Team Fortress 2’s latest bot-fighting update might actually work

After the game’s longest period without an update, Team Fortress 2 has finally received a patch to combat the game’s ongoing bot infestation.

These days, Team Fortress 2 doesn’t get many big updates. However, although you can typically count on a little update every month or so, the game hasn’t been updated in over three months (and that was simply a small map change and a few tournament medals). However, Team Fortress 2 was secretly upgraded this week with a variety of features to help avoid a botting problem that’s made matching nearly unbearable—rounds packed with phoney players that cheat, steal names, and are famously difficult to remove from servers.

This week’s update, then, includes a few modifications to assist thwart these nefarious bots. Vote controls have been strengthened, matchmade games will default to not allowing name changes mid-match, and there have been several “security and stability enhancements” that are likely not being published in order to discourage bot developers from eavesdropping on Valve’s techniques.

These modifications appear to be effective, from what I’ve heard. While the upgrade damaged numerous server modifications, one Redditor points out that it also broke bot training tools like “cathook.” The reaction to the update on the TF2 subreddit has been overwhelmingly positive.

I haven’t verified it myself, but I really hope they’re right—like Phil, I’ve found myself returning to Team Fortress 2, but I can’t see the easy design behind the hordes of server-wrecking robots. This week’s update arrives alongside the Summer 2021 Collector’s Case, which contains 18 new fan-made goods and 6 new unique effects.

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