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Overview

Crouching allows players to stand down and reduce their height, by this way they can dodge some projectiles or pass under areas they can't pass without crouching like going through a vent or a small corridor. in some games we can't walk while crouched but in others mainly shooters we can. While the mechanic existed for years in 2d shooters,  platformers and fighting games, it's pretty new in 3D shooters (2.5 D games counts) In fact in 3D games it appeared first in System shock 1. System shock was the first FPS to have a wide asset of moves in addition to this. Of course all games with crouching adds a movement penalty like being unable to run or walk.

Automatic crouch

This mechanic mainly exists mainly in console games when there is a vent to go through our character automatically crouches to fit the size of the vent and when he is out he stands automatically. In new games with a cover system the character crouches automatically to stay undercover if the object in question is a concrete block for example, while of it's a wall the character stands.

Crouching in shooters

While crouching is often made to reduce our height and pass through small passages, in shooters the mechanic extends with some realism factors like having a better accuracy with weapons, a faster aim focus, etc ... while crouching.
Some other games like half life have a crouch jump, this allows a player to reach higher places than with jumping alone.

Crouching in games with a stealth component

When games have a stealth component crouching allow to be less visible towards the enemy's sight, when we crouch we can get closer the enemies without being spotted. This also makes the player making less noise than walking.

See also

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