You may know Google Snake as a simple, classic arcade-style game that works right in your browser, with no downloads or installation necessary.
But did you know that you can get even more out of Google Snake by installing mods from GitHub? A variety of developers have created mods that change the appearance, gameplay experience, and other aspects of Snake in an effort to give players even more options, and to stop the game from feeling old for folks who have been playing it for a while.
Read on for an overview of the latest Snake mods that you can find on GitHub, along with instructions on installing them.
What Is Google Snake?
Google Snake is a browser-based game in which players navigate a virtual snake around the screen. The goal is to "feed" the snake apples that appear on the screen, while also avoiding having the snake become entangled in its own body. Because the snake grows longer as the game continues, guiding the snake successfully to each apple while avoiding entanglement becomes increasingly difficult the longer you play.
You can play Snake at this URL, or by simply typing "snake game" into the Google search bar. The game is free, it works in all modern browsers, and it doesn't require any downloads or package installations.
Google didn't invent the concept behind Snake. Snake-style games have been around since the 1970s. However, by offering Snake as an easily accessible game that anyone can play on virtually any device, Google brought newfound popularity to this type of video game.
What Are Snake Mods?
Snake mods are software that modifies the appearance and/or gameplay of Google Snake. In other words, mods provide options and features that aren't available from the core Snake game itself.
You can think of Snake mods, then, as add-ons or extensions for the Snake game. When you use a Snake mod, you're still playing Google Snake, but you will have a different experience than you would when playing the "vanilla" (in other words, unmodified) version of the game.
The mods are not developed by Google itself, and Google does not officially endorse or support them. They're produced by third-party programmers.
We explain below where to find the latest Snake mods on GitHub and how to install them. But first, let's talk a little more about why you may want to use a Snake mod.
What Are the Features and Benefits of Getting New GitHub Snake Mods?
By installing GitHub Snake mod, players get several benefits that aren't part of the core game:
- New ways to play Snake: Many mods change major aspects of Snake gameplay in order to provide a different experience. For instance, the "endgame sooner" mod removes the "walls" from the game so that players have more flexibility.
- New appearance settings: Snake mods make it possible to change the appearance of the game in ways that some players will find more pleasing. For example, there is a custom colors mod that lets players switch the colors of the game to reduce the strain on their eyes.
- Enhanced graphics: Along similar lines, Snake players can use mods from GitHub to update to more refined graphics, if they don't like the arcade-style appearance of the default version of the game.
- More data tracking: Mods like "Google Snake Input Counter" help collect data, such as total input in a game, that isn't tracked by the basic version of Google Snake.
In short, while you certainly don't have to use mods to play Google Snake, mods can provide a more compelling gameplay experience — especially after you've been playing the default version of the game long enough to grow bored with it.
Where to Find the Newest GitHub Snake Mods
Theoretically, the code for Snake mods could be hosted anywhere. But most mod developers have chosen to host their mods on GitHub.
That said, because there are many Snake mods and many different developers behind them, there is no central or "official" source for downloading mods from GitHub. You'll instead find mods in a variety of locations.
Right now, one of the most popular collections of mods is hosted by Dark Snake Gang, which maintains about two dozen repositories associated with Snake. Each repository hosts a different mod, so you'll have to install each mod that you want from a separate repository.
What Are the Known Issues with GitHub Snake Mods?
Although in most cases it's safe and easy to use Snake mods from GitHub, there are some possible issues to be aware of.
One is the fact that, as noted above, the Snake mods are not officially endorsed or supported by Google — or, for that matter, any other major software company or organization. Instead, the mods are created by relatively obscure developers, most of whom operate behind pseudonymous GitHub identities. There is therefore no guarantee that the mods will work as intended. There could be bugs or incompatibility issues between your browser and the mod that cause it not to function properly. And if something goes wrong, there is no one to complain to or to provide official support.
There is also a small risk that the mods could introduce security vulnerabilities into your browser. That said, because the code for most mods is open source and is publicly available on GitHub, it's likely that developers who can review the code would discover any security flaws. But since no one is formally testing or scanning the mod code, there's no guarantee that it's secure.
Many mods are also poorly documented, as you'll see if you look at their GitHub repositories. In many cases, the developers haven't even created descriptions of what the mod does, let alone provide documentation explaining how the mod works in a technical sense. At best, you'll usually just find a short README file on GitHub with very basic instructions for installing the mod.
The bottom line here is that you should exercise a bit of caution when installing Google Snake mods from GitHub. They're fine to use in most cases, but you shouldn't expect the types of security or stability guarantees that you would have when running software from prominent organizations.
How to Install Snake Mods from GitHub
Now that we've gone over the ins and outs of Snake mods in some detail, let's look at what it takes to download and install Snake mods from GitHub.
The mod installation process can vary a bit depending on which mod you are using. In most cases, however, installing mods involves downloading an HTML file from GitHub, importing it as a bookmark into your browser, and then reloading the Snake game.
For example, to install the Google Snake Custom Menu mod, first click the "bookmark" link in the mod's GitHub repository:
Then, open your browser's bookmark menu. You can find it through the file or preferences menu, or press Ctrl-Shift-O, which is the shortcut to open bookmarks in both Firefox and Chrome.
In the bookmark manager, click the button to import a bookmark from HTML. In Firefox, this is under the "Import and Backup" tab:
When prompted, navigate to the location where you stored the bookmark link that you downloaded from GitHub:
Click the Open button when you've selected the right download.
Finally, reload the Snake game in your browser (or load it if it wasn't already loaded). As long as the bookmark installed correctly, you should see the results of the mod in the game. In this case, the result is that there is a "gear" icon in the lower-right corner, which is a menu that this mod adds to the game:
How to Remove a Snake Mod
If you installed a mod using a bookmark, you can uninstall it by simply using your browser's bookmark manager to remove the bookmark.
Mods Bring Snake Fans More Options
Snake mods that are available on GitHub can make Google's Snake game even more fun to play. Although you may find that the mods are of varying quality and the installation process is a bit complicated, it's worth checking out the mods if you're a Snake fan and want more options from the game.
About the authorChristopher Tozzi is a technology analyst with subject matter expertise in cloud computing, application development, open source software, virtualization, containers and more. He also lectures at a major university in the Albany, New York, area. His book, “For Fun and Profit: A History of the Free and Open Source Software Revolution,” was published by MIT Press.