Weekend Question: Which multiplayer shooter had the best bots?

PCG Jody

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Dec 9, 2019
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I ask the PCG staff a regular Weekend Question and post the answers on the site. If you'd like to throw in an answer here, I'll squeeze the best into the finished article!

This week's question is: Which multiplayer shooter had the best bots?

There are bad bots, who ruin matches of Team Fortress 2 and extend the queues in MMOs like Lost Ark, but I'm here to celebrate the other kind—the kind who've been helping to fill up lobbies in the quiet times when there aren't enough humans on your server since Quake's Reaper Bot, or who round out your squad in a co-op game when you don't have quite enough friends to make up the numbers. When bots are bad they're annoying, but when they're good they can be preferable to people. Well, some people. You know who I mean.
I've played a lot of Battlefield 2 against bots as a teenager. The AI commander was very predictable and limited and I don't think the bots listened very well to orders if you played as a squad leader or the commander yourself, but then again real players often don't listen very well either. I also don't think they used the transport helicopters, but they used all of the other vehicles pretty well.
Remember playing unreal tournament back in the day against bots because dialup in my country was shitsu. You had several difficulty levels to choose for the bots (like 6 or seven) but as a child I didn't like to loose so I never went above certain difficulty (medium I think, but can't remember). Sometimes one was setted above the rest and my team of regulars went against that harder bot... alone


Community Contributor
Perfect Dark (which I believe is getting a port so technically a PC game, yeah?)

Perfect Dark had bots called simulants which you could pick from to apply different difficulty levels and types. For example a "VengeSim" always attacks the opponent who killed it last, and "PeaceSims" who only try to hoard the guns in the levels so other players can't get them. It added a lot of flavor to the multiplayer matches.


Community Contributor
With no doubts Unreal Tournament from 1999. The bots were so good and natural that they were hard to distinguish from real players. This made the game accessible even for players without internet connection. I spent hundreds of hours playing it alone myself. It was wonderful to have multiplayer experience without the need to pay for expensive internet connection.

Probably the bots were one of the things which made the first UT so popular. Its main rival, Quake 3 Arena, had very bad AI and that's the reason why I preferred UT. Even to this day it's very hard to find a game with better bots.
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