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Standing in front of Godfrey, First Elden Lord, an Elden Ring boss Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

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Elden Ring Godfrey, First Elden Lord boss fight tips and strategy

A shade of things to come

Elden Ring’s capital city, Leyndell, is one of the most dense and labyrinthine environments to ever grace a Soulsborne game. If you followed our Draconic Tree Sentinel boss guide, you were able to get in the front door with little trouble. However, now that you’ve reached the city’s heights, it’s time for your first encounter with Godfrey, the First Elden Lord. Thankfully for you, we put together this guide to beating Godfrey and getting yourself one step closer to your own Elden Lordship.

Table of contents

Preparing for the Godfrey, First Elden Lord boss fight
Learn the Godfrey, First Elden Lord boss fight strategies

Preparing for the Godfrey, First Elden Lord boss fight

The fight with Godfrey after climbing Leyndell’s tree roots won’t be your last encounter with the First Elden Lord, and it’s really just a warm-up for the boss battle that will follow soon afterward. Nevertheless, the Golden Shade of Godfrey can stymie even experienced Souls players with unpredictable combos and a difficult-to-dodge stomp attack.

That means you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared. If you followed our guide to defeating Draconic Tree Sentinel on the way into Leyndell, you’ve already explored the Altus Plateau. But if not, you should — there’s plenty of loot that can help you in the fight.

Gearing up in Altus Plateau

First off, you want your healing Flasks to be as effective as possible at this point, so make sure to grab all the Golden Seeds and Sacred Tears you can find in Altus Plateau. Without venturing too far and encroaching onto Mt. Gelmir to the west, you can grab two Sacred Tears in Altus Plateau at the following locations:

  • Second Church of Marika, on the western edge (accessible from the north)
  • Stormcaller Church, near the Rampartside Path site of grace
Elden Ring’s map, showing the location of Altus Plateau flask upgrades Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

Meanwhile, Golden Seeds can be found in the following locations:

  1. Beside the Erdtree Gazing Hill site of grace
  2. Roadside East of 1
  3. Inside the Capital wall past the two Tree Sentinels
  4. North of 3
  5. Near the road heading north from 4, outside the Capital wall
  6. Near the Minor Erdtree (watch out for the wormface enemies)
Elden Ring’s map showing the location of flash upgrades in Leyndell, Royal Capital Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

And within the capital city itself, you can find two more Golden Seeds:

  • The Ulcerated tree Spirit that spawns in the courtyard near the Avenue Balcony site of grace drops one
  • One is guarded by a group of envoys and a large gargoyle enemy on a balcony just outside the West Capital Rampart site of grace room (it’s hard to miss on your way to Godfrey fight)

With your flasks upgraded, you’ll want to grab the Arsenal Charm +1 from the Altus Tunnel dungeon, which you can see on your map — it’s a roundish discoloration just south of the Altus Plateau Minor Erdtree. In addition, if you somehow missed the extra Margit fight on your way to the Draconic Tree Sentinel, follow the road north/northeast from the Outer Wall Phantom Tree site of grace and fight the boss again for the Viridian Amber Medallion +1. These two talismans raise your maximum equip load and maximum stamina, respectively, and should be useful no matter what kind of build you’re running.

Elden Ring’s map, showing the location of Sainted Hero’s Grave
Get the Dragoncrest Shield Talisman +1 in the Sainted Hero’s Grave.
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

However, the Brass Shield, Boltdrake Talisman, and defensive incantations you may have looted for the Draconic Tree Sentinel fight won’t be much use here. Despite appearing to be a big golden ghost, Godfrey uses purely physical attacks. And a shield is basically useless for this fight, as we’ll explain shortly. One thing you will want to grab, though, is the Dragoncrest Shield Talisman +1, a charm that boosts physical damage negation. You’ll find it behind a stone sword key fog gate in the Sainted Hero’s Grave dungeon in the central area of the Altus Plateau.

Learn the Godfrey, First Elden Lord boss fight strategies

As we’ve mentioned, the Golden Shade of Godfrey uses entirely physical attacks, so your elemental defense talismans and incantations are useless. And surprisingly, using a shield during this battle is hard to pull off, thanks to Godfrey’s aggressive and powerful moves. His combos often include five or six successive attacks, which will leave you stance-broken and vulnerable if you try to block them all. Instead, you’ll have to either keep your distance from Godfrey, or learn how to dodge his attacks.

Dodging to live, living to dodge

Thankfully, Godfrey’s attacks are fairly predictable. This Golden Shade only has one phase, and he never changes his combos up, even as he approaches death. Spend some time getting to know his move set; putting down your summoning sign by using the Tarnished’s Furled Finger item outside the boss fog is a great way to get some practice in.

Without a doubt, Godfrey’s most dangerous move is his stomp attack, which sends spikes jutting up from the floor in a cone outward in front of him. It might seem counterintuitive at first, but it actually is quite easy to dodge this attack. The trick is waiting until his foot starts coming down, then dodging toward the boss. You’ll be safe from damage and firmly in melee range, ready for a counterattack.

However, you’re still not quite free to get some swings in. Godfrey nearly always follows up the stomp with several powerful melee swings. This post-stomp combo often involves one powerful swing followed by the boss dragging his axe in a circle behind him before unleashing another overhead attack. Dodging this can be tricky, as you’ll be tempted to roll far too early; instead, let the axe complete its circle and begin to come down before you roll.

The other possibility involves a combo of up to five attacks that begins with two rapid-fire overhead swings. If Godfrey begins to unleash these, make sure you’re ready to dodge all five swings before trying to get your own hits in.

The range option

Of course, if you’re a magic or faith user, there’s no need to get close to Godfrey’s Golden Shade at all. Simply back away from him continuously, dodging when necessary, and unleash spells whenever you have an opening. Godfrey can be staggered, so the Rock Sling sorcery is a particularly good choice (it can be found in a chest in the Street of Sages ruins in Caelid). For faith users, Stone of Gurranq is another great option, though it’s less easily accessible, since it requires giving six deathroots to the Beast Clergyman in eastern Caelid.

Of course, the same timing tricks will apply — Godfrey’s attacks have surprising reach, so you want to wait for him to finish his combos before you start casting. In fact, the best strategy is probably a combination of melee and magic attacks; either way, you’ll have to learn how to avoid Godfrey’s attacks.

Summoning for Godfrey, First Elden Lord

Just like with other boss fights in Elden Ring, you can summon help by opening your multiplayer menu and using the Furlcalling Finger Remedy item to enable you to see other players’ summon signs. And don’t forget that you can use the Tarnished’s Furled Finger item to place your own summon sign, allowing you to help other players beat the boss in their own world, while getting to practice the fight without risking your runes.

With a summoning pool effigy and a Stake of Marika right next to the boss fog, summoning help or offering your own help for Godfrey’s Golden Shade is easy. However, keep in mind that the more players or NPCs you summon for the fight, the more health the boss will have. With that in mind, you might want to opt for a Spirit Ash instead — using one doesn’t increase the boss health.

With these strategies, the Golden Shade of Godfrey, the First Elden Lord, should soon dissipate, netting you a much-appreciated extra talisman slot — and access to the Capital’s real final boss fight, Morgott, the Omen King.