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<Patrician|Away> what does your robot do, sam

<bovril> it collects data about the surrounding environment, then discards it and drives into walls
bash.org quote #240849

In almost every video game ever made, there are some characters controlled by the computer. These can be categorized into one of three groups:

  • Set Pattern — the computer actually makes no decisions; all enemies will make the same moves every time regardless of what the player does. Most of the enemies in Super Mario Bros. fit this category.
  • AI Roulette — again, the computer is not making decisions per se; it is simply choosing a move at random. This type is often seen in turn-based Roleplaying Games.
  • Analytical, or Responsive — the computer chooses a move based on the situation; the ghosts in Pac-Man fall into this category, which in 1980 was considered impressive.

It is in this third group that Artificial Stupidity can be found. AS is when the AI can select a move for its character(s), and consistently chooses ones that are completely stupid. While it is very rarely included on purpose as a balancing factor, such as to balance out the fact that The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard, Artificial Stupidity is often a result of poor programming; the programmers simply didn't program the AI not to make that move, and when the AI evaluates its choices, the poor move looks like the best one. (It's far more likely that The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard will be introduced to compensate for Artificial Stupidity rather than the other way round.)

Artificial Stupidity is particularly visible in Role Playing Games, be they turn-based games like the majority of the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest series, or strategy-based games like Final Fantasy Tactics and Disgaea, simply because it is in these types of games that the decision-making process is the most important, and therefore, the most visible. It can potentially exist in any game involving an analytical or responsive AI, though, and the more analytical the game, the easier it is to get an AI that's, well, stupid. For instance, even good chess games can suffer from a version of this, called the "horizon effect".

Differs from AI Roulette because AI Roulette chooses moves randomly. Artificial Stupidity puts some "thought" in its moves, making the most obvious stupidities less likely but creating more consistent general incompetence.

Suicidal Overconfidence is a specific case of this that's usually less about bad programming or making the game easier than about allowing the player to have something to do.

The Escort Mission is often a variety of this.

The opposite of Artificial Stupidity is Artificial Brilliance, where the AI makes surprisingly good decisions that convincingly appear intelligent. See The Guards Must Be Crazy for this trope as relates to stealth games.

Note that, for the sake of argument, this trope typically only covers situations that a player can be reasonably expected to enter over the course of normal gameplay. It's hardly fair to blame the programmers, after all, if you use a cheat device to get special weapons ahead of time and the AI has no idea what's going on.

This trope is not to be confused with Obfuscating Stupidity Stupidity, though some games that computers can inherently play well will use Artificial Obfuscating Stupidity to balance the difficulty.

Examples of Artificial Stupidity include:


Racing Game Edit

  • When presented with a y-junction or off-ramp, the civilian cars in Test Drive 6 will indecisively swerve left and right until they ultimately crash into the divider. Every car. Every time. If you don't pass civilian cars consistently and efficiently, you'll get caught behind an unprovoked 30+ car pileup.
  • The AI cars in many racing games, especially the Gran Turismo series, tend to follow a set pattern. Even in the most recent installment that was in Development Hell for five years.
    • This shouldn't be surprising and if you look closely on the more realistic games(like GT 5), you'll find dark areas of the track. This happens in real life because there is an optimal, fastest path around the course(which of course, everybody wants to take). This is reflected in the game, and part of the reason A Is take a set path is because there often isn't enough cars to make crowding an issue.
    • In the B-Spec game mode, you take a role as an AI's director on a race. The problem is, your AI can't pull off the car's full potential. Even if you do well on directing the driver, the result of the race can still be bad because the AI is terrible at pressure control and slipstream.
  • In Need for Speed Shift 2: Unleashed, your opponents make no attempt to avoid you if you make a mistake and get in their way. This almost always results in you facing the wrong way and watching everyone pass you or worse, wrecking your car.
  • In Destruction Derby 2, there was a track where the road narrows just after the start. Stop here, or spin out an opponent, and everyone would jam in there and get stuck leaving you free to cruise away. Even if they finally got out, you were almost a lap ahead at that point.
  • Carmageddon. The battles took place on a number of large maps with easily avoidable barriers placed depending on which race you picked for the few people who actually wanted to drive laps instead of going into the city and killing everyone. The problem: the AI didn't get the memo about those barriers. Only Offscreen Teleportation saved the AI from inevitably getting stuck on them and never moving again for the entire fight.
  • The CPU characters in Mario Kart are pretty stupid, except when you're in first place and they suddenly decide to make all the perfect moves (and one of them always has a blue shell).
    • An example is Mario Kart 64, where the computers will often throw banana peels hoping for you to go on them, only to later slip on them themselves, though they will still be able to catch up with you, thanks to the Rubber Band AI.
  • Wipeout. Autopilot power-up. Ranges from magically good (XL, Wip3out where it would fly through the track boundary walls to keep you on course) to virtually useless (Fusion, where using it in any slightly difficult turn would cause it to plow repeatedly into things and finally turn around and leave you going the wrong way and headed at top speed for a ravine). Pulse was halfway between the two, usually managing to find its way around the course but at such an incredibly slow speed that it was virtually useless. One constant though has been the fact that if there are mines in your way it will always go right through them because it follows the same path as the AI ships that dropped the mines.
  • Midtown Madness 3 has some the dumbest cops ever. Drive into a body of water while the cop cars are chasing you in cruise, the cops will follow you. Then, they will respawn right near the water and drive into it again and again and again, even when you drive away from the water when you respawn.
  • In the battle mode in Diddy Kong Racing, AI characters have set move patterns, making them easy to defeat once you've figured out the direction in which they'll go.


Puzzle Game Edit

  • This trope was deliberately invoked for the PC puzzle game Sheep, where you play a herder driving a flock of sheep around various obstacles, and you had to compensate for the flock's tendency to go in the wrong directions and frequent suicidal stupidity. The game even lists this artificial stupidity as a feature.
  • The LEGO games are especially good (bad?) at this. Although it has improved in recent games, more than often your partner will be busy walking into a wall on the other side of the level, while you need him to come and use his ability.
  • Although it's understandable given the insane number of things you can work with, the AI in Scribblenauts will stick to its guns regardless of whether it makes sense or not. This leads to amusing situations like a group of witches accidentally transforming one another into frogs while fighting an enemy, and then the survivors eating their frog-ified sisters.
  • Stones Masters belongs here. Once the player's opponents get the "Dispel" spell (which removes attack and defense bonuses), the opponents will use it regardless of whether or not it will have any effect.
  • In Nuts & Milk, Nuts has a tendency to suicidally plunge into the water at the bottom of the screen, but makes up for it by Respawning Enemies quickly.


Adventure Game Edit

  • Parodied in Sam & Max: Bright Side of the Moon. A quartet of sentient obsolete computers are attempting to devise the most advanced AI ever, and you have to play Tic-Tac-Toe against one of them. The AI is just about as sharp as advertised, except for one problem: it actively plays to lose rather than win, so convincing the computers that their AI really is invincible by losing to it takes some doing.
  • Bible Adventures was bad enough by itself. In the David and Goliath game, though, the enemy can knock itself out with the acorns that YOU are supposed to throw at it
  • Enemies in Ratchet and Clank Up Your Arsenal can be briefly summarized as "utterly imbecilic". They will run over flamethrowers, don't seem to notice that they are attempting to shoot through their own allies, and generally have issues with the whole "not acting like a moron" thing.
    • Not all enemies are entirely stupid, however. Some have at least some grains of sense, like hiding behind corners and leaning out to shoot you. And some, like Robo-Troopers, seem to do smart-ish things like having their front ranks kneel and fire while the second rank stands and fires.
  • In King's Quest Mask of Eternity, if you shoot at the skeleton archers from far enough away, they will never shoot back (Although they will shout insults at you!).
  • Regulus in Bomberman 64, when helping you against Sirius, is nothing short of a dumbass. He'll typically do nothing but wander around the area and occasionally drop a few bombs. Sirius himself isn't all that bright, either, since the way he behaves with bombs will make him blow himself up if a bomb he's already set down is detonated by something else. This makes it very possible that he'll end up dealing the final blow to himself.
  • The Red Eyes in Star Fox Adventures. Unlike the other enemies in the game that attack when you enter their line of sight, they are programmed to move in a set pattern and will only attack you if you enter it, even if you are right of front of them. This is makes sense in context, because until you get the super ground quake, you can't hurt them.


Beat'Em Up Edit

  • In the arcade version of the first Double Dragon, enemy characters tend to backpedal when the player starts throwing punches at their direction and they will only approach when the player has his back turned on them. At first, this seems like a sound strategy to employ until you realize that you can attack enemies with the elbow strike move (by pressing Punch and Jump simultaneously). The elbow strike is a ridiculously powerful that has a decent range, does quite a bit of damage and can knock enemies to the ground in one hit (the same as doing an uppercut or a roundhouse kick). The enemies will always for this trick no matter what. As a result, the entire game can be completedeasily in one credit by using only this move. The arcade version of Double Dragon II smartened the A.I. a bit to make enemies less likely to fall for this trick, while the later GBA version nerfed the elbow strike to the point that it was no longer useful.
  • The Ninja Warriors Again has a stage where giant fans are spinning vertically from the ceiling. In that area, the enemies will repeatedly walk into the fan trying to approach you until the enemy kills itself from it's own stupidity.
  • In Golden Axe, every enemy can fall in Bottomless Pits trying to get you. Heck, even fleeing civilians and Tyris' magic flame will fall into them.
  • The games in the Smackdown vs. Raw series are prone to this. This provides plenty of comedic fodder for the commentators in the Hogan vs. Flair CAW League, which uses Shut Your Mouth.

Strategy Game Edit

  • The AI for the computer game Master of Magic was about as dumb as it got. It would do things like trade Great Drake (1200 research points) for Hell Hound (45 research points), keep huge armies around and then do nothing with them, load up elite units onto weak transport ships and then run them at powerful warfleets, and waste all its mana throwing firebolt after firebolt at a unit that was immune to fire. But for me, the crowning moment of stupid was when the following occurs. Freyja casts Nature's revenge, a spell that attacks all of a player's cities with an earthquake whenever that player casts a chaos or death spell. Jafar, who had taken some red books in this game, casts time stop, and while the rest of us are paralyzed, summons hellhounds about 60 times. When he lets go of the time stop, every single one of his cities is in ruins. The game needed to give itself triple on almost all relevant resources to keep up with a decent player to make it even somewhat competitive.
    • A lot of this was remedied with the 1.31 patch for Master of Magic. Some of it still applies though.
  • In Europa Universalis II, the AI does not know the army attrition rules. You can bring pretty much any enemy to his knees by letting him besiege one of your fortresses with his entire 60,000-man army while you send small forces to take over the rest of his territory. By the time you're done, attrition will have brought his army down to a size where you can take him easily, even if he started out 6 times your size.
    • Europa Universalis III has a bug that's survived years of expansions and constant patching known as the Naval AI Death Spiral. Every country has a limit of how many naval units it can support, and as it goes above that unit, every ship is has gets an exponentially-growing penalty to upkeep, meaning the country has to pay more for each additional ship. The limit depends on the number of provinces a country has. If it's near this limit and loses a few provinces in a war, then it can suddenly be above the limit. The AI doesn't know to disband ships when it can no longer afford them. This increased cost often leads to bankruptcy, which makes the country significantly weaker and even more vulnerable to neighbors and rebellion. It loses more and more land, incurring greater and greater penalties due to the size of its navy, eventually collapsing altogether.
  • In the Stronghold series, the easiest way to defeat a computer-controlled opponentis to take out their water wells and set their fortress on fire.Since the shape and arrangement of the enemy castle is predetermined, whenever a building is destroyed they would build it again on the exact same spot, while it was still on fire, and repeat until either the fire somehow died out or the enemy ran out of resources and gold.All of whis while all their soldiers and civilians die, without the enemy even thinking of moving them away.
  • In Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, the AI doesn't check whether you have units in your allies' cities and so will launch absolutely stupid surprise attacks against you, by attacking a city that you don't own but do have units in.
  • In Star Trek Armada the AI will continually send ships through a chokepoint even if you've got dozens of ships filling it full of bombs going off constantly. Thus racking up hundreds or thousands of kills. The AI will do it until it runs out of resources, or if they have infinite resources, until you get bored enough to kill them.
  • In the Star Trek Starfleet Command series, the AI is all over the map with idiocy, especially ally AI. They won't follow orders, they refuse to move in close to enemies, they don't fire at enemies or only fire certain weapons, they cloak and decloak randomly. In the third game, if you're playing a difficult mission or one that takes a while to beat (such as Starbase Assault or Planetary Assault), it's almost a guarantee that one of your wingmen will self-destruct for no reason at all, even if it never took a hit during the battle.
  • The "planetary viceroy" AI in Master of Orion III, supposedly there to help run your empire for you and eliminate the need for micromanagement, is pretty much your main adversary for the duration of the game. It usually manages to hinder your efforts far more efficiently than the equally incompetent computer-controlled opponents.
  • In Supreme Commander, since the game has infinite resources, if you heavily fortify your base, the enemy will attack again and again until they are defeated, potentially losing tens of thousands of units--which you can then turn into resources. This is especially notable in some of the campaign missions, where the enemy would repeatedly attack with the same force, even though your base had gone from a tiny outpost to a huge, heavily shielded and fortified behemoth.
    • On island maps, the AI often builds a horde of low-tech land units with no regard to how they're supposed to get to the enemy base. Even on the hardest difficulty settings.
    • Even more annoying is that they'll often build loads of dropships, and then almost never use them.
    • It is also incredibly easy to win in the expansion pack Forged Alliance by getting an endless stream of aircraft built, and having them go straight into patrolling across the majority of the map, denying the AI valuable mass deposits. Note: fighting for, and defending mass deposits was made much more important in the expansion to encourage conflicts and reduce turtling. It is incredibly easy to screw over the AI this way, never giving him a chance to expand, whilst making your own economy unstoppable. Even the supposed "adaptable" AI never really catches onto the endless swarms of aircraft, producing only a token handful of anti-air units.
    • The AI in general is sub-par, even for strategy game AI. By default, it builds almost no Anti-Air, even when being attacked by air units, holds massive amounts of units in reserve (IE: Keeping about 50 tanks out in the middle of nowhere while it's base is being steamrolled) for no reason, waits on building Naval Forces until it has a massive (and useless, especially on ocean-based maps!) land force, and never seems to rely on artillery, tactical missiles, or strategic missiles (nukes) to crack bases, instead sending endless streams of troops that'll never even get a shot off.
      • It's also known to march its Commander (and losing your Commander means you INSTANTLY LOSE) into suicidal attacks, such as straight into defenses, into the middle of high-tier units, and at enemy Commanders. Having the enemy commander basically blow himself up and take your base down with him is incredibly frustrating.
    • The AI doesn't do well with mods that alter the resource system. Two of those are bundled with Forged Alliance: One where resource output is vastly increased (so you only need a few mass extractors and power plants) and one where only the ACU produces resources (but more than usual). They can also be combined. The AI still builds mass extractors all over the map and thereby wastes productive capacity. It also doesn't occur to it to just build a metric crapload of Experimentals ... like you do right now.
  • Age of Mythology island maps have produced a whole spread of dumbass moves the AI does automatically. As in, Norse opponents turn all their resource collectors into Heroes of Ragnarok without bothering to produce enough transports to attack. At this point, the nicest thing you can do is attack.
  • On the first skirmish-mode map in Dawn of War: Dark Crusade (called something like "Abandon All Hope"). The AI just doesn't seem to understand such things as "putting troops on the island in the middle will let them fire rocket launchers straight at the enemy command centre". And in any map, they don't get their turrets to fire at different targets, so an ethereal Necron wraith or a rally tough unit can soak up fire while everyone else blows up the turret.
  • A rather bizarre example occurs in Dawn of War 2. The enemies usually have enough sense to run away from a thrown satchel charge before it explodes. However, having detected a remote-controlled bomb (which is much more powerful then a satchel), they start shooting and hacking at it...while standing literally on top of it. Ludicrous Gibs ensue.
  • In Total Annihilation, the AI apparently does not understand the concept that land-based units can't cross water, and will make anti-nuke launchers without making the missiles for them to launch.
    • Also if you manage to choke only exit from enemy base with dragon teeth AI will build stuff until all space is filled with useless crap so that nothing can move anymore.
    • The AI's entire pattern is simply to build random things and send them to attack the nearest enemy unit. User mods somewhat improve it by tweaking the odds of building each unit, but mostly they just cheat horribly to make up for it.
    • The AI in the following game, Total Annihilation: Kingdoms, did the same. Since units increased in power every time they had a kill, and since the enemy would never attack walls, botttleneck death-zones of guard towers would reach nigh-impregnable status.
  • Starcraft's stairwells and narrow passages: small units generally didn't have much trouble, but ordering - say - a group of Dragoons up an elevated area always resulted in a few making it through, a few behind those staying in the way, and all the others deciding the passage was blocked and cheerfully going back and taking the ridiculously long route along the whole elevated area.
    • Goliaths are just as stupid as Dragoons, if not more so. That's because they both use the Hydralisk's pathfinding subroutine, but are physically larger units, will engage and follow enemies as if they are air units, even thought they cant fly, and don't automatically disengage enemy units that they can no longer follow or see.
      • Also, in multiplayer, try a Zerg Rush or similar strategy to knock out one computer opponent early on, but leave one of his buildings alive (preferably a support building that can't produce units) and set up an expansion there. The other computer-controlled enemies will focus almost exclusively on recapturing that base.
    • In a 1v1 against a computer, try sending in a peon to attack their mineral line. Once you get their attention, run. The computer's ENTIRE ECONOMY will chase you all over the map, leaving you free to harvest and build at your leisure. GG
      • Maybe Blizzard's just been too lazy to seriously reprogram their AI, but the Starcraft 2 beta STILL DID THIS.
      • They improved chokepoint pathfinding in Starcraft 2 to the point where you can/could cheat by ordering a unit into a potential enemy base location under the fog of war -- if it took the long route this meant the main entrance was blocked, in other words, there was a terran player there.
    • The developers themselves admitted to taking shortcuts with the AI. In fact, the only reason they didn't make the game's Campaign Editor more flexible, was to hide the fact that the AI is not programmed to handle major changes to the game, as it operates entirely on assumptions.
  • Dungeon Keeper: Monsters who could not find a path to the treasure room to get paid, or could not find a path back to their lair, or a "helpful" AI that would put monsters across locked doors (that you shut to keep the monsters where you wanted them), etc.
  • The Nintendo Wars games are usually pretty reliable, but the first Advance Wars game overestimated the importance of supplies in the game (they're only essential in 100-turn epics where there's a high rate of attrition, air units or artillery at choke points). The AI would attack APCs almost exclusively, ignoring nearby units that would ream them in retaliation, or even the infantry capturing their HQ that will win the game next turn.
    • AI characters in the game were programmed to use their CO powers essentially as soon as they got access to them. Olaf's power mimicked the 'snow' weather effect, which lasted exactly one set of turns - it started on a CO's turn and stopped at the start of their next turn. An AI Olaf would use it even if it was already snowing and, yes, if it had only started snowing on Olaf's turn.
    • On particularly dodgy maps where an AI Colin is essentially handed an I Win button, he's been known to use his basic power, which gives him a 50% money boost...when his money is already at maximum. Black Hole Rising can only handle cash up to 999999.
    • The AI in the first game also tended to beeline its infantry towards your HQ, generally ignoring your units. They'll only rarely ever attack with their infantry and mechs.
    • Usually the computer will have a few units that will stay in one place and not move unless you send something into their range. In the earlier games they would immediately go charging after your unit and attack it, completely ignoring any other units nearby, making it possible to lure a strong unit into position with an infantry, then pound it with several other units that were lying in wait. They have gotten better in later games though - now if you have too many units lying in wait, the AI will actually realize it would be a bad idea to attack and stay away.
  • The PC version of the classic boardgame Axis & Allies routinely makes utterly brain-dead moves, especially in purchasing units. Any AI running the United Kingdom, for example, will routinely spend almost all of its resources on submarines, turn after turn, even if the Germans possess absolutely no ships to attack.
  • In Front Mission 3's AI always goes after whichever unit you put down first on the map; you can leave your first placed unit at the start point and venture out with your other three, and the AI will go crazy trying to kill your first unit. Oops.
  • Black and White 2 introduced army fighting to the series, but what with all the other complexities of the game the AI suffered a little - it was possible, faced with a vast opposing horde, to send your Creature to attack them, then have it run away into the countryside. The entire enemy force would give chase, leaving your own soldiers free to sack their cities.
  • In many of the Super Robot Wars games, the enemy AI for grunts tends to prioritize them toward the "weakest" unit within their attack radius (That, or Shoot the Medic First). However, "weakness" in SRW is relative: the units with the lowest armor and HP tend to be the units that can dodge anything you throw at them with the right pilot. Thus, the computer tends to waste time and ammo trying to hit a unit it simply has no chance of hitting, minus the intervention of the Random Number God.
    • Conversely, in some games they go for units with the higher HP. While that means they prioritize battleships (And if one falls it's a game over), it also means ignoring half-dead units and going after that healthy Super Robot who will take Scratch Damage and kill them on the counterattack.
    • The automatic combat setup for your units isn't too smart either. Small, crunchy units with Defense Support will gladly jump in to soak hits for massive, heavily-armored SuperRobots. Also, the automatic attack selection will pick the weakest attack the robot has that will destroy the enemy. This occasionally leads to a Gundam deciding to use its limited-ammo Vulcan over its completely free Beam Saber, or GaoGaiGar using energy on Broken Magnum when it could walk up and hit the enemy. Finally, recent games that have pilots automatically elect to dodge or defend when the oncoming attack would destroy them, but the evasion threshold for some pilots is oddly low - Real units have been known to try to reduce their chance to be hit from 5% to 3% rather than take a counterattack. All of these, mercifully, can be overridden by the player.
    • A good instance of Artificial Stupidity comes from the enemies with their MAP attacks. Normally a MAP would hit every enemy in its radius, but an enemy will refrain from using it on the off chance that one of their allied units would be hit. Makes many a boss easier. Except bosses with Friendly Fireproof MAP attacks (At least you get some of those too).
  • In the Total War games, the computer doesn't seem to grasp that positioning its troops within range of your archers or turrets is a bad idea.
    • This was mostly fixed in one patch for Rome: Total War, although the AI still fares badly against artillery or lots of missiles. However, the Rome and Medieval AI are notoriously awful - in Rome, sticking a couple phalanxes (pike walls that are virtually invincible from the front to non-phalanx units) at the edge of a bridge will result in the AI suicide-charging them. The battle AI also doesn't see a need to protect its flanks and is usually unfazed by the player taking his cavalry around the AI's back. Before Medieval II, enemy generals also enjoyed suicide-charging ahead of their armies. The AI logic must have been something like, 'I want a strong unit to charge. The general is the strongest unit. Therefore the general must charge.' What an Idiot!.
      • In Medieval II, it is possible for heavily outnumbered enemy forces to retreat to the corner of the map...and then sit there, not moving the final few feet needed to end the battle and escape, while you pummel them to death with your ranged units.
        • That is, if you have enough ranged units to take him out. Otherwise, you are faced with a very dense enemy formation with no flanks or the read. Good luck with that.
      • The campaign map AI is similarly problematic. In the original RTW it was prone to declaring war on the player even when in a much weaker position, and completely refusing all and any offers of peace even as it was being beaten black and blue. Sometimes it even declared war by using a vastly inferior force to attack a large army of yours. The incidence of this happening was decreased by later patches, but it still happens. It is also possible for enemy factions to ask you to become trading partners and declare war you during the same turn.
      • After much play, the AI is known to simply determine its enemies based on either trade routes or adjacent provinces, with some special coded wars set to happen. Of course, this results in the AI declaring war on its closest allies even if they are vastly more powerful once they have too many close provinces. It also means that you have no chance to maintain peace, ever, because you're always the mortal enemy of somebody.
      • Another favorite 'trick' of the AI was to decide to stab you in the back and then totally throw away the advantage of surprise by just attacking a ship or two rather than going for a general assault.
    • In Empire: Total War, the campaign AI in the unpatched version was unable to transport troops by ship. In a game that includes three continents, and dozens of islands. Thus the UK is invincible to non-player enemies, for example.
      • You'll often see things like the AI, should its regiments of musketeers be flanked, opt to have them shoot from the narrow side of their formation rather than wheel around to face your unit. It will also always send its cavalry units in a very wide flanking maneuver, even if your entire back and flanks are covered by pikemen, running all the way so its cavalry ends up exhausted before even joining the fray. There's also the infamous "melee bug", a holdover from older titles, which causes the AI to favor melee over shooting matches with its hybrid units (that is, units that can both shoot and duke it out), even if a shooting match would be in its complete advantage. It wasn't that noticeable in older titles, where such units were relatively rare, but in a game where almost all units are hybrids... You'll also often see it reforming its entire line within range of your muskets, and thus getting slaughtered. Finally, its equally infamous friendly fire: musketeers behind the main line will happily shoot at you through their friends, with predictable results. Note that this is also true of your units, which is why you should turn "fire at will" off for reserve units. The AI, however, doesn't. And don't get me started on artillery behaviors (and AI telepathic responses to yours)...
      • When the AI loses a certain number of men from its musket formations it will immediately order them to form square. The square formation is a counter cavalry tactic and it quarters your firepower. Not a good tactic when you're being shot by lines of infantry and there are no cavalry on the battlefield.
      • Not to mention that the campaign AI is still as idiotic as ever. Enemy factions are still notoriously hesistant to surrender, even when you've conquered all but one of their provinces and that last province is currently under siege. Since the AI is coded to essentially declare war on all its neighbours from the get-go, this means that you will be fighting wars pretty much constantly. This being so, it also results in the AI declaring war on their neighbours despite having no soldiers on their borders.
    • The AI in the original Medieval game had a fixed strategy for attacking castles, in which they plant their army just out of range of the towers, and then send one unit at a time to attack the gate. By the time they actually break through to where your army is waiting, they've often lost half their troops. Better yet, they tend to send their general in as soon as the gates are down, and if you manage to overwhelm the general, the rest of the army will run away. And then they'll try again the next year...
  • Age of Empires I AI players are very inflexible. In one scenario with a King Lion right beside a computer player's town center, the computer player kept making its villagers try to build a house, ignoring the lion, until it ran itself out of food.
    • In another scenario where you start out on a tiny little island with two houses, some villagers, a scout and a transport, and you need to travel to the resource-laden mainland to set up your civilization, the A Is never leave their island. Makes it a ridiculously easy game to win.
    • Age of Empires II improved the AI. Then in the expansion they made it stupider again, apparently feeling they'd gone too far.
    • Although even in 2 they left a major blind spot in the AI. Computer controlled soldiers were programmed to not attack gates, only walls. So all you had to do was construct all your fortifications out of gates, and they'd never come close. Or if you wanted to really rub the AI's nose in its own idiocy, when it has its entire economy and/or production facilities behind walls, simply build one of your gates directly in front of its, and it will never be able to leave its own town.
  • In the World War II RTS Company of Heroes, the AI is exceptionally dumb, sending basic units against tanks, sending infantry against machinegun emplacements without even flanking, and never upgrading. While you have tanks that could kill even the most advanced infantry with nothing even close to a sweat, the AI will still be sending out the basic unit with the basic gun.
    • It will normally only resort to this tactic if it's been cut off from fuel supplies and so can't produce better units. A much larger problem is its total inability to understand when it's best to breach obstacles rather then bypass them. This lets you funnel them into killzones if you block off an important bridge or other area with barbed wire and tank traps.
      • In fact, the AI can be so stupid at times that it will randomly mass every last one of its units on a destructable bridge if the game goes on for long enough, without even needing to place obstacles to encourage it.
    • Evident on a smaller scale when squad AI has a consistent habit of running out of cover to shoot, despite being ordered to stand behind a perfectly good wall.
      • Reversed for the sniper, who always ran to the nearest cover (and never needs to) when told to take the shot. Fixed in latest patch.
  • Units in Battalion Wars and its sequel aren't that smart -- of course, this may be to make sure manual control is more efficient. A glaring case, however, is the Battlestation in the final mission of Battalion Wars 2, as if it's AI controlled, it seems to have to be like two meters away from the Mining Spider before starting to attack it. According to a friend, it turns out the Battlestation attacks the guns that fire the weak lasers--something that the Heavy Tanks can fortunately take care of to save time -- but you can't lock onto the guns yourself. Best part? You also get Fighters, which are far harder to control than the Battlestation which shouldn't require so much intelligence to use at all, but under player control, the Fighters can total the enemy air force that threatens anything else.
  • The battlefield AI in Dominions 3 is not that smart, which is a problem since you can only control your units for the first 5 turns. It's very frustrating to watch your mages summon weak units one at a time on the complete opposite side of the battlefield from the fight, when a nice battle evocation would totally turn the tide. A mage, surrounded by bodyguards, may cast Fire Shield (a ring of fire surrounds you), killing his bodyguards, then die to an enemy charge. At least the AI on the computer side is equally stupid.
  • In Dune 2, you can stop the AI's attacks on your base by building four sections of wall at just the right spot. The AI units that arrive to attack can't manage to find a way around it, and just sit there. As long as no player units approach, they sit still, and the enemy doesn't send out more attackers.
    • In another mission, the AI suddenly sends out a group of soldiers into an empty corner of the map for no reason at all, and they remain there, not moving, until the end of the mission.
      • Far more obviously in Dune 2, the enemy will keep throwing units at your base defense turrets uselessly even as your actual troops are in the process of leveling their base.
  • Free Civ's computer players are extremely stubborn with "their" territory - build a city on any square they consider to be "theirs," and they'll raze the city - without any diplomacy scene or change in relationship. In fact, if you then attack one of their cities, they'll blame you for starting the war.
  • The various X-COM games suffered from this as well... Apocalypse was new to real-time, reactive AI, so the following scenario is not at all unlikely: five troops kneeling (to present a smaller target) in an area filled with bookshelves. One of them is being attacked by a worm, and they just sit there and watch, including the one being attacked. The sixth one is trying to shoot it... while on the other side of a bookshelf. His rifle ran out of ammunition so he switched to his rocket launcher. And he was right up against a bookshelf. They actually got more intelligent when their brains were sucked out and replaced with green alien goo. In that same game, two were attacked and converted, switched to incendiary ammunition, spread out and accurately started a ring of fires in and around the other four who responded in a thoughtful and calm manner by shooting each other in the heads. Not even in the remote direction of the enemies.
    • The original X-COM and its sequel, Terror From the Deep, were turn-based, so it was only natural that your troops would just watch while the aliens shot at them (if the aliens were shooting it probably wasn't your turn). Characters did have a "Reaction" stat, which gave them a chance to shoot if an enemy moved in their line of sight when it wasn't their turn, but humans Reaction score tended to start so low that shooting 1 in every 4 times they see an alien is akin to lightning reflexes. They did, however, have the problem with characters - on either side - not taking the blast radius of their weapons into account when shooting. You never gave a rocket launcher to someone with a high Reaction score, or snuck up on an alien with a heavy weapon (aliens, in general, having much higher Reaction scores than humans).
  • Bungie's Myth games are generally considered to have a decent AI, with one exception: ranged units do not check if friendly units are near their targets. So if you fail to micromanage your dwarves, they will gleefully chuck grenades into the middle of the melee.
  • The AI in Planet M.U.L.E. has some interesting trains of thought, particularly with respect to buying and selling:
    • Land auction starting at $120? don't bother. Land auction starting at $350? MUST HAVE!
    • Crystals selling for $70? SELL EVERYTHING! (for reference, it sells for $100 on average)
    • Do I have Smithore? SELL IT!
      • The Trope is actually justified in the 1983 version on the hardest difficulty setting, as the price and availability of worker M.U.L.E.s is based on how much Smithore the Store/town owns. Also, because it's a 12-turn game when you do this, the Pirates will ALWAYS show up to steal all of the Smithore/Chrystite at least once -- you might as well sell it while you can!
    • Aw, does that player not have enough energy? is the store empty? well, tough, I'm gonna hoard my energy even though I'll lose more to spoiling than I would selling it to the player.
      • Did another player sell ONE UNIT OF ENERGY? SELL DOWN TO + 1 SURPLUS!
    • Do I have no surplus? BUY UP TO + 1 SURPLUS!
    • Compounding the issue (and inducing Fridge Logic) is that occasionally, players will gain money off of "Artificial Dumbness investments".
    • This is all particularly Egregious when the original 1983 game's computer players were quite capable.
  • Dungeon Keeper. Snuggledell. The enemy keeper frequently believes that he can win using only a level 1 fly and a level 1 imp.
  • The AI on any level below hard in Rise of Nations is either extremely suicidal, extremely overconfident, or any combination thereof. Often, the AI nations will demand tribute of you and attack you if you refuse, never mind the fact that your military is making use of tanks, aircraft, and long-range missiles while they just discovered how to make gunpowder.
  • The Civilization series has suffered from a great deal of this since its inception. It's gotten a lot better, but the other leaders often make astoundingly poor decisions. Examples include launching preemptive nuclear strikes against a fortified opponent or picking fights with someone with vastly superior technology.
    • Or refusing free money if they hate you enough. ("We would rather eat dung than accept your offer!")
    • The AI also doesn't know how to properly build up cities, instead relying on built-into-the-AI bonuses. While you wasted your time building up your economy, the AI is just blessed with an economy and can focus on military build-up. (You're probably going to have a technological edge, but see further down the page for answers to that issue...)
    • In addition to not knowing how to properly use their cities, the AI was usually a pretty bad judge of their inherent value. The ability to exchange cities via diplomacy (added in Civ 3) could be exploited to great effect, either to bleed an opponent dry simply by taking the same city over and over again, selling it back each time for massive profit, or merely as a way to dump a scrappy city that is doing you more harm than good. In either case, the computer is more than way too happy to take it off your hands.
      • A patch mostly removed this, so that A Is wouldn't include cities in trades any more, although they will include cities in peace treaties, and are still fine with you just giving them a city.
      • They also often give away every single city except one (Their capital, or a random city) if they are losing in a war, as part of the peace agreement. If you are in a war against 3 opponents and they all surrender at the same time, be prepared for unhappiness.
    • In Civ V, the AI seems all too happy to repeatedly insult someone who A) is decades, if not centuries, more advanced than they are, and B) has already conquered several other civilizations. Then, they act surprised when they're next.
    • Also from V, there is already one report of an AI (specifically, Oda Nobunaga) sending their entire army against a city-state only for it to be routed by the city. This is made much more annoying for the guy who witnessed it because said AI was their teammate.
    • But nothing tops Civilization V's Worker units. When automated, they do whatever makes sense to them—for instance, if (say) Townsville is at zero growth, meaning it has exactly as much food as it needs to sustain its population, and it accomplished that by putting farms on some hillsides... the Workers will go on ahead and turn those hills into mines, resulting in instant death-by-starvation in the city. And if you tell them not to, well, you're bound to Automate them again, at which point they'll return to that hill and mine it, by golly!—because you may be the ruler of an empire, but only Workers know what a city actually needs! Thankfully, The "Workers leave pre-existing improvements" option from Civilization IV has been patched back in.
      • Also applies to the town border expansion by culture. It will sometimes ignore valuable luxury resources in favor of tiles with the same cost and only initially better output in resources, such as water tiles.
    • Many reviews of V have commented that the AI is quite poor at strategically placing its military units. Apparently the game's own AI hates the new stacking rules.
    • Related to that, the AI seems to suffer from the calculation of relative military strengths not taking concentration of force into account. One civilization could have a greater total amount of military strength on its side by way of having lots of low-tech units, while another side has less total military strength, but what strength it does have is centralized in a small number of higher tech units. This leads the AI leading the more primitive civilization into war with the more advanced one where their larger army will get picked apart piece by piece by the much smaller, better equipped, force.
      • And your Military Advisor calculated by the same means, urging you to make peace while you are wiping the floor with such an enemy.
      • The AI also fails at realizing that indirect combat units cannot capture towns, bringing little or no direct combat units to lay siege to a town. Pick off the direct combat units and you can decimate the rest with the town defense and a ranged unit stationed in it.
    • Civilization V after researching trapping tech on the tech-tree which enables the building of trade-posts expect the enemy AI to build them on every freaking tile, meaning without some of the AI's Special bonuses on the higher difficulties expect them to be weak, bankrupt and technologically backwards past the 250 turn mark.
        • They do grow slightly with a certain tech, but so does any other tile improvement. They also provide one more gold during golden ages, which leads to them being better than most tile improvements early on, which is probably the source of this.
    • Another thing about the AI in V is how stubborn it tends to be. Imagine a Civ declares war on you, then you curbstomp their armies and take several of their cities and your armies are waiting just outside of another one of their cities and can take it easily. You'd imagine that when you give them demands for peace, they'd accept your conditions should they be reasonable. But no, anything other than an unconditional peace agreement (or one that doesn't favor you) is completely unacceptable. They won't even give you 1 gold if it means you will stop taking their cities. On the other hand, imagine the same situation, but they are demanding an insane amount of luxuries, resources, and gold from you to end the war. Or they demand such things even if they have yet to go into battle with one of your units.
    • Beyond the Sword expansion pack adds diplomatic features that the AI players tend to use extremely badly. For example, they will gladly cast their Apostolic Palace votes in favor of ending wars - even if they declared those wars themselves and had vastly superior armies.
  • Age of Wonders. You can negotiate with rival wizards and trade them spells, resources or locations - and they will trade for a watchtower in your territory right next to a stack of dragons that can retake it at a moment's notice. Even better, you can give them a magic item with a serious drawback (like The Halfling's Ring which gives invisibility (which many high-level units can see through) but increases physical damage by 50%) and the wizard will always equip it.
  • Warzone 2100 has a very thoroughly implemented individual unit AI that micromanages an impressive number of tasks, such as peeling off from formation for repairs past a certain damage threshold and then returning as soon as repairs were complete, or driving around other units instead of into them. The AI is stone dumb. These features will, at best, frequently reduce a competent player to a snarling, hissing wreck. Vital units will peel off for repairs and decide that the best way to a nearby repair station is attempting to drive through an enemy wall of hardcrete and cannon towers, and units in formation will swerve randomly and drunkenly to attempt to avoid driving into the dozen other units, despite all supposedly going in the same direction at the same pace, causing an entire-army pileup in a perfectly empty field.
    • Also, The enemy AI would, in skirmish games, continue to build Mini pod rocket viper wheels (AKA Freaking joke) while you have lazers and Nexus bodies. In short, the enemy makes really sucky tanks, while you have the really powerfull. Curb-stomp ensues.
  • In Warcraft II, the AI tends to get stuck in whatever blocks their path.
    • Be it trees, rocks, buildings, the AI is a complete idiot
    • An explanation of how stupid the AI is
      • That's not even close to how bad the AI can be. It is entirely possible to win sea-based maps that are 5 or 6 comps vs 1 player by putting a tanker on top of the closest patch of oil and just leaving it there. The computer will not build a warship to destroy yours. They will not go to another patch. If they aren't specialized to produce air units, they will just send a bunch of tankers to sit around yours for the whole map, which results in them never getting oil for transports or more warships.
  • While the AI in Galactic Civilizations is usually alarmingly smart, it occasionally suffers from minor glitches. For example, if a mega-event suddenly upgrades all the hitherto useless planets in its home system to class 7 or 8, it will periodically fail to realise that colonies = power and not start building colony ships instantaneously. It also has a bit of an issue with disabled victory conditions, meaning that in a huge game it can research the entire tech tree (which would normally give a tech victory), then leave its now useless research facilities sitting around costing them maintenance funds, rather than, say, replacing them with manufacturing or economic buildings.
  • Cossacks: European wars: The AI of both your own units and the computers in the skirmish mood were never particular smart. The enemy AI was obsessed with building cheap units (Like mortars and mercenaries) and only using hit and run tactics. He would also quite happily spend hours using grapeshot against buildings, when it was specifically designed for infantry.
  • Warcraft3: While the AI does well most of the time, selecting a random hero at the setup of the game can really screw them up, as they will spend the rest of the game with a hero they don't use, in turn skipping the extremely important "get gold and experience from creeps" phase. Other times, they may decide to stop evolving their main building at level two, leaving them with only two heroes, no high-tier units and only the second level of upgrades. Finally, in perhaps the most literal interpretation of this trope, Night Elf computers sometimes manage to wall themselves inside their own base with no way of leaving (except by killing or uprooting a building, which they never do, or by killing trees, which they can't do except by accident).
  • Enemy AI in Mech Commander 2 would always focus on the first target to aggro them and ignore everything else. This made it incredibly easy to beat much of the game; send a fast mech in to get their attention and then pull it back to the other side of your squad, and the AI would charge blindly after your 30 ton scout mech and not fire a shot at the 100 ton assault mechs you have laying into them. Salvage, scout, repeat.

Command and Conquer Edit

  • The Command and Conquer games alone have many examples of this, most evident in the first game, Tiberian Dawn. Some of the Aritificial Stupidities may overlap each other.
  • Tiberian Dawn has the most of them all and are is easiest to exploit. Some examples follow:
    • Wall Ignorance -- The AI would not target walls even if they were built into its base. This means you can literally build a chain of cheap sandbags right into its base, build armed buildings there and block all the exits with walls so that their units can't get out.
    • Suicidal Overconfidence -- The AI has a knack of fixating the first enemy it encounters until that enemy's defeated. This leads to almost total ignorance of anything else on the field, and will result in the AI sending loads and loads of units on suicidal runs against heavily fortified positions again and again until it runs out of resources.
      • When the AI sends all it's units into attack mode, the Harvesters attempt to attack, too. While this makes sense in RA 2 where half the harvesters have mounted machine guns, that's several years down the line.
    • Blind Shortcutting -- When given a command (by a commanding player or by the game's internal mechanics) units will use shortest route possible, even if it means running into a trap of a thousand guns. And if they're shot, they don't fire back, either. This is can be either a nuisance or an exploitable flaw, depending on whether you're losing or winning. See this video (starting from 6:40) for a hilarious, satirical parody of this loophole, complete with Double Take, for a demonstration.
      • Also, the shortest distance is determined with algebra, not calculus; that is, it takes the distance from point A to point B, ignoring any obstacles, meaning a slightly farther tiberium patch will be ignored despite having to go much further to get to the "closer" one.
      • If the player has two Harvesters, one attempting to return to base and the other to go out and collect through the same narrow path, the units will sometimes meet, turn twice (each time continuing to block the other's progress)... And then center their orientation, and move right through each other... The last few seconds of the clip above demonstrates this.
    • Blind Harvester Replacement -- An easy way to defeat the AI is to make them broke. To do that, you have to kill the AI's Harvesters which the AI will insist on replacing until runs out of credits to replace them... or, for that matter, anything else in its arsenal. At this point, the AI becomes a pushover and is wide open to attack.
      • If you side with Nod, you can take a Recon Bike and attack an enemy Harvester without losses. The Harvester is programmed to cease harvesting and attempt to run the Bike over as though it was a crushable infantryman, but since the Bike is a vehicle instead, it will fail to run the Bike over and just stand in front of the Bike like a sitting duck. It will remain fixated to the Bike and following the Bike everywhere, even if it means driving into a trap.
        • This might have been changed with a specific patch, but at least in some versions of the game it was perfectly possible to run over a bike with a harvester.
      • If you side with GDI you can do this by attacking the Harvester with a Rocket Soldier and then ordering that Rocket Soldier to escape back to base in an APC.
    • Targeting Fixation -- As Nod, you could completely avoid GDI air strikes by leaving an infantryman in the north-east corner of the map. The AI would always target this one man instead of your army or base.
    • In general, the AI in Command & Conquer is purely scripted and doe not respont to the type, number or direction you attack it at all. Each map data tell the AI when to build which units, and which way they should take to your base. This explains why the exact same enemy unit compositions attack after specific time intervalls again and again, and why they keep getting blocked by simple sandbag walls.
  • Red Alert examples:
    • Pathfinding Stupidity -- The AI would often decide that sending units as far as possible toward the north-western corner of the map, regardless of if there were enemy forces present, was an absolute priority. Cue a large multicoloured mass of AI units all moving to this one corner, ignoring each other completely in the process. This is most commonly seen in the V3.03 patch, but is also known to occur in all other versions.
  • Red Alert 2 examples:
    • Targeting Fixation -- When using superweapons, the AI suffers a similar problem to the one encountered Tiberian Dawn, only it was based on buildings. The AI would always target any super weapons you had, then any war factories, then your naval yards. And it would be the most recently built one as well. So all you had to do to avoid superweapons was place a targeted building away from the base.
      • When you play against hard computer with superweapons, just build a warfactory right beside their base right when their superweapon is ready, they'll be stupid enough to nuke themselves. And sell the building as soon as the superweapon is launched
    • The Allied (As opposed to Soviet, not allied as in allied with the player) AI will also fixate when it comes to using its jets. It will always attack the first tank built until it is destroyed. You can exploit this by putting that tank at the back of your base behind heavy anti-air and the AI will keep wasting its jets over and over again.
  • Generals examples:
    • Suicidal Overconfidence -- Unless there's an enemy unit nearby, the pathfinder would always take the exact same path to the enemy base. This led to situations where the player could amass a gigantic wall of artillery pieces and have them auto-target a single small area in which all enemy units passed through, and enemy units would always blindly go through the massive killzone, never changing up their pathfinding at all.
      • Considering playing the Nuclear General in the Zero Hour expansion, upgrade to Neutron Bombs and have 4 Neutron Artillery cannons force-fire on the path the AI takes. Every five minutes or so, scoop up the empty vehicles with your own infantry. Instant tank army at a very low cost!
      • Generals (and ZH) has prelaid AI pathwork, if you look in the map editor. So this explains it. Made the SP/skirmish game far too easy if you knew the AI paths (or looked em up using the handy map editor included with the game!).
    • In Generals (without the Expansion Pack) the USA AI had very poor strategy (bear with the Unfortunate Implications). With their units thrown erratically at your base, they almost refused to build defenses, and could be defeated just because they went bankrupt from their stupidity.
    • The higher-difficulty USA AIs in Zero Hour also make a mistake that the lower-ones don't. The brutal AI doesn't seem to grasp the fact that the Avenger's an anti-air unit, and its anti-ground attack is a targetting laser that doesn't do any damage whatsoever.
  • Tiberium Wars examples:
    • Stone Walling -- A base can become invincible against the AI with a good mixture of all usable kinds of turrets and aircraft for base defense. Then, after wearing the enemy's ability to attack, send in the aircraft to do bombing missions while selling off the turrets in place of more aircraft.
  • Renegade examples:
    • Suicidal Overconfidence -- The AI generally wasn't the brightest of the bunch. As a result, your rare allies would barely ever follow you to the area after the one you met them in, given that they survived against the respawning enemies while you killed the Officers (thus disabling respawns). The only allies that were able to follow you were Escort Mission targets, which in turn had the tendency to stand between you and the enemies. They also didn't follow you as much as mindlessly charging ahead after you caught up with them at a checkpoint or saved them from enemies.

Fire Emblem Edit

  • The AI in Fire Emblem games tend to have very poor decision making skills. Archers will often go straight after mages, which are often the only units that can counterattack from that distance, and they can even do this if they need to be one square from your Lord to do so. Other enemies will see a line of five soldiers and will ALL choose to swarm either the one riding the dragon who kills things in one hit or the heavily armored one who doesn't take damage. And the bosses have this weird concept that the best way to fight the heroes is to stand perfectly still in their room until you're within range, even while the heroes start filing in around them. In most cases, unless they are scripted, the AI will most of the time choose to attack any units that gets into their attack range, even when they are going to do no damage on the target (like some cavalier with wimpy weapon attacking a knight, or a mage attacking a high-res bishop).
    • The whole suicidal attack on the mages thing is actually explainable. The AI is aiming to cause any fatalities it can, no matter the cost to its own units. Keep in mind that winning a match in Fire Emblem is quite easy -- winning with everyone alive is the rub. Given a 1% chance of an instant kill, and a 100 percent chance of doing half of the max hp of the target, the AI will go for the 1% instant kill chance every time and hope it gets lucky just to spite you. While most of the time you will laugh at the foolishness of the computer, when it finally manages to get that hit in...
      • To be more precise (at least in the GBA ones), the AI first targets any units it can deliver enough damage to kill in one hit, regardless of the likelihood to hit or the damage that it will receive, and if it can't kill anyone, then it goes for the one that it can deal the most damage to, again not counting likelihood to hit. The issue is that the people with the lowest defense are generally your magic users. They also happen to have ungodly dodge most of the time (at least for Sages), and are fully capable of one-shoting most units in the game once they've been trained. The GBA games do not take into account whether they'll be counter-attacked at all, leading to sending a Sage out in front of your army and let him destroy half the units on the map' being a legitimate strategy. And because of the way probability to hit works in this game, a 30% chance to hit is really more like a 10%, and that's the sort of hit rate opponents often get.
    • The stand still thing applies mostly to bosses who are on seize points, and if they were to move then you could rush right up and seize the gate/throne.
    • In an early stage in Radiant Dawn you are forced into using only two units: the Squishy Wizard Micaiah and the Black Knight. Since the enemies are there specifically to KILL Micaiah and the Black Knight is there specifically to PROTECT her, you'd think they'd send their oddly large force at her at once. Nope, they go two or three at a time and hack at the first living thing they see.
    • Even more fun is that enemies will always, always go straight for a unit that has no weapon equipped, as they (obviously) can't counterattack (or if laguz, not very well). You can easily get Micaiah to level 20 without a problem on that map by parking the Black Knight somewhere with his sword unequipped and letting the enemies flail pointlessly at him while Micaiah whittles them down from afar.
    • This has applications beyond power-leveling. Many Fire Emblem veterans know that the best way to save a mission that's going pear-shaped is to unequip your strongest character's weapon. Picture this: the enemy has three swordmasters standing next to a mission sensitive character, who has only a few HP left. In order to win the map, the enemy need only attack with a single unit. Yet if you move an armored unit up and unequip their weapon, any enemy unit within range will immediately abandon their attack on the almost-dead Lord and attack the armored unit instead, even if they can't damage it.
    • This is nicely averted with bosses who seem to stand still on the throne. So you carelessly move your Squishy Wizard up, planning to attack next round when the boss runs right up and kills your exposed wimps. Oops.
    • Radiant Dawn emphasizes "no counterattacks!" above all else. Archers will shoot your heavily armored (but melee only) knight while ignoring the priest holding a weak light magic tome.
      • Which extends to neutral/allied units as well. Particularly noticeable in 3-10, where, for example, the leader of the Crimean Knights, Geoffrey, will move right up to a Bishop and then not attack it, but then Astrid will take a shot with her longbow. (Thankfully, the longbow is very inaccurate, as this was one of those situations described below where the enemy was being spared for thieving purposes)
    • Neutral units fall into this, especially if they're the ones you have to talk to and recruit. For instance, when Erk shows up in the second story arc of Blazing Sword, he comes out of a village and polishes off two mounted units before you get to him. If you don't get to him immediately thereafter though, he'll run off and provoke a boss with high resistance and physical attack.
      • They also have a tendency to attack enemies that you don't want attacked just yet (usually because they have an item that can be stolen), throw themselves at enemies far more powerful than they are, and always make their moves in the exact same order, which means that on the rare occasions that one of them does have some sense of self-preservation, they'll often retreat when it's really not necessary. And they always retreat when it's time to heal, even if they're using a healing item. Even if it means leaving a plot-sensitive character exposed.
    • The Radiant Dawn AI also prioritizes units who have "rescued" someone. In theory this makes sense, since if you rescue someone, the rescuer loses half Skill and Speed, making them sitting ducks who can't hit the broad side of a barn. Except tanky units don't care (at least for survival), and more importantly, they still do that if the rescuer has the skill that nullifies the stat penalties, meaning Tibarn (Who starts strong and has that skill) can easily make all enemies flock to him and kill them on counterattacks, just by grabbing someone. Who needs Provoke?
  • Then you get the units who are so outclassed by every player unit in range that it's literally impossible for them to actually do any damage (because they have a 0% chance to hit or 0 expected damage - or both) but insist on attacking anyway.

X Com Edit

  • Aliens manage to grenade themselves with depressing regularity. Is there not some alien sergeant shouting "When Mr Pin has been removed, Mr Grenade is not your freind"?
  • Panicing civilians will happily run into the middle of a fire fight, then run round in circles in some sort of weird suicide attempt
  • Xcom troopers are little better, taking reaction shots even if a friendly is in/near the line of fire.
    • Given some of the things that they fight, accidentally hitting your buddy could be interpreted as a Mercy Kill before it gets to him.


Massively Multiplayer Role Playing Game Edit

  • In Runescape, the enemies will attempt to follow a straight line to their target (i.e. you), so it is often possible to stop them in their tracks simply by hiding behind something, even a torch. This may be deliberate, as the only practical method for archers to level up is to get a target on the other side of a table, fence, or similar obstacle, and proceed to turn the target into a pincushion.
    • Mages can use the same strategy. Also, your character can also get stuck behind stuff, since you walk by clicking on where you want to go. In other words, you can also get this problem, though the player can guide their character.
  • In Guild Wars, one of the quests involves a 1 on 1 fight against an Evil Twin who is modestly stronger than you, and has the exact same skills on his skill bar that you do. The primary (and intended) way to beat him is to invoke his Artificial Stupidity by taking skills useless for a duel, and/or by taking good skills that he will not actually use. For example, it's entirely possible to get the Evil Twin to sacrifice enough of its health that you need only give him a cherry tap to win.
    • The Artificial Stupidity of henchmen in Guild Wars is acknowledged in the endgame area of Prophecies, where Reyna reminisces how she often would use her single-use resurrection, not on a player, but instead on another henchman who would ultimately die trying to resurrect other henchmen.
    • It's actually an established tactic as Squishy Wizard to go for cover, because spells from skills can bypass objects but weapon damage cannot. While the pure melee NPCs indeed have a working pathfinding, all others will nuke the wall ad infinitum and can be picked off one by one. Of course, the same goes for your henchmen and minions--with the latter ones being especially frustrating because you cannot order them to stop.
  • City of Heroes' enemy AI is usually pretty good, but some of the NPC allies you get on certain missions are appallingly dumb. Fusionette, a recurring NPC, does an unfortunately good imitation of a novice player with her tendency to attack too many enemies at once and get clobbered.
    • And in City of Villains, on the timed "Mayhem Missions", it's often possible to spring a NPC villain from jail for a little extra firepower against the hordes of police and heroes trying to stop you. Which is fine, except they often have an annoying glitch where they stand in front of some easily-destroyed object without attacking. No wonder they were arrested so easily...
      • Even worse (this is less of an issue with player pets than NPC villains, simply because they're replaceable), if you've been smashing things they tend to get in on the action, which might be good... except that they don't understand the concept of "explodes upon destruction". They can knock themselves out with no enemies in sight.
    • Mastermind pets are incredibly stupid as well.
  • In La Tale enemies will follow and attack the first player character they see, regardless of threat level or feasibility of actually doing damage. They will ignore anyone else unless they don't get a chance to attack for at least a minute or the character moves out of range. This can be abused while in a party to kill vastly more powerful monsters than you would normally stand a chance against by having one character act as bait, run like hell, and climb a ladder just out of range. The rest of the party can attack the monster with impunity until it finally gets bored and goes after someone else. Rinse and repeat and you can defeat even mobs of high-threat enemies with little risk.
  • World of Warcraft has two types of situations where your character is 'used' by the computer: either when fighting/aiding a doppleganger, or when mindcontrolled by certain bosses. Dopplegangers will sometimes use abilities with no cast time, but will almost always fight in melee range and spend most of the time just hitting with their melee weapon. Still a little threatening if the copied player is a Rogue, not so effective if they're a Mage whacking away with their staff. For the latter situation, while mindcontrolled your character uses abilities almost constantly and somewhat randomly, and often makes interesting choices (for instance an AI controlled Paladin using nothing but 'Exorcism' - a mediocre damage spell that usually only works on demons and undead - over and over on a fellow player). One particularly weird case showed the mind-controlled character apparently deciding Screw This, I'm Outta Here, and using a spell to teleport themselves to a different dimension. One constant is that they tend to use all cooldown abilities. Which due to their other actions is not necessarily dangerous, but does deprive you of them.
    • Particularly amusing is when the boss makes the player's character use an ability that breaks the mind control. The same ability that the player would use in that situation if they had control of their character.
    • At least some enemies capable of mind control seem to have a keen interest in Archaeology (or else are very curious about what all the buttons do), as they will often make the mind-controlled character use the "Survey" ability. Not only does survey have a cast time, but is also not a combat ability in any way, shape or form.
  • Dungeons and Dragons Online allows you to use computer-controlled hirelings that have a tendency to charge off into the distance on their own to attack bad guys. Bad enough, except they tend to run through deadly traps on the way. Or just stupidly stand IN the traps until dead. Particularly annoying when hireling clerics (healers) just stand in the trap attempting to heal themselves rather than move out the way first (and the traps deal way more damage per second than the healing so they just die anyway).
  • Hirelings in Diablo clearly fall into this trope. While the enemy AI is okay, the ally AI is definitely not. Hireling don't seem to understand basic concepts like "I should use that door just a few steps from me instead of trying to walk through the wall", they have the annoying habit of exploring all the whole time in a world where just walking a few metres triggers a new attack of dozens of enemies... And monsters by the Necromancer are even worse, as getting too far from them (and they aren't good AT ALL at following you) makes them disappear.
  • Puppetmasters in Final Fantasy XI Online will often run afoul of this trope. Their automatons can be configured for various roles, two of which are the Soulsoother and the Spiritreaver.
    • Soulsoother will cure status afflictions and heal, in that specific order, which means that it will always remove that weak Poison or Silence (which has no effect on a non-casting job) instead of a 900 HP cure when the player is near death. This same automaton also has an ability to deal damage based on the amount of damage it received, yet any damage worth mentioning is almost always healed by it prior to using said ability with an overkill heal... (unless its cast timer is down at that moment)
    • Spiritreaver will mainly cast highly damaging spells, and it attempts to do so intelligently: it can determine up front if a spell will land, and choose a more effective spell if not.. 'effective' being the ability to land a spell unresisted, not the amount of damage dealt. That the target cuts magic damage by 90%, or even absorbs magic damage and gets healed by it, is ignored. When this automaton gets below 75% of maximum MP (due to casting those damage spells), it will replace said spells with MP draining spells if the target has MP, even if these are so ineffective as to COST more MP then they gain. And it will do this until it either gets above 75% MP or it runs out of MP. If it gets damaged in the process, it will alternate HP draining spells with MP draining spells, which are equally ineffective as they share the same resistance mechanism.

Neverwinter Nights Edit

  • In Neverwinter Nights 2, your character will always, always start the combat by casting the Sanctuary spell. Even if he is a warrior/cleric.
    • There is also Qara, who had a habit of aiming area-of-effect spells where they would hurt fellow party members and even herself. While she isn't portrayed as very bright, she shouldn't be that stupid.
    • Let's not forget how your spellcasters would always sling about the various dispelling spells they had prepared at the beginning of a fight. Most of the time this led to you not having a way of getting rid of an enemies buff spells half way through a fight because they'd all already been used.
      • Even worse, they would often dispel any buff spells on the PCs, making it easier for the enemies to kill you.
  • Linu back in the original Neverwinter Nights had an unfortunate habit of casting Harm on hostile undead. Which HEALS them. Even worse, this was usually a few rounds into the battle, so it'd wipe out all the damage you'd painstakingly inflicted on it. Throw in her tendency towards burning through her whole day's supply of Turn Undead spells, even though the last three attempts did nothing... yeah, it's probably best to depend upon potions for your healing.
    • The non-mages aren't a whole lot better. Fighter-types running headlong into encounter after encounter, thus forcing you to abandon what you were doing to join in, makes some amount of sense. However, Neeshka does exactly the same thing even though the sensible thing to do would be to wait until others engage and then sneak attack (where it works) at will.
      • Of course when the fighters attack, they have a nasty tendency to run past perfectly viable targets, and get attack of opportunity-ed, just so they could get to that oh so dangerous archer that shot them in the bum. "Oh you'll pay for that 4 damage bow boy! What? Oh that huge-assed guy that just power attacked me for 36? Nah he's no threat, I won't bother to change my priorities just because he can dish out nine times the damage, that's sissy thinking!"
    • Anyone remember the very useless sorcerer Boddyknock? Casting See Invisibility (repeatedly!) on clearly visible enemies wasn't of any help at all, while you were in dire need of support.
  • Elanee has the frustrating habit of rushing into a battle, sickle a-waving, then once everybody is dead save one poor guy who's about to be mowed down, she casts all of her spells, especially the ones the would have been incredibly useful at the beginning of the fight. And that she also seems hellbent on screwing up the cinematic camera angles by walking out of sight or being a huge freaking bear.
    • None of the NPCs seem to realize that traps are dangerous things to be avoided. Neeskha will happily start disarming a trap, spot an enemy, and run straight over the trap to attack it.


Role Playing Game Edit

  • In Disgaea 2, it is very easy to kill some enemies without them reacting simply by pelting them with spells from outside their range, because even if you can hit them most enemies don't move unless they can attack that turn.
    • One of the AI's biggest flaws (at least in the first Disgaea) was that they will always go after the weakest character, instead of the most dangerous.
      • But they Shoot the Medic First whenever possible. So the easiest way to quickly level a new recruit up to par is by sending them through an old mission with a high-level Cleric leading the way (and drawing all attacks). Works best when you're leveling spellcasters though.
      • They're also too dumb to pay any heed to damage immunities granted by a character's abilities or elemental affinities, so a Holy Dragon can be an exceptionally good distraction, due to both being a healer, and being immune to all non-elemental special attacks (Which is well over half of the attacks in the game).
    • The item world dungeons avert this somewhat, enemy units will move as long as there is a navigable path to get in attacking range of the enemy (your units, a resident, or a chest). This does lead to the odd quirk where an archer with 4 square range will not move if you're standing 5 squares from where they can attack, only to start moving if you move within that 4 square range, rather than moving closer even when they can't reach in anticipation of attacking you.
    • In the first Disgaea, the computer often friendly fires on its own units when using spells, even when the option not to is available. And on other occasions it will cast healing spells on your own units as well.
      • Based on the way the camera centers sometimes, it seems that the AI sometimes uses the two-target pattern to buff/heal/attack a single unit standing right next to them.
    • Another quirk in the Disgaea games is that the enemy will go after neutral characters first. In the first game, this was only Item World innocents (making this a case of Spiteful AI, as killing them accomplishes nothing but screwing you out of something useful), but in the 2nd this included Chests. If a chest was on an Invincibility panel, they'd spend all their time trying to kill the chest! This made it really easy to kill them.
      • Enemies also tend to ignore Geo Effects entirely. Story maps might allow for them, having characters stay on Invincibility panels for example, when normally they'd pursue you. But randomly generated levels like the Item World also have randomly generated Geo Effects, and these are ignored. Foes will stand on squares that damage their health each round or reduce their stats, attack your party members that are on invincibility panels, completely ignore beneficial spots that would buff them, or even repeatedly heal your units by trying to damage them while on "Reverse Damage" panels.
    • Enemy healers will often heal units with full health if they have nothing better to do, wasting their SP. They will also repeatedly buff units beyond their capacity to benefit from it (buffs do stack in Disgaea, but have an upper limit to their effects).
  • In Summoner, this is almost essential to win in some random encounters. Simply lay down a wall of fire and observe as the AI monsters barbecue to death, staring serenely at the horizon...
    • There is also a Good Bad Bug which allows you to cast offensive spells on certain ally NPCs, who don't seem to notice or care that you're attacking them and, if there are no nearby enemies, may well stand around doing nothing while you kill them.
  • In Shining Force, there are many cases where an enemy will move to a certain spot, then never move from it. Such enemies can be easily defeated by simply hitting them with ranged attacks, even if they'd only have to move one square to trounce the attacking character(s). This was alleviated in the second game.
  • In The World Ends With You, if you have your partners on auto-play, they will always select the middle path of their combo branches. Now, this is all right for Shiki, because her method for gaining Fusion Stars (the Zenner Cards) is completely random. But for Joshua and especially Beat, this can make getting Fusion Stars impossible if you don't take control of them every few seconds, rendering auto-play a liability.
    • Not to mention the fact that they never block.
      • Not to mention that Beat's Fusion minigame is CAPABLE OF HURTING BOTH OF YOU if performed incorrectly!
  • Dragon Age has your allies do some stupid things at first, but similar to Final Fantasy XII, you can give them some rather specific orders to remedy this. Their starting tactics don't work very well, though, especially at higher levels. Namely, warriors and rogues won't naturally think of using a Deep Mushroom when they run out of Stamina because they don't have any tactics telling them to do this.
    • You can beat several ambushes with area effect magic by targeting enemies beyond doors, which can't be opened until after the cutscene triggered by attempting to open the door.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and A2 feature some examples of this. Yes, in A2 the people you're escorting almost never just rush into combat (except when you're escorting overconfident pricks, which makes sense), which is nice... but enemies and friendly combatants alike make some of the stupidest decisions. Examples? Physically attacking a unit with Strike Back (which allows it to parry and counter any normal attack), or trying to cause a status effect to a unit which is openly immune to it, or go after the little supporting character while your Dragoons are ripping the enemy a new one... are some of the most usual ones.
    • Status immunities aren't the only things that the AI disregards... like inflicting silence on non-magic users. Why. Why do you do something like this?
      • A2 also has some pretty desperate, yet dumb monsters. Chocobos, for example, will sometimes use Choco Cure or Choco Barrier on their allies if they are next to them, but are willing to use these skills even if you are in its range, thus you get the free buffs or heals. Some monsters like Antlions have attacks that are elemental based and can cause a debuff. They will use these abilities on their allies if they can absorb the element, but don't care if they are hit with the debuff.
        • The chocobo thing is sometmes used in the original FFT to farm EXP- two allied characters drive a regular chocobo into a corner, and attack it enough to lower its HP without ever killing it. The chocobo keeps using Choco Cure to heal itself, thus healing the allied characters from any damage it may have caused them, allowing this system to potentially go on forever, upping the EXP of the characters with every attack.
    • The original Final Fantasy Tactics has this in places as well...
      • The worst is one battle with a particularly suicidal guest character. If she is KO'd, you lose. Your opponents are a high level swordsman (who always gets first turn, with which he always takes half the guest's HP), and two assassin type characters who can both kill any character instantly with 100% accuracy. So, naturally, the guest character will often be found rushing right into the middle of them instead of running the hell away. Unless your characters are particularly speedy, you can, and probably will, lose the battle before you even get a turn.
        • Depending on how many save slots you feel like using, odds are you'll've also trapped yourself in the area so you can't go out an grind up some more levels.
      • A less damaging but still valid example comes from a battle where the character you have to protect is statistically average, but has a single special ability that's so powerful there'd be no reason to ever use anything else. Naturally, he doesn't do the smart thing and use it every turn.
    • One solution for stupid allies: willingly immobilize them so that they don't rush blindly towards the enemy and do something stupid.
    • Another example in Final Fantasy Tactics is when one of your party member get KO'd, rest of the allies would rush to revive and cure said member, only for that newly-revived ally to get KO'd by enemy again. The allies basically waste more turns and items on reviving the ally, instead of dealing with the enemy, especially when the enemy can be easily defeated.
    • Of course, there are some 'positive' examples. A good example is the Loss Strategy used by people attempting solo challenges. You see, many of the later (and thus harder) bosses have the ability to confuse a single party member with 100% success rate, baring equipment granting immunity. Hitting that character will break the confusion, so the computer is programmed to not to attack the character unless they can kill them quickly enough. As such, if you only have one character in a battle, letting them get confused will prevent the boss from attacking them, whereas your character will act randomly, which will result in your character slowly killing the boss, as hitting the boss is the only productive thing they can do.
    • In Tactics Adavance, AI-controlled archers will frequently waste their turns shooting at enemy units who have the Block Arrows ability. This isn't limited to enemy archers either. Ally archers, such as Ritz's Viera partner, Shara, will do the same thing.
    • Final Fantasy X: the blitzball AI can be hilariously dumb. For example, they will flat-out ignore the one with the ball until he or she passes within a certain radius, and then follow them to the ends of the earth, allowing you to pull the entire team halfway across the field to leave the goal open. Occasionally, you also get daft role allocations, like the Ronso Fangs putting a guy with a Catching score of 6 in goal at a time when an underlevelled striker is still rocking a Shooting score of 15-20, or tactical decisions, like having a guy with an appalling shooting score try to go for the goal from midcourt.
  • Fallout will probably go down in history as the game where the main threat to your health was your party members... what with them repeatedly shooting you in the back with automatic weapons and trapping you in corners. The sequel tried to alleviate it by adding commands so you give them tactical instructions or shove them out of your way, but you should still never give your henchmen anything with a burst mode.
    • Also, the friend/foe recognition was just... odd. A stray shot hitting someone who was non-hostile would convince your followers they were viable targets. For example, the quest to guard Grisham's brahmin against wild dogs: Vic takes aim at one dog, and wings a brahmin by mistake. The rest of your party immediately ignore the dogs and attack the cattle instead. You lose a hundred bucks for each cow lost. Thanks a bunch, guys. Why do I keep you around?
    • More burst shot trouble: enemy at point blank range, no civilians in sight: single shot. Enemy at 10 meters, lots of civilian in here: burst shot.
    • Party members in Fallout 2 choose a target, and stick to it. When the target is unreachable, they stand in place, doing nothing, and getting shot until running away while there was another perfect target right next to them!
    • Fallout 3 still carries that torch -- charging in ahead of your follower often gets you shot in the back ("Can I have a better weapon?" "What, the better to kill me with?") On the other hand, your more perceptive allies will bellow battle cries while you're moving in stealthily, sometimes when they're directly behind you so as to alert the target you're approaching, and sometimes while weaving directly across your line of fire.
      • The AI also carries over the Oblivion tradition of being unable to climb up rocks. Doesn't mean much if the opponent has a gun, but if they're melee, they'll just run up against the wall or try a non-existent way around to get to you.
      • A final offense is that the AI charges at you in a straight line, meaning that the player can lay down mines on the ground as they fall back and the enemy will cripple itself running over them.
      • Dogmeat in Fallout 3 is a loyal guard dog. So loyal he'll defend you in battles that will obviously kill him nearly instantly. I admire your courage, Dogmeat, but rushing at a Deathclaw while you have no armor and only melee attacks isn't brave. It's totally stupid.
      • That was pre-Broken Steel. Now that Dogmeat scales to level 30, he's nigh-unkillable. Still dumb as a rock, but he doesn't die constantly. And on the off chance he does, hey, puppies!
      • It fixed many annoying things from Oblivion, but there are still some issues. After the game release, there were reports that Megaton citizens had been reportedly turning up dead. Was it unscripted murder? No, THEY FELL OFF THE WALKWAYS.
      • After leveling your stealth skill enough and obtaining the Chinese Stealth Armour from the Operation Anchorage, you have officially won the game. Equip the stealth armour and a melee weapon. Enemies will go into alert for all of two seconds after being hit before deciding that they must have imagined the knife wound, allowing you to hit them again. Rinse, repeat.
      • Most egregiously, the above even works with the Ripper and the Auto Axe in full-auto. These weapons are, respectively, a mini-chainsword and a concrete saw.
  • Their habit to run into enemies when you've equipped them with damn weapons is just frustratingly annoying. That power armour may as well be for naught by now.
    • Fallout: New Vegas improved the AI for party members...for the most part. You still frequently get treated to the sight of your melee-oriented companion dashing valiantly off cliffs and breaking their legs to chase down a Bloatfly, or rushing headlong off the road to attack a swarm of Cazadores. At least most of them aren't likely to shoot you in the back.
      • Never, ever give a ranged specific companion like Boone a high DPS melee weapon. Nothing ruins your nicely planned trap for the boss like Boone running past you, stabbing one of the mobs and dying in bullets while he is the best sniper in the world!
    • In Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel, Load Lifter robots do not seem to understand that they're too wide to fit through certain tight spaces. This results in them getting stuck, as they fruitlessly keep trying to move through the gap. The player can exploit this by positioning their squad on the other side of said gap and shooting the robot with impunity.
  • Secret of Mana suffers from this with your characters. One problem is, since it was meant to be a multiplayer game as well, is that the characters can only move so far before an imaginary wall blocks them. The AI has a tendency to run into the nearest dead end, forcing you to go back to "unhook" that character. Also, it's probably not a good idea to let them attack, even if you set their AI to aggressive.
  • Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days gives us the Invisible, an Ogre-class monster found in the last Agrabah mission. These Heartless have an attack where they disappear, leaving their sword to chase you around the map for a while before reappearing. It's possible to lure the sword past a wall, then roll behind the wall, stand there and let the sword keep trying to fly through the wall towards you until the Invisible reappears and teleports the weapon back to him. It's possible to do this with any of the three or four similar monsters, but it's easiest with the Invisible (one is a fake boss and the other is in Twilight Town, while Invisible's room has one spot perfectly suited to trap the sword).
  • The partner AI in the first and second Kingdom Hearts games is simply abysmal. On top of their tendency to waste all of their magic and skills instantly the moment a fight starts with anything (Donald is the worst in this department; he'll spend all of his MP in 5 seconds flat if you don't disable his attack spells), they also like to just stand there doing nothing for 2/3rds of any given fight. Their pattern is basically "attack, step back, wait 2 seconds, repeat", meaning they take a boatload of hits from enemies since they basically never guard even if you tell them to. Elemental attackers just fire off random spells, often resulting in them casting spells that do no damage on enemies strong against whatever they randomly chose.
    • Of course, it is very important to mention that your main character pretty much does most (if not all) of the work anyways. Despite some allies (Aladdin, Ariel, Peter Pan) having some nice attack abilities that take out a notable chunk of most enemys' HP, you can pretty much wreck their HP in half that time or the boss has so much defense and/or doesn't hold still long enough it's not that useful. (They work best when they make heartless/nobodies stagger and take additional damage from the next hits in the attack; bosses are harder to stagger). They work far more efficiently in short-battles against a lot of Trash Mobs.
      • Some free advice: Go into their menus. Go up to their special abilities and item options and click them to "Only in emergencies". Suddenly, they become a hell of a lot smarter.
    • An enemy example of stupidity is present in Leon/Squall the first time you fight him in the first game. Attacking him head on is risky due to how absurdly high his attack power is for that point in the game, as well how quick his melee attacks are. However, as long you're standing at a higher elevation then him, the only thing he'll do is jump over to you, leaving himself wide open to a combo.
  • Donald can be seen as Artificial Stupidity in Chain of Memories when he does stuff like cast Thundaga three times in a row on Larxene (who is immune to Thunder) or healing Sora when he's at full health, it's more comparable to a random number generator doing it.
    • In the manga, Larxene tricks Donald into doing this.
  • In X Men Legends, the AI is fairly competent. But they won't dodge, use any shields, and sometimes will just beat down the enemy (even if it's in their best interest to stand back and use their mutant powers). This is really frustrating when they walk off the edge of a bridge to their death.
    • Some very specific mutant powers of some AI controlled party members won't trigger whenever you spam the "call for help" button, forcing you to make some party member switch back and forth.
  • Persona 3 had some issues with what your AI teammates would or wouldn't do. One particularly loathsome example is their reaction to barrier spells. If an enemy casts a barrier that blocks all physical attacks, your allies will refuse to attack it head on, forcing the player to do it themselves to get rid of it. However, an enemy near the end casts a special barrier that goes away over time instead and attacking it usually means dropping dead on the spot, but unlike before your party doesn't stop attacking. You almost have to physically restrain your party to avoid them killing themselves.
    • Have fun battling with Mitsuru if her tactic is Act Freely. She'll just spam her Useless Useful Spell over and over, even if the enemy is weak to Bufu.
      • Persona 3 actually had some surprisingly intelligent combat algorithms governing your party members- if you scanned an enemy for its elemental strengths and weaknesses your characters would NEVER use a useless attack on that enemy again, and even if you didn't or the enemy was immune to scan (most bosses in Tartarus) they'd learn their lesson after a single failed attack. On the other hand, they were completely oblivious to the nuances of strategy (most obviously that making enemies lose turns is a good thing, causing them to attack enemies who were already knocked down and causing them to stand up again. Mastery of the combat system in Persona 3 was determined by how well you could use the strategy system to railroad their Artificial Stupidity into achieveing the desired goals without screwing up too badly. Fortunately Persona 4 (and later Persona 3 Portable) gave you the option of controlling your entire party manually.
      • The AI will opt to knock down enemies, but only if you give the order.
      • Though even the Tactics Menu is hardly perfect. If you tell a character to heal/support, they will not cure poison on a character if said character is at less than perfect health. They will not heal anyone else, either, even if the poisoned character is at 499/500 hp and another party member is at 1/500.
      • It gets worse than that. The Charm status will drive the AI absolutely crazy : your healers will give Charmed characters absolute priority, even if they are at near-perfect health while non-charmed ones are dying. This is especially aggravating as it might sometimes be better to let the Charmed characters fall unconscious instead of having them healing enemies/attacking allies. Oh, and only VERY RARELY will a Heal/Support AI randomly realize that it is much more efficient to just dispel Charm instead of continously replenishing health.
  • Estelle's AI in Tales of Vesperia is almost universally considered lackluster.
    • Part of the reason for this is that, unlike most other healers in Tales (series) games, Estelle has a lot of offensive artes that require her to be in melee range (In contrast to say, Tear, whose artes are all ranged and her basic attack is ranged, too, so she stays out of the way, or Cheria, who has very few melee-ranged artes). Of course you can and probably should have her orders set to "magic only" or "heal", but she -- like all characters -- will still attack if out of Mana.
      • There's also the problem that Estelle refuses to use ailment curing spells like Recover and Dispel. Instead, she opts to spam First Aid on the afflicted party member.
    • This also becomes ironic though, when Estelle's first instinct with Rita casting some artes that affect an area to bring the enemies into said area.
  • In the PS 1 version of Tales of Destiny, the AI would do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING unless you were standing behind them.
  • In Tales of Legendia, the casters seem to run off of an AI Roulette and their spells seem to be picked by Random Number Generator. This leads to some annoying instances where Will or Norma will use a fire-aligned spell only to have it absorbed, then after saying "Oh that didn't work", use another one or even worse, use it a second time. Grune and Shirley at least have a nice excuse for spamming the same eres attacks because for awhile, Grune doesn't really have any and Shirley learns hers throughout the character quests.
    • Grune however gets rather stupid - during the character quests, for a very long time, she only has one spell: Bloody Howling. It might be the first Dark Eres you have, and given that a lot of enemies in the later parts of the game are weak to it, it's not bad. However, sometime around the last or second-to-last dungeon, she also learns Aqua Laser...which inflicts Sea damage. (Essentially, the equivalent of Holy Damage in this game.) During the Character Quests, you'll have to pretty much turn off all your eres that inflict Curse damage against the curse-aligned bosses because a lot of her spells are sea and curse aligned. (Although plenty of stuff like Absolute and eruption)
  • In Valkyria Chronicles the computer is unable to predict whether it will be able to fire on one of your units with a given one of it's, it will therefore spend actions moving units backwards and forwards along the same path every turn to no effect. Similarly, they also have an unusual tendency rush troops straight into certain death, possibly for want of any other move.
  • In Tales of Symphonia, Raine runs up to an enemy, as if to attack, and then runs away again. Other times she just decides to cast a spell that takes a long time while standing right next to it. "Don't get in my way!"
    • The fighters' pattern of running away after combos is equally incomprehensible and usually just results in the enemy getting a free shot at their backs.
      • This is most likely a holdover from the earlier Tales games, where the simpler mechanics and stupider enemy AI made it so that running away after combos actually WAS effective strategy and indeed necessary to not get killed - enemies tended to fall out of stun just after you made your escape. The semi-auto function in Phantasia and Eternia make the running back and forth action automatic. (They also do this in Tales of Legendia, which is based off of Eternia's battle system)
    • Also, spellcasters in ToS will often fail to retreat before attempting to cast a spell. If they're too close to the enemy, they'll get their spell interrupted, and immediately try to cast it again, getting interrupted every time until they get KO'ed or the enemy is defeated by another party member.
      • Exacerbating this problem is the fact that on many strategy settings, if the spellcasters run out of TP, they'll start running up to the enemy for melee attacks. By itself, this would be reasonable as a successful melee attack restores 1 TP per combo hit, but if they restore sufficient TP, the aforementioned problem kicks in and they start trying to cast a spell standing right next to the enemy. However; plenty of more recent games let the party members use TP-restoring items as needed so that they don't have to run in.
    • Colette. Just Colette. She has the potential to be an Elite Tweak Game Breaker when player-controlled, yet her AI manages to turn her into a punching bag for the enemies.
    • AI controlled characters will often use their super guard when an enemy casts a spell, even when it would be better to move out of the way. Worse, they use it as the spell is cast, so that if the spell has a long animation the effect will run out before the spell hits.
  • In Tales of Phantasia, Mint loves to use Pow Hammer and then Pow Pow Hammer. Honestly you can't blame her; if she's well protected enough she'll have thrown on Acid rain, buffed Cress and Suzu up, long ago so there's almost nothing to do until somebody gets hurt. Of course, this does tend to get annoying if she starts to cast Pow Pow Hammer when someone's running low on HP...and given that she does this on bosses, too, and that bosses are normally immune to Pow Pow Hammer's stun effect. (It doesn't hurt on melees, though)
  • Most Roguelike games avoid using path-finding algorithms for the monster AI since doing so would make the game very slow, meaning that monsters will head for you in a straight line and then stop as soon as soon as they hit an obstacle. If the obstruction is not a wall but something like deep water or a chasm then you can use distance attacks to kill the monster while it just sits there.
    • Also in most Roguelikes a monster with a distance attack which will harm anything between it and the target (like lightning bolts) will use it even if the attack will harm or even kill allied monsters between it and its target.
    • In some of the variants where monsters can use magical items the monsters will prefer to use weak magical items over their more powerful innate magic, like demon lords in Nethack which choose a Wand of Striking over their much more powerful infernal magics.
    • In variants where monsters can flee from their opponent they never analyze their opponent's strength at the start of the fight and decide to flee if the opponent seems too strong, but rather wait until they're almost dead to flee.
  • Quest 64 has some of the worst AI ever seen, to the point that bosses become easier and enemies don't even use all their available attacks.
  • Vagrant Story has the unique condition where its anti-casting technique, Silence, is canceled in the event that a spell of any kind hits you. Similarly, you can afflict most spellcasting enemies in the game with Paralyze, which prevents physical attacks. If you Silence yourself - or let them Silence you - and then Paralyze them, they will more or less stand there and let you kill them, as they're programmed to not under any circumstances break your Silence effect by hitting you with another spell. Similarly, many enemies will refuse to engage you until they've cast all possible enhancements on themselves, and by countering their enhancement spells they'll do nothing but try and cast them, over and over, while you get in free attack after free attack.
  • Mass Effect has a couple of examples of minor Artificial Stupidity. Garrus Vakarian had a strange habit of using Adrenaline Burst to re-set the cooldown on all his skills right at the beginning of battle, before he'd done anything. Squad members would try to stay near the player unless told to go elsewhere (even if they were Snipers and the player was a close-quarters fighter, or vice-versa), and sometimes, trying to tell them to go elsewhere resulted in them telling you they couldn't get there- because there was a corner (or a box, or similar) between them and there. They would also switch to weapons they were untrained (and therefore did much less damage) with after cutscenes (though Shepard did this also) and repeatedly fire into walls and other obstacles in an attempt to hit enemies that had ducked behind them.
    • The faults of both enemy and ally AI can be seen if you play as a sniper and, in true sniper fashion, take out all your enemies from several hundred feet away (for example, picking off enemies from the top of a mountain while on the ground on a random planet). Actually hitting an enemy from that distance will automatically put you into combat, which can lead to allies using shotguns (the effective range of which is about twenty feet) and enemies firing wildly in your direction, landing maybe one shot in fifty. The enemies, however, will never get any closer to allow you to ventilate their heads with all the time in the world aside from occasionally dodging easily seen rockets and the energy balls Geth Armatures fire (yes, it works on them just the same - though it does take a while) by moving to one side a bit.
    • Rocket troopers and geth colossi tend to focus fire on the Mako instead of the player and their squad so long as you stay close by, even if they have a perfect shot at the player. This can be exploited thoroughly to get max XP out of fights with armatures and colossi that ordinarily would be done in the Mako--cut down their health with the Mako's cannon, then get out, hide behind the Mako, and it's easy to take down otherwise near-impossible enemies. Because the Mako usually won't be destroyed unless you're inside, it can take nearly unlimited amounts of damage... just be sure to take out every enemy before getting back in!
    • Anyone complaining about Thresher Maws have probably never tried taking one out on foot with a sniper rifle. Approach the Thresher's spawn point in the Mako, disembark when it pops out of the ground, and stand a fair distance away. Snipe, sidestep the painfully slow acid spit, snipe, sidestep the painfully slow acid spit, snipe... See, the difficulty with the Threshers is that they can instantly gib you in the Mako; but will forego the burrow attack for the slow acid spit if you're on foot. Plus, you get less XP if you kill something with the Mako, so farming Threshers on foot is easier and more profitable.
      • Another thing. Armature-class geth have heavy machine guns as well as the incredibly slow directed energy weapon. They almost never use them except at extreme range. Get in close, and they continue to blaze away with the snail-gun, despite the incredible ease with which it is dodged.
    • Mass Effect 2 usually averts this with excellent AI. However, a fun way to kill enemies with rocket launchers (on lower difficulties, or if they are the only enemies left, is to simply walk right up to them. They fire their rocket launcher at point-blank range. The resulting backblast will kill them.
      • Squadmate stupidity does happen though, usually with bad cover choices (or none at all). Questionable power usage is a big irritation though, especially since all a character's powers share a cooldown, which is much longer than Shepard's. Jacob is by far the worst offender once his Barrier skill is automatically unlocked, he will usually spam the ability as much as possible if left to the AI, effectively removing his ability to use his offensive powers. Fortunately, there's an option to turn off AI power usage.
      • Most types of enemies immediately take cover at the start of a fight. However, the AI is not particularly picky about WHAT it uses for cover, leading to many enemies attempting to hide behind Explosive Crates.
  • Because of Vandal Hearts 2's unique turn-based system - where moving each friendly unit is accompanied by the AI opponent moving one of theirs simultaneously - a considerable portion of the strategy involves outsmarting the predictable AI, such as moving a character to attack an empty region safe in the knowledge that the computer will move an enemy unit straight into it.
  • In the 5th and final chapter of Dragon Quest IV, all party members except The Hero are AI-controlled. The AI has multiple settings: the basic mode, an all-out offense mode, a defense-oriented mode, a no magic mode, etc. They all have one thing in common: the AI is deeply stupid. It's commonplace for the AI to have everybody gang up on a single enemy even if one of them alone can kill it that turn (naturally, it will almost always be the monster you choose for the Hero to attack), resulting in everyone else wasting their turn swinging at the now-empty spot in the enemy group's roster. Or cast spells against an enemy who has magical protection in place to bounce them back at you. Or cast that same spell on the party right before the healer casts her own healing spell (with exactly the results you might expect). Worst of all, there's no option to turn off the AI control! At least, not in the original NES version. In the Playstation and Nintendo DS remakes, that flaw is rectified.
    • Your healers also had a tendency to constantly cast instant death spells on enemies rather than healing your party--even if the enemy was immune to instant death. This was doubly annoying also, because some of the dungeons are quite long, and recovering magic points is fairly difficult, so you'd end up having to switch your party to Use No MP mode just so you'd have enough magic to be able to have a few healing spells for the boss.
    • Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 has problems with AI, too. This post from Game FAQs.com's forums says it best:

 I've spent hours planning and synthesising my ultimate magic-using monster. It has high Wisdom, high MP (plus Magic Regenerator, so it recovers MP automatically), and some of the best magic spells learned, Kafrizzle, Kazapple, Kacrackle, etc. It should be perfect. It can inflict around 300-400 damage using its most powerful magic spells. So when I'm in a battle and I have its AI set to "Show No Mercy", what does it do?



It uses Sacred Slash. Or Blast Slash. Or any of the other pointless slash attacks, causing around 50 damage per hit. Un-friggin-believable. None of the AI settings I set it to will cause it to do anything else besides that or a normal attack against a single opponent. Because of the stupid skill system, I can't get rid of those slash attacks since they're in the same family as the magic spells (um... why?). I'll be able to lose them once I learn Uber Mage, but that wouldn't be absolutely required if the crackheads who programmed this game realized that it would be best that "Show No Mercy" literally meant "Cause as much damage as possible, dumbass!"



There are a lot of instances in the game where the awful AI wants to make me bash my head against a wall, but this takes the cake. It wouldn't be that much of a problem if it weren't for the Arena and Tournament battles forcing you to only use AI control, so you have no choice but to sit and watch as your usual team of asskickers completely degrade into pathetic, drunken idiots. Still, you would think that because AI control is mandatory they would have spent more than four minutes testing it to see whether or not it actually works correctly, but maybe that's too much to ask.

  • Your party members in Rogue Galaxy have no idea what they are doing. While they won't use MP-cost special abilities without your specific request (unless you have them set that way), and do have the brains to use charge attacks when needed to break enemy shields, the rest of their AI is locked onto Attack! Attack! Attack!. They have never heard of either blocking attacks or getting out of the way. The only setting on which they block is the one that prevents them from doing anything else.
  • Monster Hunter has the monsters set up like Mooks that will beat the crap out of each other because they're too close to one another to get at you, or you're on a ledge, or something similar. Sure, it's easily explained by the monsters in question being only up to the level of intelligence of wild animals, but it makes things easier for you if you use patience and proper positioning, plus it's just fun to watch.
  • Arcanum: Your fellow party members make it a point of ignoring your orders the very next combat encounter, apparantly eager for that summoned Fire Elemental to slaughter them. Magic users will willingly render themselves unconscious by healing technological characters, upon whom their magic has not effect. They also like to stand in doorways, and otherwise cause more damage than the enemy. If any game makes a successful argument for full party control during combat, it is this one.
  • Dario in Chrono Cross. A really challenging Bonus Boss...in a straight fight. He counters every single one of your elements with an element of his own. And therein lies the exploit. He counters most elements with stat debuffs, which would be a severe pain if the counter didn't also count as his turn. So just pelt him with a red, blue, or green element every turn and he'll lower your stats, but never actually attack you.
    • The Green Dragon, similarly. His challenge comes from his tendency to cast Carnivore, a powerful green-elemental spell. But he only casts Carnivore if the entire element field is green. So, if you cast a weak non-green spell every time the field becomes fully green, he'll spend most of the fight casting Green Field. Or, hell, bring a dozen Carnivore traps and go to town.
  • When playing a Forgotten Realms Unlimited Adventures design, it's a good idea to include a paladin in your party, because only then will you be able to control the NPCs that join your party during the game. Otherwise they'll be controlled by the computer with ridiculous stupidity at times, which is especially destructive with spellcasters. For example, casting area damage spells with blatant disregard for your party members' presence next to the target... or casting "Dispel Magic" at enemies (who don't have any magic buffs on them) for no reason whatsoever.
    • Version 1.1 of the game had a Game Breaking Bug where the NPC magic-users would immediately flee the battlefield at the beginning of every combat.
  • Soul Nomad and The World Eaters/Soul Cradle had a great example of this while doing room inspections. It seems rare and only in higher levels, but some enemies will just outright kill their own ally without any specific reason by using a skill.
    • Another good example from the room inspections... two, in fact. Units with a flying leader, such as a Whirwin or Gryphos, will blindly walk over 'visible' minetraps, if that's the room hindrance. Oh, and does the Room Leader have the Anti-matter room? The enemy will target them. Even the game hates Anti-matter!
  • In Dark Cloud, the cannon enemies in the sunken ship will only fire at you from a certain distance away. If you get close to them, they back away. You can back them into a corner, and they'll keep running into the wall, never attacking, while you hack away at it until it dies. Thankfully, this was fixed in Dark Chronicle.
  • Knights of the Old Republic 2 suffers from a pretty faulty AI. One of the most Egregious examples would be an infamous sidequest that involved leading a Too Dumb to Live survivor of a droid attack, out of an abandoned military base. He can't make two steps unless he's facing you directly withing a certain distance for at least a few seconds, and there's nothing between you and him.
    • Enemies in the game have a pretty straightforward way of closing the distance to the player. Usually the most direct, straight-line way possible. A well-prepared player can, therefore, lay out an entire minefield between them and the boss, engage them in battle, and watch as even Jedi Masters charge straight through the explosives and end up getting killed without the player doing anything but standing there.
  • In the old (like, from the 1980s) SSI "Gold Box" Dungeons and Dragons games, the AI was terrible at aiming area effect spells, generally targetting spells directly at whatever they were trying to hit. For spells like fireballs, which hit the target square and everything around it, this was generally effective at hitting all the PCs but also tended to hit any of the spellcaster's allies who were fighting them (and sometimes the spellcaster itself). The stinking cloud spell, however, hit a 2-square-by-2-square area, with the square the spell was targetted at in the upper left corner. This meant that you always wanted to engage spellcasters from their left, so that if they cast stinking cloud on you, they'd invariably get themselves too (whereas if you engaged from their right, they wouldn't). Black Dragons were especially susceptible to this, as casting stinking cloud was always the first thing they did after using their breath weapon. In the edition of D&D used in the games, failing a saving throw (this was back when you made saving throws when hit by a spell) against stinking cloud meant you were helpless due to choking, and could be killed with a single blow from anything. Many Black Dragons died in vain.
    • The AI Stupidity in the SSI D&D games was usually a boon to players, but in Curse of the Azure Bonds the mage NPC Akabar Bel-Akash (a character from the book the game is based on) would join the party. You could control him out of combat, but in combat he was computer-controlled. A smart player would have him ditch any Fireball or Stinking Cloud spells he had memorized and replace them with something else - AN Ything else. Even if you didn't have time for him to memorize new spells, Akabar with no spells was more useful (or rather, less of a liabilty) than Akabar with area-effect spells.
  • The A Is for your Party Members in the story mode of Phantasy Star Universe are especially abysmal. Since the game is pretty much designed to be played as an MMORPG, you're unable to access any of their stats or alter their equipment or tactics in any way, and if that's not bad enough, you will lose track of the number of times that they get caught behind stairs/boxes/'mild curves in the path' and what not. When it comes to actual battle, you will do your best to hold in your rage as you see them offer quite useful tactical advice like "Don't bunch up," or "Engage the enemy in a pincer formation, Mr. Waber," only to either charge in blindly or, even more likely, just hang back and do absolutely nothing for most/all of the fight. There's a reason that doing group timed missions in single player mode is best attempted when you're ridiculously above the required levels for them.
  • Mages in the Baldur's Gate games don't play well with allies, freely dropping fireballs and meteor swarms on them. And then there's Gate, which summons a powerful demon. They do have the sense to cast protection from evil to stop it attacking them. However, because it still qualifies as an enemy, they'll attack it. Sometimes it's possible to just move away and let the two of them get on with, then move back in once the mage has expanded a bunch of their spells killing the thing it just summoned.
    • Even when the mage managed to avoid instantly attacking the Pit Fiend it just summoned, they never, ever, under any circumstance would use Protection From Evil on any of their own allies, which would always result in the Pit Fiend targeting instead of your party.
    • A possibly worse example of Artificial Stupidity was that any allied NPC, whether a summoned monster or someone you'd recruited to help you in a fight, would instantly turn hostile to you if they were caught in the radius of a damage dealing spell that either one of your characters or another allied NPC had used. Even if they were completely unaffected by it. Given that there was one fight where a recruitable NPC used a cursed sword that had a chance of triggering a fireball on his location every time he attacked, it was almost impossible to make it through the entire fight without all the rest of the recruitable allies there turning hostile (casting Resilient Sphere on him, which wasn't considered an offensive spell, was usually the easiest way).
  • Final Fantasy V plays this to your advantage with Apocalypse, one of the end bosses. The guy is technically a Blue Mage, a class that learns certain monster attacks by being on the receiving end of them. One of these attacks is Exploder, which causes the caster to explode and kill itself and do significant damage to the enemy. Usually you travel around the world looking for monsters so you can learn these attacks, but against Apocalypse you can teach him Exploder by casting it... after which he'll eventually decide to use it on you, killing himself and awarding you the victory.
  • This shows up from time to time in Dark Souls, especially in areas with precarious footing like Blighttown. You'll be travelling along when you'll randomly gain souls from some enemy that accidentally fell off a ledge to its death.
  • In Sengoku Rance, the AI will occasionally put warriors in the back where they can't attack and Diviners in the front. Considering how Nintendo Hard the game is, you need to take advantage of any and all blunders the AI makes to win.

The Elder Scrolls Edit

  • In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion enemies seem to prioritize weaker foes. This means that a character can cast a summon spell and watch while the enemies ignore him completely while he flings fireballs at them. But it also means that bandits and monsters will ignore the player and attack your horse even when you're wailing on them with your sword. Why do these people hate horses so much?
    • This may actually be an issue of disposition rather than power. As you complete quests and earn Fame points, NPCs and monsters come to like you more. In extreme cases, they may not be hostile at all, but short of that, if you have a positive reputation, they prefer to attack your zero-reputation horse.
    • AI failure can go from annoying to down right disturbing. Annoying when your AI allies keep dying by falling off things and disturbing when an entire army killed each other (While screaming Murder!, Murder!) because they'd hit each other in combat three times. It gets even worse when you bring them back to life and they do it again...
    • Allied NPCs can often be notoriously suicidal. Several quests require you to take NPCs through the hazard-filled planes of Oblivion, and it's rare you'll manage to escape back through the Gate with everyone you brought in. Allies (and enemies) will fling themselves off of cliffs into lava or off balconies seventy feet in the air in an attempt to get at an enemy they've spotted on the other side of the chasm. Even at minimal health, NPCs will happily fling themselves into combat, occasionally moving in front of the player character and stopping them from helping them out, only to be cut down within seconds. Escort quests (of which there are thankfully few) are immensely frustrating.
      • Case in point, Viranus Donton, who you joins you on a quest for the Fighters Guild where you need to go into a cave full of ogres, trolls, and a minotaur. Luckily, he's "essential", so the ogres, trolls, and minotaur in the cave can only knock him out temporarily (which you'll almost certainly learn early in the cave when he runs into 3 trolls at the same time).
    • Some immersion Failure AI bugs include animals grazing on stone, people trying to plough rocks, extreme rubber necking and others.
  • This was actually an improvement on The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. Allied NPC's would cast exploding spells at enemies who were in melee with the player (thus killing the player), flying enemies would get stuck in tree branches, neutral animals would happily walk into pools of flowing lava, neutral NPC's would walk into a wall and refuse to stop, just walking in place with their face planted against it, and hostile NPC's would run in circles because the player character was standing on a boulder.
    • In both Oblivion and Morrowind, if you stand in an area which an enemy without ranged attacks can't reach, they won't run away or pick up the bow from that archer you just killed. No, the only rational option is to get as close as possible and run back and forth a bit while taking fireball after fireball in the face. This was the reason levitation spells were removed after Morrowind.
  • Oblivion at least seems to a direct relationship between player stealth skill level and NPC stupidity, NPC's will get filled full of arrows while making comments like 'it must have been the wind', just leveling a skill approaches Game Breaker territory, and that's before you start using 100% chameleon....
  • Curiously, in some cases the trope is inverted: Some enemies are too smart to be realistic. For example, in Oblivion you can be standing on top of a wall or a bridge, and eg. fire an arrow towards a rat below you, making it attack you. Now the rat will find a path to your location even if it's a mile-long path going through a complex dungeon, most of it not even directly visible from its current position. Seemingly rats in Oblivion have perfectly memorized the entire dungeon floormap and are able to immediately find the shortest route to your location, no matter how long and contrived it might be.
  • The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim has generally superb AI, but the friendly NPCs still like to charge into melee combat against superior opponents, occasionally getting in the way of your own attacks. It's terribly disheartening to accidentally murder your own party member while aiming for a bandit.
    • You can also rob anybody blind if you first put a pot on their heads.
    • An example of Artificial Stupidity in Skyrim (though not limited to it) is using stealth and archery - if there are two enemies, kill one, run away, then come back. The second will have abandoned his search and continuing as though nothing has happened, usually with a comment along the lines of "I'm sure I heard something".
    • The game actually has complex relationship webs between NPCs indicating who is a friend or family member of who. This does not mean they will behave differently after a dragon attack wipes out everyone in town but themselves, of course. And during said dragon attack you can witness people just sitting on their perch knitting. But Shor have mercy on your soul if you accidentally hit a chicken in your attempt to kill said dragon because the whole town will stop fighting the dragon and murder you.
    • Using deadly force and missing does not count as a crime. You can take your time missing 20 arrows and the guard in front of you will only take action after your 21st arrow hits someone. In fact, due to a programming oversight Flaming Familiar explosions are treated as pretty much a random act of God instead of a crime: you can blow up the market square and people will cower and lament their fallen family members but will ignore the fact that you summoned that familiar in plain sight.

Pokémon Edit

  • In any given Pokémon game, some rival trainers will repeatedly use attacks like Sand Attack and Harden long after they become useless. At least wild Pokémon have the excuse that they're using an AI Roulette.
    • The trainers who team up with you in Diamond/Pearl/Platinum for Double Battles are almost always unbelievably stupid. I mean...Helping Hand? Seriously? Come on, Marley, Arcanine's got to have something better than that...
      • Since the AI is programmed to use super effective moves, it was obviously not programmed to discount matchup cancelling types. Cue U-Turn on the Dark/Flying Mandibuzz ad nauseam.
    • Ground-type Pokémon use Mud Sport. Thank you for reducing the effectiveness of a type you're already immune to. Granted, moves like Mud Sport become more useful in a Double Battle, but this often occcurs in a regular, single battle.
    • A fun example is Recover. Oh no! My Kadabra/Starmie/Blissey/whatever has just taken 51% of its life in one shot! I'm faster, I can Recover it back. Cue this for another 20 turns or until you critical hit/vary your strategy. This is actually pretty smart, in that the AI wants to win and thus wants you to be forced into Struggle. The easiest way to do that is spamming Recover.
    • In Red, Blue and Yellow, this is because the Zeroth Law of the AI is to always use super-effective attacks. It is possible to beat Lance's final Dragonite using, say, a low-level Tentacruel, because the Dragonite will only ever use Agility (presumably because it latches onto the fact that Psychic is super effective against Poison).
      • Flygon looks like a Flying type; it's an easy mistake for anyone who's never seen one to try and Thunderbolt it. However, in-game trainers will do this repeatedly, in Volkner's Electric-type Gym -- the final Gym, where they should know better, in Diamond/Pearl/Platinum.
    • After confusing your Pokémon, enemies will continue to pointlessly use attacks such as Confuse Ray.
    • If another Pokémon uses a stat-raising move, and you prevent it from actually raising them, it will simply repeat the stat-raising move. It's particularily effective if your Pokémon knows Snatch, which steals the stat increase.
  • Magikarp are useless even with Tackle, which they learn at level 15. However, Level 16 Magikarp in game continue to choose Splash. A minor bit of damage is surely better than a move that does absolutely nothing? Even worse, in-game Gyarados can do it too.
  • In R/B/Y, you could sweep through the Celadon Gym with puny Level 5 Grass/Poison Pokémon, because the aforementioned "Zeroth Law" forces every Pokémon in this Grass-type Gym to use Poisonpowder, which your Pokemon is immune to due to being part Poison. Strangely, this isn't the case with the ensuing Gym, which uses pure POISON Pokémon.
  • Some Pokémon have moves that allow them to escape from battles in the wild (Whirlwind, Roar, Teleport). Naturally, these moves are completely useless during trainer battles. The AI will use them anyway (in R/B/Y, at least).
    • From the second generation onwards, it has the effect of switching your team around, forcing you to send out another Pokémon at random. However, they sometimes keep on using it, leading to you, say, having your level 100 swapped out for a level 5 Magikarp, only for that to then get swapped for your level 100, which is then promptly able to finish the job it started earlier.
  • Wild Pokémon in general tend to fit this trope to a T. The most Egregious is when they use Selfdestruct or Explosion against a Ghost-type Pokémon.
    • Or Ghost-type Pokémon insisting on using Curse when they're at half-health or less. Understandable if they chose the move and you're faster than them, but when they go before you...
  • In HeartGold and SoulSilver, the Champion of the Pokemon League (the second most powerful trainer in the game) will regularly get down to his last Pokemon and use Perish Song, which KO's both Pokemon in the battle 3 turns after the attack is used unless they switch out. This would be run of the mill Spiteful AI, except for the fact it will still do this even if you have more than 3 Pokemon remaining, making it impossible for the AI player to win.
  • In Pokémon Trading Card Game for the Game Boy, the AI, even at its highest level, doesn't understand a stall deck. It will only retreat to dispel status effects or to save important Pokémon with Pokémon Powers.
    • Murray, the Psychic-type Gym Leader of the game, has a deck that has the trappings of a stall deck, with one major flaw. His deck contains mostly Chansey, a card with a ridiculous amount of hit points and a move that allows it to negate any damage done to it, and Alakazam, a card with the ability to transfer damage points from one card to another, meaning that even if you manage to damage Chansey, the damage would probably just vanish. Sounds good, except that the major flaw is the deck also contains the Professor Oak card, a card that will make the user discard their hand and then draw seven cards from their deck. This results in Murray often losing by stalling himself out. Murray's deck also includes Kangaskhan, whose lowest energy attack isn't so much an 'attack' as an ability that lets the user draw an extra card. Murray often plays it early in the match, then uses it to draw an extra card every turn until you KO it for him, going through his deck at twice the speed you do.
  • In the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series, Gummis increase your Pokemon's IQ, which allows you to enable skills that reduce their Artificial Stupidity. For example, Trap Avoider prevents them from stepping onto already-revealed traps. Granted, you might need to step on a trap, but you can turn off the IQ skill in that case. In addition, you can also disallow the use of certain moves, such as Harden (which they'd otherwise do every single step, and then continue trying to do it once they run out of PP).
    • Of particular note is the IQ skill "Gap Prober", which allows your friend to fire projectiles through friendly units. In order for it to work, though, it must turn off the "Course Checker" IQ skill, which checks for obstacles in the way of attacks, since allies are considered obstacles. However, since walls are also obstacles, you can expect your ally to attempt to attack through walls at nearby enemies until their PP runs out.
    • The "Zeroth Law" of movement for Pokémon in these games is "Follow another Pokémon or wander aimlessly". An ally will follow the hero, other allies, or go after enemies at different priorities depending on what tactics they have set. However, if no other Pokémon are visible, they will head toward a room's exit and wander down halls. This creates the unfortunate effect that, if an ally is a few steps behind you as you exit a room, it could lose sight of you, abruptly turn around, and wander in the other direction. Many horror stories can be told of when this happens to level 5 escort clients.
    • Cresselia when in Dark Crater can take it Up to Eleven, where it can end that at first encounter Darkrai can be tough but at second it's piece of cake. At least she has skill that makes her evade lava.


Simulation Game Edit

  • In the Wing Commander games, you can use asteroid fields to help pare down unfavorable odds, by leading the enemy through them. The AI is, in general, really dumb about avoiding those floating bits of astrogeography, and will gladly suicide on them.
    • Also in Wing Commander, especially in the earlier ones, the player's wingmen were a little too enthusiastic about shooting down the enemy; i.e. : they would cheerfully ignore that the player was in the way...
    • Wingman Maniac did this on purpose.
    • The spinoff Privateer 2 had completely incompetent enemy AI. Spoony, in his review, parked his ship next to an enemy and waited to see how long his unmoving, unacting ship would take to be killed. After half an hour in which the pirate once managed to wear down the shields, he gave up entirely.
  • Sims tend to get stuck at a doorway, unable to decide who goes through first for several minutes. In the original game, this bug used to strand entire groups of Sims at the top of staircases. Sims have been known to starve to death because they couldn't take turns.
    • Ironically, Sims actually do have good pathfinding when it comes to things less complicated than, urm... doorways. Try building a maze, for example, and the pizza boy will walk right through.
    • Sims are, however, known for such suicidal stunts as, when both hungry and tired, waking up to go eat, then passing out from exhaustion, waking up because they're too hungry to sleep, then passing out because they're too exhausted to eat, in a vicious cycle that generally ends in sim ghosts.
      • However, that's not the AI's fault, but the oversimplified needs system.
    • Sims will also drop a baby on the floor in front of the refrigerator, then complain that they can't get to the refrigerator to get the baby a bottle...
    • And let's not forget the sims who whine about being exhausted, then decide there's no better time for a swim.
    • Try giving your sims more than one kitchen (especially on different floors) and watch as they dart between the two in order to prepare a single dish.
      • Happily, as of Sims 3, the AI has improved immensely, and Sims are entirely capable of handling the basics of living.
  • Sims are pretty dumb on the macro level as well, as anyone who's ever played Sim City 4 can attest. The stupidest is definitely pathfinding, where for various reasons Sims always take routes in a manner that tends to create absurd traffic jams, particularly at the city limits.
  • The AI in Gemfire is just plain bad, sometimes giving up the chance to seize the player base and not attacking with its 5th unit at all. Even worse: they don't seem to be able to grasp the fact that their base is under siege, AND they will set a unit on their base and surround it with fences, thus being an easy target for Archers. Not to mention the computers will try to form an alliance with you right before they're about to die at your hands...only to cut the alliance when it's just you and whoever you're allied with.
  • The animals and staff in Zoo Tycoon can be unbelievably stupid sometimes. For example, animals will be unable to find food when there are three piles of food right next to them, or zookeepers will not be able to get to poo and clean it up for no reason at all.
  • Rollercoaster Tycoon was particularly bad with this. First of all, unless you destroy the paths at strategic places, every Guest in the game will go wandering off miles beyond any sign of civilization and then complain that they are "lost". Interestingly, they cannot walk ten feet on an unpaved surface, meaning that if you create a path with two dead ends, the Guests will just walk back and forth until the end of time. The Handymen Staff were pretty bad too. Though all you wanted them to do generally was sweep up puke, if you left the command on for them to mow lawns, they will wander off spending hours mowing the endless acres of your theme park while your Guests swim in rivers of their own vomit. And mowing lawns is pointless anyway, because there's a glitch in the game that solves it with ease. If you just touch a piece of land with the landscaping tool, even without actually doing anything, the weeds will disappear. Luckily the sequel just turned the Mow Lawns command off.
    • The "No Entry" signs in the expansions solved the problem of guests running off in the first game, but still doesn't keep them from getting lost. Guests will claim to be lost while pacing in front of the exit.
    • Mechanics also had this problem. If the paths aren't laid correctly, your rides might spend a while not getting fixed because your mechanic spends his time pacing around some other area in the park trying to get to the ride.
    • Try building a central square with shops all around and watch the visitors aimlessly mill about...
  • And talking of Chris Sawyer... the AI in Transport Tycoon was legendarily incompetent at the art of building railroads, frequently levelling entire mountain ranges (and suffering no ill effects), and often spiralling stations several times over while trying to get the ends of a line to meet up. Reportedly, this was due to a compromise between processing time and AI lookahead. Having the AI build from both ends at once, effectively meaning both are aiming for an unpredictably moving target, probably didn't help either.
    • Fixed in Open TTD (fan made sequel)
  • Without going into too much detail, let's just say that in Creatures 2, the Norns that come with the game are retards. Thanks to a problem in their digital genetics, this gets worse after their first real-time hour of life (the so-called "One Hour Stupidity Syndrome"). A player may find that in order to make any progress in the game whatsoever (with getting pickups and exploring and the like) they'll have to micromanage one Norn and spent a distressingly large amount of time luring it into the water so as to pick it up and make it go where the player wants it to. There's a play style called the "Wolfling Run" where you hatch a bunch of Norns and leave them to their own devices - since the default Norns are outsmarted by buttons and fail to connect hunger with the need to eat, this is an exercise in genocide.
    • Game Mods fixed this in C2, but even in the later games, Creatures still tend to gravitate toward "charming" over "clever." Most all the creatures games feature "wallbonking"--the continued attempts of a Creature to walk through a wall, despite their initial failure to pass through it. They also do things like attempt to eat machinery or ignore food because there's something shiny right beyond it.
  • Space Colony has the problem that if a characters shift is over they will ignore the job responsibility, even if that is defending the base from aliens or keeping the air supply running.
  • For some reason, the title Pikmin sure do love to drown themselves when you try to cross a bridge with them.
    • It's noted that without before Olimar came to the planet, the Pikmin were basically a sentient food supply for the herbivorous creatures inhabiting the planet, and that Olimar's efforts in organizing them have helped them to survive once Olimar is gone. In other words, the game justifies the stupidity, as the Pikmin were literally a walking food supply before Olimar came around.
  • Star Wars: Rogue Squadron for the N64 does this big-time. Your allies are completely, absolutely useless. All they do is fly around, sometimes in circles, leaving the player to do the work of an entire squadron himself. Of course, the enemy is not much better. TIE Bombers especially suffer from this: they always fly in a straight line and never even attempt evasive maneuvers, making it ridiculously easy to shoot them down. On the other hand, the TIE Interceptors in Moff Seerdon's Revenge, who shoot at angles their cannons can't hit any other time, are cheating bastards.
    • It doesn't get any better in the sequel, Rogue Leader (suggested alternative: Rogue Suggester), wherein any command given to your squad is usually interpreted by them as "Fly very slowly near the turbolasers". They also delight in using lasers against enemies vulnerable only to special player-only weapons, or shooting up the unbreakable walls between them and their target instead of flying around to the other wide-open side.
    • Perhaps as a result of this, it's possible in the second and third games to order your allies to retreat.
    • In Rogue Leader, you also have Darth Bob the Suicidal TIE Pilot. You could be minding your own business and then suddenly BOOM Collision with a TIE fighter out of the blue, and you never saw it coming.
  • The ancient Star Fleet Battles simulator BEGIN 2 has surprisingly good AI. Except for the Romulans. These guys will set off their self-destructs occasionally for no obvious reason, often destroying other ships (friendly and enemy) nearby. As the Romulans can also cloak this makes fighting them like going for a walk in a minefield.
  • The AI controlled ships in Star Trek Klingon Academy suffered from a total lack of spatial awareness. This meant that if you were battling the enemy near an asteroid field, all you had to do was fly into the middle of the field and sit back as the enemy ship(s) plowed into every asteroid nearby and most likely ended up destroying themselves.
    • The original idea was that you'd be limited in the amount of micromanagement you could do per turn ? you basically played as the ruler of an empire with a horrible bureaucracy. That turned out not to be much fun.
  • Master of Orion II has its fair share of this as well.
    • The "Auto-Build" option on colonies, while useful, often results in your 1 population, mineral poor colony attempting to build the most expensive building (the Star Fortress), which take 50+ turns, before industrial buildings that will help other things build faster.
    • AI ships in space combat also love to uselessly fire energy weapons at planets with impenetrable shields.
    • AI ship design aims for a Jack of All Trades design that has a little bit of everything for every possible use, resulting in ships that often are unable to press the advantage against a weakened foe before they can recharge their shields in the next turn.
  • The ants in Bugdom will throw their spears, then run to fetch them. If you can get them to throw a spear through something, they will just sit there, running against a log drinking straw. In later levels, Fake Difficulty comes into play as the ants gain the ability to return from the dead as invulnerable ghosts, still thirsting for your blood, as a way of counteracting this kind of thing.
  • The propensity of AI-controlled ships in the Free Space series to crash into other ships that are in the way has become a running gag among fans. Other idiotic things the AI loves to do include continuing straight on an attack run even though the player is behind them and firing, flying directly into beam cannons, firing beam cannons at enemy capital ships even if friendly units are in the way and will be annihilated, and firing torpedoes from the longest possible range, making them easy to intercept and shoot down before impact.
  • In Animal Crossing some villagers are less than bright with trading 1 item for another.
  • Your mech wingmates in Steel Battalion can barely navigate the map, though, when they manage to keep up with you, they can be useful cannon fodder.
  • In F/A-18 Hornet, your wingman is pretty much useless, and the planes you have to escort aren't much smarter.
  • This is the biggest complain people have had about From Dust, where the villagers' pathfinding AI can be a pain in the ass to manage. Most of the time, even the slightest obstacle will cause them to either take a massive detour, or start begging you for help while they stand still in bewilderment. Walking straight into streams of lava doesn't help either.
  • Aerobiz: The AI would continue to purchase small counts of outdated, inefficient airliners even after newer, cheaper and more efficient planes are made available. would regularly place the largest, most inefficient airliners in its fleet on low density routes and then leave them there despite losing big bucks and its competition (you) opening the same route with a small, high efficiency airliner and turning a profit.
  • Elite: it was less stupidity of the pilot and more stupidity of the space traffic controller/random event engine, but passenger shuttles would periodically launch from space stations regardless of surrounding traffic. Even if that traffic was you, less than a second away from docking (and yes, incoming and outgoing traffic used the same lane). While the collision wouldn't destroy your ship unless it was already damaged, it would destroy the shuttle--and hit you with a massive bounty for criminal activity, to be collected the instant you left the station.
  • The AI allies in Tom Clancy's HAWX are incredibly reluctant to actually use their missiles on targets you've sent them after, and they refuse to use guns if they still have access to said missiles, which overall cripples them horribly. About the only time they approach usefulness is in missions where, for plot purposes, everyone on your side is restricted to guns-only, which is the point where they shred everything.

Dwarf Fortress Edit

  • Dwarf Fortress. Strangely enough, part of the game's charm has to do with the fact that your dwarfs are utter idiots. However, they make some choices that lead to... odd happenings. For example, if an executioner doesn't have a weapon to kill a prisoner with, they don't let that bother them, and kill the prisoner anyway. By biting them to death.
  • Similarly, hunters who run out of bolts will gladly bludgeon the animals to death. And if they somehow lose the crossbow, they will gladly (and oddly successfully) wrestle muskoxen and elephants to the ground.
  • Then, there's sieges. The most common kind, goblin sieges, may leave players overconfident because the average goblin siege charges right into your traps and lets themselves get slaughtered. Eventually you face human sieges where they, well, do a proper siege. They sit right outside of your crossbow range and wait for your dwarves to run out of food and water and/or tantrum and start slaughtering each other. Any attempt to foray is met with a withering storm of bolts and arrows which, because DF averts Annoying Arrows, is very deadly indeed.
  • An odd combination of stupidities leads to hilarious results: "Ignis promptly starts to spar and get a punctured lung. Instead of being a good wounded dwarf and staying in bed, he promptly walks around the fortress falling unconscious, refusing any medical care whatsoever. This I could tolerate because it meant the idiot would be dead soon and no one would care. After traveling to my royal dining hall in just under a year, he proceeds to grab a plump helmet stew from my nearby food stockpile. He then promptly falls unconscious again and drops his food in the hallway. The stew proceeds to rot and create a gigantic amount of miasma and there is nothing my dwarves can do about it since the stew is owned by Ignis. After waking up half a season later, Ignis, seeing his stew has rotted, proceeds to the stockpile once again to grab some cat biscuits. You can see where I am going with this."
  • When there's a siege or other such hazard present on the surface, you can order your dwarves to "stay underground" to keep them safe. The way the dwarf AI does this is to continually check "am I aboveground?" and if so, cancel whatever task they were doing. The jobless dwarf will then pick a new task from the list of available tasks... which is often the very task they just cancelled. The result is known as the "entrance dance", where a huge crowd of dwarfs winds up clustered around the entrance constantly jumping back and forth through it and announcing cancelled jobs. Most players will have to design their fortress with an outdoor courtyard of some sort to keep these idiots safe.
    • A variation is when you have a dwarf or two outside doing a job when an enemy of some sort shows up near the door, but without being able to reach your dwarves, i.e. because you have a walled-in courtyard. Dwarves are dumb enough to run away from any enemy they can see, even if they can't reach them, so they will cancel their job and run away, most likely into the corner of your keep rather than back inside. The job cancellation causes another dwarf to pick up the job, which will take them outside, where they see something scary and run away, cancelling their job in the process. Repeat until your entire fortress is panicking in the far corner of your completely protected, walled-in outdoor keep.
  • Siege engines such as ballistae are operated by civilian crews, not military dwarves. That means that if you order your civilians to hide inside while your military fends off a siege, and the ballistae are outdoors, they'll abandon their posts. They'll also abandon their posts and flee if they _see_ a hostile enemy. Doesn't matter if the enemy is across a moat and through an impenetrable fortified wall, and that they're currently manning a contraption that an slaughter them all in a single shot...
  • When dwarfs are digging trenches or building walls they have a universal preference for which side of the wall or trench they stand on while doing their work. For example, they prefer standing on the west side of the tile if that space is available. So one must be careful about how you set up your construction orders or the dwarfs can wall themselves up and eventually die of starvation or thirst.
  • Nobles have an unfortunate tendency to mandate the production of items your dwarves have no hope of producing, e.g. windows in a location without sand. Their stupidity frequently leads to beatings and imprisonment for skilled dwarves who lack the raw materials to work with.
    • In previous versions a (now resolved) bug could result in mayors ordering themselves beaten for failing to satisfy their own mandates.
  • In an example of If You Die, I Call Your Stuff taken to the extreme, the infamous Boatmurdered Let's Play features dwarves rushing to loot the possessions of their fallen comrades in the middle of an elephant invasion and get trampled to death, only for additional dwarves to rush for their loot...
  • From an older version's release notes: "stopped people from giving quests to kill themselves."
  • Prior to the Adventure Mode overhaul, you could receive quests to slaughter demons who had risen from the depths of the Earth and taken control of a civilization. Your quest-giver's civilization, usually. Doing the deed would make said civilization your enemy, including the one who had given you the quest in the first place. One better, the involvement of your companions or the demon attacking other peasants may well start a "loyalty cascade" where everyone starts killing everyone for killing anyone.
  • Since the ability to target specific body parts was implemented there have been many cases of units fruitlessly punching, kicking, or biting their enemy instead of using their weapons because they randomly get some moves (involving a random kind of attack and body part) very high chances of connecting without factoring in if it could even do any damage.
    • Similarly, wrestlers have a habit of repeatedly grappling a body part, then letting go to grab another part, instead of following up those grapples with any actually damaging moves. Particularly annoying when you know how devastating a wrestler who actually knows what they're doing can be in Adventurer mode.
  • A dwarf got a small cut on his arm, which needed to be cleaned and bandaged by a medical dwarf. A second dwarf with no medical experience was drafted to take care of it. The newly minted doctor looked at the small cut, diagnosed the patient as having rotten lungs, and performed surgery to remove both lungs. The patient did not survive the operation. (Source)
    • It may count as subversion as it is an implemented, deliberate stupidity.
  • Dwarf tries to "attend meeting" with siege operator, stands on ballista set to "fire at will," gets injured
  • Goblin leaders have been known to turn up riding on tamed giant toads...which is mildly unnerving until the toad hops into a murky pool and the goblin drowns.

X Wing Edit

  • X-Wing had one mission where you were in an A-Wing and charged with immobilizing a frigate. Since your A-Wing doesn't have ion cannons, you had a group of Y-Wings with you. Not only were these Y-Wings piloted by complete schmucks in the area of dogfighting-- they weren't even smart enough to realize that their ion cannons depleted the frigate's shields at a slower rate than their blasters. Since the frigate is CONSTRUCTED FOR STARFIGHTER DEFENSE, this mission usually involved telling your "wingmen" to stand off outside 6 klicks while you soloed and 1) Defeated the entire 36 fighter TIE wing the frigate carried, and 2) Reduced the frigate's shields to zero by flying in and blasting like hell and then bolting out of turbolaser range again and again. This was made even stupider (and more frustrating) by the knowledge that the Y-Wings carried about 30 proton torpedoes-- if they'd used THOSE the frigate's shields would have been reduced by 95%. Grrr!


First-Person Shooter Edit

  • AI in Shadow Ops: Red Mercury weren't the brightest bulbs in the shed. Enemy AI would run right out into the open, even past the player's AI teammates, just to shoot at the player. Teammates fared no better as they would ignore said enemies completely.
  • Your squad in Brothers in Arms tends to stand in the open a few feet from cover, apparently prefering to let jerry ventilate them.
  • In Deus Ex, and a number of similar games, the AI is usually pretty good...but will ignore the dead or unconscious body of an ally unless he was killed within sight of it.
    • One of the designers of Deus Ex said the AI had to be reined in a bit because players were rounding corners and getting shot in the head by entrenched guards, which obviously put a damper on the fun.
    • Another fun fact: enemies on patrol always turn left. Which, in essence, means you're up against the cloned army of a Mirror Universe's Derek Zoolander
    • People in this game do not take well to friendly fire. Normally, this is bad for you, because if you shoot a friend a few times they will turn on you and kill you. However, if you dodge between enemies, they will sometimes get overzealous and shoot each other! This can be hilariously exploited to drive everyone in UNATCO insane (2/3rds of the way down the page), or it can be used to get Nicolette to single-handedly kill a pair of MJ12 commandos.
  • The most viable way to avoid the enemies in System Shock 2 wasn't sneaking but ... jumping on the nearest table or otherwise elevated position because the AI only checked the floor for targets. While this can be handwaved with performance reasons considering all the objects on the tables this can be quite immersion breaking in a Survival Horror game with Breakable Weapons and scarce ammo.
  • In Doom 3, any monsters without a projectile attack (i.e. zombies, Pinkies, or Wraiths) had absolutely no idea what to do if the player jumped on a table out of their reach. So they'd just run in circles around the table while moaning their hearts out.
  • The enemy soldiers in Crysis are completely unable to deal with your cloaking device, making the damn thing a Game Breaker. You can uncloak, shoot an enemy in the head, and recloak, and all the enemy's buddies will just stare blankly at the spot you were standing just a few seconds ago. The expansion pack Crysis Warhead fixes this by making the A.I. fire blindly and/or throw grenades at your last known position, although you can still pwn everything in the game by simply moving a few feet to the left after recloaking.
    • The artificial stupidity in Crysis does not end there. In some situations enemies will outright ignore you even if you stand right in front of them (like they were unable to change their plans in the mid of getting somewhere). Truck and boat pilots will outright ignore you even if you hop on their head. Enemies will sometimes kill themselves eg. by running to the middle of a minefield or drowning themselves. If two enemies are talking to each other, you can sometimes sneakily kill one from the distance, and the other will be blissfully ignorant about anything and keep going on like nothing had happened.
  • In the original Half Life, if you have a security guard following you during the segment with the trains, they will have absolutely no second thoughts about stepping onto an electrified rail line and instantly killing themselves if it is the only route to get to you on the opposite side of the tracks. And sometimes even if it's not.
    • Revolutionary at the time was the ability of enemy soldiers to make informed use of cover and grenades, running around corners to escape explosions and throwing grenades into the player's cover. One other thing they could do was set grenades as traps while retreating; however, more often than not they would be distracted by the approaching player's gunfire while setting the trap and return in kind - immediately forgetting that they were standing above a live grenade...
  • While most AI in Half-Life 2 is pretty damn good (on both sides), many of your allies don't seem to understand the concepts of "I'm blocking Freeman's way" or "maybe I shouldn't stand in the narrow hallway".
    • And then there's this. "If I can't see you..."
      • There's a similar glitch in the Sentry AI in Team Fortress 2. If there is an overhead obstruction and you can see the sentry's tripod, it won't see you unless you crouch to see the rest of it.
    • Your squadmates don't seem to understand that stealth and evasion are sometimes important. They will run headlong into sniper fire every time without a moment's hesitation, and upon encountering a strider, the black guy you join up with toward the end of "Follow Freeman" started shooting at it with his submachine gun, drawing its attention to both him and the equally ill-armed player.
    • Oh, and in Episode One you have to escort several waves of them safely past increasingly thick Combine fire. If they were just smart enough to run full tilt along the predetermined path, they'd probably all make it, but it wouldn't be a proper Escort Mission without suicidal NPCs, would it...
    • It is possible, through unusual circumstances, for an entire group of resistance fighters to kill themselves if you leave them in a bathroom alone, since they can trip over the bathtub and break their necks.
  • The AI survivors in Left 4 Dead can be like this. They usually wait a few seconds before actually deciding to catch up with the player and if you get attacked by any special infected other than a Tank, they may prioritize shooting regular zombies instead of trying to free you.
    • Made worse in Survival and VS mode, where the modes have a melee attack cooldown effect and the computer keeps trying to melee zombies off them when they have to recharge. Most likely a programming oversight by Valve and has yet to be fixed.
    • AI survivors also will sometimes fail to realize when you're lying on the ground right next to them, incapacitated, and just stand around and let you die if you are on ground that is slightly higher or lower than they are.
    • Sometimes the special infected may not be stuck, but will try to attack you from a position where you will never get hit and will keep doing it if you don't move.
    • On a more optimistic note: you can make the AI survivors act slightly less stupid if you use the macros to order them to advance. This doesn't fix anything else, but at least they aren't a room behind you all the time.
    • Left 4 Dead 2 seems to be much worse with survivor AI now compared to the first game. The AI will now usually leave you to die if you are strangled by a Smoker 2 feet away from them if there are common infected near them and even if you are perfectly several feet away from the AI in a straight line and are being pounded by a Charger, don't expect the AI to start shooting until they are at least in half the the range from them to you.
      • Also the same problem with Jockeys, but made worse since Jockeys can move you and Survivor AI seems to be incapable of doing more than one action at a time when they move. If you get ridden by a Jockey, Survivor bots will opt to shove the Jockey off when they are not close enough to do so instead of, you know, shooting it.
    • Survivor AI also get easily confused when multiple players are incapacitated. The bots either go back and forth trying to decide who to revive or may ditch you to try and save someone else that is close to death, even if they are too far away to be saved in time.
    • Survivor AI are bad in dealing with special infected in VS mode. It is possible for the AI to keep shoving you and then run off, never bothering to shoot you, or are too slow to notice that you are slashing at their backs.
      • There's a theory that nerfing the survivor A.I. was a way of increasing difficulty. The general consensus is that they went a little bit too far...
    • AI survivors will blindly stare at a witch and slowly walk around her even though she is being aggroed. This can be extremely annoying in Hard Rain, where the entire level is filled with witches.
    • They also will never LEARN the concept of "Fire = Hot" and will gladly attempt to run through a fire to get to you. Problem is, they do know to run back when damaged by a level hazard (such as fire or the spitter's goo) so they will just run back and forth into the fire until either it is gone or they got incapped if there's no other way around, instead of just waiting for the fire to disappear. They are also oblivious to a Spitter's acid pool and will stay in the puddle until they start taking damage instead of running out of it as soon as the acid begins to form on the ground or other surface. To see this in action, have the bots behind you and have a Spitter acid pool behind you too. The bots will charge blindly into the acid and then backpedal once they take damage from it.
    • The Bots are actually quite intelligent when you're nearby, being practically aimbots. However, once you are a good distance away, they will forgo all other common sense and try to keep up with you, including but not limited to: Forgetting to Shoot, forgetting to use a bridge, forgetting they're being chased by a tank, and forgetting pounced/snagged comrades.
    • On the other hand, AI infected are actually extremely intelligent. They will actively hide from your view until they've prepared to attack, Spitters will run and attempt to die in choke points, and will use a combination attack (such as a Charger plowing through people before a boomer comes and slimes everyone, or a Hunter will pounce and a spitter will spit on him to deal extra damage and deny others from simply punting the hunter off) against the Survivors.
      • The Special Infected do have a few quirks, though. For instance, while they often do hide, their hiding places don't always cover them all the way. You'll sometimes find a Hunter or Boomer trying to hide behind a lamp post. Another thing is, Hunters and Jockeys will pounce on survivors in the middle of a non-overwhelmed group, resulting in attacks that can be measured in hundredths of seconds before they're killed. Also, the Jockeys have no concept of ambush, running straight into quadruple gunfire if it means getting closer to a human.
    • AI survivors also love to shoot through human teammates and throw off their aim, especially if said humans are trying to make precision shots with the hunting rifle or sniper rifle. The only positive here is that AI survivors are incapable of harming teammates.
    • Bots will also shoot any Infected on their sight. Even if said infected is in front of hazards like a Crescendo Event that is triggered by shooting something or in worst cases, when an Infected is near a Witch. Fortunately they can't anger Wandering Witches when they shoot them but good luck with normal Witches.
    • On the other end of the spectrum, the Common Infected love climbing stuff. Even if it makes no sense whatsoever. If something is in front of them and the Survivors are near it, they'll probably try to climb it.
    • Special Infected Bots also have no concept of fall damage. It's not uncommon to hear AI Boomers or Smokers leap to their deaths and explode behind you. It's even more hilarious when you see it for yourself.
  • Team Fortress 2 brought out AI bots after launch in an update patch. Originally some bot variants proved quite difficult, such as Heavies and Snipers, whose pinpoint accuracy and wicked reflexes made them a Game Breaker in their own right. However, those issues were smoothed out to an extent, but there are still some fairly dumb AI moments.
    • All of the bots have terrible pathing in Attack/Defend and Payload style matches, often resulting in you being the lone useful team member.
    • Engineer bots are prone to some serious problems concerning placement issues for their gear and their own survival. This is most obvious when, for instance, an Engineer sets up his sentry overlooking an important area with its main arc facing a wall or pylon, obscuring a good 90 degrees of its targeting arc. Furthermore, some engineers will alternate between forgetting to wrench their machines to repair them, and forgetting to do anything but whack their sentry with the wrench. This ties back to their placement problem issue, in that they will often sandwich themselves between their sentry and their dispenser, leaving their sides wide open to enemies. This leads to scenarios where even the laziest sniper can simply peer across the map at them, line up the Laser Sight, and hollow out that apparently already-empty hard hat. They also have an apparent blindness to spies, continuing to bash a sapped machine even after the sapper is removed, leaving their spines open for surgery.
    • Medic bots have a tendency to forget to turn their healing beam on their allies or forget to watch their backs, again, opening them up to knives, flames, and scatterguns. They will also pop an uber the moment their heal target takes any amount of damage, even if it's from a puny pistol shot and that Heavy has yet to lumber across the map to his destination. Finally, they have an odd tendency to forget that they have a syringe gun, even if they've used it previously, and will run from even critically wounded enemies who would go down in one or two syringes if they attacked instead of retreated. Many a bot arena round has been lost because the lone Medic ran from a 3-HP Scout... and committed suicide when back in the spawn room.
    • Pyro bots wisely know to use the shotgun instead of merely acting like Leeroy Jenkins and charging with the flamethrower...but this is nullified somewhat by their apparent love of the airblast, where they will waste nearly a third of their ammo just bouncing a Heavy back before charging in to burn them--a Heavy that is still shredding them with more boolet.
    • Scout bots will rely excessively on their pistols, sometimes hanging off at the edges of the battlefield and contributing small 8-point chips of damage, instead of going in close to use their extremely powerful Sawn Off Shotgun. This leads to instances where Scouts hanging out near their own rear lines are easily picked off by Snipers and Spies, two of the classes they counter best amongst human players.
    • Heavy bots have an ammo management problem, in that they seem to forget how much they actually have. They will often stand on a point and hold down the trigger for two withering seconds and promptly run dry, leaving them to try and keep fighting with their much slower, less devastating shotgun, or scurry off for an ammo refill, no doubt feeling quite embarrassed. Some will keep firing for some seconds even though they're out of ammo, which seems to happen most often when ubered.
    • Soldier bots, like Scout bots, will rely too much on their secondary weapon. Having exhausted all their rockets in their current clip, they will switch to the shotgun and empty it as well, then fumble reloads into the shotgun instead of the much more powerful rocket launcher which reloads faster than the shotgun.
    • Demoman bots, alternatively, forget about their secondary weapon, the sticky bomb launcher, and fight primarily with the grenade launcher. While this is not necessarily bad, the sticky bomb launcher is incredibly versatile and the bots will drop them to retreat--a perfectly serviceable use, until you watch the bot forget about them entirely and come charging back at you. Through its own carpet of stickies. Stand just close enough, and Demoman bots will detonate their bombs as they approach, blowing themselves to kingdom come.
    • Sniper bots are smart enough to know when to switch to their secondary weapon, and when to listen for sounds around them. However, they also seem to only think about line of sight, as opposed to cover, and quite a few Snipers will stand in fairly obvious places to take their shots. They will also try to take shots while sitting in the safety of the spawn room, when there is no way for their shot to hit anything but a wall or door. Sniper bots, if left alone, will sometimes sit in the spawn room the entire match, scoped in, staring at the door.
    • Finally, Spy bots are... not entirely implemented, and rightly so, as they are the class with a difficulty curve so steep it counts as a cliff but also extremely dangerous. They know how to sap, how to disguise, how to backstab, and how to use their revolver. In theory they should be able to operate loosely as their class profile dictates (the inability to cloak is of course an issue). In practice, Spies will sit in the spawn room as often as Snipers, if not more, wearing a mask but not actually moving. They also prone to spoiling their Paper-Thin Disguise, but that is simply because being convincing is difficult when they cannot attack. They also have very odd backstab usage rules, in that they will sometimes skip an obvious stab in favor of shooting, and sometimes forget that they have a knife at all.
  • The Dark Sims in Perfect Dark know exactly where you are and will usually hit you when you're moving. The Meat Sims in Perfect Dark are lucky if they hit you when you're standing still. Unfortunately, "always hit" and "shoot to miss" mean "with bullets that hit almost instantly": rockets are slower. This means you'll run away from the Dark Sims' shots and into the Meat Sims'.
    • If you play a custom game against Meat Sims with at least one of the six weapon choices being explosive, then that team will have a negative score from all the suicides and team kills.
    • And let's not forget Elvis in the Single Player Campaign. While he can be helpful at times and can always pinpoint cloaked enemies, if he gets himself killed then you have to start the entire level all over again. Can be especially bad on Attack Ship, where he simply stands out in the open and fires while the enemies fire back and charge at him. It can be a struggle to keep him alive for the entire level, sometimes you'll have to charge in ahead of him and take the enemies out before he gets too close. Luckily he isn't in too many missions.
  • Far Cry Vengeance has some pretty bad enemy AI. You can run up behind them making lots of noise and they won't hear you. You can stand right in front of them and let them shoot you and their accuracy is so bad that it takes a long time for them to inflict enough damage to kill you. You can even THROW GRENADES AT THEIR BACK and they won't turn around.
    • It can be bad in the original game as well. If you somehow manage to lure a merc into the water he'll just stand there, trying to fire his jammed gun (even if he's only knee-deep). You can pretty much keep throwing rocks at him until you get bored, and then leave him behind.
  • Far Cry 2's AI has some interesting ideas about turrets and vehicles. When two A Is are in a boat or truck with a mounted gun, and you kill the gunner, the remaining AI will stay at the wheel and keep coming straight towards you (as if the gunner were still there) while ignoring cover, even though it is completely defenseless while doing so. In the rare case that it survives long enough to actually reach you, it often just sits there at the wheel and looks you straight in the eye, waiting to be killed. In general, the AI is a good case study showing why combat drones IRL have human pilots.
    • Another thing the AI does is to run into fires and burn to death, even those it started itself.
    • It also tends to stand behind partial cover, then start shooting at you when it has a minuscule chance of hitting you. By the time it has completely emerged from cover, it will need to reload. While it reloads, it does not move.
    • The AI controlling the wild animals you sometimes see isn't too bright either. If you park a car in just the right way, a fleeing gazelle will charge headlong into it and collapse, dead, upon making good friends with the stationary bumper.
  • The Halo series has marines that are downright stupid at times. In the first game they had no concept of stealth, making otherwise very easy rooms of sleeping grunts annoying when they ran with guns a-blazing, waking up the aliens. It Got Worse in Halo 2 and 3 games when the marines learned how to drive (or rather, how to drive like blindfolded drunks). AI drivers will run you smack into walls (leaving you completely vulnerable to tank fire), or careen straight off cliffs, or ensure completely avoidable rollovers happen... and gunners aren't much better, as they seem to be conserving ammo (on a turret with unlimited ammunition). So on single-player campaign mode, you have to drive for yourself, get out of the car, then gun for yourself unless you want to stick around a single map for half an hour.
    • The dropships also seem to like dropping warthogs on players sometimes. Most infuriating.
    • Despite the overall difficulty of Halo being quite high, the AI tends to be pretty stupid, relying more on numbers, superior weaponry, infinite ammo, vehicles, high damage resilience, improbably high accuracy, and level design in their favor to serve as a threat. Many enemies will not react at all to getting shot if you are not within a specific range or attack them from an area the developers probably didn't consider when programming the game. Most enemies don't react when their allies die near them (Grunts tend to be the exception, but their response is to run around in panic). On the other hand, they are often devastating once you walk into the programmed scenario they are waiting for.
    • Conversely, the enemies exhibit Artificial Brilliance on Legendary difficulty, especially in the third game.
    • It hasn't gotten any better in Halo: Reach. Allies will still blow themselves up if given the rocket launcher, stand still right under enemy dropships, and charge straight at Hunters. The ODST "Bullfrogs" in the mission "Exodus" will even jump right off cliffs to their death. Certain enemies, like Elites, will sometimes stand still even as you're shooting them.
    • Why single out the non-spartans in Reach? We're meant to assume that these soldiers, brought up from childhood in a military acadamy, can't drive any vehicle for cookies and their entire battlefield stratergy is to walk left and right while shooting unlimited ammo at an enemy. If they weren't invincible they would be dead in seconds.
    • Kat in particular gets a special chance to demonstrate her idiocy in the third level of Reach's campaign. In a Warthog's driver's seat, she drives right into knife range of enemies wielding antivehicular weaponry and spends several minutes repeatedly making finicky three-point turns around plate-sized rocks; in the turret, she prioritizes shooting a Grunt who's half a mile away and behind cover over an Elite whose shields you just dropped and is currently meleeing the vehicle. On foot, Kat fares no better; she'll refuse to follow you to the next objective, charge in and alert enemies who you would otherwise have taken by surprise, and ignore her own advice by entering into brutal hand-to-hand duels with Hunters.
    • Friendly Army AI, though slightly more useful due to the ability to give allied troopers weapons, is still impressively hell-bent on dying at the hands of its own stupidity. Troopers are unable to differentiate between area-of-effect and precision weapons; therefore, they'll fire round after round from a rocket launcher at groups of infantry that include you, unload that Concussion Rifle into an enemy who's two inches from their face and kill themselves in the process, and charge into combat with enemies whom are currently being blasted to pieces by your tank. Their default response when stuck with plasma grenades is to scream and hurl their suddenly-explosive bodies at your feet. Reach introduced a "fireteam" mechanic where troopers who you meet up with are labeled on the map and get names, but more often than not it doesn't matter since they'll all be dead within seconds anyway.
  • In the first Time Splitters game, AI had a nasty habit of running in circles till you shot it. Annoying when the enemy does it, downright infuriating when your team mates do it.
    • In Time Splitters 2, there was a map that consisted of two bases with a gorge in between, joined only by bridges. In some game modes, bots (both friendly and unfriendly) would start running across a bridge, then pull a 90 degree turn and run off the edge for no discernible reason.
  • Wolfenstein (2009) has all the classic artificial stupidity bugs. Most notably, the enemy players will not react to you at all unless you are within a certain distance of them (at which point they will know where you are with unfailing accuracy) meaning that, once you've got the sniper scope, you can snipe groups from a distance and watch as the Germans show absolutely no reaction to their comrades' heads exploding.
  • In the Star Wars Battlefront games, you will sometimes see such things as allied soldiers running directly into a wall repeatedly, or shooting at one for no apparent reason. The reason behind this is that the AI is programmed to move or shoot directly at enemy A Is, and seems to forget to account for intervening terrain. It gets worse on tiered battlefields, where your soldiers will cluster in an empty hallway because there's an enemy in the level directly beneath them.
    • Also notable is the AI's tendency to spam grenades constantly, even if there are teammates around. Sometimes indoor hallways become completely impassible as both sides' AI units just stand there filling them with grenades, respawning, and doing it again.
      • An interesting experiment is to activate invulnerability and see how many enemies die by clustering around you and getting blown up by allied grenades.
      • A second enjoyable tactic is to get in one of the Nigh Invulnerable tanks, wait for enemies to cover it with sticky grenades, and then charge them, mowing down entire squads of foes with their own misplaced explosives.
      • The "hunt" gametype on Naboo has the Gungan team armed only with grenades. It's absolutely possible–perhaps even recommended, so as to avoid the massive grenade slaughterfest that inevitably occurs–to sit back and let the enemy bots kill each other off because they simply cannot throw grenades with any reliable degree of accuracy.
    • The addition of space combat in the sequel also adds new chances for stupidity. The standard AI tactic to avoid being shot down by human players is to crash into their own capital ship, for instance.
      • In the case of space combat, AI seems to be programmed to take to ships first. If you invade the enemy ship to destroy their various components from the inside, your biggest threat is dodging bullets as the enemy AI makes its way to their ships.
    • The main way of increasing difficulty levels in the first game is to deduct 50 points from your allies' IQs. Defending objectives? That's for squares! Although the funniest happens regardless of difficulty setting - if you are flying, say, a Republic Gunship and give the "everybody out" command before you land, your allies will cheerfully jump out of the gunship, ignoring fine details like not possessing a parachute or jetpack, and the height being enough to break their necks. You then have kills deducted for every stupid clone you have thus weeded out.
    • Another hilarious bit of idiocy in space battles. If you land a gunship in an enemy hangar with passengers on board, all except one will get out. If you disembark without taking off and landing again, the one remaining passenger will grab the pilot seat and promptly crash into the hangar wall.
      • Same with two-seater ships like TIE Bombers, but there's another example involving those. If you get out of a TIE Bomber your co-pilot might follow you, get back into the bomber and then take off and forget that the ship is capable of both braking and performing turns.
        • It is possible to overcome the gunship issue. After landing, as said before, all but one passenger will get out. If you take off and immediately land again, the last man will get out and none of the A.I will ever try and get back in unless you tell them too. Kinda weird, but at least alot of other players don't expect it.
      • A hilarious tactic in space battles goes like this: infiltrate the enemy's hangar, then proceed to use your free time to get in the enemy fighters. Don't leave the hangar, though; just get in long enough to turn the ship around, then immediately exit the fighter. The next time some AI schmuck comes along, he'll enter the ship and bravely fly forward...directly into the hangar walls. If you wanted to earn the points for that kill, keep your eye on the enemy's lightweight fighter (the A-Wing, in the Rebels' case), and simply plug a rocket into its backside every time someone goes to enter the fighter.
      • All enemy units are basically forced by the AI into a single, identical game-plan. The implications of this vary; usually it just means that the AI ignores things such as the Engineer's ability to supply health and ammo to himself and his comrades, and sometimes it means Han Solo is prone to taking a seat behind a turret at Mos Eisley, shouting "Never Tell Me the Odds" as you casually shoot him in the back.
    • If you fly the Transport into an enemy ship in space battles and land it, you can respawn from it. Good luck, though, as an AI teammate will always spawn at it, and then get it and crash it into a wall. There goes your spawn point!
    • The enemy AI in the game have no problem betraying their own teammates while they try to shoot you.
    • If you are a Jedi or any class with rockets, you will end up betraying teammates because when you try to kill the enemy, the AI on your team will stand right beside them.
      • Similarly, if you are a clone commander, stay far away from allies. They are only too happy to wander in front of your chaingun and die.
    • It bears mentioning that bots will virtually never try to lock on with a rocket launcher, instead firing blindly and sending rockets flying off across the map (or into their own troops). Tanks are virtually impermeable to all rocket-launcher-based attacks because of this, though they seem to have a little more accuracy shooting down snowspeeders. The one thing that they will attempt to lock onto are the (almost) invincible AT-TE and AT-ST command vehicles.
    • Most of the bots seem to choose the human player as the primary target, regardless of whether you pose a direct threat, or if they are even within attacking distance. While sniping, it isn't uncommon to see an enemy stop dead in the middle of a firefight, draw their sidearm and begin taking potshots at your position. Even shooting an AT-AT walker with a pistol will sometimes cause it to stop in its tracks, and slowly turn towards you (sometimes a complete 180) just to return fire.
    • It also bears mentioning that the entry for Artificial Stupidity on Star Wars Battlefront had all its examples removed and replaced with simply "a lot", because it was probably one-sixth of the page itself.
    • One of the most hilariously stupid AI actions in the game comes with the ability to perform evasive maneuvers in any flying vehicle. All too frequently, you'll see a scout fighter make a flawless bombing run against a capital starship while miraculously dodging huge amounts of flak, pull up and begin to fly away... then for no discernable reason, do a barrel roll and turn 180 degrees, sending themselves full throttle into the enemy ship. This is actually possible to exploit by firing a missile at a fighter flying directly away from its parent ship; the fighter will loop backwards to break the lock and power straight into the huge star cruiser right behind it.
    • Another enjoyable space-related action is placing time bombs on ships just before they take off. Rather than taking the sensible course of action by getting out and running the hell away, the pilots will happily zoom off into outer space, dying in a flaming ball of ship debris shortly after they leave the hanger.
    • Judging by their habit of jumping in front of firing units, AI units believe themselves to be Friendly Fireproof. They aren't.
    • Enemies don't understand range, accuracy, or covering fire, and will therefore react to you sniping them by standing out in the open and firing at you with a pistol, never advancing, flanking, or even trying to close the range to a manageable distance. "Native" enemies (such as the Wookiees on Kashyyyk) have unlimited reinforcements and their deaths don't detract from hostile reinforcement count. Proper abuse of this error can result in upwards of 250 points, 150 kills, and 50 headshots in one life.
  • Painkiller's AI wasn't exactly what you'd call Mensa material to begin with, but the Obvious Beta expansion Painkiller Resurrection takes this trope Up to Eleven, where enemies who can't deal with the erratic level design get hung up constantly on corners, curbs and other random bits of scenery as they try to charge the player.
  • In Strife, when you converse with the rebel soldiers while they stand around as NPCs, they sometimes warn you not to stand too close to the enemy's "Crusader" robots, due to said unit's short-range but highly damaging flamethrower. When these same rebels see active duty on certain levels, however, their AI causes them to attempt to close to melee range on their enemies, including Crusaders, resulting in many of them going to their fiery death like lambs to a slaughter. This is despite the fact that the rebel soldiers have no special melee attack; their only attack is to fire an assault rifle which works reasonably well from a distance.
  • Metro 2033 has the * worst* grenade throwers in the history of ever.
    • It's not their fault, someone put a wall in their way.
    • Fascist soldiers have an excellent awareness of cover. They'll duck, hide, peek around before stepping out and will call to each other. Unfortunately this often happens on the wrong side of what they've chosen to hide 'behind'.
  • Every Tom Clancy first person shooter game, such as Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six has often required the player to pull his own weight in a firefight, since the squadmates were often incompetent. Rainbow Six Vegas and Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 only made marginal improvements.
    • In Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield, a fireteam left in a corner under AI control will inevitably cover the wall instead of the wide open room around them.
    • Also in Rainbow Six 3, a terrorist in an entirely different room is liable to hear your footsteps through the wall (bad enough already) and then proceed to throw a grenade. At the wall. Right next to them.
  • In the eXtreme Paintbrawl games, if you send your team ahead of you, you will likely find them running into a wall next to a door. Unless they get eliminated in the first few seconds, which is also common.
  • Your Redshirt Army allies in the Medal of Honor series tend to suffer from this, eg running blindly into the enemy's line of fire, not taking cover, or allowing themselves to be meleed to death. This frequently results in mission failure during escort missions.
  • Golden Eye 1997 has decent enemy AI. However, enemies will only shoot at you if you are on the same elevation as you or close to it, so if you are a bit too low to them or too far up, they will move closer to you in order to get a better shot, even though there is nothing blocking their firing sight. This also gets worse if you park yourself on a stairwell since the AI will not even bother to shoot at you, even if you are less than a foot away. Because of this exploit, it can lead to an Anticlimax Boss against Xenia, where you can shoot parallel to the bridge as she crosses it and she won't attack until she gets across the bridge and you can kill her before that happens.
    • The way AI works in this game is this: If the CPU can walk in a straight line towards you, it can see and shoot you. The inverse is also true. This can work to your advantage or to the CPU's, depending on the situation. If you stand just behind a rail, you can shoot holes in him and he'll have to come around to get you, but if there's a big hill that you can't even see over, they can shoot right through it and hit you.
    • Another way in which they're stupid is if one comes after you, but doesn't see you after a few seconds, it will forget about you, stop chasing you and stand perfectly still indefinitely until you get his attention.
    • Yet another way, there are some CPUs that are programmed never to move unless they see you. This means if you stand somewhere he can't see you (like behind a rail), you can shoot him all you want and he'll be oblivious to your presence.
  • The F.E.A.R. series is generally very good when it comes to AI, however that do make some cracking blunders, such as killing themselves with their own grenades and blowing themselves up by targeting flammable barrels.
    • One very common mistake (and often the only reason you're able to take them down in higher difficulty levels) is using cover from irregular-shaped objects or structures of the wrong size, which often leads to an entire squad of Replicas either with their bodies half-exposed or hitting their own cover while trying to shoot from their positions. And they don't always move when injured, meaning you can kill a Replica by gunning it from afar with the RPL, and he will not move to protect himself properly. That's not to mention the fact that they don't take explosive props into account at all - a perfect strategy to deal with groups is to lure them into a place you've cleared and let a barrel/extinguisher/fuse box behind. When they come, shoot the prop. Instant squad kill.
  • Desert Combat, a popular mod for Battlefield1942, rolled two of the original game's classes (medic and engineer) into one class, without updating the AI. This could be problematic when playing with bots. If the player's tank was injured, a helpful support-class bot would run up and begin covering the tank with anti-tank mines. If the tank moved an inch (and sometimes if it didn't) it would go up like a Roman candle. It gets worse, though. When the player's tank is hurt, the AI almost always spawns as support. Thirty seconds after the player was first trapped by his tank's thin coating of anti-tank mines, twenty more support bots would run up to festoon the tank further. When the mines ran out, the bots would pull out shotguns. When the shells ran out, they would melee it. A crowd of twenty bots, rhythmically beating a tank covered in landmines. The only bright side was that when you eventually did move, you'd take all those idiots with you.
    • This was just one of a number of AI screw-ups in the game. The most prominent was when the AI--which was never programmed to fly a helicopter--tried to fly a helicopter. They would often fly straight up into the air as high as they could and then attempt to turn. Soon after, the helicopter would inevitably crash into the ground, often upside down. Any attempt at recovery looked like a drunk, epileptic three-year-old was at the stick and God help you if you were within 100 feet of it, because there was a good chance it would plow into you while dragging sideways along the ground.
  • The enemy AI in Clive Barker's Jericho is very, very stupid. They generally do nothing more than charge you, and while for some enemies this is actually a good way to take out the Squad, for most it results in them dying before they get anywhere near you. The allied AI is also quite dim, as they don't quite understand the concepts of "retreating" or "taking cover" and will often melee the exploding enemies or dash up to enemies with ranged attacks and get slaughtered. Luckily, their death does not mean a game over unless everyone, including you, dies.
  • In Soldier of Fortune II, you have to escort Dr. Ivanovich near the end of the second level. He tends to follow you into the line of fire like a sheep to the slaughter, resulting in Game Over for you.
  • Conkers Bad Fur Day had multiplayer AI that, although can be justifiably made stupid (the lowest level is "inbred"), other times can become this even on their highest levels ("Einstien"). Due to the lack of protection from any and all attacks fired (even your own), there are many cases A Is will take advantage of this even if they are part of your team. Sometimes this comes from them not taking the time to see what's immediately in front of them before opening fire (such as firing at you because the enemy was directly behind you, as if they expected the bullets to fly through you into them. They don't.), and other times shooting any and every friggin thing that moves, including you (common when armed with sniper rifles and grenade launchers). Other times, when they're not all the more happy to turn on each other, there can be times the A Is, both your friends and foes alike, will stand around doing nothing (besides jumping, perhaps) often conveniently out of your line of sight just to give the illusion that they're off doing something important or trapping themselves in a corner until you either shoot or kill one or both of them (this tends to be common the less A Is you have running around on the map). Depending on the mini-game, the A Is will also be focused more on shooting things (with actually aiming at anything being an afterthought) than the goal they're supposed to accomplish (such as how the weasels in Heist will focus more on killing each other than the money bags, and the only time the money matters is by making whoever's holding it Public Enemy Number 1, or how War!Colors will have the troops more focused on sniping at each other than either sides really caring to grab each other's flags). On the otherhand, it also works in your favor at times, where your foes can do the same thing to their own teammates, and even commit stupicide trying to kill you (the common scenario involving you being in an area you're invulnerable or not entirely in range of an attack, leading to your foe, armed with a grenade launcher or bomb to fire at you, only to obliterate themselves by being too close to their own blast, while, at worse, knock you up on the air and stun you for a while).
  • Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45 has AI combat engineers that set timed explosives in the middle of groups of frendlies, given the games realism, this tends to be messy
  • In the first installment of Quake, ogres always fire their greanades horizontally -- so if you stand on a ledge above them, they end up blowing up themselves.
  • Psychos in Borderlands will often pull out and arm a grenade when low on health, charging at players For Massive Damage. They will even do so if there's no way that they'll actually reach the players before the grenade goes off.

Fighting Game Edit

  • In the computer fighting game Big Bang Beat: 1st Impression, you have an energy meter which depletes as you attack, and disables most of your attacks when it drops low enough. You can recharge this meter using the classic SNK "stand still and hold down a button" method: However, you have to HOLD the button to charge. The computer, which IS limited by this bar as well, tends to TAP the button, meaning they charge with at best a tenth of the speed you do, and most of the time fail to charge at all. Thus, you can usually win any fight by turtling until the opponent's bar runs out, and then bashing him to pieces as he futilely tries to recharge.
  • Several recent WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW games exhibit problems during specialty matches, most notably the Elimination Chamber -- rather than fight normally, computer-controlled opponents will instead spend much of the match climbing up and down the chain rigging and corner chambers. Sometimes, rather than climb down, opponents will instead hurl their bodies off the chambers with diving attacks that almost always miss, inflicting upon them damage more grievous than the player-controlled character can effectively dole out. However, they do make up for this somewhat by constantly breaking pin attempts -- despite the fact that the Elimination Chamber is an elimination-style match and the computer, at least in theory, benefits from the elimination of other competitors just as much as the player does. Meanwhile, AI characters in the Royal Rumble mode have been known to eliminate themselves from the match by jumping onto an opponent outside the ring.
    • These problems have been resolved - the Royal Rumble having been overhauled, while the Elimination Chamber was fixed in that regard (though still tends to have one major glitch a year) - but now there are others. Three in particular come to mind; first, computers will about 50% of the time go running after any ladder that's outside the ring immediately after it's put there, which in a Money in the Bank match can get you alone in the ring with another ladder to try and climb up - if you do start climbing they will come back, but it does give you some precious seconds to give it a shot. Second, computers love to throw you into the corner and turn you around over and over and over again until you recover, rather than actually attack. And third, in a Scramble match computers will always move to break up any pins, even though on paper the only person who would be affected by it would be whoever the current champion is.
      • In defense of the Scramble match glitch, in the Real Life matches, superstars would often break up pins even though they did not gain or lose anything for doing so.
  • Despite being an SNK Boss on the last floor of the Tower of Souls, Algol in Soul Calibur IV has an exploitable AI: he tends to perform a low slash followed by a leaping low slash when he knocks your character down. If you happen to be lying on the edge of the arena, odds are he'll leap to his doom.
  • The Fighting Game Maker, MUGEN, being accessible to amateurs and highly popular, has AIs that fall everywhere on the scale. On the one hand, you have ones that make the official SNK Bosses look easy; on the other, somewhere out there, there's a Zero character with an AI so badly written, it will actually crash the game.
    • In counterpart, there are some characters (and AI patches for SEVERAL characters) out there with an AI so well-coded that makes it almost look like you're playing against a pro, averting this trope.
  • Killer Instinct Gold features an odd version including Glacius's Liquidize move: Oh higher difficulty matches most enemies read your moves and perform specific moves to keep you from starting combos. If you are all the way across the screen, Liquidize briefly, and simply remain still afterward, almost all opponents walk towards you until they are in range to do their specific counter-maneuver for Liquid Uppercut. No matter the opponent, their chosen move is always countered by Cold Shoulder, Rock-Paper-Scissors style. As long at it goes into a simple combo, they will rarely be able to do anything else. This actually gets EASIER to do the farther you go and the harder the setting.
  • In the old Ranma1/2 fighting game Super Hard Battle, final boss Herb invariably responds to projectiles by jumping over them and towards the opponent. Therefore, defeating him is as simple matter as using a projectile, hitting him with an anti-air attack (knocking him back to almost the exact spot where he started), and repeating.
  • The AI in Jump! Ultimate Stars for the DS is the worst fighting AI short of MUGEN. The AI is so bad that most players recommend that people DO NOT BUY THE GAME if they don't have access to Wi-Fi. The AI will kill itself more often than you can kill it! The AI in JUS will jump to their death repeatedly in just about any stage with a pit in it, even after they've just respawned!
    • Let's not forget status effects. Auto-Run and Burn will cause the AI to do nothing but run straight ahead (even into a pit or wall) and Confusion makes them do the same thing but in reverse. Blind, Guard Seal and Movement Seal (which only seals your directional movement and jumping, not attacking or blocking) will cause the AI to do nothing but stand still, not even blocking.
    • Then there's their attacks. In a game with 50+ playable characters and over 200 Support characters, it seems that the best strategy the AI can come up with on any difficulty is to randomly mash the "touch" attack, launch Support characters at random intervals (even where it would be completely stupid to do so, like setting down a healing support when they're standing right next to you, and not picking it up) and repeatedly throw out projectiles and Specials with no regard to distance or actual effectiveness.
    • The game can also fall into The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard territory on Hard mode, where the AI will automatically block the second you touch any attack buttons. It still can't kill you, and still kills itself repeatedly, though.
  • Your partner AI in the Super Smash Bros has the intelligence of a garden slug on rhino dookey while the enemy AI are vicious tigers. Unfair, ain't it?
    • In Melee there was something called the "flipper dance": when fighting a single computer opponent, pick a stage with decent sized flat base and no movement affecting gimmicks, such as Final Destination, take a flipper and just throw it straight so that it lands at walking height between you and the opponent and just stand still a few feet behind it. The enemy will slowly walk towards you, then, right before hitting the flipper, will dodge roll backwards, then start walking towards you again, rinse and repeat until the flipper expires. It never gets old to watch the computer completely forget it can jump.
      • They're similarly unable to comprehend bumpers in Brawl.
    • In the same game, some characters like Captain Falcon and Ganondorf will randomly throw out their strongest, but slowest attacks while you're nowhere near them, presumably hoping you'll just stumble into them. A player using Roy can have a field day with them thanks to his Counter special.
      • Some characters, like Mr. Game and Watch and Yoshi were particularly dumb, as they'd invariably approach you by performing a dashing attack or grab that would whiff if you just stood still, leaving themselves wide open for an attack. Therefore, it was possible to beat them without even moving.
      • Also, characters with an ascending Up B attack like Captain Falcon and Mario, would almost always use that move if you jumped directly above them from a distance. This would either leave them wide open for a retaliatory attack, or if they were standing at the edge of the level, potentially send them flying to their doom.
    • In Brawl, the AI can navigate custom stages fairly well...unless it has spikes. CP Us don't quite seem to get the idea that spikes are bad, and it's not uncommon to see a CPU work his damage up hundreds higher than normal just bouncing on spikes.
      • Trampolines also. If you're on one side of a wall and the CPU is on the other, it will spend tons of time trying to jump over the wall, even if it's too high, despite there being a spring behind it which it could use to jump over the wall.
      • It has trouble with the falling blocks, too - it doesn't seem to have any foresight, so it will often remain standing on a block until it's too low to reach the rest of the stage.
      • They do realize the spikes are dangerous, when they're about one inch away from them and unable to do anything about it. Same with a few dangerous items, where they constantly approach the item only to roll away from it just before they get hurt.
      • In general, they have trouble with the idea that stages aren't always completely static. If the bottom of the stage is occupied by horizontally moving platforms, the computer-controlled characters will miss the platforms by a mile every single time.
    • Throughout the series, no matter how high you set the computer's skill level at, they always make the mistake of walking onto motion sensor bombs no matter how visible they are.
      • Made funnier in Brawl by the fact that they'll briefly hesitate before doing so, as if contemplating whether it's a good idea or not.
    • Let's not forget Luigi's infamous glitch in Melee, where he would use his side special (which propels him horizontally as a missile) whenever he fell off the stage and usually fail. If he had used his up special (a big vertical jump) he would have survived, but the programming doesn't let him do so. The problem was that Luigi had two recovery moves, but the AI could only be taught one per character. This was fixed in Brawl.
    • In Melee, if you select Ness as your opponent, and select Jungle Japes, if you don't move at all Ness will perform a double jump straight into the river, regardless of what the AI level is (however, if you set the level to a higher one, he'll attempt to use PK Thunder, which ends up hitting the platform you are standing on). This was fixed in Brawl where he does the exact same thing, but manages to grab onto the edge of the platform and climb up.
    • In Melee, if you play on Hyrule Temple and select any number of Kirbys as your opponent, you could effortlessly trick them into turning to rocks directly above the hole that goes down to the lower levels of the stage, in which case they would slide all the way down the slopes and into the pit.
    • Even a level 9 CPU Marth can act extremely stupid in Melee. Select him as an opponent and play on the Jungle Japes stage. Knock him off the stage once, and while he's respawing, quickly get onto the platform at the far right of the stage. Your opponent should jump toward you each time he respawns, only to perform his up+B special away from you, killing himself.
    • In Brawl, the AI will always perform an air dodge immediately after being struck in air, or being hit into the air, oblivious to the fact that there's a brief window of vulnerability as one ends. It's quite easy to juggle them to death by simply timing your attacks.
    • In Melee, some giant characters you go up against in one-player mode (specifically Yoshi) may start the match off by leaping off the edge of their platform into a Bottomless Pit, ending the fight in less than 5 seconds. It happens in Brawl too, but less often and usually a little later into the fight. Metal characters also suffer sometimes; they drop faster but the AI doesn't always acknowledge that.
  • In one Street Fighter game, the AI character of Balrog would react to many moves by trying to jump over them and punch you. E. Honda's hundred hand slap would cause him to keep jumping into it until he was dead.
    • It gets funnier: In every iteration of SFII prior to Super SFII, Balrog/M. Bison would routinely perform his array of dash punches and hardly anything else. This would lead to him being easily countered by a sweep attack or projectile attack. Similarly, Zangief could be defeated by simply backing into a corner and repeatedly jump kicking him in the head.
    • Some enemy AI is sufficiently designed to be ridiculously exploitable. For instance, against Ken in Street Fighter Alpha 3 or the Capcom vs. SNK Millennium Fight 2000 games, jump backward and attack. If he has enough meter, he will do his Shoryureppa and miss completely. Similarly, the final form of Bison in Alpha 3 can be easily baited with a jab, against which he will either teleport behind you (easy to combo or super) or crouch for a few seconds and throw a fireball (easily jumped and comboed).
  • Rise of the Robots was touted in a pre-release trailer for the game as the first fighting game where the enemy adapts to your fighting style and changes its tactics based on how you come at it. This, however, is a lie, as every single opponent, up to and including the final boss, can be defeated simply by moving forward and kicking it into a corner.
  • In the Fighting Game spinoffs of Touhou, the AI has a tendency to drop its block at all the wrong times and perform other stupid things:
    • Komachi's "Dial-A" combo takes quite a long time to be fully executed, so the AI always blocks the first 3 hits and usually fails to block the last overhead slash.
    • The AI also sometimes falls for Spell Cards (supers) right after blocking a long combo.
    • Sometimes, when using Youmu, the AI will attempt to follow up a combo with a special whose only purpose is reflecting bullets and does not hit the enemy.
    • The AI frequently does not use Spell Cards at moments where it could chain into them, possibly even winning them the match. Sometimes, even with a five-cost card ready, they do not use it throughout the match!
    • The AI does not know how to switch cards and/or use skill cards to move a super into position. If a skill/system card is ready to be used, they will not use a single super throughout the match!
  • The computer opponents in Windy X Windam almost never block anything, even at the highest difficulty setting. In most cases, this allows characters with launcher attacks to lift the opponent into the air and juggle them until they die.
    • Unless they're lying on the ground, they won't think to block or dodge multiple-hit ranged attacks (especially super moves, which activate after a two-second delay).
  • In the higher difficulty levels of Dragonball Z Budokai 3, AI opponents are much more likely to try and use ultimate moves on you, which are difficult to connect against a moving target and a huge drain of ki. If you go purely evasive once they activate hyper mode, you can usually wait for them to run out of ki, then utterly thrash on them while they recover. If you get good at this, the harder levels can be easier than the normal ones.

Action Game Edit

  • Enter the Matrix has three driving levels. If you play as Niobe, you get to be the driver while Ghost takes shots at the enemy vehicles, and if you're playing as Ghost you get to be the gunner while Niobe drives through the level. The problem? Apparently the AI-controlled Niobe completely flunked out of driving school, because she can't go five seconds without crashing into something and more than likely getting stuck (this is most aggravating in the final driving level, where you're trying to escape from the Twins, who are following after and shooting at you, and are also completely invincible.)
  • In Saint's Row 2, pedestrians will often jump to one side if they think they player will drive over them. However, at least as often as not, they throw themselves headlong onto the street, where they're likely to get run over by another NPC driver, or by the player if he was only barely on the sidewalk or if he was only taking a brief detour onto the sidewalk.
    • There are also certain roads that cabs seem to have... trouble with. More specifically, they become, to borrow Yahtzee's phrase, 'pants-on-head retarded'. The cabs tend to spawn at the end of a long, straight road... then turn around and start driving off in a random direction, taking the longest possible route to get to you. If they don't just explode. Or sometimes they'll spawn, but, for some reason, immediately shift into 'normal' NPC cabs which you can steal, rather than ride in. Also fits as a Good Bad Bug.
    • Airplane pilots seem to be a panicky lot in SR2, too. Shoot them once (with any gun) on the runway (which is the only place to really find NPC airplanes), and they'll immediately veer off the runway and crash into the closest bit of scenery, usually exploding in a giant fireball.
      • When you attempt to steal a vehicle that is also on your junkyard list, not only will the cops psychically know and immediately pounce on you, but the driver of said car will invariably panic and veer off the road in a random direction. The chance that this mad dash across pedestrian zones and off cliffs ends with the car despawning, crashing into a semi or disappearing into the ocean is proportional to the length of time you had to wait for it to show up in the first place. Oh, and if he hits something black and white and blue then you get wanted stars. It seems the only way to steal a car on your junkyard list without dealing with this is by shooting the driver.
    • Get a police car, drive on the rightmost lane and activate the siren. Cars in front of you will turn onto the sidewalk to avoid you. Cars in the middle lane will turn across your lane and stop there. For additional fun, try this on a highway bridge and watch the semis run the civilians off the road in their dash to get out of your way.
    • The nuclear plant island should never be navigated by car. It is crammed with security vehicles that will do things like accelerate at high speed out of a side street and plow into you, rear-end you when you stop for a red light, or run over a pedestrian and proceed to chase you for manslaughter. It is virtually impossible to spend longer than a minute in this area at the wheel of a truck without getting wanted stars.
  • Space Pirates, in the stealth section of Metroid: Zero Mission, will raise an alarm and mercilessly chase you if they spot you. However, you can cause them to call off the alarm if you can keep them from spotting you for a short period of time (or going to a prescripted area to shake the heat). This is despite the fact that you are the one solely responsible for the destruction of their leader not three hours ago and you are now unarmored and vulnerable. It's also worth noting that the shots they fire at you will kill each other if you can line them up right.
  • In Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, you eventually encounter a human boss who can use any power used against him, but it is automatically overridden by any new power. That's fine, and obviously the best way to beat him is to use a stupid power against him. The trouble is that he never clues into the fact that his new power is ridiculous (he does, after all, have a knife he could be using), such as lashing out with a Cave Troll's tongue attack that doesn't extend past his dramatically outstretched arm.
    • Sadly, his Knife is even MORE puny then his new Tongue attack. His power could be a Game Breaker anyway if he had any actual control over it.
    • Use the Student Witch attack on him, so that he spends the remainder of the battle trying to throw cats at you.
      • This is actually a bit of a Guide Dang It, since the game never tells you about the trick outright (sure, he visibly steals his primary attack from a Malachi, but there's no indication it's automatic) - and if you don't know it, the fight is tough. (It's also tough in Julius Mode - turns out that power works on subweapons, too. Sure, you can give him Yoko's "power palm", but if you forget about it and hit him with an axe?)
  • The enemy AI in the Armored Core games, especially on the PS 1 and Play Station 2, are capable of truly staggering feats of incompetence. Choose to fight AC's in the right arena and they will:

 A) Attempt to get at you by futilely trying to phase through solid matter.

B) Attempt to get at you by futilely trying to phase through solid matter while emptying all of their weapons into a 10 meter wide concrete wall.

C) Attempt to get at you by futilely trying to phase through solid matter while emptying all of their weapons into a 10 meter wide concrete wall and somehow killing themselves.

D) All of the above

    • They have also been witnessed boosting out of the combat area for no reason, giving the player the victory by default. As you can imagine, there are myriad ways of rapidly climbing the arena ranks by exploiting the stupidity of its inhabitants. But the real problems start when From Software, rather than attempting to program better AI, decided to compensate for the computers' stupidity by giving the AI controlled ACs capabilities that far exceed what is possible, or sane, and in Armored Core 2 even equipped the AI with parts that didn't exist.
  • In the stealth sections of Batman: Arkham Asylum, the Mooks rarely ever bother to look up. It's a little bit more frequent in the harder difficulty levels, but still.
    • And then there's also this.
      • They also have no periphral vision whatsoever, except for the insane inmates who have a perfect line of sight.
      • If it wasn't for their constant conversations, you'd assume they were all deaf, too, given you can stick one of them in a Dragon Sleeper (complete with barely muffled groans) with their buddy none the wiser ten feet away.
  • The guards in Assassin's Creed will sometimes throw you off a high ledge, then jump down after you. You can survive the resulting falling damage. They can't. In 2 you often lose thieves to the idiots trying to keep up with Ezio and jumping from too high or failing jumps.
    • The Multiplayer Tutorial AI dummy in Assassin's Creed Brotherhood won't care if the player approaches him in an unusual manner, and will only jog away from the player if a chase is activated, never sprinting.
  • Grand Theft Auto San Andreas features pretty solid AI in most cases, but it breaks down in some areas. On the freeway, the AI can't seem to handle the speed at which it drives, resulting in a lot of accidents, even with no player intervention. If the player stays put long enough, massive pileups and riots inevitably occur and don't end until the player leaves the area.
    • Civilian drivers are actually dumb cars-on-rails until nudged, shot, or otherwise "awakened", at which point they become truly AI controlled and subject to proper physics (almost certainly for performance). In places, the map's "rails" seem to be set up wrong, and vehicles either accelerate or turn well beyond their actual capabilities, or outright spawn facing the wrong way then tween into place. Freeway pileups are usually a result of "rail" and "true" vehicles interacting badly.
      • A similar sort of thing seems to happen in areas with particularly steep hills, especially San Fierro. And it. Is. Hilarious.
      • Also, pretty much every car that needs to make a right turn, is going to do so from the left lane, and vice versa for left turns. And that seems to be the most basic rule for the game's driving AI, but apparently it wasn't. It seems like the only realistic thing the other drivers do in the game is to high-tail it out of there when if they hear gunshots.
    • If you engage in a gang war, sometimes the enemy gang members will run down to the end of the block just to do a U-turn and run on the other side of the sidewalk. Sometimes this ranges to being miles away from the actual war zone but if the game is savvy enough, you're rewarded with the next wave or getting the area. Most of the time though you're stuck waiting around for them to come back because if you try to leave, the game pressures you to stay there.
    • Cops who in no way can get to their original car, will usually run out onto the street and jack a civilian's car and drive off in that. Or more hilariously, a fellow officer's car.
    • Dubbed the suicidal photographer, this fellow stands at the edge of a cliff taking pictures of the city nearby. After he's done he just walks in a straight line into the water and dies. This happens everytime.
    • Emergency vehicles make no effort to avoid civilians and will usually run a lot of peds over just to save one. Aggrevating when it runs over a mission important NPC.
    • Unlike the previous games, San Andreas averts Super Drowning Skills, and CJ can swim. However, this isn't extended to anyone else, and if you have a Wanted level, there's no end to the line of cops that will jump in to get you and immediately drown.
    • It is not just San Andreas, either. Much of the Grand Theft Auto series has apparent Artificial Stupidity, though at the same time, much of it's ambiguous whether it was a matter of programming or of deliberate portrayal. Grand Theft Auto II features fellow carjackers who drive into cars already on the verge of exploding, civilians who run around in circles when a tank is driving through an alley they are in, and cops in a vehicle running over cops who are pursuing you on foot. However, given the nature of the GTA series, one should not rule out the possibility that they are portraying people that way on purpose.
    • Planes are also tied to 'rails'. This frequently makes them disregard tall buildings, trees, hills or other particuarly tall objects.
    • NPCs who are falling into the water know how to escape their vehicle and swim, but fail to grasp the concept of finding a staircase or beach to exit the water. They mostly waddle uselessly next to a ledge.
    • NPCs often crowd around scenes of carnage. This would happen even if the scene involves a flaming vehicle which might go off at any minute.
    • NPCs on fire never have the ability to stop, drop and roll that the protoganist has. They often just run around until their health runs out and dies.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, the guards provide a fairly solid challenge without going to brutal measures to catch the player (difficulty dependant of course). However, patrolling guards when not faced with a left turn, will ALWAYS turn to the right including when they are simply turning around. This effectivly means that the player can stand next to a patrolling guard and not be seen, providing he always stands on the guards left side.
    • Which is far from the worst or only problem. For instance, you can shoot guards with tranquilizer guns, which mostly avert Instant Sedation except on Very Easy difficulty, but regardless of how long it takes, will cause the target to abruptly keel over with a grunt and start snoring. Other guards will find nothing unusual about this if they find a sleeping guard, and will simply kick them awake, even if they saw them keel over. This is particularly silly when you hit a guard who regularly sends status reports by radio (or interrupt a guard with a radio), and a group of armed soldiers come to investigate. After kicking him awake, one of the soldiers will radio back to report that there was nothing wrong before they leave.
  • In Dead Rising, it's not uncommon for Frank to be escorting a couple of survivors and, even though you've given weapons to as many of them as you can, for them to stand there calling for help while they're being eaten alive by zombies and doing absolutely nothing to defend themselves. This can be especially frustrating if you're handling a survivor that can't carry a weapon or if you yourself are in the middle of being attacked. This is even MORE frustrating if you were attacked while trying to help the idiot and you all die because said idiot will not even push the zombies (all the survivors are capable of pushing).
    • They also have no concept of retreat, and will stand there fighting off a horde of zombies, no matter how overwhelmed they get. Leading to the tactic of mashing the call button to make them move their sorry asses.
    • Also, don't give them a gun. Unless you like getting caught in friendly crossfire.
  • In Gears of War, Locusts (the main enemy in the game) are supposed to dynamically move around and take cover in response to your team's position. However, nine times out of ten, they will, in a pitched firefight, leap over the cover to reach a better place, leaving them horribly open for an explosive headshot.
    • In the sequel this was fixed, but the AI has even more pitiful failings; enemies will run straight into security lasers, clearly-visible proxy mines, a sentry turret's line of sight, etc.
    • When given an explosive weapon A Is will choose to destroy themselves. But only if you are not within range.
  • In Grand Theft Auto 3, random emergency vehicles will sometimes speed up the drive to the mafia don's house, slam headfirst into his garage door and continue to grind against it until their vehicles explode.
    • Everyone in Liberty City (apart from Claude) seems absolutely incapable of aiming a rocket launcher in any direction but down. And they actually seem to be aware of this, since if a pedestrian were to have a rocket launcher on them, they would run up to their target, and fire the rocket at the ground, killing both the target and themselves in the process. By San Andreas, this has been corrected so that pedestrians can fire rocket launchers at what is in front of them. *gulp*
  • In Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: The Game, the enemies often have Ungodly Dodge abilities. However, this is often counteracted by their tendency to stand near gas tanks and then blow them up.
    • And that's not the end of it: in the rare occasion that you have backup with you, it will blindly charge into battle and be destroyed, thus leaving you to complete the mission by yourself, one hundred times more efficiently than if they were around to help.
  • Resident Evil 5 shows that we may have reached The Singularity. Its AI Is a Crapshoot. Sometimes it's great, picking off enemies with relative efficiency with reasonable choices in weapons. Other times, if you're laying claymore mines to set up a dastardly trap while fighting a big boss, the AI will quietly follow in your footsteps picking them up.
    • Sheva's AI reaches the pinnacle of stupidity in the first battle with Wesker. First she stands still and gets badly injured (or killed on the higher difficulties), then runs off to hide, then TRIES TO FIGHT Jill ALONE and, as a result, dies. If she's lucky enough to survive, then she'll try to link up with you, leaving her side of the fight unfinished and bringing a very dangerous combatant with her to help Wesker. You cannot complete this fight solo without hiding.
    • It's pretty much concluded that this was a lot nastier than just bad programming, that they intentionally made Sheva's AI unbelievably stupid to make the game practically unwinnable without a second player, which often requires a second copy of the game, second system, and online accounts.
    • In the very beginning of its predecessor, Resident Evil 4, there is a section of tripwire that will detonate upon contact with either the player or enemies. The pissed-off villagers apparently forgot who set the explosives in the first place, because they will run right into it and kill themselves if you position yourself right.
    • Also involving dynamite. On some occasions, if you get close to dynamite-throwing Ganados, they may rush at you and try to grab you. They may or may not have lit the fuse to said dynamite. They might also gesture and shout orders/alerts to their comrades, often standing among them with a sparking stick of dynamite. Of course, this and the above example make a bit more sense when you realize the Las Plagas is likely turning their higher reasoning capabilities into Swiss cheese.
  • The Mummy Returns is hardly a pinnacle of gaming history, and the AI Medjai shooting at you will often miss at super-close range if you run back and forth a lot, but the best is the boss fight against Ardeth Bay for Imhotep in Cairo, the second mission. After killing all of his Medjai guards, you can simply back him into a corner and mash the kick button, resulting in a never-ending stream of kicks to the head that Ardeth can never get past or block. Since you can't kill him and just have to hold him back until your train leaves, this makes the boss fight less of an issue than the health-draining cats.
  • Driver 2 Advanced really did stretch the bar at the time for the Game Boy Advanced. It was remarkably fluid despite the pixel count being lower than fifteen for particular sprites. The control scheme and driving performed decently for the extremely limited physics engine it was rooted to. But the catch here is, a felony can be really unpredictable unless you try and figure out how to piss off the police and blinking pedestrian sprites. Why is this stupid on the A.I.'s end? Particular illegal crimes such as driving on the sidewalk and stealing cars would occasionally become "legal" and no authorities will pursue.
  • In The Godfather, expect that pedestrians will somehow, in an attempt to jump out of the way of your car, instead fling themselves into your path. Especially annoying, when you consider that any contact between a moving car and a civilian, at any speed, is almost universally a One-Hit Kill.
  • In The Uncanny X-Men for the NES, one-player mode would saddle the player with a computer-controlled ally so unfathomably stupid that players found it most convenient to get the enemies to put it out of its misery.

 The Angry Video Game Nerd: You could do better if you played the game blindfolded. That's no exaggeration.

  • In Grand Theft Auto IV, enemies will attempt to use the cover system just as much as you do. While most of the time, enemies will use this cover effectively, they do on occasion take cover behind objects that are not very good at deflecting bullets or won't cover them effectively. So, you may spy a supposedly highly-trained N.O.O.S.E agent take cover behind a stack of cardboard boxes or a fire hydrant.
    • The AI used in the street races drives like a blind moron on drugs. It usually ends up overshooting corners because it doesn't slow down in time, plows right into other cars instead of trying to dodge and occasionally even manages to veer off a straight road.
    • Fly up in a helicopter with a high wanted level. Hover over a body of water (the ocean next to Francis International is a good example), and watch as the police attempt to pursue you. They seem to not understand the concept that they can not drive their car up to you, or that there is an ocean in the way. After a few minutes, half the local precinct will probably be bobbing about in the water like corks.
  • In the first Tenchu game, you can swim but your enemies have Super Drowning Skills. They apparently don't know this, because if you are spotted by an enemy you can simply jump into water and watch them follow you in to drown.


Sports Game Edit

  • In Super Swing Golf Pangya, lower-tier opponents will make the most blatantly idiotic shots.
  • A discussion of the AI stupidity in Madden NFL would take all night, but one that deserves mention is that the AI has serious trouble with quarterbacks doing rollouts. If the AI is tasked with guarding the receiver and the QB rolls to his side, the AI defender will often come up to play the QB and then get indecisive, leaving both the pass and the run wide open.
  • In Backyard Baseball, if there is a person on third base, the fielders automatically throw to home. Usually it is an outfielder that does this, and almost always a run is still scored.
  • For some reason the AI in FIFA 2000 (and its spin-off, The FA Premier League Stars) was totally incapable of dealing with set-pieces correctly. This meant that whenever you got a free kick, half of the time the computer team didn't even bother setting up the wall, and when it did the wall tended to be completely out of position. Corner-kicks were even worse, as your own players weren't marked correctly and the opposing goalkeeper was far too slow to react, meaning that so long that you were able to get plenty of corners, you could ratchet up huge scorelines even on the hardest difficulty settings.
  • Mario Basketball 3-on-3. You control one character at a time. Your two teammates do nothing while you desparately try to avoid getting the ball stolen. The ball falls right next to them? They still do nothing.
  • In Pro Cycling Manager 2011, when a breakaway occurs, a team start chasing a group containing their own riders like it was one of their worst rivals. Pack takes them back in. New breakaway, some different riders, one from before mentioned team is in. Same team takes up the chase and wins. New breakaway, same teams, minus the one chasing before takes part. The team chasing before has stopped, because they weren't destroying it for their own team anymore.


Party Game Edit

  • Mario Party 8 has King Boo's Haunted Hideaway, which is a randomly-generated map that changes each time you play it. The AI seems to not plan ahead at path forks, and it will choose a path even if it knows the next fork on that side has one path leading to a dead end and a Whomp blocking the other, and that it doesn't have enough coins to pay the Whomp's toll.
    • Basically, when the computer in Mario Party isn't being a cheating bastard, they have an IQ of -8. They will buy items for easy access to the Star, even if the cost of the item puts them below the coins needed for the Star. All the freakin' time.
    • It gets worse on the investment boards like Windmillville and Koopa's Tycoon Town. Most of the time, they will invest every single coin they have, even if it's not necessary. It makes it impossible for computers to invest on the building that is right next to it, unless they keep getting low rolls and winning minigames.
    • The computer will also use items to roll multiple dice blocks to get to the star when they don't have enough coins to buy a star.
    • One particular case of the HARD AI in the first game being incompetent is pointed out by The Runaway Guys when Peach, otherwise a luck-manipulating bastard on Hard, proceeds to get the Ground Pound Coin Minigame and use a total of 9 ground pounds to find the 5 "correct" posts.[1]
    • The Easy AI is this on purpose -- it's possible to win several Mario Party 2 minigames against Easy bots without even doing anything.


Wide Open Sandbox Edit

  • The tournament AI in Mount and Blade apparently decides that the best way to win is to drive into a wall. And then get fenced in by dismounted horses.
  • One of the chief reasons why it's practically impossible to not kill any civilians by accident while actively avoiding contact in a ground vehicle in Prototype. It seems like once you induced panic in them, they'll abandon almost all of their reliance on their senses. That's also assuming you aren't convinced of their intention to commit suicide in the face of the game's setting.
    • Oh, Prototype. Thou art a shining example of this trope. Where civilians show absolutely no regard for their own safety, the most dangerous thing a Marine can face is another Marine and where highly-trained military personnel can TD Dance off of a platform to their deaths. It makes you a bit less guilty for killing them, because they genuinely come across as Too Dumb to Live
      • The slightest disruption in traffic flow can cause huge pile ups. Tanks will just drive over anything in the way.
  • Mercenaries 2: World in Flames is a crowning achievement in Artificial Stupidity. Frequently, enemy soldiers will run in front of vehicles, throw grenades at their own vehicles, crash said vehicles when at even the slightest deviation, attempt to plow their vehicles under your tank causing the game to assume the tank has run them over, drown themselves, run off of building ledges and generally kill themselves in a variety of amusing ways. This can be frustrating for numerous reasons, chief among them that Chinese RPG soldiers fire thermobaric rockets that do massive damage to you and the scenery. In fact, it is generally impossible to capture all the HVT's alive, because they will kill themselves or die at the hands of their subordinate troops.
    • The original was as bad, if not worse. Civilian vehicles would instant swerve into you even though you were in the other lane and in no way a threat (as far as they knew). Combatants would drive their jeeps into your tank, which was about as effective as you'd expect, and AI drivers would often run into the adamantium walls known as trees.
  • Dead Rising's survivors were, to put it bluntly, idiots. Half the time, they never followed you or would run off on their own, and giving them a weapon would sometimes result in them attacking you by accident. The sequel improved the AI significantly.
  • In the X-Universe (especially Terran Conflict) series of games, the Autopilot on all the ships loves to smash itself into the nearest asteroid at max speed, or veer into the path of 4 km long destroyers. Then you turn on the Time accelerator to make the slow autopilot dock faster. It Got Worse. X fans frequently refer to the autopilot as the "auto-pillock", and some believe it consists of a gerbil (or lemming) in a box, with a rough sketch of the sector..
    • Player owned capital ships will gleefully jump at exactly the same time to the exact same warpgate - into each other.

Other games Edit

  • Video games for Yu-Gi-Oh!! have a particularly poor track record in this area. While some of the games' idiotic moves can be justified by the fact that the AI couldn't possibly know the identity of your facedown cards, and that the kind of analysis that would allow a player to even make the right guesses can be really difficult even for human players, some of the cases are a little more obviously Artificial Stupidity.
    • Then you have Mokuba, for whom this trope is invoked intentionally. What a digital dummy!
      • To give you the idea of how dumb he is, his second strongest monster is Kanan The Swordmistress, a normal monster with 1400 ATK and 1400 DEF. He summons none of his monsters in defense mode, letting you just keep knocking them down. His entire strategy is to draw one monster, Cyber Stein, which has the ability to summon a fusion monster. This is the only way you can lose to him, cause if he does this, he'll summon Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon.
    • In many of the earlier games, such as Eternal Duelist Soul, at harder levels, the AI essentially knew the ATK and DEF of any of your facedown monsters, and would make its decisions whether or not to attack based on that. Some of the "good" duelists like Yami Yugi go at you with cards that technically can destroy yours in battle...and then leaves them right open to a strong counterattack when the player is able to capitalize on the fact that they left a monster with 1000-1100 ATK in attack mode at the end of their turn. Attack! Attack! Attack! meets Artificial Stupidity here.
    • The AI in Tag Force 2 is considered one of the worst examples of this in a Yu-Gi-Oh game, to the point where it seems like the game is actively trying to sabotage your efforts when you play a tag duel.
      • For instance you might have a monster that can't be destroyed in battle while it's in attack position, and a trap that stops all damage you take as long as you have a monster out, effectively making you invincible while that trap is out, as long as you don't switch that one monster to defense position. Your partner will switch her to defense position as soon as your opponent plays a monster with more attack then her.
      • The best example came from a Tag Force 4 video, when the AI used Prideful Roar against Clear Vice Dragon. The AI paid 2800 Life, took more than double that in damage, and promptly lost.
      • While the AI is occasionally competent during duels, it gets really bad during the minigames. For instance, Tag Force 2 features a 'dodgeball' minigame, it's basically a matter of using different forms of ammo to KO 2 AI opponents. Unfortunately, several characters are prone to standing directly behind your character and throwing a bowling ball (1 hit KO)
    • In Dark Duel Stories, the A Is have a bad habit of offering high-ATK monsters as tributes to summon something just as strong or even weaker, example: Offering "Jirai Gumo"(2200ATK/100DEF; it is interesting to note that this is the strongest LV 4 monster in the game, plus he is stripped of his detrimental effect) as a tribute to Tribute Summon "Catapult Turtle" (1000ATK/2000DEF). Might I also add the AI will also tribute monsters which have been equipped with two spell cards without hesitating, so if he powered up his "Tripwire Beast" to 2200ATK/2300DEF and also had Mountain activated, increasing the original ATK/DEF by 30% to a grand total of 2560ATK/2690DEF, it's not unsurprising for the AI to tribute it for a weaker monster such as "Morinphen", a LV 5 monster with poor stats (1550ATK/1300DEF).
      • The AI also likes to use monsters who have lower ATK than DEF to attack, as long as the ATK is at least half the DEF. Sometimes, Yami Yugi will use "Megamorph" (which acts like a universal Equip card, increasing a monster's ATK and DEF by 500) on Mystical Elf just so that he can attack... with 1300 ATK.
    • It's important to note that the AI in most Yu-Gi-Oh games varies from Cheap to downright stupid. When they're cheap, they're somehow able to see your hand and somehow draw the exact right card(s) to counter it...
      • Also, dueling the anime/manga characters, they can somehow see the defense of a face-down monster before it's flipped and will decide whether or not to attack it based on a stat it shouldn't know yet (of course, it'll sometimes wait a turn, summon another monster and then attack with the same weak monster they hesitated with anyway).
      • Another thing the AI will do, which can be called the "fake out dance" is to know a monster's high defense before it's flipped, but keep summoning monsters too weak to destroy it and apparently fake it out. Not too horrible, until they'll do this even if you have stronger offense monsters out. And they'll keep doing this until they lose.
    • There's also its inability to judge the worth of cards in its hands, meaning that it discards randomly whenever an effect makes them do so, which can often make them cripple their entire strategy by eliminating their most important card.
      • To wit: The AI has three cards, which consist of a weak monster, a strong monster whose level is too high to be summoned, and a spell which makes the user discard a card but would let him summon the stronger monster. The AI will, 50% of the time, activate the spell, discard the stronger monster, and then summon the weaker monster which wouldn't need the spell in the first place.
      • However, it's averted in later games, where the smarter computers will only throw out a strong card if they have something to revive it. If they have this strategy, they will use it.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh 5D's Duel Transer/Master of the Cards is also not immune. The AI Computer opponent you have unlocked initially has a few decks that are easy to overcome, but for some reason it likes to set off a combo of Waboku and Hallowed Life Barrier. I'll break it down: Waboku stops you taking damage that turn and stops your monsters from being killed, Hallowed Life Barrier is basically the same, except you need to discard a card to activate it, and all it does is nullify battle and effect damage, not protect monsters. I can see why it can help to prevent taking effect damage, but it's still a pretty stupid combination.
    • The AI is incapable of deciding whether or not using particular traps is a good idea or not. If your opponent has Torrential Tribute set (a trap which wipes all monsters on the field when activated), they'll use it even if the monster they already have on the field is stronger than the one you just summoned (of course if you're doing this, they might foresee your equipping it with something). Then again, they'll often wipe the whole field even if they have a much stronger monster out. Opponents using Torrential Tribute to destroy the whole field when they have a 2500+ ATK ritual monster out when all you did was summon a relatively weak monster is common enough to count as a strategy to get rid of their monsters.
    • Despite being the main character, Yugi will often make the baffling decision to keep summoning Sinister Serpent, an effect monster with 300 ATK and 250 DEF. It's effect is to keep showing up in his hand if it's destroyed. Good if you plan on sacrificing it, but he never does this. He keeps it out until you vaporize it with a much stronger monster, and then keep summoning it just because.
    • Total Defence Shogun is particularly weak in the hands of the AI. It has 1550 ATK, 2500 DEF, and it can attack while in defence mode. Whenever they play/use/control one however, they will always switch it to attack mode. So, basically, the AI weakens the monster by 950 points, AND opens themselves up to Life Point damage voluntarilly.
    • The AI will sometimes use Premature Burial or Call of the Haunted to summon Gearfried the Iron Knight. For those who are unaware, either of those cards can be used to summon a monster from the Graveyard, but the card is then equipped to the monster; if the card is destroyed, so is the monster it summoned. Gearfried destroys any card that is equipped to it automatically. Yeah...
      • Even more humorous because Premature Burial costs 800 life points to use.
    • The AI has also been known to do things like take control of your monster using a card like Change Of Heart, which takes yours for one turn, but then boost its stats with a permanent equip spell. So at the end of your turn, you get your monster back, only the AI has actually helped you.
    • There's a similar problem with the 1997 Magic: The Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers. Sometimes, the computer can come up with masterful combos and expert tactical plans. Other times: they sacrifice their last point of life to Pestilence in order to kill some Llanowar Elves, and summoning a Lord of the Pit and then doing nothing with it, meaning it eats all the computer's monsters and starts on the computer's life total. In particular, it will only attack if the creature is guaranteed to survive the creatures you have out or it has enough monsters to zerg you to death. This means that it doesn't, for example, fling expendable creatures at you to whittle down your forces, even if those creatures have a significant upkeep like sacrificing a creature.
    • In Yugioh: Dungeon Dice Monsters, any character not found in the anime will just summon around their Heart Points and will eventually use up all their summons. They will then be unable to do anything, allowing you to have a many rolls as you need to summon anything. The Exodia pieces can be summoned this way, and by summoning then all, you get an instant win, and the AI is powerless to stop you.
      • You can beat anyone in the game with an equally inane strategy. There are summonable "items" in the game which take the form of chests. Only the summoner knows what's in the chest, and it activates when a monster passes over it. The AI will never run over your chests, in the expectation that it might be a trap (and, to be fair, it might). However, it is possible, by spamming cheap summons, to block your opponent so that the only path to your heart points is through the chest. At which point, the AI will helpfully sit around, waiting for you to kill them.
  • The final boss of Magic: The Gathering: Battlegrounds has the ability to cast any spell in the game, any time he likes. Theoretically this means he should be able to spam you with giant monsters while countering any spell that you try to cast. Instead, he just sort of hangs around not doing much, and can be trapped in a loop by summoning the same low-level Mook over and over again. Possibly intentional on the part of the developers, since if the boss used his powers in a sensible fashion then he would be completely unbeatable.
  • This has plagued computerised Go engines (especially when compared with computerised Chess engines), with them being trounced by professional Go players even when given 25 stone advantages... The latest Go AI can win with a 9 stone advantage, and has been stated that it's up to good amateur levels.
    • In Go the problem space is much larger. While both go and chess have a finite number of moves per turn, determining the possible moves in chess is a matter of thinking of each piece and seeing where they can land and if it's open, whereas in go it's not a matter of "which of these 32 pieces can move where?" so much as "which of these 300-odd spots should pieces go on?", which doesn't just make calculation slower and more memory intensive, but also makes the heuristics harder to work on, too.
  • A classic computer game that has gone by many names over the years relies on this trope. In the original version, you had to run from robots, although modern versions have used zombies, vampires, Eldritch Abominations... basically, whatever. Anyway, you and the robots both move one square per turn (like a chess king), and robots will chase you down. You have no weapon, but the robots will attack and annihilate each other before they ever turn on you! Thus, you have to rely on robots' tendency to kill each other before they kill you.
    • It's even been done with Daleks.
  • The Windows program Mission Maker has extremely primitive AI. Make a character 'Seek and Destroy' the player, then get another character between them. The hostile character, instead of moving around, will kill the other character to get to the player.
  • The classic arcade game Berzerk allows you to make enemies crash into each other to kill each other. Or if you're lucky and clever, into the edges of walls.
  • Exploiting the Artificial Stupidity of the guards in Lode Runner is very useful, with some levels relying on it. For instance, you can position yourself on a ladder so they climb upwards when you're directly below them.
  • Golden Axe. Good game, comically bad AI. Enemies will often suicide themselves without your "help". The most effective way to beat Duel is to get 2 enemies on opposite ends of the screen and keep fly kicking off them, like a pendulum swinging left and right. Mario enemies are smarter than this.
  • In Splinter Cell Conviction, at one point you are confronted with an enemy helicopter gunship. It always shoots in front of Sam and never thinks to try and flank him.
  • The usual method to beat the last boss in Guitar Hero III invokes this. Basically, there's a certain point where a Whammy attack will kill him in one hit. Why is this? In that particular section, instead of using the whammy bar to recover, he just hammers the STRUM BAR until he kills himself. One critical flaw in an otherwise complete bastard.
  • Computer controlled helpers in Kirby Super Star have their uses, but don't expect them to live very long. Fortunately they're easy to replace.
    • Similarly, your AI allies in Kirby and the Amazing Mirror can be counted on for jack squat. They'll mill around in random areas, getting random abilities (including abilities not in their current area), and if you call them to your side...well, it's usually for one of three reasons: a boss fight, the fact that they bring health-restoring food with them, or one of them somehow snagged the Smash ability and you're just waiting for them to screw up so you can use it yourself.
  • If you've ever played a video game adaptation of a game show, you've probably encountered computer contestants that couldn't answer simple questions correctly. Press Your Luck for the Wii is one of the Egregious examples, with computer opponents answering questions such as "What animal do we get milk from?", "What is 36 divided by 6?", or "How many months are in a year?" wrong.
    • Old versions of Jeopardy! for PC in the early 1990's had the AI contestants buzz in and answer in complete gibberish. The answer pool was so small that pulling a wrong answer from that could clue the player in another time.
      • The above is true for the NES versions as well (save for Super Jeopardy!). However, the gibberish is the exact same length as the correct response, and often shows some letters in the response as well. For example, if a correct response is TV Tropes, the AI would show something like *V@r#pes.
  • Demigod, a Defence of the Ancients type game tends to inflict this on players when they go against the bots on higher difficulty levels. The opposing team will specialise in hit-and-run tactics, prioritise game-changers like Reinforcement Flags, and just generally give you a run for your money. Your allies, on the other hand, will position themselves directly between two enemy gun posts and pick on irrelevant minions, while being whaled on by the enemy, thus feeding your opponents both gold and experience. Since your opponents are now relatively stronger, and can afford to upgrade their defensive structures, this process becomes streamlined, resulting in ally deaths roughly every few minutes.
  • Star Fox series has wingmen's "calling for a help" as a fixed pattern in every side scrolling stages. They can't help themselves and will go down if you don't help them. All Range Mode, however, turns their stupidity up to eleven.
    • One particularly notable example of how bad the wingmen's AI is in All Range Mode is in the Star Wolf dogfights in Star Fox 64. Each Star Wolf pilot is programmed to target a specific member of your squadron. Each wingman will constantly plead for you to help him by shooting down the Star Wolf member who's on his tail. Once you do, he will blissfully fly around in a circle minding his own business and make no effort to help you as the remaining Star Wolf members continue to rip you and your other wingmen to shreds.
    • To be fair on that one, your wingmen destroying one of the Star Wolf pilots would screw you out of fair chunk of points, since things they destroy aren't counted toward the point total. Why they couldn't just let the things they do count isn't totally clear, but it's still better to have them do nothing than do something that hurts you.
  • The buses in The Simpsons Road Rage constantly crash into anything in sight without any provoking them, typically you.
  • Wheatley, also known as the Intelligence Dampening Sphere in Portal 2 is a deliberate In-Universe example, described by GLaDOS as "the product of the greatest minds of a generation working together with the express purpose of building the dumbest moron who ever lived", and "the moron they built to make me an idiot".


Real Life Edit

  • In the first annual Loebner Prize contest to find the most humanlike chatbot, the winner won in part because it could imitate human typing errors. One runner-up also got its high score by pretending to be a paranoid autistic seven-year-old. The Economist's use of the term "artificial stupidity" to describe the winner's technique may be the Trope Namer.
  • Sometimes, it only takes a small bit of pushing to get an otherwise sane and normal IRC chatbot to go get itself killed. Repeatedly. By the same action. Bonus points for the bot in question acknowledging the action.
  • In Epic Games's documentation of the Unreal Development Kit's AI, they state that, in their games, (the Unreal series and Gears of War) they have to balance artificial stupidity and artificial intelligence to make their bots feel human; too much intelligence and it's obvious you're playing against a flawless machine ("Perfect aim is easy, but missing like a human player is hard."), too much stupidity, even if it would be realistic for a human player, and people think the AI is just dumb. They said that, during the playtesting for Unreal Tournament III, one of their designers complained about how poorly the AI was faring on a particular map, not realising he'd been facing humans.
  • Played for Laughs by the annual Baca Robo Contest that in 2010 took place in Budapest. The goal for the participants is to create the most ridiculous robotic creation possible, and the one that gets the most laughs from the audience wins a €2,000 prize. Of course, here the Artificial Stupidity is quite intentional.
  • Norton Antivirus. Which, according to the Idiot Programming page, has been known to classify itself as a virus. Hilarity, and digital suicide, ensues.
  • Probably the worst Epic Fail in the history of computer chess occurred in the game played by COKO III against GENIE in the 1971 ACM North American Computer Chess Championship. COKO had captured all the Black pieces, trapped the Black king and was all set to checkmate. But COKO overlooked mate in one for seven moves in a row, instead shuffling the White king back and forth. GENIE's response to this indecisiveness was to push its Black pawns until one became a queen, which it exchanged for all the White pieces and a couple of pawns. By the time Black was about to queen another pawn, COKO's programmers resigned.
  • The Grammar checker in Microsoft Word is always drawing green lines under your sentences, but the suggestions it makes (if any) to resolve the problem almost never make any kind of sense in context or scan in a way that would sound right to a native English speaker. And then there's Clippy... Oh Clippy...
    • Most of the time, the grammar error given is "Fragment (consider revising)", which doesn't really explain much (it basically means that the sentence isn't a complete one, but it's very picky about what it considers a complete sentence). As for Clippy, the sentence "It looks like you're writing a letter. Would you like some help?" is almost memetic in how much anyone trying to write anything in Word will get irritated upon seeing it. Thankfully you can disable the Office Assistant (of which Clippy is one of many), which many people do, to the point that later editions of Microsoft Word no longer included them.
    • On occasions, the grammar checker will identify a sentence as a grammar error, then after correcting, identify the corrected sentence as a grammar error.
  • Non-electronic example! The Amazing Dr Nim is basically a marble track with a number of gates which can either allow marbles to pass or block them. This allows it to play a perfect game of Nim. In order for it to be beatable, it includes an 'equaliser' gate. When set to on, this causes it to make a single non-optimal play over the course of the game, allowing a perfect human player to win an otherwise unwinnable game.

Websites Edit

Notes

  1. For those unable to watch the video, this is out of 12 posts, and all 12 of them were plainly revealed at the beginning of the minigame.

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