Elden Ring has a handful of mandatory boss fights in a sea of optional ones. While it is a very good idea to do as many optional fights as possible to gain runes to level up, it is also good to know which fights are absolutely unskippable to complete the story of Elden Ring. Being mandatory does not make these fights easy; in fact, they make up some of the hardest battles to win in the game.
While there are over one hundred Elden Ring bosses, only 12 of them are mandatory. If a player stuck to only these bosses, they would miss out on a lot of the game such as the entirety of the Weeping Peninsula, Caelid, Mt. Gelmir, and the Consecrated Snowfield. Additionally, they would miss out on nearly all side quests, which will give them less room in what ending they get.
First Mandatory Bosses: Margit And Godrick
These two bosses are the first non-optional fights players to get to tackle. They are at the beginning and end of Stormveil Castle, which players must go through in order to access the northern half of the Lands Between. Margit is a boss a lot of players struggle with, as he has an extremely aggressive long chain of combos. However, players can get help by summoning Rogier and using Spirit Ashes. They can also purchase Margit’s Shackle from Patches to stun him for a bit for easy hits.
Players that get past Margit usually don’t have much difficulty with Godrick the Grafted. Players can summon Nepheli Loux for help. The biggest strategy is to stay out of Godrick’s line of sight and not get stuck behind anything so that dodging remains easy. Like Margit, he also has two phases. In phase two, players have a great attacking opportunity from behind when he does a fire breath attack.
A Boss To Provide A Second Great Rune
With Margit and Godrick defeated, more of the world opens up to the player. Godrick provides one Great Rune and the player requires at least one more to continue Elden Ring’s story. Most players get their second Great Rune from Rennala at Raya Lucaria since it is just north of Stormveil Castle. However, players will have to also defeat the Red Wolf of Radagon and traverse the academy to get to her.
There are plenty of other options since there are a total of seven Great Runes, though none are easy. Players can also get a Great Rune from Rykard at Volcano Manor, from Malenia at the Haligtree, Radahn in Caelid, and Mohg at the Mohgwyn Dynasty Mausoleum underground. Just one of these in addition to Godrick’s Great Rune can get the player into the Leyndell Royal Capital, which is a requirement for progressing the game’s story.
Spectral Shade Godfrey And Morgott
Once inside the royal capital, there are two more mandatory bosses. The first is a shade of Godfrey, the first Elden Lord. He can be difficult for his deceptively big range as well as his combination of slow and fast attacks. Players need to give themselves a lot of space to move to safety and can certainly benefit from Spirit Ashes that are durable. They should avoid holy damage, as he absorbs most of it. He is also immune to Scarlet Rot, Poison, Hemorrhage, Death, and Frostbite.
Not long after Godfrey is Morgott, who is really Margit. The fight is similar to his first in some ways, but he has some new tricks this time. The player can summon Melina for help with his fight and can still use Margit’s Shackle to stun him for a time. He is immune to Death and Madness and absorbs a lot of holy damage. Melina is very useful for his fight and can keep his attention.
The Fire Giant And Godskin Duo
After getting to the Erdtree in the capital, the player then journeys to the Fire Giant. Most players use horseback to close the distance and then stick behind the giants’ ankles. He hits hard, and his arms take more damage in his second phase, but it may be easier for certain builds to just keep attacking his ankles to avoid his attacks. His roll attack is especially deadly. Some players find staying on horseback to make the fight easier while others have found it more difficult.
The Godskin Duo are another mandatory fight that packs a punch. These two bosses can be met in other dungeons, but this time they are together as the player goes through the Crumbling Farum Azula. NPC Knight Bernahl can be summoned for help. The two have a collective health bar, so defeating just one won’t keep them permanently down. A sound strategy is putting one boss to sleep, then switching, and working on them one at a time.
Maliketh, Gideon, And Godfrey
Maliketh is a very difficult mandatory boss, and his second phase is able to shorten the players’ health bar. He is immune to Sleep, Madness, Death Blight, and nearly fully immune to holy-type damage. For both phases, pillars can be used to help prevent his hard-hitting attacks. His first phase has pretty easy to dodge attacks, but his second phase really requires strict attention and more precise dodging and / or blocking.
Gideon is a very different fight from Maliketh and one that players have found to be the easiest of the mandatory bosses. He is easily staggered and has less health from previously defeated bosses. Gideon’s betrayal does serve the themes of the story, though, and players have found that no matter how they interact with him in Roundtable Hold, he still reveals himself as a mandatory boss after Maliketh is defeated.
Right after Gideon, Godfrey (not a shade this time, but the actual man) is all that stands between the player and the Erdtree. Players can summon Nepheli to help as she did with Godtrick the Grafted. Godfrey’s two phases are ax-wielding and then hand-to-hand combat. He is far more difficult than Gideon, but players tend to have less trouble with them than they did with Maliketh.
Radagon And The Elden Beast
The final mandatory bosses of Elden Ring are Radagon and the Elden Beast. If they were two separate fights, they would not be so hard. However, these fights happen with no breaks in-between. Players need to be careful not to spend all their resources fighting Radagon so that they can still fully fight the Elden Beast, which is definitely a challenge. Radagon can hit very hard and can get the player to drink up most of their health potions before even fighting the Elden Beast.
The Elden Beast is a lot like fighting one of Elden Ring‘s dragons, except with no horseback to close any distance when the creature moves far away. It has great mobility, and the soundest strategy is to attack it from behind and try to catch up to it without taking too much damage. It and Radagon are also very resistant to holy damage.
Elden Ring is available now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.
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