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How to beat Starscourge Radahn in Elden Ring

elden ring
(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Elden Ring, like other Soulsborne games, is at its best when you’re fighting a seemingly unconquerable boss. At first glance, Starscourge Radahn is just such an enemy. This towering general (and his comically undersized horse) will put your mounted combat skills to the test, and even if you do everything right, you may succumb to one of his arena-clearing attacks anyway.

Still, you have one major advantage in the Radahn fight: an unlimited number of summonable allies. If you choose to leverage these partners, you can distract the gargantuan boss long enough to heal and regroup, which can make all the difference in a fight this intense.

How to prepare for Radahn 

Best open world games: Elden Ring

(Image credit: FromSoftware Inc.)

If you’re reading this, it’s fair to assume that you’ve already found Starscourge Radahn and have attempted to fight him at least once. If not, though, Radahn is the boss of Redmane Castle in southeastern Caelid. If you’ve taken the Grand Lift of Dectus, then the Radahn Festival will be in progress, which offers some unique dialogue, and lets you bypass one tough boss fight.

(If you’re curious: The boss fight is with a Misbegotten Warrior and a Crucible Knight. If you want to fight them, you can come back after you’ve defeated Radahn. It’s a fun battle, but a tough one.)

Melee fighters don’t need to make any special preparations, although you should feel comfortable fighting on horseback. Magic users might consider Rotten Breath, as Radahn is weak to Scarlet Rot. Rock Sling and Magic Glintblade are both viable options for magically inclined characters as well. Ranged fighters can use their favorite bows, although be aware that Radahn’s ranged attacks are especially deadly.

How to beat Radahn’s first phase 

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(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

First off, if you’re the kind of Elden Ring player who insists that NPC summons cheapen the experience, you’re going to have a tough time with Radahn. The boss is still beatable, if you have enough patience and grit, but FromSoftware definitely designed the fight with summons in mind. It all ties into the Festival storyline, which Blaidd and Alexander will explain before the fight.

Unlike most other boss fights, which require you to summon NPC helpers before you start, the battlefield in Radahn’s fight is positively littered with summon signs. Depending on where you look, and which NPCs you’ve met elsewhere in the game. you can find summon signs for Blaidd, Alexander, Tragoth, Patches, Lionel, Okina, Therolina and Jerren.

It’s not really worth going into each one’s fighting style, since you don’t have much time to consider their pros and cons before Radahn starts firing magical arrows. Just run up to a summon sign and get allies on the battlefield ASAP. You can summon up to six allies, and if they die, you can simply resummon them. This is the only fight in the game that’s so lenient with summons.

Once you have a few NPCs on the field to soak up damage, hop on Torrent and ride toward Radahn. Don’t ride in a straight line, however, as his magic arrows will usually demolish you in a single hit. Employ some zigzag tactics, and try to come around in an arc.

Once you reach Radahn, how you fight him depends on your general playstyle. There’s no special trick here, other than learning his attack patterns and figuring out how to dodge each one. Don’t get off of Torrent, however, as you’ll never catch up to him on foot. Continue wearing down Radahn until he reaches half health.

How to beat Radahn’s second phase 

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(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Radahn's second phase is where the fight can go off the rails quickly, easily and through no fault of your own. At about half health, Radahn will jump high above the battlefield, where you can't target him, or even easily see him. When he slams back down, he can kill you instantly — and even if you manage to avoid his impact, he'll also summon up a bunch of meteor projectiles that can kill you a little less instantly.

To be blunt, one false move during this whole transition can and will kill you. There's no perfect way to avoid it, and you'll probably have to fight Radahn a few times before you figure out the cadence of the jump and the subsequent attacks.

Assuming you can survive the initial onslaught, however, there's no special trick to the rest of the Radahn fight. Just as before, you'll want to summon NPCs as quickly and frequently as possible, replacing them whenever they fall in battle. You'll also want to stay relatively close to Radahn, as he can outpace you quickly, and his long-range attacks are much more devastating than his short-range ones.

The only real trick here is that Radahn can actually use his "jump and meteor" attack more than once, and it's not any easier to dodge the second time. As such, you'll want to play the second half of the fight pretty aggressively. Going all-out against Radahn is a risk, but it's a much bigger risk to play conservatively and risk a nearly unblockable attack.

Once you've defeated Radahn, you'll get 70,000 Runes, a  Remembrance of the Starscourge item and Radahn's Great Rune. Don't forget to explore the northeastern end of the battlefield, where you can find the optional War-Dead Catacombs dungeon. It's not nearly as hard as fighting Radahn.

If you're looking for more guidance, check out our 10 Elden Ring tips to help you survive, 11 Elden Ring tips for intermediate players and How to farm Runes in Elden Ring: Early, mid and late game spots. 

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.