In first-person shooter computer and video games, rocket jumping is the technique of pointing a rocket launcher or other similar explosive weapon at the ground or at a wall then firing and jumping at the same time. The rocket's explosion propels the player to greater heights and distances than otherwise possible. The aim of this technique is to reach areas that are either unreachable altogether, or unreachable from that position on the map quickly and/or efficiently. One downside of this technique is that the rocket blast usually injures the player; this can be coupled with further damage if the player falls large distances to the ground. This effect makes the technique less useful in games where the damage from the blast, fall, or both is high. In many games a well executed rocket jump results in a minimal damage, and a larger boost. In addition, in games with team damaging disabled, a teammate can use his rocket to jump someone else. The technique is used especially in competitive play where it is used in order to get to the middle capture point quickly in order to get an advantage over the other team, or in Speedrunning. In Quake III: Arena some of the computer-controlled opponents use rocket jumps.
Rocket jumping has appeared in several games in a variety of forms, sometimes as a form of Emergent gameplay. A horizontal form of rocket jumping appears in Doom (1993), where it is used to reach the secret exit in E3M6 (it is possible to reach the exit without rocket jumping, but this technique was the intended method according to John Romero). The first games to feature vertical rocket jumping were Bungie Software's Marathon and 3D Realms' Rise of the Triad (coincidentally, the two games launched on the same day, although the full version of Rise of the Triad came later). Rocket jumping became very popular in the original Quake (1996), and was used as an advanced technique for deathmatch play as well as for the Quake done Quick series. In Half-Life's (1998) multiplayer mode, the tau cannon can be used to launch the player into the air. In the Call of Duty series of games explosives such as rockets and grenades are frequently used in order to gain access to an otherwise unreachable area of a level. In the multiplayer game Team Fortress 2 (2007), the Soldier class has a powerful rocket jump ability. This is fully integrated as a feature of the class, even appearing in one of the game's official trailer videos, and official game updates gave soldiers a unique rocket jumping animation. The Demoman class can also "sticky jump" similar to rocket jumping by using his remote-detonated sticky bombs. It became quite popular in its previous incarnation, Team Fortress Classic. Updates to the game have included special footwear that help protect from damage as a result of rocket jumping, such as the "Gunboats." There have also been weapons that encourage rocket and sticky jumping, such as the "Mantreads", the "Market Gardener", the "Rocket Jumper", and the "Sticky Jumper." Rocket jumping also appears in Unreal (1998) and Unreal Tournament, where the player can fire Eightball rockets beneath their feet and gain altitude. In that game it is also possible to perform a similar move, the "hammer jump" with the Impact Hammer.
Rocket jumping has appeared in other media as well. In the live-action film Transformers, the character Ironhide performs a rocket jump over a screaming woman after transforming from his truck mode.
In the film Planet Terror, lead character Cherry Darling uses her false leg, a machine gun with underslung grenade launcher, to rocket jump over a tall wall.
In the film Tokyo Gore Police, lead character Ruka uses a bazooka to rocket jump to a building's rooftop.
Grenade jumping is the same action, except throwing a grenade underneath yourself while jumping to achieve the same effect.
In League of Legends, the character Tristana uses an ability of the same name.
In Freddie Wong's and Brandon Laatsch's video "The Rocket Jump", the rocket jump is featured as the main part of the YouTube short.
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