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Sons of the Forest Speedrun: A Testament to the Game‘s Captivating Gameplay

In the world of gaming, few things are as impressive as a well-executed speedrun. When a game is still in its Early Access phase, it‘s even more remarkable to see players pushing the boundaries of what‘s possible. Sons of the Forest, the highly-anticipated sequel to the survival horror game The Forest, has already captured the hearts of speedrunners worldwide, despite being released on Steam‘s Early Access platform just a few months ago on February 23, 2023.

What is Sons of the Forest?

Developed by Endnight Games, Sons of the Forest is a survival horror game that takes place on a remote island filled with cannibalistic mutants. As the player, your goal is to explore the island, gather resources, craft items, and ultimately escape the terrifying dangers that lurk in every corner. The game builds upon the success of its predecessor, offering enhanced graphics, new gameplay mechanics, and an even more immersive experience.

Sons of the Forest runs on the Unity engine, which is known for its versatility and performance across a wide range of hardware configurations. The game‘s graphics are a significant improvement over its predecessor, with more detailed environments, realistic lighting, and advanced character models. These technical achievements not only enhance the player‘s experience but also contribute to the game‘s speedrunning potential by providing a smooth and responsive gameplay experience.

The Speedrunning Phenomenon

Speedrunning is the act of completing a game as quickly as possible, often by exploiting glitches, bugs, or unintended gameplay mechanics. The speedrunning community is known for its dedication, skill, and creativity in finding new ways to shave seconds off their best times. The fact that Sons of the Forest already has an active speedrunning scene is a testament to the game‘s captivating gameplay and the enthusiasm of its player base.

Current World Records

As of April 2023, the speedrunning community has established two main categories for Sons of the Forest: glitched and glitchless. The glitched category allows runners to use in-game bugs and glitches to their advantage, while the glitchless category requires players to complete the game without exploiting any unintended mechanics.

The current world record for the glitched category is an astonishing 6 minutes and 57 seconds, held by the runner Mantello. In the glitchless category, the record stands at 43 minutes and 59 seconds, achieved by runner Akaya. These times are incredibly impressive, considering the game‘s vast and challenging environment.

Category Runner Time
Glitched Mantello 6m 57s 367ms
Glitchless Akaya 43m 59s 500ms

Essential Glitches for Speedrunning Sons of the Forest

To achieve such remarkable times, speedrunners employ a variety of glitches and techniques. Two of the most crucial glitches in the Sons of the Forest speedrun are the survival guide speed glitch and the stick door glitch.

The survival guide speed glitch allows players to move faster by equipping their survival guide while sliding down slopes. To perform this glitch, the player must have the survival guide equipped and begin sliding down a slope. By holding the forward key and rapidly tapping the strafe keys (A and D), the player can maintain their speed and direction, allowing them to traverse the map quickly. This glitch not only increases the player‘s speed but also prevents them from taking damage during the slide.

The stick door glitch involves placing sticks on the ground inside a door, causing the player to clip through it and exit the map. To execute this glitch, the player must have at least four sticks in their inventory. By dropping the sticks on the ground inside the doorway and then running into them, the player can clip through the door and enter the "backrooms." This glitch is essential for accessing the game‘s final area quickly, as it bypasses the need to collect items and unlock the door normally.

Evolution of Speedrunning Strategies

Since the game‘s release in Early Access, the speedrunning community has been constantly refining and optimizing their strategies to achieve faster times. Initially, runners focused on mastering the basic glitches and developing consistent routes through the game world. As more players began to experiment with the game‘s mechanics, new glitches and techniques were discovered, leading to significant improvements in speedrun times.

One of the most notable breakthroughs in the Sons of the Forest speedrun was the discovery of the "mountain skip" technique. By climbing the snow mountain near the start of the game and then jumping off at a specific point, runners could pass away and respawn at the enemy camp, effectively skipping a significant portion of the early game. This technique, combined with the survival guide speed glitch, allowed runners to reach the final area much faster than before.

Another significant development in the speedrunning meta was the optimization of the "backrooms" section of the run. By carefully navigating through this glitched area and avoiding the "endless abyss," runners were able to save valuable seconds and reduce the risk of run-ending mistakes. The community also discovered new methods for manipulating enemy AI and avoiding combat encounters, further streamlining the speedrunning route.

Community Collaboration and Competition

The Sons of the Forest speedrunning community is characterized by a strong sense of collaboration and friendly competition. Runners regularly share their knowledge, strategies, and discoveries with one another, helping to push the boundaries of what‘s possible in the game. The community actively discusses and debates new techniques, routes, and optimizations, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and innovation.

At the same time, the desire to achieve world record times and showcase their skills drives runners to compete against one another. This competition, however, is largely positive and supportive, with runners congratulating each other on their achievements and using rivalries as motivation to improve their own performance.

The Sons of the Forest speedrunning community has also been proactive in organizing events and tournaments to showcase the game and its runners. These events, such as the "Sons of the Forest Speedrunning Showcase" hosted by the popular speedrunning website, provide a platform for runners to demonstrate their skills and compete for prizes. The events also help to raise the profile of the game and its speedrunning scene, attracting new players and spectators.

Speedrunning in Early Access: Challenges and Opportunities

Organizing and verifying speedruns for a game in Early Access presents unique challenges and considerations. With frequent updates and changes to the game‘s content and mechanics, the speedrunning community must be adaptable and responsive to maintain the integrity and competitiveness of their runs.

One of the key challenges is the potential for updates to break existing glitches or introduce new ones, which can significantly impact speedrun times and strategies. The community must work together to test and validate new glitches, ensuring that they are consistent, reproducible, and fair for all runners. This process requires a high level of coordination and communication among runners, as well as close collaboration with the game‘s developers to understand the impact of updates on the speedrunning meta.

Despite these challenges, the Early Access phase also presents unique opportunities for the speedrunning community. With the game still in active development, runners have the chance to provide feedback and suggestions to the developers, potentially influencing the game‘s design and balance in ways that benefit the speedrunning experience. The developers of Sons of the Forest have been receptive to community feedback, and have even expressed their support and admiration for the speedrunning scene.

As Endnight Games co-founder Ben Falcone stated in a recent interview, "We‘re thrilled to see the speedrunning community embrace Sons of the Forest so passionately. Their dedication and creativity in finding new ways to play the game is truly inspiring, and we‘re excited to see how the scene evolves as we continue to update and improve the game."

The Future of Sons of the Forest Speedrunning

As Sons of the Forest continues to grow and evolve during its Early Access phase, the speedrunning community has much to look forward to. With each update and content addition, new opportunities for optimization and innovation will arise, keeping the speedrunning scene fresh and dynamic.

The game‘s growing popularity and the dedication of its speedrunning community also raise the possibility of Sons of the Forest being featured in major gaming events and tournaments in the future. The inclusion of the game in events such as Games Done Quick or the European Speedrunner Assembly would not only showcase the skill and passion of the game‘s runners but also expose the game to a wider audience, potentially attracting new players and fans.

Furthermore, as the game approaches its full release, the speedrunning community will have the opportunity to establish definitive categories, rules, and leaderboards, cementing Sons of the Forest‘s place as a staple in the speedrunning world. The community‘s efforts in documenting and verifying runs during the Early Access phase will provide a strong foundation for the game‘s long-term speedrunning legacy.


The Sons of the Forest speedrun is a remarkable testament to the skill, creativity, and passion of the game‘s community. Despite the challenges of Early Access development and the ever-evolving nature of the game, speedrunners have embraced Sons of the Forest wholeheartedly, pushing the boundaries of what‘s possible and showcasing the game‘s potential as a speedrunning title.

Through their collaborative efforts, innovative strategies, and friendly competition, the Sons of the Forest speedrunning community has not only achieved impressive times but also fostered a vibrant and supportive environment that encourages growth and experimentation. As the game continues to develop and improve, the future of Sons of the Forest speedrunning looks bright, with the potential for new discoveries, exciting events, and a lasting impact on the wider gaming community.

For both speedrunners and fans alike, the Sons of the Forest speedrun serves as an inspiring example of what can be achieved when passion, skill, and dedication come together in the pursuit of gaming excellence. As we eagerly await the game‘s full release and the new opportunities it will bring, one thing is certain: the Sons of the Forest speedrunning community will continue to push the limits and redefine what it means to master this captivating survival horror experience.