Skyrim speedrunner breaks 3-year-old record by leveling from 0 to 80 and killing the RPG's infamous Ebony Warrior in just under 12 minutes

(Image credit: Bethesda)

After more than three years, a Skyrim speedrunner has figured out how to kill the infamous Ebony Warrior in a new world record-setting run, and they think they can push the envelope even further.

The Ebony Warrior is a fearsome foe in Skyrim, designed to test players in battle with super-heavy armor and punishing attack power to match. Crucially, though, the Ebony Warrior can only be encountered throughout Skyrim's vast open world once the player hits level 80, when they approach the Dragonborn and challenge them to a showdown.

Players have taken it upon themselves to find and kill the Ebony Warrior as quickly as possible. Over three years ago, speedrunner 'Waz' set the world record for killing the enemy in just 14 minutes and 27 seconds, seen just below. Inexplicably, the player takes advantage of an exploit to repeatedly level up their 'Alchemy,' 'Speech,' and 'Enchanting' skills to take them to the required level.

The player then focuses on levelling up their 'Smithing' skill as the final nail in the coffin of the Ebony Warrior. They then craft a 'Legendary Iron Dagger' with an unreasonable amount of damage, and then slay the Ebony Warrior in two hits. It's fairly safe to say the powerful warrior absolutely didn't see this coming, and the player then goes on a rampage around Whiterun, as one does.

This record, which has stood since 2021, has now been bested by the speedrunner seen just below. Nucular has clocked an 11-minute and 47-second run, and this time, they've leant on the 'Speech,' 'Enchanting,' 'Alchemy,' 'Heavy Armor,' and 'Block' skills to get them over the required overall level threshold to summon the Ebony Warrior to them.

The player even manages to take down the Ebony Warrior in just a single swing of an axe, which is literally half the strikes previous record-holder Waz needed to vanquish the warrior. The speedrunner even claims that they're able to get their record-breaking time down further, writing on Reddit that "Sub 10 is possible with this route. I’ll keep pushing it lower!"

It's not immediately clear how the speedrunner is going to get their world record time for defeating the Ebony Warrior down even further. We'd recommend keeping an eye on the category on over the coming weeks to see if there are any further developments on this topic from Nucular.

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."

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.