|“Gotta move that gear up!”
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A Bot (or BOT) is a computer-controlled player on a server. There are two types of bots in Team Fortress 2: AI bots and Puppet bots. AI bots are coded with sophisticated artificial intelligence designed to emulate player actions in game, and can be used without enabling cheats. Puppet bots have no AI coding, but are useful for testing and training. Puppet bots require the server to have cheats enabled, which also disables achievements.
AI bots are designed to emulate human players and are not directly controlled. Additionally, their classes are chosen at random. They use sophisticated AI code based on the PlayerBot and Infected AI featured in the Left 4 Dead series. AI bots do not require the server to have cheats enabled; therefore, achievements are enabled while playing with them. There is one exception, however; Bots do not see Deathcam shots when killed; therefore, a player cannot attain Deathcam-related achievements. Also, killing a bot with a Strange weapon will not increase the weapon's kill count, unless the weapon has a Strange Part: Robots Destroyed applied to it, in which case, the kill will be added to the Strange Part and not the main counter.
AI bots can be indirectly controlled to an extent:
- Any friendly and enemy bot that the player focuses on with their crosshair during setup time will taunt.
- A friendly Medic bot will heal a player if they utilize the "Medic!" voice command.
- If a Medic bot is healing and has an ÜberCharge ready, using the voice commands "Go go go!" or "Activate Charge!" will cause the bot to immediately activate his ÜberCharge.
- A Medic bot with an ÜberCharge ready will immediately activate the charge if he gets hurt significantly.
- Bots will attempt to join teammates performing a partner taunt (e.g. the High Five) or a group taunt (e.g. the Conga).
Current AI bot status
AI bots are in beta testing and may become more sophisticated as they are updated. Currently, all classes are working properly due to the Hatless Update, including the once-buggy Spy. AI bots only work properly for most official King of the Hill maps, some Payload maps, Attack/Defend maps Dustbowl and Gorge, Capture the Flag maps, and Mann Manor (on the latter two, bots can only be added by using the tf_bot_add command). The use of AI bots on non-supported maps is possible by following certain steps; however, they will not emulate human players as well.
Note: A pack of pre-made bot meshes has been compiled for many popular maps.
AI bot names
The AI bots are programmed to have different names, with many of their names being references to Team Fortress 2, Valve's other works, and computer programming. Many of these names have been requested on the Steam forums.
Using bots on unsupported maps
- Nav mesh editing requires cheats enabled, so type "sv_cheats 1" in the console.
- Build the initial nav mesh using the "nav_generate" command.
- Wait while the game generates AI paths, progress is tracked in the console.
- Map will reload.
- Optionally tweak the generated nav mesh to add missing data and remove erroneous data. Use "nav_edit 1" to enter nav mesh editing mode.
- Reload/Restart the server (optional, but if it is not done, then achievements will be disabled).
- Open console and type "tf_bot_add <number>" as above to add bots.
WARNING: The game is likely to crash if you edit the navigation mesh with bots enabled.
Bots can be used on any map on which the above steps have been performed without having to repeat them, except for entering the "tf_bot_add <number>" command each time bots need to be added.
Bots work best on Control Points, King of the Hill, Payload, and Capture the Flag maps. On Mannpower maps, they will treat it as Capture the Flag, but be unable to use Grappling Hooks and cannot intelligently use the Powerups they walk over.
Maps with official bot support
- Mann Manor
- Badlands (KOTH)
- Nucleus (KOTH)
- Sawmill (KOTH)
- Badwater Basin
- Gold Rush
- Thunder Mountain
- Kong King
AI bot behavior
- Bots currently only use the default loadout.
- Bots on Easy difficulty will rarely, if ever, use any weapon other than their primary weapon. Bots on higher difficulties will switch to and use their secondary weapon as soon as the ammunition of their primary weapon is spent.
- Spy and Sniper bots do not appear on Easy mode; they will only appear on Normal mode and beyond.
- Bots currently cannot execute special jumps (such as rocket jumps) or haul buildings.
- If a bot kills a player, they roll a chance to taunt immediately after, and if it succeeds, they will taunt even if they are under enemy fire. This behavior applies to Robots in Mann vs. Machine mode.
- Spy bots (and players) are properly ignored by other bots while disguised. However, upon 'touching' any enemy bot, sapping, shooting, or Cloaking, all other bots who see it happen will declare the bot/player a Spy and won't forget who they are until they change disguises while unseen or until the bot(s) who declared them a Spy dies or feigns death with the Dead Ringer.
- Pyro bots will use the compression blast against projectiles and opponents with unusual frequency if on difficulties other than Easy.
- Medic bots will usually heal all other classes before Snipers (and to a lesser extent Engineers) even if the "Medic!" voice command is used.
- Medic bots tend to favor Heavies, Soldiers, Demomen, and Pyros, if being played by a human. If a no human player is one of these classes, they are not likely to be pocketed.
- A Medic bot with an ÜberCharge ready will immediately activate the charge if he gets hurt. This behavior is used by Über Medics in Mann vs. Machine mode.
- If a disguised Spy bot, on Expert difficulty, sees enemy Spies cloak, he will be able to follow them while they are invisible regardless of whether their Cloak is blinking or not.
- Bots do not attack during setup time unless they are attacked first (with the exception of Demoman bots planting stickybombs).
- Engineer bots do not upgrade (or even remove Sappers from) their Teleporters, and sometimes don't repair their Sentry Guns even when they're not under fire.
- Engineer bots will never repair or upgrade a friendly Engineer bot's building, unless that building is in the way of the Engineer's target.
- Bots, excluding Engineers, Snipers, and Spies, will stay in their spawn positions on setup when attacking in a Attack/Defend map or a Payload map.
- Spy bots, when spotted by another bot (possibly player), will not attempt to backstab and will instead switch to their Revolver and shoot while retreating.
- Bots may try to walk/shoot through unmovable objects such as walls.
- Whenever a player/bot cloaks/decloaks or disguises/undisguises, the bots will 'see' players who are behind them and turn around, even if out of the bot's field of view. Note that this isn't due to any sounds made by the player (footsteps, miscellaneous weapon noises, etc.).
- Though rarely, bots may stand inside one another during usage of an Engineer's Teleporter, and get stuck (can't move).
- When bots use voice commands (such as "Spy!" and "Move Up!"), text versions of the voice commands do not display.
- A Medic bot who is healing a player will not avoid enemy fire or collect health pickups, even if he is at critically low health.
- Bots are able to move while taunting, making the Holiday Punch ineffective.
- Recently attacked Medic bots will often fail to use their Syringe Gun to deal with enemies at non-melee range, instead switching to their Bonesaw, or even to their Medi Gun on extremely rare occasions.
- Medic bots will fail to lead their aim or to compensate for gravity while firing the Syringe Gun. This may be due to the Syringe Gun not being properly identified as a non-hitscan weapon in the bot AI code.
- Engineer bots can stand inside their own buildings.
- Spy bots are able to see and follow cloaked Spies (AI or player) should one give himself away, regardless of difficulty level.
- Even if a Spy is disguised as a class of his team (player only, as bots will never do this), enemies will still point him out as a Spy should he bump into an enemy.
- Bots abide by Auto-balance rules. To be able to spawn bots on a specific team, you must set
- Engineer bots may ignore their buildings until they're destroyed.
- Heavy bots will sometimes try to fire their Minigun even when out of ammo. (Although it seems to occur abundantly when the bot difficulty is set below Advanced)
- Medic bots on the losing team will occasionally commit suicide during Humiliation when there are no enemies nearby. Players are unable to do the same, even using commands.
- Setting the loadout menu's preview to BLU will cause RED bots to appear BLU.
- Currently, bots do not work on the following types of game modes or maps, even with a generated navigation mesh. (Spies and Snipers may work, though.)
AI bot commands
For a more comprehensive list of commands, see the Valve list of TF2 console commands and variables.
To use AI bots on supported maps, the server administrator should type the following commands into the console (some may require sv_cheats to be set to 1):
||This command will create one or more AI bots of random classes on random teams. They will also be assigned random names from a default set.
|tf_bot_difficulty||Defines the skill of bots joining the game.
|tf_bot_fire_weapon_allowed||Determines whether bots should fire weapons. If disabled, bots can still use certain non-damaging weapons such as the Medi Gun. As one exception, though, Medic bots will still fire their Syringe Gun. Additionally, Demoman bots will still be able to detonate existing stickies, but will not place any more.
|tf_bot_force_class||If set to a class name, all TFBots will respawn as that class.
|tf_bot_force_jump||If enabled, forces bots to repeatedly jump over and over.
|tf_bot_join_after_player||If nonzero, bots wait until a player joins before entering the game. This only applies to quota spawned bots.
|tf_bot_keep_class_after_death||If zero, bots will always respawn as a different class.
This command will remove one or all AI bots.
This command will kill one or all AI bots.
|tf_bot_melee_only||Determines whether a bot should only use melee weapons or not.
|tf_bot_prefix_name_with_difficulty||If nonzero, append the skill level of the bot to the bot's name
|tf_bot_quota||Determines the total number of TFBots in the game. Only has effect if tf_bot_quota_mode = "|
|tf_bot_quota_mode||Determines the type of quota.
|tf_bot_taunt_victim_chance||Determines how often a Bot will taunt a human victim.
|tf_bot_warp_team_to_me||Teleports your team's bots to your position. Requires |
As of now, there is only one other bot that is still being developed for TF2: RCBot2. The bot was created and is being maintained by Chesseh, and the website can be found here: http://rcbot.bots-united.com/. The bots run on a waypoint system and must be manually setup by a player instead of typing a command. RCbots are their own separate bot, so they can be used alongside the regular TFBots if one so chooses. Some features of the bot include:
- Soldier bots can rocket jump and Demoman bots can sticky jump (provided that the map has waypoints for them).
- Engineer bots now work properly on CTF and other maps.
- Bots can use custom loadouts such as The Huntsman and Bonk! Atomic Punch.
- Bots can "spycheck". If a Spy is disguised as one of the bots, and the bot who they are disguised as sees them, the bot will attack on sight.
- Bots can use voice commands properly. Text will appear in the chat unlike TFBots.
- Bots can be on the defending team in Mann VS Machine, but are unable to purchase upgrades.
- If playing on a CP map, the bots will "mess around" until the round starts. They will randomly hit players with their Melee weapon and spam voice commands, similar to many human players.
- Engineers can move their buildings after a set amount of time.
- Bots have profiles which can customize certain aspects of the bot, such as aiming skill, courage, etc.
- Engineer bots can help out friendly Engineers by upgrading friendly Sentry Guns (if they are finished upgrading their own first) and removing any Sappers on them.
- If bots are targeted by a sentry and escape, they will use the voice command "Sentry Ahead" similar to human players.
- Engineer bots will upgrade their Teleporter and put them where Teleporter waypoints are.
- Enemy Medics will sometimes heal disguised enemy Spies.
- If a Spy bot is approaching an enemy, and said enemy turns around, the Spy bot will move away until the enemy turns back.
- Scouts can double jump, but require waypoints for them similar to Soldiers and Demomen.
- Scouts can intelligently use the Bonk! Atomic Punch, retreating, using the drink, and pushing forward.
- Medics will now heal any class if their health is low, although Heavies and Soldiers are still prioritized.
- Bots will no longer instantly attack a Spy who has backstabbed another player. The bot must have seen the Spy in its line of sight or see the Spy being attacked.
- Bots will use the voice command, "Thanks!" after being healed by an Engineer's Dispenser or by a Medic.
- Bots will periodically check for Spies by turning around
- RCBots have a "Belief" system, that dictates whether or not they think a player or bot is a Spy, and if they will either attack, or stare at them to prevent a backstab
- Due to the nature of the waypointing system, bot paths aren't as unpredictable as TFBots, and RCbots will often times end up running into another bot, leaving both of them stuck until either bot is killed.
- Similarly, Spy bots may end up bumping into a player and not moving, due to how waypointing works. They can only navigate to the set point and are on a fixed track.
- Engineer bots have a harder time placing down a Dispenser, and will do so of their own free will.
- Demoman bots know if you are standing on one of their stickybomb traps, and will detonate them even if they can't see you.
- Engineers might place their Sentry Gun facing the wrong direction.
- If RCbots get knocked off to a location where there are no nearby waypoints, they will not move. The roof area of Nucleus is one example.
Puppet bots have no AI code and cannot move or act on their own. These bots can be used like puppets though: players can manipulate them to follow the player's commands such as following the player around and firing their weapons. Puppet bots are mainly used for testing purposes and can also create stunning visuals if manipulated accordingly, as seen here.
Puppet bot commands
Not all of the following commands work; some working commands are also omitted.
These commands may or may not work for AI bots as well.
Note: entering the command without any values will display the command's current setting and a brief description.
|bot||This command will create a bot on the given team with the specified class and name. If team or name is omitted, they will be assigned randomly.
|bot_changeclass||Force all bots to change to the specified class.
Does not seem to be implemented, nothing happens.
Make all bots change teams. This forces all the bots to switch teams. If a bot was on the RED team then it will now be on the BLU team and vice versa.
|bot_command||Sends specified command on behalf of specified bot.
|bot_defend||Set to a team number, and that team will all keep their combat shields raised.
For instance, Heavies will spin their miniguns.
Not implemented at present.
|bot_dontmove||Bots are allowed or prevented from moving. When set to 1 the bots cannot move but they can still turn and jump. Note with a combination of this command and |
|bot_flipout||When on, this command will make the bots fire the current weapon selected. Default is to use |
Not implemented at present.
|bot_forceattack||This will make all the bots automatically fire whatever weapon they currently have selected. If |
Note this does nothing if
|bot_forceattack2||This will make all the bots execute secondary_fire on whatever weapon they currently have selected when |
|bot_forceattackon||When firing, do not tap fire, hold it down. When this command is set to 0, the bot acts like it is continuously tapping the fire button (useful for the Pistol, but not for the Heavy's Minigun). If this command is set to 1, the bots acts as if it is holding down the fire button (useful for the Heavy's Minigun). |
Does not seem to be implemented, console returns "Unknown command".
|bot_forceattack_down||When firing, don't tap fire, hold it down. If this is set to 0 then the bot will act like they are continuously tapping the fire button (useful for the Stickybomb Launcher). If this is set to 1 then the bot will act as if it is holding down the fire button (useful for the Minigun).
|bot_forcefireweapon||Forces all bots who have the specified weapon to switch to and fire it.
If a bot does not have this weapon, nothing happens to it (unless it is firing a different weapon, in which it stops)
Kills the specified bot.
|bot_mirror||Specified bots mirror the player's loadout (class, cosmetics, and weapons). There are a few bugs; for example, if a Demoman player has the Booties and any shield equipped, a mirrored bot will still use the Grenade Launcher and Stickybomb Launcher despite showing the Booties and shield on his model. After a mirrored bot dies, it will not retain the previous loadout, and bot_mirror must be used again.
|bot_mimic||Bot uses usercmd of player by index.
The bot will execute all keystrokes issued by a player, mimicking movements, turns, jumps, fire, etc. It should be noted that bots will not mimic Medic calls, weapon switches, or taunts.
Note this overrides
Inverts the movement of the bots; moving left makes the bots move right, moving forwards makes the bots move backwards, etc.
The direction which the bot is looking is not affected.
Offsets the bots' yaw. The bots will face in a direction this angle from the player. By default this is set to 180 so that all bots will face the player. Setting this to 0 will face the bots in the same direction as the player.
|bot_refill||Refills all bots' ammo (including metal for Engineers) and health counts.
|bot_saveme||This makes all the bots call for a Medic, equivalent to issuing |
|bot_selectweaponslot||This makes the specified bot select the weapon in the specified weapon slot.
0 = primary; 1 = secondary; 2 = melee; 3 = special
|bot_teleport||Teleports a specified bot to a given coordinate.
Map coordinates of where you are standing can be found by typing
|bot_whack||Delivers lethal damage from player to specified bot. This basically kills the bot with the currently selected weapon, probably used for testing during development. It is worth noting that you can only use bot_whack to kill a teammate if mp_friendlyfire is set to 1, otherwise attempting to whack a teammate will not do anything.