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Sometimes in video games lacking the Law of Inverse Recoil, firing rapidly in a direction opposite of where you want to go will give you a good push sideways or even upward.

Compare Nitro Boost and the more explosive Rocket Jump. Inverse of Weaponized Exhaust; this is essentially Exhaustized Weapon.

Examples of Recoil Boost include:

Action Adventure

  • The maxed out machine gun in Cave Story has such a high recoil that firing downwards will propel you upward for as long as ammo lasts. On the flipside, firing upwards pushes you downwards when you try to jump.
    • If you acquire an optional upgrade that increases your ammo replenishment rate and are smart with your ammo, you can fly indefinitely with it.
  • In Devil May Cry, leaping in the air and firing the pistols to keep yourself airborne is a strategy noted in the manual!
  • BioForge has a Gravity Screw room where you orbit helplessly around an object in the middle. The only way to move around is to use your gun.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, you have to use the Gust Jar in a few areas to move a floating platform around like a boat. Normally the jar sucks in items when it's being used, but also produces one big puff when stopped. The recoil is what moves the platform, rather than the suction.

First Person Shooter

  • Early versions of the "Combat Construction" mod for Tribes 2 had recoil all on the weapons. On the vast majority of them, the recoil was negligible. However, there was a fully automatic M60 machine gun, which had quite a large recoil, a massive magazine, and a constant stream of bullets. It effectively allowed you to fly around the map at a hundred KPH, when the average top speed for players in the mod was a tenth of that.
  • Crysis's engine supports true weapon recoil, which has important effects in space. One of its mods, Mechwarrior: Living Legends, features a ground troop weapon (the Man-Pack PPC) that creates enough recoil with one shot as to provide you a good 15 kph in the opposite direction. The low gravity map provides extended entertainment when using this weapon, but it is regardless useful as an extra manoeuvring tool.
  • All weapons in Marathon had some recoil. In low-gravity levels you could use the flamethrower as a makeshift jetpack. You could also use the recoil from the grenade or rocket launcher to reach otherwise inaccessible ledges or bypass significant parts of levels, although in many cases this overlapped with Rocket Jumping.
    • By changing the physics model in Anvil you can also make the flamethrower act as an actual jetpack (give it high negative recoil) or change the pistol's firing animation to the MA-75B's to make it fully automatic. The combined recoil of each shot can allow you to hover with one pistol, or actually fly into the air (or through walls) with two.
  • In Team Fortress 2, one of the Scout's unlockable weapons is a shotgun with such ridiculous recoil that the player is also knocked back when it's fired in mid-air.
    • Said weapon, when aimed downwards, can provide a third jump on top of the Scout's usual double-jump.
    • Strangely, the Pyro's regular flamethrower alternate fire, the airblast, can reflect projectiles (including arrows!) but does not push the player around, only enemies. This is probably because the Pyro would get 10 extra jumps if the airblast did have recoil.
  • Sauerbraten does this nicely vertically and horizontally. Combined with RocketJumping, you can reach heights unbelievable to the uninitiated.
  • In Half Life, the Tau Cannon has enough recoil to send a player across the map and is put to good use in the fastest speedruns.

Miscellaneous Games

  • In Glider PRO, rubber bands can be used this way to great effect (especially to break loose from cobwebs), though the two-shot limit complicates things somewhat.


  • In the popular MMORPG Maple Story, the gunslinger class has a skill called "Recoil Shot" to help propel itself backwards.
  • In an example similar to the 8BitTheater mention (and possibly homage to it) the World of Warcraft Redridge quest line features a moment where the re-assembled team of veterans travels across the lake to the orc fortress - and the team mage uses a fire spell aimed to the back of the boat as a makeshift jet engine.
  • In Elsword, the character Chung(or Lacher in japan) does this with his BFG . His "Shooting Guardian" promotion and it's subsequent upgrade expand on this, getting additional air time with handgun shots.

Platform Game

  • In the SNES Duck Dodgers game, firing your blaster in the opposite direction helps you make extra-long jumps.
  • Duke Nukem II had the flame thrower. It'll propel you upward if you fire it downward, all right.
  • Firing Plasma Gun in Purple blasts you off to the opposite direction, allowing to jump over wide gaps by firing downwards.
  • Many of the secrets in Iji require you to use horizontal rocket jumps, although one secret in a Komoto warship requires you to use the lesser Recoil Boost due to a low ceiling and much shorter gap.


  • In another twist of the Developers Thinking Of Everything, you can make use of the recoil of throwing things to move about when levitating in Nethack.
  • ADOM has a low friction ice level, where you can't walk. Moving around there is done exclusively by the way of thrown item recoil boost (and kicking off walls). Getting recoil boost off a potion of uselessness is its only use - and for subverting the name, the gods themselves reward you.

Shoot Em Up

  • The 2D platform shooter Soldat has a minigun that has a very high recoil and provides leverage if fired downwards.
  • This is actually part of the design for the Druuge Mauler in Star Control II. The recoil of its weapon is so fantastic that it propels you quite powerfully in the opposite direction. A couple of shots can put you at maximum speed. This is great because the ship's engines are pretty slow. Also justified because it's In Space. Strangely, none of the other ships, including those that use projectile weapons, exhibit any form of weapon-induced inertia.
  • Taken to its logical extreme in the retro flash game Maverick, where the point of the game is to travel around on the recoil of your two six-shooters. Which naturally have Bottomless Magazines.
  • Liero had ridiculous recoil on several weapons. Sometimes it was even more efficient to recoil-jump than using the Grappling Hook!

Survival Horror

  • In freeware survival game Notrium, the Sniper Pistol packs massive recoil and can be used for fast travelling in lieu of the Propulsion Boots.

Turn Based Strategy

  • In each of the first two Super Robot Wars Original Generation games, the Hagane fired its Tronium Cannon with the compensators disabled, allowing the severely damaged ship to escape the map from the recoil. The first time, it's done to breach the artificial planet Neviim by firing point blank. The second is generally considered a CMoA for Captain Daitetsu Minase, especially considering that he was literally dying from a mortal wound at the time.

Wide Open Sandbox

  • Grand Theft Auto III had a working Tank. If you rotated the turret to face behind you, firing a shot would propel you forwards. Timing this right could give you a much higher top speed, and, with the correct cheat, allow you to fly. In a Tank.
  • Cortex Command provides several weapons with nice recoil. The heavy digger can be used with very light actors (such as skeletons) to lift them in the air or cushion their fall. Some guns have been designed that have so much recoil that they must be fired with a massive mech; you can fire them with any actor, but most will just explode.

Non-video game examples:

Anime And Manga


  • In The a Team, this is done with a tank's main gun. Awesomely.
    • Note: They don't do it to make the tank travel faster along the ground. The tank is falling out of the sky (there was an exploding airplane involved) and they fired the tank gun downwards repeatedly. To make the tank fly. Seriously.
      • Actually, the fire the gun sideways to push the tank towards a lake. They fire downwards at the end to 'soften' the impact. And yes, it IS awesome.
      • For anyone who wants a full summary of what happens in this scene-They're in the C-130 and one of the two RQ-9 Reapers fires a missile at it. The team barricade themselves in the tank which falls out of the destroyed plane and deploys it's parachutes. Face gets on the .50 machine gun and shoots down one of the reapers, unfortunately the debris cuts two of their three parachutes off, but the one parachute that's left is conveniently in the rear so it keeps the tank straight, an that's why it doesn't tumble in the air thus allowing them to steer themselves with the main gun. When they shoot to the side to get closer to the lake, they shoot down the other reaper, with a tank gun. Yes that awesome.


  • Wax uses a large-caliber gun to push himself sideways when he's flying around at significantly reduced weight in The Alloy of Law.
  • In Halo: Cole Protocol Lieutenant Jacob Keyes orders his men to use this technique to escape from a Insurrectionist freighter. Justified in that they're all in space so their guns would act like backup thrusters.

Tabletop Games

  • The "Recoil Rocket" perk from GURPS: Gun Fu works this way.
  • From Warhammer 40000, the Orks believe that a proper gun should be big, loud, and gives a satisfying bang when it goes off (of course, being heavy and sturdy enough to use it to bash with is fundamental). Most of them modify their guns to produce quite a kick, impractical as it makes it, even for them; and even have looted tanks modified for bigger booms and more recoil.

Web Comics


 Anakin: I pull back on the control stick. We need to come in level.

R2-D2: Not crazy enough!

Obi-Wan: Aim for that runway. It could be long enough.

R2-D2: Not crazy enough!

Anakin: I raise the flaps to increase our drag.

R2-D2: Not crazy enough!

Obi-Wan: I dump the excess fuel!

R2-D2: Not crazy enough!

Anakin: No! Wait until just before we hit the ground. I'll fire all our missiles downwards at point blank range. The explosion will cushion our landing.


R2-D2: Too crazy!

Anakin: Trust me.


Western Animation

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