Forums  /  Left 4 Dead series  /  Left 4 Dead 2  /  AI Kicking rules

Currently there isn't any rule set for whether you can kick the AI in solo and coop runs,

Just to bring awareness on kicking bots you can do this in solo runs (official servers included) and local hosted / user owned (rcon commands) servers for coop.

L4D 1 runs currently don't kick bots and kill them at the start of each map (difficulty votes used). I personally would like to keep this for consistency over the series.

However I would like other runners to post on their thought and what they would like rules wise for the AI. This is to ensure I don't just set rules to suit me.


I think kicking bots should be banned. I don't know how to explain it but I feel that it's too cheap... Instead of working with the problem of the bots you are literally just getting rid of the problem.

So I agree that only difficulty votes should be use able in terms of getting rid of the bots


I'm fine with either outcome of this "poll", but I'd like to say what I think anyway.

In my opinion, not allowing the players to kick the bots would go against the "spirit" of any% running and anything related to it - said spirit being completion of a game or its part at the fastest possible pace, while not using any internal cheats or external hacks.

Kicking the bots shouldn't be considered a cheat, since kicking is a built-in element of the game. You do need a command to do it, but it is not protected by the sv_cheats command - so by definition it is not a cheat. Same as anything you would do with the developer console or without it - calling a vote can be done in the Esc menu as well as by typing "callvote mapchange" in console, just like even the most basic actions like pressing Space equals typing "+jump" into the console.

Leaving the bots in play, in its most basic form equals going through the game with three cannonballs chained to your leg. If anything, they slow down the player. When they're not staying several metres behind, they take forever to actually take action in helping a downed player.
And about the "cheapness" of it - getting rid of them could actually screw the player over at times (since you obviously cannot progress if all players in play are downed or dead, and if you get downed with all bots kicked, you're going to be forced back to chapter beginning).

TL;DR: It's not a cheat by the game's definition; kicking them instead of killing would potentially speed up the progression.

dareka00dareka00 likes this. 

I also understand both sides and would be totally okay with either of the outcomes.

But in my opinion kicking the bots shouldn't be a part of speedruns. The fact that it is possible to abuse it by simply finishing a map and then kicking the bots just doesn't feel right in my opinion. And i think you can't compare kicking them to things like jumping and map changes because while jumping and voting are basic features you can use by pressing the key for them you actually need to use the console command to kick them i believe.


I'm a bit on both sides of it. It's an very interesting topic that could use more discussion.

We can just add a separate category for the time being. Atleast I think that's the smartest thing to do until we have a bigger community and more inputs on this.

I can't really think of a better way to solve this lmao


Originally posted by DevilsToastAnd i think you can't compare kicking them to things like jumping and map changes because while jumping and voting are basic features you can use by pressing the key for them you actually need to use the console command to kick them i believe.

I kinda have to disagree on this part. You can just do "bind <key> [kick Rochelle; kick Ellis; kick Coach]" and make it work just like any other keybind. Similarly, you can also unbind specific keys, if you won't need to (for example) turn right for some insane reason :V


Now that I've seen other peoples thoughts on this I want to give more details on my views on Kicking AI.

I think it shouldn't be included into speed runs mainly due to it being a console command that isn't easily accessible to a user without the use of scripts or the developers console.

The voting script that is available within the resources would be borderline of this, however the reason I'm OK with it is that you can still vote to change difficulty/level via the menu provided by the game.

However this isn't available for kicking bots as it is a server command rather than a user command (movement, shooting, weapon switching, voting, etc. is what I believe are user commands).

Another view point is that you could just use 'sv_cheats' to enable 'noclip' via the developers console. Therefore we need to draw a line somewhere and I believe going with the expression 'Can the user access this setting without use of developers console' would be the best way to achieve this.

But this is my thought. I'm glad people are discussing this 😃.


Originally posted by DevilsToastconsole command to kick them

That's all that needs to be said to get a no from me.


As an update I'm gonna implement a 'no kicking bots' rule onto all runs for L4D2.

This is mainly due to more people saying it should be banned versus it being allowed.

Feel free to keep discussing as I am still willing to change this if a good enough argument arises.

Please note a couple of runs under the solo Main campaigns runs include kicking bots, these runs were submitted before this change so I am leaving them up.
None are WR's and could still be improved without the need to kick bots via console.

Adam_akAdam_ak likes this. 

As an experienced speedrunner, I can say that disallowing the use of the console to kick bots is a stupid idea. The goal of any% is to complete the objective as fast as possible using what the game gives you. This means that any cheat code or hack would not be allowed unless the community fully agrees with it.

However, the use of the 'kick' command can be fully utilized without enabling cheats. If the game doesn't consider this a cheat, I don't either. What about people saying that large skips or glitches shouldn't be allowed because it's "cheating"? Using the kick command is just making use of what the game has given you (which by default, it does not allow cheats, but does allow kicking).

My full opinion as well as many others.


So the plan is right now that there will be variables for Kicking and Not Kicking bots. Submit your run as Kicked if you kicked them at any point in the run. If you didn't kick them at any point in the run leave it as with bots. This is my Solution for people who are divided on whether or not you should kick or leave bots. I know there are a couple different opinions and like I mentioned earlier I'm on both sides of the opinion.

Anyone who has a better idea please go ahead and comment.


In other PC games you can use console commands to do a lot of things "without enabling cheats." It'd be fast to type into a console to have objectives complete. Or type in TCL is go through walls. I mean, the walls are just slowing us down so it would only make sense to get rid of it.

I am fully against the use of commands to take out something that's an inconvenience.


This will be a long post, because I'm a loopy cunt who likes to argue on the internet. OneHand
If it appears hostile or something - apologies. I really don't mean it to be hostile towards anyone.

This argument can't really be resolved unless we get to its basis - what do we consider a cheat? And more importantly: does it go against the meaning of speedrunning?

It seems like some of you forgot the basic definition of speedrunning = completion of a game from start to end without using cheats. See the word there? Cheats. Something that gives you an unfair disadvantage over others. Everyone can easily access the console and use the commands which are not restricted by the sv_cheats command. Once again; by definition, kicking isn't a cheat. It is not restricted by the developer's choice and you are completely free to do so. It does not give you an unfair advantage if everyone else can use it too.

I'll say this ahead of time - obviously we could just let everyone do sv_cheats 1 and noclip all the way through the game, but remember that you can't balance things by making everyone overpowered. That's not how balance works. Plus, it goes against the speedrunning spirit. No cheating, remember.

A speedrunner I know has a FAQ section in his stream; one of the questions is: "Are you cheating/hacking?" and the answer is: "Everything you see me do [...] in my speedruns, you can do yourself on your own version of the game. Cheat codes are not allowed in speedruns [...]". That's something that should be kept in mind.

The thing presented by AlbinoAlbatross in the post above - I have to disagree on that. There is a difference between getting rid of inconveniences and just straight forward cheating your way through. Take for example several Out Of Bounds glitches in so many different speedgames. The walls sure are an inconvenience and these guys are bypassing them, so they must be cheating, right? Thing is, they are not cheating; they're using a glitch in the game's code to their advantage. Still within what the game allows you to do.

Back to L4D, the walls sure are an inconvenience, but we can skip them by sv_cheats 1 and noclip, right? No! I think it's quite obvious cheat codes aren't meant to be used in speedruns.
I saw Adam_ak use the molotov glitch several times in his L4D1 speedruns. Are you going to call him a cheater for bypassing walls or obstacles? He's using a physics glitch - Bypassing The Bounds, if you will - to outright bypass panic events and save all the trouble with surviving them. It's still within the boundaries of the game's limitations, it cannot be considered a cheat.

Should you consider kicking those damn bots whenever you feel the need to do so a cheat? No! You're using an option that was made available and provided for you by the developers. You're free to use the console as long as it's not being used in conjunction with sv_cheats 1.

And finally, the "it feels cheap" argument. I'm sorry if anyone feels offended now, but I have to say it or I'll explode - this argument is so fucking stupid on so many levels. You are supposed to go fast, not non-cheap and you are meant to use whatever legit/fair means you can in order to do that. And once freaking again, kicking is not cheating. It is considered legit by the game, so what the fuck is the problem seriously.
You are supposed to go fast, not provide a spectacular show for your potential viewers. Matter of fact, why don't you speedrun this game on Expert? Easy is so cheap after all, zombies are almost not a threat on it, you shouldn't be cheap, listen to your viewers, who cares about the wurld rekky, you need to be not-cheap DendiFace

There, I said it. Remember when I said I'm fine with any outcome of this poll? Well, turns out I'm a salty whiny little bitch because you guys decided speedruns aren't meant to be fast, but a cool show of walking through the game at a moderately fast pace with a cool gunfire show at some spots. OneHand

TL;DR there's no tldr go read the entire thing instead of noclipping through the post you cheapskate cheater Kappa


Pretty sure the AI director's behaviour is affected by kicking bots instead of killing them at the start of a map. There's also the fact that kicking bots is a gameplay-altering command that's simply not available in the game other than via console access (much like director_report; director_stop; z_spawn tank; give health; etc). If kicking bots is allowed, what would be the logic behind not allowing other console-only commands, such as the aforementioned?

Imo, console commands should be limited to starting demo recordings and rebinding keys.


The thing is, killing bots at the start of the map is essentially not worth it in a solo run, since it requires a vote to switch to Expert, and after each vote you're on a cooldown of 2 minutes before you can cast another vote - in this case, a vote to change the difficulty back to Easy. Basically means you get fucked over unless you manage to run through the map on Expert for two minutes - which is just not worth it, considering the risk.

Console access isn't really something restricted from use with a thousand locks and barriers, it's a simple on/off switch in the keyboard options menu.

Right now we're all thinking of bots as of game entities, while at the core they're basically a stand-in for real players - which you can kick with options provided to you. Yes, kicking the bots probably does influence the Director's choices, but so does playing with less human players than a fully stacked team of four.
That's what I set as my argument against the other commands. Directly influencing the Director or outright disabling him, changing the Infected' stats, healing yourself instantly - these commands are literally a direct interference into the game's ruleset/code/whatever is the proper term. Absence of bots isn't as much of an interference (if you really want to classify it as one) - to me, it basically equals playing with less players in your team.

I propose the following - restrict console commands to only allow demo recording, rebinding keys (as mentioned above) and kicking bots. Blatantly cheating your way through the game with noclipping or disabling enemy AI is not speedrunning.


The difference between kicking a bot and kicking a player is that the player is replaced by a bot after kicked and is provided within the options, not console.

The difference between kicking bots and playing without human players is that the former requires you to use the console.

You can't really compare playing with less people/kicking bots and kicking players/kicking bots when they are in no way the same thing.


You can change difficulties with no cooldown on earlier versions of the game, which is what Deln and I have been doing in our runs, however killing teammates on most of the maps is way too risky for a single-segment run.

a_moustachea_moustache, DelnDeln and 3 others like this. 

Just because a console command is possible without cheats on doesn't mean it's not a cheat... it's really up to the community to judge each command that are in the gray zone (that's what SDA does as well). Also the kick command can be used to remove special infected from the game including tanks, not just bots or players.


Disabling enemy/Survivors AI is not speedrunning.

  [user deleted]

Is killing bots allowed?
In the beginning?