To the average viewer, the antics of speedrunners inspire awe. For those unfamiliar with the concept, speedrunners try to beat games in as little time as possible, taking advantage of skills, glitches, and community support to test the limits of the games they play. A skilled speedrunner can cut a large, sprawling game like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which normally takes around 50 hours to finish, down to a mere 30-minute sprint.
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What makes the top runs entertaining isn’t just that these players flex technical prowess, although it is always fun to watch someone good enough at fighting to beat the final boss in Link’s underwear. It’s that they change how we see the world of the game itself. By watching them play, we can see that Hyrule Castle isn’t some impregnable fortress. Its walls are made of code, not stone, and as a result, the best players can simply glitch their way through to expose a vast interior space filled with absolutely nothing. A tool like a bomb isn’t used to blow up walls and enemies, but to soar across the entirety of Hyrule with a flick of Link’s wrist.
Because of new discoveries and people improving their craft, speedrunning in Breath of the Wild is constantly changing. This list will round up the top Breath of the Wild speedruns as of spring 2023, but we will occasionally update it as new runs emerge. To make it more specific, we’ll only look at “Any%” world records, meaning that players are able to use any glitch at their disposal to beat the game from start to finish, without needing to complete any of the tasks that you would for some of the other run categories (like All Dungeons, All Main Quests, 100%, etc.). Here are the five fastest Breath of the Wild Any% speedruns.
Run date: Jan. 2, 2023
Run time: 23m 51s
Speedrunner Player5 set the world record for the fastest any% speedrun of Breath of the Wild in January 2023. As leaderboards shuffle, Player5 very consistently sets the bar as a top speedrunner, and often holds the very top spot even as the community chips away at the overall playtime. Because each world record is the result of numerous tries and hundreds of hours of streaming, the stream has a casual feel to it and the streamer just talks about their favorite drinks. The way Player5 describes it, this run missed some early-game time goals but had a “clean end game.” The final run clocks in at 23 minutes and 51 seconds, making it the fastest any% run at time of publication.
Run date: March 15, 2023
Run time: 24m 9s
TrevorSR has a very vibe-y stream — during this stream, the competitor plays the soundtrack from Neon White as Link zooms through the game. At the beginning of the stream, TrevorSR says they’ve been playing well and that they want to try again after a series of solid attempts prior to this run. This run is largely defined by a solid performance in the early parts of the game. Clocking in at 24 minutes and 9 seconds, TrevorSR’s run is within 20 seconds of the world record and beat the No. 3 spot by just one second.
Run date: June 17, 2022
Run time: 24m 10s
Koroks is no stranger to the tops of the speedrunning list. This run, which was the world record at the time, took 24 minutes and 10 seconds to complete. At time of publication, it holds the No. 3 spot on the list of top runs. This run doesn’t have any commentary or chat, so viewers are largely left to parse what’s going on for themselves. In the description of the video, Koroks mentions that fighting the Blight Ganons was bad, but that everything else went “just about perfect.”
Run date: Dec. 24, 2022
Run time: 24m 25s
XiaoXiaMi is a Chinese speedrunner who currently has the fourth-fastest run on this list. You can’t view the actual video of the record, which was certified by Speedrun.com, but you can catch videos of XiaoXiaMi competing. In lieu of the video, we opted to share a fun run where the streamer goes head-to-head against TrevorSR, who holds the No. 2 spot, in a race. XiaoXiaMi brings a rambunctious energy and shouts along as they play, so it definitely makes for an engaging, fun viewing.
Run date: Oct. 21, 2022
Run time: 24m 41s
As usual, Player5 brings a relaxed and casual feeling to these complicated runs. Like other runs on this list, this run previously held the world record but got bumped down to the fifth spot due to shuffling on the leaderboard. Player5 seemed pretty pleased with the run overall, but ran into some bad luck while fighting Calamity Ganon and then missed a shot at the dark beast. The run took 24 minutes and 42 seconds, and helped pave the way for when Player5 would improve it and cinch the number one spot.
Update (March 21): This article has been edited to reflect all the changes in the leaderboard that have occured since it was originally published in March 2022.