There are a lot of ways to deal with arrow traps in Spelunky 2, but the most satisfying strategy is simply whipping the arrows out of the air before they hit you.
Everything in Spelunky 2 is out to kill you. Make one wrong move and you’re liable to get tossed around the level like a crash test dummy, bouncing between lizards, cavemen, and bats until you die and have to start a new run. Some of the deadliest hazards are the stationary arrow traps, which blend into the environment and shoot an arrow at anything that comes into range.
These dangerous, projectile-firing obstacles can be triggered with all manner of objects, and you can even lead enemies into their line of fire. But with proper spacing and timing, you don’t need any additional resources to take care of them. You can whip their arrows right out of the air as they fly at your face, just like in the previous game.
It’s always a nail-biting experience. If you mess up the timing or misjudge the distance between you and the trap, you’re liable to take a freaking arrow to the gut and lose a grip of health. But sometimes things work out. In the GIF below, I was trying to turn around and whip before I got hit, but I ended up using the back of the hitbox to knock the arrow out of the air instead. I felt like a Spelunky god.
Next time you come up to an arrow trap without remembering to pick up a rock or skull to trigger it safely, try this out. I don’t really have any tips for pulling it off successfully; it’s just something you’re going to have to get a feeling for yourself. Sure, you’ll probably end up getting seriously hurt or dying, but that’s half the fun of Spelunky 2 anyway. Just try it. It feels great.