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Hardcore Parkour: Understanding Movement
By Colors
A guide covering various movement techniques for maximum wizardry.

Hello everyone! If you're reading this, you're interested in learning how to play Cloudbuilt at a level that's probably above and beyond the average player. This guide will primarily cover basic and advanced movement, and will contain some handy references for various maneuvers and S-rank time cutoffs.

As of writing, there's no source of conglomerated information pertaining to tips and tricks in this game. The intent is to rectify that to at least some degree, so that potential players are not left in the dark as to how to execute certain moves. I've tried to be as accurate as I possibly can, but I'm sure that there are some inaccuracies/incorrect information in here as well. For the most part, though, the information is valid.

Unless otherwise stated, all information is given under the assumption that you're playing on Normal mode. There's a lot of carry over between modes, but some information (such as fuel recharging) is not accurate for modes like Supercharger.

As a final disclaimer, all tips and tricks that I've given names to are not necessarily named correctly; I'm not exactly aware of what the existing community has named some of these moves. I've tried to name them in a way that makes sense, so hopefully that is enough.
IMPORTANT: Version Updates
New, important gameplay changes made by patches will be put here from now on. I can't always go through the guide and change every piece of information, so if you see something in this section, it automatically overrides anything in any other section!

Version 1.11 (Build 331045 || 7/18/2014)
Two very important changes were made that change the way you play the game.
  • Fixed command buffering a few frames before you are able to use boost abilities after a jump, so the game won’t eat your input. (0.4f sec buffer)
  • If you are running along a wall and press the jump key, but just barely slide over the edge of the wall while you hold the jump key down, you will now jump instead of just fall.
The first change is the most significant. What this means is while aerial, rapid inputs of Boost and Jet jump won't be ignored if you press them too fast. You can now press these keys as fast as possible without significant delay, and they will both trigger. For Long Jumps, the "Brief Delay" between the separate BoostJumps is still a necessary component; that's a separate issue compared to what this corrects. The buffer does have a downside in that making a mistake in your keypresses can now guarantee death, since there's no way to remove a buffered input, however, this is overall a very positive change.

If you want to better understand how this buffer functions, jump off of a high ledge, Jet jump, and immediately Boost once. You'll see that after a brief time the Boost will trigger even though you've hit your Boost input noticeably earlier. This is how the buffer operates in general, but most other combinations of abilities trigger much faster, making it difficult to see or feel without experience.

The second change is quality of life, and you probably didn't run into it too often. However, this can make jumping off very short horizontal walls much easier.
The Charge Pistol: "Combat was optional in Mirror's Edge, these devs suk"
For starters, we'll be talking about the Charge Pistol, Demi's only offensive weapon. It has uses outside of destroying robots, so it's important that this is covered first.

Some statistics concerning the Charge Pistol:
  • It holds 5 shots, with a rate of fire of 10 bullets per second
  • It takes 0.73 seconds to reload after firing at least one shot
  • It takes 0.40 seconds to charge a green shot, and 1.30 seconds to charge a blue shot
  • Each stage of charging increases the damage, AOE radius, projectile speed, projectile size,
    and knockback of the shot
  • All shots have minimal enemy tracking capacity (they will curve to hit a target), with higher charges reducing tracking
  • Charging a shot and then letting go of the mouse button before it hits the green charge level can result in no shot being fired at all (known bug)
  • Most importantly, Green and Blue charge shots can be used to propel Demi a limited distance
If you're looking for more specific statistics on the Charge Pistol, including how tracking works, check out this wonderful post by Gafgar himself.

The last bullet point is vital; you can use charged shots to give yourself additional height and distance in combination with dashes and jet jumps, allowing you to bypass obstacles or shave off additional time during a level run. This will be covered more thoroughly in the advanced movement section of this guide.

The Charge Pistol is sometimes necessary to proceed through enemies, as dashing around them would be too time-consuming. You can spam shots against singular enemies, and use charged shots against clustered enemies for maximum effect.
All About Demi: Where Did I Leave My Jetpack?
It's important to realize early on that this game is not so much about controlling Demi as it is about controlling the Jetpack's various boost directions and fuel. Demi is rather ineffective by herself, and only has limited parkour capabilities without it. However, she is not totally helpless.

Aside from the obviously standard controls like strafing and running, Demi can wallrun horizontally for a few steps before falling off of a wall. This is not frequently used without also using jetpack boosts of some sort; if you're in a situation where you need to wallrun like this, you've likely mismanaged your fuel, and should reconsider your route.

Demi can also wallrun vertically to an extremely short height, which can be useful in situations where your destination is only a bit above your head. Using fuel in the aforementioned event can be a waste when conserving for a dash later would be more beneficial.

She can also temporarily hang onto walls and jump from them depending on how she's approached them, step onto ledges that are around knee level, and grab onto any ledge and mount it from her knees to a small space above her head. Stepping onto ledges is preferable, faster, and can be done from mid-air, but it is not always possible. While grabbing onto ledges, your fuel regenerates. Ledges can be grabbed onto during the course of a wallrun, which may be intended or unintended by the player.

Lastly, bunny-hopping is a possibility to some extent. If you have significant horizontal speed, jumping immediately when landing on solid ground will allow you to maintain most of it. This can be repeated, but you'll continue to lose speed with subsequent jumps, and most areas are not conducive to it.

Additional notes:
  • Demi can enter a wall hang at any time by holding down the jump button while running along a wall. You will hold onto the wall for a brief time in the position where you started hanging, and then will begin sliding down. Keep in mind that you will immediately start sliding down the wall if you do not meet the base speed requirement for the wallrun and haven't manually hung onto the wall. From this hanging position, you can also choose to start another wallrun, vertical or horizontal, but this is far from ideal.
My First Jetpack: Basic Movement (JP 101)
Your jetpack is your lifeline, and fuel your lifeblood. If you cannot manage these resources effectively, you will plummet 300 miles and then faceplant on the endless sea of mines that exists below every map in the game.

You must manage your fuel appropriately. Spamming boosts and wallruns without thought is a quick way to die, so understanding how much fuel each ability uses is vital. Keep in mind that fuel will recharge when standing on ground surfaces, hanging onto a ledge, or sliding down ramps, although in the last two cases fuel will refill at a slower rate.

At the most basic level, your jetpack can only do a few things:
  • Give an immediate boost of speed
  • "Cruise" along flat ground by boosting once and then holding boost down
  • Maintain your grip along a wall with a minor speed boost throughout
  • Perform a minor double/triple/quadruple jump (these get progressively weaker, and are not strong to begin with)
However, these abilities can function differently depending on where you use them.

Boosting and Jet Jumps
These basic moves are mandatory in order to succeed in this game. The boost gives you a sudden burst of horizontal speed, and the jet jump gives you a sudden boost of height. Not using these would be a sin.

Boosting can be used to traverse gaps, get an initial speed boost for wallruns, or used to move faster along the ground. You can use this 4 times while aerial, or 5-6 times while touching ground, assuming you are on ground the whole time and begin with a full fuel bar. Boosting is performed in the direction you are moving, not the way your view is facing, meaning that strafe boosts and backwards boosts are very possible (and they look flashy to boot!) Boosting tends to be more effective with very brief pauses between boosts; spamming boost as fast as you can gives a very noticeable distance loss.

Jet Jumps can be used to jump in mid-air. In most situations, only one of these jumps are effective; subsequent jumps will barely maintain your height. These can be very useful when combined with the standard boost, and are necessary to use for some advanced techniques. This can be used 3 times from a full fuel bar, so use it cautiously.

Other things to keep in mind about Boosting and Jet Jumps:
  • Spamming these two abilities together without a delay can easily cause boost "misfires," where further boosting or jet jumps are ignored. This is easily rectified by pausing for brief moments between use, which is more effective anyway.

Cruise Mode
Cruising has very minimal usefulness during low time runs considering how most maps are built, and the same thing can be achieved with well-timed boosts combined with bunny-hops which are significantly faster and less fuel intensive. However, there is one neat aspect to cruise mode that's not made obvious; by holding down your boost key while not moving, your jetpack will charge up. After it's maxed out, entering cruise mode by pressing a directional key will give you a much faster and longer boost when compared to boosting without charging up. Sadly, this doesn't have much real application.

Additionally, you'll automatically enter horizontal and vertical wallruns while cruising without having to jump.

Horizontal Wallruns
When approaching horizontal walls, you can choose to either boost before you begin wall running, after you start wall running, or use no boost at all. Each of these serves a different purpose. Keep in mind that you can throttle your jets during a wall run by letting go of the boost key/pressing it, allowing you to move up and down along the wall.

Boosting before you wallrun results in a high horizontal speed, which can be ideal if you're attempting to quickly cross a gap. However, this comes at the expense of high fuel cost, due to the initial boost and the fact that your jets will still automatically be enabled after the boost while wall running.

Boosting after you wallrun results in a low horizontal speed, but conserves fuel. Unless you are doing weird up and down wall runs, you will almost always have more fuel at the end of a wallrun than if you had boosted beforehand.

Wall running without any boost usually means you have made a poor choice. You may as well be playing Sonic the Hedgehog as Tails the entire game.

Other things to keep in mind about horizontal wallruns:
  • Boosting after you've latched onto the wall will give you an initial burst of vertical height, after which the vertical height increase tapers off
  • If your jetpack is on when you wallrun, either by boosting into it initially or activating it during the run, your jetpack will continue to use fuel even if you're not applying thrust. It will not drain fuel as fast as if you were using thrusters, however.

Vertical Wallruns
Using your boost in combination with vertical walls operates differently than horizontal walls, although there are still certainly similarities.

Boosting before you wallrun results in a high vertical speed. This is usually preferred, but only if you have a significant amount of fuel. Your momentum will be carried through the vertical wall only as long as you can continue using your jets. If you boost before performing a vertical wallrun and then are left without any fuel, you will stop along the wall almost immediately with no distance covered. This maneuver covers less distance overall than boosting after the wallrun begins.

Boosting after you wallrun results in a low vertical speed. This conserves fuel, and is often necessary to use as other platforming segments routinely keep your fuel reserves low. Even with low reserves, you can usually get a significant amount of height by performing this.

Wall running without any boost can be used to grab onto ledges barely outside of your base jump height that happen to be next to a wall. This tends to be a better choice than using a jet jump, due to the severe fuel cost associated with it.

Other things to keep in mind about vertical wallruns:
  • You can transition from vertical wallruns into something that resembles a horizontal wallrun, but not so much vice-versa
My First Jetpack: Basic Information Videos
Check out these videos by Spoonparty if you still need assistance with basic movement or want to learn more about enemies!

Cloudbuilt Video Tutorial - 01 Basics
Cloudbuilt Tutorial - 02 Find Your Way
Cloudbuilt Video Tutorial - 03 Enemies

Please DO NOT jet jump as much as him :(.

These are hyper-links instead of embeds, since millions of embeds on a page makes things sad.
My First Jetpack: Advanced Movement (JP 1337)
By utilizing certain abilities in proper sequence, or by abusing certain physics quirks in the engine, more advanced movement options become available to you. These are harder to perform correctly and learn, but are more or less required for low time runs throughout the various levels. If you are gunning for the fabled S-rank, you need to know how to perform these maneuvers consistently. Some are more difficult than others.

Chained Wallrun Boosts
This is the most readily obvious trick. Boosts can be chained together during wallruns by jumping away from the wall, and then boosting back into it again. For horizontal wallruns, this can be used to both gain massive speed while maintaining most of your vertical height. For vertical wallruns, you can repeatedly jump away and boost back in as fast as possible to keep your rapid initial speed, however, this is rather hard to accomplish consistently and is rather spammy on the controls in general.

Directionless Exploit
While performing a jump of any kind (including the tricks below), whether in combination with a boost or not, NOT holding any of the movement keys (WASD) down over the duration of a jump will result in a massive height and distance increase. You may need to use a movement key to start your initial jump, but the sooner you let go of your movement keys afterwards, the better. Keep in mind that this means you will not have decent aerial control, so aim carefully.

This works with jumping off ramps as well (refer to the technique below this one).

Thanks to Kalifen and Bmon2 for this information

Ramp Distance Control
Maximum jump distance can be attained via ramps by making sure you've ridden the ramp for as long as possible at max speed, (optionally) boosted at least once at some point along the ramp, jumping as close as possible to the end, and then immediately boosting after jumping. Adding additional boosts afterwards, combined with jet jumps, can maximize your horizontal distance.

Jumping too close to the end of the ramp will end up triggering a jet jump, which is pretty much instantly restart worthy.

Mine Boosting/Damage Boosting
By landing on top of mines at the correct angle, or boosting through them at the correct angle, you can propel yourself (with severe damage) to locations that would take lots of fuel or platforming to reach. This can potentially save significant time, but is difficult to be consistent with and risky to pull off. However, this trick can mean the difference between 30th place and 1st on the leaderboards.

Every potential Mine Boost requires a different angle for what you want to accomplish, so you'll either have to refer to low time videos or do your own suicidal research to best utilize these.

Half Long Jumps/Long Jumps
These two tricks are extraordinarily powerful, and a component in many top-time runs. Both variants give a powerful vertical boost, and a powerful horizontal boost, with the Long Jump covering significantly more distance and giving more height.

The combination for the Half Long Jump is:
  • Jump -> Boost -> Jet Jump
From text, this isn't immediately obvious as to why it's special. The key to successfully utilizing this combo is performing the actions as fast as possible. The faster you can input the JumpBoostJump sequence, the further and higher you will go. Be advised that you cannot press more than one of these inputs at once; there has to be at least a frame or two of delay before you input the next command, or the input will be eaten by the Mine Sea.

If you're clever, you can probably already anticipate most of the "Full" Long Jump:
  • Jump -> Boost -> Jet Jump -> Brief Delay -> Boost -> Jet Jump
Again, performing this sequence as fast as possible is ideal, however, there is a notable catch; you must insert a brief delay before you trigger the additional BoostJump. If you do not insert this delay, your jets will "misfire", causing a very significant distance loss. The delay does not have to be very long, and is something you will have to practice with to get down correctly.

A last thing to keep in mind about the Long Jump is that you have to have almost a full fuel meter to perform it. If you perform it from full, you will have a small amount of fuel left over to wallrun with if needed, although you will not have enough for any extra boosts.

I am not the authority on trick names, especially not this one. I have no idea what the rest of the community calls them, so I just chose something that made sense.

Charged Half Long Jumps/Charged Long Jumps
By utilizing the Charge Pistol's Green and Blue shots, you can give yourself a significant vertical boost, allowing you to hop over certain obstacles that are impossible to pass otherwise.

To apply the Charged Half Long Jump technique, charge your pistol, preferably to blue charge. Look down at the ground near Demi's feet, fire the shot, and then almost immediately jump followed by a BoostJump. If done right, you'll notice that you're now traveling in a notable arc which cannot be typically be attained by a normal jump + BoostJump. Just like the previous information on the Half Long Jump, doing this combination faster means more height and distance.

Spelled out, the combination for the Charged Half Long Jump is:
  • Charge pistol to blue -> Fire charge shot at feet -> Jump -> Boost -> Jet Jump
  • Charge pistol to blue -> Jump -> Fire charge shot at feet -> Boost -> Jet Jump
The timing is tricky to get down at first; keep trying until it works out for you by modifying the timings of your key presses. This skill is extremely useful throughout levels, so it's best to learn it. You can also perform this move without the Jet Jump at the end if the additional height is unnecessary.

You probably already figured out the Charged Long Jump. Its combination is:
  • Charge pistol to blue -> Fire charge shot at feet -> Jump - > Boost -> Jet Jump -> Brief Delay -> Boost -> Jet Jump
  • Charge pistol to blue -> Jump -> Fire charge shot at feet -> Boost -> Jet Jump -> Brief Delay -> Boost -> Jet Jump
Again, faster inputs means better result.

The order of jumping/firing the shot makes little difference from my tests, but one way or the other might feel more natural to you. Anecdotal evidence from others says that jumping before firing might give a bit more distance, so basically I am just bad.

It's important to remember that this technique can be done practically anywhere, even narrow wall tops. As long as you have enough room to stand and shoot at your feet, a charge jump can be triggered from any location.
My First Jetpack: Advanced Demo Videos
Demonstration Videos

This is a series of short videos that will try and demonstrate some of the previously mentioned techniques. Hopefully they are clear and uncluttered enough to easily learn from.

Tutorial and Overview: Charged Long Jumps and Variants

"Live" Charge Jump usage on Initial Insertion Entry

Mine/Damage Boosting (It can get way more extreme than this)
My First Jetpack: Level Specific Tricks
Most of the community, and therefore the latest tips and tricks, are at Many great runs are posted here and can help you get a grasp on higher-end gameplay.

Additionally, read through all of this thread, although most runs here are out of date.
Fuel Consumption Reference
From Full Fuel on Normal Mode
Lists fuel usage of abilities and sequences, wallrun time, recovery, etc.

  • Fuel Recovery Time standing still from empty ------ 2 seconds
  • Fuel Recovery Time moving from empty ------ 3.8 seconds

  • Boost All Aerial ------ 1/4th meter
  • Jet Jump All Aerial ------ 1/3rd meter
  • Charged/Uncharged Half Long Jump ------ 1/2 meter
  • Charged/Uncharged Long Jump ------ Nearly full meter

  • Full Throttle Horizontal Wall Run ------ 4.25 seconds duration wallrun time
  • Full Throttle Horizontal Wall Run with Initial Boost ------ 3.10 seconds duration wallrun time
  • No Jetpack Horizontal Wall Run ------ 1.3 seconds duration wallrun time
  • Full Throttle Vertical Wall Run ------ 2 seconds duration wallrun time
  • Full Throttle Vertical Wall Run with Initial Boost ------ 1.5 seconds duration wallrun time
  • No Jetpack Vertical Wall Run ------ 0.6 seconds duration wallrun time

  • Time values are estimations using a timer
S-Rank Cutoffs Reference
All cutoffs are now exact! You should still be aiming to be significantly better than these anyway!

These are for Normal Mode only!

  • The Initial Entry: 1:16.00
Upper Branch (Rain):
  • Beyond the Walls: 45.00
  • A Message: 42.50
Upper Branch Left (Dawn):
  • Dreams: 45.00
  • The Clouds: 42.00
  • My Source: 50.50
  • My Inspiration (Satan's Child): 1:42.50
Upper Branch Right (Storm):
  • A Window: 34.00
  • Clarity: 47.00
  • What's to Come: 48.00
  • Redeployment (Satan Incarnate): 1:06.50
Lower Branch (Eclipse):
  • The Meaning: 43.00
  • No Excuse: 46.00
Lower Branch Left (Day):
  • Best Intentions: 45.00
  • Escape: 44.50
  • Stability: 1:20.00
  • Acceptance: 42.50
Lower Branch Right (Night):
  • Underneath: 49.50
  • In the Dark: 47.00
  • Emptiness: 58.00
  • My Regrets: 1:35.00
Remix (Stratos):
  • RX 1: 56.00
  • RX 2: 53.50
Middle Left Branch (Fog/Temple)
  • Ruins: 1:35.021
  • (Up) What Remains: 1:08.352
  • (Up) Construction: 1:03.669
  • (Down) To Dust: 52.385
  • (Down) Doubt: 53.368
  • These are accurate, not sure what's up with the extra decimals
Special Thanks
Thanks to everyone in this section, who may or may not be aware that they helped in the creation of this guide:

CheZ'Da, for his series of videos demonstrating top-time runs, where most of the tricks in this guide are drawn from (although you might want to get checked by a doctor to see if you're some sort of robot)

Rusty, Kalifen, and Bmon2, who all posted in the comments below with clarifications as to how things work

All other top tier players who post in the discussion forum, who let loose some tidbits here and there.

Gafgar praise here for being an informative, pleasant, and generally cool guy.

Anybody else on the development team is a cool guy/girl by my standards.

And thanks to you for reading! Hopefully this has helped you play a little better!

Have fun!
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llxn99 Jan 1, 2016 @ 8:48am 
A pretty useful and clear guide, especially for the (half-)long jump and rocket jumps, which are essential techniques to get the S ranks :D
But you might want to add some additional tricks that can be made with charged shots to reach higher/farther places without boost. Obviously it's too slow to be used anywhere except Pathfinder mode, but I think it could be worth mentionning:
1. You can use a blue shot to extend a vertical or horizontal wallrun;
2. You can use a blue shot while holding onto a wall to gain some extra height;
3. It's possible to rocket jump off a wall and hold back onto it with minimal vertical/horizontal loss. I think it's possible to do this 2-4 times on the same wall at most, since every new walljump on a same wall seems to push you farther away.
By combining these, most levels can be completed using 0 boost (assuming you're not restarting each time you fail :p ).
NorthernDruid Jul 7, 2014 @ 4:08am 
That new tutorial video is utterly sweet! That's gonna be really helpful.
Kalifen Jul 7, 2014 @ 3:00am 
Awesome long jump video tutorial ;)
Gafgar  [developer] Jul 6, 2014 @ 11:53pm 
"In regards to the boost charge not having much use,"
And there was a time where I was planning on you being able to buffer the charge while falling and sliding... but that got replaced with the "no directional input" dash instead... and that's probably for the better, as you would be able to do some crazy stuff if you were to be able to charge a free dash while falling/sliding... but that is only one of many similar things. The charge dash is not that useful in the current state, there MIGHT be some really really rare cases, but it is more like remnant of some idea that got discarded.

It should also be noted that even though it costs less energy if it gets charged, it still adds the full energy cost to the pathfinder "score".
Marioface5 Jul 5, 2014 @ 2:26pm 
In regards to the boost charge not having much use, it's worth noting that the more you charge it up the less energy the boost costs, and when fully charged it uses no energy. In most situations this won't be worth doing, but it could probably be useful when trying to complete Pathfinder challenges.
Colors  [author] Jul 3, 2014 @ 5:21pm 
I'll try and add some more videos later, but I'm limited by my poor editing ability and very pathetic upload speeds, hence all of the short clips. I'll see what I can do about that and change up descriptions for advanced moves once I've had some more time applying what some of the pros in the comments below yours discussed. :deboost:

I'm actually going to remove the current "Double/Triple Boost" stuff since it's basically just a half-baked version of what was actually happening (I misinterpreted the combos that I'd seen in videos). I'll replace it soon with a video/text demonstrating how to do this stuff correctly.
NorthernDruid Jul 3, 2014 @ 10:48am 
Sweet guide, I wish there were more videos (with more of the advanced moves getting detailed explanations in them) though! :BlackMagic:
Kalifen Jul 3, 2014 @ 7:20am 
Just let go of (wasd) directly when jumping of the ground.
Colors  [author] Jul 2, 2014 @ 5:42pm 
Alright, I'll have to adjust some of the stuff I've been personally doing then, but it shouldn't be too difficult. I'll make sure to update the videos/text descriptions for this stuff once I've had some time to practice it myself.

I'm still a little confused about holding wasd/not holding wasd, since I may have misinterpreted it before. Do you let go of keys at initial launch time, while aerial, or both? I can't mess with it at the moment, otherwise I'd just go check myself.

Thanks for all of your advice and clarification! It's very helpful, and without you guys I wouldn't have gotten to this point in the first place.
Bmon2 Jul 2, 2014 @ 5:11pm 
To answer your questions, the order of key presses for a rocket jump significantly impacts your jump distance. I'm getting about 30% more distance with the above optimized jump than I used to get when I tried the order: jump > shoot feet > jump > boost > boost > jump.

As to why pressing forward affects your jumps, think about it from a momentum perspective. Running forward gives you extra momentum for a longer jump. However, holding forward during your jump gives you extra forward momentum at the cost of less vertical momentum.