ViCadia is supported by its readers. If you buy products through affiliate links, we may earn a commission. Learn more

How To Play Battlefield 3 With Bots: Complete Guide

9 Mins read


Battlefield 3 is considered to be one of the greatest installments in the Battlefield franchise. The game introduced numerous gameplay mechanics to the series, ranging from fully customizable weapons, epic scale multiplayer battles, close quarters combat, deep career progression, squad based team play, and destructible environments.

Even though almost 10 years have passed since Battlefield 3 was released, the game still holds up very well in 2021, both in terms of graphics and gameplay. Its player base, however, has significantly shrunk, and finding online matches during the weekdays can be quite difficult.

Luckily enough, in December 2020 a group of devoted Battlefield 3 fans and modders launched Venice Unleashed – a set of modding tools which aims to revive Battlefield 3 community, and give the game a breath of fresh air. Besides allowing its users to host their own dedicated servers, Venice Unleashed also enables you to install mods and user-generated content to further enhance your Battlefield 3 experience.

One of the best mods for Battlefield 3 Venice Unleashed you can install right now is the AI-Bot-Mod by Joe91 which allows you to play custom matches on your Battlefield 3 dedicated server with AI-powered bots. With this mod you can spawn bots on a number of supported maps while playing TDM, Conquest, or Rush game modes. Bots are fully capable of driving tanks, throwing medkits and ammo resupplies, and are capable of engaging enemy players while trying to capture objectives.

In this guide we’ll talk you through how to set up your Battlefield 3 installation, and play custom Battlefield 3 matches with bots. You can find all this information online, however, it is scattered across multiple websites, and many inexperienced modders may find it too confusing. This is why we wrote this comprehensive guide, which we hope will be useful to both veteran and rookie modders alike.

1. Install Battlefield 3

If you already have Battlefield 3 installed on your computer, then feel free to skip this step. Otherwise, continue reading. In order to play Battlefield 3 with bots, you’ll need a legit copy of Battlefield 3. Pirated versions won’t work. You can find cheap Battlefield 3 Origin keys from here:

The vanilla and Limited Edition are nearly identical, except that Limited Edition already includes Back to Karkand DLC. Please note that the Limited Edition doesn’t include other expansion packs! If you want to play your custom matches on maps included in Close Quarters, Armored Kill, Aftermath and Endgame DLCs, you’ll also need to buy the Battlefield 3 Premium Edition. You can buy it cheap from this link below:

Once you’ve registered Battlefield 3 to your EA Origin account, you may proceed with downloading and installing the game. Please use EA Origin client to install the game. This is very important, since Venice Unleashed client needs to have access to your Origin account in order to verify the ownership of your game.

2. Install Venice Unleashed community tools

Before you install Venice Unleashed community tools, be sure to launch Battlefield 3 at least once via Battlelog. Once you do that, go to, and download the VU client.

Official VU website

Run vu.exe, and follow the instructions to install Venice Unleashed community tools.

After that, you will need to create a Venice Unleashed account. You can do that by signing up here, or by pressing the “Create account” button in the login screen of the Venice Unleashed client. After you’ve created your account and logged in to the VU client you will be required to link your Origin account. This is a one-time process and requires Origin to be running. Once you see the Origin activation prompt, minimize VU, launch Origin and login with an account that owns Battlefield 3. Then return to VU and follow the on-screen prompts. After the process is finished you can turn Origin off if you wish.

Since Venice Unleashed is a community-backed project, consider making a donation to help authors of this amazing tool to keep the VU alive and growing. You can contribute to VU by visiting this link here.

3. Create your soldier

After having logged in and linked your Origin account, you will have to create a soldier. Follow the on-screen prompts and give your soldier a name. Always use the underscore sign (_) to separate parts of your soldier’s name. This will save you from possible issues later. That name will be unique among all other players. Things like mod stats and various server-side customizations will be tied to your soldier. You can delete your soldier and create a new one at any time. After creating your soldier, you can select it to finish the login process and be able to join servers.

VU Player selection menu

4. Create your own Battlefield 3 server

In order to play Battlefield 3 with bots, you’ll need to create your own Battlefield 3 server. This may sound intimidating, but in reality it is quite simple. Also, you don’t have to worry about your PC’s performance too much. If you own a modern 4-core/8-thread CPU, and at least 16 GB of RAM, you’ll be fine. Battlefield 3 server can run on much weaker PC configurations, however, this may impair overall performance.

In order to create your own Battlefield 3 server, first you’ll have to create its own directory. To do that, navigate to My Documents\Battlefield 3\Server. If the Server folder doesn’t exist, you will need to create it.

For each server you wish to run, you will need to generate a unique server key. To do that, open your web browser, login to the VU website with your account, and visit the key management portal. Under the “Server key actions” header press “Create new key”. Give your key an alias. After that, download your keys in a form of server.key file.

Copy the server.key file to the My Documents\Battlefield 3\Server folder. You are now ready to start your own Battlefield 3 server.

VU Battlefield 3 server folder

5. Configure your Battlefield 3 server

Before you start your own Battlefield 3 server, you have to first configure its settings. The first step of this process involves creating additional files and subdirectories within the Server folder. To configure your server, first create a new subfolder Admin within folder Server, and inside it create MapList.txt, Startup.txt, and ModList.txt files. Also create Mods folder inside the Admin folder.

Basically, your Server folder structure within My Documents\Battlefield 3 directory should look like this:

    +---Battlefield 3
            |   server.key
                |   MapList.txt
                |   Startup.txt
                |   ModList.txt


The first file you need to edit is the MapList.txt file. This file defines the map rotation of the server. It tells the server which map to load, and on which gamemode. Every map is specified in a new line in the following format:

MapID GamemodeID Rounds

For example, in order to play Battlefield 3 with bots on Kharg Island map in Conquest Small mode for 1 round, you need to add this line of code to your MapList.txt file:

MP_018 ConquestSmall0 1

Each map and gamemode has its own unique ID. You can find a full list of the maps and gamemodes and their respective IDs here.


The second file you need to edit is the Startup.txt file. This file defines specific configuration variables which your server loads upon startup. Each variable is specified in the new line. There are TONS of variables which you can specify. You can see a full list of them here. For now, we’ll focus only on few essential variables.

In our opinion, the most important variables you should specify are vars.serverName, vars.gamePassword, and admin.password. With vars.serverName you specify the name of your Battlefield 3 VU server. This name will appear in the VU server browser once you launch your server. The vars.gamePassword is completely optional variable that allows you to protect your server with a password. Use this variable if you don’t want anyone unknown to connect to your server. Lastly, the admin.password variable specifies the password which allows any player on server to gain administrative privileges. This variable must be specified if you want to spawn or kill bots on your server in real-time.

If you decide to specify all of the variables we’ve mentioned above, then your Startup.txt file should look something like this:

vars.serverName "MORDOR"
vars.gamePassword "fellowship"
admin.password "ruling_ring"

As you can see, the name of our server is “MORDOR”, the password which enables other players (including you) to join the server is “fellowship”, and the administrator password is “ruling_ring”.


Last but not least, there is the ModList.txt file. This file is used to specify what mods should be loaded by the server. As with all the other configuration files, each mod is specified in a new line. For now, leave this file as it is, we’ll get back to it later.

6. Install AI bots mod

To install “fun-bots” mod for Battlefield 3 by Joe91, go to GitHub, and download its latest release in a form of a .zip file. Once you do that, navigate to My Documents\Battlefield 3\Server\Admin\Mods, and extract the fun-bots-master folder directly into the Mods folder.

After that, open the ModList.txt file, and add fun-bots-master to the first line of code. That’s it!

7. Start your server and play a game with bots!

To start your VU Battlefield 3 server, simply press Start button, and type “VU”. Choose one of the shortcuts that will appear on the start menu. If you have a powerful PC, don’t hesitate to run a 120 Hz server.

Once you click on one of the shortcuts, a new window will appear that will look something like this:

Now, launch your VU client, and navigate to the server browser. Look for your server. Remember that we called our server “MORDOR”. Here it is!

Click on the server name, and then click “Join” button. If you set a password, a prompt will appear. Enter the password, and join your server. A new match will start.

If you did everything correctly, and you successfully joined your server, you will notice the VU watermark in the top right corner. You will also notice that one of your squadmates is a bot. Congratulations! You now know how to play Battlefield 3 with bots. Unfortunately, there is still one problem…

If you press TAB key on your keyboard, and view the scoreboard, you will see that there are only 10 bots spawned on the server. So, how do you add more bots?

The “fun-bots” mod allows you to add as many bots as you like, directly from its in-game interface. All you have to do is press the F12 key on your keyboard. However, if you hit the F12 key, a new message will pop-up in the chat box, stating that you don’t have permission to access bots editor.

To fix this problem, you will have to grant your player administrative privileges.

8. Granting administrative privileges to your soldier

To grant your solider administrative privileges, as well as access to the admin console, you’ll need to use a program called Procon client. You can download the latest version of Procon from website.

Once you download the .zip file, extract it anywhere you want, and run the PRoCon.exe file. A new window will appear. On the right side of Procon’s user interface, you will see a button “Create Connection”. Press that button.

To connect to your server as administrator, you will have to correctly fill out the fields that are shown on your screen. In the Hostname/IP field, you need to enter the IP address of your computer on which the VU server is running. Although it’s always good to use static IP address, you can also use a dynamic IP address. If you want to check the IP address of your PC, simply open Command Prompt, and execute ipconfig command to find out your local IP address. In our case, it was

Next up, you will have to enter the number of port at which the VU server is listening for remote administration. In most cases, this is port 47200, but it may differ. To find out at which port your VU server is listening to, simply open up your VU server interface, and look for it in the log. Once you find it, copy that number in the port field.

After that, in the username field enter the admin username. This is completely arbitrary, but once you set it, you’ll always have to log in with that username. In our case, we simply gave our admin account “serveradmin” username.

Finally, you will have to enter the admin password. Remember that in our Startup.txt file we specified the admin password to be “ruling_ring”. This is the password you need to enter in this field.

Once you filled out all the fields, hit the “Connect” button. If everything went well, the Battlefield 3 server admin interface will show up.

To give your player administrative rights, go to “Console” tab, and in the bottom white field enter this command:

funbots.Permissions MySoldierName *

Change MySoldierName with the name of your soldier you created in VU client. Voila! That’s it! Now you have administrative rights to add, delete, or kick bots on your server.

9. Play a game with as many bots as you like

Now open up your VU client again, and join your Battlefield 3 server. Once you spawn, hit the F12 key on your keyboard. In the right top part of your screen, a new menu will appear. Press “Bots” button, to further expand the menu. You can now specify how many friendly or enemy bots you want to spawn. Hit F2 key to spawn them. That’s it. Enjoy!


With Venice Unleashed community tools for Battlefield 3 you can create and host your own Battlefield 3 dedicated server, as well as install new mods, and modify your Battlefield 3 gameplay experience as you like. The “fun-bots” mod by Joe91 allows you to play Battlefield 3 with AI bots, which is great in case you have hard time finding populated Battlefield 3 servers, or want to create a LAN party with your buddies, and have additional bots on your side.

We hope you found our guide useful. If you have any questions or remarks, feel free to post them in the comment section below.


  • Venice Unleashed is a community-oriented Battlefield 3 modding platform developed by Emulator Nexus Team.
  • Fun-bots AI-Bot-Mod for Venice Unleashed is developed by Joe91
  • Procon and the Procon layer are developed by Myrcon.
  • The Battlefield franchise is a product of DICE.
  • Plugins for Procon are developed by third parties, credits and responsibilities lie with the respective plugin author.

Read more


94 posts

About author
Frank is the Editor-in-Chief at ViCadia. He is an avid PC gamer, as well as a tech enthusiast. Besides being a tireless writer, he is also ViCadia’s web developer.
    Related posts

    10 Best Games With Procedural Generation

    6 Mins read
    In this article we are bringing you 10 best procedurally generated games which will bring you 100+ hours of unique gaming experience.

    Top 5 Racing Games to Play on PC in 2023

    5 Mins read
    Looking for some high-octane action? Here are the top 5 racing games for PC in 2023!

    10 Best PlayStation Exclusives You Can Play on PC

    7 Mins read
    These are the best PlayStation exclusive games you can play on PC today!

    1 Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *