The best bugs of 2022

Two Sims arguing.
(Image credit: EA)

Videogames now exist on a scale never before seen: not just the wider industry, but the individual titles. A game like Call of Duty: Warzone 2 is almost taken for granted by segments of the audience, but it's an unfathomably vast undertaking that is released live to an enormous audience. No wonder, then, that a few flying boats creep through the net.

Bugs and glitches are one of those things that are a feature of the contemporary scene, and also something of a guilty pleasure. With the latter I'm not talking about the crappy ones that lose progress or crash games, things that actually ruin an experience, but the accidents of happenstance that make games do bizarre and hilarious things.

There is a kind of bug that's just so perfect, in its own wonky way, that you're almost sad when it gets patched. Sony's big firstparty game for PC owners in the latter half of 2022 was Spider-Man: Miles Morales, a superb action-adventure that at launch, during some of its most emotionally resonant scenes, would blast an air horn (opens in new tab). "With great power Miles, comes great HONK".

Here's some of the best bugs of 2022.

Overwatch 2 and Bastion's infinite artillery

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Overwatch 2: a game of balance, carefully constructed rock-paper-scissors combat with asymmetrical hero characters. Or alternatively, a game where the character Bastion's ult could be triggered on repeat (opens in new tab), bringing down an undodgeable and fatal barrage all over the enemy team.

Call of glitchy

I think Call of Duty bugs might be my favourite bugs, mainly because the game is so overexposed and scrutinised that the slightest little thing has teenagers worldwide tweeting video clips with captions like "OMMGGGG bro WTF?!?"

These bugs are to be savoured like a fine wine. Modern Warfare 2 brought back an old classic, the Superman glitch (opens in new tab).

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Then there was what's called the 'G walking' glitch, which saw Modern Warfare 2 players turn into lethal orangutans.

It makes the wall-running glitch look tame (opens in new tab). Here it is though, my favourite glitch of the year, which does come with a caveat: this is the result of hacking, not an in-game bug. All the same, even now, I can't stop laughing at Warzone 2 cheaters in their flying boats (opens in new tab).

Sim life

The Sims is always fertile ground for great bugs, and this year was no exception. First of all there was one that accelerated the aging process, meaning players would see their Sims blast through childhood into their teen years within minutes (opens in new tab), shortly after which they'd be straight into the mid-life crisis.

We're just getting started though: How about a glitch that made family members want to romance one another (opens in new tab)? Yep, something went wrong with a parameter somewhere and Sims players were treated to the sight of grannies asking their grandsons on a date.

The best Sims bug of the year, though, has to be an October patch that accidentally made Sims be a bit of an asshole to everyone around them (opens in new tab). As the first user report ran: "My Sims are suddenly incessantly insulting each other autonomously. They are a family that are all good friends, no mischief traits or skills, no previous issues whatsoever. I've never had a sim insult anyone autonomously, and now it happens several times per minute of play."

Deafening Destiny

Golgorath's the name, deafening Destiny players is the game (opens in new tab). This raid boss launched with a bug that meant, when players died, a stupendously loud and gruesome noise would blast out of their speakers. It is funny, and also horrible.

Destiny 2 also had an annoying bug that stopped players progressing through a certain mission. That is not amusing, but it is pretty good that the problem was caused by a ship that Bungie couldn't stop from spawning in a rock (opens in new tab).

Oh, and it wouldn't be Destiny 2 if there hadn't been a new event that players immediately worked out how to cheese (opens in new tab), completing something that should take hours in mere minutes.

Guild Wars 2 bug turns players into ridiculously long cats

Two bugged charr characters which has stretched their torsos.

(Image credit: ArenaNet)

That's it, that's the bug. (opens in new tab)

Disney pumpkin valley

I don't know if this goes under bug or feature, but Disney Dreamlight Valley is obviously one of those games where players are going to work out how best to maximise their economic returns. When the game launched in early access, the meta quickly became clear: pumpkins. Pumpkins everywhere (opens in new tab).

The younglings!

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga arrived with a combo-heavy combat system no-one was expecting, immediately producing countless clips of Jar Jar Binks kick-flipping his way through Stormtrooper armies. One particular bug, however, was the result of players being unable to harm the child characters that populate the levels. Instead, attempting to do so makes your character bounce away.

So, of course, players worked out that attempting to kill the kids let you cross areas you shouldn't and save time in the levels: (opens in new tab) a glitch that the community unforgettably named 'Child Flight'.

Red Dead Online - A player on a horse looks into a desert vista

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Weirdly appropriate bug of the year award

This year Rockstar announced that Red Dead Online wouldn't be receiving any more substantial updates, something that upset a playerbase which spends most of its time like Oliver Twist: please Mr. Houser, can we have some more?

So it was apposite that Red Dead Online was thereafter afflicted by a bug that saw NPCs fail to spawn (opens in new tab), turning its once-bustling frontier settlements into ghost towns. It's almost like they knew what was happening.

This year also saw a few historical stories come to light: Such as the fact Windows 95 shipped with code to nix a bug in the OG Sim City (opens in new tab). But let's end with a bit of excellent trivia: Did you know that bugs are named after literal bugs? The first recorded example that gave the phenomenon its name was a moth flying into a relay (opens in new tab).

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."