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Video GameHacknet Review
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Posted: 12 weeks ago, last updated 11 weeks ago.

Author: Ben Kendall, @GeekDadGamer and Jo Robertson.


Hacknet is a simulation where you play a hacker completing missions and hacking into systems just by typing. Designed to be as close to real hacking as possible, you use actual commands and hacking tools to explore servers, chat rooms, and gain access to vulnerable systems. Along with numerous mind-bending references to real-world code, some self-referential, it provides surprisingly insightful commentary on current internet culture, safety and security, exploring how it can be an asset for both good and bad.

When the creator of the world's greatest security system mysteriously dies, you start receiving messages from his virtual "ghost" who implies his death may not be an accident. With their help, you learn the basics of hacking and start to choose jobs to take on.

It's all played entirely by reading and writing lines of code, which enable you to infiltrate systems and expose dark secrets of these powerful companies. It's up to you what you do and how you play. As you progress, you learn more powerful techniques to get deeper into the secure data and uncover a web of secrets. Along the way, you make surprisingly tough moral choices, such as whether to assist the dying of a terminally ill patient by hacking into their pacemaker.

The result is a game that requires a great deal of persistence and skill to overcome the many challenges you face. But that's exactly why it's so fun. The uncompromising dedication to realism means that each action feels important, each successful step feels like a victory, and every move you make has lasting consequences.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 12/08/2015, updated in 2015

Price: 85% off

Platforms: Mac and PC

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

Players: 1

Genres: Brain Game, Narrative, Puzzle, Role-Play and Simulation

Accessibility: 13 features

Developer: Hacknet OS (@HacknetOS)




Play Time: This game will take between 5 and a half hours and 13 hours to complete. The "Labyrinths" extra content adds on another 3 hours of play time on average. The time to beat varies significantly due to the lack of objectives and tutorials, instead allowing you to make your own way through the fame and discover how to play yourself.

Play StylePlay Style

This is a single-player game.

You can play this game in the following styles:

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Rated PEGI 16 for Bad Language. Text driven game featuring strong language including the word ‘*!@?*’ and its derivatives and racist comments and jokes of a discriminatory nature.

Rated for younger players in the US. Rated ESRB TEEN for Drug Reference and Bad Language.

Skill Rating

16+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. You need to be able to remember long commands and think critically about how to solve the problems you encounter. It can be a very hard game, and you can often find yourself stuck or with seemingly no way forward.


Hacknet usually costs £7.19. 


There are the following additional costs associated with this game:
  • In-Game Purchases: Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience.
Along with the soundtrack, there is extra content you can buy which expands the story and adds new mechanics, even requiring you to do things outside the game, like changing the actual game files.


Our Hacknet Accessibility Report documents 13 accessibility features:
There are no difficulty settings, and the game is very difficult, often requiring you to remember large strings of text and take the initiative in complex tasks. There is a tutorial, but many of the game's mechanics are left for the player to discover on their own. While individual actions don't need quick reactions, some tasks do have a time limit, meaning it's not always a low-pressure game.

The text size in the game can be chosen from three presets, but some bits of text will always be fairly small. The sheer volume of text on the screen at any one time can become overwhelming, as can parsing through it and finding useful information.

Diversity and InclusionDiversity and Inclusion

We haven't documented diversity and inclusion information for this game yet.

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Video Games Like Hacknet

Our experts have hand-picked the following similar games. These are similar to Hacknet in how they play or their theme. These are good alternative games to Hacknet, or are a younger rated alternative for players not ready for PEGI 16 or ESRB TEEN games.

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Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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