Team Fortress 2 has been a long-standing pillar of the multiplayer FPS genre that has managed to maintain its player base over an incredibly long lifespan. However, Team Fortress 2 has had widely reported issues with casual matches being flooded with bots, and players are saying that the attempts of developer Valve to fix the problem have not been all that successful.
The first attempts taken by Valve to address the issue happened in June 2020 by placing hefty restrictions on what free-to-play accounts could do. This did not fix the problem completely, leading to the Team Fortress 2 community organizing anti-bot bots and subreddits to combat the issues.
Despite all the effort, vanilla Team Fortress 2 is still suffering from a bot infestation and those running the bots seem to be trying to leverage them in a digital racketeering-like scheme. Screenshots have begun surfacing within the community of bots advertising a "bot immunity" service that claims the player will be ignored by bots of that specific brand. There have also been reports of some bot operators offering to be "bought out," with one claiming that for a $500 payout they will take their over 100 bots offline for good. Of course, there is no guarantee that whoever posted that offer owns any of the bots or would deactivate them permanently once paid if they did.
Unfortunately, the persistent number of bots is also linked to an even worse issue. Plays are reporting many instances of seeing bots claiming to have child abuse images for sale. Some instances see bots linking to websites where people host the images, while others are telling players to leave a comment on the bot's steam profile to arrange payment. Whether or not these advertisements and claims are accurate or legitimate, the presence of them is a big enough issue within itself and is proving to be very frustrating for the Team Fortress 2 community that is still steadily growing.
This new development in Team Fortress 2's bot problem puts even further pressure on Valve to intervene yet again and put a stop to the game's issues. It has been nearly a year since it first felt the game's bot problem was bad enough to be worthy of attention, and the situation has only worsened since. Hopefully, the company will figure out a permanent fix that will eradicate the bot presence for good so that Team Fortress 2 players can go back to enjoying the game free of harassment.
Team Fortress 2 is available now on PC.
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