Speedrunning is the act of completing a video game in the fastest time possible. It has grown into a competitive sport with thousands of speedrunners around the world competing to complete games as fast as they can. If you’re interested in learning how to start speedrunning, this guide will give you all the information you need to get started.
The livesplit is a tool that allows users to race against the clock. It is one of the most popular tools for speedrunning.
After years of watching speedruns, I finally discovered a game that I wanted to speedrun in 2015. I had a lot of headaches and confusion when I first started out, so I though I’d spare you some time and effort. I’ll start by explaining the basics, and then you may continue reading if you need more information on how to speedrun. I hope this guide serves as a fast speedrun checklist as well as a comprehensive reference that you may return to while researching more sophisticated methods. I feel that the best approach to begin speedrunning is to avoid overthinking it. Here’s a broad outline of the actions you’ll need to follow as a fast tutorial for novices to jump in and get started.
How to Get Started with Speedrunning
1. Pick a game to play. 2. Take a look at a game speedrun. 3. Keep up with the speedrun. 4. Begin your speedrunning. 5. Exercising
If you follow that basic approach, you’ll have a good sense of what you’ll need when you first start speedrunning, but feel free to study the specifics for additional information. Go ahead and jump to the parts that you’re most interested in. If you’ve already chosen on a game or seen the speedrun, for example, you may skip to the phase that explains how to follow along. Since this is your first time speedrunning, feel free to make errors and learn from them. You’ll be alright if you practice where necessary.
Let’s have a look at how this all works.
Selecting a Game
The most important factor to consider while selecting a game is personal taste. There are, however, some suggestions that may help you get started in the correct direction.
There are so many games and so little time.
Choose a game that you like.
You may not like playing games casually. If that’s the case, you should start by watching speedruns to discover which ones you like the best.
Personally, I recommend performing a casual playing of your game or selecting a game that you have already played. This will enable you to get familiar with all of the game’s intended mechanics. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen novice speedrunners hop into a game without having played it before, and then lose time in their runs because they don’t understand basic in-game concepts. I’ve seen speedrunners restart lengthy runs because they didn’t know how to leisurely play a part of the game as a backup strategy.
A casual playing will also solidify your impression of the game. Even if you don’t like a game on the surface, there’s a possibility you’ll love the speedrun. However, you may not want to waste another minute with the bad music, mechanics, or whatever else is bothering you. It’s far preferable to discover these things before slaving away at speedrun learning sessions, splits, and obsessing over the finer points.
That being said, speedrunning without first playing a game is perfectly acceptable. This is a particularly excellent strategy if you’re just mildly interested in the game but the speedrun seems to be a lot of fun.
On the other hand, even if you fall in love with the game on a casual basis, there’s a possibility you won’t like the speedrun. What I’ve seen more frequently is a positive casual experience that leads to a greater commitment to the speedrun. When you choose a game that you grew up with or one you have recently played and enjoyed, gradually increasing your speedrun timings feels even better. When you realize how tough the game was to finish casually, there’s something extremely gratifying about conquering it.
Choosing a game you like, a game you despise, a famously tough game, or a game that is really popular are all valid options. The difficulty of the speedrun itself is the next factor to consider.
Your first speedrun’s difficulty
When you start competing for quicker times, personal bests, or world records, all speedruns become tough, and certain speedruns become impossible. Many speedrunners overhear someone in their conversation asking which game or category is the most difficult. The truth is that, at a high enough level, it’s generally not about the game’s difficulty, but rather the ability of your opponents.
However, beginning with a beginner-friendly speedrun is often a smart idea. The common opinion in gaming is that a game with a low floor and a high ceiling is a good one. This is also true when it comes to speedrunning.
Difficulty is determined by a variety of variables. For example, I can’t play anything properly on the keyboard, therefore I avoid games that are designed to be played quickly. Another consideration is the difference between 2D and 3D speedruns. When speedrunning The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, you must contend with camera controls, exact angles, additional buttons, and even the ability to adjust how far the stick tilts in any way. When speedrunning a game on the original Nintendo (NES), you just have two buttons to deal with. These runs may be just as difficult as 3D speedruns, although they are generally easier to begin with.
The topic of admission fees leads us to the next point to examine.
Let me begin by stating that, for the most part, speedrunning is free. You almost certainly already have everything you need to speedrun a game.
Some speedruns need specific gear and software, while others may be played for free as long as you have a computer or phone. It should go without saying that you can download a lot of games for free on Steam or elsewhere, and many titles support emulation. Other games, on the other hand, are grossly expensive. Make sure you choose a game that meets your requirements. To acquire a feel for speedrunning, I recommend starting with a free or low-cost alternative. You’ll be able to see whether it’s something you’d want to put more money into.
We’ll go through the hardware, software, and price for any of these things that may be helpful but aren’t necessary for speedrunning.
It’s time to test how quick you can go!
Check out the Speedrun.
Once you’ve decided on a game, look to see if there are any speedruns available. The first place to go is speedrun.com. From there, you may go further and look for results on Youtube, Twitch, or simply conduct a normal search engine search. Before I began speedrunning, the only accessible speedrun for The Adventures of Microman: Crazy Computers was on a strange wiki site… sometimes they’re well-hidden! If no speedrun videos are available, you should probably use this guide instead: Creating a New Speedrun – How to Start Speedrunning a Game With No Runs
Now it’s time to see what the speedruns have to offer. The first thing you’ll probably notice is which category to choose. There are no divisions or speedruns that are one-size-fits-all. If a speedrun seems to be too glitchy or not glitchy enough for your tastes, see if there are any other categories that you may be interested in.
Categories for Speedruns
As a general guideline, “Whatever percent” implies the speedrunners are finishing the game as quickly as possible, using any methods available (except tool-assistance, which means no turbo buttons, save states, or anything like). “Any percent” implies that you can beat the game by completing any proportion of it. This is Any percent if you can finish a game quicker by just collecting three of the objects in a game where you may gather ten.
Maybe you’re more of a perfectionist. If that’s the case, try the 100%, hard mode, or any speedrun with the word “All” in the title (for example, “All Dungeons”). If you want a speedrun with fewer bugs, search for speedruns containing the phrase “Any percent No” in the title. Maybe it’ll be “Any percent No WW,” which implies no incorrect warps in the speedrun. Wrong warps occur when you get access to a location in an unexpected way. Or maybe you’ll notice “Any percent No OoB.” Out of limits is the abbreviation for “out of bounds.” These are usually the slower, but more inviting, beginner-friendly categories – but they may sometimes offer additional difficulties!
Some games include “meme” categories, such as “House percent” in The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX, where you actually leave the house you started the game on. This isn’t something I’d suggest for beginners, but they typically come with some interesting speedrunning history. These categories usually appear owing to amusing game mechanics, entertaining gameplay, or, in this case, because Link’s Awakening speedrunners place a lot of emphasis on the opening few seconds of the speedrun.
So you’ve discovered the perfect category for you. Check out this instructions if the category you want to play isn’t available: A Speedrunner’s Guide to Creating a New Speedrun Category
Watch several speedruns to figure out which category appeals to you the most. Remember that you’ll be spending a lot of time with the game, so speedrunning should be enjoyable!
Don’t attempt to speedrun a game that seems to be a hassle to you!
The training is now underway. Because many speedruns have guidelines accessible, the first place you should go is Speedrun.com. Look for “Guides” on the left sidebar of the game’s leaderboard page after you’ve found the game you want. You’ll most likely find instructions for several categories here. If there are several postings of the same kind, be sure to check the “Last updated” row. For instance, here’s how Speedrun.com’s The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX instructions website looks: https://www.speedrun.com/ladx/guides. Guide: All Main Categories is an excellent place to start when looking for the finest categories and guides for this game.
Link’s Awakening DX Speedruns have guides available.
Start watching the speedrun video you’ve chosen. Play the video and just replicate what they are doing, stopping often. You may simply observe one level, replicate what they do, then go on to the next if the game is divided into short enough stages. It’s critical not to criticize your performance at this stage. The only thing you need to remember from this is the overall route of the speedrun. Even so, you don’t want to stress over memorizing it precisely just now. That will just slow down your learning. Time and exposure will help with memory.
Even if we aren’t aiming for perfection or memory, taking notes is a good idea. It doesn’t matter whether it’s on a notepad, in beautiful text, or on pencil and paper. Simply jot down some notes in case you forget what to do when the speedruns begin.
You’ll probably be perplexed or interested about how to accomplish anything you saw in the speedrun. You watch them do a strange feat, and no matter how hard you try, nothing works out for you. In the left sidebar of your game’s speedrun.com website, you’ll discover tutorials, forums, and resources. These are your pals, so don’t be shy about mentioning them! Look for a link to the Discord on the left if you’ve looked through the instructions and can’t find what you’re searching for, or if you simply want a faster response. Many people will likely be glad to assist you as you learn the speedrun on the Discord channel for your speed game!
So, are you all set? No? Not yet, right? What a pity!
It’s time to get serious about speedrunning!
Don’t worry, here is when things start to get interesting. The first thing you’ll need is the necessary hardware in order to begin speedrunning. As I previously said, you may speedrun on a budget, at no cost (it’s completely free), or you can spend money on specific amenities that will make it a more pleasant or enjoyable experience for you. I aim to point you in the correct path, whatever it is you’re searching for.
Let’s begin with the basics. You most likely already own a computer or smartphone, as well as the game you want to speedrun. If not, it will be the true cost of speedrunning. There are many choices that are completely free! You may use emulation to speedrun a game, but you should check the game’s leaderboard or discord channel to determine what is and isn’t permitted. On Steam, there are also a lot of free games. And there’s a good possibility you already have a lot of games to pick from!
To record your games, you don’t need a high-end computer or phone. Don’t allow your lack of experience hold you back; you can probably make do with what you currently have. Start performing runs, and if you notice any significant latency, you may either deal with it later if you’re sure it’s a step you want to take, or pick a less CPU-intensive game.
Timer for Speedruns
LiveSplit is the most popular and functional speedrunning timer, with simple setup and numerous customization options.
If you’re not speedrunning on a Windows computer, you may want to look at some of the other choices listed in this speedrun timer guide: The Best Timer for Speedruns — For speedrunning, which timer should you use?
You don’t have to be concerned about your splits or time. However, I do suggest setting up your timing and splits as soon as possible since doing so will allow you to see how far you’ve come with each run. Your initial speedruns will be the most significant time savings you’ll ever make in this game. They’ll make you happy, and the positive reinforcement will tempt you to speedrun again and again. This helps you associate your speedrunning time with positive emotions, and it also keeps track of your progress in an easy-to-follow format.
A speedrun timer should never be required to be purchased. Everyone should be able to enjoy this element of speedrunning for free. However, if you ever want to give to the people who made the timer you want, that’s OK too!
Starting your timer and giving it your best effort is how I suggest tackling this. After you’ve set up your splits, you’ll develop the habit of dividing at certain points throughout the run. In a speedrun with downtime, it’s always better to place splits at identifiable moments. Allow me to elaborate.
In a speedrun, these times would be when the screen goes black or during a particular sequence. In one of my speedruns, for example, a picture is shot during a cutscene. I split as soon as the camera’s flash illuminated the screen. I don’t have to worry about mashing or managing my character during this period, so splitting here is a breeze. It may also occur when you acquire an item and there is a halt in the game’s action. If you have to stop in the midst of a run to split, you will almost certainly trip yourself.
Some speedrunners, on the other hand, don’t have to worry about separating at all. Auto-splitters are included in certain speedruns. Auto-splitters are programs or scripts that run in the background of your speedrun timer and divide the time for you. The majority of them are handcrafted by members of the speedrunning community.
A foot pedal that can be linked to your timer is another option. You won’t have to move your hand away from your controller or keyboard to split this way. Instead, all it takes is a single touch of your foot to keep track of your times. While it isn’t as convenient as auto-splitting, it may help you avoid uncomfortable hand repositioning after splitting.
You may record your speedruns in a variety of ways. The most popular method is to utilize OBS, or Open Broadcaster Software. There are many variations available, but they all function similarly. Streamlabs OBS is what I use since it works nicely with Twitch alerts. If your game is being speedrun on your PC, you may simply window capture it.
If you’re playing on a console, you’ll need to utilize a camera or game capture software, which may be rejected by certain leaderboards.
Hardware and Devices for Game Capture
You’ll need what’s known as a “capture card” to capture video from a console and transmit it to OBS. Before HDMI, I would suggest the GVUSB2, a powerful, lightweight, and simple to set up capture device for vintage games. You might try the Elgato HD60s for HDMI and more contemporary console games, which is what I use to record Nintendo Switch footage. There is very minimal latency in the game, and the graphics are excellent!
During these initial efforts, check your notes whenever you need to – let the timer run, and enjoy the time savings in the future! Go ahead and watch the speedrun video as you work your way through! After a few speedruns in which you refer to your notes or movies, it will become redundant. On your second or third speedrun, you’ll wonder, “What do I do next?” However, when you ask yourself this question, you will remember the answer you obtained in the prior runs. The path will gradually become ingrained in your memory.
After a few runs, you’ll see that your timings are decreasing. The amount of time you need to pause and consider what comes next will diminish. That’s all there is to it!
Now you’re a speedrunner!
I mean, you literally are. You are a speedrunner because you are speedrunning. The only option is to get gud!
Practice, improve, and enjoy yourself.
If you notice that you’re having trouble in particular areas, consider saving state practice, individual-level (IL) practice, or anything you think will help you drill out those speedrun problem spots. It’s possible that you’ve already done this in earlier stages, but if not, it’s never too late to practice segments. After all, after numerous speedruns, you’ll have a better idea of whatever portions of the run stump you the most.
Full game speedruns are the greatest preparation for certain games since you get a sense for the nerves, splits, unexpected factors, and how everything works together. So go for broke, perform more speedruns, keep improving your time, and be happy of your accomplishments!
Don’t worry if you’re at the bottom of the speedrun leaderboards or aren’t even in range of the other speedrunners. Everyone on the leaderboard has almost certainly put in a lot more time than you have. Keep your head up; learning to run is the most difficult aspect (well, maybe not, but it is tough).
Fill out the form below to submit your Speedrun to the Leaderboard.
After you’ve completed a run, ideally you’ve saved the video, highlighted it on Twitch, or published it to your preferred video site. You may now go to speedrun.com (SRC) or other speedrun leaderboard websites to record your progress and share your achievement with the world!
Pro Speedrunning Advice:
- Don’t get caught up in the minutiae.
- Perform no-reset runs.
- Make use of a convenient controller.
- Take pleasure in the trip.
Don’t get caught up in the details: As I’ve stated throughout this book, don’t get caught up in the specifics while you’re first getting started. It’s OK if you filmed a speedrun on your phone’s camera and uploaded it to the leaderboards only to be denied! Your first few runs will be less than stellar. By the time you have your first really excellent run on the leaderboard, you’ll have mastered all of the components.
Runs with no resets: It’s all too easy to get caught up in resetting for a 1 second time loss at the start of the game. Meanwhile, you’re perfectly OK with losing 20 seconds or more towards the conclusion of the race. This attitude will result in fewer completed runs and, as a result, a lower personal best. You may reset whenever you like, but I suggest doing at least one no-reset run at the conclusion or beginning of your speedrun session. Some streams may even do no-reset speedruns for the whole day.
Finding a comfy controller: Finding a very comfortable controller to operate with will assist your hands get through the hard motions of speedrunning. My Xbox One controller, for example, is the Razor Wildcat, which features comfortable grips and clicky, fast buttons. The detached D-pad was the primary reason I selected this controller. Each direction has its own button, reducing hand strain while attempting to prevent placing an unintentional diagonal tilt in any of my motions. Of course, everyone’s preferences differ, but this is what works for me in simulated speedruns and PC gaming.
Enjoy your speedruns, and remember to have fun! Almost anybody can get competitive, whether with themselves or with other speedrunners, but remember that life goes on after you leave the game – feel free to leave the game if you find yourself becoming too caught up or angry with your speedrun. Speedrunning is a lot of effort, but it can also be a lot of fun. Have a good time and Godspeed!
SpeedGamingNews Discord, Twitch, Instagram, and Youtube are all social media connections. Select one.
Speedrunning is a type of video game which involves playing through a game as fast as possible. This guide will show you how to start speedrunning, and provide tips for improving your time. Reference: how to start speedrunning minecraft.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I start a speedrun timer?
You can start a speedrun timer by pressing the start button on the main menu.
What timers do Speedrunners use?
Speedrunners use timers in video games for timing purposes.
What is a good game to start Speedrunning?
A good game to start speedrunning is Super Mario Bros. 3.
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