The bass guitar doesn't lend itself well to playing chords the same way lead guitar does, because the low pitches of the notes can sound muddy when played simultaneously. A standard four-string bass contains strings tuned to E, A, D and G two octaves below the four corresponding guitar strings.
The bass guitar makes use most often of chord patterns. Where a guitar player might play D, F sharp, A and D at the same time for a D major chord, a bassist would play those notes individually in a pattern, similar to an arpeggio. It is possible to make some of the lower chord patterns on bass strings because the tonal relationship between strings is the same as that of a guitar, but does not have the same effect.