Since 2022, one Skyrim speedrunner has set 14 straight glitchless world records - now the RPG's old champion has reclaimed his crown: "I finally f***ing did it"

There's a new world record in one of Skyrim's biggest speedrunning categories from one of the game's most prolific runners, and it breaks 17 months of dominance from a relative newcomer to the scene.

Skyrim's 'glitchless main quest' category, as the name suggests, requires players to complete the main quest as quickly as possible without taking advantage of any major glitches. Around 2020, an American runner called nucular came in to more or less dominate the category. Between August 8, 2020 and November 12, 2022, there were only 22 days where nucular's time wasn't on top.

Then along came a Japanese runner called Lithium_L. On November 13, 2022, he cut 18 seconds off of nucular's then-most-recent time to grab a new world record. Then Lithium_L smashed the record again - and again, and again. He went on an even bigger reign of dominance, as you can see on, setting 14 straight world records in the glitchless category without anyone else managing to catch up even briefly.

That is until yesterday, April 3, when nucular set a new time of 1:05:37, an 11-second improvement over Lithium_L's most recent record. "I finally fucking did it," nucular said in an all-caps tweet that I'm making only slightly less shouty. "After a streak of 14 straight world records by Lithium_L, I've reclaimed the throne! Skyrim glitchless is mine!"

You can watch nucular's full run over on Twitch, but if you're not deeply familiar with Skyrim speedrunning, you might be better off checking out his presentation of the category at GDQ a few years ago. It's old and it wasn't a world record even then, but it will give you a solid overview of the strats involved in making a run like this work.

If you're about to start laughing how it'd be impossible to play Skyrim truly "glitchless," I promise you are not the first to make that joke. As nucular notes on Reddit, "There’s only one disqualifying glitch that can happen by accident (except in rare cases) which is clipping into the mountain during the mountain climb, which isn’t a big deal since it’s only 7 minutes into the run."

Skyrim diehard claims to have the RPG's strongest unmodded character after grinding to level 1,337 by spamming Illusion spells for 43 hours.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.