Amount of Loci

How many Loci do I need to compete in World Memory Championship in all disciplines?

Well, lets do some math. Since we are going for the first spot, I’ll base it on the records that are on the wikipedia page.

60-minute numbers: 4620 digits
We want this all in one palace, and for simplicity we will use a 2-digit PAO for this. With 6 digits per image, we end up needing 770 loci, which we can round up to a nice 800.

With my 3-2-3-PAO, we can make 8-digit images. That allows us to get down to 578 loci. A nice 600-loci palace will do. With a full millennium PAO, this can get down to just over 500.

Lets settle on 600 loci.

5-minute numbers: 616 digits
With our 2-digit PAO, we will need at least 103.
The 3-2-3-PAO can get it down to almost 80.
A millenium PAO can let you get away with 70.

Lets settle for 100 here.

Spoken numbers: 547 digits
With our 2-digit PAO, we will need about 100 again.
The 3-2-3-PAO can get it down to almost 70.
A millenium PAO only needs just over 60.

So we can go for 80, however, 100 could do as well. Lets go with that for easy math.

30-minute binary: 7485 digits
Binary is a bit different. But with my system I can get away with 26 digits per image. Lets go with 20 for simplicity. That gives us 375 loci.

We will round that up to 400 loci.

1-hour cards: 2530 cards
With PAO, you can put 3 cards on an image. That is a nice balance between single card and the more advanced systems, but we still need 850 loci.

850 it is then.

15-minute words: 335 words
Some like a word per locus, some put two words. It would be safe to say that you can get to break this record with 300 loci.

So 300 it will be for this.

15-minute names and faces: 224 points
I must say that I dont know how they calculated the points or if this is a way older record. 200 loci is still a safe bet.

For this, 200 loci.

5-minute historic dates: 154 dates
Given a date per locus, we will simply need 160.

200 loci for easy math.

15-minute abstract images: 756 points.
Again, not sure about the points. Plus that you can also get 5-minute images at the IAM.

500-750 loci will do for us

Speed Cards
This is a seconds thing, not a loci thing. We can do with 15 to 52 loci.

I myself have a 52 loci palace this, so that is what we will use.

That all combined puts you in the range of 3.000+ loci used. Closing in on 4.000 if you want to do both the IAM and WMSC.

Add some more training palaces and you got yourself easily 5.000-10.000 loci, spread over a number of palaces of course.

However, I dont do competitions, so maybe someone else can share more accurate numbers.

In the end, asking how many loci you need to compete is like asking a runner what shoes you need to be at the olympics.

Training and practice, you will need training and practice. The equipment is secondary, and will only be known once you have trained - a lot.


Thanks for your explained.

Nice explanation from @Mayarra

However this assumes you want to beat all of the records in all of the disciplines. The amount of loci needed to “do fairly well” in a selection of disciplines will be much less.

That is also why I approached it per event :slight_smile: that way OP can best decide what he needs.

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Yes, greatly detailed explanation! I would argue that you might not need loci for Names & Faces, Dates and Images, but there are competitors using palaces for these events too. Note that there are two attempts for speed numbers and three attempts for spoken numbers (at most 200-300-550 digits) so you might need extra palaces for these.


As my understanding in wmsc recording, the competition is actually one to two tasks per day, say today is binary and spoken numbers, tomorrow are other disciplines. So there is actually some gaps in between, which means you can reuse the same palace. Turns out I guess 5000+ loci are more than enough for all disciplines and training if you have a clear mp allocation scheme.

Outside the track, Akira Haraguchi - Wikipedia.
Memorisation of pi needs more mp than competition as you have to demonstrate you mastered 100k digits in one shot, 100,000 / 6 per image ~= 16k mp