As reported by VG247, Starfield already has a routed speedrun under three hours—which is terrifying, since it's not even out of its early access period yet. Heck, widely-used leaderboard website speedrun.com doesn't even open its rankings until September 20, presumably so people can actually play the thing without sweating over skips.
A test run arrived on YouTube September 3 (routed by player Micrologist) before making the rounds online. The runner blitzes through Bethesda's gargantuan RPG in just under three hours—in the game's opening, they patiently wait outside a pirate ship with an explosive canister as its door slowly creaks open. They proceed to lunge inside, throw it, and blow it up with a well-placed shot. Brutal.
Otherwise the test route—which is still largely a work in progress—involves a lot of hopping around and jetpack wizardry. Some other tech from the server made its way online, including short-range teleporting punches—though it's reportedly not capable of clipping players through scenery, making it mostly useful for style points.
Some potential hijinks have also been spotted by Bl00dthunder on Twitter/X, wherein shoving an NPC into a file cabinet warps them to a later story point. Who needs grav jumping or wormholes when you have the power of office equipment?
Already found some potential Speedrun tech for Starfield.The classic half-life 2 strat of warping NPCs forward pic.twitter.com/mSoQLfKFQDSeptember 1, 2023
These routes are still in their primordial soup stage, and we're unlikely to see the competition heating up just yet. Skips are still fermenting among speedrunning communities, and many of these tricks might not even survive the inevitable rounds of patches from Bethesda. But to see a completion time under three hours already is absolutely wild, especially for a main quest that normally takes 30-40 of the suckers to complete (according to an IGN interview from last year).
Granted, Fallout 4's current world record sits at around 35 minutes, Skyrim sits at 22 minutes, and Oblivion has a blistering record of less than three. Single digits. You can get a ready meal going in a microwave and conceivably see Oblivion's credits roll before it's done.
In the same vein, speedruns eventually hit a kind of escape velocity, where the quicker they are, the harder it is to cut down on time. When Starfield is inevitably "solved", we'll be seeing runners struggle to shave off even seconds from its eventual world record. Personally, I'm just keen to see how far these guys can push themselves.