Seven of the 10 most-played mobile games employ bots

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,247   +159
Staff member
In a nutshell: Smartphones are nearly ubiquitous in developed countries. With a propensity to entertain ourselves, it's no surprise that mobile gaming is incredibly popular across the globe. By 2023, mobile gaming revenue is expected to surpass the $100 billion mark. With so many people now playing games on their phones, it may come as a surprise to learn that seven of the top 10 most-played mobile games utilize bots to supplement its pool of real players.

According to app analytics firm Sensor Tower, that's up from just one out of 10 back in early 2016.

One well-known mobile gaming specialist that utilizes bots is Zynga. A spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal the developer added bots to Words with Friends in 2019 to ensure players always had an opponent to compete against.

Not everyone is happy about being matched up with bots, especially when they were under the impression that they were real people.

Benjamin Arnet told the Journal he played Words with Friends with Maria T. each day for nearly a year. Arnet eventually found a list of usernames online for bots deployed in the game, and Maria T. was one of them.

"I was kind of heartbroken," Arnet said. "I thought it was an innocent old lady."

Some go so far as to outright ask their opponent via in-game chat if they are human or a bot. If you don't get a response, they could very well be a bot. But be careful how you approach the subject.

Allison Linnell, a 59-year-old in Southern California, said she was recently asked at the start of a new game if she was a bot. "I felt a little offended," she said.

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RudyBob

Posts: 623   +591
Play Candy Crush and the BOT is so stacked against you it is sad. Still though no money outta my pocket and I only play while taking my morning dump. Sounds about right
 

Plutoisaplanet

Posts: 735   +1,162
Just publicly admit in the game when you're up against a bot and everyone will be happy. This used to be the case, but companies keep wanting to hide this for some reason. I'm happy to play against a bot sometimes, but I'd like to know so that I can understand why they're being stupid or ridiculously good.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 1,133   +827
It's the way of the future - you can make humans feel for their machines and bots .
When windows used to be more problematic and office workers - would be ctrl alt delete like mad or spamming Ctrl P etc - The I.T dept was advised to tell people to speak nicely to their PCs - Worked well with females in particular ( they like to name their car etc ) - ie people waited more - sent less overwhelming commands etc .
In some games people won't sacrifice a loyal companion to win the game - they would rather lose .

Before people tell me it's all BS - remember their is a silent tragedy in YOUR country - lots of old folks lonely and cut of due to partner dying, lack of money , lack of mobility. mobility of kids , fear and lack of social skills, suburbia sprawl etc Bots, robots would can chat and care for them - look after their pet if they die and call help.- I'm sure some people don't have say a cat/dog - to touch as afraid to die and it will starve to death
 

AMDGeForceRX4090

Posts: 96   +107
How could you play Words with friends and not realise it's a bot? Cartoon picture, name written in that way, and responds to your move instantly... I mean... Duh?
 

psycros

Posts: 4,254   +6,080
How could you play Words with friends and not realise it's a bot? Cartoon picture, name written in that way, and responds to your move instantly... I mean... Duh?

The devs (just like cheaters) write them specifically to NOT act that way. Duh.
 

AMDGeForceRX4090

Posts: 96   +107
The devs (just like cheaters) write them specifically to NOT act that way. Duh.
But they do. I play with bots on WWF, they respond to your move straight away. Their name is ususally just one word, their avatar is a cartoon, and under their name it doesn't show a user name/facebook profile
 

mbk34

Posts: 343   +236
I play a moderate amount of backgammon and chess and I don't mind playing the bots. They tend to play quite well and don't mysteriously lose their connection when they're about to lose. I'd prefer to play human opponents in real life but how many well matched players live close enough to you and also have the free time to play? I am having some chess tables installed in my local park so I'm hoping I'll be playing less online in the future.
 

trgz

Posts: 398   +168
Bot or simply AI? Both the same, but they, specifically one, are loaded with connotations.
 

StrikerRocket

Posts: 131   +96
This is why I NEVER play online games. My money is not and never will add to the $100 billion (!) revenue claimed by mobile games!