From Yoshi's Island Speedrunning Wiki
This Guide is meant to help answer some common questions new runners have. It's especially (but not exclusively) targeted towards people who have never speedrun a game before.
The Beginning - Choosing Your Category
- If you are new and you don't know which category to play, it is advised to pick Warpless as it's the category that teaches you the basics of the game the best (+ it's the most active & optimized category which means that it also has the most resources & help from other runners)
- A good first goal is to get a sub 2 hour run (warpless). That isn't too hard and can be accomplished in less than a month of practice if you keep at it.
- If you want to start playing 100% almost all runners would tell you that it's a good idea to start doing Warpless first and get a sub 1:50 run in that category before moving on to 100%. The transition will be smooth, and picking up 100% strats from there will be A LOT easier than if you jump straight into 100%. But a few people have started directly with 100%, so if you really wanna do it, feel free to do so, just keep in mind that learning 100% from nothing will require A LOT of effort.
- If you are planning on playing one of the more obscure categories keep in mind that resources are less and there will be less people to help you out...
- ... which brings me to our Discord Server that you should definitely join! We have a channel where you can also ask questions and get help from runners.
The Next Step - Learning the Game
- First off let me tell you that this wiki is rather new and is still lacking some information, there also is the Old Wiki where you might find information that isn't here yet (Though most things have been transferred to here... but still just keep that in mind!)
- Now as far as resources are concerned let me tell you this right away: Most of the pages for the levels do have either outdated strats or are just missing the newest strats.
- The best way to learn this game is a combination of watching the Personal Bests of other runners & using the info on the wiki. Especially Kolthor's 1:42:57 is a very good starting point as during the time the strats he used where still *relatively* easy for the most part (After the 142 breakthrough the category started to become a lot harder/optimized strat-wise)
- Looking at IL WRs (Individual Level World Records) is another good idea, even though some ILs usually have strats that are just too hard (to get consistent) for full runs, so they usually don't see any use outside of the IL format.
- There also is this World 1 Warpless/Warps Tutorial by andy_kuma that explains how to go pretty fast in World 1 - it explains *everything* in great detail and is good starting point, though the audio quality is trash unfortunately. The explained strats are from late 2016 but since it's W1 not too much has changed (There are a few new and faster strats though)
- There are also 2 old tutorial video series by lee --- https://www.youtube.com/user/leewith4as/playlists --- note: these are very old so the strats used in these videos will most likely be outdated.
- Don't get discouraged when a trick is not working for you. Sometimes it's better to just go with a slower method for the time being and coming back to the strat at a later point and to try it again. It's not uncommon that after taking a long break from a strat that when you go back to it, it's suddenly a lot easier.
- When you try a strat and it's not working for you, take a look at different runners and see if anyone of them uses a variation / different version of the strat - maybe you will find someone who does things a little differently but in a way that actually works better for you --- EXPERIMENT!!! (Note: Especially watching runners in the ~1:50 area can be useful for this since they would usually not attempt the crazy strats)
- It's generally advised to watch a lot of other runners, that includes both: Watching livestreams on twitch AND watching PBs of other runners. The reason for that is diverse: For one -due to the lengthy nature of the game- knowing about every possible strat can be hard. It is good to watch other runners for that since there is a good chance that they do things differently from you / everyone else. You can pick up on new strats that way. That includes faster strats (especially when watching top runners) but also potential ways of doing a safer strat that might not lose much time either. Yoshi is a game that allows for lots of different strats to be used that are almost equal in speed but just differ in execution. It's always good to know as much about the game as possible. That helps finding new strats too.
(Only for 100%: Use Trix' Tutorial Series to learn the game)
On the general philosophy of improving at Yoshi Speedrunning
- Your #1 key focus/priority should always be movement. While the tricks are cool and obviously save time too, the most important & satisfying part of running Yoshi's Island is the movement. Yoshi is great speedgame when it comes to movement. So don't focus too much on the actual tricks but instead focus on improving your movement (e.g. less left-rights, less flutters, avoiding slopes).
- Your final time is not that important. Try to set yourself a small goal for each run (like landing a few tricks) so you will have accomplishments. This game can be brutal when it comes to losing time, as the death animation takes very long and most levels only have 1 save ring (some have none even - or we skip them), so a death can easily lead to losing 30-60 seconds. If that wasn't enough, due to the baby mechanic getting hit can also lose you a lot of time. Just don't focus on your final time too much and try to have fun instead.
- When you are starting out your main source of losing time will be getting hit & deaths. Cutting out deaths saves SO MUCH time, it's actually insane. So on top of focussing on movement as mentioned above, also focus on not dying and you will see your time go down very fast. Once you are at a point where you don't die anymore getting a ~1:50 run is usually not too hard anymore.
- Keep in mind that this is a long game, so building up stamina and being able to keep the focus will definitely take you some time. Finish runs when you are starting out. Don't focus on getting PBs, PBs basically mean nothing for a while. If you wanna become a good player, it doesn't matter how well you know the first 3 worlds, if you just keep losing lots of time to the latter worlds.
- Going back to the first point about movement - You can use flutters to make certain section of the game very safe. But generally you do want to try learning to play the game using as few flutters as possible. Each time you flutter it loses you about a second compared to not fluttering. So really - If you learn a level try to learn it properly without the use of many flutters. If you watch any of the top runners you will see that they will almost never flutter unless needed for a skip or similar.