Valve just dropped a pretty key change into Counter-Strike: Global Offensive as part of the FPS game’s January 7 update. Alongside a bunch of tweaks to CS:GO’s maps and some other miscellaneous changes, the devs have changed how bots work in the multiplayer game’s competitive and wingman modes – namely, they won’t really be a thing anymore.
“When a player disconnects or is kicked in classic competitive and wingman modes, they will no longer be replaced by a bot,” the latest CS:GO update notes explain. So, if one of the players on your team drops off of a match or is removed, you’ll essentially be a teammate down following the change, unless they’re able to hop back in – there won’t be some AI to help make up the shortfall.
Alongside this, the patch notes explain that if an entire team leaves a match, they’ll be replaced by just one single bot, “idling in spawn”, which should be easy to pick off by the remaining team’s players.
The update has only just dropped so players won’t have had much time to see these changes in action yet, but some are already raising a few questions about it. For example, popular CS:GO YouTuber Anomaly has spoken about the update on Twitter and YouTube, saying that fans would have preferred to see some changes to how bots work, such as “more control over the bots, being able to have bots drop guns, and […] more complex commands” rather than their removal.
Release Notes for today are up. Among other things, bots are no longer granted to teams in Competitive matches. Full notes are here: https://t.co/seG0oTAY1E
— CS:GO (@CSGO) January 8, 2021
Additionally, the YouTuber explains: “Today me and Linda got disconnected from a game because of internet drop. [W]e managed to reconnect and while we were gone our team didn’t do horribly because they had two bots. With this new update they would have 100% lost all the rounds we were gone.”
A number of fans have also questioned the change in replies to the CS:GO Twitter channel’s tweet announcing the update, and some on the game’s subreddit have been sharing their favourite ‘bot moments’ as a way of sending the feature off. It’s not clear whether we’ll see bots make a comeback one day, but for now it looks like there’s going to be a bit of a shake-up to competitive gameplay.
Today me and Linda got disconnected from a game because of internet drop. Me managed to reconnect and while we were gone our team DIDN’T do horribly because they had 2 bots.
With this new update they would have 100% lost all the rounds we were gone.
— Anomaly (@anomalyxd) January 8, 2021
Elsewhere in the latest patch notes, a few key changes mean “pings no longer move when walked over by characters, and will no longer highlight weapons in competitive matches” and bots should now navigate properly in the game’s warmup areas. Plus, the Cache, Engage, Guard, and Ancient maps have received a batch of adjustments. You can find the January 7 CSGO update notes here if you’re keen to check them out in full.