Starscourge Radahn is one of the most pivotal characters within Elden Ring’s lore, earning a reputation as a legend. He can also be one of the most difficult boss fights in Elden Ring, with powerful attacks that vary dramatically. However, if you know how to approach this battle it can actually become one of the easiest in the game.
We’ll cover everything here, including how to commence the battle, along with some further discussion around his attack patterns and the best strategy for taking him down.
Here is our full Radahn boss fight guide showing how to beat Radahn in Elden Ring.
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How to start the festival and fight Radahn
If you conquered Redmane Castle fairly early, winning a tough fight against Mistbegotten Warrior and Crucible Knight, then you may be stumped as to how to even commence this battle. Numerous NPCs will be hanging around the area, mentioning a festival but with no means of starting it.
To start the festival and unlock the Radahn boss fight, you must reach Altus Plateau first. This is at the top of the Lift of Dectus, and is a large area in the Northern half of the map. Note that you don’t necessarily need to activate the Lift of Dectus by finding the Medallion halves. There is an alternate path to Altus Plateau up a ladder and through a lengthy passageway.
Once you’ve made it, fast travel back to the Site of Grace at the end of Redmane Castle and the man overlooking the courtyard will now give you the option of battling Radahn. Select the affirmative dialogue option, and you’ll be directed to a teleportation bloodstone that will take you right into the battle.
Radahn Boss Guide: General Tips
Here are our general tips for the Radahn boss fight that apply throughout the battle. The specific strategy will come later.
What level to fight Radahn?
The recommended level to fight Radahn is Level 70.
Having said that, the mechanics of this battle do make it very possible to beat him at a far lower level, particularly if you play defensively and keep summoning allies. Bear in mind you can easily be one-shotted by many of Radahn’s attacks, and the amount of aggro he directs towards you is down to luck, so you may find yourself frustrated if the RNG doesn’t go your way.
Summon everyone… multiple times
One of the unusual quirks about the Radahn boss fight is the ability to summon many NPCs to assist you. Though you cannot call upon your Spirit Ashes, the wide array of potential companions means you can amass a small army to take him on together. At any one time, you can have six companions alongside you. Not only are these invaluable distractions, but they will also chip in with some solid damage throughout the encounter.
There are a couple of significant further perks to this method. Firstly, you can summon these characters multiple times. Once they have died, approach the glowing areas again and you’ll be prompted to reintroduce them to the fight. Furthermore, you can do this whilst on horseback, making it relatively easy to gallop away from Radahn and quickly rebuild your army without dismounting and leaving yourself vulnerable.
Use Blood Loss damage (or Frostbite)
Most Elden Ring bosses have a weakness to Blood Loss, and Radahn is no exception. Striking continually with a weapon that causes Blood Loss buildup will eventually result in a large amount of bonus damage being dealt.
Either equip a weapon with this perk included, or use an Ash of War that adds it to your existing weapon of choice. If you have not been using Bleed weapons, you’ll soon see how beneficial they can be during boss battles.
If you do not have access to Blood Loss weapons and cannot be bothered to find one, a good consolation prize is Frostbite. By the same method, continually attacking with weapons that cause Frost buildup can cause Frostbite which generally increases the damage dealt by your attacks and is very welcome.
Prepare your Wondrous Physick for Phase 2
Radahn has some extremely powerful attacks, and one in particular that can one-shot you even if you are at a suitable level to take him on. This is an attack performed in-between his two phases, where he will blast into the air and dive-bomb back into the arena like a meteor.
Though it’s avoidable, there’s an element of luck involved here so the best preparation will be to save your Wondrous Physick until this attack starts and fill it with a Crystal Tear that temporarily negates damage, such as the Opaline Bubbletear. You’ll have enough time to consume it first, hopefully enabling you to avoid death even if you are struck.
Use Torrent at the right times
The Radahn boss fight takes place in a massive area, begging the question of whether it is easier on horseback or on foot. You’ll need to cover considerable ground to simply reach Radahn and start dealing damage.
You should actually switch between the two on a few occasions. For example, at the start of the fight Radahn will shoot arrows dodged easier on foot before changing his pattern to attacks more easily dodged on horseback.
However, once you have actually reached Radahn and must engage in combat, the answer mostly depends on your playstyle.
As such, my personal opinion is that ranged fighters should fight on horseback whereas melee fighters should engage on foot. We’ll cover more specific instances where you should always use Torrent within the strategies below.
How to beat Radahn: Phase 1
The Radahn boss fight has an unusual pattern, with its first phase broken up into multiple parts itself.
Opening section: The Approach
Do not mount Torrent yet, because Radahn’s opening attacks are more easily dodged on foot. Once you see the purple arrows leaving his bow, you’ll have a very brief delay before they reach you. Roll away and approach the first three shining spots on the floor. Quickly interact with each one to bring these three allies into the battle. Keep rolling away from the arrows and find the next couple of allies just ahead towards the right-hand side.
You can also avoid the arrows by positioning yourself behind some of the debris on the battlefield, but this isn’t always reliable and you must get it right. Once you’ve reached and summoned the next lot of NPCs, there’s another companion if you take a hard left and another right ahead. Get another one on the field them all before moving forwards towards Radahn.
Once you’ve gone far enough forward (around half-way), Radahn’s attacks will stop glowing purple and he’ll shoot a series of arrows into the sky, or blast you head-on with a wide flurry. Both of these are easily dodged with Torrent, so summon your steed when you see his animations change and make your way towards Radahn on horseback whilst sprinting from side to side to keep clear on his arrows. Once you get close to him, it’s time to get on the offence.
Radahn Boss Guide: Phase 1 Strategy
If you are a melee fighter, keep a relatively safe distance on Torrent until Radahn directs his aggro towards your allies. Jump off and start attacking him from behind when he has finished attacking. When Radahn starts his swinging combo, this can easily strike you when you are behind him, so retreat by dodging backward and waiting for his slower slam attacks.
Radahn’s attack pattern is dynamic and he doesn’t have huge openings to counter-attack. However, virtually every move at this point leaves a small window where you can land a hit before getting back and preparing to dodge or block. On the occasions he is focused on your teammates, hang back just outside his range before rushing in when he slows up. Don’t take liberties and land only a couple of attacks in one go.
You can spend time learning his moves for when he is facing you, but the best approach here is a semi-aggressive one where you remain reasonably close and ready to strike when the opportunities present themselves. Your allies will probably die before long, and can’t be relied upon to completely do the business. Ranged fighters can stay on horseback and attack Radahn risk-free. Just get ready to hastily retreat if he turns his attention towards you.
It won’t take too long until this mini-phase is completed and Radahn switches up his attacks again.
Radahn’s Gravity Charge
At around three-quarters health, Radahn will slam his weapons into the ground whilst a purple charge starts to surround them. He will pull them out, causing a shockwave to cross the battlefield which can be double-jumped atop Torrent or dodged. From this point forth, his weapons can posses an electric/gravitational charge that grants him some additional moves and extra power.
His biggest opening comes from one of these attacks, namely when he lifts his swords and slams down, causing a round energy field to briefly engulf the area in front of him. You can dodge through this and get behind him, or just wait until he uses it on an ally whilst you keep your distance. Either way, this is your best chance to get a large combo of attacks.
In this mini-phase, he can send the shockwave again, charge up his attacks with electricity (when they glow purple) or pull you in with a gravitational field. These are quite sporadic and you’ll probably find he retains most of the same patterns as before. However, the new attacks are powerful and I’d advise to steer clear when you see purple, with the exception of the slow slam attack. Keep chipping away and he will eventually launch into the air and disappear from the battlefield.
How to beat Radahn: Phase 2
After he is under half health, Radahn’s second phase will commence, signalled by a dangerous dive-bomb attack. You can actually get him well below half health if you’re aggressive in Phase 1, and even defeat him altogether without instigating Phase 2. This is most likely if you manage a Riposte and/or a Blood Loss, but any extra health you can take off him will be a bonus.
How to dodge Radahn’s dive-bomb attack
As soon as Radahn launches into the air and disappears, consume your Wondrous Physick which should have a Crystal Tear to negate your damage. Get back on Torrent and you have a bit of time to roam around and re-summon a few of your fallen allies. However, keep an eye on the sky. Eventually the ground will glow orange to signal that Radahn is approaching.
If you spot him in time, just make sure you get away from him before he lands, and this becomes a great chance to gallop towards him and land a series of hits. Otherwise, trust to luck and your Physick as this can otherwise kill you in one hit.
In the second phase, there are a few new and interesting attacks to look out for. These are the main ones, with some tips to avoid them.
Meteor Storm – Radahn will likely conjure four meteors that float around him. Though he may leave these harmlessly in mid-air, he can also fire them towards you. These come in two bursts of two each, and are difficult to dodge. It’s important to expect the second couple just after dodging the first assault. The best way of avoiding this is simply to have as many allies on the battlefield as possible so he attacks someone else.
Gravity Orbs – With or without the meteors, Radahn can also produce a series of smaller orbs that quickly fly towards you. These are incredibly dangerous as they can stunlock you in place if the first one hits you. Thankfully you can get away from them all with one well-timed dodge, or if you are sprinting atop Torrent
Gravity Field – If you are too close to Radahn, he can open a gravity sphere that will pull you towards him whilst doing damage. The only reliable way to avoid this is to simply be out of his range, so it’s generally a good idea to back off when you see purple sparks surrounding him for an attack. Mercifully, this move doesn’t actually do much damage but if you are caught and pulled in, look out for his next attack.
Whirling Gravity Strikes – This is a rarer but deadly attack, where Radahn will jump in the air and fly towards you with two whirling charged attacks. It’s fairly well telegraphed for a dodge, but don’t strike back until he has jumped up and attacked twice. If you get out of his way twice, he takes a while to recover and this is a good opening.
Radahn Boss Guide: Phase 2 Strategy
From this point on, you can justify an aggressive or passive strategy. The low-risk approach is to stay on Torrent and simply get away from him, continually summoning your allies and chipping in when it’s safe. This can backfire if Radahn suddenly targets you with his ranged meteors or orbs, so you have far better odds with more allies. If you have managed to get a few back into the fray whilst awaiting his dive-bomb, then it will slowly but surely wear him down. Note that NPCs can be summoned from different spots closer to the centre and you don’t need to retreat all the way back to the edge of the battlefield.
Alternatively, an aggressive approach can take him out quickly before he even gets round to firing off his dangerous meteors, and he actually has a few moves that are fairly easy to read and leave big openings. If you can get around his back, or manage to dodge through the heavier gravity attacks we’ve mentioned above, then a few combos along with some NPC help can finish him off pretty quickly, especially if you have a Bleed weapon. Getting in close as he is recovering from his dive-bomb meteor can be a big change to rail on him and quickly get him close to death.
I much prefer taking him on aggressively (he can also use the dive-bomb again if you take too long) but if you are struggling or fighting at a low level, don’t be afraid to utilise your teammates and repeatedly summon them whilst steering clear of Radahn yourself.
As with any boss, don’t get greedy when you are close to victory as Radahn is particularly adept at one-shotting, or combining multiple attacks with his gravitational pull or orbs. Keep your discipline and strike a couple of times on his smaller openings whilst saving your bigger flurries for the handful of larger opportunities he leaves.
Besting Starscourge Radahn comes with ample rewards. You’ll scoop some 70,000 runes, along with the Remembrance of the Starscourge and Radahn’s Great Rune. A further reward comes in the form of the Shardbearer Radahn trophy.
Finally, you’ll witness a cutscene that opens up a significant new area elsewhere and also unlock the War-Dead Catacombs, right in the Northern part of the battlefield.
What happens after the fight?
The cutscene that follows the Radahn boss fight shows a series of shooting stars, before a final one blasts into the distance and explodes.
This shooting star lands in Limgrave and opens the pathway to Nokron, the Eternal City. Not only does Nokron contain a host of boss fights and arguably the most powerful Spirit Ash summon in the game, but it’s also an important location for certain questlines such as Blaidd and Ranni, and unlocking a particular ending.
It’s therefore highly recommended that you find and explore Nokron at some point during your playthrough. The crater from the falling star can be found in Eastern Limgrave, just South of the Mistwood Ruins.
Here is a recap of the most important parts of our Radahn boss fight guide:
- Before the battle: aim to use a Blood Loss or Frostbite weapon and ensure your Wondrous Physick will negate damage
- Start on foot and dodge his powerful purple arrows
- Summon as many companions as possible by examining the glowing patches on the ground
- Get on Torrent when he switches out his purple arrows and approach him at a wide angle
- Fight on foot if you are melee; on horseback if you are ranged
- Strike him in short bursts when he has finished his attacks, and utilise your comrades’ ability to draw away his aggro
- When he flies into the sky, consume your Wondrous Physick and look for the orange glow in the sky to avoid his dive-bomb
- During the second phase, be wary of his new ranged attacks that can take you out in one hit
- Take advantage of his bigger openings such as his gravity slam attack and double-whirling attack; otherwise maintain a similar strategy
- You can repeatedly summon your teammates even if they have been killed
Hopefully our boss guide of how to beat Radahn in Elden Ring helps you conquer the Starscourge and defeat another Great Rune holder.
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