*This guide will be updated whenever any new titles are discovered or released
When I was younger we didn’t have Wi-Fi. All we had, up until I was sixteen, was an ethernet cable the size of a floppy piece of spaghetti. Unfortunately, our “gaming computer”, a ten-tonne white brick that sat in my bedroom on a little pink table, was too far from the ethernet cable. It meant I could never play multiplayer games at home. Understandably, my unhealthy obsession with strategy games and Sims 3 comes as a result. But, when I was thirteen(ish), every day after school I’d pop around my friend’s house to play TF2. It was glorious, unlike anything I’d ever played before. Unfortunately, the moment I got home, my dreams of playing it were crushed. Without internet, I couldn’t play it. If only there were a game like it, I dreamed, but playable offline where all the enemies were controlled by AI. A game with offline bots.
The Search For Offline Bots
Since the Xbox 360 era (henceforth known as the golden age of offline bots), we few who still don’t play online games have been overlooked when it comes to shooter content. It’s not that I am still cursed with a single minuscule ethernet cable. I do indeed have Wi-Fi now. It is that after years of not having access to a stable enough internet connection, I no longer have any interest in playing with others online. That, however, does not mean I have no interest in multiplayer games. It’s simply the case that my inexperience and lacklustre first-person-shooter skills would result in being berated by people twenty years younger than me. Two-year-olds are playing video games now, right? Frankly, if I can avoid being forced to tears by a child, I’ll take that option.
So, for many a night, I have struggled in search of the crème de la crème of offline bots. I have trawled through forum posts and Steam community pages sailed the high seas of Steam’s ungodly categories page and wished upon the starry sky that by sheer luck my long-sought-after treasure would fall upon my lap. Alas, more often than not, I’ve come back empty. However, over the years, through my rigorous searching and pure completely irrational and needless determination, I have compiled a list of the few remaining titles that offer offline bots as more than just a throwaway feature. So, for those, like me, who have searched desperately into the wee hours of the night, here is our guide of the very best shooters with offline bots.
If you’re looking for a specific game, or like the sound of a particular title, then click on any of these links to be brought directly to their description!
Angels Fall First is a jaw-dropping magnum opus achievement when it comes to both map design and offline bot inclusion. This is a game all about scale, with huge maps and epic space battles to satiate even the pickiest of first-person-shooter players. Its impressive roster of maps still gets me excited whenever I boot the game up. You’ll encounter vast cityscapes to wage frantic urban warfare in, final stands fought across the boardwalks of a satellite station, and varied arid desert fortresses waiting to be besieged.
Possibly the best way to describe how amazing Angels Fall First is would be via an anecdote. While attempting to defend a station, I watched as my fellow comrades fell to their deaths, pitifully standing against an unrelenting force. We did our best but were eventually pushed back to the final point. Shoulder to shoulder we waited, setting up turrets in chokepoints and establishing shields. The first wave of enemies took us by surprise, but we fought them back. Unfortunately, we were gradually picked off until eventually, the enemy overran us. While all this was happening sombre music played, marking our final heroic stand. And yes, the whole audience clapped.
Angels Fall First is unrelentingly cool to the point that it feels impossible to put down. You can play with up to 32 bots, completely customise your loadout, and set up various maps to be played next à la the original Battlefront’s Instant Action mode. There’s a ton on offer here, and it is extraordinarily cheap for what is on offer. This is a must if you’re looking for a great game with offline bots.
Okay, so this one isn’t out just yet. In fact, it is launching on the 22nd of October 2021. But, I feel it is still worth mentioning as it will be the first Battlefield game with bots since Battlefield 2142 which launched in 2006! From what we’ve been told, Battlefield 2042 will include up to 64 bots on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and up to 128 bots on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S and PC.
In Battlefield tradition you’ll be able to explore and fight across vast maps, but this time with bots. It seems like this new addition, which is obviously set in the future, will bring a lot of new additions to the franchise including those devastatingly scary-looking tornados. This will apparently be the “most sandbox-enabling Battlefield“ to date, which sounds incredibly enticing.
So, if you’ve been eagerly awaiting a Battlefield game with bots for the past 15 years, then October 22nd will be your lucky day! I am personally very excited to get my hands on it and engage in massive battles against bots.
You can pick up Battlefield 2042 on Amazon, Steam, Origin or your console storefront of choice.
Battlefront 2 (2017)
When it first launched back in 2017, Battlefront 2 was a mostly worthless single-player experience. While its all too brief story mode did offer a modicum of what fans had been hoping for in a modern Battlefront campaign, it failed to offer any meaningful content for single-player-inclined players. In its defence, it did launch with a PVE mode, although it was barebones at best. It had barely any maps and only 10 bots per side.
Fortunately, since its launch, it has been updated numerous times with a ton of additional content being added for those who wish to play alone. New maps have been added to its base bot mode which adds a little bit of longevity to it. Additionally, a brand new mode called Instant Action has been added. It is essentially the best mode from the original Battlefront games, playable against bots.
While 2017’s Battlefront 2 doesn’t offer nearly as much single-player content as other titles in this guide, it is one of the most polished. The base gameplay is heaps of fun, and the hectic Instant Action mode can offer up to 30 minutes per round depending on which length you select. It’s perfect if you want to play something quick before going to work or while you pedal away on the exercise bike.
You can pick up Star Wars Battlefront 2 for relatively cheap on Amazon, or catch it on sale over on Steam or your console storefront of choice.
Brass Brigade is the game that motivated me to start this guide. While searching late one night I came across a forum page that was inquiring about games with bots. The solo developer of Brass Brigade had popped in to leave a comment with a link to his game. I, desperately wanting a new single-player experience, took a look. And boy was I glad I did.
Brass Brigade is a game specifically made for singleplayer. It is a World War 2 third or first-person shooter set across vast maps. You can fight against as many bots as your PC can handle (literally), and play as a range of different classes. There is a huge level of detail in Brass Brigade, as well as a ton of content to explore, that I was amazed I’d never heard of it before.
If you’re looking for the Battlefield experience, but solo, then Brass Brigade may very well be the title for you. It is generous in its offerings and sports a very unique visual style that’s reminiscent of painted miniatures. It’s exceptionally cheap, which is always a nice bonus. This is definitely one to pick up if you’re looking for a bot-based shooter, especially if you’re looking for one with large-scale battles.
You can pick up Brass Brigade over on Steam for £7.19 at full price.
Call Of Duty: WWII
Look, I could have put pretty much any Call of Duty from the first Black Ops onwards. While the later games in the franchise make it notoriously difficult to access the offline bot modes, they traditionally have rather competent bots. My personal favourite in the franchise for bots is Call of Duty: WWII as this is probably the one I played the most (I have lockdown to thank for that).
Call of Duty: WWII has a huge variety of maps, especially if you purchase the multiple DLC on offer. Better yet, it can be played split-screen with a friend. So, should you want the classic gaming experience of couch co-op, then this is definitely one for you. Thanks to the small map size, the amount of bots available is relatively generous. In split-screen, the amount of bots allowed is significantly smaller than if you play alone, but still enough that the map never feels empty.
As I mentioned before, Call of Duty: WWII has relatively competent bots, at the very least if you put them on a higher difficulty. While you’ll surely be racking up far more kills than you would do online, the fights will still feel fun and challenging. Additionally, Call of Duty: WWII is just a great game anyway. All of the weapons feel great, and there is enough variety that it never gets stale. It’s also worth mentioning that the single-player campaign, while short, is very good.
While it would make more sense to put the game’s recently released sequel, which also has offline bots for those interested, I am yet to play it. I have, however, played the rather excellent Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. Released way back in 2012, this incredible medieval warfare simulator still holds up today. Better still, it has a very generous offline bot mode.
Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, as far as I’m aware, allows you to play through its bountiful selection of maps and game modes entirely against bots. These bots aren’t terribly incompetent either, proving to be a good enough match against my rusty Chivalry skills. This isn’t some throwaway addition to the game, but rather a well fleshed out mode that feels perfectly playable.
Admittedly, Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is not a “shooter”. However, I’m adding it to this list as it is a first-person title with a fantastic bot mode. If you’re just looking for a fun bot-based title to pass the time, then you really can’t go wrong with Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. Sure, it doesn’t have guns, but you can use a bow and arrows. That counts, right?
You can pick up Chivalry: Medieval Warfare over on Steam or the Humble Store for a reasonable price.
Easy Red/Easy Red 2
Easy Red and its far more polished sequel, Easy Red 2, are without a doubt some of the most ambitious indie games I’ve ever played. Essentially, these are WW2 simulators. They focus more on campaign-style missions, but these ostensibly play out like most offline bot modes out there. You wage war against a whole slew of bots across large-scale maps in what is a pretty impressive recreation of World War 2.
Easy Red isn’t bad by any means, and technically offers more maps than Easy Red 2 (currently that is). It’s a lot darker visually, and a lot less impressive in terms of graphical fidelity, but is otherwise a pretty astounding game. Easy Red 2 on the other hand expands on the series immensely, adding in squad-based mechanics, larger maps, more ambitious missions and classes. It also feels like the heftier of the two as it seemingly has more bots running around at any given time.
Both of these games are extremely cheap, and for the sheer amount of content you’re getting, I’d say it’s absolutely worth it. I’m not 100% sure how accurate these games are, but they seem to do a pretty good job of replicating battles from the time. If you’re a WW2 nut looking for a game based around that era with offline bots, then it’s worth checking these out.
You can pick up Easy Red and Easy Red 2over on Steam for £7.08 together.
I feel like Evolve is an often overlooked title that didn’t do as well as the developers had hoped. Sure, it died out a long time ago, but this excellent monster hunting title still holds up today. Its gameplay is exceptionally fun, and its bots do a very good job of simulating real players.
Evolve has a really simple premise. You, and a squad of three other players (bots in this case), must take on a monster that’s constantly evolving. Beating it before it can evolve into its final form is generally a good idea. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself stuck trying to fend it off when its muscles have grown to be the size of my paunch belly after neglecting the exercise bike for too long. There are numerous maps for you to explore which are all vast and incredibly detailed too. The ability to play as either the hunters or the monster is a lot of fun and makes this an experience still worth playing. It is a triple-A experience, so you can expect solid gunplay.
Unfortunately, Evolve has been delisted on PC and can be pretty difficult to track down these days. However, over on Amazon, it is available for as low as £1.50. It is definitely worth picking up and is astonishing that it did as poorly as it did. This isn’t just a simple Left 4 Dead 2 clone, but rather an innovative spin on the cooperative shooter. I would have loved to have seen a spin-off to this game except set in the Alien universe. It’s a shame it’ll never come to fruition.
You can pick up Evolve second-hand over on Amazon for an unbelievably good price.
Ravenfield was one of the first indie titles specifically made for having as many bots on the screen as your PC could handle. While it is still in Early Access, the journey, updates and improvements that it has gone through over the years have been staggering. This is, in due part, to the huge support from players around the world who have added considerably to the game’s overall content.
Ravenfield is a first-person shooter which can be customised endlessly. Thanks to the great Steam Workshop support from fans, there is a ton of additional content you can add to the game. If you want Ravenfield to be a WW1 simulator, you can with a WW1 mod. Maybe you’d like to experience an epic Warhammer 40K battle with an immeasurable scale? Well then download any of the many mods dedicated to turning Ravenfield into a Warhammer title.
Of course, it goes without saying that Ravenfield’s base content is terrific too. If you don’t feel like dabbling in the Steam Workshop side of things, then you’ll still have access to a ton of great maps. Watching as hundreds of bots swarm these vast maps is incredibly enjoyable. It is well worth checking out Ravenfield, if only for its vast customisability and the insane amount of work its developer has put into it.
You can pick up Ravenfield in Early Access over on Steam for an unbelievably good price.
Rise Of Liberty
Rise of Liberty may be a fairly niche game, but it absolutely deserves its place in this guide. You see, Rise of Liberty is a first-person shooter set during the American Revolution of 1775. You can watch as epic battles unfold before your eyes, or take direct control of any soldier and march alongside your fellow Brits or Americans.
There is an impressive sense of scale with Rise of Liberty, especially when you pile in a whole heap of offline bots to fight alongside you. Watching as hundreds of bots march in formation towards the enemy is exhilarating, and simply never gets old. If you’re looking for a more militaristic simulator, then this is absolutely the one for you.
While this isn’t the most refined of the titles listed in this guide, it’s certainly one of the most ambitious. Rise of Liberty gets updated constantly with new maps for you to wage war in, so you’ll never be short of content. So long as you don’t mind a few indie quirks here and there, then Rise of Liberty is a great shooter with bots.
You can pick up Rise of Liberty over on Steam for £5.79.
Running With Rifles
Running With Rifles is a challenging game, but an immensely rewarding one at that. You can play with up to 800 offline bots across sprawling battlefields. This is a game where battles can last forever, with skirmishes over a single objective taking everything you’ve got. But once you finally push forward and take that point, boy does it feel good.
Running With Rifles is a pretty content-heavy game that’s even more jam-packed when you crank the bot scale all the way to the top. Even without the two DLC, Running With Rifles has plenty of maps on offer, as well as great Steam Workshop support. This one can be played cooperatively too with a friend, which is a pretty neat bonus.
There’s a ton of customisability on play here, from your loadout to which factions are fighting and how many points you need to take. It’s all pretty much interchangeable on the fly too. So, if a certain gun just isn’t your thing, you can drop it for a dead comrade’s rifle and carry on your merry way. It’s hard to put into words the impressiveness of Running With Rifles’ scale as once immersed it’s not hard to feel completely consumed by it. This one is absolutely worth picking up, even despite its often overly challenging difficulty.
You can pick up Running With Rifles on Steam for £10.99, or try out its demo for free.
Section 8: Prejudice
I had not really heard of Section 8: Prejudice before. After being taken down from all digital storefronts in 2013, it slowly began to fade into obscurity. I have a vague recollection of seeing its predecessor, Section 8 in a secondhand game shop a long time ago, but poor reviews put me off buying it. However, recently when searching for games with offline bots, it suddenly came to mind, and I began looking into it. After finding a key on the Humble Store, I quickly jumped in, and haven’t looked back since.
Section 8: Prejudice was most commonly compared to Halo when it was launched. It is not difficult to see why. It’s a fast-paced sci-fi first-person shooter with a variety of maps to choose from and a significant bot mode on offer. You drop from the sky onto the battlefield and must complete a series of objectives depending on which mode you play. You can also build turrets, drive vehicles including mechs, and complete side objectives during matches. It’s a pretty jam-packed experience and can be played with up to 32 bots.
There’s also a story mode which, while short, is definitely worth checking out. The only caveat is that the game no longer saves any progress. This means, as far as I can tell, if you want to complete the story, you’ll have to do so in one sitting. It also means that it doesn’t save your score for each map. However, I never really found that to be a problem as it doesn’t seem to have that significant of an effect on your experience.
Tannenberg and Verdun are two different games that are part of the same series. They’re essentially WW1 simulators, in which you get to wage war over vast maps. They’re available on both PC and consoles, however, the number of bots available on consoles is extremely limited comparatively. On console, you can have up to 24 offline bots playing at one time, which, seeing the size of the maps, is decent but doesn’t always lend itself to the epic scale these games deserve. On PC, in theory, you can have as many bots as you so desire, as you can increase the amount via console commands (click here to see how).
Both Tannenberg and Verdun play and feel differently. Verdun is more focused on trench warfare. So the main mode you can play with bots is essentially a back and forth between you and the enemy trying to claim the various trenches. Tannenberg is more akin to something like Battlefield. You play across large maps and must capture various points to gain victory points. Regardless of which one you pick (although both are available in the WW1 Game Series bundle), the mode available with bots is huge and offers hours of fun.
These games aren’t as arcadey as titles such as Call of Duty. More often than not, you’ll die instantly if hit. If you’re looking for a more realistic experience, then Tannenberg and Verdun are absolutely for you. The large scale battles and impressive AI do lead to some incredibly enjoyable experiences.
There are already quite a few games listed here, but who knows, maybe there are more offline bot games waiting to be uncovered? If you think we missed any from our list feel free to let us know via social media.