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Dishonored is a fantastic stealth-em-up by Bethesda. It’s slick and stylish, and the saddest part is we never got another installment after the 2nd game. If you’re clamoring for more Dishonored action, a great way to get it is by learning how to Speedrun, and wow, this game has it all!
Speedrunners have torn Dishonored apart with stylish tricks and insane shenanigans that take place completely out of bounds. If you’re ready to don the mask once again, let’s get into our Dishonored Speedrun guide.
Bottom Line Up Front
Dishonored has a few more hoops to jump through at the start than many other Speedruns, thanks to a few settings that need to be altered. It’s worth the hassle as the run is enjoyable, and many tricks have a low execution barrier.
There are plenty of broken glitches to learn, and you’ll be able to beat this classic within an hour after some practice.
Before You Begin
There are a few prerequisites before you can speedrun Dishonored Any%. As Dishonored is an old game, you need to change a few internal settings.
World Record speedrunner, Lurven has made a superb Google document explaining the changes, and as they are so extensive, I recommend you carefully implement everything here.
The in-game options are personal preferences. These are mine (pictured above), and I strongly recommend putting the texture settings up to ‘High.’ As we use marks on the wall to line up a few tricks, decent textures make those stand out.
Purchase Void Walker Arsenal DLC
For the Any% Route, you will need the Void Walker Arsenal DLC. This grants a few extra pickups. Fortunately, as it’s only a tiny add-on pack, it’s very cheap.
Downpatch Your Game to the 1.2 Version
Downpatching is explained in the Google Doc above, and the files can be downloaded from Speedrun.com.
Play on Easy Mode
Dishonored Speedruns are played on ‘Easy’ as we benefit from the extra health. This is required for some glitches during the run.
Double Jumping is easy enough but feels awkward as you must hold the button to get the 2nd jump in the air. If you’re new to Dishonored, I recommend practicing this, as it feels different from most other games.
Running > Fighting
Apart from the mandatory targets, avoiding enemies is much quicker than fighting them. Because of this, we avoid combat wherever possible.
Tricks of the Trade
Corvo will splat on the ground if he falls from high enough, but there are a few ways to mitigate this. You can reduce fall damage by looking at particular objects in midair or landing on specific surfaces.
This is how speedrunners survive death-defying drops, and many examples of this are explained in the next section.
You’re usually restricted to a single midair Blink. If you double jump and Blink immediately after, there’s just enough time to squeeze out a 2nd. This technique allows you to cover incredible distances.
Elevators are arguably the flashiest glitches in Dishonored Speedrunning. These can be done wherever there’s a 90-degree angle between two walls and will carry you high into the sky. Your positioning and where you’re looking really matter with these.
Once you’re standing in one of these 90-degree corners, looking in a specific spot, step back while holding the direction key towards the wall by your side (press A+S if the wall is to your left, for example), and then let go of the directions and hold jump.
Elevators occur because the game tries to infinitely vault you onto platforms that aren’t there above you.
There are many locked doors throughout the run. Fortunately, we can skip them with a trick called Slip Clipping. This is how it works:
- Stand beside a door/wall you want to pass through, leaning toward it.
- Hold Blink
- Hold sprint and strafe into the door while turning your camera to face the object.
- If you do this right, you’ll briefly be able to see through the wall/door, and the Blink marker will be visible on the other side.
- Release Blink when you can see it through the wall, and you’ll teleport through.
This trick requires a high FPS, much like Elevators.
This is less of a trick and more a byproduct of the high frame rate we play on. Whenever you lean, you’ll usually get stuck in that position. An easy way to fix this is to press ‘Print Screen.’
In this section, I’ll show you an entry-level route through the entire game in the any% category. Some parts of the run are done out of bounds (OOB) and are hard to explain in written or picture format. I have provided video links to some of the best runners in the world for those particular sections.
Welcome to your first taste of Dishonored Speedrunning! This is a short level with a couple of Elevators to try out.
Make your way out of the dock but don’t go past the guards on the bridge. Instead, turn right and step into this corner on the wall.
There’s a blob at eye level when the wall is to your left. Look slightly to the right of it and perform an Elevator. Remember, you need to step backward and towards the wall by your side (in this case, left + back), let go of the directions and hold jump. If done correctly, you’ll end up on the roof above you.
We’re doing all these shenanigans to avoid a cutscene trigger on the bridge. Stand where I am, run off the edge, and land on the railing. If you land on the bridge, the fall is just high enough to kill you.
Deliver the note as usual. Once you’ve handed over the letter, go to this spot; it’s just to the right of where you walked in. You will use this bush as one of the walls for your next Elevator, so press up against the wall with the foliage to your left.
I use this blob for reference. Make sure you’re looking where I am, then perform an Elevator. Briefly hold forwards to step onto the invisible ledge when you reach the top.
From here, wait until the assassins appear on the roof to your left. Once they blink off the edge, walk off your ledge, back to where you delivered the message, and let the cutscenes play.
Interact with the food at the door, take the key, and walk to the door just outside.
Cell Door Skip
I use Lurvens setup for this skip (currently the World Record holder for Dishonored Any%).
Push up against the lock and bars next to the cell door and look at the same spot I am (I use the stained line on the ground for reference).
Step back so you’re aiming at the top of the bolt.
Move your aim to the opposite corner of the bolt, then rapidly press jump using the mouse scroll wheel. If you’ve done it correctly, you’ll vault up, and if you press forwards at the top, you’ll clip straight through the bars! This will be a little inconsistent initially, but it saves a lot of time.
Elevator to OOB
This is a very long Elevator into a simple walk out of bounds. Elevators are tied to Framerate, which is why we raised the frame cap before we started. I find this trick very inconsistent unless I have at least 200FPS.
To get into position, walk into this corner against the bars you just vaulted over.
Peer through the bars and line up as I have. Perform an Elevator, and you can ride it into the ceiling.
Now you’re out of bounds. Turn your camera 90 degrees to the left and carefully walk straight ahead. Save when you’re up here in case you fall through the floor, but if you follow the red line in the picture, you’ll be safe.
When you reach the edge, run into the water, then to Waterworks ahead.
The glitches on this level skip the entire stage, but you must be on version 1.2 for them to work.
This section isn’t mechanically difficult (aside from one part called Sewer Jump). As you’re playing in a space missing textures and covered in invisible walls, I strongly recommend watching a video of the route for this section. You can view Lurven’s commentated route through the area here.
Back in Bounds
You can miss an invisible trigger when you’re about to jump back in bounds. If you do this, Samuel will not appear at the end of the level.
To solve this, fall onto the area pictured above instead of straight down. A sound cue should sound over the radio. If it doesn’t, backtrack slightly before running to the end of the level.
This level is light on tricks, and a lot of time can be saved with optimal Blink usage.
Visit the Pub first, then exit and speak to Piero. He will ask you to get a Whale Tank to power his machine. You can grab it through the railings from the staircase. Place the tank in the device, and when your dialog options appear, make sure you go with the 2nd option, “Not now, Piero.”
Accept Piero’s offer to rest. You can start scrolling through the chat and load screen if your jump is bound to the scroll wheel. If you do, you’ll spawn here (pictured above) instead of the room underneath. Complete this section as normal, ensuring you pick up every mana potion.
When you’re back in the real world, collect the Bone Charm as I have (pictured above) and the other pouches in the room.
Exit through the window and blink to this landing for quick access to the shop. From here, purchase all you can of the following:
- Piero’s Spiritual Remedy
- Bullets (finish with these)
Now you have 2 Runes, upgrade your Agility in the ‘Powers Menu’ and activate Void Channel in the ‘Bone Runes Menu.’ Blink towards the Pub, speak to Admiral Havelock, and head to the boat.
Not now, Callista!
When you leave the Pub, Callista will be sitting on this box, and she’s desperate to waste your time. Run passed her to the right, blinking over the fence to avoid the conversation.
High Overseer Campbell
This is a straightforward level where we try our very first Slip Clip. You might get shot at, so be careful!
Blink onto this pipe and then over the fence when you step off the boat. You’ll need a little extra height to reach the top of the pipe, so stand on the rock on the shore. After that, grab the potions in the booth and blink over the wall next to it.
Blink down the road until you reach the Light Wall. Remove the Whale Tank from the generator, and you can proceed. Grab the Mana potion from the booth in the following area and exit through the door at the end.
In this area, I jump onto the platform and then the landing (pictured above). Blink to traverse the ledges and head to the High Overseers’ office. Jump through the window, and you’ll be in front of the door where you’ll attempt your first Slip Clip.
Before you try the trick, grab the Rune from the picture frame. There’s also a Health Potion on one of the chairs around the table.
I explain Slip Clipping in the ‘Tools of the Trade’ section but remember, you must hold sprint and lean while you do this against the door. If you turn your camera into the door, you should be able to see inside and Blink. If you get stuck in the leaning position, briefly lowering your framerate (Print Screen) will fix it.
Campbell won’t even react when you’re in this room, so kill him and take his gun. Don’t take the sword, as it’ll slow you down. Slip Clip the same way you came in, and then Slip Clip into the door on the left.
This area has guard patrolling. I usually kill him because I have trouble with the next Slip Clip, but use your discretion. You want to Slip Clip through the wall circled above.
Once you’ve done the clip, you’ll be out of bounds. There’s a door directly below you, so carefully fall and mash the interact key to go through as you fall. This little maneuver is costly on your health bar, so drink a potion before if needed.
To finish this level off, there’s a clever damage cancel. To quickly reach Samuel, blink over the ledge near the boat. Even though it’s a long drop, the rocks have wonky hit detection, and you won’t get hurt.
Even when you’re learning, this is a short section of the Speedrun. Blink over to the Loyalists and speak to them. Sleep, and head to the open doorway on your left when you wake up.
If you blink from where I’m standing (pictured above), you’ll land on a ledge just outside, which will cancel your fall damage. From the ledge, make your way into the building and down the hole with the chain.
There’s a locked door down here, but you can grab the key by leaning to the left and standing in front of the keyhole.
Kill the two enemies in the next room and grab both Runes. Their locations are circled in the picture above. Use those Runes to upgrade your ‘Agility.’
To exit the area safely, I recommend running down the tunnel and activating the hatch to return to the surface. There’s a Slip Clip, but it’s risky and doesn’t save much time. Finally, speak in the Pub and return to the boat to finish the level.
The Golden Cat
The Golden Cat isn’t as hard as all of the OOB stuff in the Sewers, but there’s a lot to memorize as RNG forces you to take one of 2 routes. If this one seems insurmountable at first, don’t get discouraged. With practice, you can whizz through this stage no matter what RNG you get.
You’re in the same place as you were when you started the High Overseer Campbell section and can complete the beginning as usual. Once you pass the Light Wall, head right and to the door at the end of the road. The moment you pass through the door, your RNG for the following section is set.
You’ll know what RNG you have very shortly, but the beginning of this section is the same regardless. As soon as you arrive, Blink onto the ledge pictured above. Blink through the hole in the ceiling, grab the Rune, and head out the window.
Your first goal is to reach Emily’s room; you can do so by jumping to the ledges picture above. When you’re inside, chat with Emily, skip her text, and Slip Clip through the wall to the left at the end of the hall (the one with the drinking fountain).
After the Slip Clip, you’ll be out of bounds, and this is where you can tell what RNG you have and what route to take. This is the good RNG route if the lights are on, like mine above. Both ways involve extended time OOB, so I recommend watching world record holder Lurven’s explanation of each route.
Why is Emily Staring at the Wall?
You need to interact with Emily before you go through the door, but unless you’ve done the previous section very quickly (unlikely if you’re a beginner), you can’t talk to her. Simply run into her, and she will turn to face you.
After a lengthy, unskippable cutscene, Blink over to Lord Pendleton, into the Pub, then back on Samuel’s boat. After the trip, blink over the river to your right and Slip Clip through the door.
Blink across this next section until you reach the door. If you’re very fast, it’s possible to get here so early that the game will soft-lock, so wait a few seconds before you enter the door (pictured above).
Make your way around to the Arc Pylon (pictured above). I’ve laid out where you need to go, and you can Blink most of the way. If the Arc Pylon is charged, wait for it to return to normal, although if you make it here quickly, it will always be fine to run straight past.
You can double-jump from the top of the bridge and then blink onto the platform above. There are 2 Whale tanks here that you need to destroy. You can do so with a single grenade. If you’re just learning the route, that grenade may be precious later, so you can remove the tanks by hand if you wish.
The jump from the top of the bridge is very precise. Stand where I am (pictured above), facing the line. Run, double-jump, and Blink, followed by another Blink as soon as possible. If you do this, you will land on a platform just above ground level. From here, either Blink again or walk to the door.
We’re almost done with this section. Blink across to the door, using the tank as a platform. Once you’re through the door, Blink onto the vent shaft above and follow it around to Sokolov’s House. Once inside, walk behind and subdue him.
There are a few risky strategies to return to the boat, but I prefer a much safer one here. Take Sokolov back out the door you came in, blink down to the platform with the white planks, and then again down to the dock where Samuel is waiting. Talk to him to finish the stage.
The Boyles Estate
This is another area where RNG determines what route you take. Fortunately, this stage is done in bounds either way and is easy to memorize. When you have control, sleep, go to Sokolov, and head back to the boat.
There are three targets in the Boyles Estate; if you’re lucky, you’ll only need to kill one. Otherwise, it’ll be all of them. Once you exit the boat, Blink to the road above, onto the street lamp, and over the fence. Then, talk to Lord Shaw. After your conversation, Blink onto the landing overhead and into the door.
Your first target will always be in the same place. Take a left into the stairwell and kill the Boyle with a Springrazor.
Blink to the ledge in the adjacent room. You’re going to do a unique maneuver here that’s similar to a Slip Clip.
Instead of Blinking through the wall, try to grab one of the pieces of paper. If you’re lucky, the objective will mark as completed, and you can exit the way you came in.
If not, head through the art gallery and kill one of the sisters with a Springrazor. She’s always on the bridge. Go into the next room, blink off the landing to your left, and into the open door. The final sister will be cowering on the floor. Drop her a grenade as a present and exit through the front door.
This is a fun stage, but it’s hard when you’re learning as you don’t have time to think. When Samuel stops the boat, Blink up the rocks and to the wall.
Perform an Elevator here and then Blink onto the roof above. Once you’re up there, run to the far end.
This area is nasty, and you’ll be overwhelmed if you don’t move quickly. Blink to the locations I’ve marked above as fast as you can and head to the door. The closest booth contains a Mana Potion. The one further ahead has a Potion and a grenade.
Most Speedrunners shoot to alert the guard and perform an Elevator outside. I prefer a slower indoor strategy as it’s much safer.
Head through the door, stand on the wooden cabinet, Blink to the chandelier above, and then left onto the landing. This leads to a stairwell and a door to the courtyard.
Keep to the left and Blink to the door. Stand to the right and open the door, throw a grenade exactly as I have, and you should kill Lord Regent. If this doesn’t work, you can throw another.
Quickly run back across the courtyard and Blink to this structure (circled above) to break your fall. Then Blink onto the jagged rocks by the sea. They have the same wonky hitbox properties as earlier. Reach Samuel to end the stage.
Flooded is a problematic section thanks to multiple Slip Clips, several OOB skips, and damage cancels. The OOB sections make a text explanation rather tricky, so please watch Lurvens commentated walkthrough of the section. Once you’ve completed Flooded, you’re on the home straight.
Loyalists is extremely short, so make your way up the stairwell and grab the potions in the bedroom. Then collect the keys on the wall by the door and blink to the Pub.
You don’t need to fight in here. Just interact with the paper on the table and exit via the labeled door.
Blink to the rooftops and either Slip Clip through this door or go around and jump through the window. Grab the potions, activate the signal, and wait for Samuel. If you’re feeling spicy, you can blink out to sea to meet Samuel and speed the dialogue up. If you try this, step on the beach first, or the game will soft-lock.
Surprisingly, Kingsparrow is one of the shortest sections of the run, but it requires some precise jumps.
Start by quickly blinking to the locations in the picture above, finishing where the arrow is pointed. There are guards, but they are easy to avoid.
You need to perform a precise double blink here. You will make it if you aim where I’ve marked and double-jump at the edge.
Continue blinking across the walkway, then on top of the elevator cart, and through the open hatch. Trigger the Elevator for the final gauntlet.
Exit the Elevator, go up the first flight of stairs, and Blink to where I’ve circled.
Enter the building, Blink straight up to the top of the stairs, grab the key next to Havelock, and the moment you open the door (pictured), the run is over!
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Do I Need to Change My Brightness Settings?
Answer: The default is fine. However, I prefer mine to be a little brighter as it helps me to see the patterns on walls for easier Elevators.
Question: I Missed a Rune; what Do I Do?
Answer: If you desperately need an extra Rune, there’s one by the Hound Pits across the water. It’s not ideal, but fine when you’re learning.
Question: What is the Best Way to Memorize a Dishonored Speedrun?
Answer: You’ll commit more of a run to memory if you practice one stage at a time. Make a manual save at the start of each stage so you can quickly return to areas you’re struggling with.