No boss in Elden Ring is “easy” in the traditional use of the word. Each of them requires the same trial-and-error learning process, and many will take at least ten attempts to conquer. I’m not talking about those kinds of low-effort bosses here. The 10 hardest Elden Ring bosses ranked on this list are no joke, earning their status by cutting down players hundreds of times before being overcome — or not being defeated at all.
The 10 Hardest, Most Difficult Bosses in Elden Ring
If you’re familiar with the Elden Ring community or discourse, some of the names on this list will come as no surprise. Others are bound to be spoilers if you’ve not explored every nook and cranny of The Lands Between. No matter your familiarity, I can attest to the challenge of them all.
10. Margit the Fell Omen
Margit is neither the hardest boss in the game nor even the hardest version of his fight (that honor goes to his true form, Morgott, the Omen King), but Margit is a wake-up call fight for every new Elden Ring player. He teaches some of the game’s most important lessons about both fighting and exploration, and as the game directs you to him almost from the get-go, he’s one of many players’ first real challenges.
9. Loretta, Knight of the Haligtree
The real Loretta, the final challenge guarding the entrance to Elphael, Brace of the Haligtree, is not the relative pushover the version of her in Carian Manor was. She deals much more damage, for one thing, but she has two proper phases in the Haligtree as well, and her magic almost turns Elden Ring into a bullet hell RPG
8. Radagon of the Golden Order/Elden Beast
Neither Radagon nor Elden Beast is the hardest boss in the game. They’re both reasonably difficult in isolation. The kicker is you have to fight them back to back without a break, meaning if your Radagon fight goes poorly, you’ll need to fight Elden Beast with lower resources, and both of them have run-killing attacks. Elden Beast especially can be a marathon, what with its massive health pool and tendency to swim around the arena.
7. Lichdragon Fortissax
Fortissax makes the list of hardest Elden Ring bosses not just because his attacks are fast, but also because he’s a bit too big for the camera (as all dragons are), and he can one-shot you with almost anything in his repertoire. As long as you’re near Fortissax, he’ll call down lightning bolts where you’re standing, meaning you can’t just stand in one place and wail on him. You’ll need to be on the move constantly and cognizant of not only what the boss is doing but also how long before the next lightning strike.
6. Godfrey, First Elden Lord/Hoarah Loux, Warrior
The fight against Godfrey, First Elden Lord, is hard enough and will challenge your dodge and spacing abilities. It will also test how well you’ve learned to jump to avoid ground-based attacks. However, his slower, pondering attacks leave him open for plenty of counters, and even his faster ones are easy to see coming. Hoarah Loux, on the other hand, is literally a pro wrestler without any of the falseness. He’ll piledrive you again and again and can even upend the entire arena in a massive explosion using his hands alone.
5. Dragonlord Placidusax
The dragon Elden Lord from a time long passed, Placidusax is a hidden superboss along the lines of Mohg and Malenia, and he’s only slightly less difficult than those two. Like Niall, his massive body belies his maneuverability. Add in his massive laser and breath attacks and a nuke attack so powerful it stops his boss music, and even high-level characters can wind up falling in one or two hits.
4. Commander Niall
The fight against Commander Niall is equal parts amazing and annoying. Like Godskin Duo, Niall starts by summoning two Banished Knights, elite mobs with more health than is necessary that will quickly put you in a blender if you’re not careful. The fight against Niall himself is really good but absolutely brutal. Even at Level 100 or so, about when you’re supposed to fight him, many of his attacks can chunk half your health bar, and even with Bleed, Frostbite, and Scarlet Rot active, Niall is faster and stronger than his bulk makes him appear.
3. Godskin Duo
Probably the worst obligatory boss fight in Elden Ring, Godskin Duo is the combination of the Godskin Apostle and Godskin Noble, and the two bosses have no synergy. The bigger one can be a buggy mess with wonky hitboxes, and the smaller one is mostly just a pest. That you have to kill both bosses multiple times to win makes things even worse, and at this point, I use every cheesy strat I have in my arsenal when I fight these two. I’ve done it legitimately once before their AI got nerfed, and I refuse to do it again.
2. Mohg, Lord of Blood
While I didn’t encounter Mohg, Lord of Blood, on my first playthrough, I’ve fought him plenty in the time since. He remains one of the only challenges in the game that takes all my focus to overcome. His health bar, powerful attacks with long windups, and phase transition are all obstacles, but they aren’t the worst part of his fight. Instead, it’s the constant threat of Bleed he holds over you. Long a savvy player’s advantage, every one of Mohg’s attacks can inflict heavy damage and Bleed buildup, meaning a single mistake can send you back to the Grace.
Honorable Mention: Soldier of God(rick)
Soldier of Godrick being an unbeatable force of the heavens was (and still is) a meme in the Elden Ring community, but his role as an actual tutorial boss can’t be overstated. If you don’t know what it’s like to play a Souls game or have never used a controller before, or both, this simple enemy can be a real brick wall. No, this isn’t actually a hard fight by the standards set by the rest of the game, but it certainly can be for the uninitiated.
1. Malenia, Blade of Miquella
No Elden Ring boss difficulty list could be published without including Malenia, Blade of Miquella as the hardest boss. She has one of the largest health pools in the game, is insanely fast, heals every time she hits you, and you need to beat her twice to actually claim victory. She also almost derailed my Elden Ring review entirely, but after 20 hours, she went down.
There are, of course, plenty of other difficult bosses in Elden Ring, but these 10 are probably the game’s hardest (for me, anyhow). What bosses challenge you will depend on your playstyle, build, and stubbornness. If you’re looking for additional content on the game, we have guides on Ranni’s and Fia’s questlines, as well as how to get Smithing Stones. There’s more in our Elden Ring guides hub.