Twitch Plays Battlegrounds

Yesterday, TwitchPlaysBattlegrounds, a bot playing Battlegrounds through Twitch viewers’ crowdsourced gaming inputs, miraculously obtained third place in a solo Battlegrounds game—a feat I have not yet accomplished as a mundane human player.

TwitchPlaysBattlegrounds is a 24/7 Twitch channel where anyone who tunes in can tell the computerized Battlegrounds player what to do by entering commands in chat. So, while one person might direct the bot to run toward a town, another might prefer a more defensive course and tell the him to sprint in the opposite direction. On top of that, a third player could troll by just spamming the “map” button. Getting anything done is basically impossible:


But on the channel’s second day, something remarkable happened. The bot jumped off the airplane and, thankfully, landed within the play area. After nearly running straight into the ocean, viewers directed him back toward a city, where he managed to enter a home. Camping there proved extremely effective. Everybody except the bot and two other players eventually died.

The chat become a bit emotional. They directed the bot to crawl toward safety (He was at low health as the blue wall closed in). In the distance, a car’s engine could be heard. And that’s how the bot died—getting run over. Here’s the clip:

In 2014, TwitchPlaysPokemon defeated Pokemon’s Elite Four, the game’s final boss, after an alleged 390 hours of play. In the past, Twitch chats have played Dark Souls or Halo, with varying degrees of success, so Battlegrounds was pretty inevitable. Maybe TwitchPlays can teach me a thing or two...

Senior reporter at Kotaku.

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