The curious tendency of video game players to do completely unnecessary actions over and over and over again—regardless of their actual effect on gameplay.
, some people will jump and Double Jump
even when they're not crossing platforms—they simply bound across the landscape. In an Action Adventure
game, they might turn an Unnecessary Combat Roll
into an Unnecessary Anything Roll, somersaulting everywhere they go. A First-Person Shooter
player with unlimited ammo might just unload rounds into the environment. An RPG player waiting for an Overly Long Fighting Animation
to finish might mash their buttons in time with the music.
Reason? There generally is none. Gameplay advantage? Minimal. It's mostly just gamers pressing buttons to, well, press buttons—and maybe break up the monotony of long stretches of gameplay where there's not much else to do, like traveling over the Hub Level
before getting the Warp Whistle
, or to fill the time in RPG battles without Action Commands
. Depending on your theological color, they may even be attempts to appease the mighty and fickle Random Number God
, especially when attempting a Tool Assisted Speedrun
Common tics include:
- Jumping (and double-jumping) incessantly while traveling.
- That goes double if jumping at the end of the level or when the screen freezes. (e.g. Flip Screen Scrolling)
- Doing much the same as the above, only executing any sort of attack with forward momentum (such as a roll or spin).
- If there's a delay between pushing a button and it making something happen (such as with an elevator), repeatedly pressing the button while waiting.
- While waiting, attacking randomly.
- Tapping buttons in the rhythm of the music.
- Destroying everything destroyable onscreen even when there's no need to.
- Adjusting the camera when there's no need to. If it will let you.
- Finishing off Big Damn Enemies with hilariously weak attacks... or doing just the opposite, even if they only have a sliver of health left.
- Singing loudly the victory fanfare when it's played after a successful battle or a level.
- Tilting the controller while turning in a racing game.
- Making sure the character faces the "right" way while on a moving platform or otherwise standing still.
If these tics become widespread enough in a fanbase, they may even inspire an Urban Legend of Zelda
about their effectiveness. See also Video Game Cruelty Potential
, Video Game Caring Potential
, Die, Chair! Die!
, and Kleptomaniac Hero
for especially common forms of this.
This list catalogues only some of the more well-known tics.
- Play any RPG that is either turn-based or ATB. You'll inevitably fight a group of enemies that are so weak your first command will result in their destruction. You will issue that command. As it executes, you will not be able to refuse giving your other party members commands as their turn arrives. The fact that your enemies will not survive long enough for those commands to be carried out is irrelevant. You will do it.note
- Many players in Enslaved: Odyssey to the West press the distract button simply because it's funny to see Monkey shout "HEY!" at the top of his lungs (and occasionally right in Trip's face or at a wall) for absolutely no reason.
- Mega Man games:
- Jumping while going through boss doors or any other screen transitions in.
- If the tunnel to the boss room contains icy floor, building up speed by walking forward, then turning around and moonwalking through the boss doors.
- The Flash-based Mega Man-inspired Platform Hell game 'Jinsei Owata No Daibouken actually takes advantage of this tic by placing Spikes of Doom on the upper half of the door's other side, killing you instantly if you jump through rather of walking.
- Dashing through the doors in the X series is common. Clinging to a wall so that your character would enter a door backwards is also something some people liked to do. Sliding through the doors is something people like to do in the classic series as well. It's impossible to jump or dash through the doors in the Zero and ZX series, though; In those games, your character does their walking animation regardless of what they were doing as they go through a door.
- Although in ZX advent, if you slide into a door they will move to the next room in mid-jump pose, which some players do just for that.
- In games that let you charge the buster, and if you're playing as X in the X series, you'll always be charging a shot until you get to an enemy. Then you'll stop when you get to the boss, and then start again during the boss intro, maybe even stopping and starting again to see how many times to can reach a full charge during particularly lengthy intros.
- Speaking of the Mega Man X games, nobody ever walks in them, only dashing everywhere. The first game had dashing as an upgrade and so you were forced to, but once you got it all bets were off. Some people, not liking having to constantly press the dash button, dash and then jump, usually at the end of the dash to prolong the speedboost. Also, during bosses, most of your time WILL be on the walls, only jumping down to attack, or to go to the other wall. As the series went on, bosses either had to use attacks that hit the air, remove the walls from the arena entirely or have different attack patterns depending on if you're on the wall or ground.
- In the Mega Man Starforce series, people will often use the lock on technique to attack enemies even when not necessary. Lampshaded by Omega-Xis who says it's not necessary but can make battles easier or cooler, as it's accompanied by dramatic camera angles (which can be turned off, but who'd do that?) Also present for some people is waiting for the main melody of the battle theme to begin before picking Battle cards in the first round.
- Shooting a few bullets from a gun in first-person shooters so you could pick up ammo clip which would otherwise be left behind.
- Jumping after defeating a koopaling in Super Mario Bros 3 so you could catch the wand mid-air.
- Jumping after defeating a boss in most Castlevania games so you could catch the soul crystal. Some players also try freeze framing into a certain frame of the attack animation. Encouraged in Harmony of Dissonance, where you are given rankings, and Bloodlines, where you're awarded bonus points for doing it.
- Moving around the camera all the time in Runescape.
- Shooting a door repeatedly Metroid Prime games even though you only need one shot to load the next room.
- The Legend of Zelda games:
- Destroying every pot/sign you encounter, even when it's not needed. Also, obsessive rolling, but that's a (possibly misguided) attempt to reach your destination faster.
- Zigzagging in the top-down games.
- In Link to the Past, try and see how many people are constantly dashing with the Pegasus Boots, whether or not it's a good idea. See obsessive rolling above.
- Humming along with the "item got" theme tune is pretty popular. Nintendo even added a character in Twilight Princess that did this.
- In the side-scrolling parts of Zelda II The Adventure Of Link, jumping wherever you go. If you jump again at the instant you land, you only lose a little momentum or none at all, even if you're not touching the d-pad. Stabbing down may get added to the mix once it's unlocked.
- Rolling in the 3D games may or may not actually help you cover distance quicker. As one meme picture put it, "Not sure if rolling makes me travel faster, or just louder."
- proven. Rolling makes you faster.
- Some people like running away as far as possible after throwing a boomerang to see how long they can keep it from reaching the player.
- Pokémon: Holding various combinations of buttons after throwing a ball. Everyone seems to have a variant on the ritual. Pressing buttons has no effect on the the Random Number Generator, contrary to the many myths. Similarly, ever since the "Running Shoes" functionality was added in Generation 3, the B button is always held down, even in buildings (where the Running Shoes don't work) and on the Bicycle. This still went on in Pokemon Heart Gold and Soul Silver, even though the games gave you a button to tap to keep the Running Shoes activated permanently.
- Splitting up your Locorocos in Loco Roco all the time, just to hear them all singing along to the music like a children's choir.
- Players who keep switching between weapons in Counter-Strike, for no reason at all.
- Well, it does make nice, almost soothing sounds...
- Happens in all games where you can switch weapons, probably. Or at least in Team Fortress 2, where it's quite common to see people switching rapidly between weapons as they head for the fight. Becomes even more fun if you're a Degreaser Pyro, which increases weapon switch speed. *flipflipflip*
- It actually does serve a purpose in Counter-Strike: if you reload a weapon then switch it, it skips the reloading animation while still topping your weapon off to full. It was discovered that reloading and switching back-and-forth was faster than merely allowing the reloading animation to play through.
- A common tic for players of first person shooters in general is to constantly reload the guns when having no need. Usually rather soothing and works double with Noisy Guns.
- This can become problematic when a player starts reloading in the middle of a firefight without even taking cover despite having a half-full clip.
- If there's a chain gun in the game that takes a second or two to gain spinning momentum before spraying bullets, expect the player to rhythmically tap the fire button to keep the barrel spinning at all times even when not firing. When the ammo runs out, the player will keep the button pressed to hear the spinning mechanism going a few more seconds, then die out on its own.
- Blowing on cartridges from the NES, SNES, GBA, etc. At some point you might also blow on USB devices.
- Naked cartwheels in Metal Gear Solid 2. Why? Oh, no reason.
- Taking the moment after you've defeated the enemy in a round of Tekken to do something cool.
- Or just beating them while they're down, also known as Corpse Beating and present in Soul Calibur and some other fighting games.
- and another thing to be done is, while corpse beating, timing your attacks to make a "song" or spamming as fast as you can just so the death screams overlap. The latter is more common with enemies that frustrated you.
- In Wii Sports, there are a couple of times (like after winning/losing a tennis match) that your Mii is just standing there, either moping or arms raised, when you can make them swing the racquet spasmodically to no effect. It's hard to resist, since the alternative is just standing there.
- Doubly so in Wii Sports Resort. Especially with the Swordplay event where the position of your sword maps directly to that of the Remote.
- Boxing in the original game was prone to this; you could raise your hands or even give a taunting shrug before and after the match.
- Left 4 Dead — holding down CTRL as a Hunter after you've pounced, even if it's unnecessary, just to be sure you stay there.
- Also attacking your teammates as the Infected during the time in between when you can control yourself and when the loading begins when a round ends.
- Tackling your opponent after they've scored a touchdown in Tecmo Super Bowl.
- Sometimes this actually causes them to fumble the ball, but it still doesn't matter, as the play is over.
- In some (if not all) NHL games, there is no penalty for hitting your opponents after the whistle has blown to stop play.
- Jagged Alliance 2 players are known for hoarding equipment from all over the map into one sector, using teams of mules and/or the helicopter to speed the process up. This might actually be useful with ammo, explosives and attachments, but players tend to hoard everything, including useless items and obsolete guns and ammo. After clearing the majority of the map, a hoard sector can easily contain thousands of items. The amount of effort required to properly hoard everything on the map is considerable, and could take several days if done all at once.
- Star Control melee combat ends with a zoom-in on the victorious ship, and its race victory music playing. Players have the habit of having their ship do a "victory dance" by spinning the ship around itself. Experienced players tend to avoid doing this, knowing that it causes disorientation once the next battle starts.
- Tomb Raider
- In Tomb Raider: Legend players can make Lara perform continuous acrobatics by pressing OOXXOOXXOOXX... on the PS2 version. (From tombraiderforums.com.)
- One commenter said , "I finished Peru by doing this to no end (except for when it wasn't possible :-)"
- Jumping instead of walking in Iji will actually slow you down: Iji is immobile during one frame.
- Not just jumping, but jumping into the ceiling lights, causing them to shatter. Do it enough, and the game comments on it.
- Saying "SEEGAA" out loudly when SEGA's logo shows up.
- On a related note, whispering "Bayonetta" softly when the game loads up.
- Mimicking the old Game Boy startup ding. Buh-DING!
- Pressing up on the D-pad rapidly in the 16-bit Sonic the Hedgehog games after defeating Dr. Robotnik to give the sprite the appearance that it's laughing (this works best with Sonic 3 & Knuckles, as either Sonic or Knuckles).
- Pressing the spin dash motion multiple times. (You are fully charged after six presses, but it's fun to hear the revving noise...)
- Exclusive to Sonic 3 and S3&K, doing Sonic's insta-shield every time you jump.
- Jumping frantically while running across the near-endless landscape in The Elder Scrolls III Morrowind and The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion. Eventually will level the player's Acrobatics skill, but it takes so long by this method that it is much more of a tic than a real practice (serious powerlevelers jump off high things to level this skill instead).
- Though with the use of a certain exploit to level your Acrobatics over 100, jumping everywhere can become a great deal faster than running. The same exploit can jack up your Speed stat, but that can easily make your character uncontrollable.
- Shooting the dog in Duck Hunt. And with very good reason.
- Shooting at each other after successfully completing the stage in Battle City and Tank Force during multiplayer or shooting at the wall when playing alone.
- Firing several shots at one target in older light gun games, particularly if the player is used to more modern games which avert the Instant Death Bullet.
- Pushing down the Wiimote on Mario Kart Wii when the race starts.
- Constantly using glide in Spyro the Dragon instead of walking, or constantly jumping and holding the square button.
- For that matter continuing to play the skateboard minigame in Year Of The Dragon after you have gotten everything in the level.
- When you've managed to get somewhere high up that you're not supposed to (say, the giant gem at the top of Glimmer) it's very common to jump and headbash repeatedly, with a little flaming thrown in for good measure.
- Grinding everywhere in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater even when you hardly get any score for it.
- Continuing your combos way past the timer hitting 0:00 due to the game's loophole, even if you don't need the points.
- In THUG onwards, getting off your board without landing a combo and waiting for the time to run out so you don't risk bailing it, meaning that you keep your (potentially huge) score.
- Running in WWF/WWE Smackdown games, either to avoid the enemy's attacks or to use a running attack on them, which 9/10 gives you the advantage against them. Whipping your opponent into the stairs and putting them through the announce tables in Smackdown 2 (as it doesn't result in a disqualification, no matter whether it's a hardcore match or not).
- In 4X games like Civilization, giving the AI insultingly high or low deals, such as demanding a tribute of 1 gold to keep the peace, or offering peace in exchange for all their stuff (especially as a counter-offer when the AI demands all of yours).
- League of Legends players tend to click excessively while moving, especially when it doesn't affect their character's pathing. Lampshaded by Mordekaiser's quote "You only need to click once, fool!"
- Sprinting everywhere where you go in multiplayer shooter games even when you are just wandering aimlessly and therefore have no real need to move quickly (unless you are moving from cover to cover)
- In Team Fortress 2, some game modes (payload maps, 2 control points) have preparation time. The RED defending team uses it to get into position, set up sentries and lay sticky traps. For the BLU attacking team, there isn't a lot to do besides The Medic building uber. Thus most players will be found running around aimlessly, firing off weapons, jumping randomly and letting off taunts.
- Early on in the game's life, during these periods of preparation time, players on both sides would often crowd the gates blocking the two teams from each other before the match proper and perform taunts against each other. Then someone discovered that the Pyro's taunts (shooting a fireball) can clip through these gates and kill enemy players.
- Switching back and forth between the knife as the Spy while making one's way across the battlements. There's something weirdly relaxing about watching that blade flick back and forth.
- There's a small niche of Scout players who enjoy using the baseball bat or its variants almost to the point of exclusiveness; most of these Scouts will double jump sure as the day is long and swing their bat constantly just to keep them entertained during the long runs towards the enemy, the exceptions being a Scout carrying either the Boston Basher or Atomizer.
- There is always someone who'll idly play with the voice commands so as to hold a conversation with themselves.
- Marathon, the precursor to the Video Game/Halo series, was full of these. The most famous examples would be punching switches to activate them (instead of just tapping TAB) just because one could, and mercilessly slaughtering each and every BOB (unarmed friendlies) in a level, just for cruelty's sake.
- Jumping in World of Warcraft: Doesn't help that the elven races and the worgen have a 50/50 chance of doing a midair flip/spin.
- Back Dashing was a mechanic introduced in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. It allows a player to dash backwards and was supposed to emulate a vampire's super speed, seeing as Alucard is half-vampire. Sure enough, everybody started using it to get everywhere backwards and faster. They even gave it to Juste Belmont later, who's a human (albeit magical), and he also gained a forward dash (doesn't stop some people from doing it backwards). Later games gave it a more sensible equivalent (a backwards moving spin-shuffle in Portrait of Ruin, a backwards role in Order Of Ecclesia), but that doesn't stop the fact that it's there. They also diminished the usefulness by creating lag between dashes, which still doesn't stop people from doing it, only speedrunners. They even gave it to characters that didn't have it in Harmony Of Despair, even 8-bit Simon and Julius who had a much more useful forward dash.
- Back dash canceling also counts. An attack animation, especially a long one, can be cancelled by dashing backwards. People who stopped back dashing as their main method of transportation may find themselves canceling out of even really quick attacks where the time between attacks is negligible (and might even cause it to take longer to attack again if the weapon has short reach) or even if it only takes one attack to kill an enemy. With Harmony Of Despair, it was discovered, or made popular, that the Back Dash itself can be cancelled by crouching, and so everyone started attacking, back dashing and then crouching and then standing again to attack again for infinite back dash cancelling... but then they started doing it on the main, non-multiplayer games where it only helps speedrunners.
- Symphony also introduced flying kicks, which always come with the Double Jump upgrade. Eventually, some people use it as a main method of damage dealing, and so they awarded bonus damage for doing it from high up in the Sorrow games (which made it a game breaker when combined with the Medusa Head soul that freezes you in the air), and later added equipment that increased damage the more you used it without touching the ground.
- Some people also like doing flying kicks at an angle to hit the ground, which had a unique sliding animations in some games.
- Lastly, in Portrait of Ruin, some people like constantly switching/calling in partners while walking, which caused the Mantra of "Charlotte! Jonathan!" to become a small meme.
- Any platform games with boss fights or major items that the player must collect. It's not uncommon to see players make their characters jump up and down repeatedly to signify their happiness at their find or victory.
Those who know those tics:
- Creators of Super Mario Bros. series know the jumping tic well. That's why we have those flagpoles in first Super Mario Bros game and New Super Mario Bros series, item squares in Super Mario Bros 3 and finally, up and down moving bars in Super Mario World.
- In Pac-Land, you can get extra bonus points when jumping at right times when completing the level.
- In Super Smash Bros. you get extra points for taunting in 1-Player mode after you beat your opponent. This has been removed, along with the rest of the bonus points, as of Brawl.
- It also had bonus points for finishing levels at certain times too. So complete a side-scrolling stage at 0:56 and you'll get nothing, 0:59 however...
- The Marvel vs. Capcom series allows you to beat up your opponent for a few seconds after the match is over, and some of its games give you bonus points if your character is in a particularly amusing frame when it stops.
- Blaz Blue Calamity Trigger allows this as well, and even awards an achievement for completing a 20-hit combo after the end of a battle. This was eliminated in Continuum Shift because Bang players would waste their opponents' time by going into Fu-rin-ka-zan after the end of a match.
- Same with the Soul Calibur series. Though if the winner was determined by ring out, expect that player to join the loser. Even better, some players will come up with elaborate post-win "dances" or memorize ways to inflict harm on their character.
- The makers of Tony Hawks Pro Skater never fixed the aforementioned ability to continue comboing after the timer runs out, due to fans doing this so much.
- It's possible the potentially infinite circuits such as the Rio De Janeiro level in Tony Hawks 3, and the moon mode in Tony Hawks' 2 took fans obsessions with endless combos to their extreme.
- Penny Arcade Adventures gives extra points for overkills.
- Mario Kart Wii and 7 include gyro controls, which involve turning your controller to steer the car.
- Some players dismiss this, but turn their controller using the non-gyro controls anyway.
- Infinity Blade gives you bonus experience for attacking your opponent more after they run out of health.
- As mentioned above, you get points for jumping and posing after a boss in Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance and Castlevania: Bloodlines
- In Disgaea 3 (at least the Vita version), you actually get a Trophy for excessive pointless jumping.
- Football players setting up for a free-kick tend to pick up the ball, roll it slightly, and put it right back down before kicking. If a few players switch places at the ball before this happens, sometimes each one will do the same exact thing.
- Goalkeepers who ritually kick the goalposts with their feet before taking a goal-kick.
- Goalkeepers who are facing a penalty kick that always complain that the opposition player hasn't put the ball on the penalty spot correctly.
- The referees that will always give a yellow card to said goalkeeper for the complaint which they see as wasting time.
- Some Aussie Rules Football players suffer a similar tic where before taking a kick at goal, they they carefully pluck and throw a few strands of grass. The usefulness of this for gauging wind could be argued, but when doing it in a fully-enclosed stadium with no environmental factors, it becomes this trope.
- Free throw rituals in basketball: players tend to fiddle around with the ball or perform some other particular action before taking their shot in order to relax and/or build a sense of rhythm/consistency in this dead ball situation.
- Player tics are so ingrained in baseball that it's considered an integral and rich part of the game's very tradition.
- Pressing the button at a pedestrian crossing. You only need to do it once, but most people do it multiple times for no particular reason. People may do it even if they know the buttons don't work.
- On a similar note, elevators. Few can resist the urge to press the up/down button (as appropriate), even when they can see it's already lit up.
- Some people like pressing both up and down, because it doesn't actually change the elevator direction. Also extends to pressing the buttons for BOTH elevators if they're lined up vertically.
- People also like to press the "close door" button when they board the elevator in the hopes of making the doors close faster.
- Jumping right before the elevator stops so you fall to the ground faster if the elevator was going down, or it takes longer if the elevator was going upwards, mostly if nobody's looking. Some people also like pretending to open the door as if with super strength, or telekinesis if not actually touching it.
- In general, people love pressing things multiple times until something happens.
- Computer users often develop a habit of moving the mouse in tight circles or figure eights when waiting for the computer to do something, though it's also a simple way to make sure that the computer hasn't frozen.
- Also popular: double-clicking on text segments to highlight/deselect them despite no plans to copy/paste.
- Throw in dragging to make selection boxes on the desktop while waiting for something to load. Extra points if you use them to frame some part of your desktop background.
- Whenever you see a looping loading animation such as the bars on vista or the circle dots in Youtube, you'll probably follow it with your mouse.
- Hovering the mouse over text you're reading. A digital replacement for the Real Life tic of following text with your finger.
- If you've ever used a payphone, you pressed the coin return and checked for change before inserting a quarter of your own. It never worked, but you tried anyway. Admit it.
- This can be expanded to any machine that takes coins, including arcade games and vending machines. Every now and again someone forgets their refund, or their change.
- Game show Press Your Luck has contestants yell "STOP!" whenever they hit the buzzer during board play, despite the fact that all you need to do is simply hit the button to stop the board.