Read any public comments on speedrunning videos and you will often find the prototypical “I can’t believe they cheated, this should be invalidated, the way they glitch is not what the developer’s intended and is just wrong”. Often times this may just be people trolling or trying to meme but this is an explanation of the differences between glitches and cheating for those that hold these view points. This is also an explanation of why there are glitchless categories and why they are important.


First off, this idea that glitches are cheating really holds no merit because it does not take into account any context. Most of the time you will find runners utilizing various glitches in their speedgames depending on the category of the run. Any% for instance is quite literally any percent; just get to the end of the game as fast as possible with no additional outside help. By outside help I mean the use of cheat devices like game sharks, pro action replay, anything that can change the game that isn’t already present in the game itself. These runs can be extremely short like the classic Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time any% speedrun which is down to 17 minutes and 6 seconds. They utilize all sorts of glitches to warp their way around the game, tricking the game into placing them where they want to be to reach the end. These tricks and glitches are not easy to pull off, one thing that separates them from what you could consider cheating. Cheating implies that there is no skill involved and that it is something anyone who wishes to be nefarious can do. Yet these tricks and glitches are anything but easy. There is a reason why runners spend countless hours and days just practicing the tricks and glitches to pull them off during a run. The community self regulates its rules on a game by game and a category by category basis. There are plenty of categories that ban certain glitches to showcase other strategies or other glitches that get overlooked in other runs. 

Developer Intentions

The topic of developer’s intentions is also a false argument about why glitches should invalidate speedruns. This argument brings into the debate an assumption that glitching in a speedrun is somehow disrespectful to the developers or that the developers don’t condone the use of glitches to beat their games. Yet there are plenty of developers that have the speedrun community in mind when they are making games and often encourage players to find new ways to break their games. They have also been brought in commentary calls for popular runs during marathons like Awesome Games Done Quick to talk about their games and how the runners break the rules of the game’s system. 

Any% is beating the game as fast as possible, no questions asked.

If you truly believe that glitches have no place in speedruns, there is a whole category that you might be interested in. Glitchless categories ban using glitches to beat the game and show off what can be done within the rules of the system. Optimization of game mechanics are often the focal point in the execution of these runs. Where in one game any& can be done very quickly, glitchless showcases much more of the game and high level play of the games mechanics. There is plenty of room in the community for all of these categories and each have their own optimizations that are very interesting to watch. The speedrun community is welcoming to all kinds of various runs and categories so instead of focusing on why one type of run shouldn’t count, your energy would be better spent focusing on supporting the glitchless community as they are just as enjoyable to watch as any% runs are. 

For marathon runs with developer commentary, many of which are any% runs. 

Leaderboard that lists the any% time for Ocarina of Time. Also hosts glitchless leaderboards which are very active as well