How to play the Elden Ring Colosseum and win

Elden Ring colosseum
(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

To play Elden Ring Colosseum matches and PvP, players can set up matchmaking, public and password-private, at the statues in each Colosseum. Each of the Colosseum statues offers access to a new kind of PvP match, though you can access all of them (after finding their source Colosseum) from the Roundtable Hold afterwards, at the statue next to the fireplace in the central room. With that being said, we'll go over some details below on how to play Elden Ring Colosseum matches, and go over some fundamental tips on how to win.

How to play Elden Ring Colosseum PvP

Elden Ring colosseum

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

To play the Elden Ring Colosseum PvP matches, simply head to any of the Elden Ring Colosseum locations and go to the main door, which'll have a path in the road leading up to it. There'll be an option to open it, and inside will be a room that looks like a small temple with a large Statue of Marika across from you. Walk over to it and interact with that - it'll open up a list of options to begin your PvP matchmaking, where you can select what kind of game you want to play. The full list of options include:

  • Combat Format: The kind of match you want to play.
  • Number of players: How many people will be in the game. Keep in mind that this isn't a reference to team size - so picking two players means it'll be two players total, you and one enemy. If you wanted to do 2v2, you'd need to pick four players, counterintuitively.
  • Spirit Ashes: This decides whether you want to let players use Elden Ring Summons as part of the match. Prohibited means no Spirit Ashes.
  • Format Details: A quick rundown of the kind of game and combat format you've got currently selected in the menu, including match length and Flask Usage.
  • Colosseum Password: You can do private matchmaking by entering a specific password into this space. All your friends need to do is enter the same password and you should enter the same game.
  • Restrictions (for Private Matchmaking and United Combat): Determines whether the above password is for everybody in the game, or just your team. Picking Allied Team Only means you can form a private team that then gets matched with random players.
  • Desired Team (for Private Matchmaking and United Combat with All Team Restrictions): If you're playing a private team game with only friends on both sides, this is how you choose which of the two teams you want to be on - A or B.
  • Venue: Decides which of the three Colosseum arenas you want to fight in. There's minimal difference between them beyond certain layout and environmental changes.

Once you've picked these options, simply hit "Enter Combat" at the bottom and you'll have a short wait before the game then transports you into the match via a loading screen. Generally it's 10-30 seconds to get into a match, so nothing too bad. Of course, you'll need to have an internet connection to play, and whatever online subscription your console requires for online play, if you need one.

Elden Ring Colosseum PvP tips and tricks and how to win matches

Elden Ring colosseum

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

To win Elden Ring Colosseum PvP matches, you need to take some basic fundamentals into account with these tips and tricks, which can apply to United Combat, Combat Ordeal and Duel modes, to varying degrees. If you're struggling to rack up kills on other players, here's some basic advice on how to handle the horrors of the Colosseum.

  • Make sure you're using a proper build. People don't tend to just wander in, they go in ready to fight, with specific builds, weapons and loadouts specifically designed to keep the advantage in PvP. There's many ways to do so and it's more important to be skilled than well-equipped in most cases, but if you want a helping hand, here's our Elden Ring PvP builds page for some good places to start.
  • Speed is better than power. Don't get me wrong, doing high damage is great, but players tend to be so fast that slow, heavy hits are unlikely to land at all. If you've been combing through the Elden Ring armor locations, you'll want to pick something that doesn't take you into the heavyweight realm, as you'll be a sitting duck. Lightweight is best, but you might be able to work at medium if you've got the right weapons, spells and stats to compensate.
  • Understand magic, even if you don't use it. Magic has been a big part of the meta, especially the more aggressive sorceries, and the Elden Ring best spells are coming up a lot in combat, usually fast-casting or homing spells designed to harry players and wear them down. Even if you're not a spellcaster, you should recognise the most common spells and how to avoid them, or even have ways to counter them.
  • But actually, use some magic. The reality is that magic is really effective, whether it comes through spells or weapon arts and ashes. Most of the really exploitable builds involve some sort of magic, and even if it's not your main thing, it's good to have something for ranged combat in a pinch, or even just the option to heal or buff yourself.
  • Have your best items and spells easily accessible. We're mainly talking about Flasks (if they're allowed), but this also applies to Spirit Ashes and anything else you can use. Have them attached to the hot-menu (hold Triangle/Y depending on platform/controller), or ready to go on the quick-use item menu. The speed of the combat means that even if you've got items ready to go, you'll need to be very careful about when you use them - players will leap for your throat the moment they realise what you're doing.
  • Fast stunlock weapons rule the meta. Elden Ring has a new meta for the Colosseum, and no one likes it - but it's worth understanding nonetheless. The most effective spells and attacks are those that can be rapidly triggered, don't miss easily (such as AOEs) and stagger opponents, as you can just keep doing them to wear down your opponent's defenses. We don't recommend doing this - it's not especially fun - but you should keep it in mind and look for players doing the same thing. If they break out that strategy, fight at a distance and don't let them trap you in that combo.
  • Remember your Flask of Wondrous Physick. It's not just the Flasks of Crimson and Cerulean Tears that you can bring with you (in certain arenas), but the customisable Flask of Wondrous Physick too. It's hard to know what to expect, so go for whatever you think is most universal and likely to help most generally, rather than specific aids like fire resistance.

All these should ultimately give you a higher chance in the arena, though ultimately it's skill and build that'll help you master it. In theory players should get matched with players of equal skill - though that's very much in theory

Joel Franey
Guides Writer

Joel Franey is a writer, journalist, podcaster and raconteur with a Masters from Sussex University, none of which has actually equipped him for anything in real life. As a result he chooses to spend most of his time playing video games, reading old books and ingesting chemically-risky levels of caffeine. He is a firm believer that the vast majority of games would be improved by adding a grappling hook, and if they already have one, they should probably add another just to be safe. You can find old work of his at USgamer, Gfinity, Eurogamer and more besides.