From Yoshi's Island Speedrunning Wiki
This guide is meant to help answer some common questions new runners have. It's specifically (but not exclusively) targeted towards people who have never speedrun before.
The Beginning - Choosing Your Category
- If you are new and you don't know which category to run, it is advised to pick Any% Warpless, as it is the category that best teaches you the basics of the game (plus, it's the most active and optimized category, which means that it also has the most resources and runners who can help you).
- A good first goal would be to get a sub 2 hour run in Warpless. This isn't too hard and can be accomplished in less than a month if you keep at it.
- If you want to start running 100%, almost everyone will tell you that it's a good idea to start with Warpless and get sub 1:50 first. This will make you much more comfortable with the basics like moving, tonguing and making eggs before moving on to 100% and in turn, will make picking up strategies ("strats" for short) a lot easier than if you were to just jump straight into 100%. A few people have started with 100%, so if you really want to do it, feel free to do so, just keep in mind that learning 100% from scratch will require a lot more effort.
- If you plan on running one of the more "obscure" categories, there are less resources and less people to help you out.
- You should also join the Yoshi Discord server. It's a great resource in addition to this wiki where you can talk with other runners for help or to discuss strats!
The Next Step - Learning The Game
- This wiki is still rather new and may be lacking some information. Here is the old wiki where you might find some information that isn't here yet. (Most things have been transferred over, but still, keep that in mind!)
- As far as resources are concerned, most of the level pages have either outdated strats or are just missing the newest strats.
- The best way to learn the game is a combination of watching the personal bests of other runners and using the information on the wiki. Specifically, Kolthor's PB. It's a very good starting point as during that time, the strats he used were still relatively easy. (After the 1:42 breakthrough, the category started to become a lot harder/optimized strat-wise).
- Looking at IL WRs (individual level world records) is another great resource for learning, even though some levels may have strats that are too hard to be consistent at for full game runs.
- Don't get discouraged when a trick isn't working for you. Sometimes it's better to just go with a slower method for the time being and come back to the strat at a later point to try again. It's not uncommon that after taking a break from a strat, it's suddenly a lot easier when you go back to it.
- When you try a strat and it's not working for you, take a look at what other runners are doing and see if any of them uses a variation 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!!!. Watching runners in the ~1:50 range can be useful for this since they usually won't be going for crazy strats.
- It's generally advised to watch a lot of other runners. That includes both watching live-streams on Twitch/Youtube and their PBs. The reason for this is that it's more diverse. 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. This 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 a lot 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. This helps in finding new strats too.
- Here is a tutorial for World 1 Warpless/Warps by andy_kuma. It explains everything in great detail and is a good place to start.
- There are also these tutorial series by Lee which covers the basics as well as every level in the game but keep in mind that these series are old and the strats used are most likely outdated, though it may still be useful.
- For 100%, use Trix's tutorial series along with watching the PBs of other runners, as stated before.
General Philosophy Of Improving At The Game
- Your number one focus/priority should always be movement. While the tricks are cool and obviously save time, the most important and satisfying part of running Yoshi's Island is the movement. Yoshi is a great speed-game when it comes to movement, so don't focus too much on the actual tricks at first, but instead on improving your movement (e.g. less left-rights, less flutters, avoiding slopes, etc.).
- Your final time is not that important. Set yourself a small goal each run (like landing a few tricks) so you have something to work towards/accomplish. This game can be brutal when it comes to losing time, as dying takes very long and most levels only have 1 middle-ring (or we skip them), so a death can easily lead to losing 30-60 seconds. If that wasn't enough, due to the Baby Mario mechanic, just getting hit can also cost you some time. Try not to 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 or dying. Cutting out deaths saves so much time it's insane. So on top of focusing on your movement, focus on not dying and you will see your time improve very fast. Once you reach a point where you're not dying as often (or at all), getting a ~1:50 run shouldn't be too hard.
- Keep in mind that this is a long game, so building up stamina and being able to keep focused will definitely take some time. Finish runs when you are starting out. Don't focus on getting PBs, as they basically mean nothing for a while. If you want to 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 later worlds.
- Going back to movement, you can use flutters to make certain sections of the game very safe but generally, you want to learn to play the game using as few flutters as possible (i.e. only when necessary). Each time you flutter, it costs about a second compared to not fluttering. So when you learn a level, try to learn it properly, without the use of extra flutters. If you watch any of the top runners, you will see that they will almost never flutter unless they have to.