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When a game has been popular for as long as Minecraft has, it’s going to build up a sizable speedrunning community. While it’s unfortunately been most notable for drama in recent years, plenty of runners have still been working out how to maximize the efficiency of their runs.

One of the biggest obstacles to completing a Minecraft speedrun is the final boss, the Ender Dragon, who you have to defeat to access the game’s credits and end the run. You’ve likely seen strategies where players use explosive beds to quickly kill the dragon, but this strategy is on a whole other level.

This new trick was discovered by TASer Curcuit Store, who used a program to precisely code their in-game movements, allowing them to create a theoretically perfect speedrun. It kills the Ender Dragon in just 23.5 seconds and uses only a few Ender Pearls and a single arrow, we’ll explain how it works.

Keep up with the latest new additions to Minecraft with the Minecraft 1.20 patch notes, as well as how to install OptiFine, to keep your game running smoothly.

How to kill the Ender Dragon in under 30 seconds

Minecraft Ender Dragon floating on the portal

The Ender Dragon won't last long with this speedrunning trick.

First, a little bit of science about how arrows work in Minecraft. The amount of damage an arrow does is determined by how fast it’s moving when it hits the target. A standard arrow fired by a bow has a cap on its speed, but while they’re in flight, they are an entity that can be affected by other forces, such as explosions.

The next thing you need to know is that at the very center point of the Ender Dragon’s hitbox is where its knockback effect comes from. This means that if you get to close, you’ll be blown into the air and flung away at great speed.

Finally, you need to know that Ender Pearls – the objects that let you teleport around the world – are extremely overpowered.

Putting all of this together is how we pull off the one-arrow kill, so follow these steps:

  • Throw an Ender Pearl to get from your End spawn point to the top of one of the towers
  • You won’t teleport until the thrown Ender Pearl lands, so just before you teleport, throw another pearl far across the island.
  • Once at the top of the pillar, throw another pearl up at the Ender Dragon and draw your bow.
  • You’ll be teleported directly into the dragon’s center point and have just a few frames to release your arrow.
  • The arrow will be given orbital velocity by the dragon’s knockback effect, but hit it in the process, killing it in one shot.
  • The pearl you threw across the island will now land and teleport you safely to the ground.

As you can imagine, the odds of a human pulling this off are ridiculously tiny. Accurately throwing the pearl to hit the dragon is unbelievably difficult, and even then you have less than a second-long window to release your arrow.

That said, while it’s extraordinarily hard, it’s not technically impossible, and if you’ve followed speedrunning for any length of time, you know that far more unlikely things have happened.