How to Add Command Line Parameters to PC Game Shortcuts

Enable video game cheats on PC by adding parameters to shortcuts

I have success in this game
eclipse_images / Getty Images

In many PC games, it's possible to enable cheat codes by adding command line parameters to the application''s shortcut. While this method can seem tedious at first, learning how to enable PC game cheats using command line parameters is well worth the effort.

Information in this article applies broadly to video games for Windows, Mac, and other desktop operating systems.

What Is a Command Line Parameter?

A command line parameter can be used to enable or disable certain features of a game when the program begins. The most commonly used command line parameter for video games is -console. On many PC games, this command will enable the console where cheats are entered. In other games, the cheat console is available by default, so there is no need to edit command line parameters.

How to Add a Command Line Parameter to a Shortcut

The easiest way to enable video game cheats for PC is to add command line parameters to the program's shortcut icon on your desktop. If there is no icon for the game on your desktop, you must first create a shortcut.

To add command line parameters to a shortcut:

  1. Right click the shortcut to the game on your desktop and select Properties.

    Right click the shortcut to the game on your desktop and select Properties.
  2. Under the Shortcut tab, locate the Target: field, which lists the exact location of the file within quotation marks.

    Under the Shortcut tab, locate the Target field, which lists the exact location of the file within quotation marks.
  3. Add a blank space followed by the command line variable after the last quotation mark.

    Add a blank space followed by the command line variable after the last quotation mark.
  4. Select Apply, then select OK.

    Select Apply, then select OK.
  5. Start the game via the shortcut to enable command line cheats.

Examples of Command Line Parameter Shortcuts

Here is an example of a shortcut target for Half-Life without any extra command line parameters:

Here is the same shortcut for Half-Life with a command line parameter added to it:

Add multiple command parameters one after another leaving a space between them. For example:

It's also possible to add command line parameters by launching the game via the command prompt.

More Ways to Use Cheat Codes in PC Games

While some games require you to edit command line parameters to activate cheats, other games require players to enter cheat codes at the title screen or in a designated menu. Cheat guides typically include instructions for how cheats should be used.