Elden Ring speedrunners laugh in the face of a mere patch to their exploits

A cloaked assassin in front of a magical horizon
(Image credit: From Software)

Elden Ring recently received a giant patch that, among other things, addressed some of the performance issues affecting PC players, fixed certain NPC questlines that weren't working, added NPC quest markers—and removed certain glitches that the speedrunners had been using to yeet themselves across the Lands Between.

Speedrunners found some major exploits fairly quickly that allowed players to first of all complete the game in under an hour. This was improved-upon until we were looking at times, incredibly, of under half an hour for one of the biggest open world games in years. The patch directly addressed some of the tricks that were being used to enable these runs, so of course speedrunners just thought 'sod that' and have kept playing on v1.02.

So to streamer Hazeblade, a speedrunning specialist, and has managed an Elden Ring Any% speedrun in under 25 minutes—24:37 to be exact (thanks, Dualshockers). Hazeblade uses a route and techniques that are familiar from previous record-setting runs: heading straight for the Icerind hatchet, which has an OP weapon art called Hoarfrost Stomp and can melt bosses. But there's something new here as well: the zip.

The zip is an extremely specific glitch that depends on the player's hardware and some of the background maths of the game, but the outcome is simple: you can warp across the map, skipping giant chunks of the game entirely. Hazeblade spends a lot of time in this video discussing the zip's triggers and how, essentially, they got lucky and were able to shave several minutes off their previous best in this particular run.

The nature of speedrunning is that, as long as you're upfront about what version of the game you're using, there will always be a category for it: so expect v1.02 speedruns to be their own thing. There are those who will continue to run the game on patch 1.03 and beyond, however, and the current world record seems to be held by a dude who's barely been noticed: l337Plummy just broke the 40-minute mark which, given the crimps introduced by FromSoftware, is equally as incredible.

The way things are going, someone will have broken this by the end of the day.

Be wary of the bifurcation of Elden Ring speedrunning: you're going to see some even-more unbelievable times as people dig further into the game's secrets, and work out how to exploit particular patches. That aside, I've spent like 100 hours in this thing and still haven't finished it: these people are running through Elden Ring in the time it takes me to have lunch.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."