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The trick to speedrunning The Outer Worlds: be an idiot

The trick, you see, is being very dumb

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

The good folks at IGN recently sat down The Outer Worlds co-creators Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky to watch a blistering speedrun of their new role-playing game. They called the 12-minute jaunt “incredible,” and you can follow along in the video embedded above.

[Warning: This video spoils one of the potential endings in The Outer Worlds, while the audio itself spoils much of the rest of the game.]

The speedrunning community has been hitting The Outer Worlds pretty hard since it came out just one month ago. The first run to make headlines came just four days after launch, when YouTuber Jabo finished the game in just over 30 minutes. Now CreeperHntr has gotten it down to around 12 minutes, with their fastest time coming in around 11:13 seconds as of this writing.

The secret to their success is having an extremely low intelligence, which gives a character the perk of being “dumb.” That allows you to skip some sections of the game, and foolishly launch the colony ship into the sun. Cain and Boyarsky share some intimate secrets of their own during their watch-through of the run. They’re also clearly interested to see what the speedrunning community can pull off without the low-intelligence perk, which does an end-around past lots of their careful narrative work.