Tips and Tricks
This page contains a list of things that are never really explained in the game, but are probably really helpful for new runners to know. Because JSRF is weird, very few of these things are universal rules; all the tips below do have exceptions, and you should always make your own critical considerations when applying something to your own movement.
Hop and release the stick when graffiti cam ends
When the game exits graffiti cam, it very often completely fucks up your controls so that you'll go skidding in a random direction even if you didn't move the stick. This frustrates newer and casual players and makes them think this game's controls are irredeemable garbage.
What's happening here is that the game's directional controls are mostly camera-sensitive: when spraying a graffiti, what was once forward will become either left or right (depending on where your character's skating)... BUT if you keep holding 'normal' forward, it will still move your character where they're facing! This is the game's attempt to help you out while spraying graffiti by giving you multiple ways to accelerate.
However, for the majority of tags in this game, this mechanic does not resolve properly - if you were holding 'normal' forward during the tag, and keep it held when graffiti can ends, you may skid out randomly. If you were holding left or right, the game may lock you into 'normal' forward until you release the stick; there's also a chance you could skid out as well. If you were holding a direction while spraying in the air, your controls will likely become reversed! That could mean anything from an annoying 5 second time loss, to a failed Heli Skip and a dead run.
The solution to all of these potential problems is to let the control stick return to neutral when the graffiti cam ends, then reapply your desired direction once your camera is back to normal. This leaves 0 chance for the camera to fuck with your controls. What you'll also see veteran players do is to hop while graffiti cam ends - this is to preserve speed while your stick is still in neutral, as you cannot decelerate in the air (unless you're explicitly holding down).
Having said all that, there are some tags where it's actually optimal to hold forward during graffiti cam, either because the mechanic resolves properly, or because the way it fucks with your controls just happens to be where you want to go. Top players have these specific tags memorized through trial and error, and it leads to a lot more timesave than you may think.
Forward or reverse quickturn?
As mentioned on the Quickturn page, forward and reverse quickturning are prone to different degrees of angle change - forward quickturning is good for around 90 degree angles and smaller, and reverse quickturning is for large angle changes of 180 or more. Try to use the best kind of quickturn for each situation, although eventually you can become proficient enough to use any kind of quickturn for any angle change (with varying levels of success).
You don't need to hold forward while boosting
You can let your stick return to neutral while boosting, and you'll still boost normally. This makes it easier to make minute direction changes by pushing straight-left or straight-right. Same thing applies while in the air, regardless of boosting - releasing forward in the air will have no effect on your speed, making small direction changes easier. This is particularly useful for precise midair tricks such as Quick Light.
Input buffering during cutscenes
During certain cutscenes, you can hold a button/direction as the scene ends, and the game will execute that input on the first available frame. Some instances where this is useful:
Entering a level
Similar to graffiti cam, your controls can fuck up upon entering a level, which could make you skid out. A way to remedy this is to hold Y upon entering - the reversing animation will prevent the skid, allowing you to reapply the proper direction once your camera is proper. If you still skid out, you can hold A instead to hop upon entering a level, also preventing a skid.
Starting a race
You can hold B during the race countdown, and you'll boost on the first possible frame.
Spray buffering between long-distance tags
If you continue holding R after a tag is finished, your spray will remain buffered for up to 2 seconds. Once in range of a new tag, your spray will (usually) execute on the first available frame. This makes it so you don't need to reapply R at the beginning of each individual graffiti.
After the 2 seconds are up, your character will waste 1 can, after which the following spray will remain buffered again for another 2 seconds. If your next tag is over 2 seconds away but has a very tricky/small hitbox, it may be worth it to sacrifice 1 can to remain buffered.