From the Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia
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Speed, occasionally shorted to SPD, is an ability which appears in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, as well as the Mario & Luigi series. It is the stat that increases the character's ability to attack first. The members of the party as well as enemies, all have a Speed stat. In battle, the character or enemy with the highest Speed attacks first, followed by the others in decreasing order. In the Mario and Luigi series, Speed is increased when leveling up and can be given a boost with the Bonus Wheel. In Super Mario RPG, Speed can only be increased by wearing certain armor and accessories. In Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, the Blue Pepper can briefly increase speed. In Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam and Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey, Speed Beans can boost the desired character's speed permanently by one and Speed Bean DXs can boost it by three.
Speed also exists in the Mario Kart games; determining how fast a vehicle can go when it reaches top speed. This is different from acceleration, which determines how quickly it takes to reach top speed (for example, the Flame Flyer starts off slow but is fast when it reaches maximum speed, while the Quacker gets to speed almost immediately but is much slower overall). Examples of fast vehicles with low acceleration in Mario Kart include the Jetsetter, the Sprinter, and the Spear.
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