"No game is bug-free, and some games are worse than others."— Tats, "Top 22 Scariest Glitches in Games"
Glitches (also known as bugs or happy accidents) are errors in a video game or program that negatively affect the programming code and experience of playing the game or using the program. Glitches are usually temporary and don't have lasting effects, but some may cause damage to save or game data and persist when reloading the game or save data. Sometimes they are so rampant in a video game, that some are known as the worst games of all time because of being filled with game glitches, possibly of the game-breaking kind. However, some glitches can be used to a gamer's advantage for various reasons, can also be used for humor, and can also be an Awesome Moment in Gaming History as well.
- Dust: Dust usually causes problems with cartridge-based systems, by getting between the pins and cartridge slot and causes games to glitch up or not start. Dust can also get on the laser lens of a CD-based console and interfere with the reading.
- Disc scratches: These make it harder for CD-based consoles to read the discs and make glitches more likely to occur due to incorrect auto-correction of corrupt data or taking longer to read the data than allowed. Unlike dust, scratches are harder to fix.
- Programming errors: This is the main cause of game bugs and glitches. A developer may have programmed code that was intended to do one thing, but actually does something else that was not intended by the developer, which causes game glitches and bugs to occur. A developer may have also added code that references things that were not actually programmed and when the code is run this causes game glitches or the game to crash.
- Programming oversight: Sometimes developers don't check certain for conditions that can possibly break or mess up what they programmed the game to do because they didn't expect the players to be able to do something within the game that causes the glitch. This can cause situations unexpected by the game developers.
- Rushing game development: Rushing a game almost always guarantees that glitches run rampant throughout a game. This is because the game is often left unfinished and/or developers aren't given any chance to bug test it. This resulted in the horrible launches of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), Battlefield 4, and Assassin's Creed Unity. Unfortunately, this has happened so much people are now accepting broken games at launch.
- Massive worlds: Some games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim or Grand Theft Auto have massive worlds with lots of mechanics, some so big and complicated, it's almost impossible for even the best developers to find and remove every possible glitch on them.
- Physics glitches: Glitches that are activated by gamers themselves, as well as NPCs. While some of these glitches can ruin a game, others are actually enjoyable to find and experience and can even be used to aid the player.
- Canceled/Unreleased games: Some games were never officially completed, thus were never meant to be released to the general public. However, people often find the source codes for these games and released them usually on the internet. Since they were never completed, glitches are an inevitability.
- Hardware incompatibility or configuration errors: On PCs, and rarely, consoles, incompatible hardware can cause game glitches such as graphical errors and game crashes.
- Modifications: When a game's code or memory is modified by someone who was not part of the development of the game, this can cause game glitches.
- Cheating Devices: Cheating devices like "Game Genie" intercept the game data and inject new data into it to use cheats not found normally in the game. Doing this can cause glitches, more commonly when the player does a mistake when injecting the cheat data.
- Intentional game data corruption: Some people like the group from Vinesauce intentionally corrupt the game data and/or RAM and derive entertainment from the game glitches that result from the corruption of game data.
- DLC & Patch abuse: The ability to release patches allows developers to not bother bug testing games, release them full of glitches, and then fix those glitches after the players complain about them.
- Cartridge Tilting: It is seen on old cartridge-based systems (like Nintendo 64). It causes the audio and graphics to corrupt and can crash the game easier or even make the save data to be corrupted. Super Mario 64 has a lot of Cartridge Tilting glitches, more notably the Mario "Spaz Out" which is commonly used on SM64 Machinimas when a recolored Mario is upset.
Types of glitches
- Textual errors: As spelling and grammar errors, and also incorrect information in text, are both usually not intended, textual errors can be considered a game glitch. Usually this does not affect the gameplay directly, however if text informing players about game mechanics or missions, for example, is incorrect or filled with grammar or spelling errors that cause information to be ambiguous this can cause players to do things incorrectly or the wrong actions entirely that might result in mistakes that may not have been made had the text been accurate.
- Graphical glitches: Graphical glitches can manifest as missing or corrupt textures, incorrectly placed polygons, misshapen models, loading wrong sprites or textures, the screen blanking out to a certain color, or the background not being cleared correctly causing moving objects to leave a trail behind. Some are just a minor annoyance, while others can break the immersion of the game or even make playing the game impossible due to not being able to see objects for example.
- Physics glitches: Objects that suddenly fall through the terrain, or flung through the the air. This can cause unexpected deaths due to sudden collisions with objects slamming a player character, or if the character itself is affected the character can fall out and be reset or never reset. This can also allow access to regions of the gameplay area that are not supposed to be accessed.
- Game exploits: Some game glitches can be abused to give a potentially unfair advantage over other players. Some egregious glitches can be considered as cheating by game players and developers, and if the developers consider this cheating using these glitches can result in the player being banned from playing the game temporarily or permanently.
- Game crashes and freezes: These cause the game to outright stop working, possibly corrupting your save data if it was saving your game or if it happens during a loading screen.
- Game-breaking glitches: These glitches break important mechanics of the game or lock required parts of the story, forcing you to restart the game, possibly from the beginning or from a past save file if the glitch persists or if the save was damaged. These can be the worst glitches as you could suddenly have to redo hours or days worth of progress in your game. In fact, due to how bad they are, they have their own article on this wiki, which you can read for more information.
- Scripting Errors: a minor example, but a game can end up soft-locking when scripted events in said game won't trigger for whatever reason, thus preventing the player from making progress. Often fixed simply by reloading your save file.
- The World -1 from the original Super Mario Bros.. This is triggered by glitching into the warp room on world 1-2 in such a way that the the game confuses the address of a blank title (36) with the destination of the warp pipe: the player is warped to the nonexistent world 36-1, but the blank tile means this is displayed as just "World -1." The actual stage is the swimming section from World 7-2, but the end pipe is glitched and simply warps back to the beginning of the level. The game can actually generate 256 "worlds" (because the value for worlds is a single 8-bit integer), but all but 0-8 (0-1 is a unique, fully functional underwater version of World 4-4, though Bowser is not present) are just glitched variants of existing levels.
- The 256 level kill screen glitch on the original Pac-Man makes the game impossible to beat, unless you run out of lives.
- The level 100 glitch of Duck Hunt where you'll see a duck moving at impossibly fast speeds above the screen and being unable to shoot him with your Zapper Gun. This also causes being taunted by the Dog either.
- Rocky (PlayStation2): A few examples, like:
- Audience model turning into squares.
- Character model like Spider Rico, or Rocky Balboa...
- collapsing to the floor.
- being corrupted, resulting in characters looking as if they came from your nightmares.
- Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing: As Angry Video Game Nerd said, "The whole game is a glitch."
- The FIFA series: It is well known for its tons of physical glitches that were NEVER meant to be fixed.
- Assassin's Creed: Unity: The glitches from that game made characters downright terrifying because their heads disappear, leaving only their hair, eyeballs and mouth floating.
- When James Rolfe (the Angry Video Game Nerd) played Mega Man 5 as a kid, he got to Big Pets when the game glitched causing the boss's attacks to be invisible. Despite the glitch giving the boss an unfair advantage over James, he managed to figure out the pattern and won. James had it recorded on VHS.
- The Xbox version of True Crime: New York City has a bug where Tommy can't be pushed off the container during the fight with him, making the game impossible to beat. Apparently, this is because the incorrect build of the game was released for the system.
- Playing the Viewtiful Joe 2 demo sample from the PlayStation Underground Holiday 2004 demo disc will destroy the formatting of ALL Memory Cards inserted into the PlayStation 2, forcing you to format the Memory Cards and erase all of the data on the Memory Cards.
- Sonic '06 is infamous for having a large number of glitches due to being released as an obvious alpha build.
- The Corrupted Blood incident in World of Warcraft, where lower leveled characters died repeatedly due to the Corrupted Blood debuff constantly spreading like a virus to characters nearby.
- Uninstalling Myth II: Soulblighter would cause the uninstaller to remove every file and folder one level above the installation folder. For example, if the game is in the root directory of the user's entire hard drive, the uninstaller removes the entire drive, causing people to either reinstall their OS and never play the game again or send it to Bungie to fix it. The glitch was fixed in version 1.1.
- Asset flips are near guaranteed to be full of glitches because they're nothing but stock assets and basic coding with zero bug testing.
- In Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, if the game is reset when an enemy unit steps on a Mine, the player will be able to control enemy units for a turn.
- In Jak X, there's a glitch that happens with the autosave feature, where sometimes the Autosave screen that appears when you finish a level would stay forever and not leave, and sometimes when the autosave logo appears, it also stays forever but it stops you from pausing the game, turning off the console while autosaving may corrupt your save or even your memory card, removing the memory card solves the problem and disables autosave (until you save manually)
- Some modern games would have their trophies/achievements unobtainable due to a glitch that doesn't let the achievement/trophy appear. This is worse in the PlayStation versions as it may prevent the player from obtaining the platinum trophy (a trophy that appears once you collect all trophies). While it doesn't affect the gameplay like other game glitches, it can be very irritating for trophy/achievement hunters
- Grand Theft Auto III had the infamous "Purple Nines Glitch", in which that the Purple Nines were completely disappeared on the streets of Shoreside Vale after the mission "Rumble". When the player wanted to try again on the new save on the memory card, and goes all the way to the mission "Uzi Money", the Purple Nines not spawned on the streets because the game "realizes" that you killed the Purple Nines in the memory card, rendering the mission unwinnable unless you load a new game without a memory card inserted to your PlayStation 2 or download SilentPatch to your PC, which completely fixes the glitch.
- The equally infamous Swing Glitch in Grand Theft Auto IV. Some say that it's caused by the swing sets being placed a little too deep into the ground and the game constantly tries to free them by applying extreme amounts of force. Park your car against some of these glitched swing sets and you'll find what does it feel like when that tremendous amount of force is applied to your car. Grand Theft Auto V also had this glitch on automatic gates in Vinewood on unpatched last generation versions of the game.
- In Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, the game had numerous bugs and glitches at launch like clipping through walls and models popping out of a dime. The only "so bad it's good" bug was the Knuckles infinite jump glitch which allowed the player to bypass all obstacles and finish the game in less than an hour, lots of speedrunners used that while speedrunning the game, fortunately, Sega patched that.
- On launch, Fallout 76 is notorious for being riddled with bugs and glitches due to the game being hugely rushed and using an extremely dated graphics engine. YouTuber Joseph Anderson made a video titled "The 1001 Glitched of Fallout 76" which is nearly three hours long, and that's only covering the glitches he discovered personally.
- Updates for Asphalt 8: Airborne tends to bring as many glitches as new gaming content. One example is the "No Temple Drive" glitch: attempting to race on the Temple Drive layout of the Great Wall race track will instead load the Buddha's Teaching layout. This causes some of the game modes on this track to become unwinnable.
- Shovelware games tend to have a TON of these, due to their extremely low quality.
- The first generation of Pokémon games is famous for being filled with glitches, such as the MissingNo Glitch, the Mew Glitch (a variant of the Trainer Escape Glitch) and the Dokokashira Door Glitch (only on the Japanese version)
- Action 52 and Cheetahmen II are glitch incarnate. Physics glitches, graphics glitches, sound errors, frequent crashes, and the fact that the games are less stable than Big Rigs, of all things, are surefire signs to stay away from these Active Enterprises abominations.
- Roblox is notable for having a lot of glitches, which were never fixed, and some of them are often ridiculed by the community.
- Kerbal Space Program has a bug known as the kraken in which your spacecraft shakes so intensely that it tears itself apart (despite the original kraken was fixed in version 0.17, there are still variations of this).
- Opening the LEGO Digital Designer, you can't play it if your PC doesn't have a graphics card which supports newer versions of OpenGL. The game actually throws a tons of glitches at you if you try to click something or move the mouse on the window.
- The infamous Far Lands glitch in Minecraft. Though the glitch was fixed in Beta 1.8 of the Java Edition, it came back three years later in the Bedrock Edition after the addition of infinite worlds.
- Angry Birds Evolution is known for the sixth or seventh pig glitch in the PvP and it occurs if one or two pigs don't die, it cause you to injure, heal or reduce cool-down of the birds yourself and you can win or lose easily.
- Final Fantasy VI has the Sketch Glitch, where if the character Relm Arrowny sketches an invisible enemy in battle, it will either do nothing, duplicate the inventory by multiple amounts, or crash the game and erase your save files.
- Might and Magic IX has multiple glitches in the game, due to the game's rushed and tumultuous development cycle. For example, there are features in the game that don't work how it was intended to, softlocks that can happen to the player without realizing it, and so forth.
- Super Mario 64 has the famous Backward Long Jump glitch, commonly used in speedruns. This glitch occurs because the developers added a speed cap, however, only Mario's speed moving forward is capped. By exploiting the Long Jump's collision detection, the player can perform a myriad of Long Jumps on small surfaces like stairs, and, if moving backwards, he will do so at an endlessly rising speed. By further exploiting the game's collision detection, when the player is moving fast enough, he can bypass the frames where locked doors or event points are located without colliding or accidentally triggering events. Unfortunately, it was patched in Japan-only Shindou re-release.
- In Rayman Legends, if you go to "Once upon a time" from Teensies in Trouble, you have to press pause and press where it says "Restart sequence" and you have to be less away, you have to do it before Murfy comes out, then you have to go to " Challenges ", you have to go to Extreme challenge (or extreme weekly), enter the extreme challenge and when the challenge has started, pause and exit, then when you press any button, Rayman (or another character that you are using) could seem partially again, then you have to challenge daily or weekly, you ONLY have to go to "The endless pit: As Far As You Can!" then you enter, to go up you have to quickly press Jump 3 times or Hit, Hit, Jump, if you have done well you can fall infinitely or you can also easily win a diamond cup.
- In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, if you go in training mode with Isabelle, you get the Assist Trophy with the fishing rod, Isabelle will be able to INFINITELY summon the helpers, Unfortunately, in 2019, the glitch is gone.
- In Midnight Club: Los Angeles, if one were to win one of the South Central DLC goal attacks before completing the main game's goal attacks, there is a chance where any goal attack objectives will stop registering in the Goal Attack screen, semi-breaking the player's save game and preventing the player from earning any achievements unless they restart their save, including "True Dedication" and "GOOOOAAAAALLLLL!!!!!".
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has the Bottle Glitch, where if the player catches something with an empty bottle, pause the game, then switch to an item that they have no use for, such as the Claim Check to get Biggoron's Sword, then it will be permanently replaced with a bottle. The player does need to be careful not to replace an important item, such as the Hookshot/Longshot for example, because that will render the game unwinnable.