What is speedrunning?
Speedrunning is nothing more than playing a game with the intent of completing it as fast as possible.
People speedrun to challenge themselves, to see a game pushed to the limits, and to get extra replay value out of a game.
What is SpeedRunsLive?
SpeedRunsLive is a community based around speedrunning after the popularity of livestreaming took off.
Some of the main features of SRL:
- A stream directory, to find speedrunning live streams.
- A richly developed speedrun racing platform.
- A populated IRC community.
We are constantly in development. The next major things we are working on are a proper account system (to log in and edit your profile details), more ways to get on the streams page, and SRL Leaderboards (a place to submit runs and get ranked against others).
How do I get my stream to appear on the front page of SpeedRunsLive?
Currently the best way of getting on the front page of the site is to do races. The streams featured on the front page are calculated using an algorithm that takes into account your total time of racing, how many races you've participated in, how often you race, and other factors. Just continue racing and contributing to the community, and you'll show up eventually. After you show up on the streams page, continue to race!
We are working on more ways to get on the front page.
What am I allowed to stream on the front page of SpeedRunsLive?
We strongly encourage those who have met the requirements and appear on the streams page to continue streaming speedrun-related sessions. Some games that are typically not speedrunning-friendly (like LoL or Starcraft 2) are blacklisted to not show on the streams page. If you are concerned about streaming non-speedrun related sessions, put [nosrl] in your stream title.
These things are considered "speedrunning-related":
- TAS work
- discussion about speedrunning
- casual/challenge playthroughs of games you speedrun or intend to speedrun
If you want to stream the following, you should put [nosrl] in your stream title to opt out:
- games which you have no intention of speedrunning
- unrelated work (channel redesign, etc.)
What are SRL Races?
SRL Races are currently the most developed facet of SpeedRunsLive. Races let you run in direct competition with others simultaneously. Players set up races, and the RaceBot gives them a countdown. On GO! they start at the same time and both play through the game with the intention of finishing the goal first. Races are live-streamed so others can watch the action.
Every game raced on SRL has a ranking leaderboard. Players may rise to a higher rank when they do well in races. The stronger the opponent, the more you have to gain. The weaker the opponent, the more you have to lose. Most of all, we're all in this to have a good time. While races have potential for really great competition, it's all about fun.
How do I participate in SRL Races?
You must use the same username for every race you participate in so the site tracks your stats properly.
Do not use two different usernames!
How does the channel work?
#speedrunslive is an IRC channel. If you aren't familiar with IRC, don't worry. You can easily connect & participate via this page. Once you connect you can interact with RaceBot, the bot that organizes races.
We highly recommend using an IRC client, although the on-site widget is sufficient for participating. If you would like to use an IRC Client but don't yet have one installed, we recommend mIRC. For a video tutorial on connecting to SpeedRunsLive with mIRC, watch this tutorial.
How do I use RaceBot?
For those who like video tutorials, Twig explains how RaceBot works in this video.
RaceBot is a bot that organizes all the races on SRL. It accepts commands that you type in the channel. For the command list & detailed explanations, check the RaceBot command list. As you look through the list, please note that some commands are "Voice Commands." These are commands that only voices and up from the #speedrunslive channel can use.
If you are new and are not sure exactly how to start a race, do not be afraid to ask! We are here to help you.
Also keep in mind that you start races using the game abbreviations, not the full game name! Check the RaceBot command list for more details.
What can I race on SpeedRunsLive?
Creating a Race
If you have an opponent, and you both have the game of interest, and you both agree on a goal, then you can create a new race channel on the chat by using the .startrace command. If the game already exists in the database (check here), you can use ".startrace abbrev", replacing "abbrev" with the game's abbreviation. (The abbreviation is found on the right column of the individual game information page. For example, if you want to race Super Mario 64, and you have an opponent, you would type in ".startrace sm64", since that is the game abbreviation for Super Mario 64.)
If a game doesn't exist on the database, you can use ".startrace newgame", and a voice from #speedrunslive will create the game in the database after the race is finished.
We strongly encourage users to race goals that are meaningful and gives time enough for the racers to demonstrate their levels of skill. Generally, any goal to beat the full game under any restriction is ok, as long as it exceeds approximately 3 minutes or more. If you want to race an extremely short game such as Tower of Heaven, one suggestion is to have the goal be to beat it several times in a row.
Generally, any goal that only completes a part of the game, such as "Beat World 1", should be kept to at least about 10 minutes of actual playtime. However, some race goals can exceed this length and still be discouraged to race (Example: Beat Brock in Pokemon R/B/Y. May exceed 10 minutes, but it's too short in respect to the rest of the game to offer any real measure of competition.). The same applies for an arbitrary goal such as "Get 1000 points" or "collect 100 such and suches". This is because we would like SRL to represent one's skill at the full game, so racing too many short goals can prevent the leaderboards from reflecting this.
If you are still unsure, just ask a mod and they can tell you.
Can I play on an emulator?
If the emulator is accurate and the community for that game accepts emulator as a valid choice, then yes, you can. The most commonly used emulators for each system include:
- NES - FCEUX 2.2.0
- GB - bgb
- SNES - SNES9x 1.53
- GBA - VBA 1.7.2
- Genesis/GameGear/SMS - Fusion
- N64 - Project64 v1.7
See further below for more rules regarding emulators.
What exactly is "Seasons"?
A season is a 3 month, ranked competition of races. The first season began on April 12, 2013, and a new season will begin as soon as the current one finishes. Streaming is required for Seasons goals, regardless of whether you're playing on console or emulator. To learn more about seasons, click here.
How do I get my stream to appear on the races page of SpeedRunsLive?
First, when you join your first race, make sure to set your stream with RaceBot. To do that, you simply type ".setstream twitch/yourusername". After you've completed your first race on the site, your user profile will be created, and your stream will show up in the Races tab and going to the specific race you've entered in.
What if I can't stream but still want to race?
It is strongly preferred that you stream for racing. If you are asked for proof, you must figure out a way to show proof of completion of the goal. Otherwise, you will be disqualified (and possibly banned). If you are playing on an emulator, or if you are racing a season goal, you are required to stream (NO exceptions). However, if you are playing on a console, you are not required to stream. For more details about streaming and proofcalling, read below.
Rules about streaming and proofcalling.
The following guidelines are subject to change and there can be instances where operators of SpeedRunsLive will have to make decisions that exceed these guidelines depending on the situation.
Streaming is not a requirement for all racing on Speed Runs Live, but we prefer that you do so, not only for our sake, but for your own as well. Please see specifics of streaming below.
Being disqualified from a race does not necessarily label you a as a cheater, but rather as having failed to provide proof when proofcalled. Please see specifics of proofcalling below.
Consoles: Consoles can be streamed using a capture card to directly capture the console feed, or using a web camera pointed at your tv-screen. You are not required to stream if you are playing on a console, you can however still be proofcalled should someone doubt your time.
Emulators: All use of emulators MUST be streamed when racing. This is a requirement and there are no general exceptions. Certain emulators may be banned. If you happen to use an emulator that is running on an Android phone or other such device, you may not race until you have gotten permission from AT LEAST one operator in #speedrunslive .If you are doubting whether or not your emulator is affected by this rule, then assume that it is, and do not race without getting such permission. You can still be proofcalled in the event that you get permission to race without streaming, should someone doubt your time.
For reference, the following emulators are globally banned for use in racing:
- SNES - ZSNES, snes9x 1.4x
- N64 - Project64 2.x
- GB/GBC - VBA, VBA-M
- GBA - VBA-M (use VBA instead. If VBA does not support your GBA game, please contact an op.)
PC Games: All PC games MUST be streamed when racing. This is a requirement and there are no general exceptions. If you happen to believe that you cannot race while streaming because your game lags too much or you do not have sufficient bandwidth to stream, then you may not race until you have gotten permission from AT LEAST one operator in #speedrunslive. Also note that this permission will not be given for Minecraft, Minesweeper, Windows Desktop Games or other low requirement PC games that can be streamed on any computer purchased within the last four or so years. You can still be proofcalled in the event that you get permission to race without streaming, should someone doubt your time.
Other: When in doubt, ask an operator or other experienced users.
Proofcalling is the way that we deal with cheaters and doubtful times on Speed Runs Live. If a racer finishes with a time that seems to be above their skill level, or if a new racer suddenly gets a high ranking time on the race leaderboards, it is common to initiate a proofcall if that racer did not stream. Proofcalling can be done by anyone, whether in the race or not, and anyone can be proofcalled regardless of position. It is common to ask for assistance in #speedrunslive from a voice or operator to come handle the situation.
The goal will be set to "don't record" or "proofcall in progress", and the racer in question must provide sufficient proof, to convince the other racers and proofcall handler that they are able to achieve the time that they claimed.
Examples of sufficient proof:
- Streaming in good quality with sound is always sufficient proof.
- Video recording in good quality.
- In some games, a screencapture of filename and progress of completion is sufficient.
- In some games, a screencapture of ingame timer or level overview is sufficient.
- In some games, an explanation of routing choices and key events is sufficient.
These examples are general and it is unfortunately impossible to make a perfect guideline for what is sufficient proof, which is why we recommend streaming.
Should you happen to be proofcalled and unable to provide proof for your time, it does as mentioned previously not necessarily label you a cheater, but rather unable to prove your time. You will be disqualified from the race, and in the worst cases where we do believe cheating has taken place, you will be banned from Speed Runs Live.
If you happen to leave during a proofcall or become inactive for a longer period of time, you will also receive a disqualification, and if we feel necessary, a ban from SpeedRunsLive.
Can my upcoming charity marathon be featured on the front page?
We’re happy to promote any (speedrunning-related) charity marathon, given the following two conditions are met:
- You provide a complete schedule 2 weeks before the marathon begins.
- All donation links presented on stream or marathon related websites should go directly to the charity's PayPal or another proven payment method. No proceeds should go towards personal causes.
- If you'd like to use PayPal but your charity does not accept it, you should contact them ahead of time to see if they are able to set up a PayPal address for you in their domain name.
- Do not add or modify donation links after the stream has been whitelisted.
- We may not whitelist marathons for personal causes, such as medical bills or travel costs to get to another marathon (even if “excess” funds go to a charity).
- Users are free to host marathons for whatever cause they wish on their own SRL nick under their own twitch name, be it for charity, personal, etc. Exploiting a loophole by using one’s racing nick and doing .setstream to a marathon twitch channel is not acceptable, and may result in your stream being temporarily blacklisted from the frontpage.
- After the marathon concludes, the stream will be un-whitelisted. If another marathon happens on the channel in the future, please re-submit the request.
If you would like your marathon to be whitelisted, please PM a moderator, and/or send an e-mail to the SRL e-mail address at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’d like to host a just-for-fun marathon, with no donations involved. Can that be featured on the front page?
These types of marathons may be allowed on a case by case basis. Regardless, you can still host the marathon on your own personal twitch channel.
As stated above, please PM a moderator, and/or send an e-mail to the SRL e-mail address at email@example.com with full details and schedule.
Can you explain how different goals work? What does any% mean?
In order to race a game there needs to be a start point and an end point. The end point is whatever the goal is. The simplest end point is "any%" which means simply to beat the game. The term comes from the Metroid community, where people would do 100% runs, low% runs (beating the game with the least amount of items), and any% (anything goes).
Some games don't really fit into percentages, such as Super Mario 64. Instead of percentage, the star count makes more sense to use. In Super Mario 64, a "120 star" goal would be to start a new game, collect all 120 stars, and beat the game.
Sometimes goals are more complicated. For example, in King's Bounty, one of the more popular goals is "All Continentia bounties; no island leaving nor week ending (Normal)"
A ruleset like this is the result of the community agreeing upon what makes a good, competitive race goal. Sometimes these more complicated goals are more fun and better to race than the more typical goals like "any%"
For more about terms, check out the Glossary.
How does the ranking system work?
The ranks for each game are calculated using a modified version of Microsoft TrueSkill.
Some games have an in-game timer. How does this factor in to races?
It doesn't. We use real time for everything, so the only thing that determines the winner is the order in which they finish in real time. In-game timers tend to be easily abused, and oftentimes do not count many things such as pause screens, transitions, or lag.
What's the deal with turbo-functions, glitch-abuse, cheat-codes, save-states, save-warping, scripts, and newgame+?
The rules for games are community-driven. Whatever people agree upon as the best way to play is what will be done. However here are some guidelines:
Not allowed when the official stock controller doesn't have this function. Turbo is unfair to those who don't have a third party controller with a turbo function.
Allowed, but sometimes limited. One way to limit glitch abuse is to have certain rulesets or categories that have restrictions on what you can and cannot do. Generally glitches will be allowed, however. If you don't really understand why, then consider this: The game merely executes the code in the way it was programmed to do. The game is the law. If you start trying to get at "developer intentions," then you start a game of guesswork trying to figure out what exactly was intended or not.
If via a 3rd party device such as a gameshark or game genie, this is not allowed. These generally water down the game and remove the element of skill, which is against the whole point of competition. Using in-game cheats, if specifically mentioned in the goal, is allowed.
Savestates and any emulator-exclusive functions are completely banned.
In some games, if you save and reload it will warp you to a certain point faster than if you travelled there naturally. Typically allowed, but this is a community-driven rule, and if it becomes more popular to disallow saves for a certain game, then so be it.
This is entirely up to the community of the game being raced.
Allowed if it is specified in the goal. Disallowed otherwise.
What you should pick up from this list is that the community drives the ruleset. Nothing is set in stone.
How do I register my IRC nickname?
As of December 16th, it is mandatory to register your nickname on IRC to race. More details can be found here.
I'm really bad at this whole speedrunning thing...
Doesn't matter. There are players of all skill levels on SRL. It is better to actually try than to sit back and make excuses. Give it a try!
Also, if you're still feeling unsure of how everything works here, feel free to lurk in #speedrunslive, check out a few races, linger in race channels, and ask questions (even if the people tell you to look at the FAQ again, which isn't a bad idea either).