General information on speedrunning this game
6 years ago

This post will be a recap of useful info for anyone looking to speedrun this game. It is, by no means, a guide, as I honestly am not good at all at writing those. So just consider it as a list of pointers to consider, should you try to speedrun this game.

¤¤ US or JPN version? ¤¤

All runs are made on the US version. The key difference that would favor the US version is that running power shots (which are the bread and butter of SDB runs, namely Sam's power shot) are easier to perform. The JPN version requires you to throw exactly on the 7th step of a dash for your throw to be a power shot. The US version requires you to throw between the 3rd and 7th step on Easy, and between the 4th and 7th on Normal and Difficult, for your throw to be a power shot. This difference makes the US version the best version to perform speedruns on.

Another difference that could've favored the JPN version is that the Shadow team has the same resilience as your team, whereas in the US version, their resilience is pretty much doubled. That would've made Shadow team matches theoritically twice as short, but since power shots are less consistent in the JPN version, it wouldn't be worth it.

¤¤ Differences between difficulty levels ¤¤

There are two differences between difficulty levels:

  • The AI's skill in catching the ball goes up from one difficulty level to another
  • The number of steps required to do running power shots increases from Easy to Normal.

Therefore, you can do your power shots quicker on Easy, with the CPU being less likely to catch your shots. Normal would slightly raise the AI's ability to catch, while making your power shots a tad bit trickier to pull off. Difficult would make power shots as difficult to pull off as on Normal, but would also raise the AI's ability to catch tremendously.

This would make Easy runs easy to pull off, but incredibly hard to optimize once you reach times below 6:15. Normal runs reach that threshold at around times below 7:00. The optimization curve on Difficult is less steep, but is consistently hard to keep up with.

Strats to know:

  • Sam's running power shot. This will be your bread and butter. His power shot, named the Blaster, litterally blasts through opponents, damaging everyone in its path. It basically is the only RELIABLE AoE shot in the game. Steve also has an AoE shot, the Uppercut, but it goes flying into the air, which is a huge time waster. Your defense will catch your Blaster, so you'll be able to pass back and set up another Blaster. Try to get strikes (ie: all currently living opponents) as much as you can! Other shots, such as what is used in TASes, are not worth it due to RNG being VERY difficult to manipulate.

  • Know WHEN to use power shots and WHEN to use normal shots. While the concept of the powershot may seem to fit all situations, there are times when you'll save more time shooting normally than setting up a blaster. Let's say there's only one opponent left with one life bar. Instead of backing up and setting up the blaster, start a very quick dash and shoot normally. Barring india, your shot should at least do 4 damage, which is the amount of life points in a life bar. This will save you about a second or so. Also, if your back defensemen has the ball in front of a fallen opponent, you can move lower and then shoot for about 2-3 damage points. Be sure to calculate your shot properly, however, as it may or may not kill the guy. But if it does, you just saved about 2-3 seconds easily.

  • Learn in which circumstances your opponents group up. This varies from one team to another. Some teams (like Iceland and Kenya) like to stay in the same pack. Other teams (like England) tend to spread out more. What you need to do to get them grouped varies, depending on the team's playstyle.

  • The Swami skip. Once you'll get to India, you will notice that there's this one guy, Swami, who will only take one point of damage from all shots, save for a few air power shots (like the Compressor, which Randy has on your team... huge damage, but huge time waster as it sends the player looping through the screen twice) which will deal 2. This makes the india match waaaaay longer than it should be. What can be done to GREATLY offset that is choosing to change your alignment before the India match. This will get your opposing team to also reshuffle his alignment. There is a chance Swami will get set to the back. This is what you want to happen! If you see that Swami is still selected as one of the three "1"'s, press B to cancel your reshuffle and select "Yes" once again. The computer will then reshuffle again. Rinse and repeat until they put Swami in a non-1 position. This will make the India match much, MUCH shorter.

  • Leave your offensive alignment to Sam, John and Mike. There was a belief that picking the least resilient players would be reflected onto the shadow team, but the defense stat doesn't scale the same way it usually does when it comes to the shadow team. Rather, it's a flat rate that's applied to the entire team. Therefore, you should focus on having players with as little HP as possible with Sam, and John/Mike fit the bill perfectly. John's defense stat won't be as much of an issue as Swami's or Sato's.

Pitfalls to avoid:

  • Your opponents catching the ball. While you'll inevitably have that happen a lot on Difficult, it can be avoided somewhat consistently on Easy and Normal. Once your opponent catches your shot, he can then attack, or even worse, pass it to his defense in the back. This is one of the biggest time wasters, especially when India does it because they like to waste time passing the ball non-stop and then throw it to an unsuspecting team member.

  • Have Sam too far from the middle line. When the opponent has the ball, always try to keep Sam as close to the middle line as possible. And yes, specifically SAM. The reason being that if another teammate catches the ball, chances are you'll try to pass it back to Sam. And the AI just LOVES to screw with you when you try to do that. Passing to the wrong player is a HUGE time waster. So is trying to align yourself so that Sam is the one you'll pass to. So Keep Sam as close to the middle line as possible in defensive scenarios, to avoid having him running to the back.

  • Power shots in corners. This will cause your defensive players to run like headless chickens trying to get the ball. They will fumble. Badly. This will waste a lot of time, again.

So that covers the pointers every Super Dodge Ball speedrunners should know. If you have more, feel free to share them.

Edited by the author 6 years ago
Sm_Izumi, Elipsis and 2 others like this
Kentucky, USA

In the off chance that a shot goes high or low and one of the side defenders gets the ball, make sure you hold Left so they face the team when you pass back, otherwise they have a tendency to pass the ball back and forth OVER the opposing team which wastes time.

baldnate and MarthSR like this

Added a part on the original post about knowing when to choose between power shots and regular shots.

New York, USA

Thank you for the guide marth! Love the stuff! I just started running the game last night and I've been having a lot of fun! It's a long way to your 5:25 but I am excited to play more of this!

Chicago, IL, USA
He/Him, They/Them
6 years ago

What's a good way to avoid having the enemy team just put themselves in the way of the pass back to Sam? I've lost like 5 or so runs to a guy just eating a pass with his face and then wasting 30 seconds before trying to hit me.


That's odd, this never happened so often it would be a showstopper for me.

Would you have a clip of this happening, just so I have an idea of what's going on prior? I'll check that after work.

Chicago, IL, USA
He/Him, They/Them
6 years ago

Not the best example but the fastest I could find. Normally players will go back and (especially in India) start passing the ball before throwing and that's usually RIP urn


Okay, I see what you mean now.

Seems like the fact that your defenseman passes from a higher Y position than your main guy doesn't help matters. I THINK the reverse wouldn't do that as often, but I could definitely be wrong.

I don't tend to play in the lower zones of the field (at least on the india stage), so perhaps that's why I get that less often.

Also, from what I saw there, you seem to take a bit of time to position yourself. I like to keep the ball moving as much as I can, so the opposing team doesn't have as much time to position themselves. Especially with interception-happy teams like India, China, and Kenya. When the round start, I usually take a step and a half back (or dash two steps back on Normal and Difficult), and go for a dash to powershot early. Leaves them less time to adjust.

Kentucky, USA

Have we started a community here? Is SDB the next big thing to speedrun? Kappa.


Actually, Beanball's the mode to run now! Kappa

baldnate likes this
Michigan, USA

Are there any tricks to aiming a throw besides steering it after you let go of it?

Edited by the author 6 years ago

Vertical positioning prior to throwing can help. Always attempt to position yourself towards your priority target. For more info on priority targets, see my mini guide on that topic.

puke7 likes this

I also rectified a bit of info on the original post. Defense doesn't scale the same way it normally does on the shadow match. So keeping John and Mike actually is the best strat, as they have the least amount of HP. John's defense will be insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

puke7 likes this
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