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Fullspeed Mapping Guide part 1 - Understanding FS | SkiFreak
Fullspeed Mapping Guide part 1 - Understanding FS... 30 Mar, 2023
 SkiFreak (0 comments, 783 views)  
I'm going to start posting things here, mostly scripts I have made for youtube videos but probably random things as well. I have a lot of random information related to tm I end up retyping and sharing often, so it'll be easier to link or copypaste from somewhere instead of having to waste time typing the same stuff often.

This first post is part 1 to my fullspeed mapping guide, more parts are coming soonish. This one is focused on introducing fs mapping and going over some basics, part 2 will be about actually building a map and what you should be doing, and part 3 will go over some advanced features and things. This series assumes you already have a basic understanding of how to use the map editor.

A video for this post is in the process of being made.


Fullspeed is one of the most popular and diverse map styles in trackmania. After seeing so many cool fullspeed tracks, you may want to build your own. In this series, I am going to teach you how to become a fullspeed mapper. There’s a lot of information you need to take in when it comes to fullspeed in order to understand it, especially compared to other mapping styles, so we’re going to start with getting a basic understanding of what it all means.

First off, just so we are all on the same page, lets go over some vocabulary.

Fullspeed, also known as simply FS, can refer to a way of building as well as a way of driving. This can be a bit confusing at first, but imagine you have a tech track, and there is a corner you do not need to drift, you might say you can fullspeed the turn. For this series however, we will be focusing on the building style.

But what is the building style of fs? Fullspeed can be quite diverse, so trying to put everything under one single description is difficult, but the most commonly accepted basic principle of fs is that of momentum. A fullspeed map is built in a way that as the driver, you never need to slow down by any means, you maintain your momentum through the whole track with every action you take having the goal of gaining and keeping as much speed as possible. The idea here is that you never want the player to be forced to take an action that reduces their speed relative to the fastest they could be going, this includes but is not limited to releasing acceleration, entering a full slide, and braking on the ground. You may choose to use the word fullspeed to describe something else, and there will surely be pedantic arguments in the comments, but for the purposes of this series it is important that we are all on the same page as to what I mean when I say FS and the kind of maps I am trying to help you to build.

Other characteristics that often define fullspeed maps are extreme speeds, an abundance of partial or total inversions called features, such as wallrides, loops, and tubes, and the usage of speed drifts to gain speed.

Speed drifts, or sds for short, are one of the most famous aspects of fs. Due to some oddities in the physics engine, when you are driving at higher speeds drifting can actually make the car accelerate faster. The exact angle you need for optimal acceleration changes the faster you go, but the drift marks should always be overlapping, if they aren’t, you are slowing down. While sds are important, a common piece of advice you will see given to new players entering fs is to focus more on driving the features well.

Fullspeed also contains a number of sub-genres, the main ones being beginner, competitive, roller coaster, and transitional. Beginner fs maps are the ones you often see in track of the day. They are optimized to be enjoyed by players of all skill levels, often very wide allowing for players to mess up and take different lines, a few features, and relatively long speed drifts connecting the features. Beginner fs maps aren’t only made by beginners, and the better ones are created by great mappers such as entrylag, but this is definitely the best place to start when it comes to building fs.

Competitive fullspeed maps are designed to be played in live competitions where players play in rounds. This has spawned it’s own style of fs where there is a lot going on, little room for error, and mistakes are punishing. Speed drifts on competitive fs maps are often difficult to get at all, much less achieve the most speed you can out of them, and the features are often more complex and skill testing. In a way, everything in competitive fullspeed is working to push the skill ceiling of the map as high as possible. It can be helpful to think of beginner fs existing on one side of the spectrum and competitive fs on the other, with a gradient in between where you will find a lot of maps as well.

Transitional fullspeed maps include a lot of jumps and transitions between blocks, often with a greater focus on creative building than optimization for driving fast times. These maps are usually quite difficult to finish especially without respawning, and sometimes are designed to be a sort of trial with the intended end goal being to finish the map rather than set a fast time.

Roller coaster is another kind of fs that has been gaining traction again in recent years, revitalized by advancements in offgrid usage and player made custom blocks. Roller coaster maps are defined by an extreme number of features, with very little driving on flat ground.

Even if you aren’t building roller coaster, you will need a good understanding of features to build fs. As I mentioned, a feature in fs refers to things like wallrides tubes and loops, as well as any other kind of spaghetti looking inversion the fullspeed mappers bring into the world. While sds are important to gain speed, if you’re doing the wrong inputs in features you will be throwing all that speed in the garbage anyway, so lets look at some basic fs features and how you drive them.

This is a wallride, one of the most common features in fs. They come in many variations, but no matter the configuration the fastest way to drive them is almost always to be low on the entry and exit, and steer as little as possible in the wall. The entries and exits to walls can be built in many different ways, but you always want to take them as smoothly as possible and hit the connection point to the quarterpipe blocks, if you don’t you will have less grip or even get a bit of airtime. Because gravity is pulling you down, you will want to steer slightly down to the ground throughout the wall. You NEVER want to steer up in a wallride. The reason this is the fastest way to drive a wall is that just like on flat ground, having a large drift angle will slow you down, and since you cannot sd in walls, you want as little drift as possible when driving them. It can help to think of wallrides as turns, you want to take the straightest line to cover the least distance and keep the most speed.

Loops come in many forms, the two you will be most familiar with are these. The road loops are widely considered to be complete garbage and usually better off avoided in mapping, especially the smaller ones, due to the entries and exits being bumpy and having strange grip in the loop itself. The platform ones don’t have these issues but are pretty much a glorified straight line, with the main purpose of building them being to lose some speed and waste time rather than add something meaningful to the track for people driving it. For this reason I am the #1 trackmania loop hater! Anyway, the fastest line in these loops is to stay as close as possible to the center and drive as straight a line as possible without steering, as turning at all in loops is usually very slow. It is possible to spice up the loop concept with custom blocks to create some novel angles, but that is a bit more advanced and I will cover it in a later episode.

Loops are not to be confused with tubes, but what’s the difference? Obviously, a tube is a lot longer, but the difference really lies in how you drive them. You enter a tube on an angle, and rather than trying to drive straight into the feature, you drive along it. The optimal steering inputs for tubes vary, but usually you steer into them a bit, moreso the higher your entry angle is. The reason for this is similar to how wallrides work, you want to avoid sliding as much as possible. With no steering input, the car will fall away from the optimal tube line due to gravity and momentum. This effect is stronger the steeper your entry angle, and you will need to counter it by turning into the tube. If you ever fall off the top of a tube it is because you were not turning into it enough, or were too slow.

The last of the basic features we will cover is the turnover, which comes in 2 main variants, normal, and reverse. In a normal turnover you drive up the long way and down the short way, and in a reverse turnover you drive up the short way and down the long way. Looking at turnovers, you can see they are made up of half a tube and half a loop, and you want to drive each half how you would its respective feature, straight in the loop half, and covering more distance and often steering into the tube half. Reverse turnovers are usually made with magnets at the top, and unless you know what you are doing I wouldn’t recommend trying to make one without magnets. But how do you know whether you are looking at a normal or reverse turnover? Well, the answer is pretty much whichever way is faster, if you have a lot of room to go up the long way first, it will be faster to drive it as a normal turnover, and if there is very little room or you would have to slide a lot to take the tube half first, it’s probably faster to drive it as a reverse turnover.

When you are building anything in trackmania, including fullspeed features, you want to keep in mind what the fastest way to drive it is and optimize for that. This is called calculation, and it has a lot of nuance to it and can go a long way to making your map intuitive to drive and enjoyable even at the limits of how fast you can go. Another abstract concept closely related to calculation, especially in fs is flow. Flow is hard to pinpoint again especially in fs, but the basic idea is that there is usually a natural line the car should take and you should be building something close to that, letting your trajectory influence what you build next rather than just pulling something out of a hat that you want to build and slapping it onto the map.

You can always enlist the help of good players to help you adjust your map to be better calculated. The skill ceiling on sds is very high, and how features should be built isn’t always obvious, but veterans should be able to guide you and make it possible to build a decent track even if you aren’t great at fs. For example, someone may suggest you add a few blocks onto a section of track to allow for a better sd, or make the exit of a wallride 1 block higher. Two of the best places to get help with a specific map you are building are twitch and discord. The main fullspeed discord has a channel where you can upload your map for others to test, and streamers such as willeknas, oxre, and myself often play viewer maps and give advice. You don’t need to have a completed track to get help with it, and it’s much easier to make adjustments to a map without any decoration, so don’t be afraid to ask. Links to all of these places will be in the description.

There are a lot of ways to build fs, including ones I haven’t mentioned. Fullspeed maps can look so different from each other because in a way it almost functions as a medium, the medium of momentum. Working within the constraints of always preserving momentum creates a wide range of possibilities that continue to be explored. To some fullspeed is very foreign almost to the point where it can seem like an entirely different game, but the alternate trackmania reality that is fullspeed is the most enjoyable part of ™ for many.

If you are new to trackmania or fullspeed, I recommend watching Veritas’s video on fs to get a complete picture, as this series is more mapping focused. Similarly, I won’t be teaching you how to speed drift, as there are already videos on that. Both of these will be linked in the description.

In the next episode, we will finally be opening the editor and building a fullspeed map, so stay tuned for that.

Other links
Mudda's sd tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nka1MZiudI
FsF Discord: https://discord.gg/dxMjG732ZY
My yt channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoQOWhM1B0dT7rOpGRDBgyA
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