Forums  /  Sonic Mania (Pre-DLC)  /  Current Findings

EDIT - In order to used unlocked abilities you have to hover over No-Save and press Y(xbox) or triangle(PS4) - change sonic's ability type from Mania to CD and then start a No-Save run as Sonic. This of course means you lose the ability to start spin dash in mid-air(which after experimenting I have found you simply jump and then hold jump to continue doing it over and over)

Doing my best in this to avoid spoilers for those wanting to experience levels for themselves while at the same time giving what I feel is key information to creating speedrun routes.

Tails is most definitely the Easy mode for this game. Hitting something just right and then flying sends you rocketing over a good chunk of the the expense of missing checkpoints. Tails can fly for a decent amount of time and even doggie paddle in the water. Enemies above Tails while he is flying will be hit by his tail as if he were in ball form.

Sonic has the ability to start his spin dash in mid-air, I have yet to master the timing on it but I believe its possible to jump-spin-hit the ground - go flying - start spin in mid air- hit the ground - continue spinning. Working out the timing.

There are the giant rings from Sonic 1 hidden around each Act. There is at least one giant ring in each act and these lead to the chaos emeralds. Instead of the half pipe mini game there is a new mini-game in which your amount of rings is your clock, and the blue orbs increase your speed. All the while you are chasing a UFO(This is what the game calls it) which is holding the emerald.

You chase it around a track. You can jump to avoid pitfalls, but Sonic moves forward automatically and you have to drift him around corners to maintain speed. Running out of rings or falling off the course is grounds for failure.

You start at Mach 1, filling the meter with blue orbs increases your mach. Hitting Mach 4 ensures you will get the emerald but makes Sonic harder to control.

Having 25+rings and hitting a checkpoint activates the 'Blue Ball' Minigame which rewards medals upon completion and I believe these medals unlock things in the extra's menu.(It also seems you can unlock abilities as I obtained Sonic's "Peel out" move from Sonic CD)

Each zone has 2 acts, each act has a boss fight. There are also mini-bosses in the middle of some acts(possibly all acts)

Shields you grab have effects around the environment. Fire Shields burn wood. Also reflects projectiles

Bubble Shields reflect projectiles and allow you to breathe underwater
(nothing new that I have been able to determine)

Lightning shields grab rings but also magnetize the player to certain metal platforms. Unsure if it reflects projectiles.

There are tons of new level mechanics that really have to be experienced to understand. On top of that there are TONS of branching paths that cross over one another. Well timed jumps(or flying) can skip sections or if done wrong send you backwards.

I have yet to experiment with Knuckles. I'm over halfway through the game, but needed a break to maintain my sanity XD

seawopseawop, BaffanBaffan and Jak8Jak8 like this. 

3. Yes, while I believe Knuckles is the hard version, and Sonic is intermediate (there's also Sonic with Tails, let's not forget that...)

4. Officially, that's called the drop dash, and it will certainly be useful for speedruns of this game!

5. Special Stages

6. I haven't seen falling off, but running out of rings automatically ends the special stage and you have to try again.

7. I'm fairly certain Mach 3 is really all you need, especially considering how long it would take to get to Mach 4 in the game. Easier to control and still much faster than the UFO.

8. Unless we plan on having 100 % (and I guess Any % to go with that) as main categories, I wouldn't exactly recommend the bonus stages for runs of the game. They waste time.

9.I'm fairly certain that all of the zones have mini-bosses after Act 1.

10. Except for the regular shield. Also if you hit the button you use to drop dash, you can dash through the air (sorry, don't have the game so I don't know what the button layout would be...)

11. You can also bounce by hitting the button you use to drop dash.

12. (Electric Shields) allow you to double jump by hitting the drop dash button in mid-air. Also, I think all elemental shields reflect projectiles.

13. Well in some cases I don't know about BACKWARDS, but they at least slow you down a lot.

seawopseawop and Saro0fdemonsSaro0fdemons like this. 

something small but if you press all four face buttons during time trial it will reset your run. Much faster then pressing start then reset

Saro0fdemonsSaro0fdemons likes this. 

Drop dash is actually very easy! After you jump, just press and hold the jump button again.
I've yet to master aiming it though, but I'm pretty sure you have some control over which way he comes out of it.

Saro0fdemonsSaro0fdemons likes this. 

Yeah you can make him go the opposite direction if need be.

Saro0fdemonsSaro0fdemons likes this. 

I have a few findings myself.
Hi guys, been a long time viewer of speedruns, but now I'm gonna start trying.

I don't know if this is common across all 2d sonic games, but you lose speed during a jump, so jumps have to be done as low as necessary.
This knowledge is useful in some situations, like how you can maintain speed here -

Zipping doesn't seem to work in Mania, you can clip inside walls, but your only options is conventional movement, could be a time save for vertical traversing. There's a damage boost in Metallic Madness in the shaft with the falling spike platforms that's easy to get a clip by jumping as close to the wall as possible then turning around when a platform drops. Objects can block you into a soft lock though, so route accordingly.

Positioning yourself during act and zone transitions seems to be important as some don't occur unless Sonic (or whoever) is in a certain area, being offscreen seems to be a time waster, but exceptions might exist (Press Garden?)

In a Sonic & Tails route, Tails might be exploitable for quick kills and hitting floating animal boxes.

Not speedrun related but if you make Tails fly during the Act clear phase you can make him vanish into thin air, good party trick

It's possible to lose a lot time the Studiopolis > Flying Battery transition, haven't confirmed the cause, but it may have something to do with if Tails is present. I mention this because I've encountered bugs where Tails won't respawn if killed/left behind.

Gotta get good at Puyo lol.

I think that's all. Are we posting ILs?

seawopseawop and AquaBlakeAquaBlake like this. 

honestly the Puyo boss was my favourite when i played at my freinds house, it was even better because we were playing puyo just before we started playing sonic mania 😃


Guys! I think I found something important!

This is Version 1.0 of Sonic Mania for Switch, NTSC English version.

I hope this is actually useful. it probably is.


Speaking of the "Catch the UFO" bonus, I just had the strangest thing happen to me (I have no video proof of it sadly as I just played Mania undocked) <--- around about this section I jumped for the coin sphere and I must have hit the out of bounds trigger at the same point as I hit the sphere because the camera changed to indicate me being OOB but there was no text and I was able to carry on for a couple of seconds (since the camera wasn't on my character I didn't last long) Its not useful in terms of speedrunning but I wonder what would happen if this glitch happened and you were able to catch the UFO...


Lots of interesting things, keep it up!

Dude, is level wrapping in the game or was it just dumb death awaiting you? If you could level wrap with that, that would be very useful.

Also, for Cythertime, I have the feeling that you may have just barely hit the ring capsule and because of that, the camera triggered but you were still on the stage. That's my guess, anyway...


PC player here, but if he were to level wrap, he would need to go faster than 16 or so pixels per frame, assuming that a lot of things in Mania are similar to 1, 2, CD, and 3K.

Also, DarkSpinesSonic, the awesome player that he is, keeps screwing around with the game and finding new things, with Knuckles at least.

11 day til the PC version is released. I. Can't. Wait.

seawopseawop likes this. 

oh, it 100% level wrapped vertically. that being said, I couldn't get past the act 1 boss, as the walls at the end of the act had collision again. that being said, I think you cans till stand on the boxes in the boss chamber because the interactable objects still had collision. it DOES seem that one other person found it as well as myself during a stream from some cursory research around the web, but yeah. you can't glide to Act 2, and it seems you just get lodged in the wall instead olf having horizontal level wrap like the classics where you'd get jammed in the wally and then have your X-axis flung to the end of the stage, if that's what you're asking.


I was really scratching my head when the times coming in for Titanic Monarch Act 2 were sub 1 minute. I thought that was pretty insane as I could barely do sub 6 minutes lmao. I knew there had to be some sort of exploit here. And finally someone uploaded a video:

I wonder if this will get fixed. Its really weird that this triggers the goalpost though, because this room is nowhere near the goalpost and its even LEFT of it so... wtf. If you go to where this warp dumps you out in debug mode, then head straight up, you'll find a lamppost in an otherwise unreachable chamber, and to the right is a bed of spikes you can float over, and an animal capsule - this room is where the time trial is supposed to end.

EDIT: I tested the other 3 paths and their optional exits - this exit is the only one that triggers the goal.

AstralProxyAstralProxy and RyanDKCRyanDKC like this. 

Are we gonna do a glitched/glitchless split like Sonic 1? I'm okay with it - I prefer running inbounds.

jocloud31jocloud31 likes this. 

@GamerYogi I was hoping for this as well. I'm SUPER new (literally started training for my first speedrun last week), but I would love to see a glitchless/skipless category.


Hey guys, me again.
So I've been routing for an any% and here are my findings.

If we're doing RTA (and I hope we are imo) you can mash at the end of act screen to expedite the score allocation (like in modern Sonic games).

I've only routed the first 3 stages by taking ILs and tweaking them to account for 2 acts, for example, I'll get the fire shield in act 1 of GHZ because it speeds up act 2 and provides a quick kill on the boss.

CPZ is IL friendly so it should end up being an easy stage in the long term, despite that I found a rather scrappy quick kill on the act 1 boss and the act 2 boss requires a little good puyo execution and a lot of luck as competitive puyo strats apply under 4 color puyo and Mania offers us 5 color puyo which provides a lot of instability for speed's sake.

SPZ is super fun imo and act 1 is IL friendly one can lose a lot of time on the act 1 boss, let me explain;

Time can be gained or lost in 2 ways, first the missile order and second by the transition between phases. For the missile order, obviously you want the blue missile to go first, but it's completely random and I haven't found a way to manipulate that. The route during transition is also random but if you don't fail any of the phases (is it possible to fail a phase?) you only have to go through 3, I found the fastest route is a high/low/low. Going high is unavoidable no matter the order, but if you going low speeds sonic up during the brief autoscroller and saves about a half second going into the next phase, it's possible to go high/low/high but it's rare from my tests, but low/high/high is the slowest, probably worth a reset if you're doing WR attempts.
I haven't seen any ILs for act 2 so I winged it, I recently found that it's faster and more stable to damage boost off the first spike and run through the badnik instead of trying to get lucky spindashing through, some jumps can also save some time in some spots I discovered, avoid the big ring at all costs, huge time loss. I get the lightning shield to quick kill the boss.

All and all GHZ for me is the hardest to optimize so far, I'll start routing FBZ and PGZ over the weekend, I'm pretty excited for PGZ after I saw that act 2 boss skip.

If a single pixel is off screen, the game considers your character practically offscreen, time loss.


Hey guys! I'm new to the Speed-running community! I decided to make Sonic Mania my first game to run! I want to help break the game too! That being said. I'll be running on the Nintendo Switch.

Also, I just found out, that you can use the Pokken Tournament Hori gamepad to play Sonic Mania! This is amazing as it has a much better D-Pad than the Pro controller and cost much less. This will help eliminate bad inputs and lag. I hope this info was helpful.

Looking forward to submitting runs and going fast!


Hey guys. Not sure if it'd be useful but i found this wall clip in Chemical Plant Act 1 when I was playing as Tails.

brad_86brad_86 likes this. 

Alright, an interesting find...

Typically you wouldn't want to be on the lower route, but now you can use this as a back-up.


also! a little tiny optimization i havent seen anywhere is that when you start a new file, its faster (at least on switch) to close the game asap and reopen it, this skips the intro cutscene and saves about ten seconds.
This might be even faster depending on what console youre playing on, just thought i'd share.