Promode movement: Art meets Science

This article was originally written by ix, I have tried to renovate it and add some new stuff.

There is a lot of myth and misinformation surrounding promode movement, people have heard that it is just a QW-remake and will have had this belief reinforced by ex-QW players boasting of their 'l33t' bunny hopping speed in promode. In this article I will explain what I understand of the movement and tricks available in promode, if there are errors or types of trick that I have missed please feel free to add comment.


Players have a number of odd names for jumps: strafe jumps, bunny hops, circle jumps etc and not all players mean the same things when they apply these terms. To avoid making up pointless new names I am going to hijack these terms and try to define them more exactly. When you try some of these ideas I strongly suggest that you use ch_drawspeed 1 to see your speed in ups (units per second, one unit is approximately an inch). These explanations are not intended to teach you how to do the following, for that you need to read other sites or get someone to teach you on a server. Watching demos of Vo0, koddy and vamp1re is useful too, they are not the best maybe but demos can show you some tricks and figure out what they do to gain speed. Speed running demos are also good, checkout the defrag mod demos for some good examples.

Circle jump:

This is the first jump you do of every series of jumps. The first part of the circle jump is the circling motion you make on the ground, you turn the mouse through 45-90 degrees gaining speed by the same mechanism as a strafe jump while holding a direction key or two, forwards and a strafe are best for the second part of this jump but for the first part it makes no difference. This turn has a different sweet spot to the in air strafe jumping turn though so must be learnt to get the best results which are speeds approaching 495 ups (promode pummel fights are FAST) on the ground. The second part of this jump is a normal strafe jump turning in the air while holding forwards and strafe to gain speed. I aim to gain over 100 ups per normal period in the air (the faster you go the harder it gets as the sweet spot for acceleration gets closer and closer to 90 degrees to your direction of travel due to the movement code and speeds of more then 1100 ups are hard to get by strafe jumping) so in theory you could aim to land on the ground after your first circle jump at 595 ups, I've managed about 570 but normally get far less. After your first jump you will be travelling at over 495 ups so from now on the ground is your enemy, you want nothing to do with it so don't flail about with strange attempts to gain more speed on the ground after your first jump. There is also no link that I am aware of between the jump and gaining speed, I just use the jump as a timing mechanism for switching left and right strafes.

Practice: load up pro-q3dm6 and go to the pillars between the RA and the RL. Cirle jump towards a pillar without pressing jump, if you get it right you will make it across the gap. Another practice jump is the jump pad-gap in cpm3a nearby the upper RL. When you think you are reasonable at combining the circle with the strafe jump try distance jumps: pro-q3dm6 again, jump from the RA to the second set of pillars in one go. Once you've got that down the absolute limit jump is the bridge to rail in only one jump (as in you do a circle jump followed by in air strafe jumping acceleration, run-ups are for wimps.

Strafe jumping:

Once you have done your circle jump you should strafe jump for maximum speed gain. Strafe jumping is the best way to gain speed until around 850ups when I find bunny hopping more effective so unless you are travelling around a corner you should always be strafe jumping. Strafe jumping is holding down forwards and one of the strafe buttons while you turn the mouse, it is the turning that creates new vectors and accelerates you, holding just strafe and forwards will do nothing. The turn should be away from your direction of travel and keep it as smooth and gentle as possible. The sweet spot is something you have to get a feel for by practicing lots, practicing with a very low sensitivity helps although sensitivity has nothing to do with movement, it just makes it easy to tell where the sweet spot is and remember that as you get faster the sweet spot gets further to the left and right of your direction of travel. To explain a little, the sweet spot is the point at which you gain the maximum acceleration per frame (2.56 ups thanks to Coriolis for this figure. It could be up to 3.2 if arQon is correct) from the strafe jumping bug. Since you spend approximately 0.8 seconds in the air per jump at 125 fps that is 0.8*125*2.56 = 256, this means you could in theory gain 256 ups per jump or be at 751 ups after ONE jump, in practice we suck.

Switching sides of strafe can gain you a little speed because it will help you get to the sweet spot briefly due to the new vectors created (explaining would take time ) but it is mainly useful as a way of avoiding running out of mouse mat. You must also be careful not to lose speed when switching sides by taking the angle of the forward+strafe turn (remember that this is at 45 degrees to the direction you are facing) much more then 90 degrees beond the direction of your movement (not that hard when you are facing 45 degrees right and then switch to 45 degrees left).

To practice getting the sweet spot try the banana jump. This is a set of three jumps that make a gradually sharper turn all in one direction, if you saw yourself from above the arc might look a little like a banana. You keep the mouse turning in one direction at a gradually increasing rate. A proficient player will be at 700 ups at least when they hit the ground after the third jump.

Distance jumps worth practicing are: the bridge to rail in two jumps in pro-q3dm6, the top of q3tourney4 in two, top of q3dm12 using three jumps in an arc across to the RL platform (needs good use of the in air acceleration during the last jump). Jumping the middle room of q3dm8 from the top level is also fun. If these are all child's play give my latest jump a try. Starting in the RL/YA room on cpm13 strafe jump down the corridor towards the quad room, turning the corner and jump the gap towards the other side of the room. You will need to finish at round 800 ups to make it.

Bunny hopping:

This is much like strafe jumping except that you hold only one of the two strafe keys and you gain air control. The acceleration sweet spot is in a different place but is just as important as with strafe jumping, if you can get the sweet spot while cornering you can gain speed and at higher speeds you can avoid losing it (beond 650 ups a bunny hopping turn will lose speed if you turn too tightly because your strafe ends up being more then 90 degrees (approximately, it is a dot product) from your direction of travel so it slows you down. So to use bunny hopping at higher speeds you have to get the sweet spot and find racing lines for the corners, quite literally because you want to find the best turn and the earliest point at which you can accelerated by returning to using strafe jumping (although as I have mentioned you should stick with bunny hopping beond 850 ups). This speed lose can also be to your advantage because it allows you to keep some speed around sharper corners then would be possible without it.

There are two ways to practice bunny hopping in my opinion, pure speed practice, load q3dm16 and bunny in a huge loops around it, you should be able to get up to 1200 ups, after that is gets very hard to gain speed due to the turn slowing you. The other way is control in enclosed spaces, this is keeping yourself at 500+ ups in winding corridors. cpm4a and q3dm14 are perfect places to practice this, especially learning to use duck to avoid hitting your head on low ceilings.

The art of promode movement is learning when to use strafe jumping or air control and which of the two air controls you use (strafe with its acceleration but speed loss, forwards with no speed loss but less control and no acceleration).

Double jumps:

Double jump is actually a bit of a misnomer and these are not very much like the Q2 ones, learn that and they are much more useful. First of all they are multi-jumps, with the right level you could string any number of them together. The second and very important difference compared with q2 double jumps is that they are not a double jump, they are a 200 unit height boost if you jump under 400 ms after your previous jump. This allows you to use a number of tricks to gain this 200 unit boost, the first of these is a tele double. Jump into a tele and out of the other side, you will gain the extra height. This is very useful on cpm3a and cpm1a, you can jump into the cpm1a tele, do a quick circle jump in under 400 ms and jump directly across to the YA, the same on cpm3a.

The next double jump trick I have called a ceiling double. You use a low ceiling to jump, hit the ceiling and jump off the floor again in under 400 ms to gain the height boost. This is useful in a suprising number of places, the red armour on q3dm14tmp being one as it allows you to escape through the hole at the back.

The third double trick is a step double. In Q3 if you walk into a wall that is only a few units high (like a step), I think it is 16 units, you get stepped up until you are on top of it. If you jump during this (has to be within a frame the jump occurs but doesn't give you any height so your next jump will be a double. I've not found a place where this is useful since it is too hard to do consistently but you could theoretically use it to brush off the edge of a staircase and then double off some lower ground. It also means that almost any change in floor height should be double jumpable (really tiny ones don't seem to be). I'm also not sure where this trick ends and the ability to jump off two consecutive surfaces begins. This might be why you can double off stairs normally. It would also be interesting to experiment with lower com_maxfps values to make this stepup easier to get.

Ramp jumps:

Angled surfaces with friction allow you to do two things depending on your angle. If you jump off them while facing uphill you will gain height and lose speed, the amount of height gained depending on your speed. This can be combined with the double jump to do ludicrous jumps like the ramp double at grenade launcher on cpm4a to the top. Jumping on an angled surface while heading downhill gives you a forward speed boost, seemingly giving you more if you are travelling downwards faster.

You'll want to practice the really big'uns to get this right. Load up cpm4a and go to the lower RL, near the LG. There are loads of little projections on the walls that can be double jumped off to the middle or top level. Try the one by the GL to the top. This can be done from a circle jump although it is easier after having done a complete jump to gain the speed. You should go straight to the top if you are going fast enough and jump before you bang into the wall. Another jump that mixes perfecting the circle jump with a ramp double is on cpm13. Go to the RL/YA room and double the large ramp alongside the stairs towards the corridor to quad. From a standing start you can double jump off this ramp to the top level using a circle jump.

Ninja skills and weird shit:

You've come a long way, baby. These are that last few tricks and ideas I have, if you find uses for the weird ones please comment. :)

To go quickly and silently down a staircase crouch and press forwards, you can get to 220ups and make no noise.

More experienced players will probably have used wall running before. You angle your player into the wall and hold strafe and forwards, this will accelerate you up to 495 ups depending on how close you get to the optimum angle. This can be used to travel down corridors at nearly 500 ups silently or as an easy way of crossing little gaps without jumping like the gap above the bounce pads on cpm3a and cpm1a. That is the ninja skills (yeah I ain't got many, send me more), now the weird shit.

Bouncing off nothing to great heights. At some time or other most Q3 players will have fallen for a great height and then have been quite suprised to either bounce back to that height or gain a huge forwards speed. The former and possible the latter is due to the player temporarily entering a part of the map that the engine thinks you should not have. You drop slightly into the floor so the engine shoots you out just as fast as you came in. ztn3dm1 has a couple of places where you can do this in the RA room and I've occassionally experienced it in other places although haven't found a way to consistently use it. Gaining a large forwards speed very suddenly might be similar to this or might be a way of converting downwards speed into forwards speed.

Another weird thing is stairs giving you a speed boost. Walk to the edge of a staircase with small steps like those on q3dm6. Press forwards to gain you a little speed and release. Now watch your speed, you will keep getting weird little boosts of speed. I assume that this is why the crouching while going down stairs thing works. A more fun but hard to utilise version is to fall onto a staircase from a great height, sometimes I've skied down then very quickly and gained a few hundred ups (the shovq2dm1 stairs below PG and GL in the main room when jumping from the top at GL are good for this). If players could figure this out and use it consistently that would be great, skiing in promode would 0wn j00.

You can also do lots of rocket assists for huge speed like in QW/Halflife, promode CA will be insane when players get their movement sorted.

Misc stuff:

Check the map called b0_beta6, it has lot's of tricks from CPMA maps and few additional tricking room. Also you might want to check:

mew mastering b0 part 1
mew mastering b0 part 2
mew mastering b0 part 3

Are you able to guess what techniques mew is using when jumping?

Behind this link are the tutorial demos made by shaun. Those demos includes lot's of tips for movement learning.

Now go and practice and share any useful tricks you find in
Good stuff varma.

I find the hardest bit in cpm movement [basic stuff] is figuring out the technique (easier when people tell/teach) If you're having problems ask in & usually someone will hop on with a few pointers.
Those demos are really good and if u just ask people for example Loekino teached me so basic movement.
LoLkino teaching movement is about the same as woman changing tyres to car.
nice pharma. but this was all basic stuff only!
So what else do you need?

If you want to do experienced trick try this:

Load cpm22 and jump behind the stairs to RA with one jump (not from shaft).
I know only one guy who has been able to jump that circle.
i was just kidding x)
yep. it was me.
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