Nearly four years after NieR: Automata was released, a modder has discovered the RPG's final secret. Lance McDonald spotted some unfamiliar code when he was reverse engineering the game. He figured out it related to a cheat code that allows players to skip right to the end of NieR: Automata.
You can only activate the cheat code at a specific location. Once you beat prologue boss Marx and speak to 9S, you need to stand between some barrels. In a video detailing the cheat, McDonald explained how to input the code on the PS4 version — hold down R2, then press up, down, up, right, left, square, circle, triangle and cross. It might be easier if you pause the game first. If you enter the code correctly, you'll be taken to the post-credits scene.
Doing so unlocks some extra features, such as a chapter select option, the in-game trophy store and debugging tools. You'd typically have to complete the game three times to access those. It's a major timesaver for those who want to check out different endings or sidequests, but given how highly regarded the game is, you might want to experience it properly before using the code.
The game's developers suggested several years ago that there was one more secret for players to find. According to NieR's Japanese Twitter account, it seems McDonald has indeed unearthed it. NieR: Automata director Yoko Taro noted that it took the game's fans three years and 10 months to do so.