Elden Ring bosses, just like the game, are a step up to the Souls series. The hardest bosses in Elden Ring offer immense variety and feel inspired by Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Sekiro. Needless to say, that’s also what makes Elden Ring bosses so challenging. The game’s powerful enemies will more than match your might with delayed combos, ranged attacks, magic, etc. Overall, the Elden Ring boss fights have enough spectacles and obstacles to keep you wanting more.
Before we get to the Elden Ring’s toughest opponents ranked by difficulty, readers should note that their experience heavily depends on their build and level. I was running a Faith/Dex hybrid build with Bloodhound’s Fang as my main weapon.
Our video of the hardest Elden Ring bosses contains the top 15 from this list.
Hardest Elden Ring Bosses (Honorable Mention)
31. Glintstone dragon adula
You will first face this dragon at Caria Manor, where you can meet Ranni the Witch. However, the dragon will fly off during the fight and you will need to reach the very end of Ranni’s quest to get a proper battle.
While Glintstone Dragon Adula is basically the same as other dragon fights, such as Flying Dragon Agheel, it does have a few unique moves to watch out for. Most notably, Adula’s Moonblade is a bit tricky to dodge even on horseback as it covers a huge area.
Hardest Elden Ring Bosses (30 – 21)
Not quite up there with the hardest bosses in Elden Ring, but offer decent challenge along with counter-play options.
30. Loretta, knight of the haligtree
Loretta is one of the later Elden Ring bosses found at Miquella’s Haligtree. You could say that Loretta is a Sorcery based Tree Sentinel Elden Ring boss. She doesn’t have as many devastating melee attacks as Tree Sentinel but her magic arrows and chasing projectiles make for a good boss fight.
Since this Elden Ring boss is evenly balanced between melee and magic with a large arena, you too can mix it up with melee and ranged attacks.
Moreover, Loretta is most probably the last of the Tree Sentinel-based Elden Ring bosses, making its design familiar and comfortable to deal with.
29. Sir gideon ofnir, the all knowing
You probably saw this Elden Ring boss fight coming a mile away, given the shared ambition of becoming Elden Lord. True to his title, Sir Gideon knows every spell from the book and isn’t afraid of using them. From dragon spells to Malenia’s Scarlet Aeonia, be prepared to juke them all.
Sir Gideon, however, didn’t know enough about poise. Run him down and beat him, that’s all it takes. He is similar to Rennala of the Full Moon, but at this stage of the game, he isn’t close to the absolute hardest Elden Ring bosses.
28. Leonine misbegotten
Leonine is one of the early Elden Ring bosses that you can completely miss. Located at the south of Limgrave in Castle Morne, this beast with a longsword can end you before you know it. What makes this one of the most difficult Elden Ring bosses in the early game is Leonine’s pure aggression.
However, Leonine has a severe lack of defense. Most attacks will stagger him, giving you plenty of openings. Moreover, getting a read on his attacks and parrying him is easy as well.
27. Tree sentinel
One of the most iconic Elden Ring bosses, the Tree Sentinel is a huge imposing figure that’s tough as nails to beat in the early game, especially without Torrent. The Tree Sentinel has a lot of health, oppressively heavy attacks, and mobility. This could be FromSoftware’s way of encouraging players to explore the world first, and fight later.
Torrent can make this open-world field boss easier to face, allowing for an interesting jousting match. Also, you could explore and find yourself some great magic spells to avoid fighting the Tree Sentinel up close. Multiple options definitely help here.
26. Elemer of the briar
Those who initially mistake Elemer of the Briar for a normal swordsman are in for a nasty surprise. He is a cut above other Elden Ring bosses with swords. Not only is he a danger in melee range, but he also uses telekinesis for erratic sword swings at a great range. You can tell when his blade starts glowing red. Moreover, you face him in a small dining room, so there’s no space to breathe. He can also quickly dash into you with his shield.
Match his aggression with your own. Stick close to him and keep attacking. He’ll go down fast.
25. Valiant gargoyles
These gargoyle-type enemies are plenty in Elden Ring and are one of the most intimidating Elden Ring enemies you’ll face. This effect here is two-fold as you face two Valiant Gargoyles at the same time. Well, the second one doesn’t appear until the first one has lost half or more of its health. Regardless, both have some hard-to-read combos and high speed. The first one also has a poison spit attack that restricts some movement.
Using a summon will ensure that one of the gargoyles is distracted, allowing you to face off against one in peace. Mage builds will also have an easier time due to the huge arena. Lastly, the second gargoyle remains passive even when it’s a 2v1.
24. Draconic tree sentinel
Basically another variant of the Tree Sentinel boss. The Draconic Tree Sentinel is pretty balanced in terms of melee and magic, not leaning too hard on either. What makes this challenging is that you can’t rely on Torrent for safety, as Draconic’s highly accurate fireballs will surely catch you.
Moreover, his second phase has him use all kinds of lightning spells that force you to reposition yourself again and again. The magic and horse counter make this Elden Ring boss fight a test of patience.
23. Rykard, lord of blasphemy
Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy and Fire Giant are spectacle Elden Ring bosses, with Rykard having much resemblance to Yhorm in Dark Souls 3. In fact, you can find the Serpent Hunter sword just as you enter the hellish arena of Rykard, a special weapon just for this boss fight. In Phase 1, the God-Devouring Serpent has a few slithering bite moves and a long-range poison spit. Nothing too bad.
Phase 2 notches up the difficulty, as Rykard reveals himself and brings along a host of ghastly spells and huge sword slashes. This is a game of stamina above all else. Manage it well and you’ll bring the snake down.
22. Fire giant
Standing between you and the Forge of the Giants is this enormous beast that will nearly one-shot you with his shield attacks and rolls. Fire Giant is rightfully the hardest Elden Ring boss out of all giant enemy types though overall manageable. First, his weak left foot means bleed and potential staggers. Second, rushing him down is a great strategy since it evades almost all of his attacks.
He is much tankier in Phase 2 with his fire spells becoming more powerful. However, you can again just rush him down or use your spells from afar. The Fire Giant boss location is breathtaking though.
21. Crucible knight duo
The Crucible Knights are simply one of the hardest Elden Ring bosses in general. They have range, speed, damage, magic, and whatever else you can imagine. Naturally, Elden Ring wouldn’t feel like a complete FromSoftware title without a boss fight featuring two of these. Your best bet is to hit and run until one of them is down then deal with the other. Crucible Knight Ordovis (one with the spear) is easier to kill.
The duo Elden Ring bosses are more fun with co-op, so you could try that. If you’re feeling brave, take out the good ol’ Buckler and start parrying. Their moves are well-telegraphed.
Hardest Bosses in Elden Ring (20 – 11)
With deadlier and varied moveset, these Elden Ring bosses elevate the Elden Ring difficulty levels by a considerable margin.
20. Dragonkin soldier of nokstella
The usual, tried and tested way of dealing with huge Elden Ring bosses is to stay under them and keep attacking. With Dragonkin Soldier of Nokstella, this doesn’t work too well, however. It has a tendency to retrace its arm swings, so you may roll through the initial hit easily, but watch out for the arm hitting you on the way back. Additionally, it has a massive hitbox and you simply need to keep moving a lot to avoid damage.
In Phase 2, this tough boss will start flying up in the air and use lightning spells with frequent plunging attacks. Surprisingly, this is easier to deal with than Phase 1.
Maintain distance and wait out the plunging attacks, as they are easy to dodge. The long wind-up after the leap gives enough time to dish out damage.
19. Red wolf of radagon
Red Wolf of Radagon is one of those Elden Ring bosses that excel at offense, similar to Elemer of the Briar and Leonine Misbegotten. It’s pretty difficult to stay defensive against its impressive range and weird attack timings. Not to mention that it is more than comfortable hitting you with magic spells from afar as well.
Given the usual character level and health at that stage of the game, this is a serious challenge. A tanky summon with some safe and heavy hits is the way to go.
18. Black blade kindred
As said before, the gargoyles as fairly regularly recurring Elden Ring bosses but what saved you against the Valiant Gargoyles duo was passivity on their part. Lose all those hopes against Black Blade Kindred. This one is insanely fast, uses the same black flame as Maliketh himself, and is damn relentless. Also, his black flame imbued Twinblade combo is really hard to dodge and has one-shot potential.
17. Rennala of the full Moon
Rennala of the Full Moon is an Elden Ring main boss similar to Sir Gideon except your defensive stats aren’t up there yet and she has better tracking spells. This is a two-phase boss fight with Phase 1 resembling Deacons of the Deep in Dark Souls 3. Get the kids with the gold aura, damage Rennala, and repeat.
Phase 2 is a completely different deal. Rennala will unleash all of her magical might and even use summons halfway though. Her summons includes dragons, giants, wolves, and even a bloodhound knight. Talk about giving players a taste of their own medicine. Going mage vs mage against Rennala is even more difficult as she’s simply the tankier, better mage. Prolonged fights against Rennala don’t work, so go all in.
16. Astel, naturalborn of the void
If you missed the cosmic horror aspect of Bloodborne, Astel, Naturalborn of the Void should scratch that itch. This Elden Ring boss fight is part of Ranni’s quest, so you can expect something related to stars and gravity with this boss. Astel is a massive creature who relies mostly on gravity magic and doesn’t have a lot of speed. The arena is stunning and huge with Astel being able to teleport anywhere.
He always starts off with a laser attack that takes time to charge but launches really quickly. Apart from that, he can use gravity magic to launch meteors, swipe its arm with magic that explodes a second later, a ground AoE pulsing three times, and more. Astel’s deadliest attack is when he teleports right behind you and follows it up with a grab attack. If you don’t have enough Vigor, you’re probably dead. So, make sure to keep an eye out for teleports.
15. Godrick the grafted
Considered as the “runt of the litter” amongst the demigods in Elden Ring, Godrick the Grafted is nonetheless a tough challenge for the early game. Appearing after Margit the Fell Omen, Godrick is yet another reminder that spam rolling won’t work. He has super delayed attacks with a quicker attack ready to follow up. Other than that, his gigantic ground stomps force you to time your jumps while his wind attacks require precise rolling. However, sticking close to him and learning his moveset gives you plenty of openings.
In what is one of the most terrifying Elden Ring bosses cutscenes, Godrick cuts his own arm off only to replace it with a dragonhead, introducing a variety of dragon/fire moves. There are fire-infused wind attacks, grabs, dragon breath, and more to deal with.
14. Full-grown fallingstar beast
The Full-Grown Fallingstar Beast is one of the many Elden Ring bosses who makes use of gravity magic but only a few of them are as dangerous as this boss. Located at a crater in Mt. Gelmir, this cosmic bull is relentlessly aggressive and too tanky.
He has lethal physical and gravity moves that cover short and long-range easily. From tail swipes and bull charges to beams and gravity-based rock attacks, the Full-Grown Fallingstar Beast is easily one of the hardest Elden Ring bosses.
13. Commander niall
Not an Elden Ring main boss, nor a mandatory one, but Commander Niall is still one of the hardest bosses in Elden Ring. First, he summons two knights as you traverse the fog. Both knights can close the distance in an instant and apply frostbite with each hit. Second, the boss arena isn’t really spacious.
But leave the knights; Commander Niall himself is a tremendous challenge. Frostbite-inducing tornadoes and lightning attacks are Commander Niall’s bread and butter
. What’s more is that even if you do manage to get behind, he will thrust his spear back and catch you off-guard. This Elden Ring boss fight demands you to pay attention.
12. Lichdragon fortissax
The usual dragon Elden Ring bosses aren’t all that difficult. However, with no Torrent coupled with Lichdragon’s chaotic moveset make it one of the hardest bosses in Elden Ring.
As part of Fia’s quest in Elden Ring, Lichdragon Fortissax makes use of death blight and lightning as its main arsenal. There’s just a lot to deal with in this boss fight.
It has a spell similar to Draconic Tree Sentinel and Dragonlord Placidusax where a lightning bolt lingers on you, striking after a few moments. It also slams two massive lightning bolts on the ground that also spread out like waves on the ground.
At some point, the dragon will summon death blight smokes all over the map and continue its lightning onslaughts. You absolutely need to mind your positioning at all times.
11. Elden beast
Just shying away from the top 10 hardest bosses in Elden Ring, we have the final boss of the game, Elden Beast. This Elden Ring representative deploys a variety of holy magic spells that keep you on your toes. Add to that the fact that Elden Beast has a tendency to swim across the arena every time you get close, making you juke all that terror all over again. It’s insanity.
However, the good part is that besides the Elden Stars magic spell, all of Elden Beast’s moves are easy enough to evade. If it summons the Elden Ring on the ground, run back and jump over the rings. Rolling through the long-range sword slashes, inspired by Divine Dragon in Sekiro, is simple too. The Elden Ring final boss is a game of patience though,we can’t deny that.
Also, the Elden Beast is way too different from the other Elden Ring final boss to be considered as one boss fight.
Elden Ring Bosses Ranked by Difficulty – The Top Ten
The absolute toppers in the Elden Ring bosses tier list when it comes to difficulty.
10. Dragonlord placidusax
The hardest Elden Ring boss as far as dragons go in this game, Dragonlord Placidusax is considered as an Outer God itself. The two-headed dragon has a relatively mild Phase 1, relying mostly on slow lightning claws, targeted lightning strikes from above, and backwards fire breath that reaches to its legs. As a melee build, the best thing to do is run back and keep hitting the tail.
The difficulty goes all the way up as soon as the dragon disappears in thin air. As you’re left wondering, Dragonlord Placidusax will swoop in with a huge claw attack. That’s not all. The dragon will now disappear in and out repeatedly and use its claw attack. Its attacks keep getting more intense, climaxing in an amazing dragon-breath-turned-laser attack that does one of the highest damage numbers in the game. Dragonlord Placidusax may be huge, but it doesn’t lack in speed. And that’s the catch.
9. Margit the fell omen
The first one in the Elden Ring boss order, Margit the Fell Omen teaches players the ABCs of Elden Ring the hard way. If the Tree Sentinel didn’t deter you, Margit definitely will while at the same time making you want to explore, level up, and get better weapons.
Margit is a nightmare, especially for melee builds thanks to his double hit dagger move that he pulls out when you get close to him. His Phase 2 is even more difficult as he summons more weapons and becomes more aggressive, all the while having weird combo timings.
8. Mohg, lord of blood
One of the challenging aspects of facing Margit was the narrow arena. With Mohg, you not only again have to deal with a narrow space, but he will make it worse by throwing around bloodflame that increases your Bleed with each tick.
He will also combo this with slow but hard-hitting spear attacks. Now as you start getting used to it, Mohg will start chanting “Nihil!” three times, extinguishing each of the three rings around you, dealing blood loss damage to you, and lifesteal heal to him.
Revealing wings and an enhanced spear for Phase 2, Mohg incorporates airborne strikes and each spear attack leaves behind traces of bloodflame on the ground. You have little room to maneuver his attacks.
To ease the pain, you can make use of Mohg’s Shackle and a special Wondrous Physik formula to deal with the “Nihil!”. Mohg is one of the most rewarding Elden Ring bosses, dropping a whopping 420000 Runes upon death.
7. Morgott the omen King
The true version of Margit the Fell Omen, Morgott the Omen King does everything Margit did plus a bunch of new moves and weapons. Perhaps the only advantageous points here are the bigger arena and that you can use Margit’s Shackle in this fight as well, seeing as they are both the same person.
What makes this Elden Ring boss fight really hard is that Morgott doesn’t take a breather. He will keep maintaining his combos till you run out of stamina. He’s also one of those agile Elden Ring bosses like Maliketh who never stay in place.
His summoned weapons are more lethal than ever and each one is now an advanced version from before. New sword and hammer combos that complement his Cursed Sword mean you’re always unsure about his next move. His summoned spear throws and thrusts allow him to pressure you from across the arena, so there’s that.
With that said, this is a beauty of an Elden Ring boss fight. This is one of the hardest boss fights in Elden Ring and one of the best.
6. General radahn
Conqueror of the Stars, General Radahn is located deep in the east of the Caelid wilds. The only one of the Elden Ring bosses to allow multiple NPC summons, facing the Starscourge is one heck of a challenge. You have to first make your way to General Radahn as he launches gravity arrows at you. You need to summon NPCs and juke arrows at the same time. When you finally make your way to him, be prepared for powerful sword slashes while he’s drifting on and about with his trusted steed.
His massive strikes and AoE gravity moves ensure that your allies don’t last long. In Phase 2, he will combo his attacks with new gravity orb-based spells that quickly track you down. Any two of those four meteors by his side will hit you before you know it and that’s game.
5. Maliketh the black blade
Starting off the top 5 hardest bosses in Elden Ring list is the holder of the Rune of Death himself, Maliketh the Black Blade. Compared to other Elden Ring bosses, Maliketh is quite squishy. However, he more than makes up for it with his insane damage and hard-to-read moveset.
The boss fight starts off with you fighting the Beast Clergyman, identical to the one at Bestial Sanctum in Caelid. His primary moves include quick dagger swipes and a few beast incantations such as the Beast Claw. These incantations are tough to deal with as they have great range and require perfect dodging.
Maliketh is amazingly mobile, capable of jumping up on pillars and delivering ranged strikes mid-air. Another aspect that makes Maliketh one of the hardest bosses in Elden Ring is that he can reduce your maximum HP through his blade attacks. It just takes one hit to make you search frantically for your flask. The Maliketh Elden Ring boss fight will always be a quick one because of his damage output.
None among the Elden Ring bosses can consistently go toe-to-toe against Malenia other than Maliketh. That’s saying something.
4. Godfrey first Elden lord / Hoarah loux
Godfrey, the First Elden Lord is as devastating as you can imagine. His immensely powerful axe can throw you off repeatedly and once you get him to around 75% of his health, his stomps send a shockwave across the arena. He also forces his axe into the ground to create a massive fissure only to blast it open with boulders shooting up. What makes Godfrey remarkable is that every single of his attacks just scream power.
He goes absolutely berserk in Phase 2, ripping apart his lion Serosh and embracing his inner bloodlust as Hoarah Loux. He even lets go of his ax, instead of facing us man-to-man with his bare hands and feet. Grapples, stomps, earth-shattering fissures, and kicks, are all super impactful and require impeccable timing on your part if you wish to go any further.
3. Godskin duo
Godskin Noble and Apostle individually are already among the hardest bosses in Elden Ring. However, FromSoftware decided to throw them both into the ring with you because, why not? If that wasn’t enough, killing any one of them isn’t enough. Until their shared health bar is finished, they will keep respawning after death.
Yes, the arena features pillars for you to have any hope against Godskin Noble’s rolling onslaught but they don’t last long. Any of the Godskin’s Phase 2 attacks can destroy the pillars so there you go.
Godskin Apostle is easier to deal with. So, just keep attacking him and forget the fatty. Also, you don’t want them both in Phase 2 together anyway. The Crumbling Farum Azula alone hosts three out of the ten hardest Elden Ring bosses.
2. Radagon of the Golden order
Radagon of the Golden Order is simply a different beast. He pretty much has it all: damage, defense, range, etc. Even going co-op against Radagon is such a headache due to his tendency to switch targets mid-air, mid-combo, basically anytime he wants. Also, delayed strikes. Many other Elden Ring bosses have that but with Radagon, they just hit too hard. Especially his grab. That’s an insta-kill.
Another layer of difficulty is that you can’t just roll in any direction you want. You absolutely have to roll to the side, back, front, etc. all according to each of his specific combos. For instance, his hammer swings with the front cone aftereffect require you to roll sideways only. You roll back, you will get hit. Simple as that.
Come Phase 2 and Radagon will start teleporting with little energy blasts as he appears. Even here, you must roll perfectly. On top of that, he starts attacking much more frequently, almost bordering to spamming. Overall, Radagon is crushingly difficult, much more than Elden Beast. He would be the hardest Elden Ring boss if not for his own daughter.
1. Malenia, blade of miquella
Yup, anyone who has played a fair bit of Elden Ring saw this coming a mile away. Malenia is hands down the hardest Elden Ring boss and easily one of the hardest bosses in video games ever. Malenia has the full combo variety of Elden Ring bosses such as Morgott and the damage output of Radagon. To top that off, she heals after every hit.
Her sword has better range than you expect, unexpectedly hitting you at the tip even after you have rolled back. Her three-hit quick slash can’t be completely avoided unless you roll forward. If you do, prepare to dodge again as she starts to combo again. The only indication you get is the little spark in her hand.
And how could we forget her Waterfowl Dance? This might just be the hardest-hitting, hardest to dodge attack in any FromSoftware game yet. After a short wind-up leap into the air, Malenia will launch three successive flurry attacks that will completely annihilate your health. What’s more, is that it doesn’t matter if you’re halfway across the arena.
By the time she’s in her second flurry combo, she’ll be on top of you in an instant. There are very, very few counters for this attack, some of them being shields and Bloodhound’s Step Ash of War. Or maybe you could learn how to dodge Malenia’s attack.
Blooming into the Goddess of Rot, Malenia gets more airborne combos. One of which is her opening attack, Scarlet Aeonia. She shoots down on you from above and blossoms the rot flower, covering a lot of ground. This is one of the few windows for you to attack if you’re a mage or have ranged weapons. Attack her while the flower is blooming. Another attack opportunity arrives when she floats in the air sending six summons that attack you from various angles ending with Malenia herself launching at you with a frontal stab.
With all that going for her, there’s no doubt that Malenia, Blade of Miquella is the hardest Elden Ring boss.
As said in the start, your experience with Elden Ring bosses depends on your build, level, and playstyle. So, let us know your thoughts on our Elden Ring bosses ranked by difficulty list with your own experiences.
You can also check out other lists on Boss Level Gamer, such as The Hardest Video Game Bosses list. And if you’re struggling, be sure to check out all of our Elden Ring guides to face whatever the game throws at you.