A bot is a computer program that automatically retrieves or updates wiki pages when it is executed. In general, bots are used for repetitive maintenance tasks, whose volume and characteristics are too large to be performed manually by users.
Developing and executing bots is normally outside the role of normal users, requires programming experience and must be done in coordination with the wiki's admins or other staff.
Flagging a bot
Framework and interface for bot development
Bots do not access the wiki through the normal user interface. MediaWiki has an API (Application Programming Interface) available for this purpose. An API is a protocol for standardised communication between two computer programs. Check mw:API:Client code for more information.
Bots used several different frameworks, the most popular being AutoWikiBrowser and PyWikiBot. Several bot operators create their own frameworks, for fun or because of the many limitations that existing frameworks have.
The method for setting up an account to use a bot or other external editors using the API interface has been updated as of 1 March 2017. Logging in to third-party tools now makes use of a password generator to create a new login for automated tools, accessible at Special:BotPasswords on any Gamepedia wiki.