Flying Guide by quickbeam

Updated: 03/18/13 | Printable Version

                    ~~~Journey: Advanced Flying Techniques Guide~~~

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ascii art by
jmw and jgs: see
for more by jgs


First written March 5th, 2013 Written and compiled by Jeffrey M Wirth Jr.
Contact the author:

If you have any comments on the guide or suggestions for improvement, I
encourage you to contact me via email. But be nice, or I'll turn into a giant
centipede and eat your scarf.


Table of contents

For easier navigation, hit Ctrl + F, copy the code to the right of the
section you'd like to view and paste it in the search box.

I. Introduction [nmxp]
II. Controls [nmpx]
III. Terminology [npxm]
IV. The Techniques [npmx]
    A. Drop Shooting [xmnp]
    B. Dive Boosting [xmpn]
    C. Boost Flying [xpmn]
    D. Reverse Drop Shooting [xpnm]
V. Closing and Legal Stuff[nxpm]

I. Introduction [nmxp]

Welcome to the Advanced Flying Techniques Guide for the PSN version of
Journey! Truth be told, this game is one of the main reasons I decided to
purchase a PS3, and let me tell you that it has been a distinct pleasure to
play it. There is more to this game than you might think, and I hope as a
result of reading this guide you might find new joy in the game just as I

I'd like to remind the reader that Journey is all about exploration and
discovery. As such, I will endeavor to keep this guide as free from spoilers
as possible. However, the execution of some of the abilities covered in this
guide require the player to have acquired a certain upgrade to their robe
that becomes available after they have found all the glowing symbols
throughout the game. If you don't know what I'm talking about and don't want
to spoil your own experience of discovering this upgrade completely on your

Consider yourself warned! :) Anyway, the purpose of this guide is to acquaint
you with some of the more unorthodox flying techniques present in the game,
some of which exploit glitches. Though there are videos *of* these techniques
on YouTube, I found it necessary to write this guide because, oddly, there
seems to be no centralized place to actually learn how to *do* them. In
keeping with the spirit of collaboration which Journey captures so
eloquently, I thought I might provide these instructions. Keep in mind that I
myself am NOT an expert, nor did I discover these techniques myself. I simply
wish them to be known.

II. Controls [nmpx]

Normally, Journey is a very simple game to control. Manipulating the left
analog stick moves the player around, manipulating the right analog stick
moves the position of the camera, circle sends out a chirp and X initiates
flight. Normally, you'd never have any reason to use more than two fingers at
a time: while your left thumb controls movement, your right thumb is
switching between chirping, jumping, or moving the camera around, but is
never required to perform multiple of these actions simultaneously.

However, a few of the more advanced techniques like boost flying or dive
boosting require you to hold the camera in a specific position WHILE holding
down the flight button. Fortunately, L1 and R1 both function in the exact
same manner as X. I recommend you take advantage of this functionality, use
your pointer finger for flight control, and let your right thumb focus
exclusively on the camera. Or, if you hate your right thumb, you could let it
try to do both :/

III. Terminology [npxm]

I will be using a bit of Journey jargon in this guide which originated from
players who discuss and showcase these techniques on the internet. I did not
come up with these terms myself, but rather have come across them
incidentally. In any case, there seem to be some terms which are used
interchangeably, while others seem unique. Here they are:

Boost Flying: a technique which allows the player to build up momentum by
   flying against a wall, then release it in a massive upward ascent.
   (Whitecloak required.) Also called: Charge Flying

Dive Boosting: a technique which involves flying into the ground and
   traversing across it at extreme speeds without depleting one's scarf
   energy. (Whitecloak required.) Also called: Speedflying, Charge Boosting

Drop Shooting: a technique which involves the player building up a large
   amount of momentum by falling from a great height, then flying upward in a
   large swoop-like arc.

Reverse Drop Shooting: an extremely complex technique involving a complicated
   series of button presses, thereby allowing the player to build up momentum
   and launch skyward much like the boost flying technique. However, reverse
   drop shooting does not require a wall, but rather may be performed in an
   open space. (Whitecloak required.)

Skyward / Earthward: because Journey allows you to invert the Y-axis of the
   right analog stick, I decided not to use the words up and down for the
   purpose of describing the orientation of the camera. Your "up" on the
   analog stick might very well be my "down," which might create confusion
   and frustration when you attempt to emulate the techniques described.
   Therefore, when I say, "Point the camera earthward and hold it there," it
   means to pushon the analog stick in whichever direction you have currently
   configured to force the camera to face the ground.

Whitecloak: denotes a player who has located all the glowing symbols on one
   or more playthroughs and has transformed their cloak from red to white in
   the chapter select area. A whitecloak's scarf recharges itself whenever
   the player makes physical contact with the ground.

IV. The Techniques [npmx]

Alongside my written description of these techniques, I will occasionally
include a link to a YouTube video showcasing the technique in action. As I've
mentioned, credit for the discovery of these techniques belongs elsewhere.
Furthermore, the players whose videos I have included have a mastery of these
techniques which takes time and dedication. In short, they are way more
skilled than I :)

Ok, so before I start in on these techniques, I want to write a little about
the mechanics upon which they rely. You may or may not have noticed during
your various playthroughs, but it is possible to change the speed at which
you fall. To do this, simply jump from a great height and point the camera
earthward. The camera will want to level out, but you need to HOLD IT IN AN
EARTHWARD POSITION (hold either up or down on the right analog stick,
depending on how you've configured the Y-axis). Watch as your speed continues
to increase as you plummet toward the earth--in fact, the game even gives you
a nice aural cue in the form of the sound of rushing wind if you're doing it
correctly. Remember to keep holding earthward on the right analog stick,
otherwise you will lose speed. Now, contrast this with a normal fall, and
note the slower speed at which you descend as well as the absence of the
sound of rushing wind.

It is possible to build up momentum in this manner which may then be used in
a variety of ways. Furthermore, Journey actually keeps track of how much
momentum you have at any given moment, meaning that the more you store, the
greater potential for release.


A. Drop-Shooting [xmnp]

This is perhaps the easiest of the advanced techniques to perform in a
technical sense, as it requires careful manipulation of the camera and little
else. Simply jump from a great height, force the camera to remain oriented
earthward as you fall, wait until you hear the sound of rushing wind, and
quickly change the orientation of the camera from earthward to skyward before
you hit the ground. You will have to hold forward on the left analog stick
while all of this occurs. The result? All that momentum you built up while
falling will be transferred upward when you move the camera from earthward to
skyward and you'll receive a massive upward boost. Note that during your
fall, pressing L1 or R1 will not interrupt the accumulation of momentum as
long as you continue to force the camera earthward.

Good practice spots:

Bridge Area (this is the area right after the chapter select area)
  Assemble the bridges and gain access to the platform upon which rests the
  statue used to move to the next area. This is an excellent place to
  practice the basics of drop shooting, since all you have to do is walk off
  the massively high ledge and shoot away!

Desert Area (this is the area immediately following the Bridge Area)
  Toward the end of this area is a massive dune you can slide down in order
  to reach the power generator structure at the bottom. Instead of sliding,
  jump off the crest of the dune and gain a massive amount of momentum by
  falling all the way down with the camera forced earthward. Note that you
  may have to press L1 or R1 in order to avoid touching the ground. Try to
  time it so you get as much momentum as possible, then force the camera
  skyward before you hit the ground at the bottom. You'll have gained so much
  momentum and receive such a massive boost that you can actually fly right
  to the top of the tower!! Copy and paste this link into your URL box to
  view a video from YouTube user Suzuka Blue which showcases this technique:

  Fast forward to 6:20 to see this user drop shoot to the top of the tower.


B. Dive Boosting: also called Speedflying or Charge Boosting [xmpn]

Dive Boosting is a technique which allows you to traverse across the sand at
breakneck speeds by flying "into" it. Dive boosting is a little more
difficult to pull off than drop shooting, but once you get the timing of the
button presses down it just gets easier and easier. Ok, so here's what you
do: gain about 30 feet of altitude or more (whether this is achieved by
jumping or falling off a ledge is irrelevant) and force the camera earthward
as if you were going to perform a drop shoot. Continue to told earthward on
the right analog stick--you'll need to have gained enough momentum to hear
the wind rushing sound, otherwise this technique won't work. Right before you
hit the ground, let go of the right analog stick and hold either L1 or R1 (or
X if you prefer and can manage it). The result? You will fly across the sand
at the same speed at which you were just falling. Since you're a Whitecloak
(you ARE a Whitecloak, aren't you??), your scarf will charge itself as you
fly across the sand and you can keep flying until you're unable to keep
yourself against the terrain. Here's a breakdown of this technique

1. Gain altitude
2. Fall toward the ground while holding earthward on the right analog stick
3. Continue to fall as you begin to hear the sound of rushing wind
4. Right before you hit the ground, let go of the right analog stick and
   press R1 (obviously, you'll need some energy left in your scarf, otherwise
   it won't work) 5. Continue to hold R1 as you traverse across the sand,
   controlling your trajectory with the left analog stick

The really cool thing about dive boosting is that while you're traversing
across the sand, the game actually still thinks you're accumulating momentum
from a downward fall. Yep, you guessed it! If you let go of the jump button
and point the camera skyward after dive boosting for a while, you will gain a
massive boost as if you had just performed a drop shoot!!

Good practice spots:

Desert Area
  There are TONS of places to practice this technique. Basically,
  the sharper the angle at which you approach the ground, the easier it will

  be to nail the timing. Therefore, jumping off the crest of a dune in the
  aforementioned Desert area and dive boosting into the face of the next dune
  is a good place to start practicing.

Chapter Select Area Another good spot is actually right in the Chapter Select
  area. Jump off of the central pillar with all the bits of cloth floating
  around and dive boost right into the dune from whence you came. You can
  dive boost all the way to the top and then hit skyward on the right analog
  stick for a massive boost.

Here is the same video from before:

Fast forward to 0:30 to view an example of dive boosting followed by upward

Alternately, this video by user domes2072 demonstrates the timing of button
presses necessary to perform a dive boost:

Fast forward to 1:00 to see it. This video also contains footage of how to
perform the boost flying technique.


C. Boost Flying [xpmn]

Boost Flying is a technique that allows you to accumulate releasable momentum
much like drop shooting or dive boosting, except instead of accumulating it
by falling or traversing across the sand, you accumulate it by flying
directly into a wall. The neat thing about boost flying is that you can
accumulate MUCH more momentum than you normally could by dive boosting or
drop shooting and, as a result, use it to reach some truly spectacular

Good practice spots:

Bridge Area
  I've only been able to boost fly against a very specific angled wall within
  the bridge area, so that's the spot I'll focus on until I'm able to update
  the guide with more information. The wall is located on the opposite side
  of the valley from which you enter, just to the left of where you find a
  glowing symbol perched atop a ledge. As they say, a picture is worth a
  thousand words: simply watch the aforementioned video posted by domes2072
  from the beginning in order to discern the exact location of the wall. The
  nice thing about this wall is that it's angled inward from where you need
  to approach it, thereby making it easier to control all the sliding around
  you'll be doing. In fact, just go ahead and watch the entire first minute
  of domes's video while you're at it...

Basically, what domes2072 is executing is a miniature dive boost (with one
major difference in terms of control input) directed into the corner of the
wall. It's ok to gain more height for the initial approach than domes2072
seems to prefer, as long as you end up with the flying animation as your
robed avatar flies against the wall. To prevent confusion, I'll just skip
right ahead to the step by step list of the inputs required to perform this

1. Walk to the edge of the precipice opposite the angled wall.
2. Point the camera to face the angled wall (make sure you get a good,
   straight-on view of it to give you the best chance of making a successful
3. Fly toward the crevice: the point where the two vertical sections of wall
   meet. Continue to push the left analog stick forward as your character
   nestles itself into the crevice.
4. Force the camera earthward and HOLD IT THERE! DO NOT LET GO UNTIL STEP
5. Let go of the jump button and fall toward the ground.
6. Wait a split second until you begin to fall quickly, then press
   and hold the jump button again right before you hit the ground, as if you
   were performing a dive boost into the point where the bottom of the
   crevice meets the surface of the ledge.
7. CONTINUE to hold the jump button AND earthward on the right analog stick
   WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY directing your robed avatar into the back of the
   crevice with the left analog stick. Maintain your "flight" for 15 seconds
   minimum, 30+ seconds maximum.
8. After you've "charged up" in the manner described in step 7 for 15-30
   seconds (or even longer if you're feeling ambitious), let go of the jump
   button and the right analog stick at the same time. SIMULTANEOUSLY, move
   your avatar away from crevice and back toward the center of the Bridge
   Area with the left analog stick.

The result??

If you did it right, you'll gain a MASSIVE amount of height because Journey's
physics engine continued to calculate your "downward" momentum the entire
time you were flying into the wall. In essence, you've just fooled the game
into thinking you've performed a drop shoot off the Grand Canyon! If you
charged up for 30+ seconds, you'll be so high you'll completely dwarf all the
structures below you. Enjoy the view :)

Here is another video. In this video, user MrMicronaut performs a boost fly
against a flat wall, which is more difficult to control than the boost fly in
domes2072's video:


D. Reverse Drop Shoot [xpnm]

All I can say is that I have NO IDEA how this is performed, even after
watching a video tutorial. I've read that thatgamecompany's website contains
a forum for Journey, inside of which there is a sub-forum and/or thread
devoted to glitches. It is within this sub-forum and/or thread that the
reverse drop shoot technique (RDS) is explained.

Again, I present Suzuka's video:

Fast forward to 1:40 to see Suzuka set up the RDS. It's not until 3:35 that
Suzuka seems satisfied with her or his setup and executes the RDS. I have
absolutely no idea what is going on in terms of controller input during that
near two minute time frame, however.

Here's another video from domes2072, a tutorial which shows the inputs and
timing required to perform the technique:

If you've figured it out, please be so kind as to let me know :) :) :)

V. Closing and Legal Stuff [nxpm]

As I've said numerous times, I don't wish to take credit for any of the hard
work which has been dedicated to the discovery and mastery of these
techniques by other players, nor do I wish to take credit for the videos to
which I have linked. However, the body of this guide was written entirely by
me, and may not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal,
private use. Only the website "" has permission to use and
display this guide.

I welcome and would be honored by anyone who wishes to use this guide on
their site. However, if this is you, then you must obtain my written consent
before copying or using ANY part of it. This, of course, excludes the links
to YouTube, for which I take no credit other than their function as a visual
aid to my own writing.


As you can see from the videos posted--as well as by simply typing something
like "journey ps3 boost fly" into the YouTube search box--this guide is only
the tip of the iceberg. I, for one, find that exciting.

Happy Journeying :)