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Helldivers 2 players are escaping death by performing aerial salutes and hugs

Patriotism > gravity

A Helldiver player saluting while another burns a monster in the background
Image credit: PCGamer

According to the wikihow page “how to fall safely”, the best way to minimise injury while falling is to stay loose, keep your arms and legs bent, and roll on impact. According to ragdoll-prone shooter Helldivers 2, however, it’s better to stand to attention in mid-air and perform a crisp salute. It’s long been known that the game’s emotes confer unexpected defensive advantages, with emergency hugs sometimes shielding you against artillery fire, but now, one redditor has proven via careful scientific experimentation that they also protect you against the force of gravity.

The redditor in question is the heroic 21471824781, whose doings have been passed along by VG247. As the below clip demonstrates, saluting or, if you’re more of a lover than a patriot, hugging the air while falling will reduce the red-tinting on impact. Other redditors speculate that this is due to Helldivers 2’s surprisingly in-depth simulation systems, with damage to your head counting for more than damage to other body parts. Spreading your arms or sticking out your elbow rather than ragdolling means that you’re less likely to strike the floor headfirst.

On this count, at least, Helldivers 2 is in broad agreement with Wikihow (which advises falling people to protect their heads, albeit not in a patriotic way). On the other hand, it could be that developers Arrowhead have applied a general damage nerf while emoting so that emoting under fire is slightly more practical. Whatever the answer, it's an enjoyable quirk for a game that has "diving" in the title.

Attention Helldivers, using an emote mid-fall may SAVE YOUR LIFE!
byu/21471824781 inHelldivers

There’s a rich tradition of people using emotes in videogames for tactical gain, though I can’t think of anything else quite like this. Personally, I use them as tools of misdirection in PvP shooters – attempting to confuse and charm an attacking player with a hearty Cheer emote only to callously gun them down the second they return the gesture. In Dark Souls 3, meanwhile, you can use the Curl Up emoji to dodge boss attacks if you want to sabotage all sense of theatre and make poor Pontiff Sulyvahn look like an absolute prize fool. Do you have any similar examples to share? In other news, Arrowhead are making ominous noises about the game's recently added black hole that possibly augur the reveal of the game's long-speculated-about Illuminate faction.

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