How to speedrun Elden Ring

Looking to get into Elden Ring speedrunning? Check this out to get an idea of where to start.

Image via FromSoftware

Elden Ring does a great job rewarding players for overcoming challenges in the shape of near-ridiculous bosses, tough mechanics, and confusing dungeons. The sensation of finally beating that boss that’s had your number for the last 30 deaths is unmatched. But as many players are starting to beat Elden Ring, they’re beginning to ask: “What’s next?” Some have created new characters and implemented new self-challenges, others continue onto a new playthrough on the same character, making the game more difficult. One unique way players are continuing to play the game is by trying to speedrun it.

Speedrunning, or completing a new playthrough as fast as possible, is a growing way to play video games. Typically, when players become comfortable with the game and its mechanics, they can challenge themselves by racing against the clock. With varying categories including any-percent, 100-percent, glitchless, and more, there are many different ways to speedrun the same title as another person. It adds a challenge and even competitive aspect for players looking to improve at a particular game.

Previous FromSoftware titles are some of the most common games to speedrun. Games like the Dark Souls series, Bloodborne, and now Elden Ring fit nicely into the speedrunning community due to their depth and multiple categories for completion. Recently, players like Distortion2 and LilAggy have taken the speedrunning world by storm with their completion of Elden Ring in under one-hour in-game-time. Even more ridiculous, Distortion2 currently holds the world record at 28 minutes and 59 seconds. With impressive times, constant improvements, and new strategies coming out near-daily, the amount of traction and growing popularity of Elden Ring speedrunning is no surprise.

Patch 1.02 strategies

Right now in Elden Ring, there are two main categories that speedrunners are completing. As the game develops and more routes start to be discovered, there will be more categories that are popularized. With the recent release of patch 1.03, there have been significant nerfs to specific weapons and ashes of war used in patch 1.02 routes. Speedrunners are working on developing new strategies as of today, March 17, 2022.

Any-percent

The any-percent category involves players completing the game as fast as possible no matter what. This could, and usually does, include glitches players utilize to skip large portions of the game. The current any-percent strategy involves one of these large skips called a “wrong warp.” Here, we’ll go over the major parts of the world record strategy used by Distortion2.

Weapon

Runners are specifically seeking out the Icerind Hatchet for their runs. While this weapon scales primarily with strength and dexterity, players are instead using it for its weapon art. Hoarfrost Stomp is an incredibly powerful weapon art. In this area-of-effect attack, the character will stomp the ground with ice spikes that inflict a lot of damage and cause frostbite buildup. This compounds even more due to the effect of frostbite, which lowers the target’s damage negation by 20-percent. Players can find this hatchet for themselves by going to the Temple Quarter just south of the Raya Lucaria Academy.

Royal Knight’s Resolve

Royal Knight’s Resolve is an Ash of War found in the volcano manor. When players put it on an off-hand weapon and use it, it will greatly power up the next attack by 80-percent. Speedrunners access this Ash of War by using a parkour skip on the lava bridge before the Godskin Noble and use it against the late-game bosses.

Crumbling Farum Azula wrong warp

The bread and butter of the current any-percent speedrun is the Farum Azula wrong warp. Wrong warps are a glitch used to skip large portions of the game. In this case, the player will skip near 80 to 90-percent of the game by wrong warping to the Farum Azula, a late-game area. Distortion2 seeks out this wrong warp very early in his world record run of 28 minutes and 59 seconds and gets there in less than nine minutes. This aspect of the current world record run is the real reason the game is completed so quickly.

All Remembrances

The other category is the all-Remembrance category. Speedrunners settled on the all-Remembrance category instead of all bosses due to the vast amount of catacombs, caves, and other dungeons that contain smaller and less important bosses. The bosses that offer Remembrances are typically more challenging and more important to the story of the game.

Weapon

While the Icerind Hatchet may be powerful and get the job done for the any-percent category, runners are looking to an even more powerful weapon to tackle the all-Remembrance challenge. 

The Sword of Night and Flame is a legendary weapon that players can find fairly early in their playthrough. Found in the Caria Manor, this sword has scaling with strength, dexterity, intelligence, and faith. Just like the Icerind Hatchet, however, players use it for its weapon art instead of its straight sword moveset. When holding the weapon art button, the character will get in a ready stance. The player then has the option to use the power of either Night or Flame against their foes. Both of these are incredibly powerful options when the weapon is upgraded using Somber Smithing Stones. 

Royal Knight’s Resolve

Players are also combining the powerful Sword of Night and Flame with Royal Knight’s Resolve to buff their powerful weapon arts even more. Mentioned above, this weapon art is accessible along the all-Remembrance journey either by the parkour method or using a Stonesword Key after the Godskin Noble boss fight.

Getting involved

There are many resources for players interested in speedrunning Elden Ring. Content creators like LilAggy, Distortion2, Elajjaz, and catalysts are all working on speedrunning the game and developing new strategies and routes as they strive to be the best. Those looking to learn more about current tactics can tune in to their streams and watch their runs on YouTube.