Here are the 5 hardest, toughest bosses in all of Elden Ring

By Steven Rondina

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Apr 11, 2022

Reading time: 5 min

Elden Ring has an abundance of very challenging fights for the player, but which boss is the hardest to beat?

The answer will vary from player to player, of course. Early gatekeeper Margit, the Fell Omen will be an enormous challenge for newcomers to FromSoftware titles and those who opted away from a magical starting class. Others like the Mad Pumpkin Head duo of the Caelem Ruins can be brutally tough for those who have a sorcery build.

There are some that should be roundly challenging to players of all builds and of all levels of experience. Here are the five hardest bosses of Elden Ring.

The five hardest Elden Ring bosses

Every Elden Ring player is going to find their progress stalled at some point. All of Elden Ring’s mandatory bosses are difficult in one way or another but things generally ramp up as the game goes on. This is reflected here with four of the bosses coming in the final stretch of the game.

5. Radagon of the Golden Order and the Elden Beast

Any time the player has to take on two boss fights back to back, it’s going to be difficult. When one of them is the final boss of the game, though? That’s another matter entirely.

Radagon is quite manageable in the grand scheme of things with relatively low damage and a limited health pool. He’s no layup though and he can soften the player up before the grueling fight against the Elden Beast. The Elden Beast has a much larger HP bar and has very different attacks with similar windups.

The one thing that keeps this from being higher is that Elden Ring has a variety of OP builds and players will have ample opportunity and tools to manage the Elden Beast. That leaves this fight as a challenge, but a comparatively manageable one.

4. Maliketh, the Black Blade

Players who were thorough during Elden Ring get quite the surprise in Crumbling Farum Azula when they’re greeted by Gurranq, the Beast Clergyman. Players get a taste of what he has to offer as a boss fight after bringing him four Deathroots. That fight is cut short but players quickly learn that when the time comes, Gurranq will be a very tough challenge.

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When a boss fight against the Beast Clergyman starts, it’s instantly spooky. Things get much worse when phase two kicks in and it’s revealed that Gurranq is actually Maliketh, the Black Blade.

The change in character comes with a similarly large change in style. While the Beast Clergyman was an AOE bruiser, Maliketh is acrobatic and quick. Players will be forced to chase him around as he spams damaging attacks up close, only to fly into the air, launch beams from his sword, and land on the other end of the arena.

3. Godskin Duo

The Godskin Noble is a tricky boss in Volcano Manor. The Godskin Apostle is a tough challenge for those who reach the Windmill Village. The two can be fought consecutively in a tomb found in the Mountaintops of the Giants. But the biggest battle involving the pair comes in Farum Azula.

The pair team up and take on the player in Crumbling Farum Azula in one of the toughest battles of the game. Both halves of the Godskin Duo have long-range and short-range attack options, huge burst damage, and the ability to whittle the player down over time. On top of that, they have a shared health bar with the ability to resurrect one another. Even if the player bursts one of them down, there’s still a fight ahead.

2. Starscourge Radahn

Starscourge Radahn might stand out on this list for some. That’s justified to some degree.

The gravity magic specialist and his comically small horse isn’t really regarded as an insurmountable challenge in the way other bosses on this list are. Few would say that he’s one of the easiest bosses in Elden Ring, but just as few would say he’s the hardest.

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The few that would say he’s the hardest are those who take a no-summoning approach to the game. Much like Dark Souls 3’s Demon Princes are effectively meant to be tackled with the help of Slave Knight Gael and Lapp, Radahn is meant to be fought with the help of several NPC summons from the Radahn Festival. With the help of Blaidd, Alexander, Okina, and company, Radahn is tough but manageable. Without them, he’s almost impossible.

Given that the “no help” approach to FromSoftware games has existed for a long while, those players will find themselves walled by Starscourge Radahn. That’s enough to land him in this spot when he would’ve otherwise been along the fringes.

1. Malenia, Blade of Miquella

Having one massively difficult but entirely optional boss is standard fare for FromSoftware. Dark Souls 1 has Black Dragon Kalameet. Dark Souls 3 has Darkeater Midir. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice has the Demon of Hatred, more or less. Elden Ring has Malenia, Blade of Miquella.

Malenia lies at the base of the Haligtree, an optional and very difficult area that is tough to reach in its own right. Once players work their way from the branches way down to the roots of the Haligtree, they find the Rot Goddess waiting for them.

Malenia is an enormous challenge for any build. She boasts attacks that will blow up anyone and the ability to heal herself off any attacks she lands. Though she has a susceptibility to bleed, her Waterfowl Dance ability threatens to end even an immaculate run in an instant.

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