Ring of Elden is an expansive game with more bosses than any of developer FromSoftware’s recent work. But most of these bosses are actually optional, and defeating some – in some cases – can save you from defeating others.
It has to do with how the story is structured in Elden Ring and the different ways each player can reach the different main areas. Some will arrive by abduction, as part of an NPC quest, or organically by exploring the world.
So while some bosses can’t be skipped and everyone will have to fight them sooner or later, most other challenges are optional.
In reality, the required number of bosses that you absolutely have to beat to progress to the end of the game is quite low, which is not the impression you might get while going through The Lands Between.
To help you figure it all out, we’ve put together this in-depth guide. which bosses you have to fightand those you can complete. As mentioned, the sheer size of Elden Ring means that how you enter certain areas will vary, which in turn can expose you to new threats early on or allow you to avoid them altogether.
What bosses are needed in Elden Ring?
Before getting into the list, there is one thing you need to keep in mind. In order to enter the royal capital of Leyndellyou must first acquire two large runes. Any of the games Shardbearing demigods will drop one when you defeat them, but the choice of both is ultimately up to you.
Shardbearing demigods in Elden Ring
The list below covers, in no particular order, all demigods that drop a fragment of the Elden Ring (great rune) when defeated.
Removing two of the above items will result in allow you to enter the royal capital of Leyndell, which kicks off the second act of the game and allows you to unlock more areas and defeat more bosses. Morgott, Malenia, and Mohg sink deeper into the game, so you’re not likely to head towards them at first.
Typically, most people will fight Godrick the Transplant, as he’s the first shard wielder on the path. The easiest boss fight for your second Great Rune is Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon. But as mentioned, some players might skip Stormveil Castle altogether, avoiding Godrick, etc.
Elden Ring Boss Order
With that in mind, here is the list of bosses you have to overcome – once you have obtained two Great Runes – to complete the story. Note that some of the bosses below are simply on their way to the big bad you want, so you have no choice but to fight them to reach their master.
Shardbearer One [Godrick]
In most cases, Godrick the Grafted will be players’ first encounter with a Shardbearer demigod. Godrick is the master of Stormveil Castle – the game’s first major legacy dungeon, and the one the Grace Sites lead you to at the start. However, you can skip the castle altogether and head to other – more difficult – areas of the game to claim the Great Rune from some of the other Shardbearers.
But, assuming you’ll go where the game tells you, Godrick is your first grand prize. To get to Godrick, you must first defeat Margit, the Fell Omen. The two boss fights aren’t consecutive, but taking down Margit will allow you to access the section of the castle where you’ll eventually find Godrick.
Shardbearer Two [Rennala]
Assuming you continue to follow the path Elden Ring laid out for you, your next stop will be Raya Lucaria Academywhere the second Shardbearer is: Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon.
Again, Rennala doesn’t have to be your second Shardbearer, but she’s the most likely candidate. Rennala happens to be one of the easiest boss fights in the game, so it works for us.
To get to Rennala, you’ll first need to defeat Radagon’s Red Wolf. Once done, your path to Rennala will be unlocked.
Godfrey, First Lord Elden (Golden Shade)
With two large runes in hand, you are now allowed to enter the royal capital of Leyndell. First of all, you will have to reach the Altus plateauwhere the capital is.
Assuming you’re there and made it to the top, you’ll now face the Golden Shade version of Godfrey, First Elden Lord.
Morgott, King of Omens
Before leaving the capital, there is another major boss that you must fight to continue the story. Morgott, King Omen becomes available after taking down Godfrey, a little deeper in the royal capital of Leyndell.
After Morgott’s defeat, the path to the heights of the giants will open. Above the clouds is the Forge of Giants, which is protected by the next major boss: the Fire Giant.
Maliketh, the Black Blade
You are now nearing the end of the game, but first you need to take down the Death Rune protector. Maliketh can be found at the very top of Crumbling Farum Azula, an area where Melina (your maiden) will teleport you after taking down the Fire Giant.
Maliketh is one of the toughest bosses in Elden Ring. On your way, you will have to defeat the Godskin Duo, an annoying double fight.
Godfrey and Hoarah Loux
Slaying Maliketh will cause an irreversible change to the world of Elden Ring. By burning the Erdtree, most of Leyndell will be covered in ash, and the few remaining parts will henceforth be known as Leyndell, Ashen Capital.
As much of the place will be under tons of ash, your way to the foot of the Erdtree will be easier. You’re looking to get to the same room you fought Morgott in. On your way, Sir Gideon Ofnir will show his true colors and stand between you and your objective. You must defeat Sir Gideon before you can ascend to the throne.
There, Godfrey will reappear, except he is no longer a Golden Shade. This is another tough fight where Godfrey will fight you first as the First Elden Lord and then as the Hoarah Loux warrior.
Radagon and Elden Beast
The final Elden Ring boss fight is a punch that will test your stamina and combat skills. Once Godfrey/Hoarah Loux is down, you will be allowed to enter the Erdtree itself. There you will encounter Radagon of the Golden Order in the first phase of this final fight. Immediately after defeating him, the second phase will begin – with Radagon now transforming into the Elden Beast.
For everything else we have on this gigantic game, check out our Ring of Elden Guide.