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The new cheats menu in Vampire Survivors makes me wish more games had them

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The new cheats menu in Vampire Survivors makes me wish more games had them

Vampire Survivors’ new 0.10.0 update adds a cheats menu, and after using it to unlock some things I had been stuck on, I dearly wish that more games included one.

Vampire Survivors, if you haven’t heard of it, is a delightful game about leveling up and destroying literally thousands of monsters in a single run. I’d describe it as roguelike-ish; you pick a starting character with certain attributes and a specific weapon, and you’ll level up that weapon, other weapons, and other items as you collect gems by defeating enemies. Your weapons fire automatically, so you mostly just have to worry about picking up experience and items while avoiding baddies.

The game launched in Early Access on Steam late last year, and has received regular updates that add things like new characters, weapons, power-ups, stages, and special items, though you typically have to unlock them by completing certain requirements. The game is an absolute blast, but unlocking everything can be challenging and time-consuming. I’ve already put 40 hours into Vampire Survivors, but the in-game menu tells me I still have 26 things I can unlock. When I look at that list, I sometimes get demotivated and choose to play something else.

The new cheats menu — in game, it’s called the “Secrets” menu — might solve that demotivation in a big way. It accepts codes (“spells”) to unlock characters, special items (“relics”), and stages, meaning that I now can choose what I want to unlock myself and what to just cheat for. I still want to unlock most things by actually completing the requirements, but there are a few things that I just haven’t wanted to bother with, and thanks to this Secrets menu, I can easily get what I’m less interested in.

The new Secrets menu in Vampire Survivors.
Screenshot by Jay Peters / The Verge

Cleverly, the developers of Vampire Survivors also chose to make the Secrets menu an unlockable of its own. You won’t be able to find the item that unlocks it until you have a good grasp of the game and have unlocked some other things already. If you’ve gotten that far, I’d argue that you can make the choice about what to cheat for for yourself, and I wish other games would take a similar approach.

I’m playing Death Stranding right now, and while I love the story, the moment-by-moment gameplay is so slow. I wish I could cheat a truck with infinite health, battery, and some kind of hover ability so I could easily make deliveries and see the game’s story through, but I think I’m going to have to suffer through hours of frustrating traversal to learn what happens next to Sam Porter Bridges.

Vampire Survivors’ Secrets menu doesn’t just open up unlockables; there’s also a spell to spin the UI, which I can appreciate for being silly even if it doesn’t sound fun to use at all. In the 0.10.0 patch notes, the developers say they’re working on more spells, so hopefully there’s more off-the-wall ideas to come. (Big head mode, maybe?) I’m not going to spoil how to unlock the Secrets menu or what codes do what, but if you want to know, here’s a GameFAQs guide.

Vampire Survivors is available in Early Access on Steam for $3. It generally works quite well on Steam Deck, where it’s one of the most popular games on the platform, though I haven’t been able to enter any cheat code spells on the handheld gaming PC — I had to type in the codes on my MacBook Air.

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are
A player shouldering the ball



(Image credit: EA)

FIFA 23 might be the best game soccer game yet for terrible sports fans, as it lets you turn off commentary that criticizes your bad playing.

Now that the early access FIFA 23 release time has passed, EA Play and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can hop into the game ahead of its full release. But as Eurogamer (opens in new tab) spotted, they’ll find a peculiar option waiting for them.

FIFA 23 includes a toggle to turn off ‘Critical Commentary’. The setting lets you silence all negative in-match comments made about your technique, so you can protect your precious ego even when you miss an open goal or commit an obvious foul. The more positive commentary won’t be affected. 

Spare your feelings

A player dribbling the ball in FIFA 23

(Image credit: EA)

The feature looks tailored toward children and new players, who don’t want to have their confidence wrecked within mere minutes of picking up the controller. But even experienced players who just so happen to be terrible at the game might benefit.

It’s not perfect, though. According to Eurogamer, the feature didn’t seem to work during a FIFA Ultimate Team Division Rivals match, with critical comments slipping through the filter. Still, who hasn’t benefited from a light grilling every now and then?

Polite commentary isn’t the only new addition in FIFA 23. It’s the first game in the series to include women’s club football teams, and fancy overhauled animations that take advantage of the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S’s new-gen hardware. EA will be hoping to end on a high, as FIFA 23 will be the last of its soccer games to release with the official FIFA licence.

If disabling critical commentary doesn’t improve your soccer skills, maybe building a squad of Marvel superheroes will. Although you might not do much better with Ted Lasso wandering the pitch.

FIFA 23 is set to fully release this Friday, September 30.

Callum is TechRadar Gaming’s News Writer. You’ll find him whipping up stories about all the latest happenings in the gaming world, as well as penning the odd feature and review. Before coming to TechRadar, he wrote freelance for various sites, including Clash, The Telegraph, and Gamesindustry.biz, and worked as a Staff Writer at Wargamer. Strategy games and RPGs are his bread and butter, but he’ll eat anything that spins a captivating narrative. He also loves tabletop games, and will happily chew your ear off about TTRPGs and board games. 

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch
The backs of the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro



(Image credit: Google)

We’re starting to hear more and more Google Pixel 7 leaks, with the launch of the phone just a week away, but tech fans might be getting a lot of déjà vu, with the leaks all listing near-identical specs to what we heard about the Pixel 6 a year ago.

It sounds like the new phones – a successor to the Pixel 6 Pro is also expected – could be very similar to their 2021 predecessors. And a new price leak has suggested that the phones’ costs could be the same too, as a Twitter user spotted the Pixel 7 briefly listed on Amazon (before being promptly taken down, of course).

Google pixel 7 on Amazon US. $599.99.It is still showing up in search cache but the listing gives an error if you click on it. We have the B0 number to keep track of though!#teampixel pic.twitter.com/w5Z09D28YESeptember 27, 2022

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According to these listings, the Pixel 7 will cost $599 while the Pixel 7 Pro will cost $899, both of which are identical to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro starting prices. The leak doesn’t include any other region prices, but in the UK the current models cost £599 and £849, while in Australia they went for AU$999 and AU$1,299.

So it sounds like Google is planning on retaining the same prices for its new phones as it sold the old ones for, a move which doesn’t make much sense.


Analysis: same price, new world

Google’s choice to keep the same price points is a little curious when you consider that the specs leaks suggest these phones are virtually unchanged from their predecessors. You’re buying year-old tech for the same price as before.

Do bear in mind that the price of tech generally lowers over time, so you can readily pick up a cheaper Pixel 6 or 6 Pro right now, and after the launch of the new ones, the older models will very likely get even cheaper.

But there’s another key factor to consider in the price: $599 might be the same number in 2022 as it was in 2021, but with the changing global climate, like wars and flailing currencies and cost of living crises, it’s a very different amount of money.

Some people just won’t be willing to shell out the amount this year, that they may have been able to last year. But this speaks to a wider issue in consumer tech.

Google isn’t the only tech company to completely neglect the challenging global climate when pricing its gadgets: Samsung is still releasing super-pricey folding phones, and the iPhone 14 is, for some incomprehensible reason, even pricier than the iPhone 13 in some regions. 

Too few brands are actually catering to the tough economic times many are facing right now, with companies increasing the price of their premium offerings to counter rising costs, instead of just designing more affordable alternatives to flagships.

These high and rising prices suggest that companies are totally out of touch with their buyers, and don’t understand the economic hardship troubling many.

We’ll have to reach a breaking point sooner or later, either with brands finally clueing into the fact that they need to release cheaper phones, or with customers voting with their wallets by sticking to second-hand or refurbished devices. But until then, you can buy the best cheap phones to show that cost is important to you.

Tom’s role in the TechRadar team is to specialize in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working in TechRadar freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. Outside of TechRadar he works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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