Someone at Konami better get Seto Kaiba on the phone immediately, because Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel has a major bot problem right now and it’s gonna take some Kaiba Corp. tech to fix it. Unfortunate as it is, Konami’s free-to-play version of the popular trading card game, “Yu-Gi-Oh!”, is currently plagued by bots and there doesn’t seem to be an easy fix for them.

I recently came back to the game after having been on a hiatus from it (Elden Ring consumed me) and have been noticing that a lot of my “opponents” weren’t even playing the game and would simply run out of time on their turn and lose the game. After several matches of this happening, I went over to the subreddit for the game to see if other players were experiencing the same phenomenon. As it turns out, it is a very common issue currently affecting the game and has its own pinned thread on the r/masterduel subreddit.

What’s Going On?

In short, people have made bot accounts that load into games with no intention of making any moves, they’re just hoping that the opponent (you) will not have the patience to wait around for the game’s built-in timer to run out on them while they wait for them to concede, giving the bot an easy win. The purpose of someone doing this isn’t entirely clear, although a popular belief is that the people running bot accounts will subsequently sell off the account – for actual currency – once it has enough wins and resources built up. 

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To be perfectly honest, I have no intention of searching for Master Duel accounts to purchase to verify if this is true or not. I would encourage anyone reading this to also not buy an account for this game, or any other game for that matter. People do this stuff for a reason so don’t be an enabler. Master Duel is a fun game, just play it and have fun.

How to Spot a Bot

So, how do you know you’re playing a bot? There have been a lot of players reporting the same identifiers for a bot. The bots will have the default frame/icon, default mate, and default field. They typically have Japanese characters for their username and for whatever reason always have a five-card extra deck. I have seen enough of these types of accounts to be able to verify that those indicators are almost always accurate.

How to Survive the “Bot” Meta

How do we beat the bots? For the short term, if you suspect you’re playing against a bot, try your best to just wait it out. If you win the coin toss against a suspected bot, opt to go second, that way they will time out as soon as possible giving you the win. For the long term, Konami needs to acknowledge the issue and find a way to root out these bots and banish them to the shadow realm. In the year 2022, it’s really hard to fathom a company like Konami putting out a free-to-play game with no apparent anti-cheat built into the game, but here we are folks. Konami has addressed what they call “slow play”, however, it does not appear to be in regards to the bots, rather, it’s addressing another issue entirely.

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The other option is to just take a break from Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel until the bot problem is fixed and play some other games. Money talks, so if Konami notices the player base for the game rapidly diminishing, they may be more motivated to fix it. Awfully tough to make money from a season pass if no one is playing your game in the first place.

Be Cautious

A final word of warning to those who may choose to concede a match to a bot immediately: Some players have started imitating the bots, with the same hope that you’ll quit the match and give them the easy win. As annoying as it may be, you have to wait them out. I would suggest checking out some of our other articles as long as you’re here to wait them out. Eventually, they will have to actually do something or their plan sort of backfires. So be prepared to show them what a third-rate duelist with a fourth-rate deck they are once you get your chance.

Let’s hope this problem is sorted out sooner rather than later, for the sake of the game. When not overrun by bots, Master Duel can be a lot of fun and a great way to play some Yu-Gi-Oh! – whether you be a veteran of the game, returning duelist, or a new player entirely. I mean, sometimes you run into someone playing an Exodia deck that takes 15-minute turns where they cycle through nearly half of their deck to assemble Exodia (I’m definitely not bitter about it…), but most of the time it’s a fun game. It would be a downright shame to see the game die off due to these bots, so Konami better cut the check to Kaiba Corp. and fix it soon.

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Thanks for reading!

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