How can I setup TF2 so that two players (myself and someone inexperienced with FPS) can both play in a map against bots, but not people.

I guess I need to hunt through the internet list trying to find servers that are populated and checking namelists to see if they look like bots.

The offline practice probably won't work as that looks like single player.

Any advice on how best to do this, or just tips to make finding a server on the internet list like this a bit easier would be greatly appreciated.

We're on the same LAN, so maybe there's a way of hosting a LAN game that both me & the other person can join?

  • I'm guessing hosting your own server is not an option.
    – Ronan
    Commented Jul 24, 2011 at 12:54
  • not sure - I'll have to look into what the requirements are for hosting (specs etc.)
    – Durathor
    Commented Jul 24, 2011 at 13:21

4 Answers 4


Here is an instruction on how to create a server and put bots on it:

  1. Make sure you have the port 27015 accessible for connections.
    How? Look here.
  2. Open the game console.
    How? Options⇨Keyboard⇨Advanced...⇨Enable developer console. Press ~ / ` to open the console at any time.
  3. Optional Type sv_lan 0 if you want the game to be public, or sv_lan 1 for LAN only.
    Public server is recommended
  4. Type map <mapname>, replacing <mapname> with the name of the map you want to play.
    Or press the [+] to the right of BROWSE SERVERS in main menu instead.
  5. Optional If the server is public and you don't want anyone to intrude, you can set a password:
    Type sv_password <pass>, replacing <pass> with some simple password.
    (e.g. sv_password 1234)
  6. Set the bot difficulty: tf_bot_difficulty <x>, where <x> is from 0 (the easiest) to 3.
    (e.g. tf_bot_difficulty 0)
  7. Add bots: tf_bot_add <team> <class>
    <team>: red | blue
    <class>: scout | soldier | pyro | demoman | heavyweapons | engineer | medic | sniper | spy
    (e.g. tf_bot_add blue heavyweapons)
    To remove all bots: tf_bot_kick all

Here are some ways for your friend to connect. If one fails, try the next one.

  • Join the game via Steam.
    In Steam Friends list press ▼ and Join Game.
  • In console: connect <ip>:27015, where <ip> is your (server's) IP address.
    (e.g. connect
  • Try the same thing with your (server's) local IP address (find it in Windows/Linux)

If nothing works, see the step 1 of server creation instruction.

  • 3
    Why is a public server (sv_lan 0) recommended for just playing over a LAN?
    – Nick T
    Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 14:00
  • @NickT: There can be more problems with local connection than with internet one. You can try what suits best, but I don't know if your network is good, so I'm listing all options. Also, see 5.
    – BlaXpirit
    Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 14:05
  • @BlaXpirit - Thanks - this looks like a great guide, including all the daft questions I was struggling with (how to open the console, etc). It'll be the weekend till I can try again with my friend, so I'll post back after that, with how it goes :)
    – Durathor
    Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 19:38
  • I've been able to test most of the answer, but haven't been able to test it with my friend yet, so can't say that it is fully tested and therefore accepted. I've upvoted already and will accept this as soon as I've been able to confirm it
    – Durathor
    Commented Aug 3, 2011 at 10:45
  • 3
    tf_bot_quota <n> is an easy way to add a bunch of bots with auto-selected classes balanced across the teams.
    – dgw
    Commented May 7, 2015 at 20:10

The offline practice probably won't work as that looks like single player.

It actually runs an actual server on your machine that appears to be joinable to everyone in the world with the proper forwarding setup.

enter image description here

  • So if I start an offline game, they should be able to connect as we're on the same LAN?
    – Durathor
    Commented Jul 24, 2011 at 15:07
  • 2
    @Durathor Yes, if the "IPv4 unspecified" kool aid Windows is serving me translates to "" then the server will accept connections no matter what address they come from.
    – badp
    Commented Jul 24, 2011 at 15:35
  • Hmm didn't immediately work - couldn't see it in the LAN tab on the 2nd player, and sending a game invite led to 'unable to connect to server <my public IP>. I may need to do various port forwarding / translation for that. As an alternative I tried doing 'create server'. Which started a game my friend could join. But I couldn't, just left looking at the 2fort bridge from on high. And couldn't figure out how to add bots either. I've been googling a fair bit about this and can't find a single good tutorial....
    – Durathor
    Commented Jul 24, 2011 at 19:32
  • 1
    @dhblah What IP are you using? It should start with eiter 192 or 10; for example,
    – badp
    Commented May 18, 2013 at 16:30
  • 1
    well, i tried connect to local IP ( and it worked! thanks
    – dhblah
    Commented May 19, 2013 at 14:26

The TF2 wiki has a page that lists the commands, AI and supported maps that bots can be used on. You do not need cheats to be on to use this type of bot. But puppet bots do.

So you start the server, join a team, say RED. Then type into the console tf_bot_add blue

Your friend joins and selects team RED too. Then type tf_bot_add 13

You will then have 8 people on both teams.

If you wish to change the difficulty of the bots, before adding the first bot, type tf_bot_difficulty.

Followed by the difficulty as a number: 0 = easy, 3 = expert, default 1 = normal.


This is what I do; it uses a few things from various answers above.

  • Use the fastest LAN machine as your server, and figure out its IP address by typing ipconfig in a command prompt. This local IP address is probably something like
  • Make sure hl2.exe is set up as an application that can get through the server's firewall for your network (or if you're not using Windows Firewall, make sure port 27015 UDP traffic can get through)
  • Start a server on the TF2 main menu of this machine
  • In the server's TF2 console, use these commands to fill in bots on the team if there aren't 8 players per team:
    • tf_bot_quota_mode fill
    • tf_bot_quota 16
  • Try to connect to this server from another machine on the LAN by typing connect server_ip in the TF2 console, replacing server_ip with the IP address of the server you identified above
  • If you get a message that the password was not accepted, set the password to blank on the server's TF2 console with sv_password "", and try connecting from the client again
  • When the game starts, if the bots aren't moving, generate a "mesh" for them with these commands on the server's TF2 console:
    • sv_cheats 1
    • nav_generate

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