Elden Ring is an incredible game, worth every bit of praise it has received from GLHF in our Elden Ring review, but not every part of it is created equal. While some of Elden Ring‘s moments will go down in history as some of the best video games this decade had to offer, others will be entirely forgotten, and for good reason.
Some of the bosses in Elden Ring are tedious, frustrating, annoying, or just pedantic. If you’re just going through the motions and cutting down bosses you miss out on the satisfaction that makes these games great, and if you feel like you’re bashing your head against a brick wall or getting killed unfairly, that takes away the fun in learning their patterns. The best bosses in the game get all of this right, and unfortunately, the worst get it all wrong.
These are the ten worst bosses you can fight in Elden Ring.
This barely counts as a boss. The Spirit-Caller Snail shows up as a standard enemy much later in the game, but can be encountered in the Road’s End Catacombs. The cheeky snail doesn’t fight you at all, and instead summons knights to do the job instead. Avoid the knight’s attacks and go straight for the glowing spot – that’s where the Spirit-Caller Snail hides. Rinse and repeat. A boring gimmick that just doesn’t have legs. Or arms, actually – it is a snail, after all.
Soldier of Godrick
This “boss” can be found at the end of the tutorial cave that you need to jump down into. It’s… a soldier. That serves Godrick. He can be felled in less than ten hits, regardless of what class you started out with. His strikes aren’t too powerful either. He’s just a normal dude.
Full-Grown Fallingstar Beast
This creature is actually also in our list of best bosses. But it doesn’t get away with just praise. The fact is that this beast is incredibly frustrating to fight, not just the first time, but for the dozens of times after that too. There are now cheesy ways to beat him, such as running past the boss and then returning via the exit to sneak up and poison it without ever drawing your weapon. The fact that people are seeking out these methods says everything you need to know about how enjoyable this fight ends up being.
The Mimic Tear is, actually, a very good boss. An AI-controlled NPC that uses your gear and moveset in full? A lovely challenge, and sometimes even a good opportunity to find out what potential your build has that you’re not making use of. But you could just enter the boss chamber without a weapon equipped, and then quickly put it back on once the fight begins. Punches don’t scale in Elden Ring, so this will leave the Mimic Tear helplessly flailing at you as you cut it down to size. Pathetic.
Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon
Rennala and her army of weird crawling children aren’t fun to deal with. It’s not particularly difficult, mind, it’s just not fun. Cut down the kids with shields, and Rennala’s own cracks, leaving her wide open. It’s barely worth dodging through all the books they throw at you. The second phase is much cooler, thankfully, but it doesn’t wash that terrible taste out of your mouth.
This loser paddles around in his little boat while summoning far more powerful foes to attack you. Luckily you can always use Torrent in these fights, allowing you to drive-by strike at the Tibia Mariner, avoiding any threatening moves. But that just means it’s a tedious fight. Plus, he often attacks his own summons, making him a bad team player.
Elder Dragon Greyoll
Sorry Elder Dragon Greyoll, you look very cool, but you’re not much of a fight. Elder Dragon Greyoll just lays on the ground outside Greyoll’s Dragon Barrow, and he’s dying. He can’t even get up to attack you, just shooting the odd blast of fire. But you can just go around to the back of his tail and swing away for damage, with absolutely zero downsides. Make sure to use an item to boost the number of runes you receive for this “fight.”
Red Wolf of Radagon
The Red Wolf of Radagon probably wouldn’t have made it onto this list, if you didn’t fight multiple Red Wolf clones over the course of the game. It’s easy to think of two or three additional Red Wolf fights you’ll encounter without looking at a list, and there are several more hidden away in the world. The Red Wolf of Radagon is a cool fight the first time, but each subsequent fight just feels frustrating and better off avoided.
The Crystalians are just annoying. You’ll encounter them a bunch over the course of the game, and their crystal bodies have absurdly high defense, meaning most of your attacks will do little to nothing. However, break through their poise, stagger them, and then unleash a critical strike, and suddenly their defense is barely worth mentioning. Use a bunch of jumping attacks along with Guard Counters and you’ll get these foes done quickly each time you find them.
In fairness, the Dragonkin Soldier of Nokstella is very cool when it jumps into the air to throw lightning at you. Otherwise, the Dragonkin Soldier appears multiple times over the course of the game, and each time just feels like more of a hassle than the last. Plus, this creature’s concave stomach actually means it can be fairly difficult to hit from underneath. Not the toughest enemy – when not fought in a Scarlet Rot swamp, at least – but certainly not one you’ll miss.
Written by Dave Aubrey on behalf of GLHF.