Bots are non-player characters (NPC), which act as real players. They were primarily introduced via PODbot (Ping Of Death) for Counter-Strike 1.5 and made official in Counter-Strike: Condition Zero through the AI work by Gearbox Software and Turtle Rock Studios.
Realbot was a Counter-Strike based version of the 'Botmans' framework to communicate with the Half-Life engine. It was able to navigate the 3D maps of Counter-Strike without the use of navigation files and the bot had the ability to learn and adapt behavior from human players. The bot was developed by Stefan Hendricks who stated that Realbot was awarded "Best Counter-Strike Bot in 2002".
Ping of Death
Markus "Count Floyd" Klinge created an effective AI bot addon for Counter-Strike 1.6, now known as PODbot, and used feedback to tweak it through the years to make realistic bot interaction, much like Condition Zero soon after. The system used .PWF files which contained navigation data, a predecessor to the NAV system implemented in Condition Zero and Counter-Strike: Source.
As with official CZ bots. POD bots have three different aggression modes; normal, aggressive, and defensive. Their aggression status appears next to their names unlike CZ bots. [POD] (Normal), [P*D] (Aggressive) and [P0D] (Defensive, just a zero instead of "O")
Normal and aggressive bots are usually armed with assault rifles while defensive bots are usually armed with sniper rifles. The top priority weapons for normal bots are the SG552. For aggressive bots, their preferred weapon is the AK-47 while the preferred weapon for defensive bots is the SG550.
Unlike CZ bots, POD bots have the ability to interact with switches, able to use zoom-in functions for the Bullpup and Krieg 552, use the flashlight and nightvision goggles, and can use sprays (which are from Half-Life such as "Die Freeman!" or the Lambda Logo). Also, if their skill is set to the highest difficulty and an enemy target approaches them at point blank range. they will perform melee attacks if given the chance.
POD bots do not have any attack delay. Instead, their difficulty is based on how they aim. On easy difficulty, they will always aim for the legs while on the hardest setting, they always aim for the head regardless of which weapon they carry (they may also score a headshot with the AWP even if it is an instant kill on the stomach). As such, POD bots are very deadly if armed with the high damage weapons like AK-47 as they can quickly react and gun a player down at any range with a single headshot even if they are firing while moving (and they seem to be sightly faster than Condition Zero bots). Unlike other bots, POD Bots have ability to shoot through walls if they can hear the footstep sounds while the difficulty is set to highest. This makes running near the POD bots extremely risky as they can fire the weapon on full accuracy (such as on rooftop of Assault).
Compared to CZ bots, they are generally less accurate and aggressive as they will tend to take cover and strafe. Also, their sniper range is shorter which varies on which weaponry they carry (Scout users will most likely to switch to a sidearm when at medium range). The firing rate of POD bots is sightly faster than CZ bots as they will mostly fire a second shot before they automatically use the scope of a sniper rifle. Their shotgun range is larger and will fire at medium ranges and they also fire a shotgun while reloading and charge and strafe when encountering an assailant at medium or close ranges.
Counter-Strike: Condition Zero
During the early production of Condition Zero, Gearbox Software hired Klinge to work on the early bot AI for the game, allowing for use in single-player and cooperative play as well as the traditional teamplay. During the transfer of production to Ritual Entertainment, the fate of the new bot was unknown.
After Ritual's own version was dropped, the production was passed to Turtle Rock Studios. They worked on the AI for the single player part of the multiplayer piece, when they started to code NPCs for servers wanting more players on low servers. It is likely that the main programmer Mike Booth took a cue from Gearbox and Klinge in the development of the NAV system. As a result, they finalized the bots and navigation maps along with NPC terrorists for the Tour of Duty campaigns. Skill levels (Easy, Normal, Hard, Expert) have been applied to the AI to accustom with server options and make it easier or challenging for players.
In Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, the navigation of the bots have improved, notably the hostages as they have more interactions with players and can even escape on their own. If a counter-terrorist or a terrorist bot is nearby, that bot will say "Okay sir, let's go" to a human player and will follow him. The quote changes to "Okay Commander, let's go" if the player is in the Tour of Duty Campaign.
In addition, multiple languages are now supported for bots, such as Chinese. However, there is a bug where a bot will continue speaking the same quote until another bot uses the radio.
Once again, Turtle Rock Studios had coded the AI for Counter Strike: Source, updating the bots to the standards of the new Source engine. This AI also evolved into Left 4 Dead, which they developed through to their acquisition by Valve and Turtle Rock Studios.
In Counter-Strike: Source, bots will now alert team members of any sniper that is within their sight. These quotes were reused from cut quotes in the older games. Sniper bots are now more aware of their surroundings and will usually occupy long pathways/open areas in a defence stance. Due to this, bots' awareness of snipers have also increased and they will often strafe and work together with allied players to eliminate enemies. Bots that see an enemy sniper will also look for cover first by positioning themselves next to a wall, rather than standing still and fight in older games. In some cases, bots may rush at close ranges while strafing or take a detour to flank the sniper. However, even if the player is not a sniper, they may still attempt this with any weapon except sniper weaponry.
Enemy bots will react to your firing, and will often form a small to large group in attempt to kill the player, unlike in previous games, which player will normally face one by one. This is probably a way to force the player to work closely with friendly bots. Working alone is more difficult even on the lowest skill set. Also, when a player kills a bot, they are reprogrammed to focus on human players first before targeting other bots, unless they are in close proximity.
Unlike previous games where (easy) bots are armed with the M249, they will always spray bullets at long range. Now, bots in easy difficulty will now fire their weapons in short bursts at mid-to-long range, including M249 users. However, their accuracy is still not good enough to take enemies down at long range, excluding bots armed with sniper rifles. On lower difficulties the sniper bots may have trouble getting first round hit also, giving the opponents time to react.
Moreover, the infiltration skills of bots have improved as well, namely, for bombsites. A.I. players will usually use different entrances to breach through enemy occupied territory and they are more effective as well. In Source version, the bots are less prone to stuck or commit suicide by falling due to improved map design.
Unlike older Counter-Strike games, bots will often form a group instead of traversing through the map by themselves if they won the previous round. However, bots that lost the previous round will either camp and/or split up.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
The bot system has been greatly improved, notably the navigation system. Moreover, the behavior for the bots has been adapted to the Arsenal, Deathmatch, and the updated hostage rescue modes respectively.
A new difficulty added is the harmless setting, in which the bots will not fire at enemies (Occasionally, harmless bots will fire at windows and doors to break them down and let them go through). However, this disables all achievements.
On easier difficulties, the accuracy of bots armed with the assault rifles has been improved as well. Even at long range, they are now able to kill enemies effectively if they are armed with rifles. However, this is compensated by having a longer aiming time before bots will open fire.
Meanwhile, bots on higher difficulties have been downgraded. The AI is unable to aim perfectly at enemies, even if their skill is set to expert, as bots will now aim comparably slower than in earlier games. Sometimes, their aim also tends to oscillate unpredictably; this is due to a number of new variables that are accessible in the bot profile database (botprofile.db). Furthermore, bots will always aim for the lower torso even if the enemy is behind cover, unlike in previous games where they will aim at exposed areas like the head. Bots armed with SMGs are quite ineffective as well because they always fire in bursts and never spray bullets.
Unlike in previous games where bots will often crouch against enemies, bots will now often refrain from crouching in most cases. Instead, bots on higher difficulties will now use "pop 'n hide" tactics against any enemies at some ranges unless they are against enemies that are armed with weak weapons like shotguns at long ranges.
A new feature implemented is that dead human players can take control of bots on their respective team, as long as the bot is not already being controlled by another player. However, stats, money, and obtained weapons will only be awarded to the bot and not the player controlling the bot. The player cannot return to spectating after starting to control a bot.
Unlike in Counter-Strike: Source, where all bots will group as an entire team to complete their missions, bots in CS:GO will sometimes split half of the team (mostly 5 per group).
In multiplayer servers, bots will appear to fill in empty positions until new human players arrive. By default, the difficulty for these bots is set to Normal. In Competitive mode, the bot difficulty is normally set to Easy.
Normally, when playing offline with bots, the game will start with a total of 9 bots for both teams (5 players on each team). Unlike older games, the number of bots in the game cannot be selected in a menu. However, the player can add more bots at any time by using the console command
bot_add for a maximum of 10 players on each team (including the player). Like in Condition Zero and Source, the player can add a specific bot by typing bot's name behind "bot_add"(e.g. Ian, the sniper bot). See the page below for all bot names.
A player can also use
bot_add_t to add bots directly to individual teams. However, the game will not allow more than 2 extra bots on a single team to prevent team stacking. If you wish to bypass this, you need to type the commands
mp_limitteams 99 and
mp_autoteambalance 0 into the console.
At any time, a player can remove bots from the game by using the
bot_kick <bot name> console command. If a bot name is not specified, all bots will be removed from the game.
One can also use
bot_kill <bot name> during a match. Though this is considered to be a cheat command, hence it requires
sv_cheats to be set to
If a Terrorist player gives their C4 to a bot, they can retrieve it by pressing the Use key (default "E") on the bot.
Since doors can be destroyed like in Left 4 Dead, bots will often shoot doors if a door still blocks their way after opening. However, doors cannot be fully destroyed by gunfire (shooting it will only make holes) and they will slowly be destroyed after a bot has collided with the door(s) long enough.
Most of the time (75% chance), bots obey radio commands called out by human players such as, 'Hold This Position' and 'Follow Me'. These commands can be used to stop the bot from rushing into a site and dying instantly.
Using bots in custom maps
For newly compiled maps played in Condition Zero or Source, the game will automatically search the map for walkable spaces for the bots to use. The compiled information is then stored in a NAV file for the server to use.
Sometimes, bots would still not be able to function properly in custom maps as they may struggle in navigating properly. In this case, it may be recommended in adding console commands to restrict or toggle certain areas that require a certain type of movement.
Depending on the size of the map, it may take about 5-10 minutes to finish auto-way pointing. However, in Source, it has an improved auto-way pointing system although it will usually ignore shortcuts that is often used by human players.
Some custom maps are restricted for human players only. If bots are added in such maps (e.x. "surf" type), they may not be able to walk around efficiently and sometimes they may commit suicide if they enter a location that is tagged with "trigger_hurt" (bots will ignore that entity and will walk blindly into it).
Bot options (prior to Global Offensive)
- Similar to clan tags specifically used by all bots.
- Default: [Bot]
- Easy, Normal, Hard, or Expert
- Use weapons
- Whether or not Bots are allowed to use specific weapons.
- If any of the checkboxes are unchecked, the bots will not use that specific weapon.
- If all checkboxes are unchecked, the bots will only use Knife.
- Bot Radio Chatter
- How much should bots use radio communication
- Normal ― Use quotes such as "Nice shot, sir." and "We owned them!"
- Minimal ― Not use many quotes, only in major occasions
- Standard Radio ― Use only quotes from voice communication menus like "Enemy spotted" and "Get in position and wait for my go."
- Off ― No radio communication
- Bots Join Team
- Which team should Bots join. If set to Random, the bots will try to balance the teams.
- Bots join after a player joins
- Whether bots will enter the game when a player joins or stay and play themselves.
- Bots defer goals to humans
- If enabled, bots will leave it up to players to complete objectives, like rescuing the hostages or planting/defusing the bomb. If all human players are dead, bots will complete objectives themselves.
- Bots can go rogue
- If enabled, some bots may say some negative radio commands and do other objectives.
- If disabled, all bots will say positive radio commands given by human players or other bots, except snipers and some human-player exclusive commands.
NOTE: Some maps may not allow Bots to work correctly with this on.
From normal difficulty and onward, some bots have their own weapon preference. The preference of a bot can be seen in the file BotProfile.db in the Counter-Strike directory, which can be opened with Notepad. Note that all easy bots will use random weapons as they have no weapon preference.
Earlier Counter-Strike games
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
All of their teammate statistic is set to 75.
Bot names (XBOX, Condition Zero, Source, and Global Offensive)
- This section is about bots that appear in multiplayer mode. For the bots that appear in Tour of Duty mode, see the List of Tour of Duty CT Bots and List of Tour of Duty Terrorist Bots.
Names in italics are exclusive to CS:GO. Bot names are prefixed with "Bot" in most situations.
Co-op Strike and Guardian Bot names from Global Offensive
- Phoenix (Phoenix Compound)
- Elite Phoenix (Phoenix Compound on hard)
- Heavy Phoenix (Phoenix Compound, Heavy Phoenix only)
- Heavy Elite Phoenix (Phoenix Compound on hard, Heavy Phoenix only)
- Attacker (Guardian, prefix to normal bot name)
Counter-Strike (Xbox) exclusive bots
- Bots are unable to distinguish fall damage most of the time and may not be able to climb ladders efficiently. They also lack the ability to interact with switches to open doors, which is persistent throughout the Counter-Strike series (However, some custom bots, like POD bots, can interact with switches).
- In Source and CS:GO, to accommodate with the changes, bots can now use the interact key to open doors (however, a bot can get stuck between an open door and a wall, especially in CS:GO. To prevent this, the door will automatically become damaged until it is destroyed.).
- Also, in early games prior to Source, bots may sometimes take routes that will lead them to fall to their deaths. This is most notable in the map cs_747.
- If submerged underwater, bots will usually struggle to swim and may even drown.
- Bots will never use the burst-fire option of the Glock and the FAMAS; instead, they will use semi-automatic mode, unless they pick up a weapon with burst-fire mode already activated. They also do not use the secondary fire (scope) for the AUG or the Krieg 552, but do use the zoom-in functions for the AWP, Schmidt Scout, Krieg 550 Commando, and the D3/AU-1. Due to this, bots armed with sniper rifles will switch to their sidearm when engaging enemies at closer proximity or retreating.
- However, should an enemy player continue to chase a sniper bot while its sidearm has run out of ammo or has to be reloaded, the bot will fire the sniper rifle at close range without using the scope.
- In Counter-Strike 1.6, the Terrorist bots will notify each other of the location of where the bomb is planted in bomb defusal maps. In Condition Zero and later games, these quotes were reused for the Counter-Terrorist bots.
- In Tour of Duty, the CT bots additionally refer to the player as "Commander", alongside "Sir".
- Generally, allowing the option to allow bots to defer goals to humans is NOT recommended to be enabled if you are playing Counter-Strike for the first time. For instance, CT bots may secure a bombsite with a bomb ticking away, and if a human player is still alive, they will not defuse the bomb even if they have a defusal kit and/or the player is unable to locate the bomb.
- If the options to allow friendly fire and kill team killers are enabled, bots will say "Oh my God!", "Oh no!", and other negative quotes when a human player dies by using the console command "kill", using a HE Grenade to kill themselves, killing a team member, or suffering the consequences of doing so.
- If human players inflict damage on friendly bots, they may say "Ouch!", "Hold your fire!", and other quotes.
- Some bots' names are reused from Valve employees. For example:
- In Hard difficulty, one of the hard skilled SMG wielding bots is named "Gabe", probably a homage to Gabe Newell, the founder of Valve.
- In Expert difficulty, two bots are named Cliffe (Rifle) and Minh (SMG) respectively in honor of the Creators of Counter Strike.
- In Hard difficulty, there is a tough skilled rifle using bot named Dave, the creator of maps Dust, Dust 2, Cobble, etc.
- In Normal difficulty, there is a random weapon using bot named Chris, the creator of maps Aztec, Inferno, Airstrip, Frantic, etc.
- In the Elite difficulty, there is a sniper bot name "Vitaliy", one of the devs of CS:GO.
- Throughout the history of Counter-Strike, many (human) players tend to disown the capability of bots, due to their major differences in their judgement and movement. However, bots can be quite efficient (and perhaps even deadly) if their settings are set at the highest difficulty.
- If a bot is restricted to purchasing a specific weapon, they may later pick up a weapon (based on their preference) from a dead human player or bot. Depending on their preference, they may also swap their current weapon for one directly given to them by alive players or bots.
- Bots will only throw one grenade at the beginning of a round. Sometimes, they will do this even though enemy players have not been detected and they may throw it improperly. If friendly fire is enabled, a team member may get killed if bots throw multiple grenades at them.
- However, should an enemy appear in front of a bot that is wielding a grenade, the bot will throw a grenade at the enemy and quickly switch to a firearm.
- This bug was fixed during the SteamPipe conversion.
- In CS:GO, bots equipped with any type of grenade may switch to one of them upon losing sight contact to a close-by enemy. However, they will not switch back to their primary or secondary weapons after retreating to a safe spot unless they have thrown the grenade.
- In versions prior to Source, on rare occasions, there is a glitch in which a bot may keep firing/attacking non-stop until they see an enemy target. This happens especially on higher difficulties.
- This glitch happens only for bots that fire pistols rapidly (very hard, expert, and elite skill). It occurs when a bot is engaging enemies while their primary weapons have run out of ammo, switch to a pistol, and retreat from assailants.
- When this glitch occurs, bots will have a unique shooting behavior. This include firing weapons while running, firing sniper rifles while moving, firing shotguns while reloading, spraying bullets when wielding a pistol (although this is the default combat behavior for expert bots) and reload constantly when the magazine is not out of ammo.
- This behavior also occurs when an enemy bot is blinded by a flashbang while being attacked.
- If this happens and a bot with this glitch attempts to plant the bomb, the C4 will not be planted.
- In CS:GO, a bot may remain crouched for the entire duration of a round. If this happens, they can move unusually fast.
- Sometimes, an extremely rare glitch happens in which all CT bots will freeze when the C4 has been planted.
- Should an allied or enemy (human) player touch a bot, the bot will move out the player's way, unless they are equipped with the knife while attacking the player.
- Bots almost never shoot through surfaces to eliminate enemies. However, Ping Of Death bots will.
- Bots in easy difficulty do not strafe often when they see a lone enemy player, as they usually crouch or stand still when they attack. However, they will frequently strafe left or right in expert difficulty.
- In older games, if a hostage is in front of an enemy player, bots will shoot (through) the hostage to eliminate that target. This results in a money penalty for that bot.
- If a flashbang blinds a bot, that bot will either crouch, spray bullets, move away from the area, or travel towards a corner.
- Bots will only use the knife if all firearms and equipment have been restricted, all their weapons have run out of ammo, at the beginning of a round for rushing purposes, or they are attempting to leave a bombsite before the C4 explodes. Bots set on higher difficulty will equip the knife first until they encounter an enemy player or enter an area where combat occurs.
- However, if a server spawns enemy players close to each other (and an enemy player appears within point blank range), the bot will usually attack/eliminate enemy players with the knife before switching to a firearm (if given enough time). This is quite common in Deathmatch mode in Global Offensive.
- Furthermore, if a server allows bots to only use grenades and the knife, bots may occasionally switch to a grenade in the middle of the round. If they do, they may sometimes ignore enemies within close range until they throw all grenades or are being assaulted.
- Bots may sometimes ignore enemy players.
- For instance, there is a chance that a bot doesn't notice the player while running by them if the player is crouched and not moving.
- Additionally, in CS:GO, if a CT bot spots a camping Terrorist after the bomb has been planted, it may close in on the bombsite, looking at the player without shooting, unless it gets too close to the player, the player shoots at the bot or switches to another weapon, or it would otherwise be exposed during defusal.
- This may even happen when the player is moving around and/or directly looking at the bot.
- Bots rarely switch to their firearms when they attempt to escape from the C4, thus human players can kill bots with ease. However, they will switch to a firearm again when the C4 has exploded.
- In Source, bots will switch to a firearm when they approach enemies when the bomb countdown is between 6-10 seconds. Also, they will attack assailants aggressively with the knife rather than escaping when a target is in close proximity with a bot. This tends to occur quite often in Condition Zero.
- Bots in Source have a different waypoint behavior as they rarely take shortcuts in most maps.
- Bots don't strafe when they are using sniper rifles.
- Bots will rarely buy semi-automatic sniper rifles, as sniper bots prefer the AWP over any semi-auto sniper rifle. However, sniper bots armed with a Scout or SSG 08 will pick up and use semi-auto sniper rifles until they can afford an AWP rifle.
- In GoldSrc games, using
bot_killwill cause the console to state:
<Bot name> killed self with <a headshot from> <weapon name>.
- In Counter Strike: Source however, it is simply:
<Bot name> suicidedwhile headshot sounds may also be heard.
- In Global Offensive, the console does not state anything when
bot_killhas been used.
- In all games, if all human players are dead and only bots remain, inputting
bot_killwill result in either team winning (unless the bomb is already planted, in which case terrorists will always win). Stalemates are impossible as the server can't handle two or more events at the same time. One will be registered before the others and this includes deaths.
- In Counter Strike: Source however, it is simply:
- In Global Offensive, some responses (most notably ones involving announcing the amount of enemies left) are only announced by bot players, and are not accompanied in chat.
- ↑ Replaces Pheonix