The bots are running amok in Team Fortress 2, and the only solution is … more bots?

To recap, TF2 has been playing host to malicious bots for the better part of the summer. Not only are they ruining game balance, but they’re also spewing out racist slurs and sporting similarly colorful names. In response, Valve patched the game to limit free players’ chat privileges, but they’ve been mostly ineffective.

The community — or at least a small number of its members — has come up with a more aggressive response. Eurogamer reports that anti-bot bots have started appearing in games, targeting only the “bad” bots while leaving human players alone. A video of these bots is about as goofy-looking as you’d expect:

It’s not a perfect solution, though. Even the anti-bots take up spaces that could be claimed by human players, and, unsurprisingly, the “real” bots have started disguising themselves as anti-bot bots. If they weren’t jerks, I’d congratulate them for taking Spy gameplay to the next level.

At least one of the “good” bot-makers is honest about where his skills like: “I’m not good at the game legitimately, so playing with aimbot to kill other bots without worrying of being ridiculed or kicked because I’m doing a good thing makes me happy.”

The real solution for this infestation will probably require some real action from Valve. Considering TF2’s lack of developer resources, it might be a while before that happens.

Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.


  1. You really did your homework, pretty accurate summary.
    Except one point. The patch that Valve applied to stop the spam IS effective.
    Compared to the bloody hell-fest i’ve seen before the patch, now it’s rather quiet and generally civil.
    As much as you can be civil in a game full of toxic kids and manbabies, that is.

    I can’t wait till Tencent manages to buy Valve out already, can’t happen soon enough.
    Perhaps then some ACTUAL work on TF2 will resume.
    The game is still mad-popular, after all.


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