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Pausing is necessary to pull out any Gadgets - pressing switch (A in 1.2) during normal play will only cycle through Weapons.

Unlike many games, including Perfect Dark, the act of pausing is far from instant, taking around 3.65s initially. The level is still active (and in particular the mission timer is still running) throughout the animation as Bond enters / leaves the watch. The game is only actually paused while the watch fills the entire screen, though you can do nothing useful except wait during the watch animations, or press pause again to start unpausing.

Also relevant to runs are the control style / screen settings but because of the time cost these are never the sole reason for pausing.

Starting a pause creates a large lag spike as the watch is spawned, of ~0.3s, which is exploited in some places.

Equipping items

In the equipment menu, first select a weapon and then your gadget. Unpause, use your gadget, and switch weapons. This brings out the weapon that you selected before the gadget: Gadgets are completely separate to weapons and don't have a specific place in their cycle.

It's also important to be aware that unpausing while focused on an item will select it before starting the unpause. This is useful in RTA, where you can skip pressing A on your final item, and even unpause in anticipation of the scroll finishing. But it's something to watch out for in ILs, especially if your stick is CCed.

Pause angle

Extreme vertical looking angles can make the pause slower. After the lag spike you must be looking between 10° and 70° below the horizon in order to not lose time. On the edges of this the time loss is very subtle, especially as lag effects the exact length of the pause anyway.

Essentially you want to be looking no higher than a touch above horizontal, and strictly above full lookdown when you start a pause in order to avoid time loss.

Lower lag does speed up pauses, so significant lookdown is generally desirable.

Quick Pauses

Quick Pausing is a method used in GoldenEye to speed up pauses.

By design, subsequent pauses get exponentially faster, until the 7th which peaks at around 2.40s for both of the animations. All further pauses then take the same amount of time.

However the 'pause counter' is incremented when you start entering a pause. A quickpause involves pressing pause twice in quick but precise succession (though some people triple-tap just for timing). The 1st starts the pause, and the 2nd registers just after the lag spike, causing you to unpause immediately. A good quickpause doesn't dip the camera at all, and the ammo counter will disappear only briefly, if at all.

The idea is to do this during dead time, to speed up later pauses which will otherwise bottleneck the run. Good examples are on Frigate SA while waiting for the bug to land and on Aztec while waiting at the glass during the standard mainframe strat.

Because of the lag spike, quickpauses do take some time. Coupled with the loss of both Momentum and Full speed, they are always performed where waiting on something else, even if it's only the 1st door on Silo.

Pause Duration

The initial pause from a good angle takes around 3.65 seconds[1]. There are several stages to the pause and the end of each of these is effected by lag, so there is some variation. However the savings from previous (quick)pauses only effect one stage, so can be stated precisely:

# previous pauses saving on this pause difference to previous
0 0.00s 0.00s
1 0.27s 0.27s
2 0.47s 0.20s
3 0.70s 0.23s
4 0.90s 0.20s
5 1.10s 0.20s
6+ 1.17s 0.07s

Underneath these numbers is a 10% exponential increase to the pause speed, but rounding and subtleties give rise to a pretty steady saving between 2 and 5 previous pauses.

Worked examples

Silo 00A

Quickpausing at the start only. The are a total of 5 full pauses (4 plastiques and the camera).

# QPs Saving Difference
1 1.10s 1.10s
2 2.00s 1.17 - 0.27s = 0.90s
3 2.70s 1.17 - 0.47s = 0.70s
4 3.17s 1.17 - 0.70s = 0.47s

So the first 2 are certainly worthwhile, and the 3rd if it's fast enough. A 4th would probably take longer than it saved.

Frigate SA

Quickpausing during the bug throw, benefiting the 2 bomb defuser pauses.

# QPs Saving Difference
2 0.86s 0.86s
3 1.26s 1.26 - 0.86s = 0.40s

'Pause trick'

Also known as the 'Train & Cradle pause trick', this small timesave just uses the lag generated at the start of the pause[2][3].

At the end of both of these levels you are just waiting for a timer to finish running in one of the level scripts. During a game tick, these scripts run before the mission time is incremented. As such, as far as we are concerned, the level ends the frame before the timer expires. The longer (laggier) this last frame is, the more time is saved.

The best method seems to be to simply press Start once before the fadeout, with good timing. The earlier you press it, the more time you save. But if you press it too early you'll not save anything. It's obvious if this has happened because you'll see the start of the pause animation: the camera angle will have jumped or bonds arm might have spawned in (if you are looking down). You want your angle/view to be the same before and after fadeout starts.

In theory you can create more lag on train by using the smoke generated from dual guns (potentially saving around 0.06s more), but the pause trick is far more practical and reliable.

The trick is not applicable to any other levels e.g. Egypt. In the endings of those levels you want as low lag as possible.

Full pause process

Pausing goes through various numbered stages[4]:

  1. Equips watch (lag) and wait a frame
  2. Get within 30 degrees of target angle and wait a frame
  3. The arm appears, and a timer runs
  4. Zooming into the watch
  5. In the pause
  6. ... (similar leaving the pause) ...

Stage (1) must take at least 0.28s (17 frames), but the limiting factor is probably the lag from the watch.

Stage (2) has something important. The target angle is 40 degrees below horizontal (-40), so 50 degrees above full lookdown (-90). So you need to be between -70 and -10 at this point.

So full lookdown (-90) is just as bad as looking 10 degrees above the horizon (+10), and likely looses a frame or two. During the lag spike of stage 1 you will jerk your lookup angle so you won't start stage 2 at the lookdown that you started with. Nonetheless I think you'll want to start between -80 and 0 (horizontal) to be sure you aren't losing time. Looking at Karl's 16 compared to Joris / Joakim's he does seem to lose a frame here.

Then for Stages (3) & (4), the "pause speed" comes into play. This is 1.0 for your first pause, and is multiplied by 1.1 for each pause (incl. quickpauses) to a maximum of 1.7. (1.1)^6 = 1.77.. so 6 previous pauses max out this multiplier (I may have said 7 before but Henrik was right with 6). This speed makes (3) & (4) faster as you'd expect but rounding makes things slightly rougher.

(3) takes 0.68s (41 frames) where the speed is 1.0, but 0.66s / speed where the speed is greater than 1.0 (due to a strict inequality) (4) takes 0.75s / speed.


  1. Wyst3r. "the-elite facts topic post on pausing, time, and angles". Retrieved July 24, 2021.
  2. Wyst3r. "the-elite forum post "Post Your Best Legit (And Semi-Legit) Fails Here!"". Retrieved July 21, 2021.
  3. Wyst3r. "facts topic post on level end time save". Retrieved July 24, 2021.
  4. Whiteted. "facts topic post on pausing". Retrieved July 24, 2021.