Favorite Idle Animations?


One of my favorite little touches in games are idle animations, watching what your character does if you leave the controller completely untouched for a moment or two. A flip of their hair or just a quick inspection of their weapon adds so much character to a protagonist and makes the world feel that much more lived in and dynamic. Tiny little details like this make me believe that developers were really passionate enough about the project they were making to add something that many players might never even notice or care about. So what are your favorite animations in games? What sort of thing makes you say to yourself "Wow, I can’t believe they really took the time to add that in here!"



Monster Bash (DOS)

Johnny would shoot his slingshot at the screen and leave a visible crack until you moved him again. (This was the only picture I could find of it though, before he shoots :C)

It seemed very cool and edgy when I was a kid.


This is the one.




Still sounds cool, probably still very edgy, don’t worry.


Love this one, stuff like this that gives so much personality to characters in games that are essentially just blank slates


I’m not sure if you could count it as an idle animation but I kinda love that in MGS4 if you don’t touch the controller and attempt to escape from Ocelot’s grasp in the climactic fight, he’ll kiss Solid Snake on the cheek.

In regards to actual idle animations, I really like all the animations relating to your hands in Bioshock. They’re so gross, it’s great. I also like how the idle animation for the wrench in Prey mimics the one that was used in the original Bioshock.


Ah. The good ol’ Russian taunt. A classic.


Man you’re not kidding with those Bioshock animations. I remember how striking and grotesque the charred hand looked and moved with the incinerate plasmid or how repulsive the insect swarm one was, what a piece of work that game is




I don’t have the image on hand, but I recall seeing a Twitter GIF of the main character from Persona 5 having a unique idle animation when he first changes into his Phantom Thief outfit, where he strains to get a look at himself in surprise. Real good.


I really wish I had the time to dive into those games. A series dripping with style like that must have the dopest animations tucked away throughout.


Love 90s Capcom sprite animators, especially in Darkstalkers. Lei-lei is my favorite.


I have two. The first is the female undead in WoW. When her hands are empty she constantly closes her hands into loose fists and then opens them again, and she’ll also twist her upper body around to look from side to side/behind her. As someone who’s pretty nervous and fidgety herself, I identified pretty strongly with this, to the point where I rarely rolled anything else.

My other one is from Night in the Woods. Mae’s ear twitch is perfect.


Why is the motion of that sleeve so damn satisfying to watch



I like to think that game originally featured humans and then someone thought of how cool that ear twitch would be and said “alright just make everyone an animal I guess”


I remember finding the Crash Bandicoot idle animation where he juggles the fruit transfixing when I was a kid. The fact that you’d put down the controller and he’d do something like that without any player input made him feel more alive, which was pretty mind blowing to a seven year old.

Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon had some pretty cute idle animations too. For some reason I can’t find videos of either of these though, which is a shame.


I always found Elena’s idle animation in Street Fighter 3 to be incredibly well animated and conveying a really impressive amount of depth for a 2D sprite: