Bots are non-player characters (NPC), which act as real players. They were primarily introduced via PODbot for Counter-Strike 1.5 and made official in Counter-Strike: Condition Zero through the AI work by Gearbox Software and Turtle Rock Studios.
Ping of DeathEdit
Marcus 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 that in 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.
- Main article: Development of 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 to 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. 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.
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.
Using bots in custom mapsEdit
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.
- Similar to clan tags specifically used by all bots
- Default: [Bot]
- Easy, Normal, Hard, or Expert
- 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.
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, bots may ignore radio commands or objectives
NOTE: Some maps may not allow Bots to work correctly with this on
- Before Counter-Strike: Source, bots are unable to distinguish fall damage most of the time and cannot climb ladders efficiently. Furthermore, they were not given the ability to interact with switches to open doors which is persistent throughout the Counter-Strike series.
- Bots will never use the burst-fire of the Glock and the FAMAS as they will use semi-automatic mode instead. Moreover, they 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.
- In Counter-Strike 1.6, the Terrorists bots will notify each other in the location of where the bomb is planted in bomb defusal maps. In Condition Zero, these quotes were reused for the Counter-Terrorist bots.
- 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. In one example, CT bots may secure a bombsite with a bomb ticking away and if a human player is nearby, 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 option to allow friendly fire and kill team killers is enabled, bots will say "Oh my God!", "Oh no!", and other negative quotes when a human players kills a team member and suffers the consequences of doing so.
- In hard difficulty, one of the bots is named "Gabe", probably a homage to Gabe Newell, the founder of Valve.
- In CS:GO, there is a harmless bot setting. However, this disables all achivements.
- 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.
- Before Counter Strike: Source, even if bots were restricted in purchasing a specific weapon, they may pick up a weapon (based on their preference) from a dead human player, you can even arm your teammates against enemies armed with knives.
- Bots will only throw one grenade at the beginning of the round. Sometimes, they will do this even though enemy players have not detected and they may throw it improperly.
- In some rare situations, there is a glitch in which a bot may keep firing/attacking non-stop.