Parsia's Den

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Nov 29, 2017 - 4 minute read - Comments - Game Hacking

"Hacking" Car Mechanic Simulator 2015

Not real hacking!

Tl;dr:

  1. Open this file with a hex editor:
    • \AppData\LocalLow\Red Dot Games\Car Mechanic Simulator 2015\profile#\global
  2. Search for money and xp.
  3. Locate the int32 value of each property in little-endian.
  4. Convert your current XP and money to hex to make the search easier.
  5. Overwrite them with6F FF FF FF.
  6. ???
  7. You have “hacked” the game.

It does not get easier than this.

Background

Savegame editing is perhaps the oldest (and most basic) variant of game hacking. One of the reasons I went into security (or got decent at reverse engineering file formats) was computer games.

I used to play the original version of Heroes of Might and Magic. I usually rushed to get a few units. Split them into arbitrary stacks (e.g. 2 archers in slot 1, 3 in slot 2 and so on), then looked in the savegame for those numbers and modified the count to FF. Voila, I had 255 of every unit.

This is exactly what we are going to do here too.

The Game

Over the thanksgiving weekend I got Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 for 2 dollars in the Steam sale. I played it for around 10 hours (that’s 20 cents per hour which is quite the bargain :D). It’s a good game but it has a lot of grinding1.

Savegame Location

First item is to locate the savegame which brings us to this Steam community thread. They are at:

  • \AppData\LocalLow\Red Dot Games\Car Mechanic Simulator 2015\

Each profile# directory will contain a different profile.

Note the developer is claiming the file is encrypted try to hack'em :) good luck with decrypting. It’s not encrypted. I am not trying to shit on the dev, it’s a good game.

How Stats are Stored

When editing savegames, chances are numbers are saved in hex (or decimal). Convert them into hex and grep.

Starting money and XP Starting money and XP

Currently we have $2000 (0x07D0) and 1 experience. Now we can grep for the money like this grep -arb $'\x07\xd0' but won’t find anything. You need to remember endian-ness or you could just search for the word money:

Grep for little-endian money
1
2
3
4
5
$ grep -arb $'\xd0\x07'
global:631:▒▒▒▒{~gameVer▒▒▒▒▒1.1.6.0{~date▒▒▒▒▒2017-11-28 22:56:20{

$ grep -arb money
global:610:▒▒▒{~money

Offset 631 is 0x277. Open the file with a hex editor such as HxD.

Global file in hex editor Global file in hex editor

This seems to be a serialized Unity file according to DisUnity. But we do not care about the format, we want to edit XP and money to unlock auctions.

We can see our XP and money as an int32 (aka 4 bytes) in little-endian (first byte is the LSB). Replace them with whatever you want (remember they are in hex). For example I am going to max out everything with FF FF FF FF.

Editing money and XP with FF FF FF FF Editing money and XP with FF FF FF FF

Well that did not work out as expected:

Oops Oops

What did We do Wrong?

We assumed that a variable representing XP or money is going to be an unsigned int (well money is debatable as games usually use negative balance to indicate debt). But these are signed int32s.

Signed Int32 Representation

We already know how signed ints are stored. Most significant bit or msb (note the lowercase b and do not confuse it with most significant byte or MSB) is sign:

  • 0: Number is positive. Rest of bits represent the number.
  • 1: Number is negative. Rest of bits represent two’s complement of absolute value of number.

Two’s complement is created simply by flipping all the bits and then adding by one. So FF FF FF FF is -1.

Very Money, Much Experience

To get the max signed int32 positive number we need to keep the first bit as 0 and set the rest to 1. Take the last byte (first byte to the left) and convert it to bits 1111 1111. Flip the first bit to the left (or msb) to get 0111 1111 or 7F. So max int32 is 7F FF FF FF.

Editing money and XP again Editing money and XP again

You do not need to exit the game every time, go to the main menu between edits.

Much experience! Much experience!

Integer Overflow

However, this is not a good number. If you earn one dollar or XP, int32 will overflow and you are left with min int32 number 80 00 00 00 (MSB: 1000 0000).

Much experience! Much experience!

Just do 7F 00 00 00 to unlock everything.

Master guru ji mechanic Master guru ji mechanic

  1. I have other issues with the game. For example ordering parts is a pain because you have to do them one by one. But this is not a game review. [return]