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.
- 1 AI bots
- 2 Puppet bots
- 3 Update history
- 4 References
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 or the healing target 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 fully released. 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 in the console). The use of AI bots on non-supported maps is possible by following certain steps; however, they will not emulate human players as well.
Bots will not work properly on any PLR map as they either can't jump over the railings on Hightower or get stuck in a random corner in spawn; and bots have a dance party on any other PLR map (this may change in the future).
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.
Unused bot names
The following bot names were found in a leaked source code version of TF2, containing bot names that were never put into production for unknown reasons.
- John Spartan
- Leeloo Dallas Multipass
- Bruce Leroy
- CAN YOUUUUUUUUU DIG IT?!?!?!?!
- Big Gulp, Huh?
- Stupid Hot Dog
- I'm your huckleberry
- The Crocketeer
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
- Foundry (CP)
- Badlands (CP)
- Badlands (KOTH)
- Granary (CP)
- Nucleus (KOTH)
- Sawmill (KOTH)
- Badwater Basin
- Gold Rush
- Thunder Mountain
- Kong King
- Moonshine Event
- Ghost Fort
- Mercenary Park
- Gorge Event
Maps with no official bot support
Complete list (may need updating):
- DeGroot Keep
- 2Fort Invasion
- Double Cross
- Sawmill (CTF)
- Well (CTF)
- Gravel Pit
- Mountain Lab
- Cactus Canyon
- Banana Bay
- Badlands (Arena)
- Granary (Arena)
- Nucleus (Arena)
- Well (Arena)
- Harvest Event
- Maple Ridge Event
- Carnival of Carnage
- Coal Town
- Ghost Town
- Foundry (CTF)
- Gorge (CTF)
- Pit of Death
AI bot behavior
- Bots currently only use the default loadout (although they can be given non-Stock weapons with a custom mod/plugin).
- 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, or to compensate for the distance of their target.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- Demoman bots, once they know where a Sentry Gun is (usually after dying to one), will be able to stand out of range of the sentry and perfectly aim and time their stickybomb charges to land precisely where the Sentry Gun is. Walls and ceilings may occasionally get in the way of the stickybombs' flight path, though.
- 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.
- 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.)
- Bots that have their Melee weapons out will occasionally not switch to their other weapons, even if they pick up ammo.
- This can be fixed by either killing them or just randomly.
- After the Jungle Inferno Update, bots spawned with specific parameters (example:
tf_bot_add 5 pyro blue normal) will die in their spawnrooms. This can be prevented with the command:
tf_bot_reevaluate_class_in_spawnroom 0, which requires setting
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.
||Defines the skill of bots joining the game.
||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.
||If set to a class name, all TFBots will respawn as that class.
||If enabled, forces bots to repeatedly jump over and over.
||If nonzero, bots wait until a player joins before entering the game. This only applies to quota spawned bots.
||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.
||Determines whether a bot should only use melee weapons or not.
||If nonzero, append the skill level of the bot to the bot's name
||Determines the total number of TFBots in the game. Only has effect if tf_bot_quota_mode = "|
||Determines the type of quota.
||Determines how often a Bot will taunt a human victim.
||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 Cheeseh, and the website can be found here.
Players can also try [APG] Foundation's Nightly builds which are updated and enhanced to work on those TF2 latest updates that would corrupt the bots. However it will take some work and finding the new hookinfo for the bots to function. Be sure to use Hookinfo tool and adjust the config.ini offset values, using this Nightly version (Latest update is 1.04 v492-APG since 26th March 2020)
The bots run on a waypoint system and must be manually setup by a player instead of typing a command. RCBot2 are their own separate bot, so they can be used alongside the regular TFBots if one so chooses.
- 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.
- RCBot2 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.
- RCBot2 can work better on complex maps like Mario Kart, plus Stock Halloween maps like plr_hightower_event, sd_doomsday_event as well as the original sd_doomsday map, whereas TFBots tend not to work.
- Due to the nature of the waypointing system, bot paths aren't as unpredictable as TFBots, and RCbot2 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 RCbot2 get knocked off to a location where there are no nearby waypoints, they will not move. The roof area of Nucleus is one example.
- Bots will also say "Thanks!" when picking up a health kit.
- Bots lose move speed after swimming.
- Bots can't predict target's moves when shooting projectiles.
- Medics don't stick close for long with their healing player patient, especially when UberCharged.
- Spies don't perform aggressively or immediately use Sapper to destroy enemy Engineer Sentry Guns and Dispensers.
- Some SourceMod plugins can conflict with RCBot2, such as GiveBotsCosmetics.smx, GiveBotsWeapons.smx, tf2items_manager.smx and smac_cvars.smx, but [APG]RoboCop[CL] has added the 'sm plugins unload <PLUGIN-NAME>' inside the config.ini to avoid those conflicting issues.
- And a sudden Team Fortress 2 Steam Update from SteamCMD could cause RCBot2 to constantly crash unless the hookinfo.ini and the 'rcbot_const_mstr_offset/rcbot_const_round_offset' values are readjusted. Use the RCBotUpdater.exe from /rcbot2/tools folder and maybe experiment with the values, if nothing else works from the Updater tool.
Be sure to report any bugs to RCBot Website or Bots-United Discord, as Team Fortress Wiki and Valve Corporation hold no responsibility nor are affiliated with RCBot2.
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.
||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.
||Force all bots to change to the specified class.
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.
||Sends specified command on behalf of specified bot.
||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 |
||This will make all the bots automatically fire whatever weapon they currently have selected. If |
Note this does nothing if
||This will make all the bots execute secondary_fire on whatever weapon they currently have selected when |
||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).
||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)
||Force all bots to repeatedly jump.
||Remove a bot by name, or an entire team, or all bots.
||Kills a bot.
||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 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.
||Refills all bots' ammo (including metal for Engineers) and health counts.
||This makes all the bots call for a Medic, equivalent to issuing |
||Forces a bot to switch to the specified weapon slot. To specify which bot switches weapons, use |
||Teleports a specified bot to a given coordinate.
Map coordinates of where you are standing can be found by typing
||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.
||Forces a bot to switch to the specified weapon slot.