Speedrunning: The New Challenge

Updated: 4 Feb 2020 3:02 PM PST
Posted: 27 Jan 2020 2:26 PM PST

From Minecraft to GTA V, there is a speedrun competition for every single game you can think of.

Speedrun records are for players who are willing to put in some time.

For many players, beating a game is its own reward. Others, though, need more of a challenge. They don't just want to win - they want to win as fast as possible.


Whether doing this shows mastery of a game or only a better understanding of its systems varies from player to player. Still, those who take on these challenges are part of the broader speedrun community.

Speedrunning Basics

Speedrunning is, as the term suggests, all about beating a game as fast as possible. It should be noted that a good speedrun isn't necessarily a run that goes through the game like a regular player would experience it.

Instead, it involves a way to break the game in both subtle and significant ways to get from the starting screen to the credits as quickly as possible. Some speedruns require a thorough knowledge of how to complete quests as efficiently as possible, while others rely on glitches and secrets to make it through the game faster.

Regardless of the methodology, the end goal is always to shave a few more seconds off the record for the fastest completed time.

Why Speedrunning is Popular

Speedrunning has grown in popularity, along with many other forms of game streaming.

The combination of drama and skill makes for an incredibly entertaining spectacle.


Something is entertaining about watching another player get through a game quickly, be it because of that player's skill at a tough game or because the player is smart enough to exploit loopholes in the game itself. There's also an element of suspense to any good speedrun, as even a single mistake can completely ruin a run.


The combination of drama and skill makes for an incredibly entertaining spectacle.

Dos and Don'ts

There are several rules related to speedrunning, some of which are more official than others. Given that the speedrun community is generally loosely organized. That individual games vary significantly in terms of both how they are played and how their communities react to specific actions.

It's always a good idea for potential players to get to know their communities before they release speedrunning videos or make any claims of breaking records. There are, however, a few things that would-be speedrunners need to keep in mind.

Humans Only. No Bots Allowed.

First and foremost, it should be remembered that speedruns can't be automated while there are almost certainly communities out there for players who want to find ways to break a game completely.

The general rule in speedruns is that a human must complete the actual run. There can be specific rules about what kind of interface 'counts' for a legitimate run.

Still, things like auto-clickers or even combat macros will often disqualify a run from being considered official.


There's also some degree of an honor system in the world of speedruns. If a player uses a new strategy to complete the run, there's often a feeling that the strategy should be replicable.

Players should be able to explain how they were able to complete a run faster than anyone else, and the methodology must be able to be replicated. While player skill and reaction time separates those who hold records from those who chase them, few speedrun players keep their strategies secret.

Speedrunning stats

If you want to see the top speedrunners and leaderboards for any game check out the popular site, Speedrun.com (surprisingly, it can be a little slow at times).

The Bottom Line

Whether your goal is to beat your personal best time, set a record, or watch someone else power through a tough game, speedrunning can be fun. It takes some time to build up the skill to be competitive, and it can be hard to get noticed by a community.

Those who put in the effort and put up consistently fast times can find an audience as well as a group of like-minded players against whom they can compete.


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