This is done before starting a new game and allows you to know what encounter you will get during the whole run. The step route is different from categories to categories so to know what would be the movement, it would be better watching a run of that. Keep in mind that you do not need perfect walking to benefit from it, after each save and reset being performed, you reset that step count to a known state, so everything that you did wrong before will be fixed after.
Save and Resets are part of the route. By doing that, you can also manipulate Fish with Cid and Returner’s Hideout River. Both are based on a random value in the game that changes everytime an NPC moves. By save and resetting, that value goes back to a known state that is based on the Encounter seed you are on.
There is some instances where Step Route cannot control the encounters :
– Serpent Trench (The encounters you will get are enforced and their formations are frame based, so they cannot be manipulated)
– Start of Terra’s Scenario – River (There is a max of 3 Encounters during that part, and only one is enforced. Is it in theory possible to manipulate those but overall it would affect the whole rest of the game. How many encounters you will get during this part will affect the Opera Rats formations).
– Floating Continent (Formations cannot be manipulated and changes based on the frames)
Benefits from Step Route
– Only 2 Encounters on the Returner’s Hideout River (A lot faster and a LOT safer)
– Faster Veldt and Safer Phantom Train
– Overall better Level and Money management
– Can manipulate Kefka’s Tower encounter to not get Unescapables
– Cid’s Fishing Manipulation ( Very difficult to perform, needs perfect movement and inputs – To see it in Action : https://www.twitch.tv/videos/47311678 )
Here is a tutorial on how to manipulate your encounter seed for your run as well as a document that will allow you to do so.
Seed Manipulation Document (Important Cells can be Edited)
River Manipulation (Returner’s Hideout)
If you do seed manipulation on Seed 244, you can do the River Manipulation, which guarantee that you will only get 2 encounters in the river 100% of the time (No RNG). The first 2 encounters of the river are enforced, but the rest are based on NPC Value RNG. This is why, based on how the guard in the Hideout is moving before leaving the room, we can manipulate the encounters. Here are the 2 methods. Both have a big window on when to leave. You can use the carpet as a visual, if he is standing on the first bottom tile of the carpet, you can leave the room by holding down.
Note : This can only be done if you do seed manipulation at the start of the game. If you do not, don’t bother doing this trick since it will not work (NPC will move randomly and will be different than the examples below)
Fish Manipulation (Solitary Island)
If you are on step route, you can perform what is called Fish Manipulation (Or Pro Bass Fishing). This requires precise movement and a sequence of inputs to be performed on Cid to be able to spawn the “Good” fish to heal Cid. Doing so you will be able to heal him in 4 fishing cycles, which is not only very fast but also if performed correctly, it removes all the RNG.