The Elden Ring main bosses are those that directly obstruct your way to the Erdtree at the center of the world, or dwell around its base. And while there's no shortage of bosses in Elden Ring, with dozens hidden around the world to find, there's only about a dozen or so that you actually have to fight.
But despite being few in number, they're still incredibly tough, and it's not always clear which Elden Ring early bosses are merely being suggested, and which ones you have to conquer. Are you obliged to mangle Margit? Is Radahn redundant? Is the Tree Sentinel timber waiting to happen? We'll explain the mandatory and main bosses for the campaign in Elden Ring below, as well as where they are, how you can handle them, and what you should do with all those other optional bosses hanging around.
All Elden Ring main bosses and mandatory boss fights
We've listed all the main bosses of Elden Ring below, marking down those that are mandatory, and then linking to helpful guides for how you can beat each one! Just click the boss's name to see more, or use our handy map to see where they're all located across the Lands Between.
All Elden Ring bosses required for story campaign completion
If you want to complete the story campaign of Elden Ring, as far as we can tell there are about 13 mandatory boss fights that have to be completed, though that number is a little complex and a little subject to change, depending on paths you've taken. Nonetheless players can progress through to the game's ending solely by beating these bosses, marked on the map above. You can also click on some of those names below to get more details on them, and we'll update the available info as we write up how to beat them all!
(Oh, and the "Start" on the map refers to your starting point, where you begin the game, not the first boss - that's Margit at no.1)
- Margit, the Fell Omen
- Godrick the Grafted
- Red Wolf of Radagon
- Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon
- Godfrey, First Elden Lord (Golden Shade)
- Morgott, the Omen King
- Fire Giant
- Godskin Duo
- Maliketh, the Black Blade
- Sir Gideon Ofnir, the All-Knowing
- Godfrey, First Elden Lord/Hoarah Loux, Warrior
- Radagon of the Golden Order
- Elden Beast
There's some variation and hair splitting on this - for example, you can actually kill any two of the demigod bosses instead of Godrick the Grafted and Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon, but they're by far the easiest to beat. Also, most players will fight the Magma Wyrm on the way up to the Altus Plateau, because the alternative route where you don't have to fight it is far less obvious (though if you want find that shortcut, we've written up how to use the Grand Lift of Dectus in Elden Ring for you here). We also haven't put down the Draconic Tree Sentinel guarding Leyndell, because doing Fia's questline can get you into the city without having to fight him.
You'll also notice that Godfrey appears twice as a boss fight in adjacent locations, and some of these bosses are practically all one fight, as completion of one immediately launches you into another. Red dots that overlap mean that you'll encounter bosses in the same area at different points in the game (the base of the Erdtree in Leyndell is a total boss magnet), and the Red Wolf and Margit aren't actually objectives. Problem is, they are sitting in your way of completing objectives, so you just have to go through them to get to the bosses you wan tot kill.
Oh, and this critical path just takes you to one of several possible Elden Ring endings, specifically the Age of Fracture ending we've outlined at the linked guide. You'll have to fight other enemies for other endings, such as going up against Astel, Naturalborn of the Void if you want to pursue the Elden Ring Ranni questline and secret ending. Clearly this is a big game with a lot of nuances and variations - and leads to a general question about what actually counts as a mandatory boss fight in Elden Ring.
How to beat all Elden Ring bosses
Below we've listed all those mandatory boss fights we've written up guides for in Elden Ring, listed in chronological order with links to our guides! Just scroll down to whatever one you need and we'll give you the info you need for victory.
Margit, the Fell Omen
Margit probably won't be the first boss you fight, but he is the first boss you have to fight, a horned horror with a large cane and a hefty supply of divine magic to sling at you. We don't blame you for having trouble with this first big challenge, so check out how to beat Margit in Elden Ring here!
Godrick the Grafted
Waiting at the end of Stormveil Castle, Godrick is a multi-limbed brute who represents a significant step up (and a good chance to go farming/exploring first), but for those who are ready to deal with this living cyclone, we've explained how to beat Godrick in Elden Ring for you.
Red Wolf of Radagon
Assuming you head to Raya Lucaria Academy, the next obvious point, you'll need to know how to beat the Red Wolf of Radagon in Elden Ring, an arcane pooch who defends the Debate Hall against intruders. This glass cannon can prove tough for slower-moving players, but we can help you tame this dog for good.
Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon
Make it through to the end of Raya Lucaria and you'll be confronted with its leader, Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon. This powerful sorceress comes to in two phases very distinct from each other, but whichever one's proving hard for you, check out how to beat Rennala in Elden Ring here.
Godfrey, First Elden Lord
There's actually two fights where you need to know how to beat Godfrey in Elden Ring, both of which we've outlined at this link. Once where you fight him as a Golden Shade, and once later on in person - and either way, he's a toughie!
Morgott, the Omen King
Very similar to Margit before him - almost suspiciously so - knowing how to beat Morgott in Elden Ring will help you conquer the capital of Leyndell for the time being and unlock a whole new phase of the game. There's also a fun secret ally you can get for this fight - but you'll need to check out our guide to find out who!
The manacled monster at the Flame Peak, you'll really struggle to complete the final boss of the Mountaintops of the Giants without having a guide to explain how to beat the Fire Giant in Elden Ring. This big brute will tax even the hardiest adventurer!
The Godskin Duo are a brutal pair of bosses who assault the player in the Dragon Temple of Crumbling Farum Azula. Understanding how to beat the Godskin Duo in Elden Ring will save you a lot of grief, and get you a special Bell Bearing for buying infinite smithing stones!
Maliketh, the Black Blade
Also manifesting as the Beast Clergyman in his first form, many will be wondering how to beat Maliketh in Elden Ring, as his powerful debuff attacks and ridiculous leapfrog agility can make dealing with this apex predator a real challenge. Check our guide to find out how you can sort him out once and for all.
Sir Gideon Ofnir, the All-Knowing
Betrayal! Despite seeming like a gruff ally for much of Elden Ring, you'll need to know how to beat Sir Gideon Ofnir in Elden Ring before the game ends, as the academic knight turns on you with a variety of spells and powers. Check our guide if you want to prove to him he's not so smart as he thinks he is.
Radagon of the Golden Order
The fractured guardian of the Elden Ring, this red-haired half-god is the penultimate boss, and if you want help on how to beat Radagon in Elden Ring, we empathise. Not only is he a constant barrage of holy magic, but you'll need to beat him by a wide margin to be ready for what comes next...
The literal manifestation of the Elden Ring itself, everyone spends at least a couple of days wondering just how to beat the Elden Beast final boss in Elden Ring. And why wouldn't they? The Elden Beast is a... well, a beast in every sense, with a massive health bar, unrivalled mobility, and a constant supply of divine magic to bring down on the player's head. Still, this is the true final boss - defeat it and you'll have mastered Elden Ring for good.
Do you have to fight all the bosses in Elden Ring?
He's not mandatory, but Starscourge Radahn is one of the most famous and fascinating bosses in Elden Ring. That's why we put together a guide on how to beat Radahn in Elden Ring here!
No, technically you only have to fight the bosses listed above, but on the other hand, you can't really win if you're only fighting them. Other enemies like Agheel or Radahn aren't mandatory to beat, but they provide Runes, weapons and new powers that'll make the essential boss fights above a lot more achievable.
Simply put, sticking only to the critical path will make it incredibly hard to win, so it's in your best interest to go find other bosses, taking their gear and magic for your own, as well as earning Runes for levels and upgrades. Besides, the best fun in Elden Ring is venturing out into the unknown and seeing what you can find! You should definitely do the main story, but take some time to explore the world and train on other bosses along the way. Doing that will make the main bosses listed above suddenly seem a lot easier for you to deal with.