As the others timidly explore the forests of Limgrave for the first time, Elden Ring’s speedrunners figure out how to destroy the Midlands in record time.
Some of the time-tested hacking strategies from older Soulsborne games are already being played. One trick, called the “death chamber,” is a fundamental glitch in what I consider to be one of the coolest Dark Souls passes from the original game. Activating the death cam by jumping from places that almost (but not quite) kill you can sometimes be used to bypass obstacles – gates or misty walls that the game doesn’t load while it assumes you’re dead.
The real headache is finding these magical places where you can take a not-quite-lethal leap of faith. In Elden Ring, speedrunner Ginz managed to find just such a spot at the edge of a broken bridge in Liurnia. They can’t get back out of that perilous perch without falling, but it proves that the death cam glitch is definitely still on the table.
Other players have named additional deathcam crash locations, such as found by Zelkis in Greyall’s Dragon Mound and another bridge fall discovered by Electric Spark. It seems that in the open world of Elden Ring, there can be much more such useful places than in the narrow corridors of Souls games. The next thing is to figure out the practical use of the Elden Ring death cam and what speedrunners can miss using it.
Aside from gliding through the world with death chamber skips, another critical part of playing Elden Ring quickly will be killing its bosses as quickly as possible.
In Dark Souls games, runners sometimes achieve this with a trick called “movement swapping” – a glitch that shifts attacks from one weapon to another to increase damage. In Elden Ring, speedrunner YoJosherino learned to use his sword like a huge hammer with the same error.
Another speedrunner, Treeho, showed more examples by turning all sorts of unlikely items into warhammers, including a torch. Some bosses (in Souls and Elden Ring) are so insidious that fighting them even with buggy weapons is a chore. Late last year, Dark Souls speedrunners came up with an AFK glitch, which is a way to engage the temporarily suspended boss AI by effectively hitting pause in their brains. An Elden Ring player has achieved something similar, although they report that they managed it by parking early into the boss area rather than using a glitch used in Dark Souls.
The speedruns of the Souls series are absolutely fun, and I’m sure Elden Ring will be just as fun to watch as players sort things out over time. I don’t know when the cunning Speedsouls players will complete Elden Ring’s full run, but they’re already busy installing all the usual tools.
speedsoulsThe FromSoftware Speedplay community will track Elden Ring’s high scores on speedrun.com. There isn’t much to look at yet, but speedrunners are already working in the background to discover these tricks and glitches that will help them get through the game faster.