General Tips


──── General Gameplay ────


Hardcoded button combos

  • Soft reset combo: Holding X + B + Start all at once will reset the game to the title screen after all three buttons are held for about half a second. This is never faster than using the reset button on the Wii or GameCube, but it can be equal in speed and is more ergonomic for players, so it's commonly used for savewarps in speedruns. The built-in delay of about half a second is helpful for timing Back in Time using the item wheel or pause button.

  • Controller reset combo: Holding X + Y + Start all at once will reset the controller as though it has just been plugged in. This means that the positions held on the analog sticks and L/R triggers will be set as the neutral positions, and the console will read any held buttons as having been pressed on the first frame after the controller reset combo is no longer held, which can be useful for Map Glitch. This combo is useful if you've accidentally plugged in your controller while holding an analog stick or L/R trigger and want to reset it while not holding them.

Combat

This video goes over important combat considerations and techniques such as running slashes, quickly charged spin attacks, and autospins.

Handling Analog Glitch

"Analog glitch" refers generally to any situation where holding the control stick (analog stick) in a direction makes Link move in a different direction relative to the camera. When the camera is locked (targeting, climbing a ladder, crossing a tightrope, etc.) and the control stick is held outside of neutral, Link's movement will continue to correspond to the direction the control stick is held relative to that locked camera angle even if the camera angle is changed (with the c-stick, getting off the ladder/rope, etc.) until the control stick is released to neutral again.

To try this yourself, hold up to run forwards, then tap target and continue holding up. Moving the camera with the c-stick now will not change Link's trajectory.

The best way not to be tripped up by analog glitch is to release the control stick to neutral after targeting, whenever getting off a ladder or tightrope, and in other places where analog glitch often occurs. These are some common problem areas:

  • All ladders and tightropes
  • Castle Town roads
  • Hyrule Castle sewers tower
  • Shops

──── Small Timesavers ────


Quick equips

The fastest way to equip an item from the item wheel is to double tap Y or X and then press B immediately (1f) afterward so that the item wheel closes as soon as possible. This saves 6 frames over only tapping Y or X once. Because the cursor can move while one item icon is moving to the HUD, it only saves time to double tap for the final equip of an item wheel pull. Double tapping does not have any effect when pairing bombs with the bow for bomb arrows, so when equipping bomb arrows and another item, it's theoretically fastest to equip bomb arrows first so that the second item can be double tapped; however, this is only practical when the other item being equipped is near the bombs on the item wheel.

Holding L while pressing the d-pad to open the item wheel allows the cursor to begin moving 2f sooner than it could without L held.

Using B, d-pad up, and d-pad down to close the item wheel are all the same speed; the only difference is in the item wheel's closing animation.

Rupee Text Skips

If you stand next to a Rupee and sidehop, backhop, or jump attack over it, you can collect the Rupee without seeing the text that normally pops up. Collecting a Rupee while in the air, swimming, or on Epona will also skip any Rupee text.

Faster Double Door Cutscenes

Link has different animations depending on whether you go through the left or right door at a set of double doors. The right door animation is faster than the left by about 20 frames, so it's generally better to go through double doors from the right side. This does not apply to doors that go into a loading zone.

(Note: On Wii, this is reversed due to the entire game being mirrored, so opening left doors is preferred on Wii)

Quick Midna Jumps

When you press Z to call Midna for a Midna Jump, there's an animation of her flying towards the target spot. For certain jumps, there is 1 frame where you can input a jump before the animation starts and skip needing to watch it. This is used primarily in Castle Sewers.

Quick transform with C-up

If you C-up before calling Midna, it will skip the mini cutscene of the camera panning and allow you to transform immediately. This only saves time when calling Midna as wolf with Midna on back, which is the case during Twilights and anytime after beating Lakebed Temple.

'DF' walking

DF walking is holding L and either up-right or up-left on the control stick. This is used as a means of reaching max running speed from a standstill. The fastest way to do so is to DF walk for 2 frames, then release L and hold up, after which Link will reach max running speed in 7 frames (9 frames total including the DF walk) as opposed to simply holding up reaching max running speed in 13 frames. For more information, see the movement speeds page.

Quick aiming

Using C-up followed by an aim item immediately afterwards lets you aim faster than any other method.

When you're stuck onto walls with double clawshots, you can get into first person aim quicker by pressing the clawshots button, then tapping L quickly.

Quick double clawshot aiming

To make Link pull out the second clawshot as soon as possible after reaching the first clawshot's destination, press and hold the double clawshots button while the clawshot is pulling Link. To then begin aiming as soon as possible, tap L. Another option is to double tap the double clawshots button after reaching the first clawshot's destination; this is slightly slower than tapping L in general, but is useful when tapping L would lock onto something and make aiming harder.

Doing nothing vs. tapping L (timing in frames)
Double tapping double clawshots button vs. tapping L (timing in frames)

Quick poe lure

Approaching poes that live high in the air with senses off will cause them to approach Link earlier than approaching with senses on. This is not useful for poes that live near the ground.

Easy golden bug grabbing from the ground

Normally when you walk near some golden bugs, they will fly away, but if you hold L and walk towards them they won't be scared off.

Easy golden bug grabbing from the boomerang

If the boomerang returns to Link while he's in the animation of putting another item away, he will skip the animation of catching the boomerang, giving more of an opportunity to catch flying bugs before they get away.

Make golden bugs land on the ground

Aiming the boomerang above a golden bug will get it caught lower in the boomerang's gale, making it land on the ground when the boomerang returns instead of flying away.


──── Other Information ────


Burning Webs

Besides Lantern, you can also burn webs using the Ball & Chain, and by shooting Bomb Arrows at them.

Sidehop through steam without Iron Boots

You can sidehop through the steam jets on Death Mountain without needing boots on if you have a shield.

Quick air meter

If you resurface from underwater quickly and then try to sink again, the air meter will appear quicker than it normally does. This is usually a bad thing, as having a quick air meter can make tricks like Pillar Clip or the Morpheel backup impossible.

Angle changes with item wheel buffering

Holding a full cardinal direction while in first person will change Link's horizontal or vertical angle by 512 units every frame. It is useful for some setups to ensure that an angle change is an exact multiple of 512 units. To do so:

  1. Enter first person with c-up or a first person item
  2. Pull up the item wheel
  3. Hold a cardinal direction
  4. Cancel the item wheel
  5. Pull up the item wheel again n frames later to get an angle change of 512*n units

The item wheel pulls ensure that there aren't any frames where the control stick isn't held all the way into the notch. To prevent the item wheel cursor from moving and causing the item wheel not to close, steps 3 and 4 can be done in the opposite order so long as the control stick is all the way in the notch by the time the item wheel finishes closing. Buffering angle changes like this is not helpful with diagonal notches, as they have inconsistent values. Because pulling up the item wheel takes 2 frames, this method can only yield angle changes of 1024 units or more per buffer; for example, to aim 512 units (1 frame) rightward, you'd need to buffer 2 frames leftward and then 3 frames rightward, or equivalent.

Vertical angle changes with c-up cancels

While in first person, tapping the A button while holding c-up causes the camera to momentarily exit first person and then re-enter it, which causes the vertical angle to approach 0 (horizontal) in a consistent way given a consistent starting angle. For most starting angles, one A tap will cut the vertical angle to exactly 3/4 of its previous value. This holds until around 1000 units, where A taps begin to cut a great proportion of the angle and eventually reach 0. For starting angles higher than 10,000, the cut is very slightly higher than 3/4 as well.

Tapping the L trigger while in first person aiming a first person item has the same effect. Holding c-up and tapping A while in first person aiming a first person item has the same effect as two cancels put together, i.e. cuts the angle to 9/16 its starting value; this only works if you begin to hold c-up while already in first person aiming a first person item.

Horizontal angle changes by turning around

Turning around is only exactly 180 degrees when Link is facing a cardinal direction on the map (angles 0, 16384, 32768, 49152). When he's not facing a cardinal direction, turning around will slightly adjust his angle towards the nearest cardinal direction. The exact angle change and how targeting and camera position interacts with this is not well understood.

Horizontal angle changes by aiming the camera up

When Link is facing between angles 1 and 1024 (inclusive) on the map, aiming the camera upwards at all will adjust the horizontal angle gradually towards 0.

Item wheel item placement

As the item wheel fills up, items shift around to be roughly evenly spaced around the circle. The order the items will appear in is invariable, as each item has a set slot number that it goes in when acquired. Moving counterclockwise from the top, there are trade quest items/notes/Ooccoo, then bottles, then bomb bags, then the Hawkeye, then story progression/dungeon items from the fishing rod to the double clawshots arranged in the order they are meant to be acquired in a casual playthrough as the newest items are added to the top position on the wheel. The one exception is the Clawshot, which is removed from its original slot upon receiving the Double Clawshots, which only ever appear at the top of the item wheel as they are the final item meant to be acquired.

However, since speedruns often obtain these right-side items out of the intended order, it isn't uncommon for new items to appear in later positions on the wheel. For example, Any% gets the Ball and Chain when the top item is the Clawshot, so the Ball and Chain takes the top slot and moves the Clawshot to the right. But upon getting the Spinner later, the Ball and Chain will stay in the top slot because it is meant to be acquired after the Spinner.

A full item wheel:

Howling stone songs

Sacred Grove

HSSG

Death Mountain

HSDM

Upper Zora's River

HSUZR

Lake Hylia

HSLH

Snowpeak

HSSP

Hidden Village

HSHV


──── Time of Day Info ────


  • Morning starts at 6:00, while night starts at 19:00. Stalhounds and most poes will appear when night begins and disappear when morning starts. These poes are available at all times of day:
    • Jovani's poe
    • All dungeon poes, including Sacred Grove past poe (behind owl statue)
    • Poes in grottos and caves
    • Faron purple mist central tree stump poe
    • Both Sacred Grove poes (past waterfall and Grove 1 fight arena), but not Master Sword pedestal poe
    • First and second poes ascending Snowpeak (not third poe)
    • Poe on hill outside Snowpeak Ruins
  • Kakariko Village Malo Mart is open from 6:00 to 20:00 until it becomes open at all times after opening the Castle Town Malo Mart
  • 1 in-game minute usually takes 21 frames to pass, but there are some exceptions, including the Fishing Pond (see below), Bulblin Camp (see below), areas after exiting twilights (see below), and Ordon Spring immediately after leaving the sewers.
  • Time normally does not pass during warps, loads, menus, textboxes, or when an area name banner is up and covering the HUD; nor does it pass in caves (except the Snowpeak connection cave), grottos, indoor areas, villages, or dungeons, including Temple of Time (Grove area) and the entrance area before Arbiter's Grounds.
  • In instances when time of day is sped up (see below), it can pass even during warps, textboxes, etc.

In the fishing pond, the speed at which time passes depends on the time of day.

Time of DayFrames per in-game minute
13:00-20:0021 (normal speed)
20:00-04:007 (3x speed)
4:00-10:0021 (normal speed)
10:00-13:0011 (~2x speed)

Likewise, speed is variable in Bulblin Camp before defeating King Bulblin 3.

Time of DayFrames per in-game minute
05:00-03:598 (~3x speed)
04:00-04:59time does not advance

The wagon escort event that leads to the Zora Armor forces a few time of day changes.

SectionTime of Day Behavior
Begin escort (before KB2)Sets 17:00 and advances one in-game minute every 6 frames (3.5x speed) until reaching 21:00, at which point time of day stops progressing
KB2 fightLocks the in-game time when hitting the cutscene trigger before the fight
From KB2 to KakarikoSets and locks 21:00
Cutscene in KakarikoSets and locks 22:00
Following RutelaSets and locks 4:00
Rutela text presenting Zora ArmorFrom 4:00, advances one in-game minute every 6 frames (3.5x speed) until reaching 6:00

There are a few places that will automatically set the time of day to a certain time. For example, Palace of Twilight will change time to night, and City in the Sky will set time to noon. You can abuse this to set time to specific times you desire. Here is a list of events that set specific times.

AreaSet Time of Day
During twilights / Palace of Twilight0:00
After Forest Temple12:00
After King Bulblin 117:00
After Goron Mines12:00
After Lanayru Twilight12:00
After Lakebed Temple12:00
During MDH21:00
After MDH6:00
Entering Stallord via AG21:00
After Snowpeak Ruins12:00
Entering Sacred Grove 25:00
Finishing Sacred Grove 2 Skull Kid fight8:00
After Temple of Time12:00
After City in the Sky12:00
Cave of Ordeals Floor 1623:00

Exiting an area in twilight before clearing the twilight (e.g. escaping Faron, or warping to get the bridge in Faron or the volcanic rock in Eldin) sets time of day to 15:00 and causes each in-game minute to last 127 frames. Savewarping in an area in twilight before exiting the area will leave time of day at midnight and moving at the normal speed, but visiting any main Hyrule Field area that's outside of twilight afterward will set 15:00 and 127f/min.

Last updated 04/09/2024 – bewildebeest