In L4D2, can companions be ordered to take actions?

Me and a friend have been playing. That means 2 of our slots are human and 2 are AI-controlled. We are primarily interested in giving 2 orders:

  1. How can we order a particular companion to follow one of us while the other follows the other one of us?

  2. How can we order a companion to pick up an item? We've noticed that they don't like picking up any extra medkits at the start of a level which we can deal with, but what about telling them to replace their weapon / medkit / pain pills?

We've tried using what seems like a command system (Look, Let's Go, Hurry!, etc.), which causes the AI-players to make verbal responses, but doesn't seem to affect them in any way other than that. Unless we are doing it incorrectly, of course.

  • I'm pretty sure this is impossible, but it could have been patched. The AI just natrually flows between the players like idiots until they get caught/killed by something.
    – Emerica.
    Jul 18, 2012 at 12:21
  • i think you'll find that they made the AI quite dumb and directionless in order to encourage people to pay with other humans. Valve dont seem to like AI assisted Single player. they want you to be meeting and gaming with new randoms when ever you need a new player.
    – TrewTzu
    Jul 19, 2012 at 14:47

4 Answers 4


The AI in L4D is pretty simple and can only manage a very limited set of situations (and not always the right way):

  • save you from an infected that incaped you (which fails most of the time)
  • pick up stuff (excluding any pipe-bomb/molotov/boomer can) - you can help by spamming the "Look!" verbal order while aiming at what you want them to pick up
  • heal you when your life falls under 50hp - you can block that behavior by taking your own medkit in your hands, preventing the bot from healing you

BUT if you don't have any other choice than playing with the AI (survivor), try to make the most of it:

  • AI can easily aim at infected that human eyes can barely spot, like a hunter in a tree, or any special infected hidden in Blood Harvest bushes, for instance
  • actually, AI easily spots a lot of things that you could miss (simply because you are rushing or because you are caught in a horde) - try to listen at their "Look!" verbal orders as much as you can
  • AI won't spoil precious molotovs or any grenade stuff, so while playing with AI, use it as often as you can
  • As horatio said, AI reviving a fallen teammate won't be interrupted if he gets hit: you'll be better off protecting the AI and allowing them to execute the revive than doing it yourself
  • Also: normally hits to a downed player will cancel a revive, but the AI are not interrupted by this. You are better off protecting the AI and allowing them to execute a revive. They do have a tendency to die doing this however, so you need to cover them.
    – horatio
    Jul 19, 2012 at 21:41
  • Right; thanks for that precision ;) I'll add it to the answer.
    – Anto
    Jul 20, 2012 at 9:44
  • Is there a reason you wrote IA instead of AI (Is it the name L4D2 gives its bots?)
    – Nick
    Jul 20, 2012 at 10:32
  • Oh sorry, no; that's because I'm french speaking and I inverted the two letters ("Intelligence Artificielle" in French instead of "Artificial Intelligence"). I'm gonna fix it.
    – Anto
    Jul 20, 2012 at 10:40
  • How can I use these verbal orders? If I google verbal orders l4d2 first result is this answer. Apr 3, 2015 at 0:37

There is a mod out there (don't have a link handy, but it's called 'bots can lead') that attempts to improve the AI survivors. They can sometimes take the lead, and seem to get stuck less. They also now wait if you use the command, and will move if you use the let's go command. I was experiencing a bug in which sometimes I would be incapped, and an AI would stand over me, kill the SI, and just never revive me. That went away too.


I did some checking and from what I could tell there is no way control/order the AI.

  • yea, the AI is designed to be pretty stupid in what they do
    – l I
    Jul 18, 2012 at 13:49
  • Imo, this is far from being complete enough.
    – Anto
    Jul 20, 2012 at 9:57

There are many sourcemod plugins to improve survivor AI. For example you can use Gear Transfer so bots will pick up any items.

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