Version 2.2 is the current version of SRB2, released on December 7th, 2019. It is one of the most extensive updates in the history of SRB2, heavily revamping the Single Player campaign up to Red Volcano Zone Act 1. It added the second and third act of Arid Canyon Zone, remade Deep Sea Zone, Castle Eggman Zone and Red Volcano Zone Act 1 from scratch, and heavily revamped many other levels, adding slopes, new gimmicks and enemies, and updating many of the graphics. Additionally, it features many improvements to the game's presentation, such as new menus, title cards and an entirely remade soundtrack.
|v2.2.0||December 7th, 2019|||
|v2.2.1||Febuary 16th, 2020|||
|v2.2.2||Febuary 22nd, 2020|||
|v2.2.3||May 10th, 2020|||
|v2.2.4||May 11th, 2020|||
|v2.2.5||July 10th, 2020|||
|v2.2.6||July 10th, 2020|||
|v2.2.7||September 30th, 2020|||
|v2.2.8||October 4th, 2020|||
|v2.2.9||May 6th, 2021|||
|v2.2.10||March 6th, 2022|||
Single Player campaign
v2.2 features extensive updates to the Single Player campaign. Arid Canyon Zone Act 2 and Act 3 were added, thereby completing the first five zones. In addition, the existing levels were reworked with improved visuals and overhauled level design, including the addition of slopes. The degree to which the levels were changed varies, ranging from complete remakes to smaller adjustments. Starting from version 2.2.1, as a consequence of the increased length of many individual levels and the campaign in total, the game now saves at the start of each act, not just the first act of each zone.
The format of boss levels was changed slightly: Each player is provided 10 rings on startup. The maps themselves no longer contain any rings, so players are forced to recollect dropped rings to protect themselves from further hits. After the boss is defeated, the level timer now stops, and in Record Attack, the level ends immediately without raising the Egg Capsule.
The visual appearance of GFZ was significantly overhauled, updating most textures and the sprites for all scenery objects and enemies. Most notably, the characteristic checkerboard texture was improved and new, more detailed variants of it were added to give the level more visual variety. The flowers used throughout the level are now animated, and trees were added as additional scenery objects. All three levels now feature a skybox that shows Greenflower Mountain defaced by Eggman's likeness, a reference to a change in the game's storyline.
While the overall layout of the first two acts was not changed, many sections were overhauled to add slopes, streamline the level progression or give a purpose to previously empty areas. Many of these changes were made with the goal of better teaching the game's mechanics to new players while also providing rewards for skilled play. For example, horizontal springs and moving platforms now appear frequently throughout GFZ2. Two entirely new sections were added to the zone: an expanded ending area for the first act and a per-character path split near the end of the second act. Red Crawlas were re-added to the zone. In GFZ3, the Egg Mobile's pinch phase was changed. Instead of spawning spikeballs, it now fires a row of three lasers, with shorter pauses than in the initial phase. Version 2.2.3 gave the Egg Mobile's lasers a visual redesign and additional sound effects, to make the attacks easier for players to notice.
Similarly to Greenflower Zone, Techno Hill Zone received visual and gameplay changes aimed at making the zone more polished. Act 1 received a new sky texture. Several textures, including the main outdoor wall texture, were improved. The factory textures first introduced for the second act's remake in v2.1 are now used in the factory sections of act 1 as well. The texturing in act 2 was overhauled to break up the visual monotony. The existing mechanical flower scenery objects received new sprites and new scenery objects were added. The Buzzes received new, larger sprites to make them harder to overlook. The Turret was resprited as well.
The overall layout of the first two acts was retained, but many sections were fleshed out further compared to v2.1. The player's speed inside the bouyant slime was increased by 33%. In THZ1, the beginning area up to the first factory building as well as the larger factory building at the end received short alternate paths, while the first factory building itself was expanded. In the second half of the level, the previously hidden underground tunnel route was slightly expanded and made a regular part of the left path. Electrical floors and conveyor belts are now used more frequently throughout act 1. In THZ2, two new paths were added at the start of the level, one of which is Knuckles-exclusive. The elevator leading up to the room with the Signpost was replaced by moving platforms. THZ3 remained unchanged except for minor visual tweaks and changing the color of the slime thrown by the Egg Slimer to blue, to indicate that it is harmful.
DSZ was almost entirely remade for v2.2. The texture set was redesigned and expanded. In particular, new brick textures featuring elements of green and cyan were added to increase visual variety. Parts of the zone now take place in an outdoor, "open sea" environment featuring a new skybox. New scenery objects, including stalagmites and animated kelp, were added. The gargoyles were resprited and a larger variant was added as well. The pushable gargoyle gimmick was streamlined: In previous versions, the gargoyles could be pushed around freely and needed to be moved onto special buttons. Now, most gargoyles are immovable, but a few can be slid along a fixed track to open doors and reveal secret passages. The mines that appear throughout the zone were resprited and their behavior was changed: They no longer explode directly on contact and can in fact be pushed around by the player, bouncing off each other with billiard physics. When a player comes too close to a mine, it will trigger and explode after a few seconds. The explosion will destroy other nearby mines as well, causing a chain reaction. A new ground-based enemy called Crushstacean was added, which punches the player with an elastic claw. Version 2.2.5 gave Jet Jaws sound effects to make them easier for the player to notice.
Act 1 was remade from scratch, although it contains references to areas from the previous version of the level. It is unique among SRB2's levels in that it features an extreme amount of intertwining paths and many doors opened by hidden buttons. New gimmicks added to this level include sliding pillars that threaten to crush the player and platforms that pop in and out of waterfalls. Act 2 is a combination of new content and repurposed sections from the previous iteration of the zone. Notable sections that were reused include the ending of DSZ1, the beginning of DSZ2 up to the first path split, and the waterslide maze at the end of DSZ2. Some of the doors in the level can only be opened by spindashing on large wheels, forcing Fang and Amy onto different paths. The boss fight against the Sea Egg was redesigned and made much easier. The arena is now shallow, and the tubes that the boss travels through are hidden underground. Eggman and his decoys in the pinch phase all fire missiles, but instead of shocking the water, the real Eggman now spawns an electric shockwave that the player has to jump over.
The first two acts of Castle Eggman Zone were remade from scratch. As in v2.1, the first act takes place in a forest leading up to Eggman's castle, which is shown from afar in the skybox. Not a single section from the prior version of CEZ1 is referenced in the level's new version. It is now a very vertical and open level with a stacked path structure, with faster but harder upper paths and slower but easier lower paths. It uses the chain launcher gimmick much more prominently than its old version, with many opportunities to use launchers to get to high paths if properly timed. At the end of the level, the player traverses a collapsing bridge to enter the castle itself, which encompasses the second act.
CEZ2 is by far the largest level included in SRB2. It references some areas from previous iterations of the level, including a courtyard path split that recalls the Final Demo version of the level, but is otherwise new. It prominently features horizontally moving and rotating platforms used in combination with bars of maces. The level has an intricate and multilayered path structure, combining the free choice of which path to take with the same stacked path structure that CEZ1 now has.
The texture set for both the forest and castle sections was remade entirely. New scenery objects include pine trees in the forest sections, and candles and torches in the castle sections. The sprites for the maces and chains were improved, and the rotating chain launcher gimmick was streamlined further: The launchers are now much wider, consisting of multiple chains, and their outer chain links use a special graphic to indicate that they can carry the player. Furthermore, the player can no longer alter their speed. Brambles were added to the zone as an environmental hazard, while the first act also features shallow pools of mud that slow down the player. Another new gimmick added to the first act is blocks that destroy on contact, uncovering monitors and secret rooms.
The enemies featured in the zone have also been improved: The Robo-Hood now shoots its arrows in a vertical arc. To make the arrows easier to notice, they now leave trails and make a sound before being fired. The CastleBot FaceStabber was resprited and renamed to Lance-a-Bot; it now takes two hits to destroy and charges at the player when they come too close. Lance-a-Bot statues appear throughout the zone as decorations, some of which come alive and turn into real Lance-a-Bots when a player approaches. The Egg Guard now patrols back and forth while it is equipped with its shield instead of chasing the player.
The boss in CEZ3 was renamed from Eggscalibur to Egg Colosseum. The cage that shields the boss during the main phase now has to be opened by pressing buttons installed in the arena while dodging the rotating maces. The floor progressively collapses with each hit, revealing brambles underneath. The stands are filled with Spectator Eggrobos that push the player back into the arena. In the pinch phase, the boss now circles around the arena and the player has to hit him from the stands with dodging the Eggrobos.
ACZ2 and ACZ3 were added in v2.2, while ACZ1 received a major overhaul. The overall theme of the zone was adjusted: All occurrences of water, quicksand and factory machinery were removed. Instead, the zone now has a stronger wild west theme, with saloon buildings and many wooden constructions. The main canyon textures were only tweaked slightly, but the wood and rope textures were remade and a new gray rock texture used for non-climbable walls was added. Several new gimmicks and hazards were introduced to the zone. These include harmful cacti, tornadoes that launch the player into the air, and rock platforms that balance precariously on thin ledges. Some of these platforms tilt back and forth, while others are held up by wooden supports. These supports shatter on contact, making the platforms tip over and form ramps that the player can use to progress. TNT barrels and stacks of dynamite also appear frequently throughout the zone. The TNT barrels can be pushed by the player, but they explode when jumped into. Exploding barrels or dynamite cause other nearby barrels to either explode as well or be sent flying through the air, triggering a chain reaction.
The enemies that appear in ACZ were changed as well. The Minus was resprited, can now carry TNT barrels and other enemies while tunneling underground, and can hurt the player even while they are spindashing. The BASH now readjusts its aim in mid-air if it misses the player. The Green Snapper was redesigned entirely. It is now much larger and more closely resembles a real turtle. When it spots a player, it will chase them very quickly. Once it loses sight of its target, it will return to its spawnpoint, gradually slowing down. As before, the Green Snapper can only be damaged by jumping on top of it and not with a spindash. ACZ2 introduces the Canarivore, which hangs from the ceiling and spawns clouds of dust that slow down the player.
In order to incorporate these changes, ACZ1 was changed significantly. While the basic layout was retained, many sections were replaced or modified beyond recognition. The level now takes place almost entirely outdoors, as most of the cave sections were removed. Most of the rope pulleys that appear throughout the level are now sloped. A gimmick that involved dodging falling rocks was removed. Instead, the level now features highways winding through the canyon and slapstick elements inspired by the Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoons, such as fake tunnels painted on walls. ACZ2 places a stronger focus on underground areas and mine shafts. The highways and rope pulleys are dropped in favor of minecarts that the player can ride. The minecarts move along fixed tracks, and the player can jump or switch to adjacent tracks to dodge obstacles. The carts will crash if they leave the track or hit a wall, killing the player. Most minecart sections are sealed off by saloon doors that the player cannot open on foot, but some of these areas can be entered on foot by other means. Act 3 is a boss fight against Fang the Sniper on a moving train.
RVZ1 was remade from scratch, although many of its sections are closely based on the previous version of the map. The level now prominently features outdoor sections with a prehistoric jungle theme. Many of the textures used in the level were improved, and new scenery objects were added. The appearance and behavior of the lava were changed; it is now opaque and solid even from the sides. Rings that fall into the lava are melted, making it more dangerous to players who fall into it. In addition to the flamethrowers and crumbling platforms already present in v2.1, the level now features Object-based lavafalls and platforms that slowly sink into the lava as hazards. A new gimmick added to the level is the Rollout Rock, a large ball of pumice that the player can hop on to ride through the lava. The sprites for the Unidus were improved, and three new enemies were added to the level: The Pyre Fly is a hovering fly-like enemy that periodically catches fire. The Pterabyte always appears in groups of three that hover in circles around a central point. If a player comes near a Pterabyte, it will swoop down and try to grab the player. If it succeeds, it will carry the player for a while and drop them into the nearest lava pit. The player can escape by jumping repeatedly, eventually destroying the Pterabyte. Finally, the Dragonbomber is a multi-segmented flying enemy that drops spiked bombs. The second and third acts of RVZ were not added for v2.2.
Several of the textures used in Egg Rock Zone were remade or improved for v2.2. The sprites for the Snailer, Spincushion (which was renamed from Sharp) and Jetty-Syns were remade as well. Otherwise, ERZ received only minor changes. Only a single slope was added to the zone, in order to connect the space between the deleted rooms in Act 2. In ERZ1, the entire right path was blocked off for non-spindash characters since it requires using the spindash on two occasions. In the Knuckles route on the left path, spiked platforms were added to allow Amy to complete it as well. In ERZ2, the shrink section and the laser miniboss near the end were removed. The changes to ERZ showcased in the 20th anniversary trailer were not included in v2.2, as they were scrapped in favor of a still-incomplete full remake.
Egg Rock Zone Act 3 and Egg Rock Core Zone were reorganized into a 3-act boss rush zone called Black Core Zone: The race and boss fight against Metal Sonic were split into Black Core Zone Act 1 and Act 2, respectively, while the boss fight against Brak Eggman was moved to Black Core Zone Act 3. An additional ERZ3 boss fight, which would have come between ERZ2 and BCZ1, was considered but ultimately not used.. The race against Metal Sonic was made slightly easier by increasing the time limit, replacing some death pits with lava and removing some obstacles. In BCZ2, Metal Sonic now telegraphs his attacks more clearly. In BCZ3, the lava that the player lures Brak Eggman into was replaced with green slime (since lava is now solid from the sides). The crates that the player has to hide behind during Brak Eggman's sniping attack are now always raised. Short ending sequences were added to both BCZ2 and BCZ3. Version 2.2.7 gave Brak Eggman new, 16-angled sprites.
All Special Stages received changes for v2.2, some minor and some more substantial. All special stages are now played as whichever character you are currently playing as instead of just Sonic, but all characters function the same regardless. The first five stages all received a visual redesign to match the new aesthetics of the zones they are based on. Magma Caves Zone and Egg Satellite Zone were not overhauled, but benefitted from the remade and improved textures for RVZ and ERZ, respectively. Significant changes to the tracks themselves include the following:
- Floral Field Zone: The track layout of the starting area and the cave that follows afterwards was adjusted. An alternate upper path intended for more experienced players was added to the cave.
- Toxic Plateau Zone: Several areas before the Ideya Capture were tweaked to increase the amount of vertical variety. In the area directly after the Ideya Capture, an alternate path was added that leads through the slime.
- Flooded Cove Zone: The starting area was redesigned. Containers with paraloopable items were added to the temple area between the first underwater section and the Ideya Capture. The second half of the stage that begins after the Ideya Capture was almost entirely remade and significantly shortened, and no longer features rising and falling water. The section immediately after the Ideya Capture now features an alternate path.
- Cavern Fortress Zone: The final hallway of the level now features rotating maces instead of vertically moving pillars.
- Dusty Wasteland Zone: This stage was remade from scratch, with only the section with a spiral of hoops around a pillar kept. It now involves dodging cacti and mine shaft elevators.
- Magma Caves Zone: This stage received only minor changes. As in Red Volcano Zone, the lava is now opaque and solid from all sides.
- Egg Satellite Zone: The entrance to the rotating laser room was tweaked so that the player is no longer blindsided by it. The green disappearing and reappearing blocks after the Ideya Capture were replaced with sloped laser surfaces. The final section before the goal now features more backwards NiGHTS Bumpers and two laser hoops that the player has to maneuver through.
- Black Hole Zone: The damaging moving hoops near the end were made static, and a short section that involves flying through a narrow sloped corridor was added after them.
In Co-op mode, the NiGHTS Special Stages were replaced with the ring-collecting Special Stages from v2.0, which were rethemed after the Single Player zones. A few adjustments were made to this Special Stage format: The players now collect spheres instead of rings. The countdown timer is now individual for each player, and getting damaged will make the player lose time instead of spheres.
- SRB1 Remake: The SRB1 Remake has been removed for v2.2 because it was considered subpar.
- Returning extra levels:
- Pipe Towers Zone received no significant changes.
- Aerial Garden Zone had a few layout adjustments and several sections simplified, but did not have any slopes added. The underwater section removed from 2.1 was readded to the zone, now as an alternate to the conveyor belt path. Most spring platforms were replaced with PolyObjects, and the button/door combinations are now labeled with symbols. The enemies taken from other zones were replaced with new bee-themed enemies, Hive Elementals that spawn Bumblebores. In addition, the zone now features Lightning Shields instead of Whirlwind Shields and Attraction Shields, and the shield placement was adjusted to accommodate that. Water was added to the areas where Knuckles must take a path different from the rest, to prevent him from using a Lightning Shield to access the other characters' paths.
- Azure Temple Zone got slight layout adjustments, but again did not have any slopes added. In the action path, spikes were replaced with green flames, and an alternate route exclusive to Amy and Fang was added. AquaBuzzes and Trapgoyles were resprited and renamed to Buggles and Glaregoyles respectively, and the zone now features Bubble Shields instead of Elemental Shields. Each instance of Glaregoyles moving up and down was replaced with two stacked rows of Glaregoyles, which achieves a similar effect while being less unpredictable.
- OLDC levels: v2.2 includes two levels from the Official Level Design Contest as unlockables: One of these is Frozen Hillside Zone Act 1 from the May/June 2011 OLDC, for which new tree sprites have been made. The other is Haunted Heights Zone from the September/October 2014 OLDC, to which additional paths, slopes, and Flame Shields have been added. Haunted Heights Zone is now the first challenge stage, with Aerial Garden Zone and Azure Temple Zone as the next two.
- Old levels: v2.2 features scrapped versions of two Single Player levels as unlockables: Techno Legacy Zone is the version of Techno Hill Zone Act 2 that was included in SRB2 before its remake in v2.1. The damaging slime has been recolored green, and a few other small adjustments were made. Forest Fortress Zone is a prototypical version of Castle Eggman Zone Act 1 as it appeared during the early stages of v2.2 development before it was revamped further, and is the only unlockable level other than Haunted Heights Zone to feature slopes.
- NiGHTS bonus stages: Spring Hill Zone was given a Christmas theme and renamed Christmas Chime Zone; it no longer allows the player to roam through the level in 3D. Additionally, three community-created NiGHTS levels were added as unlockables: Dream Hill Zone by Queen Delta, as well as Botanic Serenity Zone and its multi-mare version, The Perception, from the Botanic Serenity level pack by Digiku, renamed to Alpine Paradise Zone Act 1 and Alpine Paradise Zone Act 2, respectively.
Several changes were made to Coop to further encourage cooperation between players:
- Collected extra lives are awarded to all players in the game.
- Multiple options were added for sharing lives between players, which can be set via the
cooplivesconsole variable or in the Server Options menu. The default behavior is that players who get a Game Over can steal lives from other players to respawn. Other options include sharing all lives in a common pool, giving everyone infinite lives, or keeping lives separate per-player.
- Options were added for sharing Star Posts between players, although the default option is still that players' Star Posts are handled separately. The alternate options can be enabled via the
coopstarpostsconsole variable or in the Server Options menu. The "shared" options makes player respawn at the furthest Star Post in the level that was hit by any player, while the "teamwork" turns dead players into spectators, allowing them to respawn once another player hits a Star Post.
- More options were added for the
playersforexitsetting, allowing the host to control how many players must finish a level before it ends. Furthermore, players who have completed a level can now continue roaming the level while they are waiting for others to finish.
- Super forms were removed. Instead, collecting all Chaos Emeralds now gives the player Super Sneakers and invincibility for 20 seconds.
- Rings thrown by Tails now move 50% faster than rings thrown by other characters.
- When players run out of regular rings but still have a weapon ring and ammo for it, they can continue firing the weapon ring at the cost of two pieces of ammo per shot.
- Hit players no longer drop all their weapon panels and ammo along with their rings when getting hit. If they have the panel for a weapon, they only drop the panel. Otherwise, they drop their ammo.
- The cooldown period for thrown rings is now visualized on the HUD.
Changes to the multiplayer stages were comparatively minor. No new stages were added, but three maps were removed: Molten Fissure Zone and Radiant Caverns Zone from the CTF rotation, and Granite Lake Zone from the Match rotation. Lost Palace Zone (which was renamed from Cloud Palace Zone) and Nimbus Ruins Zone were heavily retextured. Several other maps received less drastic graphical improvements, most notably Jade Valley Zone, Noxious Factory Zone, Iron Turret Zone, and Dual Fortress Zone. The map layouts, however, remained almost entirely unchanged. In particular, no slopes were added to the multiplayer levels except for two decorative slopes in Dual Fortress Zone.
v2.2 adjusted the workings of Tails and Knuckles' unique abilities, but kept the moves common to all characters the mostly the same. The only change common to all three starting characters is that while falling, jumping without a shield, or being propelled by a spring, they can now land on the ground rolling by holding spin before they hit the ground.
Tails and Knuckles' base speed and acceleration were changed to be the same as Sonic's, so the only differences between them now are their double-jump abilities, Sonic and Knuckles' ability to go super (now done by pressing jump + spin instead of jump + jump), and Knuckles' lower jump height and ability to break walls the other two can't. Sonic's moveset received no major adjustments.
Tails now has separate sprites for swimming, rather than reusing his flying sprites. His flight mechanics were adjusted so that there is less need to repeatedly press jump to fly higher. Tails' AI when playing as Sonic and Tails was significantly improved, and when standing next to him as Sonic, an arrow now appears indicating that Sonic can jump to let Tails fly and carry him, meaning that Tails can now carry Sonic without the need for two players. Tails cannot carry Sonic underwater.
Knuckles' moveset received significant adjustments, by far the most of the three. His glide no longer resets momentum, which means that Super Sneakers and spindashing now make him glide faster; his climbing speed was also made 33% faster. When landing from a glide onto the floor, however, Knuckles' momentum is cut and he crouches to get back on his feet. Changing directions while gliding has been adjusted to be smoother and slower. When climbing a wall as Knuckles, pressing the camera buttons now moves the camera, rather than moving Knuckles. When gliding into a boss or an enemy that takes multiple hits to defeat, Knuckles now bounces off rather than gliding through it.
Version 2.2.5 gave Knuckles a few additional adjustments. Much like Tails, Knuckles now has separate sprites for swimming, which replaces gliding underwater. While swimming, Knuckles turns much faster than while gliding. 2.2.5 also gave Knuckles a super form, making him one of three characters who can go super. Super Knuckles has increased speed and invincibility, plus an ability to emit damaging shockwaves when landing from a glide or gliding into a wall. Unlike other super forms, however, Super Knuckles does not have an increased jump height.
v2.2 introduces three unlockable playable characters: Amy Rose, Fang the Sniper and Metal Sonic. Each character is unlocked after encountering their non-playable version in the game: Fang after beating him as a boss in Arid Canyon Zone Act 3, Metal Sonic after completing Black Core Zone, where he appears as a boss, and Amy after completing Frozen Hillside Zone, where she appears at the end.
Amy and Fang differentiate themselves from the other characters by not having a spindash ability and not curling into a ball when they jump. This makes them more vulnerable to enemies, but they compensate for this with a higher jump height and their special abilities: Amy can swing her hammer to damage and bounce off enemies as well as break monitors, spikes and bustable walls and floors, including strong bustable walls which could previously only be busted by Knuckles. Furthermore, swinging her hammer into springs will give her an additional boost, potentially allowing her to reach places some of the other characters cannot. If her hammer hits the ground, it will spawn hearts, which give nearby players pink Pity Shields in multiplayer.
Fang's double jump ability is the tail bounce, which makes him bounce off the ground and gain additional height. He can bounce off enemies, other damaging Objects and damaging surfaces with his tail without taking damage. Additionally, bouncing off enemies, monitors or bustable floors will destroy them. His secondary ability is his pop gun, which he can fire by pressing Spin while standing still. The gun will automatically target nearby enemies or monitors.
Metal Sonic has the same jump height as Sonic and Tails, and has the spindash ability. His double jump ability is the hover, which allows him to float while maintaining his current height as long as he does not lose speed. Unlike Knuckles' glide, the hover can be done again after being released without falling back to the ground. If Metal Sonic keeps moving at a high speed for a sufficient amount of time or spindashes for long enough, he will enter boost mode, allowing him to break through enemies, spikes, monitors and weak bustable walls without taking damage. He is the only unlockable character who can transform into his Super form when equipped with all seven Chaos Emeralds and 50 rings. In his Super form, he has a higher jump height, permanent invincilibity and can run on water, like Sonic.
Several Single Player levels takes advantage of the unlockable characters' unique abilities and limitations by offering secret areas and different paths for them, similar to the Knuckles-exclusive paths that were added to the game starting with v2.0. In particular, bustable floors offer a method of creating areas that only Fang and Amy can access, while gaps that must be spindashed through can be used to force them onto different paths.
Interface and accessibility improvements
v2.2 contains many improvements to the interface of the game, ranging from the menus to the way the player's character is displayed. Many of these changes are intended to make the game more intuitive and easier to learn for newer players. Furthermore, several features have been added to assist players with visual or hearing impairments.
- SRB2 now offers three distinct "playstyles" that determine how the camera and the player's movement interact. In the Standard playstyle, the camera is controlled manually and, unlike in previous versions, the player character's sprite automatically faces the direction the player is moving in. This change is purely visual – moves like the thok and glide still go in the direction the camera is facing, not the character. In the Legacy playstyle, as well as in Match and derived gametypes, the character's sprite always faces towards the camera. The Simple playstyle is intended for gamepad users and replaces analog control. It features an automatic camera that attempts to follow the player. Both the character's sprites and special moves face the direction the player is moving in.
- Some of the game's controls have been renamed. In particular, the "strafe left/right" keys have been renamed to "move left/right" and the "look" keys have been renamed to "camera". The Setup Controls menu has also been reorganized into a scrolling, categorized list, with the most important controls listed first.
- Since v2.2.1, the player, enemies, rings and other important Objects cast shadows to make it easier to gauge their position when they are in mid-air.
- A new automatic braking feature (called autobrake) was added that causes the player to come to a halt more quickly when they stop pressing the movement controls. This feature is intended to ease players into the game, but more experienced players are encouraged to turn it off.
- A new HUD element has been added to Record Attack and its replays, which shows which controls are currently being used.
- A closed captioning system for the hearing-impaired was added, which displays captions for played sounds on the screen. It can also be used in GIFs.
- An in-game tool that allows the player to adjust the palette at runtime was added, to help add contrast for colorblind players.
- Many of the menus in the game were overhauled. In particular, the save select and level select menu are now scrolling menus that display level preview screenshots. The Setup Player menu now features a sliding bar that displays the available player colors.
- v2.2 includes a tutorial stage that teaches the player the basic mechanics of the game, including movement and camera, jumping, spindashing and thokking.
- Diagonal springs now always redirect the camera, rather than only while the player is not holding any buttons.
- Horizontal springs have been added. Like diagonal springs, horizontal springs always redirect the camera. Due to the game's ground speed cap, horizontal springs on ground are most useful when the player spins onto them.
- Wall spikes have been added.
- SRB2's shield abilities have been expanded for v2.2. The eventual plan is for each of the five main shields to feature an active ability, which the player must actively trigger with the Spin button, and a passive ability, which is always in effect:
- The Attraction Shield's new active ability is the Attraction Shot, which allows the player to dash towards nearby enemies, similarly to the homing attack but without cancelling the player's horizontal momentum after hitting the enemy. To indicate which enemy is targeted, an arrow marker will appear above the enemy when the ability can be used. A differently colored version of this marker is also provided for the homing attack custom character ability.
- The Elemental Shield's new active ability is the Elemental Stomp, which makes the player quickly dash towards the ground and leave patches of damaging fire if not underwater.
- The Force Shield's new active ability is the Force Stop, which cancels the player's momentum. Additionally, the shield has been recolored to a purple hue.
- The Whirlwind Shield already has the Whirlwind Jump as an active ability. A passive ability is not yet included in v2.2.
- The Armageddon Shield's explosion already acts as both the active and passive ability, depending on whether it is triggered by pressing the Spin button or by the player being hit.
- The Pity Shield still features neither an active nor a passive ability, but its sprites have been improved.
- v2.2 includes golden versions of monitors that respawn a few seconds after being destroyed. These are useful for creating sections that require the player to use a monitor power-up to progress.
- The Flame Shield, Lightning Shield, and Bubble Shield from Sonic 3 & Knuckles have been added to 2.2 with their abilities translated into 3D: the Flame Burst, the Lightning Zap, and the Bubble Bounce. These shields appear only in Haunted Heights Zone, Aerial Garden Zone, and Azure Temple Zone respectively. Unlike in Sonic 3, all characters can use the shields' active abilities by pressing Spin while jumping.
- In most levels, including the ones that were not remade from scratch, the emblems were moved to new locations and/or had their hints rewritten.
- Score emblems were removed from non-boss levels and added to boss levels. All the boss score emblems are for earning 10,000 points, which can be achieved by beating the boss without getting hit.
- NiGHTS levels now have four emblems: sun, moon, A rank, and time. The sun and moon emblems are new to v2.2 and replace the single hidden emblem that was previously included in each NiGHTS stage. The sun emblem is visible from the beginning, while the moon emblem remains invisible until it is paralooped. Both emblems can be obtained either by touching them or by paralooping them.
- A few extra emblems were removed: beating the SRB1 Remake, achieving a perfect bonus on a non-bonus stage, and beating Black Hole Zone. Instead, an emblem was added for conquering the challenge levels, which is obtained by beating Azure Temple Zone as any character.
- With all of these changes along with the addition of some new levels, the game now has 200 emblems instead of the previous 160.
- v2.2 features improved character sprites for Sonic, Super Sonic, Tails and Knuckles, as well as a proper spindash animation. Tails now has separate sprites for his body and his tails.
- Many textures and sprites have been remade or improved for v2.2, including the sprites for rings, Emerald Tokens (previously called Special Stage Tokens), springs, spikes, Star Posts and flickies.
- Flickies now depend on which zone they're in rather than which enemy they come from; every zone now has its own unique set of flickies that match the zone's theming.
- Version 2.2.7 added 3D models for characters, enemies, and various other objects; those can be accessed only in OpenGL rendering.
- The palette has been revamped for v2.2, merging similar colors to make space for entirely new color ranges.
- The game's soundtrack has been overhauled for v2.2. Most songs received new arrangements with much higher production quality, but a few were replaced with entirely new tracks. The seven special stages, which used music from the Mystic Realm level pack in 2.1, now each use a remix of the special stage theme from before 2.1 in a similar style to the corresponding zone's music. Only a few songs (like the intro and some multiplayer stages) were left as is. In version 2.2.5, all of the songs taken from the Mystic Realm level pack were updated in a similar style to the rest of the 2.2 soundtrack, meaning the Multiplayer stages which used its music received updated music. A new track was also added in v2.2.5, which was used in Mystic Realm's Aerial Garden Zone Act 4 for the Egg Fighter boss.
- The setup for PolyObjects has been revamped for v2.2, among other things making the Parameters linedef optional for simpler PolyObjects. This change breaks compatibility with maps from v2.0 and v2.1 that use PolyObjects. In addition, work has been done towards fixing some (but not all) of their rendering glitches.
- Maps can now use textures in the place of flats and vice versa.
- An option to switch between Software and OpenGL rendering mid-game was added.
- Support for the MD3 model format was added.
- Support for using PNG images as graphics, which can be used at any resolution, was added.
- v2.2 includes the libopenmpt library which is based on the OpenMPT project, allowing for more accurate playback of tracked music files.
|Pre-demo||SRB2 TGF • SRB2 Halloween • SRB2 Christmas|
|Demo||Demo 1 • Demo 2 • Demo 3 • Demo 4 • Demo 4.32–4.35 • SRB2 2k3|
|Final Demo||Final Demo 1.01–1.04 • Final Demo 1.08 • Final Demo 1.09–1.09.2 • Final Demo 1.09.3–1.09.4|
|Post-demo||Match beta • Version 2.0 • Version 2.1 • Version 2.2 • In development|