Sorry, I've never really followed speedrunning, so I apologize if this is obvious.

Essentially, what I'm asking about are speedruns that simply play the game as it was intended to be played (no glitches, proper order / sequence), but quickly.

  • 1
    I'm not sure a term for this exists. Looking at speeddemosarchive's categories you can find terminology such as 'tool-assisted', 'with large-skip glitches', and 'with resets'. Speed demos specifically says, "Glitches are allowed and runners are encouraged to fully utilize beneficial glitches and bugs in their runs to save time within the confines of the game's behavior". If speed-demos doesn't have a category for it, I doubt a specific term exists. Maybe 'without glitches'.
    – ken.ganong
    Jan 2, 2014 at 15:39
  • I think they'd call it a "straight" run, meaning no use of glitches, no skipping any part of the game, just going straight through to beat it. Which may or may not include warpless runs like the Super Mario Bros' Warp zones.
    – Zibbobz
    Jan 27, 2014 at 17:03

3 Answers 3


Usually, the term "glitchless" is used to describe a speedrun that doesn't use any glitches. Glitchless runs aren't very common, since they aren't as fast and require a more in-depth ruleset than glitched runs do. But they do exist. Ocarina of Time, for example, has a glitchless category (with a very strict set of rules defining what qualifies as a glitch and what does not).

Other speedrun categories might ban a specific glitch. For example, in A Link to The Past, there is a particularly game-breaking out-of-bounds glitch, which reduces the speedrun from a little over one hour to a little over one minute. And so, Any% No Out of Bounds is the more popular category. These types of runs are common when there's a particularly game-breaking glitch like this one that makes the speedrun no fun. The terminology for these types of runs depends on the game and the banned glitch.

  • Allowed, but sometimes limited. One way to limit glitch abuse is to have certain rulesets or categories that have restrictions on what you can and cannot do. Generally glitches will be allowed, however. If you don't really understand why, then consider this: The game merely executes the code in the way it was programmed to do. The game is the law. If you start trying to get at "developer intentions," then you start a game of guesswork trying to figure out what exactly was intended or not. Jan 22, 2014 at 17:30
  • Right, which is why it took so long for the "glitchless" category of Ocarina of Time to come about. A community has to define what constitutes a glitch and what does not. And it's also why any% is usually the most common category for any game, because the rules are simple: finish the game by any means possible in any official version of the game.
    – Unionhawk
    Jan 22, 2014 at 17:32

Back when I was doing speed runs, my friends and I always referred to them as "clean". Where-as a "glitchless" run has 0 glitches or mods being used for the speed-run (look up a lot of emulator speed-runs of old NES and SNES games, so many mods - tool assisted), a "clean" run was following community accepted rules on the game.


  • Super Mario Bros. 3 (both accepted time groups)
    • Clean "Fluteless" speed-run - usually a full game run with no emulator mods
    • Clean speed-run - double flute to 8 from world 1
  • Portal
    • Clean speed-run - No wall glitching, no cube glitching, backwards jumping is allowed
  • Fallout (example of accepted glitch)
    • Clean speed-run - Involved quickly keying in and out of combat to skip combat sequences.

Clean, in my opinion, is a better term than glitch-less because there are "glitches" that are accepted by the community, and in many cases (Ocarina of Time) it becomes such a hassle to define what was a "glitch" and what was normal intended game play. For what it's worth, when I tried doing a glitch-less Ocarina of Time run I remember spending more time on the rules than playing, which takes a lot of fun out the the runs.


Speed Run is its own term, not defined in normal dictionaries but Urban Dictionary describes it the best:

In video games. Sometimes Tool Assisted. When a player completes the game as fast as possible, disregarding the environment, difficulty and minor enemies.

I believe it is important to note it says sometimes tool assisted. so maybe adding the word Pure or Vanilla before it may be what you are looking for.

Pure -- free of any contamination


Vanilla -- having no special or extra features; ordinary or standard

So I propose the following:

Pure Speed Run -- In Video Games, When a player completes the game as fast as possible disregarding the environment, difficulty and minor enemies without the use of modifications, native glitches or code enhancements.


Vanilla Speed Run -- In Video Games, When a player completes the game as fast as possible disregarding the environment, difficulty and minor enemies without the use of modifications, native glitches or code enhancements.

  • 2
    Are you proposing terminology? If the terminology doesn't already exist, wouldn't the answer be, "No terminology currently exists for this category of speed runs"?
    – ken.ganong
    Jan 2, 2014 at 15:30
  • @ken.ganong Yeah, as I havent heard of a Speedrun without mods in a term. So there we go.
    – Cole Busby
    Jan 2, 2014 at 19:34
  • 2
    I've used 'Vanilla Speed Run' to describe unassisted/glitch-free Speed Runs before, so it's not entirely out of thin air :)
    – Robotnik
    Jan 7, 2014 at 2:57

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