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Published September 30, 2017

Many of the best video game companies work on creating guides for the games that they create, but some of those strategy guides eventually become unused or ignored altogether. However, free video game strategy guides have practically replaced the physical copies which have been known to get destroyed or lost.

Also, gamers had less to worry about when it came to free video game strategy guides especially when it came to preservation. I’ve been an avid collector of strategy guides especially those that I got with the games I bought. So, here’s the pros and cons of free video game strategy guides.

Completely Online

One of the main pros of free video game strategy guides is that it is completely online making access to it easy, it is without a doubt that gamers found that having a free video game strategy guide can not only save them time but can easily be used again and again. Also, many video game walkthrough strategy guides that came out for games like Super Mario Bros 1 can be accessed online as well.

Happily, gone are the days when gamers had to stand in line at a GameStop or Disk Replay to get a guide to a new game and finding that the guide is no longer being sold which makes trying to get the most out of their game an impossibility. That’s why free video game strategy guides is the way to go; I’ve been using them for years.

Very Thorough

Another advantage that free video game strategy guides is that they are very thorough; I’ve been playing games where the physical game guides that were made for the game did not say or tell gamers a lot, it was more pictures and illustration than strategies. Any video game company can make video games tutorial, but unless it completely walks the gamer through then it will do no good.

Gamers look to get the most out of their game and the digital download of a game guide is the only way they feel that its possible, I have a particular site that I go to when I’m looking for advancement in a game usually an RPG and I know that looking for that answer online is the best way to get my answer to that all important gaming question.


An all time favorite and one of the classic pros is the accessibility; the gamer has complete video game accessibility over that game which means that there is no secret or anything that the gamer cannot get to. There are gamers out there who has game guides buried deep down in their closet with no time to get it; free video game strategy guides is always readily accessible online.

Another thing that I love about online game strategy guides is that they cannot only be accessed on any computer, but they can also be accessed on smart phones as well which is good for gamers on the go when they can’t find their physical copies; if they’re still using them. Despite the fact that physical copy game guides are still being used to play video games in the present day; they are not as widely advertised or accessed like they were 25-27 years ago.

The online strategy guides make it easier for gamers to play certain games and not feel as if they have to use the game guide to beat the game; the logic can be seen from a reverse perspective such as if the gamer cannot access the online strategy guide then they won’t bother trying to access it which would motivate them to play the game without help from that guide of any kind.

The Cons

As great as an online strategy guide is, it is without question that there are some disadvantages to free video game strategy guides; some gamers have, as I’m sure they have, encountered this throughout their time playing video games. One of many cons that lie with free video game strategy guides is that there is a limited time only membership.

For example, gamers will be able to access the online game guide to the game, but only have so many days before to use it before they have to pay for a membership. This can make a big difference in accessibility of that game guide, some gamers might be inclined to not be bothered with paying for a membership especially if they don’t intend to use the guide again after beating the game.

Bringing Facebook into It

Some online strategy guides don’t make gamers pay out-of-pocket to access the guide; they instead want gamers to use their Facebook account to gain access to the guide. While it is not a problem for many gamers to do, it puts gamers at a disadvantage because they may be playing a game that other gamers might not be interested in especially if they post it on their wall on Facebook.

Not every video game has one

Free video game strategy guides are available, but the only thing that’s bad about this is that not every game has an online guide for it. For example, there are a few game guides on Super Mario Bros 3, but there might not be any for Super Mario Bros 2 or Little Nemo Dream Master. I’m not saying there isn’t but its been my experience that some game guides online were only available for some games and not all.


Free video game strategy guides are very useful tools to have when the gamer needs a quick tip to bypass a section in the game or to be able to walk through an RPG without getting stuck; they are online which makes them easy to access. These types of guides are very thorough and can spot certain places in games that the physical copies lack.

However, the only bad things about using an online game guide is that it requires gamers to use their Facebook accounts to be able to use that guide and some charge a small fee after using it for so many days; gamers are spared this if the online game guide world do not have a guide on the game. All in all, gamers should use free video game strategy guides because they are readily available and can be preserved for years to come.


  1. Joo Joo

    I think strategy guides are great for beginners, and agree that they are great in providing tips when you get stuck at a certain stage. But as you get more and more proficient in the game, my sensing is that you wouldn’t really need it anymore? I’m not really into gaming, but I have played stuff like Mario Bros when I was much younger. I don’t remember ever having any guide, people around me would provide all the tips, haha. 

    • Rodney McGill Rodney McGill

      I totally agree Joo that guides are for beginners. I can also agree with the fact that guides aren’t needed as you progress and learn about the game. However, I didn’t really start needing to use a guide for games until my PS1 days where games were more about twists and turns than actual straightforwardness.

  2. Ashley Ashley

    You say that you have a particular site that you go to in order to find advancement in a game, but you don’t say what it is. Can you share? Also, just as a devil’s advocate, do you consider it cheating whenever you have to use a strategy guide? How often would you say you turn to using one? 

    • Rodney McGill Rodney McGill

      Hey Ashley, my apologies. The site that I used to go to was and the Let’s play Archive. I didn’t consider it cheating to use a guide to play the game a long time ago because I always felt that getting the 100% on the first time out using the guide to the game wasn’t cheating. Now, if you use it to play the game subsequent times after that then it would be considered cheating. I always used a guide when I played a “new” game but I didn’t turn to it unless I was in a real bind.

  3. Jefreym85 Jefreym85

    Hi Rodney, 

    Thanks for sharing the information on video games and the strategy guides that are in place to assist users as they play. I used to play video games a lot, but have not played as much as of recent. I do remember playing games and getting stuck on certain levels or stages, wondering if there was a guide I could access to see how to move past the obstacle. I also remember that these guides were not free either, many times I would go to a video game store and try to look at the guides there and get ideas on how to move past. Now there are Free copies online that anyone can access, I would imagine it makes it easier to move through levels in different games and not have as much of a challenge. After reading your article I just may start looking into spending more free time playing some games. 

    • Rodney McGill Rodney McGill

      Hey Jeff, you definitely should. Also, I want you to know that I spend most of my time playing video games when I’m not working at my job or on my website. I used to go through for all of my strategy needs along with the game guides I had but now I play the games without the guide. My advice, play the games without the guide because there’s nothing more rewarding than finishing a level on just your instinct alone.

  4. Karin Nauber Karin Nauber

    I love the online game strategy guides and walkthroughs! I have been using them for years! Thank you for sharing about this topic. You also opened my eyes to a few things I had not thought about, especially with the walkthroughs! I used to make an effort to get the physical copies of the game guides, but like you pointed out, they are not always complete and are mostly pictures and don’t give detailed directions on how to do something. I remember using the physical game guide for Grand Theft Auto Vice City. It would show a picture of where to find some of the hidden objects, but there was not a lot of detail. Now, the online guides, they are much more detailed and thorough!

    One of my favorite games now is the Final Fantasy games, especially X. I have played the game through several times without the online guide and have enjoyed the challenge of using the guide to try to complete everything in the game!

    I have been pretty lucky and have managed to get free guides that are truly free, but I have also gone down a couple of endless “rabbit holes” where I have clicked a link and another and another only to get to the guide and find that it is a pay guide! That can be frustrating—especially after clicking through several links.

    What is your favorite free guide site? I used to use IGN a lot.

    • Rodney McGill Rodney McGill

      Hey Karin, my favorite free guide site is; though I don’t use them anymore because I now play all of my games without guides; I find a hint on the game or a particular part of the game but I won’t use the guide to play the game. 

      I just Final Fantasy XV recently and I have to recommend that you play it; a cool game to say the least just a lot to do on it. 

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