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Sprinting in games is the movement upgrade to the standard run. While running usually requires a simple push of the analog stick or directional pad to its furthest radius in order to execute, sprinting usually requires an additional buttton press to initiate. Sprinting is usually characterized by its fast movement speed at the cost of finesse moving, often causing a wider turning radius, not to mention many games add a moment of fatigue which can slow down or immobilize the player following a long period of sprinting. This provides a crucial amount of strategy and trade-offs when a player decides to sprint.
Although sprinting is often limited to a short period of time, some games allow for indefinite sprinting (Super Mario Bros., Spider Man 2), some games have exploits that allow you to sprint indefinitely where otherwise it would be impossible. A prime example of this is the Grand Theft Auto franchise where holding a button allows for sprinting, but if one taps the button repeatedly instead of holding it allows for the player to sprint essentially forever without feeling the normal fatigue effects implemented.
Sprinting is not to be confused with another video game maneuver, Dashing, which usually only allows for a small burst of speed forward, and can be executed repeatedly in quick succession.