Single Player Mode

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Single Player Mode is a term that represents play of BZFlag on a local server using the computer controlled player (bots) of a client.


Using bots on a local server is a way to play the game with out an internet connection, or to gain experience in playing with out the need for other human players. Bots are currently only run buy the game client and can be run on any server. The term Single Player Mode is most commonly used to describe a single client that is logged in to a local server with a number of bots.

Bots can be used on remote servers, but many of the owners of public servers to not allow bots to join with players. Use of bots on public servers is not recommended and can lead to being banned from the server.

Starting a Single Player Session

The basic idea behind starting a single player session is the following.

  1. Start a local server, ether by using the in game menu, or via the command line.
  2. Start the game client using the '-solo command line option.
  3. Join the local server using the client and begin play.

Starting a local server

The simplest way to start a local server is to use the in-game Start Server menu. This menu is found on the Join Game Menu at the very bottom. This menu gives a number of settings for the server, including shot counts, and world options such as jumping and ricochet. Specific flags or more advanced options can not be set via the start server menu.

To set additional options one must run BZFS manually and enter in a number of command line options. See creating a server for more options. To keep the server local, do not use the -public option.

Starting the client with bots

The game client must be started with a command line option to enable bots. Bots can not be enabled from within the game menus.

Linux and Unix

On Linux or other Unix-like systems the game client can be started with command line options directly from the terminal.

bzflag -solo ##

Where ## is number of bots you wish to have.

Microsoft Windows

Microsoft Windows users can follow the following steps to create a shortcut that starts the game client with bots.

  1. Locate the BZFlag shortcut installed in the programs section of the start menu.
  2. Drag the BZFlag shortcut with the right mouse button on to the desktop.
  3. Pick the "Copy here" item from the context menu that pops up when the drag is complete.
  4. Click on the Copied shortcut with the right mouse button and pick the "properties" item.
  5. Find the "Target" field in the shortcut properties window that is opened, and click in it.
  6. Use the right arrow key to find the end of the text in the target field. It will end in bzflag.exe".
  7. After the last quote(") add a space and then -solo ##. Where ## is the number of bots you wish to have.
  8. Save the changes by hitting the OK button at the bottom.

Running this shortcut will now start the server with bot support.

Mac OS X

The Mac OS X method for starting the game with bot support is the same as the Linux method, but the path to the bzflag client is required. If you installed BZFlag in your applications folder, then the command that needs to be typed into terminal will be along the lines of:

/Applications/ -solo xx

Where xx is the number of bots you want to run.

Joining the Local Server

Once the client is started with bot support you must do the following to join the local server

  1. Go to the Join Game menu.
  2. Enter "" in the server name field. This is called "localhost".
  3. Enter "5154" in the port field.
  4. Choose the "Connect" item to join the server.

This will connect to the local server with the number of bots specified to with the -solo option.

See also

Creating a Server

BZFS Command Line Options