Team Fortress 2’s Bot Battle: Valve Takes Action

tf2 bots

Team Fortress 2’s bot issue has been a longstanding drama in the PC gaming community, intensifying when Valve shifted focus away from major updates in 2017. Despite some community claims, Valve has not abandoned TF2; the company continues to release bug fixes and community-authored expansions for the 17-year-old game. However, the bot problem has spiraled out of control.

The situation became particularly dire around 2020, leading to various player-led campaigns before Valve acknowledged the issue. In recent years, the community’s pressure has culminated in the “FixTF2” campaign, combining internet petitions, awareness efforts, and review bombing to compel Valve to respond.

Finally, it seems their efforts have paid off. Over the weekend, Valve introduced a new FAQ page on Steam dedicated to players banned from Team Fortress 2. The page begins with a firm statement: “Team Fortress 2 game bans are permanent, non-negotiable, and are not removed by Steam Support.”

Valve outlines banned behaviors, including cheating, manipulation, “botting and automation,” and “interfering with the normal operation of game servers or other players.” The following excerpts from Valve’s text illustrate their stance:

Can you tell me why I was game banned? “No.”

Can I appeal my game ban? “No.”

I was not using my account when it was game banned. Can the ban be removed? “No.”

The launch of this new page coincided with a significant bot ban wave. Estimates from SteamDB suggest around 16,000 bots were banned on June 27, instantly reducing the bot population. TF2 YouTuber Shounic, known for his coverage of the bot problem, reported that finding bots became nearly impossible after the purge. However, he later saw one bot spinning in confusion after 20 minutes of searching.

The TF2 community is thrilled with the recent developments. The increased attention from Valve has allowed players to call out known botters and hosts, particularly those who brag about their actions. One such target, known as “Toad,” has faced significant backlash.

While the bot problem may persist, and Valve’s actions might only offer a temporary respite, the community is enjoying the moment. Celebrating the bans and discussing known botters’ profiles has become a rewarding pastime for many.

“8-year-old account,” noted Redditor Fogoticus about a known botter. “Would be a shame if he got VAC banned.” Shortly after, Half-Life-Cat responded with good news: “Fucker did get banned LMAO.” Fogoticus replied, “Another endless W,” as they savored the victory and thought about the Scout’s mother.

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