Listed are various movement forms and their speeds:
- Standard walking (10.8)
- Walking while holding L (11.8)
- Rolling (20)
- Boosting (up to 40, depends on how flat of a surface you boost on)
- Screw attacking (20 but begins decelerating eventually)
- Rolljumping (16-17)
Some other notes:
- Holding L also improves jumping height/speed the same way it is better for walking
- Grappling is faster than screw attack, so in rare situations where you have both items and can use either, then you should grapple
- Screw attacking starts at 20 speed but decelerates as you start to fall during the screw attack. So, if you don't need to go a particularly far distance, then try to minimize the time between screw attacks
- You can cancel any of your first 4 screw attacks by spamming B. This can help you land sooner if you have already screw attacked far enough
- You can cancel super missile cool down by bringing up scan visor after firing it, saving around a second in some situations
- If you have cannonball, you can open doors that previously had a blast shield on them by simply touching the door
Prime 2 is the only game in the series where you can shoot a beam or missile in the process of unmorphing. This trick can save minor amounts of time throughout a run, usually when rolling into portals or towards a door. The only requirement is to be morphed and then press A and X on the same frame (or Y and X if opting for a missile). Also, you must be on the ground as you can not do this airborne. Finally, an interesting side-effect is that you will begin charging whatever beam is equipped after you rollshoot (or will begin to initiate seeker missiles after a missile, if you have seeker launcher). This can sometimes be useful with power beam if you want to start charging a super missile early, or if you want to fire seeker missiles quickly as well.
Like its predecessor, Prime 2 allows for the player to cover extra long horizontal distances with a technique called scan dashing. However, in Prime 2 this technique is significantly less versatile and is limited by a horizontal speed cap, unlike the first game. Nonetheless, scan dashing is still a fairly fast form of movement and is very useful in many areas throughout the game. To perform a scan dash, lock on to an target (by scan visor or combat visor) and do a strafe off of that target while holding down R almost immediately afterwards. Unlike the first game, it is necessary to keep holding both L and R throughout the scan dash. If either button is released, then you will instantly slow down. Also, it is possible to bend or curve the scan dash by rolling the control stick up or down before the R button has been pressed. Once R is pressed, then your angle and speed is locked until you let go of either L or R again.
Scan Dashing Details
- To get the best height and distance from a scan dash, you want press R roughly 1/4 of a second after beginning the dash
- You can look where you are going during a scan dash by pressing A to drop the scan visor. As long as you are still holding L and R, this will not affect your speed or direction whatsoever and you can look around freely.
- If you did a dash in combat visor, or use a scan target that is close enough that you begin actually scanning it, then it's still possible to look around during the dash, but at a slight cost of speed. Just briefly let go of L to stop locking onto your target, and then immediately begin holding L again to minimize the speed loss.
- Assuming you are still holding L and R, you can peform a "bunnyhop" after a scan dash by jumping immediately after touching the ground again. This lets you continue jumping while maintaining most of the speed from your original scan dash. The most significant application of bunnyhopping can be seen in Vault.
Double/Triple Bomb Jumps
While bomb jumping in Prime 2 doesn't have nearly the variety of the Prime 1, it is still a useful technique to know. It is particularly important for its role in bomb space jumps, which are discussed later. The only two special bomb jumps in this game are double and triple bomb jumps, with the latter giving slightly extra height if done well. To do a double bomb jump, just press A to lay a bomb, and then right before that initial bomb goes off, press A two more times. If doing a triple, then spam A three times right before the initial bomb goes off.
Normally, unmorphing and morphing are fairly lengthy animations that can cost time in certain areas of a run. Thankfully, in Prime 2 you can completely (or sometimes just partially) skip either animation, which can save lots of time over the course of a run. There isn't any one guaranteed way to do an instant unmorph or morph; it depends on what direction you are facing, which room you are in, and what's around you. However, the general rule is that the game will cut the animation whenever the camera is obstructed. Common ways to obstruct the camera include rolling off a ledge, having your back against a wall, quickly boosting around a wall, jumping up towards a ceiling, or being in an area where you are cramped in between lots of nearby objects. In runs, the most common usage is to jump into the top of door frames and morph, which in almost every door in the game can give you an instant morph. While these techniques add nice detail to your movement, they are most notable for their role in two more significant speed tricks that are described below.
Bomb Space Jump (BSJ)
A bomb space jump is a height technique that takes advantage of instant unmorphs as mentioned above. It allows you to immediately unmorph and jump after you have done a single, double, or triple bomb jump. To do this, you want to lay a bomb (or 2 or 3), and within 21 frames after you have been propelled upwards by that bomb, press X to instantly unmorph and B to jump. It also helps to hold L after you have started jumping so that you can jump higher/farther. The key is to be in an area in which you are able to get an instant unmorph, as it otherwise is impossible to do this technique. The most common and applicable way to be in a good position is to have your back against a wall. An easy way to achieve this camera position is to have your back to the wall, and then briefly move forwards and morph. Also, you want to be moving backwards as you are popped up from the bombs in order to facilitate getting the instant unmorph (assuming that you are doing the standard setup where you back is to a wall). There are some other cases in which you might want to be moving forward as you are launched up. Again, it all depends on what it takes to get the instant unmorph.
Rolljumps are a distance technique that also take advantage of instant unmorphs. It allows you to jump in standing position while maintaining the speed you had while rolling in morph ball mode. To perform this trick, you roll off a ledge in morph ball mode while holding the R button beforehand (and holding it throughout the rest of the way). Then, within 21 frames after rolling off, you press X to instantly unmorph, press B immediately after X to jump, and then hold L immediately after jumping so that you maintain speed. Mechanically, this is essentially the same as a bomb space jump but just applied in a rolling situation instead of a bomb jump situation. While rolljumping can be used almost anywhere there is a ledge you can roll off, the most notable usage is in Watch Station Access in which rolljumping allows you to cross the gap early and perform one of the biggest sequence breaks in Prime 2.
This is a straightforward technique in which you use nearby objects to gain height on jumps. The two main ways you can apply this technique are with walls and with sloped floors. Using a wall, just hold L and walk near the given wall, then jump the moment before you run into it. With sloped floors, find the part of the floor in which it goes in an upward direction, then hold L and jump as you are in the process of moving up the slope.
Spider Ball Tracks
Spider ball movement is actually less straightforward than you might imagine. The initial speed you attain when you first attract to a spider ball track is faster than the normal speed you move at once you have full attracted to the track. As such, it is faster to repeatedly let go of the R button and quickly re-press it in order to keep getting the faster initial speed. Also, you can "sticky boost" on spider ball tracks with boost ball. To do this, go to the very edge of a track until you are hanging off of it and can't go any further. Then, simply release boost ball and you can go in significantly different directions than intended. The most notable usage of this technique is during the Power Bomb Guardian fight.
Water Movement (without Gravity Boost)
Normally, you move and jump extremely slowly underwater without Gravity Boost. However, an underwater dash allows you to jump underwater with same speed as being in air. To understand this, you need to know that the first frame you jump underwater, the water has yet to take effect on you. Or, in other words, you are still at air speed on the first frame. In addition, whenever you are holding L and R simultaneously, your speed and direction is always locked.
So, combining this knowledge, if you jump while pressing L and R the first frame during the jump, you can lock your jump at the speed it would be at in air. This is how to perform an underwater dash. Also keep in mind that you need to continue holding L and R during the jump to maintain speed. In general, the easiest way to do underwater dashes is to walk in a direction while already holding the L button, then just trying to press B and R on the same frame. The most significant use of this technique is performing Early Gravity Boost in Hydrodynamo Station.
You can achieve an odd situation where it looks like water has disappeared with a technique called air underwater. Doing this technique creates an odd environment where your uncharged beam shots immediately hit an invisible wall and the sound is clearer as if you weren't in water. To perform air underwater, you must morph on the frame you enter the water, making it a somewhat difficult one-frame trick. This can be done while falling into water or while walking sideways into a new water box.
The most important aspect of this trick for speedrunning is that you can screw attack underwater, which usually is impossible since Gravity Boost normally replaces Screw Attack while underwater. So, this technique provides another (faster) method of doing Early Gravity Boost in Hydrodynamo Station. Moreover, it is optimal for the Alpha Blogg fight after obtaining Gravity Boost, since you can perform air underwater before the fight and one-hit kill Alpha Blogg with a screw attack. As a result, you can access the Power Bomb Guardian from the closer of the two applicable portals, saving approximately 10 seconds compared to the other portal.