Speedrunner Xiae just broke a world record, rushing through Doom Eternal in 1 hour, 8 minutes and 52 seconds.
What is speedrunning (and why is performance important for it)?
People who have beaten a single-player game at its highest difficulty level sometimes move on to speed runs, competing to finish the entire game — from the very beginning to the very end — faster than anyone else.
Speedrunners in action can be a ton of fun to watch. Some seek out glitches in the game to minimize their time, while others prefer sticking to the rules, still managing to finish games faster than an average player can complete just the first level. For example, Doom Eternal typically takes about 20 hours to play, but Xiae finished it in a little more than one hour.
Speedrunning involves several fundamentals. Most important is knowledge of the game, which requires spending enough time playing to learn every location and the right behavior in each. Managing stress is quite important as well, as are catlike reflexes and good concentration.
Computer performance is also critical. In speedrunning, every tenth of a second counts. If a player’s gaming rig is underperforming, it doesn’t matter whether the power-hungry entity is malware or antimalware — resource-gobbling limits the speedrunning tricks and precision necessary to get through a game quickly.
Lower gaming performance results in the player making small mistakes here or there, as well as spending additional milliseconds on tasks throughout the game — and the extra time adds up.
The slow antivirus myth
Here’s why the new speedrunning world record is such a big deal for us at Kaspersky. Old myths have a way of living on, and in computer gaming, perhaps the least-challenged myth is that antivirus utilities slow down computer performance.
The truth is, that myth used to be accurate. About 15 years ago it was actually true of Kaspersky solutions — back then we had a monstrous AV engine that, frankly, was sluggish. But times have changed, and we’ve changed as well. It may actually have been easier to revamp our products to improve performance than to debunk the myth.
Why are we so confident that our solutions don’t hurt gaming performance? Well, in addition to performing our own testing, we also have racked up a number of awards for performance from independent test labs. Kaspersky security suites also include Gaming mode, which automatically kicks in when a user runs an application in full screen.
Gaming mode postpones all intensive and resource-consuming scans. However, the security solution remains vigilant so that if you are attacked while playing a game or encounter malware, the security suite will protect you. Kaspersky’s Gaming mode gives you the best of both worlds: The game runs just as smoothly as it would without a security solution running in the background, and at the same time you stay protected with the best cybersecurity technologies.
So, after proving in test after test that our antivirus does not affect gaming performance, how do we consign the myth to the ash-heap of history? Perhaps if a gamer set a world speedrunning record with our security solution working in the background, that would help.
Xiae and Kaspersky Internet Security win
Here’s why we’re so excited about Xiae’s new world record: He became the fastest player to beat Doom Eternal without exploiting any glitches, taking just over an hour — and he did so with Kaspersky Internet Security running in the background, at the Break the Record: Live event. Thus, he proved that our security solution has so little impact on performance that one can set a world speed record in gaming without sacrificing protection.
Now, a public service announcement: Dear gamers, please, don’t turn your security solutions off, thinking it’ll help you win at DotA, CS, Doom, or whatever. If it’s optimized for gaming (and Kaspersky Internet Security and our other consumer solutions are thoroughly optimized), antivirus protection can only help. Doing your best in games doesn’t require giving up security, as Xiae has proved yet again. Good luck, and stay safe!