PUBG’s Cheating ‘Terminator’ Bots Have Been Neutralized

Unlike with Fortnite, this was a completely unintended crossover

Illustration for article titled PUBG’s Cheating ‘Terminator’ Bots Have Been Neutralized
Screenshot: PUBG Studio / Krafton Inc.

The latest update to battle royale juggernaut PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is focused almost entirely on reining in the game’s bots, which for the past two weeks have been waging a brutal war on human players.

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“We have deployed an update with additional changes to the bot balance adjustments applied in Update 12.1, reducing the overall strength and effectiveness of bots when engaged in combat against players,” the official patch notes read. “We are closely monitoring player sentiment related to bots and will make additional changes if needed, please continue sharing your feedback with us.”

The changes include a reduction to bot accuracy when firing on players and decreased reaction times. The distance from which PUBG bots will switch to a gun’s full-auto mode has also been shortened, meaning they’ll stick to single-fire more often during engagements.

While bots have been controversial among PUBG players since the moment they were implemented in 2020, the last two weeks have seen an uptick in complaints. After a May 26 update that, among other things, improved bot AI, players increasingly found themselves being taken down by non-human opponents with seemingly superhuman reactions. Some compared these new bots to cheaters using wallhacks and auto-aim to spot them behind cover and land difficult shots with ease.

PUBG players often jokingly referred to these beefed-up bots as Terminators, but seeing as Fortnite nabbed that property earlier this year, the developers probably weren’t too worried about missing out on a lucrative crossover with these adjustments. Not only will this improve the experience for players, but hopefully it’ll prevent Skynet from coming online just a little bit longer too.

 

Staff Writer, Kotaku

DISCUSSION

stackduckets
Stackduckets

Having only jumped back into PUBG last month, these murder-bots have made the past couple weeks a little dicey, but not unpleasantly so. The old bots were predictable nuisances: they’d bee-line for you, plant themselves when close enough, engage with a predictable shooting cadence, and really only take cover if you returned fire. Their movement and inaccuracy felt pretty generous. The last two weeks have featured more 1-tap headshots and full sprays from bots that still push just as aggressively without fear of reprisal.

I can see why some players haven’t been terribly happy with the bot-buff, but the old bots were complete pushovers. Bots also still never seem to coordinate when they’re part of a bot-team (they act as if they’re solo players), so while the new bots may have been more oppressive in Solo matches, they weren’t much more trouble in Duos and Squads. However they finally balance them, I do wish the bots would coordinate more.

There’s certainly value in broadening the range of bot reactions during engagements to make them less predictable. I’d like to see a wider variety of bot behaviors/personalities to improve fight diversity, just like how Starcraft 2 added different bot options for rushes, timing pushes, and macro strategies. Then they might not have to dial up the accuracy or reaction time so much to make them more of a challenge. Either way, improved bot AI is important and while the murder-bots might have been an overcorrection, it was closer to the right amount of bot difficulty than before the patch changes.