Metroid Dread – 4 Hour Run Guide

Metroid Dread is a fast-paced game, and the developers clearly recognized this while making it. To obtain 100% completion, players must beat the main campaign on the Normal and Hard Mode difficulties in under four hours each — which is no easy task, especially to first-time players. If you’re looking for some tips on finishing Metroid Dread fast, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve also got a fool-proof plan that will nearly guarantee that you beat the game on time. Fancy!

Please note that we won’t be talking about speedrunning the game, per se — we’re just going to discuss techniques you can employ to beat the game in under four hours. If you’re looking to play through Metroid Dread as fast as humanly possible, you might want to check out its corresponding speedrunning community instead.

Special thanks to bubstry for contributing the guide information!

Before You Play

There’s one thing we didn’t mention earlier. In order to obtain 100% completion in Metroid Dread, you must also obtain every single item in at least one of your runs. We recommend playing through a normal run of the game on your own at least once before you start trying to speed through it. That way you’ll be a bit more familiar with the controls and level design. We also recommend that you collect each Missile Tank and Energy Tank on that save file since you won’t be going for a specific time. Once you’ve obtained every item upgrade, you’re all set and you won’t have to do that on any of your future speedrun playthroughs.

The rewards for finishing four-hour runs of Metroid Dread are images in the ending gallery, which are accessed via the Extras menu on the file select screen. Please note that these images are exclusive to a specific save file. You’ll have to start a new game on your already-completed file to be able to gather all the ending images. As a result, it may be in your best interest to ensure that your Nintendo Switch is backing up Cloud Saves (that is, if you have an active Nintendo Switch Online subscription). That way if you decide to quit you’ll be able to restore your old save file.

Here’s even more important info: time you spend on the pause screen doesn’t count toward the run’s total time. This means you’re free to spend as much time on the pause screen as you like! This applies to the amiibo menu, too. Most importantly, however, is that it’s okay to die — get as many game overs you want, because they don’t tack on extra time. If you die during a boss fight, you’ll respawn with the same time you had prior to entering the boss fight room. This means you can take your time to acclimate to each boss fight! Some of them can get pretty difficult.

Navigation & Movement

The absolute easiest way to ensure you beat Metroid Dread in time is to use a video walkthrough. Load up your game, find a video guide on YouTube, and follow along! What you’ll want to do is watch a twenty-second snippet of the video’s route and then do your best to mimic it on your actual game. Then, pause your game, watch another twenty seconds of the video, and repeat. Make sure you remember to pause your game while watching a video. If you just stand there unpaused, it’ll count towards your time. Do note that there’s no way to check the timer while in-game — the only way to is by saving and checking the status of your file on the title screen.

One important aspect is making sure your movement is on point. The first piece of movement tech you should learn is wall jumping. Wall jumping up onto platforms instead of using the ledges to hop up onto them is much faster (plus it looks cool). But the most important thing is to use the Flash Shift when you get it. This is an upgrade you obtain about a quarter of the way through the main campaign, and it can be used three times in a row to drastically increase your speed. Use this in large horizontal areas to move faster. You can use the Speed Booster power-up for this as well, though this requires a quicker reaction time and thus may be more difficult for beginners.

Fighting and evading enemies is important too, because running into enemies will slow down your run. They’re usually a minor inconvenience that you can just run past, but this isn’t the case for bosses: it’s imperative that you learn their patterns and defeat them quickly. You’ll also want to stock up on as many Missile Tanks as possible along the way so that you can really lay on some pain. Collect the ones you see that won’t take you too far out of your way. For a little boost, use an E.M.M.I. amiibo at the beginning of your run for an extra Missile Tank+.

Overall, finishing a run in under four hours shouldn’t be too difficult. The game is quite generous with its timer, really! You can die as often as you like and you won’t even be punished for it. If you do decide to go with our suggestion of following a video guide, it’ll be even easier! Regardless, we hope we were able to help you, and if you have any further questions you’re welcome to join our Discord server. Good luck!

If you would like to read more guides, please follow this link.


One thought on “Metroid Dread – 4 Hour Run Guide”

  1. In the same way that Super Metroid paved the way for SOTN and future generations of great metroidvanias, Metroid Dread has set the new bar for the following generations of metroidvanias and I’m excited for it!
    Metroid is my favorite Nintendo franchise ever.

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