Take the 2-minute tour ×
Arqade is a question and answer site for passionate videogamers on all platforms. It's 100% free, no registration required.

In Portal, there's an in-game option called "Portal funnel" with a painfully simple description:

The computer helps you aim into floor portals.

I don't understand what this is supposed to mean. Does "aim" refer to the portal gun crosshair? No, turning it off doesn't disable the crosshair. Why would I "aim into floor portals"? I can't shoot a portal into an area if it's already occupied by the other portal.

As I toggle it on and off while playing through the game, I don't notice anything different, so what really is this meant to do?

It should be noted that this option is completely absent in Portal 2. I'm assuming it's enabled by default somehow, since it's also on by default in the first Portal and they pretty much use the same portaling engine (and the same portal gun).

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 19 down vote accepted

When you perform a fling, or when you're falling from the ceiling to the floor repeatedly to get the Terminal Velocity achievement, do you notice yourself being pulled toward the center of the portal you're falling into?

That's funneling: the phenomenon of being drawn toward a portal even though you may be a slight distance away from its center, such that you would have landed on the floor instead of passing through it had you fallen straight down. It's akin to filling a bottle by pouring the liquid through a funnel to ensure that it doesn't spill out of its narrow bottleneck:

Funneling is most useful during high-speed maneuvers such as flings where you don't have a lot of air-time to aim yourself directly at the portal into which you're hurtling. (Suddenly the description given by the Options dialog makes much more sense.) If you disable this option, you're more likely to land on the ground rather than make it through a floor portal if you're off-center, forcing you to have to attempt the fling again.

This option corresponds to the sv_player_funnel_into_portals variable in the console (which, by the way, has a much better description IMO):

"sv_player_funnel_into_portals" = "1"
 game archive replicated
 - Causes the player to auto correct toward the center of floor portals.

It also exists in Portal 2, enabled by default as with the first Portal, but isn't accessible in the Options menu so you have to set it using the console. As with most other Boolean settings, 1 is enabled and 0 is disabled.

I'm just going to leave it enabled in both games, even though I'm apparently good enough with portal flinging to not notice anything different in normal gameplay.

share|improve this answer
I believe you have to be looking reasonably in the direction of the portal for it to funnel you, since I often find that my vertical infinites stop quickly once I stop looking down. –  Toomai Feb 2 '13 at 23:58
@Toomai: Good point - that could be what the game means when it says "aim into floor portals". –  BoltClock Feb 3 '13 at 5:31

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.