If you'd like to start playing Team Fortress 2 again after a long break, or maybe try it out for the first time, keep reading to discover all the relevant info regarding bots in this game and other fascinating details about Team Fortress 2 that you may find enjoyable.
Are There Bots In Team Fortress 2?
Yes, there are all possible bot varieties imaginable in Team Fortress 2 - from computer-controlled AI designed to mimic the real players to bots intended for farming random item drops so that they can be sold for profit on Steam Market.
While the AI bots are powered by a sophisticated AI code made by Valve and can be indirectly controlled or used for training, their cheating look-alikes are much less sophisticated but very destructive and dominant.
The first type of bots are similar to those of CS2 (CSGO) and are used to fill empty places and make the teams even, while the second type is primarily sniper bots with auto-aim or spam bots, making the gameplay impossible for regular players.
Without any doubt, Team Fortress 2 suffers from a bot crisis, and although Valve has introduced various tweaks to try and get rid of them, nothing has been successful. Currently, the game is entirely overrun by aimbots, spam bots, voice chat bots, and any imaginable types.
A silver lining is that these bots aren't usually found in competitive mode or community servers but almost always in casual mode. Still, many players prefer the casual mode and aren't interested in competing or playing on some community-built servers, while some choose to host their own servers (Dathost), there's that too.
Do Bots Make Or Break The Team Fortress 2 Experience?
Bots in Team Fortress 2 are a two-edged sword. On one side, there are AI bots that are part of the game, and they can benefit all the players in various ways. On the other side, there are bots that can only benefit the cheaters.
Not only do the last-mentioned bots break the gameplay experience, but in some cases, they make the game literally unplayable. In addition, these bots are infamous not only for cheating and auto-aiming but for hate speech and an unimaginable amount of spam on both text and voice chats.
Fortunately, someone has built a new kind of bot in Team Fortress 2 that only has one goal - destroying the other bots. When you think of it, it's like a Terminator sort of situation. These bots will never attack real players, just other bots that ruin the game. So instead of waiting for Valve to rise to the challenge and do something about bots, someone with enough programming knowledge took matters into their own hands and managed to mitigate the impact that bots have in Team Fortress 2. As they say, fight fire with fire.
On top of this, TF2 community members have developed a bot detection tool that can automatically recognize bots and call a vote to kick them out. As you can see, players are doing their best to save this game from dying, and if it wasn't for those brave people who are tilting at windmills, Team Fortress 2 would have been ruined long ago. This way, there's still hope that bots in Team Fortress 2 can become just an unpleasant memory.
What Can Developers Do To Stop The Bots?
Team Fortress 2 is more than a 15-year-old game. That said, Valve has done almost everything to stop bots and finally get rid of them, but they haven't managed to accomplish that so far. However, this doesn't mean that they are out of options, and players have been suggesting various solutions on the game's discussion page on Steam, Reddit, and other places.
Unfortunately, Valve is not really famous for taking notice of suggestions, but in any case, they should at least consider some of them. For instance, making the game priced (like it used to be) would undoubtedly deter cheaters from using the bots.
Each free-to-play game, including the TF2, is literally a bot magnet, especially when there's money to be made by selling virtual in-game items (which you can get for free). This exactly is one of the main reasons for cheating, because, over time, cheaters can accumulate Steam funds by selling various Team Fortress 2 items that they received without ever playing the game.
Additionally, Valve could constantly post on their blog about how exactly they are battling the bots because they have been tight-lipped on that matter. And finally, they could implement an overwatch investigator system, like the one in CS: GO, where certain users can evaluate the players and flag the potential cheaters.
These users could be rewarded for each successful removal of bots they flagged by receiving experience, items, or such. Of course, many other options haven't been tried so far, but these were some of the most obvious suggestions. So Valve, please fix the bot problem and make Team Fortress 2 good like it used to be.
How To Identify Bots In Team Fortress 2?
Like in other comparable titles, identifying bots in Team Fortress 2 is a piece of old tackle. You'll recognize them primarily by series of successive headshots, impossible kills, and, most importantly, repetitive or weird actions.
Since these bots perform actions based on their code, they are easily distinguishable from real players. Furthermore, if you notice ongoing spam and automatic messages in the chat, that's probably a bot promoting some questionable website or spreading the hate. When all is said and done, there's only one question we'd like to ask anyone who's ever been using bots in any game - why tho?