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Once upon a time, player characters walked by default. So, players held the run button down in action games, or counseled new players in MMORPG to hit the run/walk toggle. For convenience, many games now have the player characters constantly running unless they deliberately switch to walking — if that's even an option — since that's what players would do anyway. Sometimes, the only choices are run or run faster.

With the use of analog controllers, characters now do have walking animations, but walking tends to be extremely slow, much slower than any natural walking gait.

Occasionally, the only way to slow down is to move in a crouch.

See also: Sprint Meter

Examples of Run, Don't Walk include:

  • In City of Heroes, you can leap tall buildings in a single bound, run faster than a speeding bullet, teleport in the blink of an eye, and even fly — but you cannot walk.
    • This is especially painful since NPC civilians (and Mooks) could walk around the streets.
    • Several promotional videos showed Superheroes walking. The developers admitted this was a hack and it couldn't be done in-game.
    • A minor update finally added the Walk toggle power. It shuts off all other toggles, though, so you shouldn't use it in combat.
  • Evolution Worlds has this
  • This was lampshaded in Fallout 2. In a city inhabited entirely by Ghouls, you run into an old Ghoul who previously lived in another all-ghoul city that featured heavily in the original Fallout. When talking about the Hero from the previous game, he mentions that what stood out the most about him was that he was always running, all over the place, which left quite an impression on the ghouls — since they couldn't manage much more than a shamble.
  • Super Metroid used a run button, which made Samus go faster than normal and also triggered the Speed Booster power when she collected it later. This button was notorious for being frequently overlooked; new players would inevitably get stuck on the noob bridge, where it was first required. The later 2D installments, Fusion and Zero Mission, do away with this system; instead, you run all the time (especially fast in Zero Mission) and the Speed Booster kicks in on its own when you run far enough. This was done to accomodate the GBA's fewer buttons, and it's convenient, but unfortunately eliminates the Good Bad Bugs from Super that work by monkeying around with the run button to hit top speed faster.
  • The manifold Madden NFL games have a "speed burst" option that is less a burst and more a rush. However, its competitor, Sega Sports NFL 2K5, had a real, no-foolin' speed burst that required you to press a button at the right time.
  • In the Tomb Raider games, using the walk button prevents Lara from dashing off cliffs; when walking, she'll stop at the edge. Given the animation's exaggerated hip-sway, it could better be called the "saunter" button.
    • Amusingly, the walk button also changes an entirely unrelated animation - jumping while holding "walk" makes her perform a graceful dive. Which could instantly kill you if you did it on a slightly long drop, snapping Lara's neck unless you hit deep water.
  • Fallout 3 encourages running most the time. To find good post-battle loot in the clutter and darkness under the low glow of your Pipboy it's better to walk, and to pull back your camera for a high angle view. And the female model's "saunter" is sometimes the most eye-catching thing you can find.
    • In the first two Fallout games, as well as Fallout: Tactics, running automatically disabled sneak mode. This made it very important for some character builds to avoid running in most dangerous areas. In Fallout 3, running simply makes you somewhat noisier. In all games, however, there's a perk that allows running in sneak mode, thereby playing the trope completely straight even for sneaky characters in the middle of a battlefield.
  • The Sands of Time series of Prince of Persia uses the same mechanic, but the console versions don't have a walk button, they rely on good analog stick control.
    • The original Prince of Persia was one of the earliest games to make running the default, and very slow walking (which was done by holding down the shift key).
    • Notably, both games have a reason for walking slowly - it enables you to get past spike traps without setting them off.
  • Sly Cooper's default movement speed is "sneak", but it's relatively fast. The run button makes him more detectable to the guards.
  • The Mega Man Battle Network games used B as a run button in the overworld. Later games introduced a Navi Customizer program that you can install into MegaMan.EXE to make him run all the time. The sequel series Mega Man Star Force has dispensed with this — now you just run all the time.
  • In Little Big Adventure 1 (a.k.a Relentless), the character would get hurt when running in a wall. This was supposed to avoid this kind of behaviour, but it was so unpopular that it was removed in the next game.
  • Stealth games in general tend to avoid this. Running around tends not to be very stealthy, so it's best to move as slowly as possible.
  • Similiary, some games (especially FPS games with optional stealth sequences) advertise walking as being stealthier.
  • Some early Final Fantasy games had the passive Dash ability that allowed the part to run instead of walking. The remakes on the other hand offer this ability as a menu option. This sometimes stacks with the ingame ability, allowing the party to move even faster.
  • World of Warcraft has annoying tendency for Escort Mission characters to walk, as opposed to the running (or even mounted) players. They do walk faster than the players normal walk speed aswell, forcing the player stop every once in a while or switch between run and walk mode.
    • It is, however, worse when the NPC decides to run. E.g., one of the final quests on Bloodmyst Isle, where you follow this running demolitions expert, who manages to aggro guys, helps you fight them, and then runs ahead at top speed while you're trying to recoup your mana.
    • At least World of Warcraft has a run/walk switch for player characters, although most people probably aren't even aware it exists, and it finds its primary use in roleplaying.
      • Walking might as well be the roleplaying mode flag since no one except for the roleplayers use the walk toggle for extended periods.
  • Fable I suffered due to the run button being tied for use with the "flourish" (an unblockable attack) button, leading to instances of killing one baddie, and trying to run up to another, only to have the hero leap in the air and slam his sword into the dirt, not only slowing your progress, but wasting the move. Bit ridiculous in the PC version, where you have 36 buttons plus symbols rather than the 8 of the Xbox.
  • In the FPS games Command and Conquer: Renegade and 007 Nightfire, the character automatically runs, and Shift must be held down to walk (presumably for stealth, but it usually didn't make much of a difference).
  • Lampshaded in the RPG Siege of Avalon: a character asks the hero how he can stand to run so much, and he responds with something like "When my cause is just, I never tire".
  • In Golden Sun, Isaac walks so slowly on the world map that it is practically required to use the run button.
    • Golden Sun Dark Dawn does the complete opposite by making you run by default with the D-pad, which made it too easy to over shoot a door or a tree you're tying to go to. Using the touch screen allowed you to walk if desired.
  • The Pokemon series has, from the beginning, had a bike item that can be used to travel faster, as well as access an optional bike-only area. However, the bike usually took until well after the second Plot Coupon to get, so the third generation introduced the ability to run, which you gained earlier on. Neither the bike nor running could be done indoors (save a dungeon or three), which the fourth generation fixed. The bike has now morphed to being part of puzzles, as well, with certain areas requiring its usage.
    • Pokemon Ranger 2 has lampshaded this by the fact that one of the teachers and villian hates the fact that the protagonist runs all the time.
  • The Final Fantasy IV remake for the Nintendo DS allows the player to toggle between run and walk; walk is set as default with run applied with a held button, but the options can be switched in the menu to make run the default and walk triggered by the button. Given the unrealistically slow pace of the walking animation in comparison to the ground being covered (to the degree that it looks almost like moonwalking attempts), it's better to run everywhere, not simply to progress faster, but also to look less stupid while doing so.
  • The Touhou games provide a rare example of when a move-slow ("focus") button is really helpful. With Aya as a partner in Subterranean Animism, Reimu gets a third, ludicrously fast speed if she's not firing.
  • Most Castlevania games have just one run speed (and maybe a super-speed upgrade later), but Circle of the Moon has a powerup that lets you run by double-tapping left or right. This makes longer jumps possible. Unfortunately, it also makes you realize how slow the normal walk is.
    • Richter Belmont had this same ability in Symphony of the Night, and Alucard could get it too, but only in the Saturn version.
    • Shanoa can find the Rapidus Fio glyph in Order of Ecclesia, which is the game's equivalent to running. And when I say equivalent, I mean "walking normally, but moving at super-speed, with a wind shockwave".
  • In Half Life (and most of its mods and games with the same engine), it was possible to walk by holding shift, which would slow you down, and crouch by holding control, which would slow you down even further. Either option made you silent.
    • Walking IS useful in Counter-Strike since most players run all over the place Quake-style, sneaking can get you an advantage since you can hear them coming but they don't hear you (they might even accuse you of camping if you don't make noise).
  • In the Unreal series, walking prevents you from falling off cliffs or other sudden drops.
  • You can't walk in Guild Wars unless you've got some spell or something slowing you down. Or walking backwards, which doesn't really count. But if you are slowed, then you walk, with a perfectly fine walking animation... and probably some mob on your case. A shame, since the game is kind of pretty (in some places). Granted, it would probably be quite the unhelpful feature given how it's much, much easier to grief in the game by being intentionally bad at it than by being unevenly matched....
  • In the Metal Gear series, it being a stealth game and all, occassionally it was rather annoying if you hit the analog stick just a tad too hard so the sneaking turned into a short run or made Snake/Raiden do a roll all of a sudden. this is especially annoying when a guard happens to be close (which is the only reason making you sneak in the first place) and is suddenly alarmed by your louder movement. Dang it.
  • There is a bonus in the Super Smash Brothers games with the same name as this trope. As you might guess, it's awarded for never walking during the entire battle.
  • All the characters in Team Fortress 2 run by default, although moving while crouched could be considered walking.
  • Played with in God Hand - Gene moves pretty fast as a default, but tapping twice and holding makes him run... which is his walking animation sped up.
  • Almost the entirety of Drakengard's gameplay consists of Caim tearing around various battlefields at top speed and murdering people left and right. In fact, if he runs long enough, he'll go into a dash, which allows him to perform a devastating "charging attack" that can flatten entire regiments of enemies. So why give him a walking animation? Well, because in one particular mission, he has to fight a horde of ghosts that "react to large movements". Which means, if he doesn't want to aggro them all at once, he has to walk. That one mission is the only time in the entire game that such a mechanic is used. And as if that wasn't enough, Caim is enough of a badass that he doesn't have too much trouble wiping out all the ghosts even if he does aggro them all at once.
  • Lampshaded in Final Fantasy VII, where Barret will complain about having to run up the stairs of a skyscrape. Cloud, on the other hand, won't even break a sweat.
  • Knights of the Old Republic features several speeds: the default jogging speed, a much faster speed if you cast Force Speed or take a stim to improve reaction, and a really slow stealth mode. And then there's the speed you walk at when in a space or underwater suit in the first game, where it takes about 4x as long as the default speed to get anywhere. They sped up the space suit movement in the second game, although this did make it look rather ridiculous, and also added the opportunity to run in stealth mode if you paid into that skill. Since many of the quests are spaced far apart, the faster speeds are definitely welcome.
    • There was also a walk function for the PC version of Knights of the Old Republic. However, due to a glitch or oversight on the part of the developers, they forgot to map the walk key to a button or allow you to do so yourself until a patch for the game added the functionality. The only thing it affects (besides slowing you down) is giving you a bonus to your Awareness (you receive a penalty while running, which was all you could do in v1.0). Therefore, walking in both Knights games is not only harder than running, it's mostly pointless.
  • Assassin's Creed has the player walking as default, since running tends to make guards suspicious.
  • The original Suikoden actually required a fairly rare Rune to be equipped to one of the team in order to run whatsoever, which meant that you wasted a slot that could have had powerful magic. Thankfully, the sequel corrected this. Also, another character, Stallion, comes permanently equipped with a rune that doubles his speed on the overworld as well within map screens.
  • Left 4 Dead has you always running unless you held down the walk or couch button. You would move slower if you were hurting.
  • Let's Plays in general: So much less fun to watch when you've played the game before, and know the LP'er has tripled the game play time by never holding down the run button.
  • In the Inazuma Eleven games, you hold B to run and release it to walk, although the options conveniently include a setting to reverse this so you run by default and hold B to walk.
  • Averted by Grand Theft Auto IV and Red Dead Redemption, at least in single player; the protagonists walk by default and the sprint button has to be held to allow them to jog, or rapidly tapped to go up to a full run.
  • In Halo, crouching or walking allows you to avoid tripping your opponents' motion sensors in multiplayer.