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Buffering is a technique to precisely control Link's movements. If a player is performing a precise trick, they may wish to move Link for only 1 frame. You'll quickly find that tapping the dpad for just 1 frame at 60fps is very difficult to reliably execute. Buffering techniques allow us to more safely and consistently move Link in small increments.

Sword Buffering

Sword buffering takes advantage of the way Link is immobile while slashing his sword in order to control Link's movement in subtle ways. Because of its speed relative to most other forms of Buffering, it is a valuable technique for ALttP speedrunning. There are two common ways they are used:

Moving for 1 Frame

The technique for moving one frame with Sword Buffering is to press the direction you want to move and then press B one frame later. If properly executed, Link's slash animation will cut his movement off after 1 frame of moving, giving the player ample time to release the dpad before any extra walk frames come out.

It is important with Sword Buffering (and other forms of Buffering) to be familiar with how Link's movement works. For example, if you're doing a trick and you notice that you need to move 1 pixel north to get in the correct position, a single Sword Buffer north will NEVER put you in the correct spot. This is because 1 frame of north movement will move Link by 2 pixels. In these instances you either have to move up and then back down, or use diagonals to adjust Link's position. More information can be found at Movement.

This technique is useful for optimizing some of the precise tricks in an NMG run (such as Hammerjump), but it's especially important for RMG and MG speedruns where precise control of Link's movement is necessary for many of the tricks.

Same Frame Diagonals

Another very common use of Sword Buffering is to quickly and easily guarantee same frame diagonals. Since the dpad isn't made up of traditional "buttons," pressing diagonals such that both directions occur at the exact same time can be challenging. Sword buffering offers a nice solution to this. Simply press B to slash your sword and while Link is in the slash animation, start holding whichever diagonal direction you need. Because Link won't move while slashing, the player is given 12 frames (length of the slash animation) to begin hold diagonal so that both directions are being pressed by the time he's moving again.

Examples of where this technique is used include the bush setup for Fake Flippers and executing the last step in a Teleport.

Dash Buffering

Moving for 1 Frame

Dash Buffering is similar to Sword Buffering in this case, although the timing is different. The technique with Dash Buffering is to press the direction you wish to move and A on the same frame. This works because Link will not move while he's in the dash charge state.

Whether you use Dash Buffer or Sword Buffer can be up to player preference of which timing is preferred but it's recommended to be proficient with both because depending on context, one can be superior to the other. Because A is context sensitive, it can be unwise to use Dash Buffers in situations where a bomb is nearby (you risk picking it up) or Link is facing a wall (A will grab instead of Dash). On the other hand, Dash Buffers are can be strong for Bomb Jumps where you want the Hover property to give a larger frame window.

Dash Buffer Clipping

In RMG and MG categories, Dash Buffer Clipping is a valuable technique for clipping slopes on the Overworld.

Dash Buffer Clip

Dash Buffer Clip to trigger a Teleport File

To execute these:

  • Press and hold B while Link is facing up or down.
  • Press the dpad direction towards the slope and A at the same time.

Most controller players use special grips while doing this that allow them to hit the dpad and A with the same hand.

These are often done from specific sets of coordinates to trigger a Teleport. On some thinner ledges, they can be used to clip fully through and access an out-of-bounds ledge hop, such as with the fast Hera Clip.

Pause Buffering

Select Buffering

Grab Buffering