Hi everyone, piper here.
If you are reading this, you are probably a beginner, tired of getting tons of garbage lines, feeling helpless at times, against faster players. It can be discouraging at first, but trust me, after you take what I have to say in consideration, it will definitlly help you build more effciently and drop faster.
I have been playing for about 5 months now and although it may seem short compared to others, I have racked in a few games =P. From starting at 60 bpm to averaging 130 bpm, I have learned some useful tips on getting faster, quickly.
First things first; you need a correct setup in order to maximize your potential. Please read Tobi's Uber SUper duper guide on getting the right settings. Once done, continue on.
"Slow is smooth, smooth is fast" This is a motto I learned in the military and it is aptly suited for Cultris. Everyone knows you cant just start dropping blocks at 160 bpm like Tobi or Jtadore the first time you play. These guys are fast today because they intuitively perform the basics when clearing lines. If you master the basics and can perform them without having to think, you should have already noticed that you are going faster.
Most pro players use and have mastered the stack. This is probably the first important step in learning how to be fast. Reason is, you learn many, many, important patterns on how to build your blocks, not just in stacking at the beginning but middle game as well. Figuring out how which peices fit in which way, is very important because you are memorizing patterns on how blocks fit, evenly. Once you have stacked a lot of times, fitting peices together becomes a lot quicker because your brain has already remembered most of the patterns! It becomes second nature and it will cut off a lot of time from staring at your monitor, trying to figure out how this certain peice fits.
Go into singleplayer mode, and try to stack as evenly and flat as possible without even trying to go fast. Leave two column spaces, either left or right (personal preference) and go all the way up until you die. Remember to always keep in mind what the next peice will be by checking your middle window. This is a must in order to build as effciently as possible. Check to see how many holes you had (zero is best =D) and see how fast you went. If you do this, you can also see your "relaxed state" speed, meaning "how fast do i go without feeling pressured". This is important because when you play, you dont want to be tense and try to go really fast. Its surprising how fast you go when you take a deep breath, relax and just let the blocks fall. I find myself going a lot faster than i thought i would just because your mind can think and operate better when there is less pressure racked on your brain. Also, smashing on your keyboard is not helpful either (only if you are angry =P). If you find yourself hitting keys hard, try pressing them as lightly as possible. You should notice a good difference in speed right there.
I will mainly cover just coming down from "The Stack". Down stacking, itself is a whole another issue which I do not have the merits to speak about. OK, so now you have this Beautiful stack, with all of its colorful glory, and all you want to do is slam every peice that comes next into that hole as fast as possible. Wrong. That is a very quick way to die and this guide is not about "How to die, fast" NO! we want to go fast. So you ask 'but piper, isnt that what the stacks for?" Well, yes we want to put peices down our column but we have to make sure they all fit evenly, so that we can eventually reach the bottom of our screen. Remember, cultris has a very random, randomizer. You never know what peice will come next. What would happen if you slammed 3 green sticks all the way over in your column? You would have a very useless stack, with only one column left and you would probably die quickly (unless you are clutch like spatule). Here is how you do it:
First, after building your stack take the next peice (make sure it is not a stick) and put it down the column BUT dont harddrop/slam it! Take this time to regain your thoughts, breath, take a look at the next peice and maybe glance at Jes killing someone with a 16 combo (no, just kidding). Focus, and get ready to perform your combo smoothly and thoughtfuly. Now start dropping peices down your column, making sure that each one fits the hole, the last peice made. IF IT DOESNT FIT, then simply put it back on top of the stack, and move on to the next peice, avoid forcing peices down. This is VERY important, so that you don't end up clogging your hole and dying quickly. Once you start sending lines, you will immediately start receiving lots of lines, so make sure you reach the bottom. Now most of you are saying "But piper, it is a lot easier saying it than doing it!" I know, I know and this is why playing as many games as possible will increase your knowledge and memorziation of the patterns you come across and be able to perform them efficiently. One of the most important tips I can give you is to keep calm and relaxed when dropping. The more tense and rigid you become, the more misdrops and stuttering will occur in your play, trust me.
I need to go to bed. Just remember, everyone has different learning curves, so what might take me 1 month, might take you 1 week to learn or vice versa. Also, there really is no shortcut to becoming fast. Putting in the effort and practicing in singleplayer will payoff in the end. That is all I have for you, my nublets. Please post questions if you have any and I will be happy to answer them. Oh yeah, most importantly, have fun!
nice guide, piper!
to all the beginners out there who re reading this: it took piper 6 months to go 130, be sure that this is a VERY short time! i do know players who played for 1-2 years and couldnt go that fast. push yourself to play A LOT OF singleplayer to get that fast!
I'm still a nublet, but hopefully I will one day get 130 in avg too. Never give up. :)