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I saw that it is possible to crouch in Alien Swarm, but I didn't really understand its purpose.

Can someone explain it to me?

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

It's not possible to crouch, it's possible to walk (default binding is shift). When stationary and walking, the animation will show the marine crouched.

The purpose of walk is to be able to move slower when necessary (a rarity in my opinion), and also the minigun is constantly spinned when walking, just like if the alt fire is pressed. Oh, and it looks cool. That's about it.

All this is assuming you don't mean the defensive roll maneuver, which is something else completely, and allows you to evade projectiles (both enemy's and ally's).

EDIT: I've seen some posts in other forums that mention that "crouching" may improve accuracy (i.e. decrease the bullet spread). I've never noticed anything like this, and I browsed the game's source code and it seems that bullet spread does not depend on the stance.

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And all this time I was crouching hoping to improve my aiming... –  jmfsg Jul 30 '10 at 0:02
    
I was thinking the same as Juan. Oh god :) Thank you for the explanation –  Drake Jul 30 '10 at 7:44
    
+1 for the tip about the minigun. Here I was thinking it was just extremely difficult to use! –  JavadocMD Jul 31 '10 at 1:40
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Crouching is achieved by holding down the walk button (shift) and not moving. It doesn't improve your aim, but lowers your profile. Marines standing behind you will shoot over you without hitting you, pretty useful when you're in a crowded passage.

Edit: After @Oak pointed out it didn't work for him, I did some experimenting. It turns out that the effect is so small that it only works when shooting at targets on higher ground. So it's pretty useless, basically.

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Are you sure? I just tested it and bullets from friendly marines definitely hit and damaged me when I was "crouching" (holding shift when stationary). –  Oak Jul 31 '10 at 15:26
    
The effect is minimal, you'll only notice a difference if you're aiming upwards (e.g. if aliens are on higher ground). So it's mostly useless. –  Zano Jul 31 '10 at 23:31
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