A guide to some of the more advanced movement tech in Stick Fight. This guide deals with recoil jumping, weapon juggling, and more.
A Rundown on Physics
Stick Fight has a weird physics engine, with lots of little quirks that can make movement complex. First, let's go over a few of the concepts we will be using throughout this guide. Some of these terms already had names, but others I named myself. If there are other terms for any of these concepts, let me know.
When you pick up a weapon, your character moves a small amount. While this movement is generally not enough to make any meaningful difference, when we get to weapon juggling this concept will be very important.
Weapons as physics objects
Weapons in Stick Fight are physics objects, regardless of whether they are currently held by a player or not. What does that mean? Well, for starters, weapons will interact with the environment. You might have noticed that, while using a spear, it can be harder to fit through small gaps. That is because the spear has a large hitbox and is a physics object, so it communicates with the map and says "I am too long to fit through here!" That is not the only way weapons can function as physics objects, though; have you ever been firing wildly with an automatic gun, only for some of your shots to be blocked by falling weapons? That is because you can shoot a weapon just like you can shoot a player, and the force of the bullet (or laser, snake, pumpkin, etc.) will be transferred to the struck physics object. If you shoot a falling gun, it will absorb your bullet and fly off in the direction of the vector of the travelling bullet, just like a player would. However, because guns generally have less mass than players, they will tend to fly farther away, often offscreen. You can use spare guns to your advantage as shields; if you duck behind a gun, it will often absorb the brunt of the impact for you. You can also stand on weapons, which will become important when we get to weapon juggling. Finally, you can shoot weapons with the booster gun (the one that shoots mini rocket boosters that eventually explode) to make them fly off into the distance. You can actually use this to deny your enemies any weapons.
Recoil is the "knockback" of a weapon on the person who fires it. If you fire a shotgun, the recoil will cause you to move significantly in the opposite of the direction you fired. Recoil is kind of amplified while in the air, which can cause you to kill yourself with recoil more frequently.
This is something you may have noticed by just playing the game. When you punch, your character moves slightly in the direction in which you punch. Combined with jumping, this allows you to move farther than you would with a normal jump, letting you get to weapons faster, divekick people, or reach the boss pumpkin before anyone else. Note that the first punch you make while airborne will move you more than subsequent punches will, and that it is generally better to punch at the start of a jump than at the end.
This is essentially the same as punch-boosting, but I felt it warranted its own section anyway. While most people know how to boost their jumps by punching, many do not realize that you can do the same thing by throwing a weapon. If you fire your weapon in midair, you will not get the boost that you would by punching; if anything, you might hinder your jump due to the weapon's recoil. If you instead throw your weapon (default key is f on keyboard) in the direction you wish to travel, you will essentially perform a punch-boost, but throw your weapon. Because thrown weapons deal damage, you can jump towards someone, throw your weapon at them (also moving you closer via throw-boosting), and then land and punch them to death.
This concept is pretty simple; you can use recoil from fired guns to extend your jumps significantly. Now, while all guns in Stick Fight have at least some recoil, for most of them this recoil is almost unnoticable. If you want to recoil jump, there are a few weapons that really do the job well.
In no particular order:
- Minigun (though this is really more flying than jumping)
- Scattergun (smaller shotgun)
- Snake Shotgun
- Snake Minigun
- Revolver (there are two revolvers, but one of them has much more recoil)
Be careful when jumping with the snake weapons, as you might accidentally shoot snakes onto the point where you will land. The pumpkin launcher, which is just a variant of the bouncer rifle, lets you kind of rocket-jump with it, and though this is not recoil jumping, I included it in the above video anyway. You can recoil jump with weapons other than the ones I included in the above list, but those listed here are, in my opinion, the best for doing so.
This is a weird one, and sadly not the most useful either.
In the options menu, there is a setting called "automatic weapon pickup." This is kind of a misnomer, as when you do not have any weapon equipped you will already automatically pick up weapons. What this setting does is, whenever you walk over a weapon, you will drop your currently equipped one and pick up the new weapon. There are some weird quirks to this:
- For a short period of time after being dropped, the old weapon cannot be re-equipped. However, it is still a physics object, and can thus be walked on or otherwise interacted with.
- Unlike when you throw a weapon, your dropped weapon has very little velocity, and will tend to move only a little from your position. The velocity it does have will tend to be in an upwards direction.
- When you pick up a new weapon, you experience the previously-explained pickup jolt, which, as you may have inferred, is essentially the same kind of slight boost you receive from punching or throwing.
- When you stand on a dropped weapon, the game essentially resets your jump counter. Because you were standing on a solid surface, you are allowed to jump again, as if you were on the ground.
- After doing this jump, if you swap to another weapon, you can do the same thing, thus allowing you to chain jumps in the air so long as there are still weapons.
You see where this is going? With just two or three guns (or melee weapons), you can clear large gaps by juggling the weapons and jumping after the game resets your jump counter. You can combine juggling with a throw-boost, as seen in one of the clips above, to get extra distance. Adding on to this, when dropped weapons interact with the player, they tend to kind of let you fly a bit, making it look like you are hovering in the air. Small and large weapons are better at different facets of weapon juggling; small weapons tend to get stuck inside the player model, thus giving you that hover I just described, while large weapons tend to make better temporary platforms, allowing you to jump more.
Despite the possibility of human flight, this glitch is honestly not worth the attempt. Firstly, you have to have automatic weapon pickup enabled, which is honestly a garbage setting that can make you drop a good weapon in favor of a bad one. Secondly, you need at least two guns to do this, though it is easier with more, and while you are setting it up you could instead be shooting at other players. Thirdly, you will get accused of hacking. At least a few times.
Block + Punch Jumping
Of all the advanced movement techniques, this is the one with the greatest potential. We have already established how punch-boosting works, so now let's add a little wrinkle into the equation. Stick fight has the (generally unused) shield mechanic (by default right mouse button on keyboard), which itself has a lot of quirks. It can block bullets, yet seems to have some trouble with melee attacks. I generally have better luck with blocking melee attacks by attacking in the same spot, which tends to cancel out the other melee attack. But I digress. One weird mechanic of shielding is that it seems to affect your momentum, much like punching does, yet also entirely differently. The essence of Block+Punch Jumping (hereafter called BPJ) is combining block and punch with your jump, thus allowing the highest possible jump that does not involve a weapon. This trick is *very* hard to perform on trackpad, yet decently easy on mouse or controller. All you really have to do is jump and then press block and punch at almost the same time, yet not quite. I am not the best at explaining this trick, mainly because my understanding of the strange physics engine of stick fight stops when it comes to shielding. With enough practice, you will eventually get the timing down, allowing you to reach weapons far faster than your opponents.