I adore Saints Row. Or, maybe more accurately, I haven’t actually played the first two but I utterly adore Saints Row: The Third and Saints Row IV – and both are now available on PS4, which is nice! I picked up IV early this year for a couple of quid when it was on sale, and The Third has now come to current-gen consoles courtesy of a very nice remaster.
They’re just balls-out fun, and a lot of that is down less to, like, the perfectly-well-craftedness of them as actual games (‘cos they’re not perfect by any stretch of the imagination) than the completely over-the-top presentation that makes them completely ridiculous experiences. Player character The Boss is a paragon of audacity, a completely ludicrous human being in a world that encourages, celebrates, and rewards their willingness to just be an extremely silly killing machine, and it’s for that reason that I actually think using cheats enhances the experience of Saints Row: The Third.
Some of you might just be here to learn what those cheats actually are, so let’s get that out of the way and list them before we come back to a bit of amusing analysis. If you’re here for the overthinky bits, just scroll down a little way.
How to Use Cheats in Saints Row: The Third Remastered
It’s super easy to turn on the cheat of your choice – it’s an explicit option in your menu, which again makes me think this is really part of the game as it should be played (instead of something that breaks the intended experience, as is the case in a lot of other games). Just open your phone – on PS4, press the touchpad – and select ‘cheats’. You’ll be prompted to enter a code using the keyboard; do that, and then it’ll be in a list of cheats that you can just switch on and off with ease forever.
I don’t know whether this was the case in the original, but Remastered actually gives you access to a few cheats without you needing to enter a specific code: bigger explosions, invincibility, unlimited ammo… you can simply toggle them on when you want them. It’s very nice.
Here’re all the codes for ultimate fun times:
cheese – gain $100K (you can just keep selecting this cheat in your menu for very quick unlimited money)
letsrock – give the Boss a full wheel of weapons
whatitmeanstome – increases your respect by… not sure exactly, but quite a lot (and also adds a little bit of cash)
goldengun – kill everything in one hit
runfast – infinite sprint
repaircar – what it says on the tin: repair your car
vroom – take no vehicle damage
isquishyou – your vehicle will gain a huge amount of mass, allowing it to squish all others and push them out of the way
notrated – everyone you kill explodes in a shower of gore
fryhole – dead people float up into the air
brains – civilians become zombies
dui – civilians are drunk
mascot – civilians are mascots (amusing outfits as in the Genki games)
hohoho – male civilians are pimps, female are hoes
lolz – add one point to your ‘gang’ notoriety
oops – reset ‘gang’ notoriety to zero
pissoffpigs – add one point to police notoriety
goodygoody – reset police notoriety to zero (note that you can do this without a cheat simply by entering any owned property)
clearskies – sunny
overcast – clouds
lightrain – rain
heavyrain – more rain (duh)
You’ll notice that the weapon and vehicle spawn cheats are just ‘give’ and then the name of the thing (or a slight variation), but here’s the list anyway.
A cheated weapon will just show up instantly in your weapon wheel.
giveshepherd – 45 Shepherd
giveapoca – Apocafists
givear55 – AR-55
giveultimax – AS3 Ultimax
givebaseball – baseball bat
givechainsaw – chainsaw
givecyber – Cyber Buster
givecybersmg – Cyber Blaster (SMG)
giveblossom – D4TH Blossom
giveelectric – electric grenade
giveflamethrower – flamethrower
giveflashbang – flashbang grenades
givelauncher – GL-G20 grenade launcher
givedigger – Grave Digger
givegrenade – grenades
givekrukov – K-8 Krukov
givekobra – KA-1 Kobra
givesniper – McManus 2015
giveminigun – Minigun
givemolotov – Molotov cocktails (grenades)
givesword – Nocturne
givercgun – RC Possessor
givedrone – Reaper Drone
giverpg – RPG
givehammer – S3X Hammer
giveairstrike – SA-3 Airstrike
givesatchel – satchel charge
giverocket – Shock Hammer
givesonic – Sonic Boom
givestungun – stun gun
givetek – TEK Z-10
givedildo – The Penetrator
giveslm8 – Viper Laser Rifle
Entering one of these codes will make the vehicle of choice just sort of appear nearby. Best to do it in an open space, since sometimes the vehicle can end up spawning right on top of you if it’s not got a lot of free space in which to appear.
If you like a vehicle, take it to a Rim Jobs (garage). Customising a vehicle in any way, whether performance or cosmetic upgrades, will make it available for you to access in any garage or via the ‘Vehicle Delivery’ option in your phone.
giveambulance – Ambulance
giveanchor – Anchor
giveattrazione – Attrazione
givebootlegger – Bootlegger
givechallenger – Challenger
givecommander – Commander
givecondor – Condor
giveeagle – Eagle
giveestrada – Estrada
givevtol – F69 VTOL
givegatmobile – Gatmobile
givekaneda – Kaneda
givekenshin – Kenshin
giveknoxville – Knoxville
givekrukov – Krukov
givemiami – Miami
givemunicipal – Municipal
givenforcer – Nforcer
givepeacemaker – Peacemaker
givephoenix – Phoenix
givequasar – Quasar
givereaper – Reaper
givesandstorm – Sandstorm
giveshark – Shark
givespecter – Specter
givesquasar – S-Quasar
givestatusquo – Status Quo
givetaxi – Taxi
givetitan – Titan
givetoad – Toad
givetornado – Tornado
givevortex – Vortex
givevtol – VTOL
givevulture – Vulture
givewidowmaker – Widowmaker
givewoodpecker – Woodpecker
And them’s your cheats. Just type in any of those in your phone’s cheats menu and you’ll then be able to select them from a list for easy activation.
Why Playing With Cheats Is The Definitive Experience
So here’s the deal with Saints Row: The Third: everything about it is intended to be blown up to eleven. Nothing is just normal; the whole point of its world and the experience it gives players is sheer stupid ridiculous… over-the-top-edness.
That’s pretty clear, I think, just from playing a little bit of the game. It starts with a heist that involves you, wearing a giant bobble head, balancing atop a bank vault suspended beneath a helicopter while shooting at more helicopters and SWAT people and whatnot; pretty soon you’ll encounter waves of French gang members either in smart suits or extremely revealing leather underwear, all of whom are also trying to kill you, and then you’ll have a shoot-off with them while you’re all falling out of a plane together. There are luchadores with rocket launchers; you can take all your clothes off and flash people for amusement; the only plans the Boss is willing to consider are those that are awesome in the scope of their stupid, egregious audaciousness.
The point I’m trying to make is that Saints Row (certainly The Third, and even more explicitly IV with the introduction of superpowers) styles the eponymous gang and its Boss as larger-than-life beings who exist within a world operating on sort-of-mostly-realistic rules but containing a lot of strange things; the Saints achieve great things by stepping up the weirdness and the badassness, transcending the everyday and rising to greatness through sheer bizarre excellence.
Thing is, Saints Row: The Third is a video game, and sometimes that sort of holds it back a bit. In cutscenes you’ll see the Boss pulling off ludicrous stunts, surviving unbelievable odds, and generally coming across as a completely indestructible hero: someone who has just reached an absolute peak of awesomeness, someone untouchable. If you play the game on its default settings, however, you won’t always get to feel like that. You’ll get shot, you’ll die, you’ll run out of ammo, you’ll drive really badly, and so on. All of these are things that kind of have to happen in standard third-person shooter mechanics, but they feel sort of out of character for the Boss. The Boss shouldn’t have to deal with such mundane concerns as dying; no, they need to focus all their energies on being pure tubular gnarliness.
Using cheats may subvert the expected rules of the game’s mechanics, but that’s so in character. The Boss defies rules, doesn’t care about them. They barely even bother to think about gravity or injury when leaping out of a plane without a parachute: they just do it ‘cos it’s cool, and trust that the sheer coolness of it means that the universe will bend so as to allow them to pull it off successfully.
I think the developers must have had this in mind when implementing the cheats system, purely because it’s so easily accessible and explicit. Most games that allow you to input cheats do so via a hidden system, one that’s not actually provided to you in an obvious ‘here’s how you cheat’ sort of way – the Grand Theft Auto games (the ones I’ve played, at least) are probably the closest analogues to Saints Row I can think of but have a much more grounded tone, and the way cheats work there is that you simply input a series of button commands in quick succession. There’s nothing to tell you that that’s a thing you can do, so the game doesn’t seem to be encouraging you down that path.
Saints Row: The Third, by contrast, tells you that there are cheats. It’s dead obvious: you open your phone all the time, and the option for the cheats menu is right there staring you in the face. Then the actual codes are… well, they’re words, instead of some arbitrary sequence like ‘R1, R1, circle, R2, up, down, up, down’ or whatever. It’s much more accessible, much more in keeping with the overall presentation – it’s implemented as if it’s an actual intended part of the world and the experience, rather than something you can bring in from outside what’s intended, if you like.
So, basically, I think using cheats is the definitive Saints Row: The Third experience. Stuff blows up more dramatically; your car simply shunts others aside rather than awkwardly bumping to a halt; you don’t have to worry about pesky things like health or ammo. You just inhabit the Boss, and that means simply being really badass. If you left the Boss to their own devices while you weren’t playing as them, do you think they’d ever get killed by some random gangster because they were too busy trying to reload? Absolutely not. So you shouldn’t have to do that either.
If you’ve read this far, that must mean you were actually here for the rambling and not just for the cheats! Thanks, appreciate it.
As you may or may not be aware, OverThinker Y is a blog by me, Chris Durston. I used to spend a lot of time doing it, but I’ve been tragically underactive on it since deciding to focus more on writing fiction. Which is all great and I’m enjoying it very much, but I do miss it over here sometimes, so I figured I’d pop back for the first time in a long time. Just felt kind of inspired to write this one, so… I did.
I am considering releasing a book collating a load of pieces from this site, just for fun. Feels like it’d be nice to have them collected and out there in a different form – to have something to show, if you like, so that I never forget that this site gave me a lot of good times and a lot of good friends and stuff – but of course they’ll remain freely available here too.
As ever, I very much hope you’re safe and well, and I’m sure I’ll see you around somewhere or other before long.