Speed running

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Speed running is a type of informal conduct designed to test a player's skill, creativity, and resourcefulness. In short, your goal is to win with either the lowest possible turn-count or the lowest amount of real time elapsed. While short real-time games tend to also be low turn-count games, players may take very long periods of time completing low turn-count games.

How Fast is Fast?

Ascensions are typically completed in 60,000 to 160,000 turns and can take a few hours to days depending on the play style. A speed run in real time will aim for less than 3 hours of play time. Turn count speed runs are typically below 30,000 turns. Obviously this will vary based on whether you simply wish to win as quickly as possible or wish to acquire all 15 runes first.

General Speed Strategy

  • Don't be a pack rat
  • Don't fully map every level
  • Avoid monsters rather than fighting them
  • Make full use of blinking, teleport, stealth and apportation.

Gameplay Mechanics

  • Movement
  • Autorun and Autofight will help you
  • Macros_guide.txt: Binding your spells to the number keys 1-4 and 6-0 can save time. Also, it is sometimes useful to set a macro to switch between often used rings or gear.

Background/Race/God Combos

  • Spriggan abyssal knight: Corrupt and run
  • Spriggan enchanter: Put to sleep and stab, then run
  • Minotaur berserker: Auto-explore and tab to victory
  • Deep dwarf healer of Elyvilon: Healing and pacifism.

Notable Speed Runs

For an up to date list of speedruns see the following links:

Player Turns Time Character God XL Version Score Notes
Elynae 115199 3:02:57 MiFi Zin 27 0.11.a0 13686564 CAO/CDO Overall fastest 15 rune win (Time) writeup
Elynae 49257 1:08:43 MiBe Trog 25 0.11.a0 1873843 CAO/CDO Overall fastest win (Time) writeup
78291 19460 2:32:44 DDHe Elyvilon 17 0.9.0 3357977 CAO 2011 Tournament Fastest Win (Turn Count and Real Time)
elliptic 24418 1:29:32 SpEn Ashenzari 16 0.8.0 365912 CAO 2011 May Tournament Fastest Win (Turn Count and Real Time)
qwqw 14318 1:39:33 SpEn Jiyva 14 0.7.1 4299119 CAO 2010 Tournament Fastest Win (Turn Count)
78291 16625 1:11:51 SpEn (None) 15 0.7.1 3765072 CAO 2010 Tournament Fastest Win (Real Time)
hyperbolic 13435 3:03:41 DDBe Trog 20 0.5.1 4733437 CAO/CDO Overall fastest win (Turn Count)

External Links

Nethack Wiki Speedrun Article