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A Quick Tutorial in Morrowind Cheats and Cheat Codes

Morrowind comes with a built-in debug mode that can easily be used to tweak the game in dozens of interesting ways. Though I strongly recommend playing your first game all the way through without cheating or twiddling with the game system at all, for subsequent playthroughs the Morrowind cheat codes are extraordinarily convenient, particularly since they allow you to teleport your party to a map location of your choosing (thus eliminating boring and repetitive travel time). To activate the cheat console, simply press the ~ key.

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More so than most games, though, your enjoyment of Morrowind can be utterly ruined by giving in to using the cheat console too much. Half the fun of this long, expansive game is character development--the intricate leveling and advancement system, and the satisfaction of progressing your character from a stained and ratty-looking shirt to a full suit of Templar armor. Giving yourself 100 levels and a unique magic item from the start sort of defeats the purpose of playing at all. In fact, since stats, skills, and gold pieces are so carefully balanced into the leveling system, cheating on any of these things can crimp your fun. This isn't a game with a depth of character interaction and forking plot paths to hold your interest once the game mechanics have been dissolved.

So here's my personal list of the most useful, yet least fun-dampening cheats available in Morrowind:

1) Teleportation: Travel can be slow and grating, especially in the middle game. The cheat code player->coc "placename" (fill in "placename" with the actual placename, actually, like "Seyda Neen") will bring you there instantly. This can be a godsend if you're playing the game for a second or third time and trekking across the countryside has lost what wonder it once had. Even playing for the first time, it can save you a lot of annoying retracing of steps (avoid using it to travel to locations you've never been before, though, since you may miss critical clues you would have gotten upon arrival.)

2) Boosting Stats: Be careful with this one, since overusing it can give you little to look forward to at level increases. However, I do indulge in raising my character's speed (walking around town slowly is very aggravating) and personality (I really get sick of everyone yelling "Make it quick, outlander!" and "Leave me alone!" whenever I get anywhere near them). The code to do this is player->setspeed 60 (or whatever number you want to set it to.) This code works for all stats and skills, but be aware that if you artificially raise your skill levels it does not count toward level increases, so you can cheat yourself right out of levels if you're not careful!

3) Utilitarian Spells: One of my personal pet peeves is having to pay an in-game price for improvements in the interface or gameplay. My position is that if the game designers knew how to let you move at a pleasant pace, use a bank to store items, etc., they should give that to players in return for the $50 we already spent on the game, not hold out for the character's gold pieces or time. Morrowind spells that improve the gameplay without making a difference in your character's power levels include Mark, Recall, Night Eye, Water Breathing, Swift Swim, Detect, Levitate, and Divine or Almsivi Intervention. The cheat code for acquiring spells is player->addspell "mark" (or whatever other spellname you want).

4) Thievery for Dummies: It can be ridiculous trying to figure out whether objects belong to anyone or not (especially plants, which can sometimes be picked even if somebody's watching you and other times not). The cheat code tfh will let you see this information upfront. I never found trying to figure this out on my own anything more than a chore, so it didn't damage my fun any; YMMV.

5) Bug Fixes: Occasionally an NPC or monster will get stuck in a position that really screws your game up; you can fix this with the code ra.

6) Avoiding A Restart: If you've started the game already but suddenly realize you don't like your class or race, or you just want to test out more than one class or race, and you can't bear the idea of going through that %@$!!!@! tutorial eight times to see what all the different races look like, you can just use the codes player->enableclassmenu and player->enableracemenu to change it.

7) Getting An Item: As I've said, I really avoid doing this, but occasionally a bug will make it necessary: player->additem "item's name" 01 will give you one of any item in the game (use the item's name instead of "item's name," obviously).

There are also a couple of well-established game exploits that, while not technically cheating, can be taken advantage of to make your game more pleasant--or abused to ruin the fun of it. As with actual cheating, use them carefully. The first is common to many adventure games: if you have a high enough mercantile ability, you can buy things from merchants and sell them back for more than you bought them for. Oops. More elegantly, you can take advantage of a feedback loop in the alchemy system. Since potions are stronger the higher your intelligence is, mixing an intelligence potion, drinking it, mixing another intelligence potion, drinking that, and so on ad infinitum will eventually result in an intelligence in the hundreds of thousands and the ability to mix potions worth thousands of dollars whose effects last a month. Not only can you acquire infinite money this way, but you can use the potions you make to give yourself near-permanent and/or godlike effects. Some of these are highly worthwhile (a potion of constant-effect "night eye" is a blessing to your eyesight, and potions of constant-effect "swift swim" and "water breathing" save you a lot of hassle). Others are a curse in disguise--having a strength over 100,000 will kill anything in one hit, but will also break any weapon you are using, which is far more of a pain than combat was. And still others are safe but game-imbalancing--you can quaff potions that will make you too powerful to bother with playing the game, basically. Use common sense, just like you would for any other kind of cheating.

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