In Anthem, Falling Is Faster Than Flying

BioWare’s new loot shooter Anthem really nails the feeling of flying around in Iron Man-style exosuits, except when dive-bombing. As players have learned, it turns out the fastest way to get around in the game’s world is by simply falling.

While it’s nice to pause every once in a while and take in the beautiful sights, of which Anthem has many, the fact that it’s a game based on grinding for loot means players spend a lot of time doing the same stuff, in the same places, over and over again.

Repeatedly playing through one of the game’s Stronghold missions, like the Tyrant Mine, means getting to know it like the back of your hand and figuring out how to finish as quickly as possible. So it didn’t take long for players to discover that falling in one of Anthem’s Javelins is a lot faster than flying.

How much faster? I did a handful of tests of my own in the initial starting area in free-play right outside of Fort Tarsis to find out. Every area in Anthem has an invisible ceiling. Fly up to it and the game will eventually envelope you in a wind tunnel and redirect you back toward the ground.

Going up to this point right above the first waterfall in the Ranger Javelin, I used the stopwatch on my phone to track how long it took to hit the ground.

In free fall it took 4.84 seconds the first time. Pointing my Javelin straight down and using its thrusters at max throttle it took 9.72 seconds. I did this four more times and got similar results. Based on these preliminary tests, falling in Anthem is about twice as fast as flying.

It might not sound like much, but Anthem’s world has a ton of verticality. A lot of the map is divided into high plateaus abutted by large canyons and just about every underground cavern has at least a couple of large plummets. Of course, some players have found even more exotic means of getting around faster, like linking together canceled melee attack animations to conserve momentum. Where there’s loot, players will find a way.

Logically it doesn’t make much sense, but that hasn’t stopped a number of players from debating science fiction physics on the game’s subreddit. Some argue that of course the pull of gravity aided by a rocket should be faster than gravity alone. Others claim that since flying downwards in Anthem cools off your engines, the added air intake is probably what’s slowing the Javelins down.

Either way, the end result is that no one piloting a Javelin’s going to be able to save someone falling from a crumbling building anytime soon. Unless they start falling, too.


    Haven't played the game myself so this could be completely wrong, but from what I've read about it flying is actually quite slow. They pull the camera out and blur the screen to make it seem fast, but you're actually going at around the same speed you would sprinting in most games.

      Flying is definitely faster than being on foot, but it wasn't the Iron Man feeling of mach 3 sort of thing. When travelling across a map I wouldn't want to be running it either though.

      If you look at how high they are in those videos though, even covering it in ~9 seconds is comparatively fast. The game is very tall. Still, falling at twice the speed is a bit of a difference.

      It's much faster than walking (both in terms of speed and not worrying about terrain) but you're not travelling about like a thunderbolt or anything like that.

      Yeah nah, you can quite easily pass sprinting players when flying even if it's running interceptor vs flying colossus.

    Theoretically the increased drag from the extension of ailerons and whatnot during flight could slow the terminal velocity to below what the javelin could achieve simply by falling. Kind of a long bow though.

    Also if you land on ground from a high enough height it plays a longer landing animation so that would slow you down somewhat over just flying down (collossus can alleviate this by meleeing down from whatever height and then jump cancelling just before landing tho - the melee animation gives you more sideways momentum too)

      Rule 1 of video games: is it fun?
      They should just speed all flying up to the fall speed

    Annoyingly, freefall doesn't cool your jets to buy you more flight time, but running on the ground does.

    How? Why? Noreally, HOW?

      Magic planet.

        "A wizard The Anthem did it. Didn't you see the waterfalls falling upwards in the first mission? MAGIC!"

        The gods left the planet unfinished...

    It's not falling, it's running out of fuel with style.

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