For Sonic Frontiers players, this guide provides beginner tips which will help you to learn best tricks to conquer Cyberspace!
Howdy doody everyone. I’m a huge Sonic nerd and have played all of the modern boost style Sonic games (Rush, Unleashed, Colors, Generations, Forces, etc.). With Sonic Frontiers finally out, I’ve been having a lot of fun in the Cyberspace stages and thought it’d be fun to try my hand at making a guide for getting through them.
If you’re a Sonic game veteran you may not find this super useful but if Frontiers is your first Sonic game (or first boost style Sonic game) I’m sure you’ll find lots of useful stuff here so read on!
Try to Boost As Often As You Can
Similar to previous boost games in the series, Sonic moves faster while boosting then he does running normally. This means that if you want to try and go for the quickest clear times possible, you should be boosting very often.
If you’re struggling to control Sonic’s speed while boosting it’s perfectly fine to run through a level a few times without doing it. But to get an S-Rank on a lot of stages boosting often is pretty much a requirement so you should get used to it.
Goofy Ahh Boost Explained
Sonic’s boost in this game is kinda quirky and functions a bit differently then it has in previous games. I’m going to try to condense the important notes about it into a few bullet points but I really do think the best way of getting a feel for this stuff is to play the game directly.
- Sonic’s air boost causes him to move upwards slightly.
When Sonic performs his air boost he’ll also gain a little height. This means that if you’re in midair and at parallel height with a ledge, you can air boost to gain enough height to make it over the ledge. This happens in both 2D AND 3D.
- Sonic can only air boost once. If you air boost at any point, you have to touch the ground before the game will let you air boost again. Because of this, you should really think before air boosting. There are lots of levels with shortcuts that rely on you saving your air boost until after you’ve hit a spring or homing attacked an enemy
- That being said, if you boost while on the ground and then jump, this does NOT count as an air boost. This means that you can boost on the ground, jump into the air while continuing to hold boost, then press boost again and get a second boost while in the air. This can be useful in a lot of situations, particularly if you’re navigating floating platforms within levels.https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/1917998289021002569/15BE8B6CFCF989DE6DDCAF4A291E373EDD55070B/?imw=256&&ima=fit&impolicy=Letterbox&imcolor=%23000000&letterbox=falseHere’s a clip of me playing through Cyberspace 1-6. It’s a little tough to see, but I start off ground boosting, then jump, then perform an air boost (which helps me gain some height) then perform a double jump. You can see that I completely skip the grassy platform by doing this and head straight for the wooden ones instead, all while keeping consistent forward momentum.
- Sonic’s boost does NOT damage enemies!!!!!
This is the first game in the series where boosting into enemies doesn’t hurt them. Do not try and do it, it won’t work!!!
Goofy Ahh Homing Attack Explained
When homing attacking enemies, Sonic will briefly freeze when hitting them and the screen will shake. This is likely to convey how hard he’s hitting them (which is useful for the combat in the overworld but not so much for the speedrunning in Cyberspace).
There are going to be areas where the game gives you enemies it clearly wants you to homing attack, but because Sonic freezes briefly every time he hits an enemy, this can actually slow you down. I was replaying some of the Cyberspace stages and realized that in many instances it was faster for me to just boost past certain enemies instead of stopping and hitting them. When replaying levels, think about where certain enemies are placed and decide whether you should stop to attack them or just keep moving.
Dash Pads, Dash Rings, and Boosters
Compared to the other boost style games, Sonic’s default speed and boost speed in Frontiers is actually kind of slow. That being said, when hitting dash pads, dash rings, or boosters, Sonic will be shot forward at high speed. I’m pretty sure the speed with which these items launch Sonic actually exceeds the maximum speed Sonic can reach on his own, so if you see any of them make sure to hit them so you can get moving quickly!
Stick to the Top Paths (Mostly)
This is a level design quirk that’s been present in Sonic games since the very first one all the way back on the Genesis. In Sonic levels, the higher paths are almost always the most desirable. The high path presents the quickest way through the stage and features fewer hazards then the main path or the lower path.
Oddly enough though the more I’ve played the more I realize that this isn’t always the case. I replayed Cyberspace 1-2 for example and it seems like the main path is actually faster than the high path. There are some dash rings at the very start of the level that will place you on the high path but I consistently got a worse time on that path every time I took it. I’d take this tip with a grain of salt because it may not be true for every level.
Timing is Everything
Boost style Sonic games often rely on “blink and you miss it” style shortcuts that take advantage of your reaction time. If you’re boosting along the ground and suddenly see a dash ring angled upwards or a strategically placed flying enemy, try and hit them quickly! There’s a good chance they’ll lead to a shortcut that will put you on the high path (a really good example of this is the flying bee enemy towards the start of Cyberspace 1-6. Homing attacking it and then air boosting right after will lead you to the high path).
Memorize Level Layouts
Want to clear levels faster? There’s no better way than to know what’s coming next.
The good news is that the Cyberspace levels are REALLY short. Most of them can be cleared in under two minutes so you can play them repeatedly. Not to mention that the level designs for many of the Cyberspace levels are ripped directly from previous Sonic games. Sonic Team looked through Sonic’s backlog of games and copied and pasted the level design directly, similar to what they did for the Game Land stages in Sonic Colors. This means that if you’re a Sonic series veteran, you’ll likely remember some of the levels from having played previous games in the series (which might be helpful)!
And also, just to be clear, I’m not saying you need to “study” the levels like a textbook. At the end of the day it’s all about having fun so if you don’t feel like playing the same level over and over again just to memorize it you don’t have to!
Cyberspace Movement is Similar to Overworld Movement
This one is kind of obvious, but the way Sonic moves in Cyberspace is very similar to how he moves in the overworld. I’m fairly certain the character controller used for Sonic in Cyberspace is identical to the one used for him in the overworld, just with his combat abilities removed.
The only reason I’m mentioning this is because there may be points where controlling Sonic in Cyberspace feels kind of “stiff” as a result. Trust and believe, Sonic still feels ok in these stages but controlling him may take a little adjustment compared to using him in the open zone where, in my opinion, he feels more at home.
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