Alien Swarm Wiki
Alien Swarm Wiki

Speed running is a practice that focuses on completing a mission as fast as possible without any marines dying. Completing the official maps within a set amount of time on Normal or harder will earn players an achievement for each level they manage to successfully speed-run. The difficulty level for a speed run ranges from medium to very hard, and can be nearly impossible for the unprepared. This article contains the general tactics you should use when speed running. For in-depth walkthroughs of each level, see their respective articles below.

Keep in mind that all marines must survive to earn the achievement; this means that you can attempt a speed run with fewer than 4 marines, as long as they all survive and make it in time. A duo consisting of Wildcat and Faith (who both have the Speed Bonus skill) can be particularly effective if played well.

General strategies[]


  • Speed running on Normal difficulty is the best way to get this achievement although however you get a higher speed multiplier on higher difficulties. Attempting a speed run on higher difficulties greatly increase the chance of death.
  • Avoid trying to speed run in a public game. In general, public players are not adequately skilled or organized for a successful speed run, and are more concerned with kills or survival than mission completion time. Try to find a game where everyone is willing to attempt speed runs.
  • If you intend to speed-run in a public game, ask your team beforehand and make sure that everyone is on the same page. Ask them to drop whatever other achievements they are trying to earn and to work only towards the speed run.
  • It is not advised to speed-run with players of a low level (i.e. anything below level 10 with no promotion), as they are generally not familiar with the levels or do not have the required equipment.
  • Familiarize yourself with the level first. Get to know its layout, its shortcuts (if any), and the precise location of every Swarm ambush. Playing through the level around half a dozen times should have you get to know it fairly well.
  • On some maps like Power Plant's Cooling Pump, it is advantageous to bring both Techs.

During the run[]

  • Always stay on the move when not waiting for an event to occur.
  • While on the move, you should not allow any Drones to hit you, but only shoot when an enemy is likely to hit or obstruct you, and only heal when desperate for health.
  • Communicate at all times. Make sure that all the objectives are being completed and that everyone is where they are supposed to be.

Recommended loadout[]

Loadouts often vary according to the mission being completed and the player's role, but some weapons and equipment are frequently chosen for speed runs:


Flamer image Flamer
Because burning drones are easily bypassed, the Flamer is particularly valuable for the players who are leading or trailing the squad. One burst of flame is sufficient to essentially incapacitate a Drone.
Vindicator image Vindicator
The heavy damage output, high rate of fire, and the fact that firing this weapon does not slow down the marine makes the Vindicator especially useful at the back of the squad.
Grenade Launcher image Grenade Launcher
Its friendly fire can be devastating, but a skilled player can use its high damage and rate of fire to quickly eliminate any enemies in the vicinity.
Chainsaw image Chainsaw
Especially in the hands of Vegas, the Chainsaw is useful for breaking doors, rocks, and large enemies.
PDW image PDW
Very high damage rate, but slows down the marine when fired.
Medical Gun image Medical Gun
Although the squad should be competent enough to complete the mission without being healed, the Medical Gun can be equipped as a precaution. Healing Beacons are not recommended because they require patients to stop, and their healing rate is generally much slower than the Medical Gun's.


Adrenaline image Adrenaline
Hacking is significantly easier while under the effects of Adrenaline, which slows down time by a factor of three.
Hornet Barrage image Hornet Barrage / Smart Bomb image Smart Bomb
Useful when surrounded by enemies and for clearing out areas with many enemies.
Freeze Grenades image Freeze Grenades
Useful when surrounded by enemies and for immobilizing Shieldbugs.

Speed run walkthroughs[]

Level Required
Best time
on video
1 Landing Bay 1:25 1:07 0:18
2 Cargo Elevator 2:50 2:32 0:18
3 Deima Surface Bridge 2:30 2:03 0:27
4 Rydberg Reactor 4:00 2:40 1:20
5 SynTek Residential 2:30 1:54 0:36
6 Sewer Junction 1:30 1:04 0:26
7 Timor Station 4:25 2:50 1:35

See also[]

External links[]