Speedrunners represent a massive part of the gaming industry, trying to reach their goal – beat the game as fast as possible. But what does it actually mean to be a speedrunner in the modern world?

While the definition of speedrunning may sound simple, the activity includes many factors to consider before engaging in this unique playstyle. Beating the game fast is impossible without the proper strategy, tools, and knowledge.

Also, community plays an essential role in runners’ lives, bringing the audience and competitors closer together. If you want to learn more about this absolutely fascinating gaming movement – read on!

A Glimpse into History

To understand what speedrunning is today, we must take a little peek into the past. Why is it called like this? The phrase consists of two parts, one of which means being fast and the other playing a game. As you might guess, this playstyle is as old as video games because everyone attempts to play as fast as possible at some point.

However, the first to really get the movement going was Doom from 1993. This refreshingly 3D title offered online multiplayer and the ability to capture the gameplay footage to share with others. Thanks to a collection of such demos initiated by Christina ‘Strunoph’ Norman in 1994, speedrunning soon became a thing. Players discussed their new passion on Usenet, sharing tips and advice on completing Doom faster and faster.

Although other speedrun-worthy titles (Quake, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time) appeared in the following years, Doom remained the most memorable moment in the history of this subculture due to its easy-to-grasp mechanics.

Variety of Definitions

Although the essential speedrunning purpose is to find the fastest way to beat the game, it also involves several different approaches to achieving this goal. As you already know, beating a video game quickly requires a specific strategy and certain preparations, including mental ones.

Speedrunners do not perceive video games like most gamers, instead focusing on inventing methods to run through them in the shortest possible time. And believe us, watching some of these records makes the average person think: ‘What the hell happened here?’ Visit YouTube and see for yourself!

The ‘5 Most Legendary Speedruns’ video has over 5 million views and shares some interesting information about the best competitors. There’s also a Morrowind speedrun that lasts only 3 minutes and 12 seconds – mind-blowing. You may also want to know that Portal speedruns are one of the most fascinating things to watch due to many surprising glitches.

And speaking of glitches, let’s discuss different definitions of descriptions and approaches you may encounter while exploring this fascinating world of fast gaming. Any% means reaching the end of the game without completing all or any tasks.

100% is more complicated and requires ending the game with all quests and aspects perfected. Glitchless demands completing the game without exploiting code errors.

Speedrunning is also all about different techniques, as you can’t just play the game fast and hope to beat the best times. The most fundamental technique is routing – planning the best path. There is also sequence breaking, focusing on skipping parts that are not crucial for a potential record.

You can also come across frame-perfect actions, focusing on the precise use of frames per second. And last but not least— exploiting glitches — means finding and using any bugs that can speed up the entire process even more.

Unplanned Collaboration and Friendly People

Unsurprisingly, exploiting glitches made game developers highly interested in speedrunning. At the end of the day, these people test their products purely for fun, providing a fresh point of view that devs can learn from. Since speedrunning is extremely popular on YouTube and Twitch, developers openly admit they watch these sessions to see how runners break their games.

In the speedrunning fellowship, cooperation, helping each other, and healthy competition are highly valued and considered integral to skill development. Online places like Speed Demos Archive or r/speedrun on Reddit strengthen the sense of belonging, boost motivation, and help reduce social anxiety.

Moreover, the speedrunning community hosts regular events like Games Done Quick, where players of different nationalities meet to compete live and raise funds for charity. This year’s Awesome Games Done Quick raised $2.5 million for the Prevent Cancer Foundation!

Everyone’s Welcome

That may come as a surprise, but this year’s Games Done Quick event greeted the first-ever dog performing speedrun. A Shiba Inu named Peanut Butter (PB for friends) scored 25 minutes and 29 seconds in the Gyromite game.

For comparison, it was 24 minutes and 39 seconds in the human player’s case. Like most speedrunners, PB didn’t manage to break his record during the event – but definitely made history as the fastest dog in all gaming.

Can I Speedrun Too?

As you already know, anyone can speedrun, so you can consider doing it yourself. We recommend starting this adventure with an exploration of Twitch and YouTube content. Also, don’t forget to visit the websites mentioned above to use some of the other players’ knowledge. What else?

Think what game you would like to play! Speedrunners try a variety of titles, including AAA productions, indie gems, and proven oldies. The best thing is you don’t even need a decent PC to enjoy this new hobby.


The godlike fast beings live among us, enlightening the world with beautiful achievements no one else is capable of. Well, not exactly. Despite this slightly intimidating reputation, speedrunning represents one of the most progressive branches in all gaming.

They welcome everyone, love to help, support healthy competition, enjoy their time, and arrange epic charity events. And that’s not all, as anyone can join this community to play, chat, search for glitches, or watch. Also, developers love them. Amazingly, all that happens for only one goal – achieving the perfect speedrun.