...as far as the scope of this site goes?

is on 13 questions as of now, wheras has ~150. Is there a fundamental difference between these two tags, as far as what we consider appropriate and on-topic here goes?


2 Answers 2


There is a fundamental difference, but I would like to explore if the difference is considerable enough to warrant a separate tag. It is clear that very few of the questions tagged with are on topic, as most have already been closed, and the few that remain present a suitable alternative.

While I agree with the observations made by Byte56, I see a lot of problems in the use of the tag, and would like to propose an alternative.

I won't go into actually defining the difference, as I believe Byte56 has already hit the nail on the head:

Mods are utilizing some developer approved method of modifying the game. ... Hacks are attempting to achieve the same result, but via non-approved methods.
- Byte56 ♦

Usage of the tag

As mentioned, there are only 14 questions using this tag. However, of these 14 questions, more than half have been closed.

  • 3 of these questions have been closed as duplicates. None of the "original questions" use the tag. Instead, they use or .
  • 5 of these questions have been closed as off topic, commonly citing "too generic" and "too broad" as the close reasons.
  • Only a further 5 of these questions remain open. They almost all contain the tags or , and at least one1 also uses the tag.

Replacing the tag

Though we are looking at and , I would like to suggest that we look at and the tags and . Here are the excerpts, describing the use of each tag:

  • : An area concerned with protecting hardware or software against theft or malicious or accidental behavior - often by brought on external parties - that would damage or corrupt the hardware or software.
  • : Methods employed by the developer to discourage or prevent cheating in the game.

Between these two tags, we easily cover the on-topic usage of . At the end of the day, the only questions that are on-topic specifically ask about preventing cheating through the use of hacks.

Furthermore, as already mentioned, these questions already contain these tags. In actual fact, "replacing the tag" would presently consitute simply removing the tag.

1 One particular question deliberately asks about creating a mod. I suspect this question will be closed, eventually, as it specifically asks "how to get started" and has only received negative feedback.


Mods are utilizing some developer approved method of modifying the game. Either through a scripting interface, API or some other method. The result is to change something about the way the game looks/plays.

Hacks are attempting to achieve the same result, but via non-approved methods.

So from a developer point of view, I think both are valid, but probably for different reasons. Mods would be used for developers wanting to create a mod for an existing game or for developers wanting to add modding to their game. Hacks would more likely be used for developers wanting to protect from hacks.

So maybe we can change 'hack' to 'hack-prevention' or something similar (which appear to be what a majority of the hack tagged questions are about). I'm not sure we want to answer questions about how to hack games. Not only would the answers be less likely to have supporting documentation, but they're more likely to become outdated as patches are pushed out or games are updated. Whereas mods are developer supported, so they're likely to have documentation and persist through game updates, so less likely to become outdated.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure I see a reason to distinguish based on whether or not the change is "official" or not, for our purposes, though. Certainly there are a fair number of "mods" questions that are asking about making changes that can only be done unofficially since there are no official mod tools for the games in question. I hadn't considered the point about hack-prevention though. But we do have a "security" tag already that could cover that? \$\endgroup\$
    – user1430
    Commented Dec 1, 2016 at 17:32
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It's a valid point, people can use 'mods' to mean either official or unofficial. I agree the security tag could cover hack-prevention. My last paragraph covers the sort of problems we get with unofficial hacks, (no supporting documentation, less likely to persist through game updates). But I think we can deal with those as they come up. We can get rid of the hacks tag as far as I'm concerned, just group the mod related ones into mods and the hack-prevention ones into security. \$\endgroup\$
    – House
    Commented Dec 1, 2016 at 17:49

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