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.
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 NAV files and the bot had the ability to learn and adapt behavior from human players. The bot was developed by Stefan Hendricks who states that Realbot was awarded "Best Counter-Strike Bot in 2002".
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.
As with official CZ bots. POD bots have three different aggression; Normal, Aggressive and Defensive, their aggression appear next to their names unlike CZ bots. [POD] (Normal), [P*D] (Aggressive) and [P0D] (Defensive, just a zero instead of "O")
Counter-Strike: Condition ZeroEdit
- 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. Sniper bots are now more aware of their surroundings and will usually occupy long pathways in a defense 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.
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. 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, bots are reprogrammed to focus on human players first before targeting other bots, unless they are in close proximity.
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.
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 OffensiveEdit
The bot system has been greatly improved, notably the navigation system. Moreover, the behavior for the bots have been configured for the Arsenal, Deathmatch, and the updated hostage rescue modes respectively.
A new feature implemented is that spectating human players can control bots on their respective team at any time. However, stats, money, and obtained weapons will only be awarded to the bot and not the player.
In multiplayer servers, bots will appear to fill in empty positions until new human players arrive.
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.
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)Edit
- 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.
- Bots are unable to distinguish fall damage most of the time and may not be able to 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.
- Moreover, if submerged underwater, bots will usually struggle to swim and may even drown.
- 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).
- Bots will never use the burst-fire of the Glock and the FAMAS as they will use semi-automatic mode instead (Unless it was set to the burst mode before they pick up). 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. Due to this, bots will switch to their sidearm when engaging enemies at close proximity or has to retreat.
- However, should an enemy player continue to chase a bot who is armed with a sniper rifle while its sidearm has run out of ammo or has to be reloaded, the bot will fire the sniper rifle at close range.
- In Source, they prefer to use sniper rifles at close range and they will only switch to a pistol when an enemy player is at melee range.
- 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 and later games, 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, the player dies by using the console command "kill" or other unique way to die (mods. etc.) or using HE Grenade to kill themselves, bots will say "Oh my God!", "Oh no!", and other negative quotes when a human players kills himself by using the console command or kills a team member and suffers the consequences of doing so.
- If human players inflict damage on friendly bots, they may say "I'm on your side" and other quotes.
- Most bots' names are reused from Valve employees. For example:
- In CS:GO, there is a harmless bot setting in which the bots will not fire at enemies. However, this disables all achievements.
- Occasionally, harmless bots will shoot at windows and doors to break them down and let them go through.
- 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, the player can even arm their teammates against enemies armed with knives.
- In Condition Zero. Bots will only throw some grenade at the beginning of the 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 him.
- However, should an enemy appear in front of a bot that is wielding a grenade. They will throw a grenade at the enemy and quickly switch to his firearms.
- This bug was fixed during the SteamPipe conversion
- In some rare situations, there is a glitch in which a bot may keep firing/attacking non-stop. This happen especially on higher difficulty in 1.6 and in Source.
- This behavior appear also when a enemy bot is blinded by Flashbang while under attack.
- 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 unusually move fast.
- 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.
- In Counter-Strike 1.6, bots in easy and medium 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 strafe either left or right in expert difficulty. It is also hard to dodge their bullets even at close range but it is possible to dodge bullets at point blank (provided that the player has a light weapon). POD bots will usually strafe while shooting, especially when they are armed with pistols.
- 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).
- 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.
- Sometimes, bots may ignore enemy players. If a bot is walking, they will usually not attack. However, they will become aggressive when they are injured or become close to enemies.
- If they see assailants, they will rush recklessly in order to attack enemies, no matter how heavily armed they are. Also, if bots are equipped with the Tactical Shield, they do not deploy it.
- 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 irearm when they approach enemies when the bomb countdown is between 6-10 seconds. Also, they will attack a ssailants aggressively with theknife 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.