Elden Ring Progression Route: The Definitive Guide

Here is the best Progression Route to follow and grab hold of almost all the elements of Elden Ring!

Elden Ring Progression Route
Elden Ring Progression Route

Elden Ring, highly anticipated at the start of the decade, has exceeded expectations with over 12 million players within a month, surpassing FromSoftware’s projection of 5 million. Both Dark Souls fans and newcomers contributed to its immense hype.

Key Takeaways

  • You must follow a specific growth path to maximize your use of it.
  • There are several primary progression routes: Limgrave, Liurnia of the Lakes, Caelid, Renni’s Questline, and more!
  • When you follow a certain path like Renni’s Questline, a quest line leads you to places you have yet to consider exploring. Fia’s is the most thrilling.
  • Every path is exciting and adventurous, requiring overcoming obstacles to reach your destination.
  • Some routes, like Mt. Gelmir, are entirely optional.
  • During the Progression Route, you discover significant artifacts that assist you in moving forward.

Table of Contents

Elden Ring’s Non-Linear Progression

Elden Ring differs from past FromSoftware titles with its non-linear progression. The vast world of the Lands Between offers a grand journey from the Stranded Graveyard to the Erdtree’s roots to become the Elden Lord. To maximize your experience, follow an optimal progression route. While freedom is in your hands, my Progression Route ensures you avoid overly challenging areas or miss important ones, maintaining a consistently challenging experience.

Elden Ring Map
This is the entire map of the Lands Between, the world Elden Ring is set in. What’s the best way of progressing through it?


After the opening cutscene, you’ll spawn in the Chapel of Anticipation. Here, you face the Grafted Scion, an initial boss. Defeating it rewards you with gear, including the Ornamental Straight Sword and Golden Beast Crest Shield.Regardless of the outcome against the Grafted Scion, you’ll end up in the Stranded Graveyard.

You can start Elden Ring’s user-friendly tutorial by dropping right, recommended even for experienced players due to new mechanics. Alternatively, head straight ahead, pass through a door, and use an elevator to reach Elden Ring’s first major area, Limgrave.

Elden Ring Prologue
The Lands Between is depicted in the opening cutscene.


Limgrave is your first significant exploration area in my Elden Ring progression route. It’s where you’ll experience FromSoftware’s open-world vision for the first time and likely appreciate it. Limgrave is divided into three large sections, making it more detailed than the rest of Elden Ring’s vast continents.

West Limgrave

Tree Sentinel: Should you fight it?

Other DropsGolden Halberd
Altus Plateau20,000 runes (NG)14,000 Runes (NG, Co-op Host)5,000 Runes (NG, Co-op Phantom)
Erdtree Greatshield
Hero's Rune [1]
StrongFireHolyHemorrhage FrostbiteSlash
Weaker toLightning

Upon opening the doors of the Stranded Graveyard, you’ll enter West Limgrave. Ignite The First Step Site of Grace ahead, and you’ll likely notice the formidable Golden Knight, the Tree Sentinel, a field boss. You can choose to face him now or later with Torrent (your horse), but the former is more challenging.

Elden Ring Tree Sentinel
Tree Sentinels are direct guardians of the Great Erdtree!

Merchant Kale: Buy a Crafting Kit!

LocationLimgrave: Church of Elleh
Role General Goods Shop
Voiced By Nabil Elouahabi

In West Limgrave, take your time to explore at your own pace. However, there are essential explorations not to miss. Beyond the Tree Sentinel, you’ll find the Church of Elleh and meet your first Nomadic Merchant, Merchant Kale. Ensure you acquire the Crafting Kit, as it unlocks Elden Ring’s crafting mechanic, and consider buying a torch and a telescope as a useful bonus.

Elden Ring Merchant Kale
Why is he dressed up like Santa Claus? I frankly don’t know

A Couple More Essential Key Items

In the first hour of your playthrough, ensure you obtain Torrent, the Whetstone Knife, and the Spirit Calling Bell. You can acquire Torrent by triggering Melina’s cutscene after resting at any three of Limgrave’s Sites of Grace, typically The First Step, the Church of Elleh, and the Gatefront Ruins.

At the Gatefront Ruins, you’ll find West Limgrave’s map and the Whetstone Knife, unlocking the Ash of War mechanic when resting at any Site of Grace. After getting Torrent, return to the Church of Elleh at night to meet Ranni the Witch, who will provide you with the Spirit Calling Bell. This item is crucial for unlocking the Spirit Summoning of Ashes Summons, another important Elden Ring mechanic.

Elden Ring Spirit Calling Bell
Did you know when Ranni appears here, she puts Merchant Kale to sleep temporarily?

Stormveil Castle and the Deathtouched Catacombs

In West Limgrave, pure exploration will lead you to several optional dungeons. While you’re not obligated to clear them all, two dungeons are highly recommended: Stormveil Castle, a story-related legacy dungeon, and the Deathtouched Catacombs, an optional one.

To reach Stormveil Castle, head to Stormgate at the outer edge of the Gatefront Ruins. Along the way, you’ll face Margit, the Fell Omen, and Godrick, the Grafted. Alternatively, access the Deathtouched Catacombs by traveling west from Saintsbridge in Stormhill. Look for the catacomb door with a weeping spirit nearby.

Elden Ring Stormveil Castle
Stormveil Castle looks so amazing at night…

East Limgrave

Flask of Wondrous Physick: A Lifesaver

NameFlask of Wondrous Physick.
Effectbestows various special effects
FP Cost-

Ranking the three Limgrave sections for exploration, loot, and enemies/bosses, East Limgrave falls at the bottom. Smaller but important for progression. It holds the Flask of Wondrous Physick.

Go to the Third Church of Elleh above the Minor Erdtree, visible on the map. Get the East Limgrave map but watch out for Rune Bears in Mistwood forest. Find a teleporter to the underground area, Siofra River Well – unlock its grace and exi

Elden Ring Flask of Wondrous Physick
The Flask of Wondrous Physick gets refilled every time you rest at a Site of Grace

Fort Haight: Dectus Medallion (Left)

While exploring East Limgrave, you’ll hear Kenneth Haight calling for your help. He’s located in a ruined building and will ask you to liberate his property, Fort Haight, situated in the easternmost part of East Limgrave. To reach it, follow the road through the Mistwood forest. The Fort is relatively small and guarded by a few Godrick Soldiers, making it manageable to clear. Don’t forget to obtain the essential item here, the Dectus Medallion (Left).

Elden Ring Fort Haight
Fort Haight belongs to Kenneth, who is said to be Limgrave’s next ruler.

Tibia Mariner and the Erdtree Avatar

Locations and Drops For Tibia Mariner
Summon Water Village2,400 runes (NG)600 Runes (NG, Co-op)
Other DropsDeathrootSkeletal Militiaman Ashes
Liurnia of the Lakes 4,700 (NG) ? (NG, Co-op Host) 1,175 (NG, Co-op Phantom)
Other DropsDeathrootSkeletal Bandit Ashes
Wyndham Ruins14,000 runes (NG)10,500 Runes (NG, Co-op Host)3,500 Runes (NG, Co-op Phantom)
Other DropsDeathrootTibia's Summons
Mountaintops of the Giants 4,234
Other DropsDeathrootHelphen’s Steeple
Weaker toStrikeHoly
Immune toPoisonHemorrhageFrostbite

Before wrapping up East Limgrave, I should inform you of two notable field bosses that are found in the region, which you will also encounter many times later in the game: Tibia Mariner and the Erdtree Avatar. Therefore, I would recommend properly challenging these bosses and taking the time to assimilate their movesets so that future battles with these field bosses don’t get needlessly dragged out.

Locations and Drops For Erdtree Avatar
Minor Erdtree (Weeping Peninsula)Runes 4,500 (NG)Runes 3,600 (NG, Co-op Host)Runes 930 (NG, Co-op Phantom)Opaline BubbletearCrimsonburst Crystal Tear
Minor Erdtree (Liurnia Southwest)5,800Cerulean Crystal TearRuptured Crystal Tear
Minor Erdtree (Liurnia Northeast)5,800Holy-Shrouding Cracked TearLightning-Shrouding Cracked TearMagic-Shrouding Cracked Tear
Leyndell, Royal Capital10,062Lord's Rune
Deeproot Depths10,621Staff of the Avatar
Minor Erdtree (Mountaintops East)70,000 (NG)52,500 (NG, Co-op Host)17,500 (NG, Co-op Phantom)Cerulean Crystal TearCrimson Bubbletear
Weaker toFireStrike
Immune tohemorrhage

The Tibia Mariner boss resides in Summonwater Village, found in the northeastern part of Limgrave. To get there, follow Saintsbridge until you reach a small lake with ruined buildings, which used to be Summonwater Village.

As for the Erdtree Avatar, it’s located at the Minor Erdtree in Mistwood, which is easily visible on the map. It’s essential to be prepared whenever you encounter a Minor Erdtree icon on the map.

Elden Ring East Limgrave
The East Limgrave map fragment is found in the Mistwood forest.

Weeping Peninsula

Impaler’s Catacombs: A Mini-Dungeon?

The Weeping Peninsula in southern Limgrave is reached via the Bridge of Sacrifice. Crossing can be tough due to a rear mortar that can nearly one-shot you from afar. Godrick Soldiers add to the challenge.

Upon reaching the Weeping Peninsula, locate the entrance to the Impaler’s Catacombs. It’s a small and easy dungeon where you can get Gloveworts for spirit summon upgrades.

Elden Ring Impaler's Catacombs
Just so you know, all the Catacombs you encounter in the game will be shut behind doors like these

Churches Everywhere: Upgrading Your Flasks!

The Weeping Peninsula features three Churches where you can find Sacred Tears, important for enhancing your Flasks. The first is the Callu Baptismal Church, easily reached by heading south from Ailing Village. The second is the Church of Pilgrimage at the north tip of the peninsula, which corresponds to a location depicted in the Prophecy Painting. Lastly, you’ll discover the Fourth Church of Marika in the west, near the Weeping Evergaol and Witchbane Ruins.

Elden Ring Sacred Tear
Sacred Tears are found all over Elden Ring and are used to upgrade the potency of your Flasks

Castle Morne: Towards the South

The Weeping Peninsula is the last part of my Elden Ring progression route for Limgrave. Castle Morne, the second biggest dungeon in Limgrave, is here, and it’s optional but highly recommended. It features a rewarding boss fight and abundant loot.

Among the loot, you’ll find the Twinblade Talisman, enhancing the final hit of an attack combo, useful for more than just Twinblades. For melee-users, Castle Morne holds the beloved greatsword, the Claymore, and the Grafted greatsword, your reward for defeating the boss, Leonine Misbegotten.

Elden Ring Leonine Misbegotten
The Leonine Misbegotten is very agile, so be very vigilant!

Liurnia of the Lakes

After fully exploring Limgrave, you have two options: head right into Caelid, a challenging area, or go north from Stormveil Castle into Liurnia of the Lakes. Following my progression route for Elden Ring, I recommend Liurnia of the Lakes next, as Caelid is considerably more difficult at this point.

East Liurnia

Humble Beginnings: Get the Map!

Liurnia of the Lakes consists of three regions: a central swampy lake area flanked by two plateaus on the right and left. When you enter, you’ll start in East Liurnia, the right plateau. To get its map, cross the lake slightly to find a map monument, but beware of hidden enemies there.

After unlocking the map, explore the area, and you’ll soon come across the Cliffbottom Catacombs, a great starting dungeon for your journey on this new continent.

Elden Ring East Liurnia
The East Liurnia map fragment will open up the entirely of the central lake for you to explore!

Carian Study Hall and Ainsel River Well: Not Yet!

While exploring East Liurnia, you’ll encounter various areas and mini-dungeons. One building that stands out is the Carian Study Hall, leading to the Divine Tower of Liurnia. You can explore the tower and collect items inside, but you won’t access the Divine Tower yet. Ensure you unlock its Site of Grace, as you’ll return later.

Further into the plateau, you’ll find a Golem guarding a small building leading to Ainsel River Well. It becomes more relevant later in the game, but take the time to explore and challenge the area boss, Dragonkin Soldier of Nokstella.

Elden Ring Carian Study Hall
This is where the Carian Study Hall is located on the map – would be wise to put a Waypoint on it!

Raya Lucaria Crystal Tunnel: Smithing Stones for Days!

In Elden Ring, tunnel-like mini-dungeons are essential for mining Smithing Stones and Somber Smithing Stones, your primary upgrade materials. Don’t miss Raya Lucaria Crystal Tunnel, near the Walking Mausoleum, above the Church of Vows.

In this tunnel, you’ll find Smithing Stones (1), (2), (3), Somber Smithing Stones (1), (2), (3), and face Crystal Sorcerers, Diggers, and Marionette Soldiers.

Towards the end, defeat the Crystalian (Ringblade) boss to obtain the Smithing-Stone Miner’s Bell Bearing (1). Hand it over to the Two Maiden Husks at Roundtable Hold to buy infinite Smithing Stones (1) and (2).

Elden Ring Crystalian
Breaking poise is integral for this boss fight as it drops the Crystalian’s damage reduction significantly for the rest of the fight!

West Liurnia

Village of the Albinaurics: Haligtree Secret Medallion (Right)

NameHaligtree Secret Medallion(Right)
EffectJoin medallions to operate the Grand Lift of Rold
TypeKey Item

To access the west section of Liurnia, start from the Liurnia Lake Shore Site of Grace, the second checkpoint you’ll naturally unlock. Ride up to the large plateau, turn right into the swamp, and follow the road upward.

Reach the Village of the Albinaurics, a small area with the Omenkiller field boss and a crucial key item. Rest at the nearby Site of Grace, proceed up the path, and find pots to break. Among them, meet Albus, who gives you the Haligtree Secret Medallion (Right), essential for unlocking an optional area later.

Elden Ring Village of Albinaurics
That’s the big pot you need to hit to reveal Albus and obtain the Secret Haligtree Medallion (Right)

War Counsellor Iji

NameWar Counsellor Iji
LocationKingsrealm Ruins, Western Liurnia of the Lakes
RoleBlacksmith & Quest NPC
Voiced by Aneirin Hughes

As you progress in the western side of Liurnia, you’ll come across several areas like the Four Belfries, a Minor Erdtree, the Cuckoo’s Evergaol, and the Road’s End Catacombs. Keep moving, and you’ll reach a dead end at the Kingsrealm Ruins, where you’ll find West Liurnia’s Map.

Surprisingly, there’s an illusory wall here. Hitting it opens the way to Caria Manor, one of the more challenging dungeons in my Elden Ring Progression Route. Upon opening the illusory wall, you’ll discover a Site of Grace and a troll – War Counsellor Iji, the second Blacksmith in the game, and an important NPC.

Elden Ring Kingsrealm Ruins
That’s the illusory you need to hit to get past the Kingsrealm Ruins. Pretty distinct, isn’t it?

Caria Manor: Starting the Amazing Ranni Questline

Proceed past Iji to Caria Manor, but beware of magic projectiles. Inside, you’ll face Fingercreepers, both small and large. Watch out for the larger ones hidden in the ground.

Advance through Caria Manor to the Royal Knight Loretta boss fight, a spectral shade. Defeating Loretta gives access to the Three Sisters, including Ranni’s Rise, where you’ll meet Ranni, the Witch, in her true form. Start her questline by engaging in her dialogue, leading you through hidden underground areas you’d otherwise miss.

Elden Ring Loretta
You must defeat Royal Knight Loretta in order to gain access to Three Sisters and start Ranni’s quest line.

North Liurnia

Traversing the Eerie Swamp

After exploring both West and East Liurnia, head into the swamp towards Raya Lucaria Academy, the second legacy dungeon in my Elden Ring progression route. To reach the Academy, you need the Raya Lucaria Academy Key, obtained by exploring the swamp. But there are other notable areas in North Liurnia worth exploring.

You’ll find Smithing and Somber Smithing Stones scattered around, so keep an eye out. Explore the Rose Church for the Nomadic Warrior’s Cookbook (12) and Bloodroses.

More importantly, meet White-Faced Varre, advance his quest, and he’ll give you a Festering Bloody Finger, allowing you to try invasions in Elden Ring for the first time.

Elden Ring North Liurnia
Noth Liurnia in its entirety – at the center is the Raya Lucaria Academy.

Raya Lucaria Academy: The Centre of Glintstone Sorcery

To access Raya Lucaria Academy, get the Raya Lucaria Academy Key, west of the Academy, guarded by Glintstone Dragon Smarag. Sneak up behind him to retrieve the key from a sorcerer’s corpse, or face the Dragon in the arena.

Once you have the key, go to Academy Gate Town, patrolled by Lucaria Soldiers. Beyond them is the magical barrier. Insert your key to enter. The challenging legacy dungeon has many sorcerers, but it’s worth it. Defeating the main boss, Renalla, Queen of the Full Moon, grants you access to the rebirth mechanic, allowing you to adjust your build anytime. This concludes your journey in Liurnia of the Lakes!

Elden Ring Renalla
FromSoftware really knows how to make their boss cutscenes cinematic


After clearing Liurnia of the Lakes, you’re now ready to enter the scarlet and grotesque continent of Caelid, one of Elden Ring’s most challenging areas. Unlike the lush Limgrave or crystal-blue Liurnia, Caelid is a massive wasteland filled with biomes that induce scarlet rot and host grotesque enemies. Despite its difficulty, Caelid offers some challenging and rewarding bosses along with essential loot. Be prepared for a significant spike in difficulty as you progress through my progression route.

Caelid (Excluding Dragonbarrow)

Early Exploration: Smoldering Church, Fort Gael, and Much More!

Entering Caelid from Limgrave via Summonwater Village road, you’ll reach the Smouldering Church, a ruined site. Anastasia, Tarnished-Eater, invades here. Defeat her for the Sacred Scorpion Charm. Rest at the Church’s Site of Grace, your first checkpoint in Caelid.

In Caelid, explore locations like the scarlet-rotted Minor Erdtree, Street of Sages Ruins, Sellia Crystal Tunnel, and Sellia Evergaol. I recommend Fort Gael in southwest Caelid along the Limgrave border. It’s challenging, and you’ll face Lion Guardians for the first time.

The best part is finding the Lion’s Claw Ash of War here – a pleasant surprise for melee users!

Elden Ring Lion's Claw
Artorios and Guts cosplayers would be very pleased to find the Lion’s Claw Ash of War!

Some Must-Fight Field Bosses

Caelid significantly raises Elden Ring’s difficulty. The shift from Liurnia to Caelid is noticeable, particularly in Altus Plateau and Mt. Gelmir. It’s crucial to take on as many bosses as possible in this continent for a smoother journey. Skipping them will make the rest of my progression route challenging.

Three important field bosses are the Decaying Ekzykes, overseeing Caelid Highway in the south, the Night’s Cavalry, patrolling the highway at night, and Commander O’Neil, a Great Enemy in Aeonia Swamp. Defeating these bosses helps your progress significantly.

Elden Ring Decaying Ekzykes
The Decaying Ekzykes is pretty much a regular dragon, just that it breathes scarlet rot instead of fire

Redmane Castle: Starscourge Radahn

NameStarscourage Radahn
LocationRedmane Castle
Drops70,000Remembrance of the Starscourge
Radahn's Great Rune
Weaker toPierce

Redmane Castle in Caelid is the legacy dungeon, home to Starscourge Radahn, the strongest demi-god. Reduced to a senseless beast after a historic battle with Melania, Blade of Miquella, preparations for the “Radahn Festival” are underway through Ranni’s questline.

Explore the castle, patrolled by various enemies, including two Lion Guardians, for valuable loot. Eventually, reach the Redmane Castle Plaza. Speak to Witch-Hunter Jerren to initiate the Radahn Festival. This allows access to the castle’s interior and the elevator leading to Starscourge Radahn – Good Luck!

Elden Ring Starscourge Radahn
Did you know Radahn uses gravitational magic to make it possible for his old stead to carry him?


Back to Siofra River Well: The Great Jar!

To reach Caelid’s northern section, go back to Siofra River Well, bringing a Stonesword key. At the end, you’ll find a teleporter behind an Imp statue. Unlock the elevator, and it takes you up to the mentioned structure. From there, reach the Great Jar at the hill’s top.

The Great Jar challenges you to defeat his three knights for the valuable talisman, the Great Jar’s Arsenal. It significantly increases your maximum equipment load by almost 20%!

Elden Ring Great Jar
The Great Jar’s knights are not fixed – they refresh every time you die.

Divine Tower of Caelid: Godskin Apostle

In Caelid’s northern section, you’ll find the Divine Tower of Caelid. Here, you unlock Radahn’s Great Rune’s true power, significantly increasing your HP, FP, and Stamina.

But there’s a twist to this Divine Tower. As Caelid represents misfortune and backwardness, it lacks a fully functioning elevator. Instead, you must enter from the top, using the two fingers on the rooftop. Alternatively, you can descend the rundown place and face a boss, the Godskin Apostle.

Elden Ring Divine Tower
Descending the Divine Tower of Caelid is quite the puzzle – I would recommend watching a video on it!

Bestial Sanctum: Meeting Gurranq

The last unexplored section of Caelid’s map is the northeastern Dragonbarrow region, which has notable elements. Below the bridge leading to the Bestial Sanctum, the Night Cavalry patrol appears at night. Defeating them rewards you with the valuable Bloodhound Step Ash of War. Nearby is Fort Faroth, where you can get the right half of the Dectus Medallion.

After defeating the Night’s Cavalry, cross the Farum Greatbridge to reach the other side and rest at the Site of Grace. Then, a Black Bird Kindred stands between you and the Bestial Sanctum. You can choose to ignore him, but you’ll meet Gurranq, the Beast Clergyman, once you enter the Bestial Sanctum.

Elden Ring Black Bird Kindred
You can pretty much cheese the boss by hitting him and running back into the sanctum until his aggro gets reset!

Ranni’s Questline

You encounter Ranni the Witch early in Elden Ring when she gives you the Spirit Calling Bell. Little did you know that her questline would lead you to undiscovered areas. Therefore, I treat her questline as more story-related and less optional. Every Elden Ring player should do Ranni’s quest to experience well-crafted content and unlock what I believe to be the best ending. That’s why I’ve integrated it into my progression route.

Nokron, Eternal City

After defeating Starscourge Radahn and unlocking the Site of Grace in the arena, talk to Blaidd. Mention that defeating Radahn caused stars to fall from the sky, opening up Nokron, Eternal City, in Limgrave. Head to the Fort Haight West Site of Grace, the nearest one to Nokron.

Upon arriving, you’ll notice destruction and debris in the air. The falling stars created a massive crater to explore. In Nokron, Eternal City, you’ll discover the Fingerslaying Blade, a key item for advancing in the questline.

Elden Ring Fingerslayer Blade
The Fingerslayer Blade is capable of doing exactly what its name implies, slaying instances of the Two Fingers

Nosktella, Eternal City

Return the Dark Moon Ring to Ranni to advance her storyline. This unlocks Renna’s Rise, a tower in the Three Sisters, housing a teleporter to Nosktella, Eternal City. She will also give you the Carian Inverted Statue, discussed later in my Elden Ring Progression Route.

Use the teleporter to reach Nosktella, Eternal City, and collect the Miniature Ranni item. When you rest at the nearest Site of Grace and talk to the Miniature Ranni, her questline progresses as you agree to slay the Baleful Shadow, the main boss of Nosktella, Eternal City.

Explore the area thoroughly before facing the Shadow. Defeating it earns you the Discarded Palace Key, used to open the locked chest in Renalla’s room in Raya Lucaria Academy, where you’ll obtain the Dark Moon Ring, advancing Ranni’s questline.

Elden Ring Nosktella
You should find a teleporter at the top of Renna’s Rise, which you get access to after giving Ranni the Fingerslayer Blade!

Lake of Rot

With the Dark Moon Ring, defeat the Baleful Shadow and advance to the Lake of Rot. This lake is full of scarlet rot, so stock up on Preventing Boluses to cure it.

Your aim: reach the temple-like area on the far side of the lake for safety from Scarlet Rot. This small temple holds a boss fight. Explore briefly until you find a waterfall with a coffin at the end. Interact with the coffin to begin Ranni’s questline’s climactic boss fight: Astel, Naturalborn of the Void.

Elden Ring Lake of Rot
Did you know that you can also find a Dragonkin Soldier in the Lake of Rot too?

Cathedral of Manus Celes

After defeating Astel, the Naturalborn of the Void, you’ll arrive on a plateau in Liurnia of the Lakes. Nearby, you’ll see the ruined Cathedral of Manus Celes. As you approach, the Glintstone Dragon Adula will challenge you, blocking your path to the conclusion of Ranni’s questline.

Deal with the Dragon (killing it isn’t necessary), then enter the Cathedral and descend the central hole. Here, you’ll find Ranni’s body in front of a replica of the Two-fingers, which Ranni supposedly killed with the Fingerslayer Blade you found. Interact with her one last time to complete the questline and obtain the powerful Dark Moon Greatsword. Wasn’t the questline truly worth it?

Elden Ring Ranni
Under the Cathedral of Manus Celes, you find Ranni, sitting behind an instance of the Two Fingers which she killed

Altus Plateau

After having finished Ranni’s questline, it’s time to get back on track! You’re now approaching what is known as the mid-game section of my progression route, where the game will start getting considerably harder, but you’re also probably decked out right now. You should have some kind of a build going for you right now, hoisted upright with a weapon of your choice and equipment of your choosing. The Altus Plateau is a relatively beautiful region and a breath of fresh air after the gruesome trek through Caelid.

Grand Lift of Dectus: Mid-game Begins!

With both halves of the Dectus Medallion, head to the Grand Lift of Dectus in the far north of East Liurnia. The passage is heavily guarded, so expect enemies.

At the lift, stand in the center and use the “Hoist Medallion” to trigger a cutscene, taking you to the Altus Plateau. Here, you’ll face two Guardian Golems, indicating the area’s challenge. First, unlock the area’s first Site of Grace on the left, atop a rock.

Elden Ring Altus Plateau
The Grand Lift of Dectus takes you directly to the Altus Plateau, playing an entire cutscene for it!

Shaded Castle and Other Important Areas

Explore the Altus Plateau, connected to Leyndell, Royal Capital (right) and Mt. Gelmir (left). Clear two valuable dungeons, Altus Tunnel and Old Altus Tunnel, for vital upgrade materials.

Consider exploring the optional dungeon, Shaded Castle, in a ravine within the Altus Plateau. To get there, find a slope near the Erdtree Grazing Hill Site of Grace near Lux Ruins. Head north along the ravine until you reach Shaded Castle.

Elden Ring Shaded Castle
The Shaded Castle is a little tricky to find so I’ll attach the path to it – you’re welcome!

Draconic Tree Sentinel: More than Just a Makeover

NameDraconic Tree Sentinel
LocationCapital Outskirts:50,000Dragon GreatclawDragonclaw Shield
Crumbling Farum Azula:28,080Malformed Dragon Set
Weaker toStandardStrikePierce

Explore the Altus Plateau, then unlock the passage to Leyndell, the Royal Capital, and head west to Mt. Gelmir. The main road to the city is blocked by an unopenable door, so approach from the north, scaling its massive walls. On the way, you’ll encounter the Ancient Dragon Lansseax, a red lightning dragon.

Killing the Dragon isn’t necessary as it disappears at half-health; continue onwards. As you approach the city gates, you’ll face the Draconic Tree Sentinel, a challenging boss with one-shot potential, so be cautious!

Elden Ring Draconic Tree Sentinel
The Draconic Tree Sentinel in its full glory! Looks ten times cooler than the regular Tree Sentinel!

Mt. Gelmir

Mt. Gelmir is smaller compared to other regions, making progression quicker. While it’s optional, don’t overlook it. It offers excellent armor and a unique boss fight at the end, even though story progression only requires defeating two demigods in Elden Ring.

Fort Laeidd and Gelmir Hero’s Grave

In Mt. Gelmir, focus on Fort Laeidd and Gelmir Hero’s Grave. Enter from the Altus Plateau via the Bridge of Iniquity, where you’ll encounter Abductor Virgins fighting other creatures.

Head south to Gelmir Hero’s Grave for valuable loot. I won’t spoil the details!

In the opposite section, explore Fort Laeidd, a large campsite patrolled by Fire Monks and Flame Chariots. Around the perimeter, you’ll find the Magma Wyrm as a field boss. Inside, face Prelate for the Prelate Inferno’s Crozier. Further exploration yields the Fire Scorpion Fire Charm.

Elden Ring Prelate
Anyone who’s played the original Dark Souls would be surprised to find the Prelate’s moveset strikingly familiar 🙂

Volcano Manor: Rydark, Lord of Blasphemy

Explore Volcano Manor in Mt. Gelmir, the legacy dungeon with the area’s demi-god boss. Before jumping into the boss fight, consider the covenant offered here, which involves bounty-hunting Tarnished NPCs. Defeating them yields their gear.

After completing all bounties from Lady Tanith, she can transport you directly to Rydark, Lord of Blasphemy, the demi-god boss. However, it’s highly recommended to explore Volcano Manor fully and reach Rydark naturally for an immersive experience. The boss fight is exceptionally cool, so I won’t spoil it!

Elden Ring Rydark
The Rydark boss fight is pretty much a freebie – only designed to be cinematic and easy!

Leyndell, Royal Capital

Return to the Altus Plateau from Mt. Gelmir, pass the Draconic Tree Sentinel’s arena, and enter Leyndell, the Royal Capital. It’s visually stunning, especially when entering from the Capital Rampart, showcasing the developers’ attention to detail.

Leyndell is a vast legacy dungeon resembling a labyrinth. Take your time to explore and appreciate its intricate design fully.

Subterranean Shunning Grounds: Mogh’s First Encounter

While exploring Leyndell, don’t miss the underground sewer, known as the Subterranean Shunning-Grounds. It’s challenging with a maze-like design, limited Sites of Grace, so plan tactical retreats.

This area is important because you’ll encounter Mohg, the Omen, a precursor to the greater demi-god, Mohg, Lord of Blood. Use this chance to learn his attack patterns before facing him in your Progression Route.

Elden Ring Well
The well in Leyndell, Royal Capital that you need to drop down into in order to get to the Subterranean Shunning-Grounds.

Godfrey and Morgott: Back to Back Bosses

In Leyndell, be ready for two consecutive legacy boss fights. First, face Godfrey, First Elden Lord, in his spectral shade form. It’s a weaker version, allowing you to learn his attack patterns for the final encounter in the endgame.

The second boss, Margott, the Omen King, is the true form of Margit, the Fell Omen, and it’s a formidable challenge. Prepare for a significant battle.

Elden Ring Morgott
Did you know that Morgott is the offspring of Queen Marika and First Elden Lord, Godfrey?

Mountaintops of the Giants

After defeating Morgott, you’ll face the Erdtree’s base. However, as Morgott’s final words indicate, it’s sealed and inaccessible. Resting at the arena’s Site of Grace will prompt Melina to instruct you to embark on a new journey to the Mountaintops of the Giants to burn the Erdtree. This act is the only way to open it and confront the Elden Ring inside. From this point forward, my progression route becomes quite standard, with less left to do.

Forbidden Lands

After defeating Margott in Leyndell, the Royal Capital, an area that was previously sealed becomes accessible. You have two options:

  1. Head to the Divine Tower of East Altus for a unique boss fight. This tower activates both the Great Runes of Morgott, the Omen King, and Mohg, Lord of Blood, given their brotherly connection.
  2. Take the lift to the Forbidden Lands, leading to the Mountaintops of the Giants. Despite its size, it’s filled with cunning Vulgar Militia enemies. Reach the Grand Lift of Rold, which recognizes the Dectus Medallion, and transports you to the Mountaintops of the Giants. Be prepared to face a Black Bird Kindred guarding the lift. Good luck!
Elden Ring Grand Lift of Rold
The Grand Lift of Rold, unlike the Grand Lift of Dectus, can go both up and down depending on which medallion you choose to hoist

Castle Sol: Haligtree Secret Medallion (Right)

NameHaligtree Secret Medallion(Right)
EffectJoin medallions to operate the Grand Lift of Rold.
TypeKey Item

Explore the extensive Mountaintops of the Giants with various bosses and areas to discover. On one side, you’ll find the Giants’ Mountaintop Catacombs and the Minor Erdtree, while the other side has the First Church of Marika and the Stargazer’s Ruins. Be cautious of the Borealis, the Freezing Fog field boss in the east, and Roundtable Knight Vyke in the Lord Contender’s Evergaol.

The main dungeon, Castle Sol, is in the northernmost part and leads to encounters with Command Niall, who drops highly durable armor. You’ll also find the Haligtree Secret Medallion (Right), completing the Halgitree Secret Medallion.

Elden Ring Castle Sol
Quite astonishing how you find the two halves of the Haligtree Secret Medallion at such a large interval

Fire Giant: Setting the Erdtree Ablaze

LocationFlame Peak180,000 Remembrance of the Fire Giant
HP 42,363
Weak toSlash

After exploring the upper section of the Mountaintops of the Giants, it’s time to face the legacy boss, the Fire Giant, in the lower part. The nearest landmark is the Church of Repose with its Site of Grace. Outside the church, be prepared for an invasion by Bloody Finger Okina, who drops the infamous Rivers of Blood.

Cross the long bridge called the Foot of Forge to reach the Fire Giant. It’s the largest boss in Elden Ring, and the fight is challenging. Avoid using Torrent for dodging, as your maneuverability is limited.

After defeating the Fire Giant, you’ll reach the Forge of the Giants to set the Erdtree aflame. However, hold off on doing so for now, as there’s one last area left to explore.

Elden Ring Fire Giant
The Fire Giant is found in this location of the Mountaintops of the Giants – quite normal for him to have such a large arena to himself.

Consecrated Snowfield:

Before delving into the endgame of Elden Ring and setting the Erdtree aflame, thus triggering an irreversible sequence of events, now is the time to take on the two optional demi-god bosses of Elden Ring: Malenia, Blade of Miquella, and Mohg, Lord of Blood. In order to do so, you will need to reach the Consecrated Snowfields, which can be found by hoisting the Haligtree Secret Medallion at the Grand Lift of Rold (choosing the “Hoist Secret Medallion” interaction).

Miqeulla’s Haligree:

To reach Miquella’s Haligtree, use a teleporter in the Consecrated Snowfield, located in the northmost part of Ordina, Liturgical Town. Solve a puzzle by entering the Evergaol in the town’s center, lighting four candles on the rooftops. Beware of invisible enemies; consider buying a Sentry’s Torch from the Hermit Merchant’s Shack in the Altus Plateau to help.

After completing the puzzle, you’ll be teleported back to the town, where a large staircase in front of you leads to the teleporter for Miquella’s Haligtree.

Without revealing too much, Melania is undoubtedly the toughest boss in my  progression route. Be prepared for a formidable challenge.

Elden Ring Miquella's Haligtree
Miquella’s Haligtree is one of the most challenging areas in the Elden Ring, not just enemy-wise but also design-wise

Mohgwyn Palace

Accessible from the Consecrated Snowfield is Mohgwyn Palace, and now is the ideal time to tackle Mohg in your Progression Route. To find the teleporter to Mohgwyn Palace, head toward the western cliffside of the Consecrated Snowfield.

There, you’ll be invaded by the Sanguine Noble, whom you must defeat to unlock the teleporter. A simple way to take him out is to lure him to the cliffside and jump off – this causes him to jump after you and die, without respawning while you do!

Elden Ring Mohgwym Palace
FromSoftware really needs to chill with these cinematic shots you get when entering a brand-new area…

Crumbling Farum Azula:

Returning to the Forge of the Giants in Elden Ring, rest at the Site of Grace to trigger a cutscene with Melina. She’ll sacrifice herself to set the Erdtree ablaze, a breathtaking sight. During the cutscene, your character will pass out and then awaken in the Crumbling Farum Azula, marking the beginning of the endgame in your progression route.

Godskin Duo:

The Crumbling Farum Azula is daunting due to its enemies and the three main bosses you’ll face – two of which are mandatory.

The first is the Godskin Duo, an arena battle with the Godskin Noble and the Godskin Apostle. Keep attacking them until the larger boss health bar below depletes. Don’t celebrate too early once you take down one of them. Unlock the Dragon Temple Transept Site of Grace, as it’s the nearest checkpoint to the boss.

Elden Ring Godskin Duo
The Godskin Duo boss fight is plain annoying – someone had to say it!

Maliketh, the Black Blade

Colossal SwordStandard
Destined DeathFP 40
Wgt. 22Passive -

The other mandatory boss you must fight to progress in the story is Maliketh, the Black Blade, initially disguised as Gurranq. Gurranq was the Shadow of Marika, and he possesses a fragment of the rune of death called Destined Death. This becomes evident in his second phase when he fuses with Destined Death to become Maliketh, the Black Blade. Be aware that a Draconic Tree Sentinel guards the boss room, so it’s wise to defeat it before making multiple trips to the boss room.

Elden Ring Maliketh
Maliketh has to be, hands out, the coolest boss in Elden Ring – just look at the edginess of his design!

Dragonlord Placidusax

LocationCrumbling Farum Azula210,000Remembrance of the Dragonlord
Weaker toPierce

The optional final boss in the Farum Crumbling Azula is Dragonlord Placidusax, known for its cinematic experience. Emphasizing that Dragonlord Placidusax is entirely optional and quite challenging, classified as a Legend rather than a Great Enemy.

To reach him, warp to the Beside the Great Bridge Site of Grace, go through the church behind you, exit the building, and head straight towards the trees. Fall onto the platforms below and search for one without bones, where you should initiate the “Lay Down” emote to be transported to the boss room. Good luck!

Elden Ring Placidusax
Did you know that when you lie down, time actually rewinds? Thus, the arena gets reconstructed and you get to fight Dragonlord Placidusax.

Leyndell, Ashen Capital:

After defeating Maliketh, the Black Blade, you’ll return to Leyndell, but it’s now the Ashen Capital instead of the Royal Capital. The city’s destruction is logical, given that burning the Erdtree would impact Leyndell, a city built around its base.

As you head back to the Erdtree’s base behind Morgott’s arena, you’ll encounter the final two bosses of the game. Along the way, you’ll also face Sir Gideon, an ally who opposes your ascent to become the Elden Ring – he’s a relatively easy boss, though.

Godfrey, First Elden Lord:

After defeating Maliketh, you return to Leyndell, now the Ashen Capital. As you head towards the Erdtree, you encounter Sir Gideon, an ally turned adversary, but an easy boss. At the Erdtree’s base, Godfrey, the First Elden Lord, confronts you. He tests your worthiness to challenge the Elden Ring in a fierce fight, transforming into Hoarah Loux, Warrior, when weakened.

Elden Ring Godfrey
If you didn’t realize, Godfrey is actually on some of the posters that initially advertised Elden Ring prior to its launch!

The Finale: Radagon and the Elden Beast

After defeating Hoarah Loux and gaining recognition as Elden Lord, it’s time to confront the Elden Ring. You approach the Erdtree’s base, experience a flash, and arrive at the Stone Platform. Here, the finale unfolds, beginning with a battle against Radagon of the Golden Order, a challenging humanoid boss. Upon defeating him, you awaken the Elden Beast, initiating a two-stage battle that concludes the game and my progression route.

Elden Ring Ending
When the dust has settled, you are to approach the Fractured Marika and mend it – this can be done with different runes, thus leading to different endings!

My Walkthrough Experience

From my experience, the first and foremost task is to explore the Limgrave after completing the tutorials and take the important items, especially the Crafting Kit and a few weapons like the Lordsworn’s Greatsword and Reduvia, depending on your build. Talking about builds, Intelligence-Faith or Dex-Arcane builds will be most suitable till the end game, although investing points in Dex is critical since the beginning. The next place will be Stormviel Castle, killing Margit and Godrick and then moving towards Liurnia.

By this time, you will have a decent weapon to fight Renalla and later, Radhan in Caelid. Remember to keep upgrading flasks to replenish your HP and FP. Follow Ranni’s Questline, although there are others, but this one is the most interesting. Go through this, beating the main bosses, Fire Giant, Godskin Duo, and Maliketh,  and acquiring the required medallions to kill the final boss.

In the meantime, you will encounter many side-quests, but you can ignore them and carry them out with the main quest line.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some other recommended questlines in Elden Ring?

In addition to Ranni’s questline, I recommend completing Yura’s, Roderika’s, Patches’, and Fia’s questlines. Fia’s is particularly exciting as it leads to the Deeprooth Depths, offering insight into the game’s lore and a battle against Lichdragon Fortissax, a Legend-type boss.

What do you do with the Carian Inverted Statue?

The Carian Inverted Statue, acquired during Ranni’s quest, unlocks the Divine Tower of Liurnia by inverting the Carian Study Hall. The inversion transforms the area, leading you to the Divine Tower, where you’ll encounter the Godskin Noble, so prepare accordingly.

What are the different Endings in Elden Ring?

There are five other endings in Elden Ring, apart from the default one (the Age of Fracture). The other endings are the Age of Order, the Age of Duskborn, the Blessing of Despair, the Lord of the Frenzied Flame, and the Stars’ Age. The Age of the Stars, which is the ending you can choose after completing Ranni’s questline, is my favorite ending – thus why I included it in my Elden Ring Progression Route!

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