How to Enter Cheat Codes for PC Games With a Non-US Keyboard

Activate cheats for computer games using different keyboard layouts

Close-Up Of Laptop Keyboard

Simone Ranzuglia / EyeEm / Getty Images 

Most cheat codes for computer games require players to press a certain key to bring up the cheat console. However, if you're not using a standard U.S. keyboard, then some keys may not work as expected. Learn how to activate PC cheat codes using any keyboard layout.

Information in this article applies broadly to video games for Windows and Mac.

How to Activate the Cheat Console With Most Keyboards

In PC games like The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, the tilde key (~) is used to bring up the console window for entering cheat codes. On most U.S. keyboards, the tilde key is located just above the Tab key. On a Swedish keyboard, however, the tilde key is located near the Enter key, and pressing it doesn't load the cheat console.

Regardless of your keyboard layout, use the key in the same location as the tilde key on U.S. keyboards to bring up the cheat console. For example, on a Swedish keyboard, the correct key is the one that has the ½ and § symbols on it. You shouldn't experience any problems pressing the tilde key (or the key above Tab) on the following keyboard layouts:

  • U.S.
  • U.S.-International
  • AZERTY (France, Belgium)
  • Dvorak Simplified
  • QZERTY
  • Sebeolsik 390
  • Sebeolsik Final
  • Sebeolsic Noshift
  • Arabic
  • Bulgarian
  • Chinese
  • Danish
  • Devanāgarī
  • French
  • Greek
  • Hangul (Korean)
  • Hebrew
  • Japanese
  • Norwegian
  • Swedish / Finnish
  • U.K.

Some games use different keys to activate the cheat console. Consult cheat guides for the game you're playing to find out how to enter codes.

Potentially Problematic Keyboard Layouts

The following keyboard layouts aren't likely to work with cheats that require the tilde key:

  • Armenian
  • Bulgarian BDS
  • Canadian French
  • Canadian Multilingual Standard
  • Danish
  • Hungary
  • Norwegian
  • Portuguese (Portugal)
  • Portuguese (Brazil)
  • QWERTZ (Germany, Austria)
  • QWERTZ (Swiss German, Swiss French, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg)
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Thai

How to Use PC Game Cheats With Other Keyboards

If your standard keyboard layout precludes the use of the tilde key as mapped to U.S.-based keyboards, it's possible to add alternative keyboards to your system. To add a new keyboard in Windows 10:

  1. Type language into the Windows search bar and select Language settings.

    Language settings in Windows
  2. Select your language, then select Options.

    Options for English in Windows
  3. Select Add a keyboard.

    Add a keyboard in Keyborads section of Windows Settings
  4. Select a new keyboard layout.

    United States-International keyboard selection for Windows
  5. Press Windows key + Spacebar to cycle through keyboard layouts so that you can enter cheats.

If English isn't your primary language, then you may need to install English-language support before adding an English keyboard layout.