the *good* tank/heal gear for endgame ops. A tank class with DPS gear is often called a "skank tank" and used as an off-tank/extra DPS on operations.

    Single-player Video Games 
  • Baldur's Gate has many:
    • Kiting, that is, fleeing from melee enemies while periodically slinging missiles to them. While it was very effective, it could hardly be considered cheese in the original game; but the Enhanced Edition uses an updated version of the sequel engine, where characters are faster and can easily dispose of many hard opponents through arrows.
    • You can divide groups of enemies by luring some of them in a room and closing the door. Sometimes, you can also exit a building, some of them will follow you, but being at a numerical disadvantage they will quickly lose.
    • Talk-attack. Some fights are triggered after a dialogue. However, if you are quick enough, you can order your character to go to talk to the NPC before he/she autotalks with you, that will enter in a state where he/she won't become hostile even if you attack them until you eventually talk to them (or enough time passes). This has been fixed in the Enhanced Edition and they will become hostile anyway; however, you might still cause them some damage before possible protection spells kick and this comes handy in many situations.
      • There are also some instances where a neutral character scripted to become hostile after the auto-dialogue is surrounded by mooks that are already hostile. You can make the fight easier by ordering to talk to that, thus you can kill the mooks before actually speaking.
    • The Basilisk XP loop. One of the trickiest monsters in the game is the Basilisk, a giant lizard with a petrification gaze that grants a massive XP bounty when killed. Because petrification can remove party members permanently, temples in the game are well-stocked with scrolls of Stone to Flesh to reverse the effect. A player can combine all of these factors by using the Cloak of Algernon to charm a Basilisk and use it to petrify another Basilisk. You get 7000 XP by petrifying a Greater Basilisk this way, and can then use a Stone to Flesh scroll to restore the lizard and stone it again and again for massive amounts of free XP. It's trivial for a party to gain multiple levels through minimal effort by exploiting this engine, and because the scrolls are so cheap it can be done early in the game.
  • Baldur's Gate II: human single class characters might dual class, meaning that they permanently stop progressing in their first class and temporarily lose all their abilities, until their second class reaches one level higher than the starting one. Deciding when to dual class is a strategic choice, as waiting too much time could mean that you would play most of the game without your former abilities just for being a bit more powerful in the very end. This limitation can be cheesed out by temporarily dismissing party members (to avoid splitting XP with them) and inscribing scrolls in the mage book (if the protagonist is not a mage, then one companion could be left in for the purpose). High level scrolls could earn tons of XP when scribed, thus players can avoid all the time needed to acquire levels in the new class right from the beginning. Since the amount of XP required to level up increases for every level, it's better to put 100.000 XP in a level 1 character to jump 7 or 8 levels in a row, rather than split them with 1-5 companions already at level 10 that probably won't even even get to 11. Enjoy your kensai/mage fully operational, right from chapter two...
    • Even more cheese after the Enhanced Edition introduced a mechanic that bridged the gap between the protagonist and newly recruited companions by giving them free XP if theirs were too low compared to your character. This way, you can cheese your protagonist level through scrolls (or by solo-farming respawning enemies in certain areas), easily reach levels that otherwise you would meet much later in the game, recruit anybody and see your party magically level up for free to keep pace with you.
    • Beholders are one of the most dangerous foes you can encounter, unless you go to Deidre (a merchant added by the collector's edition of BGII and later become permanent thanks to Throne of Bhaal and the Enhanced Edition) and buy the Shield of Balduran, that reflects their rays back. Then, you can solo their lairs without any effort.
    • Similarly, Kangaxx was considered the most difficult enemy in the game, until players learnt that Minsc's berserk is immune to his imprisonment spell. You can also pickpocket him to get two copies of its powerful item. Enjoy your easy loot and XP.
    • Why worrying about dragons, since they all start neutral, so you can fill the area with traps before starting the fight, to see them get tons of damage before their protection spells kick in?
    • After Throne of Bhaal introduced the Watcher's Keep, since it was reachable right from the Shadows of Amn part, players could avoid the challenge and simply use a thief to steal all the most powerful items in the first level of the keep to get equipment that was intended for the expansion (thus it's blatantly overpowered for the first chapters of SoA) and that can be sold for tons of money.
    • The Wand of Lightning in the original game just fired a single lightning bolt. In BGII it instead fires six smaller bolts that can be targeted individually. By itself, this doesn't mean much, but if a player pauses the game, targets all six lightning bolts on themselves, and then either casts a spell targeting themselves or switches out the wand for another item, that spell or item is activated six times for the price of one. This can allow the player to summon five (not six because there's a cap on summoned monsters) powerful monsters with one spell, for just one potential application. For another, the spell Sunfire is essentially a self-targeted Fireball (that doesn't hurt the caster), so the Wand of Lightning trick can multiply this respectable damage spell into a veritable nuke.
  • The Battle Cats: An enemy called Ms. Sign, which spawns infinitely on most stages before the Uncanny Legends, does nothing except attack for Scratch Damage at an extremely slow rate, while having lots of HP and knockbacks. As such, a common cheese strategy is to stall on stages where the boss comes out when the base is hit, and wait for Ms. Signs to come out and completely fill up the enemy's Arbitrary Headcount Limit. However, because it takes 900 seconds for Ms. Sign to spawn (and respawn) whenever she appears, cheesing most stages like this takes an obscenely long amount of time.
  • Besiege has the Great Balls Of Fire strategy, which exploits the way physics intermingle to basically create an apocalyptic meteor shower. Move the Key Block to the ground and place a single Flaming Ball on it. Keep duplicating that Flaming Block and moving the copies out 0.5 block widths until the entire bottom-most layer of the box is filled. Now duplicate this layer vertically, moving up 0.5 blocks a time, as many times as your poor computer can handle (you really only need 2 layers for most stages). The second you hit play these things will hurl themselves outward in all directions, annihilating every destroyable block on the field in about 0.4 of a second. Not only will you win any "destroy x" mission in an instant, but you'll also get a number of otherwise-difficult achievementsnote  very easily.
  • The Binding of Isaac:
    • Gnawed Leaf allows you to become perfectly immune to all damage so long as you do absolutely nothing. If you combine this with any autonomous damage-dealing powers, like Demon Baby or Leech (who attack enemies automatically), Mom's Knife or Spear of Destiny (damages enemies who run into them), Smart Fly or Dead Bird (chases enemies and attacks them once you've taken damage), any orbital familiars (damage enemies they fly into), or, God forbid, a fully assembled Meat Boy or Bandage Girl, you can just stand there like an asshole while the health of all enemies and bosses is steadily depleted. This tactic so thoroughly broke the game, that the devs added health regeneration powers to Optional Bosses like Ultra Greed and Hush in an attempt to combat it.
    • Ultra Greed is one of the most genuinely difficult bosses in the game, as he saturates the field with projectiles, can overrun the battle arena with Mooks, is quick, can drain your money, takes fixed damage no matter how high your attack stat is, and can replenish health. If you get 2Spooky, which can be obtained with a little bit of Save Scumming until you find it in the first-floor Devil Room, you can get him into a lock as soon as he unleashes his Greed Gapers. His normal behavior is to release Gapers, then defend until you've killed a number of them — since the Gapers won't come close out of fear of your 2Spooky face, they'll just mill around without touching while Ultra Greed defends while you slowly but surely empty his entire lifebar. It's pretty much the most reliable strategy to beating this monster next to hoping you get Trisagion from an Angel Room.
    • Brown Nugget is normally a low-tier item at best as it allows you to spawn up to 32 (or 64, depending on the version) solitary invincible fly turrets per room, but since it has a recharge time of 7 seconds per use and the turrets do low damage it's generally more economic to just run around the room and take out enemies the old-fashioned way. During Greed Mode, however, enemies don't spawn until you hit the button: a patient player can saturate the room with turrets and then hit the button, and said turrets will annihilate the enemies as they spawn with you having to do little more than just run around and dodge their projectiles. When fighting Ultra Greed, since his Damage Scaling mechanic renders him a Damage Sponge no matter what Isaac's damage output is, running around filling the room with turrets while simply dodging Ultra Greed and shooting his coins is a very effective strategy, far more than actually fighting him the old fashioned way.
  • The Orphan of Kos from Bloodborne is considered one of the hardest bosses in the entire Soulsborne franchise, much less the game, yet there is a place in the arena where players can attack him from range and he will never become aggroed.
  • Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night has some savage bosses, but even ignoring the more Game Breakery moves that can be gained by grinding or cooking every meal there are some very cheesy strategies for a few of them:
    • All human opponents, including Zangetsu, Alfred, and the Doppleganger, are considerably vulnerable to poison. A very easy way to defeat them is to get a Stinger, a poisoning sword that is a regular drop from the Sidhe enemies, and use the occasional Hit And Run attack to keep them poisoned. Since most of them are fierce attackers and Alfred runs away like an asshole, you can focus entirely on dodging them while their health steadily drains, effectively neutering their difficulty.
    • The brutal Optional Boss Master Carpenter can be rendered a complete non-threat by using Invert, standing above him, and swinging a Great Sword over and over again. He has no way to reach you up there and will just stand directly below you, helplessly hurling attacks, while you land hit after hit. Since he respawns, this is also a very cheesy Level Grinding tactic.
    • The other brutal Optional Boss Kunekune can be lured into the next room which has crates. Since he slides on the ground, all you have to do is stand on the crate with your back to it, aim backward with a directional shard, and punch him with attacks over and over. Riga Dohin will cream him in about 30 seconds. Alternately, if you're willing to wait until the end-game, the Invert / Great Sword tactic works just as well on him as well.
  • Borderlands: Both Crawmerax from the first game, Borderlands and Terramorphous from the second game, Borderlands 2, are brutal Superbosses capable of one-shotting even a well-prepared team. But they both have a spot in their arenas where they cannot hit you with any of their attacks, while you can safely pump them full of lead.
  • Civilization is no stranger to these.
    • The general tactic of rushing the Great Library. The Great Library typically features a bonus of one free Technology for the civ that builds it, and choosing the right tech to take for free can launch a civ ahead of their opponents by as much as an entire era.
      • Civilization III has a completely overpowered Great Library which gives the player any technology that two other civilizations have already discovered, repeatedly and all the way up until you get Education. This allows you to set your research funding slider to zero and use the surplus gold in the treasury for other purposes, while free-riding off of the other civilizations' research budgets. If Theory of Evolution is considered a good wonder for giving you two free techs, then how overpowered is the Great Library when it can give you up to twenty techs? The only difficulty is that you must establish contact with the other civilizations concerned before you can get the benefit, but once you find them you will be given the accumulated technologies all at once. This cheese works better the higher the difficulty level is: when the AI growth rate is nerfed they research so slowly you’re better off doing it yourself, but when AI is buffed it becomes more cost effective to just let them do the work for you.
    • Civilization IV had an entire build centered around bum-rushing the technology "The Internet", which in this game granted any technology already discovered by 2 civilizations if the player didn't already have it. By rushing it, this allows the player to focus on other methods of victory and let other civs discover technology for them.
    • Civilization V: The "Skill Dorado" strat, the derisively named tactic of using Spain to get an x2 bonus when it comes to discovering World Wonders, spam building scouts, and sending them out to explore the world and try to find the El Dorado World Wonder before anyone else. Finding El Dorado gives the first player to find it 500 Gold, but with Spain, that makes it 1000, more than enough to buy every early-game building right off the bat and set yourself up for success, or to buy two Settlers and found a couple of cities nearby and begin expansion early. And that's without factoring in the bonuses they would get for finding other wonders along the way.
    • Also in Civilization V, rushing Radio. To unlock an ideology, you either have to construct 3 factories or research at least 1 Modern Era tech. Radio stands out for having the absolute shortest path to the Modern Era, requiring only Scientific Theory and Electricity from the Industrial Era. So by researching those three techs, you can unlock an ideology far earlier than you would otherwise, likely when a lot of the world is still in the Renaissance. Notably, if you're also the first person to pick a particular ideology, you get two tenets from it, which is enough to get Volunteer Army, which makes 6 units maintenance-free and gives you 6 40-strength Foreign Legion units, again, when most of the world is probably around the late Renaissance, and a normal combat strength is closer to 20. To make this funnier, the Foreign Legions also have guns, despite you likely not having researched things like Rifling yet
    • Civilization VI has two cheese strategies. The first of the two involves playing as Rome (and the opponent not being Rome), setting game length to one turn, and disabling all victory conditions except Score Victory. As long as you settle on spot, you win (Trajan of Rome's unique ability is that a culture building (most often a Monument) is automatically built upon settling, thereby increasing the score, while the other civ does not get a free building upon settling) and you will get an achievement for winning as Rome. This strategy also works on the Deity difficulty, granting the player the Win on Deity achievement. The second is slightly harder in that you can play as any civ but the Kongo with the opponent being the Kongo and disabling all victory conditions except Religious Victory. Mvemba a Nzinga of the Kongo is unable to found a religion (and thus become unable to win a religious victory). Given that all civs except the Kongo can found a religion, as long as you spread your religion (while Kongo does not capture all your cities, not just your capital as Domination Victory is disabled), you win and you will get an achievement for winning as the civ you are playing. As with the first cheese strategy, this strategy also works on the Deity difficulty, also granting the player the Win on Deity achievement.
  • In Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, a lot of tricky areas can be cheesed by abusing the game's somewhat generous Hitbox Dissonance in its backgrounds. In Diggin' It, for example, you can skip the Death Route's entrance, run across the grass along the pit at its exit, snag the Clear Gem, and then just leave.
  • Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped:
    • There is a bug that can make the Tiny Tiger boss fight easy. When he sends out lions that charge across the arena in straight lines, Crash running to the top-left corner will cause the lions to never hit him. This bug was faithfully recreated in the N. Sane Trilogy version, and is acknowledged by the audience throwing cheese at you if you do it.
    • In Hog Ride, Road Crash, Orange Asphalt, and Area 51, you can utterly cheese the box gem and time trials by sitting on the start line for about a minute straight after the race begins and letting all of the hot rods get so far ahead of you that you'll never catch up to them before reaching the finish line. You don't need to actually come first to get either of these bonus spoils, and the time trial doesn't start at the green light but when you drive forward and touch the stopwatch. Without having to dodge the other racers, doing a crisp time trial or getting all of the boxes is trivially easy.
  • Cuphead:
    • King Dice's battle. If you get all the way to the left or right of the screen before he brings his hand down to do his card attack, you can just stay behind his hand without fear of the cards hitting you.
    • In The Delicious Last Course, in the Pawns' battle, you're supposed to wait for them to jump down from the top of the screen so you can parry their heads. But if you play as Ms. Chalice, you can actually use the parry move along with her double jump to get to the top of the screen and take them all out in just a few seconds.
  • Darkstone:
    • Magic bomb and poison cloud originally could be cast anywhere you could see. Even if it was completely unreachable. People quickly turned dungeons into jokes by trapping enemies behind doors and then blasting/fumigating them into oblivion. It is telling that the first patch for the game fixed this exploit by making it so that you need to have a path to the target to cast spells at that location and allowing enemies to open doors.
    • Due to a quirk in his AI, Drakk could be cheesed by hiding in a specific location inside an alcove inside his dungeon. This causes him to try and constantly attack you in melee combat instead of using his Breath Weapon...and he cannot fit inside that alcove nor reach you in melee combat. As long as you stay in that specific location, he cannot harm you and you are free to pound away at him with whatever weapon you choose.
  • Dead Rising:
    • The final boss in Overtime Mode is a military veteran whom Frank has to fight hand-to-hand on top of a tank surrounded by zombies. Trying to fight him head-on is very difficult, as you would expect when a photojournalist fights a soldier. It's much easier to climb onto the tank turret and jump back down to the tank's chassis with a jumping kick, catching the boss when he's following you and unable to attack, and repeat until he goes down.
  • Dead Rising 2:
    • The fight against T.K's helicopter is normally a Puzzle Boss where you have to winch it down into range to throw objects found on the roof at its rotors. The cheese strategy comes if you bring a Toy Spitball gun, a normally harmless Joke Weapon that normally deals no damage, as the Toy Spitball gun's projectiles are coded as "thrown objects" rather than projectiles, and T.K's helicopter is coded to take fixed damage from "thrown objects." Due to the Exact Words nature of how the game was coded, and how the Toy Spitball gun can reach the helicopter without winching it down, you can take the helicopter down in seconds by shooting what are basically sponges at it.
    • Normally the boss fight against Raymond Sullivan is very frustrating due to some very nasty tactics like brutal hand-to-hand combat, a HP to 1 attack, having a very small platform to stand on to fight him, and the ability to call in airstrikes if you're elsewhere. However, if you bring enough firepower and have decent timing, you can stand on the two crates and take potshots up at him. The zombies can't reach you, none of his attacks can touch you except for his gun, and since there's only one tiny place he can pop up to line up a shot, you'll be able to hit him long before he can fire on you — bring an LMG and you'll utterly school the guy without taking a single hit.
  • Devil May Cry:
    • A common tactic for DMC players is to replay the first few levels of the game over and over again and slowly Level Grind and farm Red Orbs until they can buy all of Dante's health and mana upgrades, and max out all of the weapons and abilities they've acquired up to that point, then repeat the process whenever new abilities, weapons or skills are unlocked. This is considered an acceptable, but boring way to play the game by even the developers, which is why it's available in each game.
    • In Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, it's possible to defeat the game's second boss, Cerberus, by standing all the way to the left of the screen, hugged against the hitbox of the boss arena's wall. Most of his attacks can't hit Dante there, meaning all Dante has to do is spam attacks with his guns to slowly whittle the boss's health while dodging the few attacks that can reach him and punishing those with more damaging combos.
    • In Devil May Cry 4, the normally brutal Dante can be pretty effortlessly beaten if you climb atop the altar in the room. All he'll ever try and do is jump up there, and all you have to do to counter this is use Devil Bringer, which he can't dodge while jumping atop the altar, to grab him and hurl him back to the floor. Rinse, repeat, defeat.
  • Despite Demon's Souls' infamous difficulty, people have discovered ways to trivialize many of its bosses. The most well-known boss cheese strat that's likely intended is fighting Old Hero with the Thief's Ring so that it can't hear your footsteps and always lose aggro after being attacked. There's even a cheese strat for the final boss, Old King Allant, where you stay back at the fog gate as far as possible with the Thief's Ring equipped, wait several minutes for him to walk over and then walk to his spot after he loses aggro, then poison him with Poison Mist while his back is turned and wait for him to die while he stands there doing nothing.
  • Double Dragon:
    • There is an infamous glitch on the second level that allowed a player to give a section of the background a hitbox as if an enemy were standing there. The player can then beat on that one section of the stage infinitely until they maxed out all of their character's abilities, thus making the rest of the game much easier than it was intended to be.
    • Also in the second level is the stage boss. If you run away from him he'll freeze, as he's not coded to climb down ladders, and if you scroll him off the screen he will despawn. The game interprets this as him having been "killed", which ends the level and sends you to the next one.
  • Empire Earth: One of the easiest ways to win campaign maps (especially in early ages) is to send a single ranged unit to attack an enemy, then run like hell. The aggroed unit and any nearby enemy units will pursue the attacker relentlessly even if they have to run through your waiting army to do it. It fails miserably against entrenched defenses and loses potential in later eras due to the prevalence of ranged units, but taking range upgrades is never a bad investment.
  • Empire Earth II: In skirmish maps, the AI never takes advantage of the territory system, only conquering a few at a time. A human player can continuously churn out citizens and send them to build universities and temples in neutral territories, boosting their research and advancing technologically until they're sending bombers against medieval foes.
  • Invoked in Eryi's Action against Croco. After landing two hits on him, Croco will jump to the right of the screen and throw a barrage of spike balls so big that it is near impossible to survive. The player has to go all the way to the right of the screen where the end up behind Croco making it where his barrage of spike balls won't hit them. Beating Croco without doing this and dodging the barrage instead awards an achievement.
  • Fallout 4:
    • The Concord Deathclaw is a legitimately tough boss who can make short work of a low-level and/or less experienced player, even with the suit of Power Armor and minigun handed to you just minutes before. However, it can easily be defeated with little risk using some good old-fashioned Hit-and-Run Tactics. As it is too big to fit through doorways, one of the easiest (and cheesiest) ways to kill it is to sprint inside of a building (the church directly next to the Museum of Freedom is a good option), take some shots as it chases you up to the doorway and then retreats to cover, draw it back it out, sprint through the doorway, and repeat. Even a basic pipe gun and the .38 ammo looted from dead raiders throughout the museum will do the trick after enough rounds of this tactic. It turns one of the most feared creatures in the wasteland into Death by a Thousand Cuts pincushion to the chagrin of veteran Fallout players everywhere.
    • Building up and linking settlements can be a powerful tool. Excess crops and purified water can be sold and/or made into Vegetable Starch for easy Adhesive, stores generate passive income that can be picked up daily from the workbench, properly outfitted provisioners can make for powerful patrols, everything scrapped can be used to mod everything you could ever need, having a network of safe places to rest (and thus save) is life-saving in Survival Mode, and much more. The downside are the settlement attacks that come with thriving settlements. Even a heavily defended settlement maxes out at around a 66% chance of defending itself if attacked, leaving a 1/3 chance of damaged crops, defenses, generators, and a happiness penalty to settlers. However, if a settlement has no settlers, it will never be targeted for attack. While crops require settlers to maintain them, water purifiers do not. You can set up a couple of on-water settlements as "water farms" with no settlers or defenses needed. Stop by once in a while, pick up the excess water from the workshop, and sell it for a huge, risk-free profit.
    • Speaking of Settlements, you get a small amount of experience whenever you craft something at a workbench or in a settlement. Settlements often have lots of scenery items you can scrap and craft with the moment you find them, and the various usual chems you find can be combined at a chemistry station into a new one. Add in that settlers in a settlement can farm food and scavenge scrap for you, and you can slowly but surely grind experience just by building settlements and crafting chems and food items, which can then be sold for profit. A commonly-known strategy for exploiting the "Idiot Savant" perk at the start of the game is to create wooden fence-posts en-masse to take advantage of the experience boost and gain effortless levels.
  • Fester's Quest's Final Boss, which is near-impossible to fight legitimately without loads of healing and invincibility potions, can be cheesed by standing in a certain spot just out of reach of both the turrets and the main core's sine wave projectile, and unloading on it with gunfire or missiles.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • For patient players of Final Fantasy V, the bard/sap and the quick/sap exploits can slowly but effectively kill any threat without giving them the option to retaliate. For the former make a party of bards, inflict sap on the opponent, and then have all four of them hide. For the latter have someone inflict sap, someone else cast quick, and then on the quicked character's turn choose one spell and then just leave the spell menu open without picking a second one. Both of these creates a scenario where the enemy simply can not take any action against the party, but sap will still be ever-so-slowly draining their health until they die. Note that, for the bard/sap exploit, it only works in battles that you can't flee as normally having all four bards hide constitutes an instant escape from battle.
    • The Phantom Train in Final Fantasy VI can be defeated instantly by using a Phoenix Down on it, an item that revives dead party members.
    • Similarly, Gi Nattak in Final Fantasy VII can be instantly defeated by using an X-Potion (heals max HP), an Elixir (heals max HP & MP), or a Megalixir (heals max HP & MP for the entire party) on it. Phoenix Downs and Life spells work too, but their success rate on doing him in is only 25%.
    • Taharka in Final Fantasy IX is vulnerable to Heat, which KOs the target if they do anything.
    • Final Fantasy X: The Post-Final Boss Yu Yevon is something of an Almighty Idiot who doesn't use particularly powerful attacks or defenses (other than one flunky healing him for 9999 damage, but the party can easily outdo that kind of damage). One particularly well-known strategy involves exploiting his lack of Contractual Boss Immunity by inflicting the Zombie status on him, causing his own ally to damage him for quite a bit of damage. This is more or less the point, coming after very difficult battles: Yu Yevon was the driving entity behind Sin's constant regeneration and destructive impulses, but over millennia became entirely helpless without an Aeon to possess and turn into Sin anew. Regardless of whether you do the above or fight him normally, the battle is a Foregone Conclusion either way: your party has a permanent Auto-Revive status for the entire duration of the fight, along with the fights leading up to it, as Braska's Final Aeon is the actual final boss of the game.
    • Final Fantasy XII:
      • A strategy for some bosses is to stay out of reach of their melee attacks so they're limited to (normally less dangerous) ranged attacks, often by exploiting the terrain. A particularly cheesy example of this is with Fafnir, whose only ranged attacks are spells that can be reflected. Position your party behind the big rock, equip them with Ruby Rings and/or Mirror Mails for permanent Reflect status, and Fafnir won't be able to harm them at all.
      • The Nihopalaoa is an accessory that reverses the effect of any restorative item used by the party member using it. For instance, if you use Eye Drops, it causes Blind rather than curing it. When combined with the Remedy item, which cures several status effects (even more if Remedy Lore licenses are unlocked), this allows for a strategy where a party member will equip the Nihopalaoa and use Remedies on difficult enemies/bosses to inflict them with every negative status ailment they are not immune to. In addition, this allows party members to use Phoenix Downs on everything that is not immune to instant death to one-hit them, making them particularly useful against Baknamys in the Nabreus Deadlands and Necrohol of Nabudis. In the original PS2 versions, the Nihopalaoa could be purchased in the Clan Centurio shop after achieving the Headhunter rank, something fairly easy to do with early plot progression. In the Zodiac Age releases, however, it was hidden in a 25%-appearance-chance chest in two lategame areas, though it could still be constructed in the Bazaar between the events of Eruyt Village and first visiting Mt. Bur-Omisace if one knows the right enemies to kill/steal.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • In general, the community tends to view the meta through the lens of "how little effort can I put into something to get the maximum results?". This often leads to the assumption therein that some units are better than others due to requiring far less effort for better pay-off... and then there's the nature of plenty of grinding and levelling strategies to overcome the power discrepancy, often earning the ire of most Fire Emblem players for often completely derailing the "expected" means of play by simply being far too overpowered for the time and point the player is in the game. Moreover, grind-heavy playthrough are considered by most in the fandom to be boring, even with the undeniable results they bring.
    • The game has its fair share of bosses that require some strategic thought, but in a case of Gameplay and Story Integration, in Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, Emperor Rudolf will not attack Alm, even if he is attacked first because Alm is his son. Given Rudolf is considered That One Boss, a common strategy is to simply keep everyone out of the line of fire and have only Alm attack him.
    • In the third stage of Radiant Dawn's endgame, none of the enemies, including the boss, Dragon King Dheginsea, will ever attack Kurthnaga or Ena, barring the boss using his area of effect attack when another applicable target is in range and they get hit by the crossfire because Kurth is one of Dheginsea's sons and Ena is the fiance of his other, deceased son. The boss in question is absolutely a That One Boss candidate, and while Kurth in particular starts that chapter weak, a common cheese strategy is to let him solo the entire stage for massive experience at minimal risk.
    • If you don't care about your time ranking and there's no reason to explore the map (i.e. for items or units that have to be picked up right away), the safest strategy is simply to huddle your army in a box in the corner of the map, and wait for the enemy to come to you. If done properly, the defenders on the edges facing the enemy will only be exposed to one enemy at a time (two for the poor sap on the corner), while your ranged units can stay 1 tile away from the action (meaning they can only be attacked at a range they can fight back from) and your healers can stay even deeper where they usually can't be attacked at all. Reinforcements also can't spawn on a tile that your units already occupy, preventing sneak attacks. This isn't always possible or practical depending on the map, but when it works, it works well.
    • In the spin-off game Fire Emblem Warriors, Minerva and Camilla have a dash that puts them out of attack range for anyone but archers, and a dash attack that has a massive area of effect and trivializes Kill Count objectives, so a common strategy is to simply spam that attack on crowds of enemies or enemy generals. The technique is sometimes referred to as "Slamspam" because it involves Minerva's and Camilla's (massive) dragons body-slamming the ground, hitting everything around them.
    • Whenever an immobile boss carries a melee weapon and a bow, attacking from whichever range they cannot counter and then moving/rescuing out of range is a viable tactic. This is practically mandatory when fighting Gomez in Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 due to him having endgame-level stats and sitting on a throne that gives 10 defense in Chapter 8X. Given that it's practically impossible to survive a single round of combat against him, the best and likely only route is to hit him with one of Asvel's spells from the range he cannot counterattack from (initially 2, since Gomez has an ax and a bow, and starts with the ax equipped), rescuing out to prevent Gomez from equipping his bow and repeating. Good luck, because obtaining Asvel in the first place is a major Guide Dang It!
    • And then, of course, there is the legendary tactic of 'warp-skipping'. Whenever a map has 'Defeat Boss' as a victory condition (or requires the lord to seize the throne/castle underneath the boss, which is effectively the same thing), the quickest way to bring an end to that level is simply to use a warp staff to send a strong unit right in front of the boss and kill them immediately. Casual players usually recoil at this tactic due to the massive amounts of exp lost by not fighting any other enemies, leaving this tactic quite controversial. However, one map in Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 all but demands use of this strategy, emphasising to the player that they should use absolutely every resource available to them and not try to face their foes with an honour they can't back up. Fire Emblem Engage tries to combat this method by giving each boss multiple HP bars, meaning that it will always require at least two rounds of combat to kill a boss. But if you play your cards right, you can use Micaiah's special abilities to warp a whole group of units in front of the boss... but given the difficulty of Maddening maps, few would consider that overly cheap.
    • In Fire Emblem: Awakening, the Player Character Robin can very easily spiral into Game-Breaker territory due to their personal skill, which allows them to gain experience way faster than every other character (bar the resident Villager Archetype, Donnel). However, their power turns into straight-up cheese if you give them a Nosferatu tome, which deals moderate damage at both close and far range while also healing the user. Give your Robin Nosferatu, hit the 'end turn' button, and watch the bodies pile up.
  • In every installment of Football Manager, there's always one tactic with which you can simply throw even mediocre players into and suddenly become world-beaters. It usually changes from game to game as things get patched and the AI's logic is reworked, but this usually results in another one taking its place. In recent years, it's been the "Gegenpress" tactic, which is modeled after the usual MO of Jurgen Klopp's Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool sides and features intense pressing to win the ball back and a lightning-fast attack meant to score ASAP. It's not uncommon to see players take lowest-tier sides and rise up to the top flight and Champions League based on that tactic alone, with minimal personnel change.
  • Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator has the Fruit Punch Clown, which is by and far not only the easiest but also most economic way to make money in the game. You get 10 play tokens a day to use on arcades, and you make money from doing well at said games. The Fruit Punch Clown only costs $490 and gives only subpar payouts for not getting a perfect score, but gives utterly ludicrous payouts of $11800 for a perfect score. It's largely luck based rather than skill-based since you just need to wait for a group of kids, who randomly run back and forth, to happen to be in the right place, so a patient player can clown their way all the way to the bank and basically not worry about money, lawsuits, or having to buy discount items with liability risks for most of the game.
  • In GoldenEye, it's a well-known fact that when Xenia runs across the bridge in the level "Jungle", her AI is unable to recognize that the bridge rails only reach her waist, but despite this, her AI treats it as it if were a full wall cover. As a result, she will not shoot you as she runs across it, but Bond can shoot her. Players often do.
    • Similarly, you can conserve the Remote Mines (apparently intended to destroy turret guns) and set them all on the bridge, then blow her up as she runs across.
  • In The Guardian Legend, one cheap strategy for defeating the intimidating Final Boss is to camp in the upper left corner and spam the Backfire weapon. There are other ways to cheese it, but this one's the simplest.
  • Hogs of War: In the final mission, the player is supposed to defeat five overpowered "legend" enemies. Each of the legend enemies has one air-strike and one fire rain air-strike, which they're not shy to use against you. However, they are only dropped in after two turns of the player. At first there’s only a much weaker enemy, which can't be killed in the limited number of turns because it’s inside a pillbox. UNLESS the player gets their pigs on top of the pillbox, which makes the enemy come out of it. So now the enemy can be killed on the player's second turn, and the misssion is completed without ever facing the tough opponents.
  • Hollow Knight:
    • The so-called "minion build"—combining all the charms that send out minions to deal damage (Grimmchild, Weaversong and Glowing Womb) and then staying out of the way of the boss until it goes down—provides a slow but safe victory against some of the game's toughest foes, most notably Failed Champion.
    • Nosk can be defeated pretty easily by just hiding right near the edges of the little raised platform it runs across, and either spamming spells; using the Minion Build; or just whacking it with your Nail enough times. Its projectile attack can't hit you, and its charge attack can only hit you when it's coming back (unless you kneel down or are using Shape of Unn to make your hitbox smaller, in which case it generally can't hit you even then). Most of the time its ceiling attack projectiles also won't hit you if you do this.
    • Crystal Guardian can be defeated without ever once hitting it with the nail, due to an oversight where the only thing that wakes it up is hitting it with the nail; hitting it with anything else will make it take damage but not wake up. This can be done with spells or the Minion Build mentioned above.
    • Probably intentional, but during the fight with the dream warrior Xero, his fight is on a raised platform that allows you to hide underneath it and heal.
    • During Elder Hu's fight, there's one corner close to the entrance to the area where you can hide and heal without taking any damage, even from the screen-spanning attack. If you stay here and use the Minion Build or other long-range builds, you effectively can deal with the boss without taking any damage.
    • During Marmu's fight, if you hide in a corner (generally the left one), Marmu will be unable to hit you 9/10 times because of the way she bounces around and will completely miss corners.
    • There is one sidequest which involves taking a Delicate Flower from one side of Hallownest to the other, going through enemies and the usual platforming troubles to get there. You can't take the Stag Beetle, you can't teleport, you have to walk there. The Delicate Flower also gets destroyed if the Knight takes one hit. While you can't do anything about the platforming, many players find the easiest strategy is to simply clear out all of the enemies between the two points without resting at a bench so that at least one of the two obstacles are removed and they can focus on the platforming. It's not foolproof (especially if your platforming isn't the best), but it takes away a lot of what makes this That One Sidequest.
  • The Kingdom Hearts series, being an action-RPG, has no shortage of bosses that can be defeated with cheese.
    • In Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories' remake, certain sleights make fights unloseable, though it's counterbalanced by usually requiring time and effort spent building a deck needed to exploit these sleights.
      • Building a Zantetsuken deck allows a Sora player to permanently break every single card in an opponent's deck, meaning opponents can only reload or move around as an action.
      • Building a Lethal Frame deck trivializes boss fights, as Lethal Frame freezes an opponent in place to prevent them from attacking, before dealing fixed damage in several bursts, regardless of what cards are used as the attack card. It is not unheard of for Sora players to put together Lethal Frame decks specifically for boss fights, and a separate normal deck for general exploration.
    • In Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix+, the way a boss' "Revenge Value" works can be exploited to make boss fights a breeze. Normally, bosses in Kingdom Hearts typically have a damage threshold after which the boss will make itself invulnerable and counterattack to break out of a stunlock, which has been referred to as a Revenge Value (among other things, as it's an unofficial term). However, the playerbase has found ways around this.
      • The Roxas boss fight can be rendered effectively unloseable because of how the brief time in which Sora wields three keyblades modifies his arsenal. Typically, Growth abilities (gained from leveling up Drive forms) do not add any Revenge Value, as they normally do not deal any damage (they are High Jump, Quick Run, Glide, Aerial Dodge, and Dodge Roll). However, in the battle against Roxas, Sora can temporarily steal Roxas' keyblades, and while wielding three blades, Sora's Quick Run now deals damage because Roxas' keyblades do some damage in front of him. By using only Quick Run attacks against Roxas, Sora can indefinitely hit him without incrementing Roxas' Revenge Value (crossing Roxas' Revenge Value threshold has Roxas take his keyblades back), which allows Sora to combo until Roxas' health is depleted and then finish Roxas off with a combo finisher. This works for both his initial encounter as well as his Data boss fight.
      • Almost every single late-game boss can have their difficulty reduced to nearly zero (including Lingering Will) by utilizing a Jump, Combo Finisher routine, where Sora will jump (without High Jump), land ONLY an aerial combo finisher, and then repeat that over and over. While Sora lands, the boss will typically land and recover, but it's just enough time for Sora to jump and land another hit before the boss attacks. As well, by allowing the boss to land and recover, it resets any Revenge Value in the background, meaning this can be done indefinitely.
    • In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, the Optional Boss battle against Vanitas Remnant is meant to be a challenging boss fight that tests your ability to dodge, chip away some health, and get back to dodging. Or you could just exploit his pathfinding AI and the range of the Strike Raid attack to hit him from a distance through a rock formation in the right part of the Wasteland without putting yourself at risk.
  • Both Kirby: Triple Deluxe and Kirby: Planet Robobot have copy abilities that make Kirby invincible. They are useable in the arenas, which make them far easier then they would be otherwise. The developers caught on to this, however, in Planet Robobot. The final boss of the True Arena has an attack that it uses AFTER IT DIES that goes through most forms of invincibility. Said attack also deals 90% of Kirby's max health, sending anyone over reliant on invincibility abilities all the way back to the start of the mode. Did we mention that it's also a Marathon Level?
  • Knights of the Old Republic's many melee boss fights can usually be easily beaten by kiting them with a ranged character, though if they are Jedi characters, it doesn't work nearly as well due to the high chance of deflected blaster bolts.
    • Likewise, pumping a few points into Demolitions, recovering mines and re-laying them in the path of a boss or mob is a fantastic way for a squishy or otherwise sub par character build to even the score against a tough foe.
    • There's also the rancor in the sewers. If you don't feel like doing the "feed it a bomb" strategy, you can kite it to the room's exit. It's too big to fit through the door, but your party members with blasters can take pot shots at it until it drops.
    • A trick that requires some patience is to take a character like Mission, who has computer skill and Optional Stealth and sneak them deep inside an enemy base, then park them at a terminal and cause absolute mayhem by blowing up terminals and conduits, gassing rooms, turning droids on enemies, disabling and relaying mines, etc. It's possible to wipe out a significant chunk of a level's enemies this way without having to power up your saber.
  • The Climax Boss of The Legend of Dragoon, Lloyd, is armed with a magic sword that allows him to inflict instant death upon any character in their Dragoon form, and his AI is programmed to prioritize using the instant kill more often than not if a transformed character is on the field. However, the Talisman accessory blocks instant death attacks including this one. The cheese strategy is to bring Albert or Kongol (the team's Mighty Glaciers) with a fully maxed out Dragoon gauge and the Talisman, then turn them on their first turn of the fight. This will cause the boss to waste several of his turns trying and failing to instantly kill the Talisman user until they drop out of their transformation.
  • The Legend of Zelda is no stranger to cheese.
    • In Zelda II: The Adventure of Link on the NES, Dark Link can be cheesed by crouching in the bottom-left corner and spamming the sword button. Dark Link is a notoriously difficult boss who seems able to react faster than humanly possible, and given the game's already-high difficulty, many opt to simply use this method to bring him down instead.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, several bosses can be defeated pretty easily once you get the Magic Cape or Cane of Byrna, both of which make you immune to everything but bottomless pits.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Morpha can be defeated without taking any damage simply by standing in any of the room's corners, where his tentacles cannot reach you. Link can also hookshot Morpha's core into a corner to prevent Morpha from being able to return to the water, ending the fight quickly with minimal damage.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask:
      • It's possible to defeat Goht by simply standing in the alcove at the entrance to the Boss Room where none of his attacks can hit you and shooting him with Fire Arrows every time he runs by, or even regular arrows when he stops to shoot electricity at you.
      • If you drop a bomb before playing the Sonata of Awakening to awaken Captain Keeta, the bomb will explode during the cutscene and damage him. Not only does this take a considerable chunk of his health, but it completely negates the get back here aspect of him since it makes him immediately turn around and begin attacking.
      • And when fighting Keeta's boss, King Igos Du Ikana, he's normally a very difficult and aggressive opponent who near-perfectly blocks attacks and has savage counters. That is, until you realize he's completely reactive and begin camping out in the sunlight: the moment you leave the sunlight he moves in to attack, and the moment you re-enter it he immediately turns his back and runs away. Just keep doing this and sniping his exposed back with arrows, and he'll go down in no time.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: Link can sprinkle Forest Water (pure water taken from the roots of the Deku Tree) onto Kalle Demos while vulnerable, which will activate Kalle Demos' death cutscene and instantly win the fight. It's unknown whether this is a glitch or was intentionally programmed in, given Forest Water in the game is water so pure that it is capable of repelling impurities, such as the dark magic that gave birth to Kalle Demos. Nevertheless, this is considered a legitimate speedrunner strategy for both the original and remastered versions of the game, albeit one more for beginners.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: The final boss fight can be easily won just by pulling out the Fishing Rod and casting the line. Said boss will stare at it, allowing you to get free shots in. Notably, this was intentionally programmed in, as part of Nintendo's continuing reference to defeating bosses with unintended objects dating back to A Link to the Past and the butterfly net vs. Agahnim.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild often presents the player with obstacles that can be overcome in a variety of ways. While many players address them in the way suggested by the game, and some go by Self Imposed Challenges, often a very basic tool will allow one to bypass many difficulties, usually at the cost of time. For instance, Link's climbing ability makes it possible to simply go around many enemies, and he can produce unlimited bombs that can be spammed to eventually kill almost anything. Alternatively, simply blowing enemies into water with the Deku Leaf or blasting opponents from great heights with bombs and/or Stasis are popular ways of dealing with No-Gear Level Eventide Island.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom prevents you from using the Zonai Parts in your inventory for the Shrine of Light puzzles, which are meant to be solved with just the parts provided in the Shrines themselves. But that doesn't stop you from using Zonai Parts that have been fused to your weapons or shields, meaning you can trivialize puzzles that way.
  • In LISA: The Painful RPG, the combination of Birdie Hall and Terry Hintz has been shown to easily trivialize even the toughest boss fights. Birdie's Gasoline Spit attack inflicts a status that makes the enemy weak to Fire attacks, while Terry's The Hottest Dance is the most powerful Fire Attack in the game. Paired together, the two can easily kill everything from Joy Mutants to the brutal Optional Boss in a couple of hits. Fly Minetti is often combined with the two to ensure that the frail Terry doesn't get hit by stun-locking enemies with his Puke skills. As a result, many fans will look down on those who use such a party.
  • In Medieval II: Total War, declaring war on someone's ally doesn't immediately make you go to war with them, unlike in later installments. However, allying with someone instantly turns you neutral towards all of their allies, even if they are your enemies. Naturally, you can cheese the hell out of this system by launching a simultaneous attack and conquer multiple settlements at once, then force peace on your enemy before they can counterattack by paying their ally a lump sum to become your ally.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty:
    • It is rarely a stealth game once you learn how to time cartwheeling through crowds. A guard who spots you actually has to radio it in for an Alert Phase to begin, but if you take him down with a cartwheel before he gets to his radio he won't call it in until he gets back up. If you exit the area before the guard gets back up, he is de-loaded and the Alert Phase never happens. Since most areas are small, you'll easily make it through the loading zone and into the next area before he gets up. There's actually very few areas where this isn't viable, and only non-human entities capable of triggering alerts (like Ciphers and Cameras) need to actually be dodged... and all of these can be disabled with Chaff Grenades. This tactic notably makes getting the coveted Big Boss rating much easier to acquire, and completely neuters the game's challenge on lower difficulties. Notably, this strategy proved so cheesy that Konami actually tweaked the Alert mechanic for the next game: following this one, taking down a guard who spots you only delays when backup arrives but still triggers the Alert Phase.
    • During the rather odious battle against swarms of Arsenal Tengu with Snake backing you up, you can just stand at the entrance door with the HF Blade equipped blocking. It'll be slow, but you'll deflect anything that comes at you while Snake, who will soon run into the room behind you, will snipe the foes down one by one as they cluster at the door. It's slow, but even on the highest difficulties it allows you to win the fight without taking any damage.
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater:
    • A very simple-to-perform tactic to easily land headshots relies on a simple abuse of two mechanics that intermingle in an unintended way. Take aim at a guard and Snake will automatically aim at centre-of-mass, then go into first-person and hold L2 and R2 to make Snake stand on his toes. This will raise the gun just enough that it is pointed directly at their head. This tactic breaks the game to absolute pieces, even on higher difficulties, as it allows you to quickly and instantly tranq guards with a single shot even at considerable distances.
    • The box allows for some truly... odd bits of cheesiness. Thanks to the way guards priorities are encoded, a guard will ignore the box to check on a fallen comrade. This inexplicably includes if the box is moving. Thus, as long as one guard is in view of another, you can drop one with a tranquilizer dart and run right past the other one with the box over you while he nudges his buddy to wake back up.
    • When battling the Shagohod, your rockets actually do do Scratch Damage to it despite Volgin's insistence they won't even scratch its armor. Since you can quickly reload rockets via the Tactical Reload (where you quickly unequip and equip the weapon, which refills the ammo), you have unlimited ammo while on the motorcycle, and there are large swaths of the battle where really all you would normally be doing is waiting for the bike to travel a pre-determined path, you can just feed this thing rockets every second there is and do enough damage to drain its health by almost half before the proper boss fight even begins. This makes the actual battle much easier.
  • Metroid Fusion:
    • In the room where Serris is fought, there is a spot underwater closest to the door you entered in. Crouch there, and Serris will never be able to hit you while you can blast away at him.
    • Similarly, for the second B.O.X. fight, if Samus hangs from the ladder at the far right or far left, above the part of the water where the ground below is raised up a bit, she cannot be hit by the security robot's jumping, the missiles it fires are easy to take out with her plasma beam, and she is able to hit the robot's vulnerable section with a diagonal downward aim. This makes the boss trivially easy to defeat, and ironically much easier than he was the first time.
  • In Mickey Mousecapade, the normal strategy for the first encounter with Pete as the boss of the Pirate Ship is to inch Mickey up the ladder and take pot shots at him, so as to avoid his continuous barrage of daggers. However, since Minnie is invincible, if she has her Stars equipped, you can send her up to take out Pete with impunity. The same strategy can be used on the first boss, Witch Hazel.
  • Minecraft:
    • One of the most effective and oft-mentioned tactic is boating. All mobs that can get in a boat will do so if they touch one, but don't go out of their way to seek them out or avoid them. Boats, like trap doors, are essentially invisible to them. Once a mob is in a boat, it can only get out if you break the boat. Even hostile mobs get in to boats. In other words you can carry a boat and trap dangerous mobs like Endermen, Wither Skeletons, and Husks by simply placing it down and stepping back so it runs over it. Now you can just bash it to death with even your bare hands if you like.
    • Going into caves where monsters are can be troublesome, as you can quickly be overwhelmed and lose all the hard-mined goodies you went in there to get. However, monsters in caves follow the same rules as monsters on the overworld and won't spawn in lit areas. Thus, crafting a metric buttload of torches, going in with nothing but them and some stone tools, putting them up as you go, routing the few enemies who spot you, and illuminating the entire area, will stop enemies from spawning there ever again. Even if you die during the attempt you're only out a bit of stone, a few sticks, and some coal, which can be found anywhere, and can easily come back to try again risk-free. Once the cave is lit and no more monsters appear, you can come back with better tools to loot stuff like gold, diamonds, redstone, and enemy treasure chests in peace.
    • Monster spawners are tricky. As soon as you get near one, it begins quickly spawning hostile mobs and will make quick work of a player who tries to stand his ground or take it out. Or, you can just burrow under the ground like a mole, seal the hole behind you to prevent enemies from following you, navigate underneath the spawner, and dig up to take it out from below. Failing that, if you sprint up to it like a madman and manage to plant a torch on top, it won't be able to spawn monsters anymore: you'll take some hits from the enemies it spawns, but it'll put an end to that spawning nonsense quick, fast, and in a hurry.
    • Making a Nether Portal requires obsidian, a hard mineral that is incredibly rare, can only be mined with a diamond pickaxe, and often necessitates finding several such old portals on the overworld to cannibalize for minerals. Or you can just make obsidian yourself by letting water flow over lava: using dirt as molds and meticulously creating the obsidian in the very shape of the portal. This allows you to reach the Nether as soon as you've found enough iron to make a bucket, which is likely well-before you've found diamonds.
    • Mob grinders. In layman's terms, this means creating a structure that takes advantage of the game's mob spawning mechanics and forces mobs to only be able to spawn inside said structure, which funnels them into a kill zone where you can effortlessly wipe them out by the dozens to gain items and experience. Suddenly keeping all your Mending-enchanted Netherrite gear and obtaining arrows and gunpowder is very, very easy. The best part is, while incredibly convoluted mob grinders exist, the simplest one is effectively a tower with a few trapdoors and an "AFK platform", all of which can be built early game with some trapdoors, a water bucket, some hoppers, and a few stacks of cobblestone.
    • When a new villager spawns, he will take a nearby bed and, if a work table exists, will adopt that trade and have several randomly-selected trades available. So long as you don't trade with him, you can replace his work table and change his trade. If you replace it with the same table, it will shuffle his randomly-selected trades. Furthermore, when a villager is turned into a zombie you can cure him and get lifelong discounts. These discounts stack, allowing you to repeatedly infect and cure a villager until they'll sell everything for 1 emerald. A patient player can have a Librarian who sells Sharpness V, Infinity, Protection IV, Unbreaking III, or god-forbid Mending for sale for 1 emerald a pop, and all you have to do to earn some emeralds is grow some sugarcane and craft it into paper to sell to that very same Librarian. This was so effective that Mojang heavily nerfed the tactic in Java 1.20.1 and the corresponding Bedrock version, making it so cured zombie discounts don't stack. Additionally, experimental features in the associated snapshots and previews/betas made it so only specific villagers can sell specific enchantments (though this is somewhat balanced by how a master of each biome is guaranteed to sell a certain enchantment), but this hasn't yet been added to the full game as of Java 1.20.4 and Bedrock 1.20.51. It's very telling, however, that even then this tactic is still a bit cheesy.
    • Not even The Wither can break Bedrock, and you get to summon this guy anywhere you want. So, by summoning him beneath the top-layer of Bedrock in The Nether or beneath the portal in The End, you can render him completely unable to move or fight back. Suddenly the hardest part of fighting the flying withering land-destroying abomination is farming the Wither Skulls needed to summon him, and that can also be cheesed since Wither Skeletons can't enter 2-block-high spaces like the player can.
    • Zerg Rushing your foes with armies of wolves. With two tamed wolves, a chicken farm, and some patience, you can have an exponentially growing army of wolves. These things will follow you loyally and lay waste to any foe that either you attack or that attacks you, and while they will die quickly they are easily replaceable. Youtuber Kolanii took this to the extreme by unleashing 2000 wolves against various Superbosses like The Warden or The Wither on hardcore and devastated them so quickly he was able to win both fights in third person, against three Withers at the same time, and ended both fights in about a minute — he only took 1000 of the 2000 wolves for each fight, and even then he comments that he really only needed 100 or so wolves for each fight.
      Kolanii: We are 30 seconds in and I think I've broken the game. It doesn't matter anymore! There is nothing good enough to beat me! I'd say we're about 100 dogs down... most of them are from me... oh this is just embarrassing! This is hard to watch; the game is too easy now! I do boss fights in third-person mode! It's too easy now!!!
    • Playing Hardcore Mode following the Village & Pillage Update has allowed players to use the Totems of Undying to avoid dying in a game mode where the challenge is to avoid dying.
    • In speedruns, thanks to Piglins being able to trade gold for ender pearls, players use Piglins as a means to gather ender pearls to enter the End instead of gathering them via the Endermen, which was the initial way to gather ender pearls.
    • The Ender Dragon can be blown up by spamming beds and trying to use them in the End dimension (since they don't work because time is broken there, just like the Nether), allowing players to kill it with the occurring explosions without having to use any combat skills or take out the healing crystals.
  • MLB: The Show:
    • Bunting has proven to be extremely difficult for the developers to balance; in each game, it is either far too strong or far too weak. This is largely because while the baseball's movement is based on the game's physics engine, the players' movements are all scripted. If the ball goes somewhere that the players can't cover or move to quickly, then the bunt is impossible to field. This led to online matches where players would simply bunt over and over and over again rather than actually trying to swing the bat.
    • Baserunning is extremely clunky; because player actions are scripted, it's hard to react to pick-off attempts or real time plays on the field. For this reason, players have developed a number of cheese strategies using glitches and AI manipulation to make running almost guaranteed against the CPU. There are also other strategies designed to work against online players as well.
  • Monster Girl Quest! Paradox RPG:
    • Draining MP to 0 makes quite a few bosses easier than they should be. This is because enemies at 0 MP still attempt to use skills that require MP, only to fail. Thus, a boss at 0 MP effectively skips many of their turns, and won't be able to use what are often their more dangerous skills. Angel bosses are especially affected, since most of their skills require MP. This was nerfed in a later patch by allowing enemy MP in the Labyrinth of Chaos to scale upwards as you progress, so it takes more effort; but if you can get an enemy to 0 MP, they'll be as hindered as they always were.
    • Bosses in this game generally don't have as much Contractual Boss Immunity as bosses in typical games. This is taken to the point of some bosses being vulnerable to status ailments that stop them from acting, like Sleep. True, they tend to still have resistance to these ailments, but if you have reliable ways of inflicting them (the "X Success Up" line of abilities help) then you can keep these bosses in a helpless state.
  • Mortal Kombat II:
    • Shao Kahn, being a massively unfair SNK Boss, has a number of cheese strats dedicated to defeating him. Of note, spamming fast or low projectiles from Liu Kang and Reptile can allow either of those characters to simply wear Shao Kahn down in a battle of attrition rather than outplay him.
    • A lesser-known cheese strategy is the Raiden Teleport > Roundhouse Kick loop. After being knocked down once, Raiden can Teleport behind a CPU enemy and then deliver a Roundhouse Kick that knocks them down again, then loop the strategy ad infinitum. The computer A.I. has a hard time countering the strategy as the teleport usually forces it to stay in one spot until the animation finishes, and there only a few select options (besides blocking) that can stop Raiden from knocking it down with another Roundhouse Kick and repeating the process.
    • Mortal Kombat Trilogy's Noob Saibot has a very easy combo to pull off that consists of his teleport slam (down, up), running in, hitting them with two standing high-punches, and repeating. There is nothing the opponent, human or AI, can do to counter it and they'll be Stun Locked until all their health is gone. Even the official strategy guide by Gamefan Books refered to this as "Noob's 100% Cheese Combo."
  • NHL Hockey: The one-timer. Good god, the one-timer. In NHL '94, due to the way the goalie was coded, as well as defensive players, the most famous and effective tactic in the game was to swoop down the wing, head behind the goal, pass it back up to the slot where one of your players was waiting, and immediately fire the puck at the net. The tactic was infamously powerful and hard to patch for the developers; even over twenty-five years later, AI teams still struggle to handle one-timers.
  • Nintendo Wars:
    • Mech Rushing is a simple yet diabolically effective strategy on a lot of maps. Even moreso when using Sami, who gains infantry attack bonuses and has a 1.5x property capture rate. As Mech Units are cheap enough to spam, can capture properties, cross terrain like rivers and mountains, and are effective at taking out most ground units save for the heavy hitters like the more powerful tank units, you can overwhelm enemy units and force your way onto their properties, costing them opportunities to repair, supply, and gain funds as you chip away at their health and get ever closer to their HQ. The only time it's not effective is on a map with few properties or when facing an opponent like Grit who can pick them off with increased indirect attacks or when facing Max and Jess who have boosted vehicle attack power.
    • In the first Advance Wars game, you can use APCs as bait to lure attacks. The enemy AI hates these things, so much that they will violate not only common sense but unique mission-specific hardcoded AI scriptsnote  to attack them. The AI will drive a unit off of its HQ, drive past the infantry it just unloaded, and attack the APC that dropped it off, and it will continue to attack that APC while said infantry captures its HQ and wins the battle. Some missions, like Olaf's Navy, can be cheesed by repeatedly building APCs in range of his Battleships so he'll keep shooting at them... while you sail your own navy around and sink them one-by-one and make a beeline for his HQ for a capture. Later games adjusted the AI script to fix this, but even then they remain rather high on the enemy's attack priority.
    • Any mission against Eagle in the first game can be cheesed by simply waiting for about 35 Days, when all his Fighters and Bombers will run out of fuel and crash. It won't take out his Battle or Transport copters as his reduced air fuel usage will keep them aloft while stationary, and it'll get you a terrible time rank, but it removes the worst of his forces with little to no effort.
    • Also in the first game is Battle Mystery as Sami, where you're tasked with protecting a single Infantry unit for 8 days. Normally this is no easy feat as the the AI can see your units even when hidden by Fog of War and, because Infantry and transports are high on the AI's priority list, Drake will chase the thing relentlessly whether you try to hide it in the forests up north or load it onto a Transport Copter or Lander. However, Cruisers are low on the AI's attack priority: load the infantry onto a Transport Copter, land that on your Cruiser, and sail it into a reef: Drake will ignore it entirely to go after your units and move for your HQ, ensuring an easy A or S rank depending on how many units overall are destroyed.
    • While there is some RNG involved and it doesn't always work, the most reliable strategy to finish the infamously hard Rivals! map basically amounts to spamming nothing but Transport Copters loaded with Infantry, just making a maniacal dash toward his HQ, and hoping one survives long enough to capture his HQ while his ocean of units utterly decimates them.
    • Advance Wars: Black Hole Rising infamously has "Two Week Test", a mission where Colin must Hold the Line for 14 days against Lash and a vastly superior army under her command. However, as it's a deployment map where you start with no units, it's impossible for Lash to win by routing all your troops if you never build anything. Then, with no targets to slow her down, her faster-moving vehicles will press forward and clutter all over your properties, preventing her own troops from reaching your HQ and winning by capture. In other words, you win by doing absolutely nothing because the AI was never coded to anticipate such a stupid strategy as doing nothing to defend yourself.
    • Much less infamously is "Andy's Time" which can be cheesed by building nothing but Recons for your first few turns. Flak only has two properties to start and lacks the funds to make anything other than Infantry, so he is hard-coded to build nothing but infantry the first few turns, do some capturing, and then build nothing at the end of Day 4 to save up for a tank. This gives you just enough time to scoot a couple of Recons across the map and park them on his bases, which completely blocks off his deployment capabilities and leaves him with nothing but Infantry. Congratulations, you've won — destroy the cannon and mop up the straggling enemy Infantry for an easy 300pts S Rank.
    • "Nature Walk" is a Stealth-Based Mission of sorts where you, as Grit, must get through a map covered by three gigantic cannons using forests as cover, with the objective being any of your units must reach your HQ. The best way to win is to leave all your units behind and send a single tank (the left one is best for this) from forest to forest, while leaving your other units visible at the bottom of the map. It might take you a try or two to figure out how to fandangle around the anti-air near the HQ that loves to try and block you, but it's by and far the easiest method to win the mission. You don't even need to attack.
    • "The Hunts End", the final Yellow Comet mission, has a factory that always spawns a Battleship and Transport Copter on Day 1. Units spawned have a chance of having a "passive" AI, where they will just sort of sit there and only engage units that come into range, so if the Battleship has that AI it will block one of the factory slots. Since factories are hard-coded to spawn specific units from specific slots on specific days, if you keep restarting the mission until that Battleship gets the passive AI, you won't have to contend with any unit that would have come from the left spot for the remainder of the match.
  • In Octopath Traveler, there is a strategy allowing players to take out one of the game's Optional Boss enemies at a low level. Dreisang the Archmage attacks almost entirely through magical attacks, so a typical strategy to defeat him at a low level is to cast the dancer's Divine Skill Sealticge's Seduction on a Cleric, who will then cast a max-boosted Reflective Veil. Under normal circumstances, Reflective Veil puts a one-use, magic-spell-only Attack Reflector buff on a single ally, but Sealticge's Seduction allows it to apply to the entire party, and boosting it allows extra layers of Reflective Veil to be applied. Thus, Dreisang's attacks will constantly be reflected back on himself, allowing the party to simply focus on keeping the Reflective Veil up, and the boss will slowly kill itself. This will unlock the Sorcerer advanced class, which can break the game wide-open even more from that point on. This strategy can also be used on Steorra, which likewise unlocks the Starseer advanced class.
  • In Octopath Traveler II, a strategy exists for winning any fight involving only one enemy, which opens the door to mugging even the most powerful NPCs as soon as you can afford it. The "Bottled Nightmares" item can be used on an enemy for a decently-high percentage chance to inflict four different status ailments. The four ailments in question are Blindness, Confusion, Sleep, and Poison, the last two are most important, as a sleeping opponent won't wake when taking poison damage and can't retaliate. Thus spamming Bottled Nightmares on enemies will slowly whittle down their HP until they are easily defeated. They cost 3,000 Leaves at the Black Market, which may price out early-game players, but Leaves come easily later on.
  • The one in One Night At Flumptys 2 is actually brought up by the game's creator Jonochrome when playing his game for his Developer's Commentary video. He explains how a very easy and optimal strategy is to only use the cameras to check for The Owl, and then only turn the lights on to charge the laptop, but considers it a boring and unsatisfying tactic and much prefers his intended method of tracking the monsters with the camera and flipping off the lights before they spot you.
  • Palworld, like any Survival Sandbox game has its share of cheap tactics:
    • Flying mounts can be used to avoid several threatening and dangerous attacks in the game, making potentially deadly encounters easy. Tocotoco and Beegarde can't get you with their suicide explosions if you're far too high up. Certain moves that strike the ground under the target (i.e. Spine Vine) will also become unable to hit. Mind you, the player isn't the only one who uses this, as Marcus Dryden and his Faleris will also exploit their aerial advantage for all it's worth.
    • Alpha Anubis's Forceful Charge won't stop until it hits an enemy or travels a certain distance without hitting one. Terrain doesn't count as an enemy, so you can bait it into using the attack near a group of trees and get it stuck, letting you shoot it with impunity.
    • A tactic that was patched out in consisted of luring Jetragon off one of the many cliffs near its spawn point, where it would lose a huge chunk of its health, if not flat out die, from Falling Damage.
    • Related to the above tactic is the "Stairway to Heaven", where you build a tall ramp or tower into the sky, provoke Pals into running up after you, and then deleting the tile they are standing on or tricking/knocking them off the platform, causing them to fall to their death. Version nerfed this tactic slightly in that flying or floating Pals will not take Falling Damage, rendering this tactic useless against them.
    • Palboxes are buildable near boss arenas and Pals stationed at bases will attack anything that is hostile. This has led to the tactic of building a Palbox near a field boss, deploying a horde of powerful Pals at the base, provoking the field boss into attacking and then luring it to the base where the gathered Pals will immediately Zerg Rush it. This tactic also exploits how a field boss's health does not regenerate if you respawn within a certain vicinity of them. Therefore, building a Palbox near a particularly tough boss can mean that even if they manage to defeat you, you can respawn within close proximity without giving them a chance to heal.
    • Black Marketeers are merchants that will sell you Pals that are implied to be illegally obtained. While they can be killed for a substantial amount of money, their high health (exceeding that of many Pals); high level; equipment of a powerful minigun and a very strong Pal make fighting them a challenge. However, players found a way to trivialize fighting them by catching them in the hanging traps, hitting them once, and then building a campfire underneath them.
  • In Perfect Dark, using the secondary fire mode on the Pheonix converts it to fire exploding rounds. Shooting the Skedar leader with these rounds when he's firing rockets will cause the rocket to blow up in his face.
  • Persona 3 Reload:
    • The Reaper is a very hard enemy which can easily defeat an underprepared party, but also drops about 250,000 XP. If you are knocked out on the lowest difficulty, you have the option of re-entering the battle. The party's HP and Stamina Points are refilled, but the enemy keeps any damage already done to it. Knocked out? Retry! Run out of SP? Let yourself get knocked out! And when it's all over, bank your XP and reset the difficulty to Normal.
    • The Hermit story boss is supposed to be an Increasingly Lethal Enemy: it charges up during the battle, allowing it to use the hard-hitting, party-wide Elec-element Giga Spark and later Tera Spark attacks. You're meant to damage it to slow down the charge, or endure and heal off the damage. Or you can cast Elec Break to remove its immunity to its own attacks, then reflect them back with Makarakarn for massive damage, letting the boss do most of the work of the fight for you.
  • Pizza Tower's fourth boss has an attack that involves multiple hazards running back and forth along the bottom of the screen, which you're intended to dangerously jump over to avoid them. However, since Peppino is able to run straight up walls, it's possible to disengage with the attack entirely by simply running up a wall of the arena and continually pressing the grab button to bonk repeatedly into the ceiling until the attack ends, avoiding all danger.
  • Polyroll: Dying in a boss fight resets your health to 1 and your gems to 0. Fortunately, you can cheat in those by collecting gems and then restarting from the pause menu to respawn them until you can fight at full health.
  • Project Zomboid has the tactic of building bridges from roof to roof. Unlike everything else in the game, which is just about as realistic as you could expect a game to be, building bridges essentially follows Minecraft rules where you can just keep moving horizontally in any direction until you run out of materials. It's entirely possible to spider-web out some bridges that connect the roofs of houses and buildings, have a fully functioning garden and plumbed sinks and generators and power up there, and create what is essentially a floating fortress where zombies can never hope to touch you. This eliminates the main threat of the game and, unless you need to make a mad dash for supplies, you can focus entirely on becoming self-sufficient in full safety. The only requirement to do this is sufficient carpentry skills which can be ground up in the early game while scavenging, and it's not prohibitively expensive to start as a Carpenter with the Handy trait either.
  • In Pump It Up, hold steps do not have any sort of actual timing mechanic; as long as you are holding down on the correct panel when the note passes through the judgment area, even if you've been pressing down on the panel since before the note, you will get all Perfects for the note. The song "Pumptris Quattro" has a Single 17 chart that has only hold notes, meaning that you can just sit with your hands, feet, and rear on all five panels for the entire song for the easiest all-Perfect run ever. This was patched out in Pump It Up XX, where you now have to actually time the initial hit of the note or else you will get a Miss on it.
  • In Resident Evil (Remake), Yawn can be killed more easily with the knife than with any other weapon. You can lure him around the central bookshelf over and over and keep stabbing the tip of his tail since the shelf is just wide enough to keep his mouth out of range of you when you're at his slithery rear. Just keep in mind it'll take until the next coming of Christ to do, that is 53 hits from Chris or 87 from Jill.
  • Resident Evil 3: Nemesis:
    • The gunpowder mixing mechanic is a goldmine for abuse. Owing to the absurd quantities of any one kind of ammo you can carry per ammo slot, simply creating nothing but grenade rounds by mixing A and B gunpowder allows a diligent collector of gunpowder to cheese the entire game with nothing but the grenade launcher. Furthermore, the more often you make any one kind of ammo, the more often you'll get extra ammo when you make it.
    • Earning the points in The Mercenaries to earn the goodies like a gatling gun or the coveted Infinite Bullets can be tricky and requires time, patience, and skill. Or you could just climb up on the crates in the alley with the zombie dogs, hold forward, and tap aim: the dogs can't touch you but you're still close enough to trigger the "dodge" move, dodging rewards you with more time and points, and you can earn enough points to buy everything in a single playthrough with little problem. Happy zombie murdering!
  • Resident Evil 4:
    • The village segment of the game is the first truly difficult moment in the game, and it happens mere moments into the game. You have to fend off an entire village of Ganados, one of which may have a chainsaw, with only a handgun, knife, a couple grenades, and (if you're willing to face a chainsaw) a shotgun, and you either have to kill enough enemies or survive for enough time for it to end. If you climb the tower they will light it on fire rather than chase you, but this fire can't kill you: it will drop your health as low as possible but cannot actually finish you. So, for the price of a couple of herbs or a first-aid spray you can just wait the entire fight out in the comfort and safety of arson without spending a single bullet.
    • Regenerators can be knifed to death very easily if you strike their leg and take it off. They won't be able to do anything until they stand up and regenerate their leg, and they won't be able to stand up until you stop knifing them, so you will eventually kill them.
  • The superboss of Shadows Over Loathing is notorious for having over 1000 HP and being able to buff itself every turn and whenever it takes damage. However, one common method of trivializing the fight involves getting your Moxie as high as possible, grinding vampire fights in The Big Moist for bloodshine, and getting a perk that increases your item usage from one to four, and equipping a Moxie-based weapon. This way, you can drink four bottles of bloodshine to bring your Moxie up to triple digits thus allowing you to take it down in two or three turns.
  • The Simpsons Hit & Run has a few programming oversights that allow for cheesy wins to missions without resorting to just skipping them:
    • Level 3's Clueless requires you to race to different parts of town to meet Milhouse. However, the timer stops when you reach him but doesn't start until you talk to him and then get in your car: if you know where all the spots are (Wall E. Weasel's, Planet Hype, and the Springfield Sign), you can reach him, drive your car some or all of the way to the next location, get out of the car and run back to talk to him, and then run back to your vehicle to start the timer. The only drawback is it takes a long time.
    • Level 4's From Outer Space ends with Chief Wiggum chasing you. All you have to do to escape him is drive to the Simpson's home and run inside. This immediately ends the chase and completes the mission.
    • Level 7's Kang and Kodos Strike Back is a very difficult race, where you must race the Chase Sedan through the suburbs and the Squidport to get to the Duff Brewery. However, the developers forgot to block the other route through the level. At the beginning of the race you can do a 180 and take the other route past the Dam and Observatory: this causes the game to unload the part of the level the Chase Sedan is in to save memory, which causes it to fall through the level architecture and get stuck, making the race impossible to lose.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Bowser's boss fights in Super Mario 64 require the player to grab him by the tail, swing him around and around like a hammer thrower to build up momentum, and throw him into one of the bombs located at the edge of the arena. When you’re swinging Bowser at full speed, it’s a bit of a challenge to time the release so that he flies on target; if you miss, he will fly off the edge of the floating platform, only to jump back up unharmed. The more patient and lazy player can swing Bowser more slowly until he's facing a bomb; "throw" him only a short distance so that he lands on the ground a little closer to the bomb; grab his tail again; and keep repeating this process until he hits the bomb. However, during the final battle, Bowser will destroy parts of the arena after he takes two hits, forcing you to do it the "right way" for the final blow.
    • In New Super Mario Bros., utilizing a Mega Mushroom against a boss will one-shot them without Mario or Luigi taking any damage in the process.
  • Super Ninja Meow Cat: The Final Boss has some very powerful attacks that are difficult to avoid. But, as YouTuber Rangris demonstrates here, you can cheese him during the attack where he summons three enemies. As long as you leave at least one enemy alive, the final boss will just stay floating near the middle of the arena, not attacking. Then, you can wall jump, dash towards him, and hit him with a sword swing until you fall down. Repeat enough times, and the final boss can become significantly easier as long as you have the patience for it.
  • Terraria:
    • Most bosses can be made incredibly easy by combining as much defense and health regen effects as you can acquire. This will allow you to easily shrug off most hits, and in some cases can allow you to outright tank anything they can throw at you. This strategy becomes much less effective in Expert and Master mode however, due to the greatly increased damage of enemy attacks.
    • The majority of enemies in invasion events can be easily defeated by simply building a lava moat. They're stupid enough to jump right in and die, leaving their drops easy to collect for the player in a tunnel underneath the moat. Event bosses and some enemies can simply bypass the lava, but fighting them is a lot easier without all of the other enemies constantly wearing you down.
    • The Moon Lord and the Martian Saucer both have extremely high damage laser attacks. However, since they always fire this from above the player, it could be easily blocked by any roof, even a one block deep dirt barrier. This negated much of their difficulty. In the case of the UFO, you could even build a roof and walls in such a way that you were completely safe from all its attacks, allowing you to attack it with piercing weapons or a yo-yo and defeat it easily even with weak equipment. This strategy was made ineffective when the 1.4 update made these laser attacks pierce blocks between it and the player. The UFO's other attacks can still be blocked, but you'll no longer be totally out of harm's way (though to counterbalance this, the Martian Saucer's second phase which did nothing but spam the beam attack was removed from Normal mode).
    • A number of exploits have existed through the game's history that render the player Nigh-Invulnerable, usually taking advantage of Mercy Invincibility and/or taking constant damage from a weak enemy so that stronger enemies can't get any hits in. The Moon Lord was made impossible to cheese this way, though, as his attacks have their own invincibility frames and ignore the regular Mercy Invincibility. This is also the reason why Meteor and Hellstone blocks, which burn you on touch, no longer provide invincibility frames.
    • With the proper setup, fireworks can kill almost anything in the game in seconds, even the Moon Lord. It's expensive and takes a lot of time to set up, but if you want a zero difficulty boss battle (or a boss kill Speedrun) it's an excellent option.
    • Exclusive to Master Mode, the Flying Dutchman mount in 1.4 made most bosses after the Pirate Invasion a joke, as you could simply outrun their attacks with its high max move speed. It would later be Nerfed, preventing this strategy.
    • The aptly named "Nurse Cheese" tactic consists of building a home for The Nurse in your arena and attacking constantly, eschewing dodging in the process and simply healing every time your health gets low. 1.4 attempted to remedy this by making the healing cost more money as the game progresses, but Money Grinding isn't exactly difficult in this game.
  • Thunder Zone features a difficulty mode that describes itself as "Don't plan on winning that often", where the AI aggressively attacks the player and makes full use of its faster reaction times to pummel them. However, that very aggressiveness can be turned around on it; just start flying in one direction at maximum speed, then launch homing missiles behind you until the computer dies. It may take a while, but since the playing field wraps around infinitely, and since you and the computer are the same speed, and it will never stop chasing you, and missiles have infinite range, and there's no ammunition limit — it's basically like shooting fish in a well. There's a good chance that you'll never even see the AI except on your mini-map.
  • Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE have Savage Mirages, dangerous and powerful enemies that are always several levels beyond your party, and the lineup can change if you have defeated them enough times. Eleonora Yumizuru has a Special Skill that unlocks upon promoting her Mirage partner Virion in the Class Change service called Mass Destruction, which has a chance to inflict fatal damage to all foes, depending on Ellie's Skill stat. This can either clear them all outright or enough to where they aren't so much of a danger.
  • Tomb Raider I has a very high skill ceiling, but is also a very easy game if you're willing to dust the enemy encounters with some parmesan. All enemies are coded to wander aimlessly when they can't reach Lara, chase her when they can reach her, and run around in a panic when taking damage when they can't reach her, so most if not all enemies can be cheesed with your basic pistol weapon if there's safe ground. Retreat to a ledge where they can't reach you and take potshots at them and they'll run around in a blind panic until they die, or hop off a ledge or into some water and wait for them to wander away before climbing back up and shooting until they get too close and you repeat. Even bosses like the T. rex can be taken out in this manner if you aggro it and run back to the ledge where you first entered the area. With human enemies, the same applies. When fighting Larson in the Tomb of Qualopec just run past him, hop over the small rock into the passage that would lead to the area with the T. rex, and hop on the spot holding the fire button until he dies. The first time you face Pierre in St. Francis' Folly, just stand in the doorway of the gorilla room and hold the fire button, and he'll take a hit and run for cover, run out, take a hit, run for cover, lather rinse repeat until dead. Even just hopping on the spot while firing on any human enemy is an effective, though not wholly so (you will take a few hits), tactic for taking them out. Quite literally 90% of the enemies can be taken out in this manner, leaving you with such a surplus of ammo for the magnums, shotgun, and uzis that the remaining 10% can be gunned down with no regard.
  • Triangle Strategy: The branch of Chapter VII in which You do NOT hand over Roland and are met with the Aesfrosti army's full force is a brutal fight, particularly if you want to get the Golden Ending, since it requires you not to use the map's traps. However, Anna's invisibility and Hughette's flying allow them to stay almost entirely untouchable, which will allow them to bait enemies in range of each other while being out of harm's way, and whittle down the level boss' health while the enemies can't hurt you. Given this path simplifies a brutal fight and enables the Golden Ending to be unlocked, this is the rare example of a cheese strategy that has been positively received.
  • In Ty the Tasmanian Tiger, you can beat Shadow the Bat without her getting a single attack in. Normally you have to hit a button with your boomerang to release steam from the vents she sits on while avoiding the swarm of bats she sends your way, but the Zoomerang has a longer range than the other boomerangs and can be used to hit the buttons from far enough away that Shadow doesn't have a chance to send her bats after you.
  • Valkyria Chronicles 4: The final mission of the game requires Squad E to destroy the Lophius, the main villain's submersible super-heavy tank. It's a complicated and even frustrating boss battle for many players, but there's a cheap trick the player can use to win in just two turns.
    • The battle takes place on a large ice sheet on top of the Crystal Sea, which is pierced in several places by holes large enough for the Lophius to enter the water through. The Lophius follows a predictable pattern each turn where it will attack with its main gun; drive along a specific path into the nearest hole; swim under the ice; and then reemerge at a different surfacing point on the map. The tank's weak spots are four radiators on its sides which need to be exposed whenever the tank surfaces from a dive; each time a radiator is destroyed, all of the others are retracted and become invulnerable until the Lophius emerges from its next dive. At the same time, the destruction of each radiator causes additional enemy units to spawn next to the Lophius. The radiators are only vulnerable to attacks from above, meaning the only ways to attack them are to use grenadiers to lob anti-armor mortar rounds, or else have engineers hook rope ladders onto the sides of the Lophius so that units can climb onto the tank's back to attack the radiators. The player's engineers can also be taken to certain locations in order to plug up a surfacing hole by collapsing nearby mounds of ice, thus confining the Lophius to fewer parts of the map.
    • In order to skip this exhausting game of whack-a-mole and avoid putting their soldiers in harm's way, the player can instead load a grenadier equipped with an anti-armor mortar into the Cactus armored personnel carrier during their first turn. The player uses the Cactus to drive the grenadier to the place where the Lophius will surface at the end of its first dive; this grenadier should be left inside the Cactus until the second turn, both to protect them and to prevent them from automatically launching interception fire at the Lophius. At the beginning of the player's second turn, when the Lophius has surfaced and exposed its radiators, the player should spend a move to deploy the grenadier out of the Cactus but not immediately attack the Lophius. The reason is that unequal damage to any of the radiators will mess up the cheese tactic, which requires all the radiators to be destroyed in one shot at exactly the same time. Then, once that grenadier is outside of the Cactus and therefore able to be given orders (which are buffs the player can add to their units), give the grenadier the orders "Attack Weak Spot" (to increase damage against the tank's radiators) and "Blast Boost" (to enlarge the blast area and thus damage multiple radiators with each hit). Finally, fire mortar rounds at the spot right behind the Lophius's periscope, which is equidistant from all four radiators and will cause all of them to be damaged equally while "Blast Boost" is in effect. Even on hard difficulty, two shots behind the periscope will cause all of the radiators to be destroyed at the same time and grant victory before the end of the second turn. This way the Lophius gets no chance to retract any radiators or move around the map; none of the additional troops the Lophius would spawn have a chance to come out; and when completing the mission so quickly it isn't even necessary for the player to send Riley to the Centurion to defuse the bomb within two turns before continuing the fight against the Lophius.
  • Wario: Master of Disguise: During the final fight with Terromisu in the third phrase, her only way to attack Wario is to make a bunch of fire streams appear in the middle of the arena. However, there are two small spots on the very corners of the stage that allow Wario to stand on and completely avoid this attack altogether (since the fire streams never appear on those spots). And since the way to damage Terromisu in this form involve using Dragon Wario to breath fire at her face when she finishes the attack and the fire breath attack strikes at a diagonal angle which always hits Terrormisu from one of the two spots, the player can simply do this and the final battle is pretty much won.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 1: Two words: Topple-Locking. In Xenoblade Chronicles, toppling an opponent is to inflict it with a status that causes it to be unable to dodge (increasing the accuracy of all hits to 100%) or attack and only flying enemies are immune to it. An enemy can only be toppled if they're inflicted with Break status, and Topple's time limit can be stacked upon indefinitely. There are a few characters this can be set up with, but the most common setup is with Shulk, who has the most Break-inflicting attacks, as well as Reyn and Dunban with their Topple attacks. The basic gist is to inflict an enemy with Topple stacked for longer than the cooldown on the Topple attacks' cooldowns are, thus allowing you to combo Topples until the fight is over. Topple-Locking trivializes endgame superboss battles, and even allows the party to go after mobs several levels higher than what they are typically able to do.
  • Yakuza 0 has dangerous enemies wandering the streets called Mr. Shakedowns. If you try taking them on in a straight fight, it's appropriately difficult, with the threat of losing all your money hanging over your head. Or, you can just stock up on heat restoratives and spam weapon-based Heat Moves on them. You'll be swimming in cash while just needing to exercise a little caution in each encounter, and since money doubles as XP in this installment, you're feeding into your own stat growth by whaling on Mr. Shakedowns, making them easier each time.

Examples of references to cheese strategies in mediums other than gaming include:

    Anime and Manga 
  • High Elf Archer in Goblin Slayer finds that his usual methods for killing goblins are too effective, in that they take the point out of adventuring. Rather than actually entering a goblin nest and fighting them in a "fair" battle, he prefers to simply seal off their escape routes and then poison, drown, or immolate them. She eventually forces him to stop using such cheap methods if he wishes for her to remain in his party.
  • Hi Score Girl: The first time Haruo plays Street Fighter II against Akira she slaughters him using Zangief. Realizing she's way better than him in a straight fight but unwilling to stomach defeat, he counters in the rematch by choosing Guile and playing a full-blown cheese strategy of turtling in the first round and tick-throwing in the second round. Even Haruo thinks to himself that it's a cheap and "unmanly" way to play, but he's so determined to win by any means that he doesn't care. He manages to beat her, which also ends her 29-match winning streak against all challengers, but his tactics draw scorn from the other players watching in the arcade and earn him a punch in the jaw from a furious Akira after the game.
  • Hunter × Hunter: In the Greed Island Arc, the titular game is considered a virtual RPG where all players must collect a series of cards in order to clear the game. However, since it's also basically a big and intensive training program for Hunters, obtaining the designated cards needed can be incredibly difficult and dangerous, and with the caveat that dying in the game means dying in the real world too, more and more players forgo trying to get the cards the intended way and either choose to trade with other players, or most frequently, stealing them from others. This actually works against them, since the final card is obtained through a quiz that utilizes knowledge of naturally collecting all the other cards, as a means of punishing players who focused only on trading or stealing cards.
  • In Another World with My Smartphone: Protagonist Touya Mochizuki can use any form of magic he has seen or heard about secondhand. This includes "Null Magic", which is supposed to be innate to a person and thus unlearnable to others. Through this, he learns spells that other people could never use in as many situations as he does such as using "Slip" to cause enemies to repeatedly fall over and thus be unable to fight (which the King of Mismede immediately bans after losing their first duel in a matter of seconds), or destroying a Nigh-Invulnerable monster by riding on his flying base directly above it and later using a teleport spell that can only take him places he's already been to drop the monster thousands of feet and destroying it easily.
  • Overlord (2012): The Baharut Empire has an arena that hosts battles between strong challengers. Magic was outlawed in fights ever since one team simply cast Fly on themselves, rendering the mundanely-armed opposing team utterly helpless to do anything but surrender. On hearing the story, Ainz agrees not to use magic when he participates, and seeing him solo a ginormous troll without the use of his magic causes the Emperor to fully submit to Ainz and become his vassal.

    Fan Works 

  • Fate Revelation Online:
    • As explained during the raid against the first boss, raids max out at 60 players, and bosses are balanced for that. However, since it's a death game, and the next floor will open up for everyone as long as someone kills the boss, the players just accept everyone who is strong enough and go into the fight with almost a hundred people. Sure, this means they'll get less experience and money overall, but that can just be made up with Level Grinding on the next floor.
    • Griselda's party faces an Antlion Monster with a Mana Drain field effect. However, monsters suffer the same dangers from the magic system as players do; Grimlock instructs their party to break their prana potions, pushing the monster over its maximum, which both damages it and interrupts its spell, causing further damage from the spell failure. In the end, a small party kills a boss estimated to have been intended for a raid with minimal risk.
    • The players try this with Moby Roc, a Giant Flier boss, using traps and lures to bring it to the ground. It proves too strong and just flies off again. Shirou ends up killing it in two shots with sword-arrows.
    • King Krab is a Giant Mook sitting out in the open on an island. The players use the construction rules to set up bunkers around the boss arena, then ram it with a rocket-powered yacht.

    Live-Action Television 
  • BattleBots: In the 2020 competition, Jake Ewert knew his robot, Hydra, would stand no chance against Jonathan Schultz's robot, HUGE. Hydra is a "flipper" robot, meaning it wedges a hydraulic flipper arm under the opponent and flings them into the air, causing them to take fall damage and perhaps render them Flipping Helpless. Problem is that HUGE is specifically designed to be immune to this, as it consists of an elongated horizontal body with a single axle running through it; two very large wheels on either end of the axle; two tail sticks to help it "right" itself in case it gets flipped; and a spinning metal bar in the center of the axle as its weapon. The wheels of HUGE are strong and bouncy enough to resist any shocks, and since everything important on the bot sticks out by less than the diameter of the wheels, none of it can be harmed by a fall. In response to this problem, Jake installed a wide "cowcatcher" made of metal tubing on the front of Hydra, designed to catch the wheels of HUGE and push it around. It also negated HUGE's spinning weapon because its reach was less than the diameter of HUGE's own wheels. However, Jake also had to remove Hydra's flipping mechanism in order to install the cowcatcher while keeping his bot under the weight maximum set by the rules, so the Hydra vs. HUGE match consisted mainly of Hydra pushing HUGE into the hazards along the arena wall for one or two hits, and then trapping HUGE in a corner to run out the clock. Jake's strategy proved to be so uninteresting to watch and so against the spirit of BattleBots that, while Jake allowed anyone to use his cowcatcher if they ever fought HUGE, all of the other teams refused out of principle.

  • The Unbelievable Truth: In one episode, Henning Wehn goes first, manages to get a large number of truths past everyone else, then, pondering that a great strategy to ensure victory would be to simply not say anything else for the rest of the episode, decides to do just that. This causes a certain amount of tension as the rest of the panel slowly realise the implications for the show if he's right.
    David Mitchell [reading out the scores at the end of the episode]: And so we come to the decision. Is the best thing to do on this radio programme to remain completely silent, or does the policy of saying anything at all still work? (Beat) In second place... with three points... it's Lloyd Langford!
    [Very loud laughter from the panel and the audience]
    David: And in first place with an unassailable four points, it's the winner of the last ever episode of The Unbelievable Truth, Henning Wehn!

  • The Order of the Stick: A half-ogre with a spiked chain presents a considerable challenge thanks to its unique tactic (consisting of attacking and retreating, using the chain to attack any melee fighters charging it, and retreating again). This fails in the end because the ogre hadn't noticed the cliff behind it. The combo happens to rely on a misunderstanding of the Attack of Opportunity rules, and he only gets away with it because his opponent doesn't understand them very well either.
  • Rare Candy Treatment has a battle between Blue and Red where Blue protests that Red is switching out Pokemon on seeing a new Pokemon brought out to get a type advantage (which the AI never does), and again on finding out that Red uses Revives (the AI only rarely uses healing items, but not Revives).
  • Referenced In-Universe in Turn Signals on a Land Raider, where a Necron Monolith takes a hit that removes some of its armor, revealing it to be... made of cheese.

    Web Media 
  • Extra Credits calls these "First-Order Optimal" (or Foo) strategies in their "Balancing for Skill" video, with E. Honda's Hundred-Hand Slap as the main example. An experienced player can defeat them (which is the difference between this trope and an outright Game-Breaker), but they're good enough to get you past most A.I. and unskilled human players.
  • This pops up in the Game Grumps: sometimes, twice actually in Super Mario Maker 2:
    • During "Companion Spring 3D", Ross eventually tells Arin the only way he was able to beat the lava elevator segment: purposely let the part of the floor one block from the right wall fall away, and then stand on that one final block left against the wall: the gap will stop the trampoline enemies from getting to Mario and the dragon can't touch him in the corner, so he can just stand there and casually ride the elevator to the top without anything ever threatening him.
    • Arin pulls one off playing through Ross's level "You Are A Monster?" The final boss stage is designed to last until a shell breaks through all the bricks and hits a switch, which allows Mario to pass through to the ending. However, Arin discovers that by wall-jumping before he passes through the one-way wall, and continuing to wall-jump until the shell hits the switch, he can stay in the passageway without having to fight the boss at all. Arin is thrilled, Danny remarks, "Delicious cheese!" and Ross gets so furious that he blows out his microphone.
    • For a non-Mario Maker example, when playing Kung Fu they discover they can defeat Mr. X by crouching and kicking as fast as they can tap the button, which results in the opponent pretty much doing nothing other than stumbling forward and trying to get into range but getting hit by a crouch-kick first.
      Arin: Crouch-kick! Crouch-kick! Crouch-kick! Look at that! What a piece of shit!
      Danny: Yeeeeaaaaahhh!!! Suck it forever!
      Arin: Mr. X doesn't know a goddamn about fighting!
      Danny: Mr. X you douchebag!
      Arin: Ahhh ha ha ha!
      Danny: Hell yeah!
    • They feel this way about most bosses in Rygar as nearly all of them can be defeated by an easy, repetitive strategy that leaves them no opportunity to react, like hanging from the ceiling and striking when they come near or jumping left and right over and over striking.
      Danny: How are you hitting him?! This doesn't make any sense from a perspective point of view!
      Arin: Oh totally. You can play this game for a fool, dude!
    • And of course, Arin shows off the well-published and easy way to cheese Morpha in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time by trapping it in the corner and wailing on it until it dies:
      Arin: There's like a cheesy way to beat him.
      Danny: Cool! Let's bring the cheese!
      Arin: There we go.
      Danny: Oooooohhhhhhhhh! You're naughty! You're so naughty!
  • ProZD has a series of videos parodying card games, in which one player demonstrates far more knowledge and deckbuilding ability than the other. The card game itself seems to be built around cows, milk, and the dairy industry. There's often a literal cheese strategy, such as SungWon using a duplication card to create infinite cow cards.
  • The Two Best Friends Play Zaibatsu lampshade their own lack of skill and reliance on cheese strategies with the catchphrase, "Lame it out! Lame it out like it's X Tekken!" A notable example of "laming it out" is the "Mortal Kombat: The Final Challenge" video, where Woolie beats the 300th floor of the Mortal Kombat 9 Challenge Tower by playing as Kung Lao and abusing his ability to teleport. Afterwards, someone on Twitter claimed Woolie's victory didn't count because he didn't "do combo" [sic], and that became a Best Friends meme as well.
  • In the Skin Horse side-story "Git Gud", Chris stopped using an unconventional tactic in a bootleg Whimsy fighting game because he always won, but his opponents called it unfair and said he was relying on this rather than actually playing properly. Baron Mistycorn tells him that there's an equally unconventional tactic they could have used to counter it, and if they couldn't see it, they're the ones who need to figure out how the game works.


Video Example(s):


Tiny Tiger Lion Dodge Trick

In the fight with Tiny Tiger, after hitting him, he will jump up to safety and send a mass of lions after Crash. Getting hit by one will result in Crash getting eaten, so he has to weave in and out of them as they come...
...ordinarily. If Crash runs continuously into the top left-hand corner, the lions will phase straight through him, providing an easier way of avoiding them.
This glitch was part of the original version of Crash 3, but Vicarious Visions not only left it untouched for the N Sane Trilogy, but added to it by including a Visual Pun where the audience throws cheese at Crash for his... well, cheesing.

How well does it match the trope?

4.98 (56 votes)

Example of:

Main / CheeseStrategy

Media sources: