Far Cry 5 has lots of weapons, ranging from throwing knives to heavy machine guns, but none have captured players’ imaginations quite like its shovels. Can you dig it?
Just a few days after release, Far Cry 5 has managed to elevate the handling of a gardening tool from a chore into an Olympic sport that’s both strangely elegant and super deadly. The game’s melee weapons, including baseball bats, sticks, and lead pipes, can all be thrown, but only shovels can actually impale their targets.
Simply equip the item from your weapon wheel, hold the left trigger to aim, line up the shot with the aiming reticle, and then let it fly with the right trigger. Humans, bears, even helicopters—nobody is safe.
Players are putting together highlights of their best shovel moments, as well as montages like the video the above GIF is from. Not only are they one of the game’s most versatile weapons, since they have both melee and projectile capabilities, but it’s also just satisfying as hell knowing you took out an enemy with a makeshift javelin. For such a top-heavy object the game’s shovels have pretty great range over long distances.
Players have also created meta-games around the shovel, including shovel challenges like capturing outposts without using any other weapons or abilities. They’re also using the shovel to hunt birds, or in my case, Peggie pickup convoys. A small discussion has even popped up regarding whether the proper term for these instruments of carnage is actually “spade.” It’s not.
There was also a Steam review that blew up on social media which analyzed the game completely in terms of its shovel-play. “You can get a perk that allows you to carry, I am not kidding here, 9 shovels,” part of it read. “My shovels thrown per minute, (or STPM) is honestly insane.” People are already making memes about about this new meta-stat with some effectively playing through Far Cry 5 as would-be Shovel Knights. At this point it’s only a matter of time before the whole thing becomes its own speedrunning category.
The only downside to shovels is you have to pick them up after you throw them, just like the rest of the game’s projectiles. This is harder than it sounds, especially when you’re out in the wild getting harassed by skunks and eagles and just blindly launching shovels into the tall grass. Learning to pick up after yourself is just one of the many things aspiring shovelers must learn in order to perfect Far Cry 5’s most dangerous skill.