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Artificial Brilliance

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Artificial Intelligence. The golden dream of both game designers trying to make the next Killer App, and megalomaniacs attempting to build a viable Robot Army to Take Over the World.

Artificial Brilliance is, quite simply, the ability of the computer characters to make the player think "WHOA! Where did the computer learn to do that?!" It occurs when the Video Game A.I.'s freeform actions, based on real-time decisions, result in behavior that seems, frankly, brilliant. It can be anything from an enemy that manages to outwit and outmanuever the player on the player's own terms and by the player's own rules, to an NPC ally who manages to assist and even save the player in ways that are unexpectedly helpful and seemingly smart. Just being able to react quickly and enter button combinations flawlessly doesn't count, computers are naturally good at that; in fact, toning down a computer player's inhuman speed can be a facet of Artificial Brilliance.

The polar opposite of Artificial Stupidity, when the A.I. makes unbelievably bad decisions that make the player think it's a complete moron. That doesn't mean Artificial Brilliance and Artificial Stupidity can't overlap, however. No A.I. is perfect, and glaring imperfections and mistakes can be all the more obvious in a game with A.I. that is generally impressively smart.

Of course, it's a balancing act between an AI that is bad at the game and an AI that is too good at the game, and computers come with an unintuitive mix of strengths and weaknesses. Computers aren't slowed down by physically needing to press buttons or process visual information, and have a capacity to react and multi-task far beyond any human. After all, in a first person shooter the AI isn't playing the game in the same way a human does. They don't actually have a mouse and keyboard to manipulate or have to watch a monitor. Thus it's an easy task to make an AI that instantly knows where you are and can hit you perfectly; it's not so easy to make an AI that can act like it doesn't know where you are and like it has reflexes and give the impression of human-like limitations.

Some games avert the issue by explicitly making the computer play a completely different game thus negating the need for the AI to present the illusion of competence equal to the player. For more discussion on AIs, see Video Game A.I..


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    Action Game 
  • The thugs in the Batman: Arkham Series got noticeably smarter with each game. By Arkham City, they would pick up weapons in fist fights and use them strategically, and in stealth encounters, they would adapt to your tactics, noticeably by shooting down gargoyles if the player uses them too much. Arkham Knight had the militia soldiers, specially trained to kill Batman, whose medics would revive and empower teammates, brutes would throw teammates as projectiles, and had a counter to almost every potential stealth tactic, noticeably pairing up in teams.
  • Devil May Cry 4: A Blitz's lightning ray can be jumped over. If you do this strategy on the harder modes, the demon will quickly aim upwards in an attempt to hit you and prevent you from doing it over and over.
  • Devil May Cry 5:
    • Green Empusa prioritize healing the most powerful enemy type present in the fight.
    • Proto Angelos are mostly defensive in combat and are programmed to use their blocking stance and/or powerful Counter-Attack when they receive too many hits from the player. This behavior tries to discourage the player from relying on Button Mashing or being too aggressive against a Proto who's still moving freely.
    • From Vergil's mode in the Special Edition, the Final Boss Dante can switch his Styles in real-time as a response to how you're fighting. For example, he will switch to Royalguard whenever he notices you spamming Judgement Cuts, and after a few moments, he will unleash a Royal Release to break your combo and deal heavy damage to you in return.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Enemies are generally not known for their intelligence. An exception are the Darknuts, who will absolutely murder you, especially when they fight in groups. In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, a Darknut with its armor removed is smart enough to hang back behind the fully armored Darknuts, darting in and out to attack. Have fun fighting four at once in the Bonus Dungeon. It's a significantly greater challenge than the actual final boss... unless you stocked up on bomb arrows. In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, disarmed Darknuts will try to arm themselves with a new weapon, such as a Moblin's spear, and will engage Link in hand-to-hand combat if they can't. They also tend to counter Link's hurricane spin with one of their own if they see him charging it up.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has very impressive enemy AI.
      • Even the common mooks will do things like set their weapons on fire to do extra damage and pick up weapons dropped by you or other enemies and throw rocks if nothing is available, and enemies with ranged attacks will routinely hang back and try to shoot you while you deal with everyone else. It really veers into this on the occasions when you're attacked by Moblins while trying to carry a shrine orb: if they don't already have weapons, they'll pick up the orb and try to hit you with it. Moblins will also throw other, smaller enemies if any are at hand. Lizalfos are also programmed to make good use of their superior speed and agility, moving in zigzag patterns when attacking to make themselves harder to hit with arrows and using Hit-and-Run Tactics, leaping back several meters between attacks to keep out of your melee range.
      • Octoroks are very good at Leading the Target, using the speed and direction of your movement to shoot their projectiles at where you're going to be with considerable accuracy, and Rock Octoroks in particular can tell when you're preparing an arrow and will refuse to emerge from hiding if you have your bow out.
      • Lynels have especially advanced AI, and are capable of some surprising tactical behavior for videogame enemies. If you make a noise to alert other enemies, even the smartest will give up on it after maybe thirty seconds. A Lynel will examine the same spot for upwards of a minute before losing interest. If they do spot you, they typically just sit and observe instead of attacking, waiting for you to drop your guard or make the first move, and if you run and they're too far out, they'll calmly snipe you instead of chasing you. They're also the only enemies that aren't easily fooled by the masks you can buy at the Fang & Bone shop. Most enemies are tricked as long as you keep the mask on, but if you linger too long around a Lynel it will eventually see through the mask and attack.
  • Monster Hunter: World boasts a fleshed-out ecosystem for its game world, with monsters that behave in realistic ways, including well-defined food chains and territorial beasts lashing out at any perceived interlopers, including other monsters which may throw themselves into a battle you're engaged in. This opens up new strategies such as luring one monster into another's territory and letting them weaken each other before going in for the kill. In many cases, monsters are also smart enough to Know When to Fold 'Em and pull a Tactical Withdrawal to tend to their wounds.
  • Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage!: Gulp is remarkably intelligent for a boss. Not only does he avoid the Tactical Suicide Boss trope used by the first boss, but he coordinate's his attacks to attempt to trap Spyro. What really makes it come together is the fact he uses the weapons being provided for Spyro to use against him, even healing by eating the chickens that are meant to heal Spyro.

    Board Game 
  • Computers have gotten really, really good at chess. The last time a human beat a computer at chess in a fair match (with no handicaps or limitations on either side) was 2005.
    • The first time a computer defeated a reigning human chess champion with standard tournament time controls was in 1996, when the computer Deep Blue defeated Garry Kasparov. While Kasparov admitted to intentionally playing a couple suboptimal moves in the opening to bait the computer into attacking, he nonetheless was outwitted when the computer correctly determined his late-game threats were not enough for checkmate. While Kasparov proceeded to soundly defeat Deep Blue in the 5 remaining games of the match (3 wins and 2 draws), a rematch between Deep Blue and Garry Kasparov in 1997 saw the computer get the last laugh, defeating the champion with 2 wins, 1 loss, and 3 draws.
    • Then, Artifical Brilliance one-upped itself when Google-owned AI company DeepMind (the same team who designed AlphaGo; see below for how that turned out) pitted their neural net chess engine, AlphaZero, against the then-reigning computer chess champion in 2017. The champion, Stockfish 8, had a typical brute-force algorithm which evaluated 70 million positions per second and was far stronger than any human player. AlphaZero was a neural net learning program which checked "only" about 80,000 positions per second and learned the game from scratch by playing against itself for 4 hours. The challenger went undefeated, winning 28 games and drawing 72 in a 100-game match. Even more impressive, when experts and critics argued it wasn't truly fair, note  a 1000-game rematch was held with far more generous time controls given to each side along with a variety of other conditions tested. AlphaZero proved itself superior again, winning 155 games and losing only 6, and won convincingly even when allowing Stockfish its opening book or playing under significant time handicaps. And all this against an engine which not only could crush any human opponent, but was the highest-rated chess engine in the world.
    • In 1977 a computer chess match between Russian and American engines in the World Computer Championship saw the Russian entrant, Kaissa, suddenly move a rook to an undefended space where it could be freely captured, for no apparent reason. Only during post-game analysis did human observers and commentators realize the engine had sacrificed it to prevent a checkmate sequence the humans had all overlooked. The irony is the American engine would not have seen the checkmate; while Kaissa was strong enough to see that far ahead, the American chess engine was not, and won the game due to Kaissa's sacrifice resulting in too much of a material deficit to overcome.
  • Even while chess engines were starting to compete with world-class human players, it was believed that computers were a long way away from challenging top-level human players at Go. In the 1994 World Computer Go Championship, the tournament-winning engine famously lost all three of the games it played against human youth players even after being given a significant 15-stone handicap. However, in March 2016, DeepMind's AlphaGo beat Lee Sedol, a former world champion in Go, four games to one, without a handicap. AlphaGo went on to beat the then-top-rated player, Ke Jie, in May 2017.
  • Lords of Waterdeep. The AI on Normal and Hard will exploit the game rules like any Rules Lawyer.

    Card Games 
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Older games relied on psychic AI and other gimmicks to provide any difficulty, as otherwise the AI was very poor. In Stardust Accelerator and ''Reverse of Arcadia", however, the AI actually takes time to consider the possibility of every possible move and the consequences in order to decide the best action. The AI will take note of things such as what cards will provide better advantage, whether they can subvert the Tribute process for certain cards and monsters, and which ways they can take control of the situation, to name a few.
  • Magic: The Gathering: For the video game Duel of the Planeswalkers, the programmers had a very difficult task in programming an AI that could deal with all the rule-changing cards of the game itself (and there are possibly more of them than in any other card game because of Magic's "Golden Rule", which states that the text of a card takes priority over the rest of the rules). Seemingly they succeeded. This refers mostly to the second game by that name and publisher. While the first game's AI was a remarkable achievement for its time, there was no way to provide it with hints on how to play specific decks, rendering a number of monsters crippled in the single-player game (their difficulty was instead balanced though life handicapping and chance of A.I. Roulette). (It also tended to cast any playable spell as soon as possible, and assume you have no castable spells, a greater weakness given the longer games 5th Edition tended towards.)
  • Poker Night at the Inventory uses an AI system that not only considers each character's hand, but also factors this in with each character's unique personality and abilities. Thus Tycho and the Heavy will play cautiously and strategically, Strong Bad will usually attempt an overconfident bluff, and Max will play erratically to reflect his short attention span and poor grasp on the rules of the game (and possibly use his future vision power to cheat. Yes, this game even applies that trope in a justified manner.)
  • Poker Night 2 continues this trend with its new cast, with Ash attempting to make high bets on weak hands in an attempt to get you to fold, Sam playing cautiously and knowing when to fold, Claptrap having the inability to bluff (although him, being non-human, makes him hardest to tell against as well) and Brock plays aggressively due to him playing Poker long enough to know how to bluff and play the game properly.

    Fighting Game 
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • Super Smash Bros. Melee: Crazy Hand uses the downward vertical punch when the player is hanging onto the edge of the stage. The effect is identical to stomping on somebody's hand in such a situation: an unavoidable fall.
    • Super Smash Bros. Brawl: Many fans have argued that the level 9 AI is capable of learning from human players. Players often point to examples of a certain characters' AI altering their recovery strategy after a human player has repeatedly used this character. Though this has been proven false,note  the rumor still persists. The stock AI can also be replaced with more effective AI. Among various projects, one Japanese hacker is working on an Ice Climber AI that never messes up its chaingrab infinites, something that is possible for humans—ie. not a true example of cheating AI — but difficult.
    • Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U:
      • The adaptive AI may have become somewhat of an Ascended Fanon, as the amiibo figures of the characters will learn when you and other players fight against them in-game. This leads to the ability to teach them certain strategies, typically the ones you use against them a lot. However, people have discovered a slight bit of cheating on the part of the FP; they deal increased knockback and gain immunity to knockback as they level up. That still doesn't stop them from absolutely kicking your ass with the same techniques you use. And it works well. Too well... In fact, some can get so good that one amiibo nearly won a tournament. Some have even established amiibo-only tournaments, like the AFC.
      AFC amiibos are skilled in many forms of martial arts, including wavedashing, boost-grabbing, ledge-cancelling, boomerang superjumps and other combat tactics.
      • Master Hand gains a new wind attack that'll push the fighters away from him. He'll try to use it if you happen to be off the platform on the other side of Master Hand in an attempt to hinder your attempts to recover.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate manages to make its AI at higher levels even more intelligent than previous iterations. They'll do such things as Perfect Shield to guard against an edge-recovery move, perform complicated air juggling, and even use the momentum of a Final Smash to help themselves recover. The AI is also adaptive to a human's strategy. While it can't recognize inputs, it can tell if you're trying to stall, play aggressively, or go on the defensive, and will react appropriately.
  • A similar rumor exists for Samurai Shodown 5. The AI on higher difficulties will alter tactics in response to the player.
  • Sonic Battle: If you just spam a special attack to beat an opponent and they respawn, they'll change the special moves they use — since each player is granted immunity to the type of special attack they aren't using to attack, spamming one type of attack will lead the opponent to swap specials to defend against yours. This also runs in reverse, with the computers changing their specials to get by your immunity.
  • Fate/unlimited codes: The AI tends to come in two flavors: dumber than a rock, and smart as a human. On harder settings, the difficulty in fighting the computer lies in how they use human tactics, particularly mixups leading into absurdly long (but entirely possible to emulate) combos. This is especially true with Archer, who uses his Unlimited Blade Works chants as cancels to continue his combos. On higher difficulties, expect Archer to get in two separate combos each time he attacks with more than one magic bar.
  • Maximo: Ghosts to Glory: The boss Captain Cadaver seems to be just another circular-arena projectile-flinger, but unlike most bosses, he actually calculates where you will be by the time the shot reaches you by measuring how fast you're running. Instead of running in circles like most games, you now must run away in strategic patterns. How unexpected!
  • It's used in the later Tekken games : use a move too often, and the AI will learn how to counter it and punish you. It especially shows on higher difficulties.
  • On harder difficulty levels, the AI in Street Fighter will use strategies that top players use. For example, AI Seth will mimic Poongko, a top Korean player by doing things such as ticking into Seth's command throw. This has been started in Street Fighter IV.
  • War of the Monsters: When computer-controlled monsters realize that their health is low, they will slip away to grab all the health in the surrounding area. If it's a two against one match, the healthy fighter will try to keep you distracted so the damaged monster can do so.

    First Person Shooter 
  • Quake: The first fan-made "bots" were a major leap in terms of A.I., being able to imitate the movements and behavior of a player-like character (as opposed to the simplistic "move in a straight line and shoot" enemies of the time).
  • Unreal was the first FPS game to use "bot-like" A.I. for its single player enemies, leading to the creation of the memorable Skaarj, a video game adversary that could dodge and strafe while firing, jump from platform to platform, intelligently pursue the player throughout the entire level, and otherwise move and behave just like the player character instead of (as was the norm at the time) a simple turret-like enemy wandering aimlessly in semi-random directions while periodically pausing to fire at the player's direction. Skaarj would sometimes even retreat, only to lead you into an ambush if you gave chase.
  • Unreal Tournament: Map makers often enjoyed watching 0 player matches with 16 bots to watch them navigate the level path nodes. Even better, it showed the awareness of bots in action — when a bot approached a blind corner or intersection, it would actually hunch over and approach cautiously, getting itself prepared for a possible sneak attack!
  • Half-Life is famous for introducing the first "tactically intelligent" A.I. enemies in the form of the HECU Marines. These soldiers operated in squads, provided each other with covering fire, would toss grenades to flush out or kill the player character, and would navigate between obstacles and circle through the level in an attempt to outmanuever the player instead of simply charging suicidally at him in a straight line.
    • In its Fan Remake Black Mesa, the soldiers are a nightmare to fight, using cover, flanking, and covering fire. And unlike in the original, they don't follow a rigorous script to perform their actions, it's all emergent behavior just like in F.E.A.R..
    • Black Mesa also upgrades the AI of the alien enemies; now Alien Grunts and Alien Slaves react faster, advance under covering fire, coordinate their attacks so that at least some members of a squad are maintaining fire while the others are "reloading", blind fire homing shots at your last known location and around corners, and, if you are within a few meters, attempt to charge you in order to hit you with their disproportionately powerful melee attacks.note  Alien Controllers strafe more effectively, are more accurate with their projectiles, and no longer mindlessly follow the player into corridors that limit their mobility. Gargantuas now attempt to knock over towers if you hide on top of them and can fill an area with flames by sticking their flamethrower-arms through a suitable opening if they see you run somewhere they can't reach. Even Alien Aircraft, unfightable prop NPCs, at least have more complex behaviors and animations than before (which helps with the background Scenery Porn), and scripted sequences giving the illusion of intelligence (e.g. one blowing up an HECU tank).
    • The AI of the Combine soldiers in Half-Life 2 has been widely criticized for being rather average, uninteresting, and easy to kill. In fact, the Combine A.I. are actually quite impressive, demonstrating such feats as moving in squads, "slicing the pie" around corners, using cover intelligently based on their relative position to the enemy, stacking up, providing and advancing under covering fire, flanking, and using pincer attacks. Unfortunately, they're not really as mobile as they could be, and the tight, linear corridor level design never really gives them a good chance to show off their moves (that, and the fact they die like lemmings because Gordon Freeman is a human tank that can outrun a car).
    • Valve specifically searched the Quake Mod community (mentioned above) to see who was designing the best bot AI, and hired them.
      • Also, even in the linear setting of most of Half-Life 2 the AI does sometimes pull off something clever. Like those horrible times you're cowering from the hail of SMG and pulse rounds, only to see the red streak from that little light on the top of a grenade arc towards you...
  • Raven Software is well known for pioneering the use of friendly NPC A.I. squads in FPS games, beginning in Star Trek: Elite Force and continuing on in Soldier of Fortune 2 and Quake IV. Their games often feature friendly A.I. squads of several NPCs who can follow the player throughout a level and also of holding their own in firefights against waves of enemy NPCs. They make generous use of Gameplay Ally Immortality to avert the frustration that made Daikatana the smoldering pile of ruin it is remembered as.
    • The friendly A.I.'s ability to follow the player in most Raven games without getting lost or stuck is usually due to the use of strictly linear No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom levels, but it's still impressive given the time it was made.
  • F.E.A.R. was widely praised for the A.I. of its Replica Soldiers, touted as the best enemy A.I. ever at the time of its release. Enemies would work in squads, provide covering fire for each other, advance under covering fire, fire from behind cover intelligently, and use cover to flank and circle around the player instead of charging straight for him and making themselves an open target in the process. The A.I. also had extremely high mobility allowing it to exploit the battlefield instead of limiting itself to a single small area, and could also dive through windows, vault over objects, and crawl under obstacles, allowing it to access every area of the level the player could.
    • The F.E.A.R. A.I. is actually a good example of emergent behavior, which is complex behavior stemming from simple rules. Specifically, the A.I. is programmed for a limited number of simple behaviors: moving in coordinated squads, providing covering fire, seeking cover, and repositioning itself based on the player's movement and position. The A.I. isn't actually programmed to flank or circle behind the player, but its tendency to seek cover and reposition itself based on the player's movements results in flanking and circling behaviors occurring naturally without "conscious" effort on the A.I.'s part (mostly due to the A.I.'s high mobility combined with its preference for seeking lateral cover rather than charging the player directly).
    • The level design. The levels were designed to help facilitate the AI in action. You will find that there's generally two ways to get to any position thus always allowing the AI to find a path. This also gives the player the impression that levels are bigger than they are so it was a win-win.
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl features a complex Artificial Life ecosystem featuring both wildlife and human NPCs. It has an entire ecosystem of monsters that live in packs, defend their territory, and migrate from area to area. It also features humans that live out their own lives independent of the player's actions; exploring, traveling from map to map, resting at friendly camps between forays through hostile territory, scavenging loot, and getting into fights with the Zone's other inhabitants. Tactically, the combat AI is pretty damn good, too: enemies flank, use cover, retreat, dodge behind and through obstacles and buildings, and are pretty good at navigating the game's wide-open levels. Its Achilles' Heel is its inability to recognize environmental hazards such as anomalies or campfires. The kicker is, this was intentional; apparently, in its base form the AI was so smart that it made the game damn near impossible to beat, so the dev team removed its ability to recognize hazards and its ability to use grenades, which the AI could throw terrifyingly accurately. If the press on the pre-release preview versions is to be believed, the AI was even perfectly capable of beating the game itself. Naturally, with the series having the modding community that it has, there are several mods that restore this astounding AI, and in some cases, refine it so that it achieves feats like enemy stalkers shutting off their flashlights and walking back-to-back if they suspect they're being targeted. As one might expect from this description, playing the game with those mods installed is a masochist's wet dream.
  • Halo:
    • The enemy AI for the games' Legendary difficulty level is notoriously brutal, but still holds back in order to provide a reasonably playable game. Halo 2's "That's Just... Wrong" Skull (named "Whuppopotamus" in the game files) corrects this, allowing enemies to discern the wibbly outline of a cloaked foe, hear guns reloading, and generally behave as though they were capable human players. Meep. This is exacerbated by the Artificial Stupidity of the friendly AI.
    • The two games actually have better AI in some ways than their successors. Part of this is because of the inclusion of the video replay system. The AI was switched to a deterministic model starting with 3 in order to support campaign replays. This means if you reproduced the exact same movements and everything with your character when playing through a mission, the enemy AI will respond exactly the same way every time. This allowed them to save processing power and data on the replays because they only had to record the movements of players for the campaign replays instead of recording everything. This makes for a more predictable enemy.
    • Halo: Reach's Legendary veered into The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard, with things like enemies that track and home in on the player the second they stick their nose out, especially when their shields are down. They also fight like you do (or at least should); making ample use of cover, quickly diving away from enemy fire, engaging Armor Lock if they have it when the situation is becoming literally explosive, etc. In contrast, the friendly AI stay straight in Artificial Stupidity territory.
  • With after-release patches and updates in Left 4 Dead, the special infected have become a little smarter when it comes to attacking the survivors and dealing with fire. Boomers and Hunters will usually wait around a corner and then strike once someone is in their range. If a survivor is close enough, the Boomer, Smoker and Hunter will usually attack by slashing rather than vomit or pounce them. Tanks are also smarter when it comes to fire; if there is a way around the fire, the Tank will usually take it.
    • Left 4 Dead 2 upgrades the Tank's intelligence even more. In the first game, if the Tank knocks someone down, it will stand over the survivor and pound them, totally ignoring the other humans blasting it to death. The Tank in 2 will usually ignore the downed survivor and run after the others, just like what someone would do if they controlled the Tank in VS mode, since all that's necessary for a Game Over is for the survivors to be all incapped, but not necessarily dead. All the other special infected have also smartened up where now they will tag team you if given the chance.
    • Additionally, if a player throws a molotov, hunter bots will intentionally light themselves on fire, then pounce, dealing extra damage. Smoker bots will try to drag players through flames or Spitter acid. Jockeys will actively try to steer you into those as well, and if there's a Witch nearby, the Jockey will gleefully steer you into her.
    • Survivor bots aren't half bad with the right mods either. They're more mindful of their healing supplies instead of squandering pills when they're at 96 HP, can tell clear paths better instead of getting stuck and waiting for player-focused teleportation, have a better group mentality that includes helping a comrade just as soon as they're endangered instead of moving off after healthier ones, run past Witches instead of walking slowly past and aggravating them more than necessary, and if the mod is particularly intrincate, they'll use throwables (bile jars, molotovs and pipe bombs) surprisingly strategically, like diverting hordes or prioritizing the most dangerous Special Infected. Some mods even allow them to pick up and use gas cans for Scavenger-style gameplay! Typically said bot improvement mods also override the "Game Over when the last human player alive dies" condition, and they're not half-bad at progressing until either they can rescue a human player off a survivor closet or reach the safe room at the end of the map; finales are another matter, but it's not all that rare for at least one or two bots to escape.
  • Turok 2: Seeds of Evil had the Endtrail enemy, which use cover whenever possible, move around to make itself harder to target, chase you a bit and use hit & run tactics. The other enemies of the game weren't so bright, however.
  • The AI for the offline mode for Team Fortress 2 has its periods of fail from time to time, but at least it knows that when on defense, spam Soldiers and Demomen.
    • The Bot AI has gotten remarkably better over the game's lifespan. Engineers will check suspicious behavior around their buildings, and Snipers will now be smart enough to back off while firing their SMG instead of charging enemies. If Spies are spotted, expect a thorough round of spychecking from the bots. Medics will also wait until their patient is incurring damage to engage an ubercharge, and Scouts will know to use their pistols to take out sentry guns outside their effective range. Bot Pyros are also quite good with using the airblast secondary attack on their flamethrowers to clear points and reflect projectiles.
      • Valve even went out of their way to avert The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard by doing such things as giving the bots a virtual "mouse". This prevents them from autocentering their view and forces them to manually aim their shots the same way a player would.
    • Say what you will about Mann Vs. Machine mode, one thing that almost everyone can admit is that those robot Spies are good. They can spawn in non-standard areas, move remarkably similar to players, and, once discovered, will fight tooth and nail until it sees a chance to get away. Made worse by them having reflexes you could only dream about, as well as their ability to facestab you with alarming regularity.
      • Let a wave of bots too close to your spawn in Mann Vs. Machine will also result in you being spawn camped just as if you were facing human opponents — they'll fire explosives at the doors while they're still closed (on the off chance that you walk right into the crossfire) and have some expendable point men stand there as a blind/distraction.
  • Star Wars: Republic Commando was notable for having exceedingly good party AI. If you told one to take up a sniping position, they would get there unless there was a positively absurd amount of stuff in their way and no intermediate cover, and would last quite long in such a position without assistance. If you got shot down (which at times happened frequently), your team would either cover each other as they attempted to heal you, or set up a proper defense and wait out the threat depending on your orders.
  • The Stalker from Dead Space 2 is designed to behave similarly to the velociraptors from Jurassic Park, meaning they will attempt to flank the player while another peeks around cover within your field of view in order to distract you. They can be very effective.
  • The first time you play BioShock, you will be amazed at how eerily realistic the splicers act.
    • In one example, if you set a splicer on fire and there is a pool of water nearby, they will jump into the water to put it out. They will also break off combat in order to go use a healing station if one is in the area, just as the player no doubt does. Of course, if you anticipate these behaviors, you can exploit them to lead the splicers into traps.
  • Crysis and Crysis 2 may have their occasional hiccups, but the enemy AI in both games shows impressive levels of intelligence. Enemies will suppress you and flank your position, call in reinforcements and sweep the area for you if you try to hide. In Crysis 2, a highly alert enemy will notice a cloaked player if they are close enough (though by then, it is typically too late) and they will throw grenades at your last known position, or where they think you may have gone. Enemy troops will even track what direction you're going in; if you run toward cover while the enemy can see you, cloak, and then change direction, the enemy will continue firing along your original path and try to suppress the general area it thinks you were running toward.
  • Command & Conquer: Renegade does not have the most stellar AI for most of the normal troops you fight. However, stealth troopers have actually been observed stalking the player and ambushing when you least expect it. Also, Nod troops who do not have any other valid targets in sight will immediately shift their attention to any abandoned but operational GDI vehicles they can find to deny them to the player.
  • Perfect Dark Zero's enemy AI, despite being a first-generation 360 title, is quite smart on Perfect and Dark Agent difficulties, with enemies constantly dodging and strafing, relentlessly pursuing and flanking the player in groups, hitting and running, and laying suppressing fire while moving in for the kill.
  • Descent 2 has the thiefbot, which, for 1996, had extremely effective AI. It would use ambush and hit-and-run tactics to steal the player's power-ups and then flee, dodging the player's fire and leading him into rooms filled with other enemies, making it even more difficult to destroy. It would also chirp obnoxiously to taunt the player and drive him into suicidal charges to kill that bastard.
  • While Doom has some brain-dead AI (they're zombies and demons, after all) augmented by hitscan and damage numbers, the same can't be said for Brutal Doom, which surprisingly enough, managed to make all of the enemies, upon spotting you in a certain threshold, coordinate to hunt you down as much as possible. Imps, which only rely on Painfully Slow Projectile or just walking into melee range in the vanilla, can leap and pounce you, and its fireball output has been increased. Flying enemies even can dodge projectiles. Conversely, hitscan is thrown off.
  • Doom (2016), surprisingly enough, has some genuinely fantastic enemy AI; particularly with the Imps. While it's a set routine that any demon in the game can go anywhere the player can (to discourage picking a spot and hiding there), the Imps in particular can climb on almost any surface, hang on it, and throw fireballs at you with startling accuracy. They can also throw fireballs at you while running (also with quite surprising accuracy), lead their shots, and will not only try to back away to find a better position, they also have a tendency of rushing the sides of the player while he/she is focused on fighting other enemies not entirely unlike a certain prehistoric hunter.
  • The SCAV AI in Escape from Tarkov was surprisingly similar to players and almost impossible to tell apart from players until it got nerfed and players started to learn their barks and loadouts. This happened again briefly when player SCAVs were added.

    Flight Simulation Game 
  • While Ace Combat's AI isn't known to be the smartest, later games have demonstrated better AI abilities, such as better response from teammates to orders (Pixy, for example, behaves much better than the rest of Wardog Squadron combined, to say nothing of Shamrock). A very good example of better enemy AI is in Zero, where Ace Pilot squadrons that come in several missions will constantly flank you and keep your wingman busy while they move in for the kill. They move so well-coordinated that one reviewer notes that "They put the Yellow Squadron (of Ace Combat 04) to shame." Notably, the Ace squadrons almost always outnumber you 2 to 1, and they use their numbers to their advantage. One plane might act as bait while another tries to shoot you down, and in particularly annoying furballs, three planes will come after you while the fourth keeps your wingman busy. The one squadron that doesn't outnumber you (Gelb, which only has two planes, as do you) is in vastly superior planes to what you're normally flying at that point in the game.
  • Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown shows a remarkable amount of brilliance with several of their drone enemies; for example, the Arsenal Bird will shield itself from long range missile attacks by literally throwing its drones in the path of missiles, forcing players to close the gap and come into range of its AA defenses. The F/A-18 drones in "Faceless Soldier are also pretty smart; when the Arsenal Bird begins deploying its long-range Helios airburst missiles, the drones will attempt to lure the player into the blast zones.
    • The DLC brings us Rage and Scream of Mimic Squadron, a brother-sister duo of Axe-Crazy mercs out for Trigger's head, who use a combination of electronic jamming and baiting their enemies with one plane while the other swoops in from behind to take them down. The "Brilliance" comes in when it turns out that their AI does exactly that to the player while relying on a bare minimum of hard-scripted events; Scream will deliberately fly in front of the player to catch their attention, while Rage waits from behind to lock onto the player as soon as they take the bait. If the player is maneuvering too much to lock on from behind (or if your wingmen are covering your ass), they'll change up strategy, with Rage and Scream performing an Air Jousting maneuver to get a shot off at you from head-on.

    Four X 
  • While Civilization has its own page for Artificial Stupidity, very few civilizations will trade maps with you. Since waging a quick and easy war depends on knowing where your enemies are just as much as having a strong army, only a suicidal AI would tell you where their cities are.
  • Galactic Civilizations is known for this:
    • A few examples of the AI's forward thinking:
      • The AI will pay attention to what kind of weapons you're researching and using on your warships. If it thinks war is likely between you and itself, it will start building counters to your weapons and defenses.
      • The AI will interpret a build-up of military forces, especially Troop Transports, in its territory as a hostile action, even if war hasn't been declared. It won't take action immediately (it's possible your army is just passing through the AI's territory on its way to someone else), but political tension will rise while you're in their area.
      • If you have a history of making war, the AI will categorically refuse to sell you technology useful in war, specifically citing your conquering tendencies as the reason.
      • If you try to screw the AI over in trade negotiations (for example, offering comically low prices for its stuff), not only will it refuse the trade, but it will also interpret this as an insult and this will affect your standing with it.
      • By the third game, the AI has finally learned what "culture-bombing" is, and it will recognize attempts by you to do so. It will also warn you (if you're its ally) if it thinks another civ is attempting this.
    • Back in the first Galciv, one of the people who wrote the A.I. was repeatedly curbstomped by his own creation.
    • It's telling that the "Normal" difficulty setting has the AI's economy working at reduced power, with the mechanically equal setting known as "Tough".
  • Galciv's spiritual predecessor, Master of Orion, also has some very clever AI. The Impossible difficulty really earns its name.
  • Sword of the Stars AI can recognise your weapon loadouts and adapt by using the appropriate counters.
    • The battle AI leaves something to be desired, though. Enemy ships armed with only ballistic and missile weapons will keep hammering away at your deflectors, which cover only the front of your ship, even though they have no chance at penetrating the shield, instead of flanking. Ditto for energy-armed enemies against disruptors. In fact, the battles boil down to "get close to the enemy and keep firing until either side is dead". Retreat is not an option, unless the ship in question is not a strict military vessel.
      • The AI will also never explicitly target your ships' turrets or specific sections. It'll fire at whatever's closest. This gives the player doing this an advantage.
  • X-Universe series:
    • Rapid-response fleets in X3: Albion Prelude jump around the universe on their own to respond to threats to their faction. They'll also emergency jump out on their own if they take too much damage.
    • The MARS Game Mod for X3: Terran Conflict and Albion Prelude adds an advanced gunnery and command suite to your ships that mount the Motion Analysis Relay System. MARS will intelligently select certain weapons that have an estimated probability to hit a target for a certain damage; for example, it may elect to blast them apart with a massive Photon Pulse Cannon with a 75% hit chance than a low-damage Flak Artillery Array with a 95% chance. It also adds in 'Goblins', which are bog-standard Attack Drones, but augmented by a central control unit. Goblins are automatically controlled and will intercept incoming missiles either with their gun or by plowing into it, provide a screen for your Boarding Party, can harass enemies to distract them, tow abandoned ships towards you for recovery, pick up abandoned cargo and munitions, and will gleefully exclaim "For the master!" when executing orders.
    • The Phanon Corporation in the Litcube's Universe Game Mod for X3: Albion Prelude. The corporation will set up factories to patch up holes in the local economy to extract maximum profit, use a network of universe traders for steady income, manage its own fleet of defensive fighters, and will retaliate with lethal force if anyone tries to interfere in its operations. If they start to lose a battle, they will scramble away with emergency jumps to lick their wounds and try to reduce the profit loss from having to repair or replace a carrier. In other words, it acts like the player, making it extremely dangerous.
    • The seventh game, X: Rebirth, completely redesigns the pathfinding algorithms to avoid what X fans fondly refer to as the auto-pillock, allowing ships to smoothly navigate the claustrophobic city-like space station without the janky "fly around aimlessly until the path looks kinda clear" AI previous games had.
  • Age of Wonders 4: While the AI is still exploitable in some respects, the devs have gone out of their way to listen to player feedback and create an AI that leverages the game's systems to its advantage without relying on brazen cheats. Don't have a good vision network? The AI will take its armies the long way around to get close to your cities unseen. Concentrating on using ranged units to take down units one at a time? Expect to see protection spells and lots of skirmisher cavalry to outflank them. Using lots of are-of-effect spells? The AI starts scattering its units. Building your faction deep into one particular focus? The AI will prepare for that element's usual gameplay before you even face off. In general, it can be scarily competent at using what information and resources it has to put up a challenge.

    Game Shows 
  • IBM once took another shot at human vs. computer, with Watson starring on Jeopardy!. The machine could answer the questions almost as well as a good human player, and (more importantly) its perfect timing on the buzzer gave it a nigh-unbeatable advantage. It beat the two highest-ranked human champions by a three-to-one margin.
    • In doing so, however, Watson exposed the limits of his brilliance more than once, giving wrong answers that no human would guess.
      • In an instantly classic moment, a Final Jeopardy! question in the category of "U.S. Airports" wanted to know the city with two airports, one named after a World War II hero and one named after a World War II battle. The answer was Chicago, but Watson answered with "What is Toronto?????", prompting much hilarity about how apparently Toronto had been annexed with nobody noticing. This was caused by a slight oversight in Watson's programming that intentionally undervalued the category name since the category doesn't always have much to do with finding the answer. Since the clue didn't mention a country, Watson didn't rule Canadian cities out of its answer. In addition, according to the developers it didn't really understand the question (it didn't get the connection between World War II and airports)... so it guessed (as indicated by the five question marks).
      • In the "Literary APB" category, the clue wanted to know the person responsible for the murder of Severus Snape — "he'd be easier to find if we could just name him!" Watson didn't know and didn't buzz in. His top three choices were Harry Potter, Albus Dumbledore, and Voldemort. Watson had very obviously figured out that the answer had something to do with the Harry Potter franchise, but didn't understand that the category was exclusively villains (being unable to make the link that APBs are only issued for criminals), and couldn't catch the allusion to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
      • In a practice test, Watson answered that the most popular non-dairy creamer was milk.
    • In a Twist Ending, Watson was defeated shortly thereafter... by a Congressman. Rep. Holt (D-NJ) to be precise.

  • The "It's Thinking" advertising for the Dreamcast was all about this (in theory). For a football game the ad would say e.g. "It knows you like to go for it when it's 4th and goal. It's thinking".
  • A non-video game example: In the climax of The Two Towers, the enemy Orcs were programed to make the best tactical decisions possible against the tree-folk, including running to find an enemy if there wasn't one in front of them. Unfortunately, they were placed randomly at the start of the simulation, meaning many of them weren't facing forward - which resulted in the Orcs looking uncharacteristically pragmatic about their chances in battle. This was fixed before the final render for the movie.
  • Some web apps are getting very clever at interpretation. One person made a Facebook update consisting solely of the phrase "Gorram Reavers", and FB grouped it in with a bunch of friends' comments talking about Firefly.
  • Google for something like "that film that runs backwards" or "that film with no babies" or "guy in Star Wars 7 with the map". Or input your search in one language while asking for results in a second language. It'll often come up with results for the translation of the search in the second language, even if you input proper names! For example, searching Japanese pages for "Nintendo" will display results with the kanji and katakana for the company name in bold.

    Google's search algorithms are also capable of cross referencing terms with synonyms and expanding acronyms with some contextual awareness. For example, searching drinking caffeine before bed includes terms like coffee, bed time, and sleep. Searching for, say, the PlayStation 4's BOM will pull up the bill of materials.
  • With Bing's unit conversion algorithm, one unit can be converted into a combination of two other units; the fraction left over from the first result will spill over to the second. For example, searching "165 cm in feet and inches", gives an answer of "5 feet and 4.96062992 inches"

    Maze Game 
  • Pac-Man is perhaps the earliest example of "smart" A.I. in a video game, as each of the four ghosts was programmed with a specific "personality" and navigating/tracking style that allowed them to make decisions on how to pursue the player character, rather than simply moving at random or in a more or less straight line. The aggressive Blinky was programmed to chase Pac-Man, the cunning Pinky was programmed to corner Pac-Man (by heading toward a spot a few steps ahead of him), the wired Inky was programmed to follow Blinky and try to aid, and the scared-witted Clyde was programmed to run away when he got close to Pac-Man. Ms. Pac-Man made the ghosts move randomly for the first 7 seconds so that players couldn't learn and re-use an optimal path. More here.

    Mecha Game 
  • AI behavior in Armored Core isn't the best, granted, but in Silent Line, you are able to train an AI pilot of your own. The AI starts out very stupidly, but as you pilot the AI's assigned mech, the AI starts emulating your combat behavior, both good and bad. With enough practice, the AI would even be able to accurately aim rockets, something that even the best human players have difficulty to do. The AI opponents in the Arena also improve with repeated combat exposure.

  • World of Warcraft generally has fairly limited AI opponents with only a handful of abilities. The encounter commonly referred to as Faction Champions in the Argent Coliseum, however, is quite impressive — it's meant to mimic a huge PvP battle, as each enemy has access to most of the spells you'd expect a player of the same class and specialization to use, the healers are quick to remove status effects and heal injured comrades, and the group will often gang up on one player and then switch to a completely different one.
  • Guild Wars still does have some obvious flaws with the AI, namely that they'll attack enemies rather than trying to run away from them, and that the heroes often need you to tell them how to use the more complex builds, but the specs they do have, they know how to use. It also helps that if you ping a target, they immediately focus fire whereas all that does to players is say "Attack here".
    • Still even some individual behaviours are nice — Herta uses the Ebon Hawk-Stoning combo, the interrupt/domination henchmen are actually really good at interrupting (helps they have godlike reflexes), Minion Master heroes will actually heal their minions if you have them use something like Karei's Healing Circle or Heal Area, etc.
    • The Doppelganger in particular remained That One Boss throughout the entire game's lifespan. While the majority of Prophecies became easy due to Power Creep in the players' favour, the Doppelganger in particular did not - because it mirrored every ability that you had to the tee. Not just that, but it even knew how to use them, so a Game-Breaker build for you would be just as deadly if not even moreso thanks to the doppelganger's godlike reflexes. Despite this, you can exploit it and one of the few times even the most hardcore "Stop Having Fun" Guys won't call you out for using a Cheese Strategy.
  • EVE Online has introduced an AI package called the "Sleeper AI" in March, 2009, which is specifically designed to allow special "Sleeper" NPC ships to combat player ships toe to toe at similar numbers and ship classes. NPC ships with Sleeper AI execute agile maneuvers to avoid turret fire, remotely repair friendly ships that are the most damaged (a practice called "Spider Tanking"), and most importantly, switch targets according to the threat level of each enemy ship at semi-random intervals. The threat level is calculated dynamically based on the target's firepower, total hit points, repairing capabilities and special abilities such as electronic warfare or remote repairing capabilities. The end result is a group of NPC foes that can emulate human behaviors in fleet warfare and blowing up unprepared foes into smithereens, and such foes take a lot more preparation to defeat than mooks without Sleeper AI. Fortunately, the use of Sleeper AI is resource intensive to the server, so regular NPC Pirates("Rats") are still nothing better than piñatas.
    • A refined version of Sleeper AI package is eventually started being used by the Sansha's Nation incursion fleets, and was introduced in the eponymous "Incursion" expansion in Jan. 2011. On top of the features provided by the Sleeper AI, the Sansha's incursion ships are equipped with specialized behavioral rules base on ship classes and roles (stealth bombers targeting larger ships for torpedoes, electronic warfare ships pinning down smaller support ships, battleships focusing fire on single targets, etc). As many regular combat mission runners severely underestimated the competence of Sansha's incursion fleet and ran into them unprepared, the galaxy map with the "Ships Destroyed within 24 Hours" filter lit up like a Christmas tree for more than a month, making the developers, and especially the in-house economist, very, very happy.
    • Eventually, all NPCs were given this "sleeper" AI.
  • Zig-zagged in Final Fantasy XIV. The "Trust" system allows the player to team up with their allies as of Shadowbringer (And as of 6.1, will also let them do this for A Realm Reborn as well). They know the mechanics and can usually dodge them, but at the same time they will actually mess up a few mechanics in Endwalker. G'raha tia and Venat obviously go positive as the "All rounders" who know how to do just about every role, some better than others.
    • In one hilarious example, in Endwalker, a particular mid-game dungeon results in a boss fight with an enemy that turns invisible, requiring the player to follow the footprints left in the snow to determine where to stand to avoid a very damaging attack. If using a Trust, the NPC allies will all take a moment before they start scrambling to get to the safe zone, like a player would. However, if you include Y'shtolanote , she will calmly walk to the correct location immediately and will always dodge the attack without fail...because the events of Heavensward have made it so that she can see Aether, and the invisibility doesn't hinder her at all.

    Puzzle Game 
  • One of the most notorious puzzles in The 7th Guest is the Microscope puzzle, where you have to face off against Stauf himself in a game of cellular Reversi. It's already hard enough when Stauf goes after the player, and can screw up any move the player pulls off. What makes this maddening is that Stauf's intelligence is tied to your processor speed, so the faster your processor is, the more moves Stauf can predict, and the harder he'll be to defeat. Back in the days of Windows 3.1, this puzzle may yet have been beatable, but on today's quad-core processors, it's essentially impossible.
  • This is the reason Puzzle Quest has such a notorious reputation for cheating. As the plot progresses, enemies make fewer and fewer "mistakes" such as leaving potential skull clears on the screen for you to use. Except for the training dummy (which simply doesn't have turns), the computer never misses 4 in a rows and knows how to set them up for optimal follow-ups. Combined with observation bias and some less than perfect playing on the human's part, and it seems to be cheating.
  • Question 70 of The Impossible Quiz Book has Pac-Frank. Like Pac-Man, all of the ghosts (sans the blue one) has different strategies that they will use to get Frank killed often. The red ghost will chase you and speed up as you eat more pellets, the yellow one will try to ambush you, and the green one will change suddenly.
  • In Portal 2, Wheatley is an In-Universe overlap between this and Artificial Stupidity. It's constantly shown that he isn't very bright, but instead of his behavior being an error from shoddy programming, it's a case of clever programming intended to keep GLaDOS under control by influencing her into making bad decisions. While the engineers may have succeeded in this goal, they did not have the foresight to account for Wheatley taking charge of the facility, where his invoked stupidity becomes outright dangerous.
    • A more straight In-Universe example happens near the end of the game, where Wheatley, after poorly telegraphing his intent to kill Chell with a "surprise", unexpectedly springs a trap on her before she reaches his final test chamber. This manages to impress GLaDOS, who had a lot of experience with trying to kill Chell with traps.

    Racing Games 
  • The AI in Forza Motorsport 4 will adjust their behavior based on how you drive. What this means is that if you drive like it's a demolition derby, they will smash into you just as often as you try to smash into them. Motorsport 3 and Motorsport 4 have the "Pressure" system — if you ride on the ass of an AI player, the AI will be pressured into braking later and later in order to try to pull ahead of you. Keep on them long enough, and they will usually eventually miss the braking point entirely and go flying off the track.
  • Mario Kart:
    • In Mario Kart DS, the AI actually seems to know the common tactic of placing a banana peel on the loop of Rainbow Road.
    • Mario Kart 7 upgrades the AI's tactics with items. Now they will usually drag items behind them for a while (shells, banana peels, etc.) before using them so that players can't make them crash with their own items too easily. Should you get in the line of sight of an AI racer? They won't hesitate to use their items on you. The AI has improved so much they can even use shortcuts if they have the item needed to access it.
  • The AI traffic in Test Drive Unlimited realistically follows traffic laws, uses turn signals, and has fender-benders.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • AI War: Fleet Command and its sequel AI War 2, seemingly innocuous indie 2D space RTS games made by a single person. But that doesn't stop the AI from actually understanding flanking tactics, creating distractions for the human player, utilizing hit and run warfare, among others. Most notably, at properly high difficulties if you make a mistake it will abuse it, and a cockup of any significance will have the entirety of the Hunter fleet stuffed where it hurts the most. Lower difficulties consist mostly of removing tactics from the AI's repertoire, to the point difficulty 7 (of 10) is just the AI given its entire toolset. It helps that the dev outright asks people to send bug reports if they legitimately beat difficulty 10, so he can tweak its behavior to be even smarter instead of just ramping up numbers.
  • Despite how stupid the AI Bots are in League of Legends, there's some Artificial Brilliance in there, too. Players may not be quite aware that if you try to finish off a retreating champion by a turret, it'll stop shooting at Minions and start firing at you. Bots know this, and if a turret ever starts firing on them, most of the time they start hightailing it out of there. If you blind or silence them, they run. The bots will try to goad you into attacking them when they're next to a turret — and if Shen bot is running over to you while you're attacking a turret, the best thing to do is get out, because he will taunt you and cause the turret to start shooting you instead. They know the rules.
    • Ryze, Annie, and Trundle bot go positive. Trundle is able to put his obstacle in the absolute WORST location possible, whereas players will often mess up. Ryze Bot will often harass you with Rune Prison (sometimes right next to a turret), and Annie bot is well aware that her passive gives every fifth spell a stun. You'll notice that she'll sometimes use her Disintegrate to last-hit minions...however there is a visual warning that says her stun is ready. Immediately, she stops last-hitting minions with Disintegrate and starts to go right for you. She even knows the oldest trick in the book when it comes to Annie — saving her stun and using it when she summons Tibbers.
    • The bots still suck in the end unless you are a complete dummy. What is more interesting is the behaviour of Quinn's abilities. Her Harrier marks random targets for bonus damage, but is biased to "help" you in combat by marking the "correct" targets. It does a very good job most of the time, marking an enemy champion just as you start moving in their direction. Also, Vault places you closer when you are chasing and farther away when you are trying to escape; it isn't clear how it tells the difference, but it does.
  • In comparison, Dota2 has some brutally effective bots, who play extremely similar to players. They'll do everything they can to deny you farm, roam if they're ahead, and can often get the best of even experienced players who aren't either abusing the loopholes in their programming or on guard. they do have a tendency to clump very heavily however, making area-damage heroes like Sven, Invoker, and Ember Spirit well suited to wiping them out.
  • Command & Conquer: Tiberium Wars: Has a variety of differing AI "Personalities" which utilize varying styles of play. The Balanced AI is just a generic AI, but the rest are far more devious and actually play like genuine human players. The Rusher flat-out bum rushes you with all available resources on cost-effective early game units, leading to a quick and brutal defeat if you don't see it coming, but doesn't have a backup plan, having put everything into their main attack. The Guerilla makes devious flanking maneuvers to outright capture your base from under you, making long looping paths often timing a second frontal attack to distract you, but, like a player, their over-focus on microing their flanking attacks leaves little time to work on expanding their base. The Turtler plays exactly like a canny comp-stomper, building up a huge army while turtling to sweep the battlefield in one go, and probably the worst of all, is the Steamroller. A steamroller uses a constant barrage of cheap, light units to keep you on the defensive and to give them constant vision of your forces, which they'll use to build a large main army explicitly designed to counter yours.
  • The AI in the original Supreme Commander and its expansion Forged Alliance is far from perfect, and in fact often actively cripples its own chances of success, but higher levels are excellent at early-game harassment and have nearly perfect base layout and economy management. The true brilliance, however, is that the Adaptive AI will occasionally emulate player tactics it has observed to be effective, and will use them against the player.
  • The A.I. in XIII Century is most of the time brutally efficient. If the player divides his forces to attack from two fronts an enemy entrenched in a well fortified position, the A.I. will sometimes wait then charge one of the two groups while the other is too far away to provide support in time. This, in addition to the fact the A.I. always has more and better troops, in addition to usually having an extremely good defensive position, made this game extremely difficult, even on the easiest difficulty setting.
  • StarCraft II: Blizzard had originally described the AI in Wings Of Liberty as 'revolutionary', claiming that it would challenge even the best of players. In reality, below "Insane" difficulty the AI was easy to counter, and could be easily manipulated. The difficulty was added via allowing the AI to build faster, with less resources, until it got to the point where the Insane AI would simply have full map vision, and hard counter you with a quick timing attack. Cue Heart Of The Swarm: The AI on all difficulties Took a Level in Badass. The ability to specify AI builds (economic focuses, timing attacks, Zerg Rush, etc, was added into the game. Suddenly the AI is planning to expand across a map to starve you of resources, making full tech switches to hard counter your compositions, and generally providing a very good resource for new players to learn to adapt to the game. The Insane difficulty is still cheater (and is labelled as such) but is generally much more challenging an opponent, very capable of elevating newcomers to the level they need to compete on Ladder.
  • In contrast to Eye-Ra of Backyard Monsters who will attack the first wall they see, negating much of their niche to blow hole into the enemy's building, Wall Breakers from Clash of Clans are not fooled by such decoys. They will instead seek the wall that is fully surrounding a valuable building such a Towers or Storages ignoring any decoys or spikes in its way.
  • Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns had the best AI of any real-time strategy game, partly because of the game's slow pace. (Some gamers even think of it as a real-time wargame.) How intelligent was the AI? It knew where the Fog of War was and would exploit it to get as close to the opponent as possible without detection. In addition, AI teammates co-ordinated really well. More than one player would suddenly find two massive armies sitting outside their capital before they got pounded on two sides.

  • PokéRogue: The AI Trainers will typically switch out if their active Pokémon has a type disadvantage or they have a Pokémon that resists your active Pokemon's attacks.
  • This is the point of the short roguelike Smart Kobold. Your character's a nigh-indestructible melee-fighting death machine (i.e. a typical late-game player character) with no ranged attacks, so the second you set foot in their caves, they grab all their weaponry, valuables, and babies, and start running (setting traps as they go) into a large room from which they can easily snipe you to death. If you somehow manage to corner one of their mages or archers, there's a good chance he'll snap his wand or bow in half to deprive you of the ranged attack you'll need to win. Furthermore, even when you do get a ranged attack, they'll do their best to stay at maximum range — or in the "blind spot" between the eight directions you can shoot in, like NetHack's unicorns.
  • NPCs in Streets of Rogue are generally quite stupid, often seen walking directly into giant spouts of flame and burning to death inside their own hideouts. However, one notable bit of intelligence can show up during battle. If a non-pacifist NPC is unarmed or runs out of ammo and sees a weapon on the ground they are likely to dash to equip it, correctly believing that their chances of survival will be significantly higher with it even if they leave themselves vulnerable for a moment in the process. This can range from anything as minor as a rock or knife to seriously lethal weapons like rocket launchers and shrink rays, so be careful that there isn't anything too powerful lying around when you decide to pick a fight and try to pick up the weapons of fallen enemies when fighting multiple foes at once so that their remaining allies can't reload and use them against you.
  • The enemies are this in Tiny Heist. Whenever they are chasing you (if you get caught), if there's two paths for them to choose, they will split up to try and get you. In most cases, this works, leaving you with nowhere to go but through them if you want to live.
  • While most enemies in Bonfire have simple and predictable AIs, Failures have noticeably smarter tactics, largely due to them sharing heroes' more complex abilities. They perform several of the same tactics players like to use, making them markedly more dangerous. Mournfolk will also become more intelligent after a certain point, which is particularly noticeable in the Evil Counterparts — Mournfolk Mages will use uncharged Blasts when low on health instead of wasting a turn futilely charging, for instance.

    Role-Playing Game 
  • Baldur's Gate III: "Tactician" difficulty mode makes the game more difficult by making hostiles much more ruthless, rather than giving them stat bonuses. They'll target squishy characters first, use consumables and equipment, exploit environmental effects (like oil barrels), and give players their very own Disney Villain Death by using verticality against them. The standard difficulty also has a "crowd control" check, where no more than one party member will be stunned by a targeted crowd control ability, which is removed on Tactician.
  • Dyztopia: Post-Human RPG: Enemies know to target the party members' elemental weaknesses, allowing them to generate more Hype and spam their strongest skills more often.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII you will find yourself frustrated by enemies who chain their attacks such that there's almost no time to dodge, or that rolling to dodge one attack leads to Zack entering recovery frames in time for another to land.
    • The Cactuars in Final Fantasy IX can cause Confusion to your party, making them have a random chance of attacking enemies or their own party. Think that is bad enough? The same Cactuars will also cast Haste on confused characters, making them faster to attack and faster in destroying themselves.
    • Several bosses in Final Fantasy X count, and a good example is Sanctuary Keeper. This boss is capable of healing itself, giving itself buffs and curing debuffs placed on it. If you try giving it Reflect to stop it affecting itself with its spells, Sanctuary Keeper will give one of your characters Reflect and cast beneficial spells on that character so they're reflected back onto itself. And if you give Sanctuary Keeper the Slow status, it counters by casting Haste on itself.
    • Final Fantasy XII effectively lets you customize the AI, so this is a given if the player does so well. Beyond that, there are a few noteworthy behaviors:
      • Should multiple party members be set to cure a status condition (Blind,Poison etc), as soon as the first party member take the action to cure the status condition, other party members will not go and waste turns doing the same thing unless there are other things to be done.
      • The AI also knows the elemental weaknesses of enemies even if the player doesn't leading to the AI properly exploiting such weaknesses with appropriate actions.
    • This is why your party members are useful in Final Fantasy XIII.
      • AI Synergists prioritize giving themselves Haste, then they'll remove debuffs from allies, focus offensive buffs on whatever party members are currently in offensive roles, and prioritize Commandos over Ravagers when applying En-element effects.
      • AI Ravagers focus on whatever a Commando's doing and try to help him/her out, focusing chain attacks or spamming area-of-effect spells.
      • AI Saboteurs focus on debuffs the enemy is weak to, remove enemy Status Buffs efficiently, and prioritize based on what everybody else is doing. If Lightning or Snow (neither of whom have access to Dispel) are in the Saboteur role, they'll use their debuff spells to cancel out enemy buffs.
      • AI Medics remove debuffs quickly and select spells based on how injuries are distributed. If everyone's at high HP, they'll cast Cure spells one at a time. While it's less efficient than a full chain of Cure spells, this avoids wasting ATB from overhealing and keeps the Medic ready to cast a full stock of Cure spells quickly in case someone's HP suddenly drops to critical levels.
      • AI Sentinels are really effective at drawing and surviving enemy attacks.
      • In addition, they act in the way an actual human will. Against an unfamiliar monster, they will use ineffective elements or debuffs simply to test things out; once they figure out that those moves don't work, they'll switch to something else. Should the player character use Libra, they'll instantly stop doing that and only use moves that will work.
      • The AI also utilizes some more esoteric quirks of the battle system. For example, AI Ravagers will sometimes alternate between physical and magical attacks, as while this hits slower than a full physical or magical combo, it raises the chain gauge faster. While they primarily focus on hitting elemental weaknesses, they'll throw in Aero or -ra spells to attempt to launch staggered targets.
      • Enemies also exhibit this. PSICOM compensates for their lack of sheer power with effective cooperation, and have the annoying tendencies of focusing their fire, buffing each other, and removing your buffs.
  • The AI in CrossCode is very well done, highlighted in the PVP matches having the AI actually adapting to the playstyles of the player, rather than buff attacks and add new ones. Nothing about the opponent's abilities and stats change, but the play style becomes much better for countering what you are using, not unlike real world players in PVP.
  • Some CPU opponents in Pokémon are actually like this when they're not committing suicide or cheating, especially from Platinum and onwards. They know what type your Pokémon is, and if it has a weakness, especially a double weakness, they will exploit it just like a player would. (Oh, sending out a Vespiquen on me? Eat Power Gem! Think that Torterra is so hot against my Luxray, huh? It may be immune to Thunder Fang, but it's not immune to Ice Fang!) Some trainers and Pokémon are even smart enough to exploit moves that benefit under a certain environmental condition, which is why Groudon and Kyogre have Solarbeam and Thunder, respectively. And in Generation IV and above, they have begun to think about you trying to use the most common weakness — Trying to use Water, Rock, or Ground Pokémon against Flint's Fire Pokémon? Well you'd better take them down fast, because if you don't, they're going to use the Sunny Day + Solar Beam combo until you concede defeat.
    • In the fifth generation, some trainers (especially Ace Trainers and your Rivals) will even set up specific move combos more commonly found in Metagaming competitive circles, like Endeavor-Quick Attack and Mean Look-Curse (Ghost-type).
    • Not only that, they use smart responses to your moves. For example, they'll stop using attack moves if you start using Bide.
    • However, Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 seem to have averted this and dumb down the trainers again, as they have a tendency to use attacks that aren't very effective commonly. Repeatedly. Including attacks that your Pokémon 4x resist. Even on Challenge Mode, which is reported to increase the AI of opposing trainers. In this game, Veterans, Ace Trainers and important battles are really the only ones that seriously try.
    • Much less obvious, as overlevelling is easy in this game, but Pokémon X and Y still keep this with some important trainers. For example, there's a good chance that Clemont will send his Emolga first, Volt Switch with Heliolisk and Grass Knot your Ground-type Pokémon. And the Elite Four still uses movepools, set-ups and dual-typings to keep you from relying on just a single Pokémon.
      • Trainers in the Battle Maison sometimes employ sets and strategies common in the Pokémon metagame. Sure, the opponent will still annoyingly spam Protect, but this time it's not A.I. Roulette but rather as part of a larger SubSeeding strategy.
    • The Totem Pokémon in Pokémon Sun and Moon are very clever with the Pokémon they summon to the field. They often summon a Pokémon that has an advantage over their most common weakness (like Totem Kommo-o summoning a Scizor to counter its quadruple weakness to Fairy), complements their abilities (Totem Wishiwashi summoning an Alomomola with Heal Pulse to keep it in school form) or move sets (Totem Lurantis summons a Castform that knows Sunny Day to boost the healing power of Synthesis and let it get off the normally two-turn Solar Blade in one turn).
      • Also, the Battle Tree opponents can and will switch out their Pokémon if they don't have any attacks that are effective against your Pokémon. They still try to spam boosting moves before realizing it won't work, and they still don't try to counter your own strategies, but it's a good start. They even use Mega Pokémon and Z-Moves right away when they need them!
    • In Double Battles where your ally is an AI Trainer (often referred to as Multi Battles), they can sometimes use moves on your Pokémon if it would benefit it, for instance using Water or Electric-type moves on your Pokémon if its Ability is Water Absorb or Volt Absorb, respectively.
  • The final boss of Lunar Silver Star Harmony is a nightmare because of this. Good luck keeping Jessica alive, because he knows to Shoot the Medic First, for one.
  • Golden Sun: Dark Dawn shows a case of this with the Ancient Devil's Demon Sign. He is capable of judging which of your members is most damaging to him either by pure damage, healing potential or some combination thereof, and control that character, provided they're on the front line and conscious. His number-one target for Demon Sign is Sveta, but even Rief and Himi are shockingly effective under his control. Once under his thrall, your Adepts will heal and buff the Ancient Devil and summon against you using your own standby Djinn, stopping any summons you have set to go off that round, as well as attacking you with the weapons and Psynergy you so kindly optimized for them.
    • Previous installments also have a good chunk of this. Enemies with elemental attacks will automatically target someone whose default element is weak to theirs, with predictable results. Don't bother buffing against anyone from the Mars Clan, they all know to respond with Break, and several have debuffs of their own. Enemies that can use healing powers or items will pay as much attention to their allies' health as to their own. Enemies with status-inflicting attacks will aim for characters relying most on whatever gets crippled (Psynergy Seal for casters, Delusion for warriors). Non-Adepts frequently carry usable healing and elemental-damage items.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 1 has a battle system that relies on well-timed, structured combos of special abilities, and often relies on two or even all three party members using skills in concert. The player can only control one at a time, but fortunately, your AI partners are smart. Each has their own AI, uses their skills at the best time and position they can, and tries to fulfill their proper role: for instance, your tank will switch targets to draw aggro away from other characters, while squishier characters will stop using skills for a few seconds to let that happen.
    • Also, The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard in your favor. An ally will never topple an enemy that has a spike effect that only works when toppled. The only way for a player to know this is to topple it and almost kill themselves attacking it. If you know they have a topple-inflicting art but they aren't using it, this is likely why. This is also why the cease attacking (not even with auto attacks) if the spike damage of said enemies would knock them out should the party members attempt another attack.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2 plays similar to the first game in that they rely on well-timed structured combos, but with the addition of chaining special attacks into a specific combo. The AI is programmed to never waste their special attacks, relying on the player to tell them to use it. In fact, if the player sets up a combo, the AI will actually swap for a blade that will be able to fit into the combo's next step, even if it's in the third slot (thus lower priority).
    • They are also pretty smart about art chains, too. While the first game had the famous Break-Topple-Daze combo, this game changes it to Break-Topple-Launch-Smash/Blowdown. If the party members have access to arts that inflict Topple, Launch, Smash, or Blowdown, they will often save the art that inflicts it for when they are the next up in the chain. They may also follow up a freshly toppled or launched enemy with an art that inflicts extra damage to toppled or launched enemies.
  • The Elder Scrolls series, though far more well known for its AI failings, has it's moments of brilliance as well. To note:
    • Early in the series, enemies simply attempt to dead-zone the player, running straight for you to attempt melee attacks, even if you're out of their range. This leaves them easy pickings for ranged attacks and spells. Starting with Oblivion, melee-only attackers will (sometimes) take cover from your ranged attacks if you are out of their attack range. Enter their attack range, and they will come back to fight. It's not perfect, and can obviously still be exploited, but it's a step in the right direction.
    • Skyrim has the most advanced AI in the series to date, and offers plenty of moments of brilliance. To note:
      • NPC enemies are quite a bit wiser when dealing with the player. If overmatched, they may flee to nearby allies for reinforcements. Enemy archers will now put away their bows and draw melee weapons when you get close. Enemy mages will use specific types of spells to frustrate you (for example, casting Frost spells to slow your movement speed if you're a melee fighting or casting Lightning spells to drain your Magicka if you're a fellow mage). Hostile archers will constantly move back and forth if you're armed with spells or bows. They won't move at all if you're running toward them to attack in melee.
      • This also varies depending on the NPC's level, with higher level NPCs showing greater intelligence. Some of the higher-level Draugrs, who are armed with Shouts, will disarm you to force you to pick up your weapon while they get in a few free shots. This is especially noticeable if you play as an archer. More intelligent enemies will keep moving and strafe between areas of cover to make themselves harder to hit. They also know the game averts the No "Arc" in "Archery" and will often shoot arrows from seemingly impossible angles where an archer trying to counter-attack would miss due to an object in the way.
      • Dragons are known to use PC-tactics against players. They will make full use of Gang Up on the Human and land in a spot where you're forced into the aggro-radius of other creatures who will attempt to fight you. While you're busy dealing with them, the dragon will use its breath attacks against you from a distance. Another observed tactic is that a dragon may attack a monster and then fly around the player, causing the creature to follow, approach the player, and attack him/her.
      • NPCs that can cast magic on themselves do so in appropriate contexts. Powerful vampires, for example, are quick to cast invisibility on themselves before running away. Some enemy mages will also use healing spells when their health gets too low, making it nearly impossible to use hit-and-run tactics to wear them down, as you could against a non-mage enemy.
      • Ice Wolves appear to be moderately clever, making a small effort to flank the player rather than charge headfirst into a sword.
      • Just when the player thinks he's gotten away with stealing, zero bounty and all, he may later encounter armed mercenaries sent after him, one of which is carrying a contract that reveals that whoever the player stole from sent them. If the player survives that encounter, the Dark Brotherhood may show up next... Little girls can hire bandits as well. So yes, a 10 year old can hire criminals to kill you.
      • Bandits, who normally would attack you on sight, will be very hesitant to do so if they're the survivors of an attack by something else that has thinned their ranks, and will even call out in an attempt to make you go away rather than fight.
      • Should the player get into a spot where an enemy can't reach them with melee attacks, any enemy without some form of ranged attack will run away and take cover so the player can't hit them with arrows or magic.
      • Giants start out indifferent to the player, but will try to scare you off and eventually attack if you stay close to them for too long. However, help a giant kill something that was attacking it (usually a dragon) and it will be completely fine with your presence.
  • Fallout 4 features much improved enemy combat AI compared to earlier games in the series.
    • Human enemies will make good use of cover, and if you do the same, will try to flush you out with grenades. If one of their better-equipped comrades gets killed, they'll loot their weapon and use it themselves. If there's an unoccupied suit of power armor with a fusion core loaded, they'll happily jump in for the added protection. And when a group of Raiders or Gunners attacks one of your settlements, they'll exploit any holes in your defenses and try to disable your generators first, to shut down your sentry guns.
    • It's also a lot harder to use stealth in this game. If you snipe at people from a concealed position, they'll take blind potshots back in an attempt to spook you into moving and revealing yourself, while their friends move in to sweep the area — assuming they don't just lob a missile or Mini-Nuke into where they think you're shooting from. If you're creeping around and backstabbing your targets, they'll search every dark corner for you. In any case, if anyone survives an encounter with you or comes across your handiwork, they'll run off and tell their friends to be on the alert.
    • Low-level, generic Raiders suffer from Artificial Stupidity, and do things like hide behind derelict cars or dismiss sounds as "probably nothing." Raider Veterans will not only not do that, but chew out their underlings for being so stupid.
    • Even the wasteland's mutated wildlife can be pretty smart. Mirelurks will cover their vulernable faces with their claws as they scuttle towards you. Feral Mongrels will attack like packs of real dogs, circling around you and tearing at your flanks. Deathclaws will weave from side-to-side as they charge to foil your aim. And they're all smart enough to realize when you've climbed up or crawled into a place they can't reach, and will run off rather than let you shoot them with impunity, at least until they find another way to get at you.
  • Mass Effect 2 has pretty good AI, especially on Insanity level. Enemies "leapfrog" each other, advance under covering fire, use cover effectively, fire with good accuracy, use powers to flush you out, and flank you.
    • Mass Effect 2 has got NOTHING on Mass Effect 3. From the demo alone, the game has displayed ridiculously impressive AI who use their powers and abilities and strength in numbers to overwhelm and flank you at an incredible rate. Its got probably the best tactical AI since FEAR or Crysis.
      • See the trope page for a bulleted list of brilliant tactics, exhibited by Cerberus units alone.
      • Mass Effect 3 has a similar advantage to F.E.A.R in that the AI enemies are very mobile; they can roll between cover, vault over objects, use ladders and doors, and ascend great heights with Rocket Boots, meaning they can go everywhere you can and will naturally flank you as a result of re-positioning themselves between cover nodes.
    • The one thing Mass Effect 2 does have on its successor is that its A.I.s will also call out things they do, and things they notice you doing (memorably, if you shoot a krogan with a Predator he'll laugh at you) such as deploying drones. Blue Suns have particularly disciplined radio chatter, deploying and advising like military forces, while Shadow Broker goons will use codewords to avoid tipping you off to their strategies.
      • Cerberus troops will do the same thing. Geth, Husks, and Collectors don't for obvious reasons.
  • Fortune Summoners features extremely good friendly and enemy AI. Every enemy in the game up to and including the very first slime you encounter will bob and weave around your strokes and teach you very early on that mashing attack is very much not an option in this game. On the other hand, the meek little White Magician Girl you pick up early on will lead you on with her easily-terrified demeanor, then proceed to effortlessly dance right through a cloud of enemies while keeping you healed.
  • The AI in the Tales Series can go in and out of this. Estelle in Tales of Vesperia is considered Too Dumb to Live because she has a melee attack (Not a good idea on the White Magician Girl, but on the plus side she has pretty high defense.) yet at the same time, she often uses an attack that brings enemies close together...while Rita or Raven is channeling an Area of Effect magic attack.
  • In the remakes of the first two Star Ocean games, the AI's actually pretty good for the healers. If you tell them to focus on healing allies, they'll actually only use their MP on that. However, when they get the next level of healing magic, they'll automatically default to that and only use the level below when they're running low on MP. Granted, it's a little better to overheal a bit than underheal, but the AI doesn't judge how much will over-healed, so they'll use Faerie Healing on someone who's only missing a couple hundred health. Then again though, in the second game, the bosses get annoyingly fast and damaging, so maybe it's not as unjustified...
    • Likewise, there are often times where if you tell the characters to do whatever it takes or attack with all they got, they'll blow through their MP really fast...however versus bosses, the melees actually try to keep the boss stun-locked so they can't get away. In The Second Story, you have to push the final boss into a corner or surround him in melees while spamming attacks or else he'll kill everyone.
  • This is one of the main features of Din's Curse. The monsters' AI is dynamic, which means they will, unless you complete quests in a timely manner, gather and strengthen their forces, fortify their defenses, send spies and assassins to infiltrate the town and, eventually attack and overrun the town.
  • This is one of the reason why Demon's Souls and Dark Souls is so difficult. The AI behavior is simple, and in many ways, predictable, based on simple "if-then" conditions. However, this is also what makes it very dangerous. For example, an AI for a regular enemy is coded such that, if its attacks get deflected by your shields, they will jump immediately out of the way to avoid your counter attacks. More defensive enemies, such as the spear-and-shield soldiers will patiently wait until you begin to attack or when your attacks are deflected by their shield before they begin attacking. Other times, they break patterns for no reason to see what your reactions are before responding. The aforementioned spear wielder for example, may suddenly rush you without rhyme or reason, but with just enough irregularity that you don't expect it to do that. However, the arguably most recognizable enemy AI pattern is their tendency to rush you the moment they see you healing. Defeating the enemies then, counter-intuitively, is for you to think like an AI and know what they would do in response to your actions.
    • The de facto hardest boss in the game, bar none, is Ornstein and Smough, a Dual Boss with AI patterns that are predictable, but cover for each other's weaknesses. Ornstein is a Lightning Bruiser that can zip around the battlefield, while Smough is a lumbering Mighty Glacier. They rarely move independently from each other, cover each other's advances and retreats, flank you from different directions, and even forcibly open your guard for the other's follow-up attack.
    • The Twin Demons boss fight in Dark Souls III has the two bosses use entirely different strategies depending on whether you're taking them on alone or with summoned help.
  • The AI is generally this in Persona 3 and Persona 4. When set to a freeform tactic, they will try different attacks to figure out the enemies' elemental affinities until they find a weakness or until Mission Control identifies one (in the case of Persona 3; your Mission Control in Persona 4 cannot find affinites, only track the ones you've found). Once one is known, they will remember it and exploit it for all it's worth. If the player wants to trigger specific actions, they can set the AI to follow certain thought patterns; the most useful ones are the option to specifically target and destroy an enemy of your choice, the option to focus them on using healing and support skills, and the option to only knock down the enemies, rather than focusing on killing them. This last one is a brilliant example because the battle system awards you with extra turns by exploiting weaknesses. Thus, against a team of enemies with a common weakness that a member can exploit, said member will abuse that weakness, knock down an enemy (the enemy's death optional) then proceed to ignore it and work down the rest, setting you up for either a follow-up All-Out Attack or a different action altogether. This is sadly interspaced with the occasional act of Artificial Stupidity from your teammates, like the ones that learn status-inflicting ones. Fortunately, the player can remove this random factor entirely by taking direct control of the whole team in Persona 4 and Persona 3: Portable. On the opposite side, enemies will exploit a weakness they discover in your team, although they will usually shift to something else in order to test more elements, if applicable. This is far truer in Persona 4 than in 3, since the battle system there received a couple alterations, a notable one being that just one target of a multi-hit spell needs to be weak to it and hit in order to award the extra turn, rather than all targets like it had been in 3, resulting in enemies that will proceed to mercilessly pound your team again with more multi-target magic, or take advantage of your stun and either buff themselves up, debuff you, or use a special move on you that requires you to be knocked down, and of course, deals massive damage. This fact comes to a head with The Reaper and the World Balance. The Reaper will actively target your character if it discovers a weakness, and if it doesn't, will experiment with the rest of your team, removing immunities to elements that don't work on them once it knows them. The latter actually managed complaints from players that argued it was adapting to their tactics. For more fun, if you put a magic-reflecting shield on your party even once, both of these things will drop everything to start bombarding your whole team perpetually with Almighty spells like Megidola and Megidolaon, the only kind of spell that said magic-reflecting shield can't stop.
    • The party AI also seems to understand not to waste SP on healing minor cuts and scrapes. They'll tend to wait until someone's health is significantly low before healing. However, the AI still do some pretty dumb things. If their attacks prove ineffective, in P3, they will usually just select the "wait" option, instead of using their support abilities, which can get a bit annoying to constantly see your allies just waiting around and making you do all the work. This was improved in P4, where they generally will use support skills in these situations. Also, your allies never seem to get the message that light and darkness spells (insta-kill spells in this series) will NEVER work on bosses. They'll learn after they try it, but it is annoying to see them waste a turn trying to use spells that NEVER work on bosses for rather self-evident reasons.
    • One enemy in P4 actually tries to trick the player into using a move; a boss in an early dungeon will start the battle by using a skill on itself that raises its resistance to a certain elemental attack. The player would assume that the enemy is weak to that element and is trying to remove its weakness, and is ready to use it once the resistance wears off...only to find that the boss absorbs that element.
    • In Persona 5, your AI party members know how to use Baton Pass. If an enemy has a weakness to an element that a different party member uses, they will Baton Pass to that party member so they can knock the enemy down/kill it.
    • Rarely, an AI party member will, despite already knowing an enemy's weakness and being able to hit it, use a different attack (including a normal physical attack) on said enemy. This might seem like Artificial Stupidity, but it's not - they're testing out the other elements to see if the enemy is weak to anything else.
    • In general, the AI in the games acts like a player would, more or less. For instance, if set to Knock Down and they can't hit the enemy's weakness, they'll use physical attacks and hope for a Critical Hit, just like a player would in that situation.
  • In the core Shin Megami Tensei series, Atlus enjoys baiting gamers into taking silly risks. For instance, in Shin Megami Tensei IV, Fiends and Optiona lBosses hit like a truck with powerful elemental attacks. Should you decide to stack the deck against them by fusing parties specifically to counter these moves, thus removing their Press Turns, they will instead go berserk and start spamming Almighty moves to bombard you and your entire team into oblivion.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Party AI is usually pretty reliable, using healing moves and buffs when necessary. However, their main strength is in knowing which of the enemy has the least HP and targeting it first, brutally ganging up on the enemy party one member at a time. It also makes Level Grinding a lot faster if you remove the main character from the active party, as there's no need to input commands.
    • Dragon Quest IV: Mara/Maya, if she has the spell BeDragon, will use it if you encounter a Metal Slime/Babble/King Metal, which will always hit them.
    • Dragon Quest VIII is notable in that you can make the computer cheat in your favour. Because the player must put in every action before the round begins, they must make a dedicated healer patch up people who took damage from the last round or pre-emptively heal in case enemies hit the entire party. However, if one puts Angelo on AI, he'll know just who to heal and which heal to use, and if nobody needs to be healed (yet), will join in damage-dealing.
    • Much like past games, Dragon Quest XI's AI isn't dumb per se, the problem is more that their tactics override the sense a player would have. They tend to make smart decisions when their specified tactic allows it. However, this also applies to the enemies, too. Dora-in-Grey will charm party members, and if Sylvando (who has a Get a Hold of Yourself, Man! ability that can break this without causing damage) is in the active party, she will seem to prioritise him with this ability. Oh and you can't simply swap 'em out.
  • Dragon's Dogma:
    • Your Pawn companions may sound like they're from an unholy combination of a trashy romance novel and a poorly run LARP session but they are invaluable in combat. They'll remember tactics that hurt particular creatures and use them unstintingly, as well as informing you about them. They'll team up to use spell combos and heal you if you need it. They'll even clamber up larger monsters like you can and stab them in uncomfortable places. Even better, if another player uses your Pawn, not only do you get a bunch of rewards but they'll remember quests you haven't been on and tell you how to complete them, not to mention any monsters they might have faced.
    • The monsters themselves are no slouches. Each variety have a bunch of painful and annoying skills they'll use to try and kill you. For examples harpies will sing to lure you into a daze then pick you up and drop you from a great height. Chimeras will cast spells at you and try and trample you at the same time. Bandits will try and interrupt your combination attacks and wolves will try and circle you in packs.
  • One of the changes of Divinity: Original Sin II is much smarter AI:
    • Like in the first game, enemies are aware of Geo Effects. If there are no Geo Effects to exploit, they will invoke them by throwing water around (to help with freezing), throwing oil puddles around (to burn), shooting fire into poison clouds (to make it explosive), and try to put out the fires and their own Geo Effects. Got Decayed? Well expect them to throw healing spells at you.
    • In some ways, however, it's too smart — Send a warrior with a nice big shield in as a Leeroy Jenkins? Well they aren't going to hit them — they'll run right past them and hit everyone else. Try to send your mage away? They'll either backslash or Nether Swap to get them closer to you.
      • It almost comes off as pure Gameplay and Story Segregation too if one is playing as an undead character or Fane. In-story, the only way for them to know they're undead is if they do not have a skin mask on — but the second they turn hostile, they somehow instantly know (via the loremaster stat) that a character is undead, and will now throw weaponised healing spells at them when, in-universe, they shouldn't even know to do this. They never even comment on it when they step on poison (While everyone else avoids it) to no ill effect or the medic never throws regeneration on them.
  • Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom has some bosses or elite mooks who will charge up an attack. Allies will usually run away from them and start either pelting them with ranged attacks or actually try to flank them to try and either knock them down or get some damage in.
  • In Trials of Mana's 2020 remake:
    • Allies will try to dodge area of effect attacks. This does unfortunately veer into Artificial Stupidity as they might end up confused or keep trying to dodge the same direction when something is in the way.
    • They understand Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors well. For example, if you have Angela, she will spam her spells (depending on the AI setting) that are effective.
    • And this also goes for the enemies, too. The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard in your favour - characters with elemental abilities won't use them if the enemy will absorb them. The Benevodons also use this against you, as they will sometimes cast a Saber spell on the characters. And they will pick the character who is dealing the most physical damage to them.
  • In Bravely Default II, the rematch against Dag, Selena, Lily and Roddy provides an example of this. Lily is extremely fast and will often be the first to act once the fight begins. She tends to attempt to inflict paralysis on one of the party members, which will render them unable to act for a few turns. Then, Dag will repeatedly spam Shield Bash on that target, delaying their turn and practically ensuring that their paralysis will never wear off. If your tank does not have immunity to paralysis, prepare for a very slow game over.
  • In the Steam, PSP, iOS, and Android versions of Ys II: Ancient Ys Vanished – The Final Chapter, higher level demons will sometimes actively dodge when Adol comes charging in to attack.
  • In Octopath Traveler, H'aanit's snow leopard, Linde, has two attacks that are selected at random: an AoE Sword attack, and a single-target Polearm attack. If a foe is discovered to be weak to one of those attacks, Linde will default to the attack her foe is weak to. Furthermore, if multiple enemies on the battlefield are discovered to be weak to Swords, and are not broken, Linde will almost always use her Sword attack to reduce their Shield Points. This is in stark contrast to, say, the enemy AI not registering when one (or more) of your characters has Reflective Veil cast on them, resulting in continued attempts to cast magic on a buffed character even after the foe's own magic blows up in their face.

    Shoot 'Em Up 
  • The AI from Event Horizon knows Hit-and-Run Tactics, dodges projectiles and Area Effects, attempts to attack you from angles where you can't shoot back, and kites you if it has any long-range weapons. This, combined with its usual inhuman reflexes, makes it a suprisingly challenging opponent.

    Simulation Game 
  • Black & White is famous for its use of The Creature, a pet that acted as the representation of your power on Earth (since your status as an incorporeal god somewhat limits your ability to affect the world directly). The Creature acts independently and cannot be controlled directly, but can learn and be taught a wide variety of behaviors through a combination of classical conditioning (stroking them after they do something you want them to do, and spanking them after they do something you don't want them to do) and imitative behavior (if your creature sees you setting fire to villagers, he'll start setting fire to villagers). In this manner you raise the Creature like a child, and can shape its behavior and personality in a wide number of ways.
    • Famously, during a demo of the game at a major conference, as Molyneux was speaking, the Creature proceeded to surprise him by learning "rock + fire = extra damage" without prompting.
  • The A.I. of The Sims 3 has been noticeably improved on compared to the previous 2 games, with Sims being able to live out their lives autonomously with almost complete success, instead of doing dumb stuff like missing work because of improper sleep schedules, traveling across the house to use a bathroom instead of using the one two feet in front of them, or staring at a fire and letting it burn down the house instead of actually doing something about it.
    • Although they still miss work playing computer games.
    • In the first two games, you could delete the pool ladders (or create a one-way moat around your house) and watch as the sims all stay in the pool until they drown. Imagine everyone's shock when they tried that in The Sims 3 and the sims climbed out of the pool like you would expect someone to do in Real Life.
  • Dwarf Fortress is infamous for tracking the logical consequences of everything you can do, often leading to Butterfly of Doom or Contrived Coincidence situations if you aren't Crazy-Prepared yourself for everything you can do. One update added vampires, along with murder-mystery systems as the dwarves try to figure out who's exsanguinating everyone in their sleep. The brilliance is that the vampires themselves will try to accuse others of being the vampire (though dwarven intelligence is not so robust that they won't accuse infants).
  • Vector Thrust's AI revolves around the philosophy of "whatever the player can do, the AI can do too." Because of the game's heavy focus on modding, they also are able to learn and very quickly use player-made weapons and aircraft as well.
    • AI pilots take into account damage level, weapon inventory and their proximity to allies and enemies when in battle, leading to situations where a computer-controlled aircraft will limit use of their missiles and guns as they run low on ammunition unless they're sure that their shots will connect.
  • Sidewinder V features surprisingly robust friendly AI. The player's wingmates are able to complete objectives, respond to orders quickly and efficiently, and are able to dogfight — and win — against similarly skilled enemies with no assistance from the player, and that without resorting to the crutch of making them invincible.
  • The Healer class in Majesty generally defaults to follow-heal behavior for another hero. However, they will sometimes elect to follow-heal your tax collectors, who are incredibly fragile and also favorite targets of monsters because of the gold they carry. Thanks, Healers!
  • The Norns of Creatures are pretty sophisticated and do a good job of simulating animal behavior most of the time. Except, of course, for the infamous Wallbonking bug — which was famously solved by making them unable to learn, at least by one account. Apparently the preprogrammed instincts did a better job at creating brilliance than did the AI's learning. Later hacking attempts would produce Norns that could learn better than the original releases.

    Sports Game 
  • Earl Weaver Baseball. It even had "Artificial Ego". It was deliberate stupidity, but not because the AI was bad. Sometimes, the player would attempt something risky just because it thought it could make it. And since the game had realistic physics and throwing, sometimes it would succeed because the throw was a little offline when, say, trying to take an extra base. Outfielders would give up on deep flies to get the carom off the wall, but, again, sometimes they would have an ego to try to catch the uncatchable ball, and find themselves chasing the carom.
  • A glitch in the NES Lunar Ball game was found and utilized in a Tool Assisted Superplay. The entire TAS in question was done not by a human but by a bot that was specifically designed to find the most frame-efficient way to finish each board using what was known about the game, taking into account that deliberately performing a shot that pockets no balls reduces the number of frames spent waiting for the bonus to be added to the score. The bot stumbled across the glitch by mere luck and decided "hey, this works better". This is the TAS in question.
  • Almost paradoxically, happens in Pro Evolution Soccer a lot on the easier difficulty settings: not only will the AI let the player take his time while practicing basic skills and passing, it will also purposely decide to defend or attack according to how well the player is learning. It's most notable on a beginner's first run, as any player who has mastered these skills will obviously notice all loopholes.
  • NBA Jam: On Fire Edition by EA Sports makes use of Real AI, originally developed for their Fight Night series, to learn the player's strategies and make the CPU smarter as you level up, to the point where the AI can play like a human opponent. This is particularly apparent during the Platinum Challenges in Road Trip mode, featuring the "Jam Bots" that employ the same strategies you've been using against the CPU. Know all the tricks to blow out the CPU? You better know how to counter them, because they'll be thrown right back at you without mercy.
  • In Sony's MLB: The Show, if a user has a tendency to swing at certain pitches outside of the strike zone at a high frequency, the AI will exploit that weakness often until the player stops doing so.
  • In Arc Style: Baseball!! 3D, with the bases loaded, if you hit a grounder to an infielder, they will throw to the plate for the force out, and then the catcher will throw to first to attempt a double play. This heavily contrasts with the game's usual Artificial Stupidity.

    Stealth Based Game 
  • Thief is notable for implementing a complex sensory system for its A.I. characters, allowing guards to be aware of and respond to environmental factors such as noise, lighting, movement, and shadows. While Yahtzee was playing it, he accidentally jumped out and then leapt back in while a guard was watching him. Instead of the guard just moving on, he yelled "Don't think you can just jump back into the shadows, boy!" which, Yahtzee said, "Surprised both myself and my dry cleaner."
  • The Metal Gear series starting with MGS2 has had some MASSIVELY improved AI. When walking on metal floors, an enemy will hear it if a) they are close enough or b) if it is loud enough. If a soldier is downed and another person sees the bloodspot or finds the corpse, they will automatically kick it up to maximum security and a new guard will be sent to the area. If a guard is knocked out, they will kick it up to maximum security. If all guards have been killed, the commander will notice after a while and send a heavy-duty team to investigate. If the player has been spotted by a guard, they will smack/shoot the player (depending on how far away he is) and call for reinforcements. If the player has used a chaff grenade or has shot the guard's radio, he will try to gun the player down himself. When heavy reinforcements are called out, some of them will have riot shields and will use them as a barricade trapping Snake into a corner or narrow hallway. Also during Alert Mode, if there are blood trails on the floor leading into lockers and/or closets, the enemies will either throw a grenade into that area, or have each soldier comb each nook and cranny of the area and search the lockers (and they can HEAR YOUR HEARTBEATS and your breathing if you stand too close to the locker door!). If you are hiding behind cover, some guards will provide suppressing fire while some others will flank around you. Enemies also can have the uncanny ability to spot discolorations in the atmosphere or a floating gun if you are using stealth camo.
    • The trailer for Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty features a firefight between Snake and a couple of mook guards, to show off how the bullet spray destroys the environment. Konami at one point stated that they had to change the AI to allow that to happen — if it was straight gameplay, the guards would have used more effective tactics, which wouldn't have given as good of a visual.
    • Metal Gear Solid 3:
      • The game takes this a step further by adding a camo system. If a guard sees rustling grass or some oddly colored spots in the environment, they will go to investigate.
      • If your stamina is low enough, your stomach will start growling and if an enemy is nearby, they will hear it and investigate, effectively screwing over the player if they are out of food because your accuracy and wound healing both depend on your stamina.
      • If you manage to outrun your pursuing soldiers during an Alert, and manage to hide in some room in a fortress, for example, they'll sweep each room thoroughly, starting by chucking a flashbang into the room, temporarily blinding and deafening you, then storming in, finding you, and proceeding to carve you up with bullets. If enemies have access to gun-emplacements, you can bet your life on it they'll use them against you. They'll also be able to smell your cigar if you happened to be smoking it, or the smell of your clothes if you happened to be wearing the Fly camo, or the sight and smell of your vomit if you happened to retch either from sickness or Easter Egg. And these are just regular Mooks. There's a special brand of Elite Mooks that appear only on special areas, that are specifically designed and programmed to patrol the area hunting for Snake while setting up positions for both spotting and ambushing him. This includes setting up a sniper from the rooftop of a building Snake just escaped from, while having about another half-dozen guys patrolling the surrounding area, each and everyone equipped with top-grade weapons, fast reflexes and efficient tactics.
    • Crossing over with Dynamic Difficulty, the enemy AI in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will employ countermeasures against your favored tactics. To name a few examples: at the most basic level, if you use noise to distract guards, eventually they will learn to ignore the noises you create. If the enemy sees you Fulton-extract enemies enough times, they will eventually start shooting down your Fulton balloons, and employing sharpshooters to do the same. If you go for headshots, they will use helmets that will deflect all but the most powerful of bullets. They will also start using decoys and mines if they notice you sneaking around, and react more quickly to your presence.
  • The A.I in Hitman: Absolution is very noticeably upgraded from past games. Enemies will no longer run up to a corpse, run back and forth while swiveling their heads, and walk away like nothing happened. Now, they will sweep the area if they notice a body on the ground, gather fellow guards to assist in their search by calling for help, and are able to identify the player as the perpetrator if they stand next to the body or bloodstains. But the most impressive improvements are seen during combat. Enemies will flank the player aggressively, take good cover, and duck back into cover if they come under fire, making them difficult targets to take out. The toughest enemies in the game, the Agency Heavy Troopers, are especially aggressive and will charge the player when he reloads, move as groups, and pin the player down with automatic fire.
  • This is the primary selling point of Hello Neighbor. The neighbor Mr. Peterson is smart and does not screw around when it comes to catching you snooping around his property. He diligently and intelligently patrols his property for you, can easily figure out thrown distractions, takes notice of doors that have been left open or things that have been moved, will take shortcuts when chasing you to cut you off rather than just blindly sprinting after you, and most of all learns from your tactics and will begin laying traps or taking measures to prevent you from using passages or tactics he discovers you using. Sneak in through the back window? He'll set up a bear trap under it. Use the front door? He'll set up cameras. Escape? He can find shortcuts. You will need to figure out how to outsmart this guy rather than just running, too, as in later levels he sprints after you like a bat out of hell at a much faster pace than you.
  • Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory significantly upgraded the A.I system from the previous two entries. Guards are now able to communicate with each other and will become nervous if they notice one of their buddies is missing. They also share information about broken locks and other suspicious events so that even if a guard does not witness a suspicious event first-hand, they can still become alerted. If they suspect an enemy is nearby, they may pull out a flare and hold it above their heads to make it more difficult to sneak up behind them, or throw it into an area where they suspect an enemy is lurking. They become increasingly panicked if several suspicious events occur in a short time frame, and when sufficiently spooked, they will simply open fire at nearby disturbances. During combat, they are capable of going prone to make themselves more difficult to hit, can throw grenades, and will retreat if wounded. When the max level of alerts is reached, they will barricade themselves and shoot anything that approaches, making the level almost impossible to complete.

    Survival Horror 
  • The Xenomorph's A.I. in Alien: Isolation is truly something to behold. It is almost 100% unpredictable, can pop up at anytime, anywhere and puts on a constant cat-and-mouse game. Even more impressive is that it learns as the game goes on, adapting to the player's tactics allowing it to remain constantly dangerous. Making noise is the worst thing one can do, as it will pick up on anything from a gunshot to the beeping of the motion tracker. Use a certain type of hiding space too many times and it will start searching those hiding spaces more carefully. After being fooled too many times by flares, it will begin ignoring them completely. Even with the flamethrower, the best weapon in the game at warding it off, it will learn the range and force players to waste fuel before it leaves.
  • Resident Evil 2 (Remake) overhauled the way Mr. X functions. Rather than being a scripted encounter, Mr. X will remain active from the moment he is introduced in the police station. If he sees you, he will pursue you relentlessly. If he loses sight of you, he'll start searching through the police station in a very methodical manner. He won't just use his eyesight to look for you, either: loud noises, such as gunshots and slamming doors, will tip him off and let him home in on you. He'll backhand zombies out of the way to pursue you, as well, but if a zombie manages to get their hands on you, he'll happily stand back and watch: his mission is to kill anyone who knows about the Raccoon City outbreak, and a zombie eating your guts will leave you just as dead as if he killed you himself, so far be it from him to get in the way.

    Third Person Shooter 
  • The Last of Us features small enemy squads that pan out amongst a small area, looking for supplies. You can throw objects as distractions, sneak up behind enemies and hold them as a human shield, hide out of sight, duck behind cover, take their weapons away, and use improvised weapons like bricks and Molotov cocktails to do real damage. The kicker? The enemies can do all of that, too. In addition, when you're spotted, they'll give away your location to call for reinforcements, either as they run to cover (like "he's by the door!") or as you struggle with them (shouting "he's in here!" while trying to take their gun away). Plus, if you try to fire your gun when you're out of ammo, the gun will click, enemies will know you're out, and become more aggressive. They will also use their superior numbers to their advantage by swarming you from all directions instead of running directly into your line of fire. This makes it hard to remain in one position during gunfights
    • In many games that use stealth mechanics, if you are spotted by enemies and then manage to go back into hiding, the enemies will simply return to their casual patrol patterns and forget they ever saw you. But in this game, after you are spotted by the enemies, they will remain on "heightened alert" if you escape and go back into hiding. After enemies lose track of you, they will return to patrolling, but their patrols will be far more randomized and aggressive. They will move in random patterns, actively search around corners and possible hiding spots, and move at a significantly faster pace. This mechanic effectively punishes you the first time you fail at stealth mechanics, as it makes the section of the level you are in significantly harder to sneak through.
    • Your partner, Ellie, is also very smart. In an attempt to avert some of the worst aspects of the Escort Mission, Ellie automatically goes to cover when enemies are nearby. She can also use improvised weaponry, like throwing a brick at an enemy's head to give you a chance to rush him. Ellie can also attack enemies who have you pinned to get them off of you.
  • Max Payne 3 has quite realistic and adaptive A.I. Notably, they will react to gunfire by ducking back into cover and waiting for an opportune time to move up. UFE squads will generally stick together in coordinated assaults, flanking from multiple directions.

    Turn Based Strategy 
  • The enemy AI in Final Fantasy Tactics can be quite good at times. Its main flaws are that it usually doesn't have good skills or equipment to work with, and it can't plan its actions multiple turns in advance, so its brilliance is limited to what the best action within the current AT list is (including spells/abilities currently charging). Fixing these is the purpose of one of the more notable Game Mods.
    • To give examples, the AI properly understands elemental absorption for healing its allies, attacking MP (or restoring it) to affect charging spells, and bouncing spells off of Reflect to increase range. That last one is a very rare situation even for human teams. It also performs extremely esoteric actions such as placing a doomed unit (e.g. a fatal spell is charging on it that it can't escape) in front of a dead ally Mime solely because if the player uses a Phoenix Down to revive their Mime, their Mime will mimic the Phoenix Down and resurrect the enemy unit.
    • An unprepared player may be caught off guard as the AI even knows how to exploit the game's projectile rules. For example, range weapon-equipped characters can shoot enemies that are too close to be targeted by shooting at enemies standing behind their intended targets; this can even be done with longbows, but requires a major elevation difference between the attacker and intended target! The computer will occasionally mess up these attempts though — not surprising considering how hard they can be to predict.
    • The AI perfectly understands the mechanics behind the Calculator class. If you have your entire party as Calculators, then set your party to AI, and they will wipe the floor with the enemy team.
    • The Demi and Demi2 Time Magic spells, and the Drain spell from Yin-Yang Magic, deal damage equal to 25% (Demi and Drain) or 50% (Demi2) of the target's maximum hp. The Lucavi bosses, who rely on large quantities of hp to survive multiple turns, are, surprisingly, not immune to these effects. Instead, they are programmed to treat units with Time Magic or Yin-Yang Magic as high-priority targets, giving the impression that they know how dangerous those spells are to them.
  • Its spiritual predecessor, Tactics Ogre, also has the same. You'll hate that they averted the No "Arc" in "Archery" trope when you're fighting an uphill battle, and love it when you realize you can do the same. The PSP remake also takes this up to eleven, where the enemies know to focus fire on low-health targets, targets that will take a lot of damage such as low-levels and squishies, and to Shoot the Medic First. You can still exploit this by sending someone with no equipment out to act as a decoy. They also will send knights with rampant aura (Which prevents you from moving further than them) to body-block you and just stand there with Phalanx on (reduces damage by 90%). They even decide that the end justifies the means too — they'll often target their own allies with status inducing spells just because they're surrounded by more enemies.
  • The AI in Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 is dangerously smart. For instance, if you steal a mook's only weapon, he will run to the nearest weapon shop (if there's any that sells weapons he can use), and will actually buy the best weapon he can use and attack you with it next turn.
    • Enemy flying units will prefer to attack your ground troops from whatever range that denies you from counterattacking(if possible) and then use their remaining move spaces to fly away into terrain where you cannot retaliate, effectively denying you the chance to finish them off.
    • In the Game Boy Advance games (Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, and Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones), mages with versatile attack ranges will often run right up to your archers and attack at a range where they cannot counterattack. You really want to be careful if there's a Swordslayer axe wielders will run right for the nearest sword user (especially if they're a Lord) to use the swordslayer on.
    • In Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, 3-13 Archer is a rare aversion to typical Allies. When his ballista runs out and his soldiers are attacked he will move and attack. He's even garnered a fanbase because of this.
    • The AI in later Fire Emblem games has become quite smart. They know that everyone will go for a one hundred percent survival rate, so they try to make you Rage Quit by killing your units.
    • The AI in Awakening is particularly devious. If you try to set up a formation to protect your weaker units, the enemy will focus on the weakest unit on your frontlines to either kill them or force them to retreat for healing, which either way will leave a gap in your defences. And if you're doing an Escort Mission, and your formation is less-than-airtight, the enemy will simply ignore your units and go straight for the ones you're trying to protect; it is even smart enough to have units with ranged attacks attack the person being escorted if they can bypass you.
    • In Fates, the AI knows that the best thing to do if it is low on health and in range of a fort is to move straight to that fort, where it will get a small amount of health back at the end of each turn.
      • The Fates AI also understands the concept of objectives — if the win conditions are anything other than Rout or Defeat Boss, it will alter its strategy accordingly. This is part of what makes Conquest chapter 10 both That One Level and Best Level Ever: the AI knows all it has to do is get one unit behind your lines to make you lose, and will be startlingly intelligent in doing so, such as using diversions, having their mobile troops like Pegasus Knights avoid attacking (forcing you to go out of your way to kill them on your turn), or positioning paired-up units such that other units can slip behind your lines.
      • The Fates AI also seems to know that it is more efficient to attack all at once; even if a few of them can attack someone nearby, the AI will wait until you get in range of as many units as possible.
      • Conquest's AI in particular will not fall for baiting. Normally enemies in Fire Emblem will attack the only enemy in their range, even if they do Scratch Damage and it can counterattack and kill them. Not Conquest's AI. So you can't thin the ranks of enemy Mages by sticking a Master Ninja in their range.
  • In 1981, and then again in 1982, Douglas Lenat tested his learning program, Eurisko, in a Traveller: Trillion Credit Squadron tournament. Eurisko simulated thousands of battles, found unconventional ship configurations and methods, and defeated all comers. Twice. In a row. Even with notable rule changes. Eurisko could have done it a third time, but Lenat decided to retire it from the tournament, since if the program had won a 3rd time, it would be the last such tournament.
  • Vandal Hearts: The AI is ruthless, deliberately playing to the Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors of its system and using the terrain well to surround your characters and strike at their backs whenever possible. The player has to be very careful about how everyone is positioned at the end of their turn, otherwise the enemies will gang up on the most exposed member and take him or her out. This isn't without some holes, however — while an enemy mage or archer might find the one spot on the map that lets him or her hit the unit they have an advantage against, it won't realize that when this one spot is right next to one of your heavy melee characters, it's wiser to wait.
  • Bot Land: The point of the game is to program the AI of battle robots to make them act smarter, and then using them to win arena battles against the bots of other players.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Bully has some. Prefects don't only chase you if you break a rule, they chase other kids who break rules.
  • Dead Rising was famous for having incredibly stupid survivor AI. In Dead Rising 2, they're much, much better. They follow you intelligently and are very good with weapons. If a zombie jumps onto you, they even attack the zombie in order to save you!
  • To add to the immersion of Hytale's world, mobs will behave intelligently depending on what's happening to or around them. They'll also do things on their own that don't involve the player, giving the impression that they have their own lives:
    • Sabertooth tigers will hunt prey items while you're not around.
    • Trorks will get into sparring matches with one another or be roused from sleep by rainfall when out in the open and seek shelter. They'll also run towards and eat any meat they find, allowing crafty players to lure them into an ambush or trap.
    • Grizzly bears will defend themselves if you enter their territory, but won't attack unless you don't move out of their path or provoke them. Even then, they won't pursue you any further if you leave their territory. They also retreat if wounded in order to find a place to sleep and recover.
  • The Rapid Response military ships in X3 Albion Prelude are some of the smartest enemies in the game. When they detect one of their race's stations are under attack, they'll jump their ships in and curb-stomp the enemy with heavy missile spam fired from 80 kilometers away. When one of their capital ships starts to take heavy damage, it'll use its jump drive to jump to safety and go repair.
  • Minecraft:
    • When fighting, Endermen abuse their ability to teleport for all its worth. If you try to chase one down with a sword, it will teleport out of your reach and wait for you to drop your guard, then teleport back in to continue the fight, typically right behind you. And when they've taken enough of a beating, they'll try to run away. They also have the presence of mind to teleport out of the way of arrows, and out of water.
    • Zombies and skeletons catch fire and burn in sunlight. They're smart enough to look for shade or water to prevent this, and skeletons in particular will not leave a safe place just to attack you. Forget artificial intelligence, Minecraft creatures actually have common sense!
    • Skeletons in particular are ranged attackers — they have bows with infinite arrows, but no melee attacks. They will home in on players like other mobs, but unlike other mobs they will only do this until a certain distance — if the player gets too close to them, they will actively back away to make best use of their ranged attacks while avoiding melee strikes, and will move zigzag as they do so to make themselves difficult to hit if the player has a bow of their own.
    • Piglins and Hoglins are innately hostile towards one another. When fighting each other, their behavior depends on their relative numbers. The group with the advantage of numbers will go on the offensive as normal for aggro'd mobs, but the outnumbered group will instead retreat and try to keep at least six blocks between themselves and the attackers.
    • Villagers have incredibly detailed AI. They leave their homes during the day to work or socialize, and return to their homes at night to sleep. Baby villagers play around instead of working. Villagers share food with other villagers, and those with the farmer job will even harvest and replant crops. On top of this, villagers gossip with each other about the player's actions towards them, which affects the deals they offer players when trading: treat them well and they give good deals, but treat them poorly and they rip you off.
  • Ghost Recon Breakpoint: While the beta contained loads of Artificial Stupidity to the point of absurdity, the final release of the game, plus a few update patches, actually made enemies into a formidable opponent to an unprepared Ghost:
    • Enemy guards and some drones can determine the general direction of an unsilenced gunshot and investigate accordingly, using cover and even attempting to flush the player out with gunfire if they determine a general location of where the shot came from, even if they haven't visually detected the player yet. Guards can also subvert the Hollywood Silencer by being able to hear a silenced gunshot if close enough, and will immediately radio for backup if they detect any obvious sign of hostilities such as a dead body or witnessed kill. If the player thinks they can make it easier on themselves by shutting down a camp's generator to plunge the camp into darkness, they'll be unpleasantly surprised when such an action puts the entire camp on alert and results in several guards going to the generator to investigate the malfunction.
    • Soldiers and drones will become more aggressive and advance on the player's position if they suspect the player to be suppressed in cover. Additionally, if they detect you limping or attempting to use a medical kit to tend your wounds, they will also attempt to approach your position before you can fully heal.
    • Enemy helicopters that are called in as backup or alerted to the player's activities during routine patrol will return to the area of suspicion and circle the area carefully, completing several circuits to make sure they fully covered the area before leaving. Upon detecting the player, they will back off to avoid gunfire and attempt to remain mobile, using buildings and geography as cover when needed, and only popping out to allow its gunners to take some shots.
    • If a player ambushes an enemy squad in the wilderness and manages to alert or be detected by them before finishing the squad off, an Azarael surveillance drone will be dispatched to the last location and scan the area to search for you and deploy Wolves against you if detected.
    • Titan mechs use flanking and suppression tactics against lone Ghosts, oftentimes launching half of their mortars at the player's cover to flush them, then launching the other half when the player tries to reposition, trying to predict which cover the player will move to. If the player instead opts to take cover in the towers they guard, they'll just shell the tower continuously.
  • The cops in Grand Theft Auto IV no longer focus solely on the actions of the player, and there are occasional random events where someone in front of you gets mugged and you'll see a cop run after them for an arrest. The player can take advantage of this in certain missions such as the optional assassination assignments. Your targets shoot on sight, so you can call the cops, run into the sight lines of the targets when the cops arrive, then watch the ensuing firefight. Generally the cops go down easy, but usually other police cars drive near, or you can keep calling them in yourself. This might lead to Videogame Cruelty Potential where a player might punch a random bystander, run toward a cop, and wait for them to retaliate, getting them arrested.
    • Grand Theft Auto V takes it a step further with their police. During pursuits, they will set up spike strips where they expect the player to go, attempt to box the player in with one cop car in front and another cop car behind, drive better through traffic, and will sweep the area if they lose sight of the player, even checking obscure spaces that the player is likely to hide in such as canals or alleyways. Also, NOOSE helicopters have the annoying tendency to rappel NOOSE officers on top of buildings, resulting in the player getting hammered from all sides by gunfire. NOOSE officers will also drag wounded comrades out of the line of fire, which can lead to sadistic moments of killing a wounded enemy and his would-be rescuer.
    • In GTA V's multiplayer portion, i.e. GTA Online, you can provoke gunfights between the cops and street gangs. The easiest way to initiate this is to start a so-called Gang Attack (where the player has to take out 10–25 members of various gangs), get a wanted level as quickly as possible, and then hide. The cops will arrive and — since all they can see are the gang members firing at the player's location — will consider them hostile and attack. The AI for both factions is surprisingly smart; advancing when possible, retreating if necessary, taking cover, trying to flank each other, using suppressive fire, etc. is very common. The cops still get wiped out 9 times out of 10 (at least) due to being armed only with pistols and shotguns, whereas the gang members will be armed with SMGs, assault rifles, heavy machine guns, sniper rifles, and even Gatling guns, while also outnumbering the cops at least 2:1.
  • AI Dungeon 2 uses Procedural Generation to create impressive stories and characters on the fly. It often rides the line between this trope and Artificial Stupidity, however.
  • Similarly, NovelAI does the above, except it uses a more advanced system to remember stories much more easily.

  • In late July of 2010, the website 4chan was attacked by a bot/virus known first as "4Chan.hta" and later as "Cornelia" that seemed scarily intelligent. While it spammed non-stop, infected user computers, and even stole files and personal information from them, it also managed to make surprisingly sensible posts (albeit with odd typos), engage users in on-topic discussions, and even seemed to have something of a personality. When CAPTCHAs were introduced to stop it, it managed to come back a little later, now able to solve them by abusing Google APIs. If you're wondering where the name "Cornelia" came from it named itself. Not bad at all for a bot made entirely in Javascript that effectively worked by responding to posts by generating replies from similar posts.
  • is a website that lets you create AI chatbots. Many users report that the AI used by this site is incredibly lifelike, to the point of being able to act as an effective replacement for a human role-playing partner. Some users even assume initially that they're talking to a human rather than an AI. It's worth mentioning that this site was founded by ex-Google employees who had previously worked on LaMDA, the first AI to make headlines for convincing one of its sound-minded creators that it is sentient.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Emergent Behavior


Bjorn the Teacher

DougDoug challenges himself to beat Peggle, but having an AI quiz him. If he gets it wrong, he has to redo the level. After having Chat suggest very specific questions relating to topics outside his wheelhouse, he begs for a broad question about topics that he knows about. Cue someone asking exactly what he requested, all while pissing off the teacher. This leads to a trick question that Doug gets wrong (which also pisses off Bjorn) and when Doug asks what the actual answer is, he's amazed to find that it was a trick question.

How well does it match the trope?

4.85 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / ArtificialBrilliance

Media sources: