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Savvy Destiny player hacks a controller to level up on autopilot

Ingenuity knows no bounds when it is in the service of laziness. Reddit’s Yavin427 has shared a scrappy controller hack that allowed him to leave a Destiny character overnight to slowly level itself up without any player input.

Yavin rigged up the controller with scotch tape and two servos hooked up to an Arduino microcontroller. The setup was then programmed to repeatedly punch, shoot, and walk forward slowly. All Yavin had to do then was set up the character in the Moon’s “The Dark Beyond” mission (“We’ve woken the Hive!”) such that he would punch and shoot a few Hive until dying, then respawn, rinse, and repeat.

Finding just the right balance took a few iterations, because Bungie is wise to the possibility of exploits such as this and would boot the player to orbit when the mechanically repetitive sequence of actions ran on for too long. Adding in a bit of shooting and movement seemed to remedy the problem.

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Left overnight, Yavin’s auto-Guardian went from level 16.5 to 20, logging about 3,600 kills and 900 deaths. That’s not fast by any means, and it involves, well, building an actual robot, so don’t expect Bungie to crack down on this as another Loot Cave exploit. Yavin was quick to admit its inefficiency and dismiss the critics as missing the point.

“I did it more for the hell of it, and I’ll be the first to admit I could have done it much faster manually. To those saying it’s pathetic, I dont disagree with you. Thats why my post title shows some confliction. But it’s much less an exploit (least effective way to level up ever) than a bit of fun, just to see if it could be done, and no one else was negatively affected by it. Some people did get some laughs out of it though.”

The trick is reminiscent of similar exploits from the 16-bit era of consoles when third-party controllers with programmable “turbo” buttons would let you set up infinite grinding loops like this. One noted example was a section early in Final Fantasy VI where the party could loop infinitely around part of the Lethe River, abusing the temporary character Banon’s healing ability to grind experience and gold indefinitely.