Elden Ring is known for its difficult boss fights, but none are quite like the fight with Starscourge Radahn. It's not only set in a massive arena with lots of ground to cover, but he's also got the skills to take you out within seconds. In this guide, we're going to break down Radahn's skills, how to rely on the assets you have and the best strategies are to overcome him. This fight takes place at the mid-point of Elden Ring, following the completion of the Stormveil Castle and Academy of Raya Lucaria dungeons. So be warned, slight spoilers are incoming.
This battle takes place in the desert north of Redmane Castle in the Caelid region. While defeating Radahn isn't totally mandatory, generally most players will encounter him following their exploration of Caelid. If you decide to skip this and proceed with the game, then you'll close out access to some of the late game events. To engage in this fight, you'll need to meet several NPCs throughout your journey through Limgrave and Liurnia. Inside the castle, you'll encounter several characters that you've met in your journey. These characters will offer tips and prepare you for the Festival, which is where you'll encounter Radahn.
Boss fight breakdown
General Radahn, otherwise known as Starscourge Radahn, is such a threat because he excels at nearly every aspect of combat. At a distance, he can pick you off with his large arrows -- this is the first clue that you're in for a tough fight. When at close range, he has massive twin swords with serious range. One combo attack from him can easily deplete all of your health. Moreover, he's highly mobile thanks to his trusty steed (named Leonard) and he can close the distance on you fairly easily. Lastly, he's also got deadly magic spells that he pulls out in the later phases of the fight. Simply put, this is a fight that can lead to quick and brutal deaths for your character and leave you, the player, frustrated at what you have to do to make progress. In this fight, one thing to remember is that, thankfully, you aren't alone in this battle. The various characters you saw previously can be called upon to help out. In the arena, you'll see various summon signs for you to interact with. You will need to quickly activate these signs to bring in your small army of NPC fighters, all of whom have their own set of skills they'll use against Radahn in the battle. However, don't rely on them too much as they do minor damage and serve mostly as distractions to the boss.
In fact, one NPC you can summon is Patches. If you kept him alive in the Murkwater Depths dungeon in Limgrave, he'll be available to call into battle. However, he'll immediately cut and run as soon as he sees Radahn on his horse. Never trust Patches.
First phase strategy
Firstly, you're better off not summoning another human player to help. While you're good to summon the various AI characters, the downside of calling in another player is that you can't summon your horse Torrent with an additional player present. This is a battle where you will need to cover ground fast, and while the added backup can help in some regard, you will need to stay ahead of Radahn and close in the distance quickly when you need to. Riding Torrent is a huge help with that.
When the battle begins, make sure you're locked onto Radahn in the distance and keep an eye on what he does next. He'll always start the fight by firing off three to four purple, gravity magic-infused arrows. This part is important as the fight can quickly end here; you will need to dodge roll through the arrows or use the bundles of weapons scattered around the arena as cover. If you get hit once with an arrow, it will likely kill your character instantly. In this part of the fight, the key thing to do is to summon your allies while evading his attacks. Eventually, Radahn will fire a rain of arrows that slowly make their way toward you. If you have a heavy shield and high stamina, you can block through most of it, but it's recommended you ride on Torrent and evade the arrows by moving quickly away.
Eventually, your allies will engage with Radahn, forcing him into close combat. From here, you will need to pick your moments and start attacking the boss when he's distracted by the other fighters. Stick and move is the name of the game here. If you're a magic user, you can cast spells against him but quickly ride away once his attention gets to you. If you're a close-range fighter, you're in for a riskier fight as you will need to get close to him often. Keep hitting him with your attacks and revive your allies at new summoning spots and eventually he will enter the next phase of the fight... in explosive fashion.
Second Phase Strategy
After half of his health has been depleted, Radahn will leap into the air and out of view. Keep your eyes up toward the sky and look for the bright light, as Radahn will come barrelling down to the Earth like a comet. If you don't keep your distance, his dramatic return to the planet will kill you instantly, forcing you to start the fight all over again. Radahn is more powerful as he now uses gravity magic.
Along with sending out waves of energy with swings from his sword -- which can be jumped over to avoid -- he will also use his magic to conjure up massive rocks that act as homing missiles. When he summons these, they will hover over his shoulder for some time. However, when a bright flash occurs around the rocks, it's time to find cover. As you'll likely be fighting toward the center of the arena, there are several mounds of sand scattered across the hill. These mounds are great for cover, so if you need to make a quick run for escape, ride on Torrent fast down the hill and away from Radahn's line of sight to avoid the massive rocks.
The key to beating Radahn is to stick and move with your attacks and keep your allies in the game. Despite how tough he hits, Radhan can still take a beating once everyone attacks in unison. You can get stagger him if you manage to land some heavy blows on him quickly enough. As long as you don't lose your patience and focus and keep picking the right moments to attack, you will eventually be able to overcome one of Elden Ring's most over-the-top battles. For more guides on Elden Ring, be sure to check out our general boss guide, where to finding Smithing Stones, and which Ash Summon you should use.