Bot

What Does Bot Mean?

A bot is an automated software program that digitally replicates some type of human activity.

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In the last century, the words bot and robot were often used as synonyms. Today, bot is used as a synonym for software robot, while the term robot is used in the context of mechanical robotics.

Techopedia Explains Bot

In gaming, a bot is a character controlled by a computer. In one sense, bots are all the non-player characters (NPCs) in a game, including those that fight alongside as well as against the gamer. However, the definition of bots has broadened to include gamers who employ third-party programs to control their characters.

Bots are forbidden by most massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) and other competitive online games. This is because a gamer can use bots to continue to rack up experience and points when he or she is not at the computer.

That said, if we follow a more traditional definition of bots, they are actually essential to gaming. Having intelligent bots as competition or help in a game allows players to experience multi-player gameplay without being online. Some players prefer to play bots rather than real people, either to practice or because their connection and/or experience level doesn’t allow them to compete online.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.