New Runner Roadmap

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As a runner, your goals very much depend on your own time, ability, and inclination to play the game. However, your achievements in this game will probably follow a fairly straightforward path if you want to work your way up the leaderboards efficiently. We will go over an example achievement progression for a new SMB3 runner, though we won't give actual time periods as the ability and time investment available varies greatly from player to player.

"I want a time"

Are you just looking to add this game to your Speedrun.com profile and not be at the bottom?

Play the game

Get yourself familiar with the mechanics of the game by playing every level through in a sitting. No whistles. Once you have that down, it's time for you to post your first time.

Any% No Wrong Warp < 15:00

This shouldn't take very long. You will grab whistles in 1-3 and 1-F, then warp twice in a row to enter World 8. Advanced strategies are not required, and hands shouldn't keep you from finishing. Learn to survive the levels and then do so with less than three deaths, and learn the Bowser ducking glitch. Hands should not be a major concern and even a blessing for extra items should you die.

Any% Warpless < 1:20:00

You will beat the game without whistles. At this stage, kill every hammer brother so you don't have to worry about missing essential items. Skip 1-3, 1-4, 2-4, 3-6 through 3-F2, 4-5, 5-6, 5-9, 6-1, 6-2, 6-3, 6-6, 6-7, 6-10, 7-4, 7-5, 7-7, 7-F2, both 7-Plants. If you die a few times or get hands, it shouldn't prevent you from achieving this time. Grab the hammer suit from the Mushroom House in W6. Use it on Bowser. If you mess up, just use the Bowser ducking glitch.

Any% < 5:00

Welcome to your first annoying grind. You will perform the game-end glitch in 7-1. Your task is somewhat complicated and can't be easily summed up, so go check out Producks' guide. The point of waiting to do this category until this point is so you have a decent understanding of tail movement, which is important for performing the necessary movements.

Intermediate

This is one of a handful of games you play and stream regularly.

100% < 1:30:00

Time to learn the rest of the game. You will beat every stage as fast as possible, including Hammer Brothers, Plants, and Hands. This pace should accommodate a few deaths. Use clouds to move forward and retrieve needed items should they be wasted before finishing the stages.

Any% No Wrong Warp < 13:00

It's time to learn to finish the game optimally. You will need to understand 8-F2 Early Door and keep fire all the way to Bowser, then kill him with it. A quick death or two may be acceptable but you will likely need to reset quite a bit to get this time. Hands are very important; with two or more a reset is recommended. At least learn Quick Leaf, though it may not be essential.

Any% Warpless < 1:10:00

This time will probably involve learning optimal (P-speed) strategies in a handful of stages, as well as keeping fire through important points. Keep deaths to a minimum. If you die on a Koopa Kid, a reset is probably required. Learn the items that the Hammer Brothers have and which ones you should skip. Learn 7-1 clip.

100% < 1:25:00

Continue learning P-speed strategies on more difficult stages and keeping fire. This is probably the time to switch to full-time Bowser firekill strategies and leave Hammer Suit behind.

Advanced

This is probably your main game, at least at the point you've achieved these times. These are the goals that many Multi-Mario racers work to achieve.

Any% Warpless < 1:00:00

Learn what Early Hammer is and how to take advantage of it.

Any% < 4:00

Your World 1 levels should probably be close to flawless, and Quick Leaf is necessary.

100% < 1:20:00

Any% No Wrong Warp < 12:00

If you get hands, reset. If you don't get early door, reset. If you die outside of the first 5 seconds of a stage, reset. Quick leaf is probably necessary. 8-2 normal route is necessary. Boat Grab is helpful. Get all Boom Boom firekills possible.

Elite

This game is a long-term commitment for you of probably a year or more (provided that you are not Darbian or someone else insanely talented).

Any% Warpless < 57:00

This is the point where you may start resetting for bad Hammer Brother RNG. At this point you have entered the top ranks of SMB3 runners and your skill is high enough that you should probably be able to submit, race, and participate in online marathons and events. Strats should be copied and improved from WR videos.

100% < 1:15:00

You should probably be investigating some of the more difficult clips in the game. Strats should be copied and improved from WR videos.

Any% No Wrong Warp < 11:30

No hands ever. Strats should be copied and improved from WR videos.

Any% < 3:30

You will need to keep P-speed through the majority of 7-1 and execute every other stage perfectly. Strats should be copied and improved from WR videos.

A/SGDQ and World Record Attempts

You have reached the top of the ranks and can probably deliver the performance that inspired you to start running this game in the first place.

Final Note: Starting with 100%

The path I've just described is the most efficient path for those looking to ease themselves into the game while still getting the opportunity to post semi-frequent leaderboard times. However, it's not the most efficient path straight to the racing elite. If you are absolutely sure you want to run this game and want to get competitive as fast as possible, 100% is the best starting category as it forces you to learn the entire game front to back and almost all the knowledge you will gain about playing the game will trickle down into the other categories.