Here’s Why Bad Guys Just Stand Around in Video Games

Ever wondered why AI in games seems a bit off sometimes? In particular, when enemies are just standing around doing nothing, whether they’re supposed to be patrolling an area or even while you’re engaged in a fight with a group of enemies and facing one or two at a time while the rest just kind of wait around…

Off the top of your head, you can surely think of plenty of examples of games where you’ve encountered bad guys who are just sitting around, and there’s a reason why. It might not always be a good reason, though.

Wonder no longer, this video asks the important question that most of us have pondered at one point or another, and breaks down exactly why this strange phenomenon is still a thing.

The videos asks the question:

  • Is it bad design?
  • Is it a mechanic inherent to video games?
  • Something else?

It turns out there are a variety of reasons and answers, from technical reasons to glitches and code that simply didn’t load correctly. If things load fine, and there are no glitches, it could also just be that the game simply doesn’t have great AI for their enemies. It’s gotten better over the years, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement.

Ultimately, if you look at the Batman games for example, if all the enemies charges you at the exact same time, the game simply wouldn’t be as fun.