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The Protagonist enters an idle state if no Controls are pressed for 20 seconds.
There are a number of idle activities that The Protagonist may perform, which depend on location. It is possible to move the camera, zoom, jump and recruit or dismiss Homies without canceling the idle animation, but the idle action stops when the movement controls are pressed, or The Protagonist is shot, punched, nudged or hit by a vehicle. While idle, the HUD is hidden.
Most idle animations continue indefinitely, while others only occur once, such as taking a photo, when The Protagonist takes one photo then put the camera away. Single actions are not repeated without leaving Idle mode.
Since Idle nodes are set positions, when there is a Civilian already performing an action, such as fishing or reading, the Civilian must leave that position before The Protagonist can perform that action. While The Protagonist can theoretically join Cheerleaders and Yoga groups, it is difficult to remove one Civilian without scaring the others.
- Whistling may occur anywhere.
- There are Fishing locations on most piers
- In Clothing Stores, Liquor Stores, and Jewelry Stores, The Protagonist may examine products on shelves. While Civilians can examine weapons, The Protagonist can not.
- There are Photograph nodes at many tourist locations, such as the Phillips Building and the Marina lighthouse.
- There are dumbbells which can be used in the prison yard
- When Goths play Rock, Paper, Scissors, The Protagonist approaches them and fold his arms across his chest in a stereotypical "sleeping vampire" pose.
- At a manned Hotdog stand, both Civilians and The Protagonist may buy a Hotdog.
- If a Hotdog stand is unmanned, The Protagonist walks to where the vendor usually stands.
- If the Idle action is interrupted, the vendor continues his action of handing over the Hotdog and accepting payment.
- When Civilians are playing Craps, The Protagonist can either join in if there are less than three playing, or stand beside them and drink a 40 oz.
Some weapons have associated Idle animations.
- Baseball Bat, Sledgehammer - The Protagonist stretches, and hit the weapon against each shoe.
- Samurai Sword, Nightstick, Knife - The Protagonist idly swing it around.
- Shock Paddles - Looking at them while rubbing them together slowly.
- Pepper Spray - Shaking the can.
- Stun Gun, Pistols - Spinning around a finger.
There are a number of objects around Stilwater that it is not possible to directly "use", but may be used when idle.
- Hotdog stand
- Pinball machines
- Fire - warming hands
There a number of Civilian Activities that The Protagonist may join when idle.
- Conversing with NPCs
- Drinking alcohol
- Dancing (Common in Cribs, uncommon in Clubs, but possible)
- Live Action Role-Playing
- Mourning (at the cemetery)
- Playing Dice
- Reading on the ground
- Smoking (Cigarette when outside, Blunt when in a Crib)
- Tai Chi
There are a number of things that Civilians can do in the game that The Protagonist definitely cannot do, although these can be enabled through modding.
- Pole dancing
- Window washing
- Playing pool
- Suicide jumping
- Skydivers with parachute failures
- Sleeping on the ground
- Using a megaphone while protesting
- Handing out flyers
- Barber Shop Quartet
- Using a laptop
- Any action performed by enemy gang members, such as the Samedi drum players.
This list comes from special_spawns.xtbl, and whether they spawn in the game is unconfirmed.
- Beer Chat
- Beer Stand
- Bum at fire
- Dance pair B
- Dance pair C
- Dance pair D
- Dance pair
- Dead body
- Drinking 40
- Drinking fearlessly
- Drunk vomit
- Eating fearlessly
- Food Mascot
- Freckle Bitch cust
- Gang Cluster
- Gang Cluster2
- Gang Leaning
- Gang Sitting
- Gang Standing
- NPC busted
- Ped Dance Cluster
- Pole Dancer B
- Pole Dancer
- Reading news
- SH Gang Cluster
- SH Gang Cluster2
- SH Gang Leaning
- SH Gang Sitting
- Sitting barstool
- Sitting drugs
- Sitting eating
- Sitting paper
- Sitting reading
- Smoking Weed
- Store browse bling
- Store browse gun
- Store browse wine
- Store browse
- Store clothes
- Stripper and fans
- According to developers, there are over 20,000 hand-placed "action nodes" all over the city. Some of these nodes control The Protagonist's idle animations, others control the actions of Civilians.[reference?]
- The "Goths" playing paper-rock-scissors is a reference to Mind's Eye Theatre, a live-action roleplaying game revolving around vampires, werewolves and other supernatural creatures where rock-paper-scissors is used as the mechanic to resolve combat situations. The Protagonist crosses their arms in the pose used to indicate that your character is invisible while playing the game.
- The Idle timer continues while in the Crib Customization menu, so after exiting the menu, The Protagonist may immediately walk to the dance floor and begin dancing. This happens often in the Penthouse Loft.
- When there are Idle nodes near Activity markers, if The Protagonist is left idle after exiting an activity, they often do something immediately. This happens often at the Racing Activity near the Marina Lighthouse.
- In Saints Row: The Third, in Kinzie's Warehouse there is a map of the idle locations on a newspaper page, although the headline of the page is "Zombies Everywhere!!!".
- ↑ Note: Referred to internally as "R_LARPers", with the 3rd position named as "Vampire". See talk page for list.
- ↑ Note: This happens simply because "Position 1" is vacant. It's possible that a Civilian may buy a Hotdog from The Protagonist, but unknown if this actually occurs.
- ↑ Image:
- ↑ Note: This is the only action with the "Never_cower" flag: "When startled, the spawn npc will always flee instead of cowering."
- ↑ Note: This action does not appear in the game, and is glitched when added
- ↑ Image:
- ↑ Image: