A Gaming Glossary: F

FrameOne of the individual still pictures that make up a video.

Frames are of special interest to speedrunners for a few reasons. For one, game events (and thus game progress) may be tied to the framerate rather than to a real-time clock (see framerule for one way this can happen). This can make lag management a necessary part of speedrunning, especially in older games (e.g., NES). Some optimizations may also save an amount of time that is more easily measured in frames than seconds (“menuing this way saves 15 frames each time”). Finally, some tricks may have window for execution that is only a frame, or a few frames, wide (see frame-perfect).
FramerateThe speed at which frames are rendered, expressed in fps (frames per second). Common console game framerates include 30 fps and 60 fps.
Frame-perfectIn the strictest sense, a frame-perfect trick is one that must be executed on a specific frame to succeed. Many speedrunning communities slightly broaden this definition to include tricks that must be executed within a window of a small number of frames.
Framerule An internal time tracking rule used by a game. When a game applies a framerule, it checks or updates certain values every time a specific number of frames has passed. Super Mario Bros. has perhaps the most famous example of such a rule: it checks every 21 frames to determine whether the level has been beaten.