Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.
A nuisance typically encountered in mines, Crystalians are a group of mini-bosses that can, depending on your build, feel more like regular bosses. Though their movesets are quite limited, Crystalians attack in ways that are just plain annoying. Taking them down is far from the most difficult thing you'll do in Elden Ring, but it can still be frustrating.
This guide will show you how to defeat Crystalians in Elden Ring. If you go looking for Smithing Stones, you're going to run into these things a few times, and the battles are a nuisance. Be prepared to hate any Crystalian with a spear to death.
Crystalians appear as bosses in, as of now, four different locations throughout the Lands Between. You're most likely to find them when looking for crafting materials, though not always. Each battle against the Crystalians consists of different combinations of them. You'll find Crystalians in the following locations:
- The first Crystalian you'll probably run across (or at least the easiest of the lot) is in the Raya Lucaria Crystal Cave, located in the far north of Liurnia on the Lakes. There is only one Crystalian in this fight, and it uses ringblades. You'll earn 3,000 Runes and the Smithing-Stone Miner's Bell Bearing  for winning the fight.
- The second Crystalian battle is in the Academy Crystal Cave, also in Liurnia on the Lakes. The cave is on the western shores of the Academy of Raya Lucaria's island, down by the water and near Glintstone Dragon Smarag's nest. You'll need two Stonesword Keys to enter the cave. This fight features two Crystalians, one with a spear and one with a staff. You'll earn 3,300 Runes and the Crystal Release Sorcery for defeating the Crystalians. You'll also find the Terra Magicus Sorcery up an elevator that the Crystalians are protecting.
- The third Crystalian battle is in Altus Tunnel, on the Altus Plateau. The tunnel is located in the same low ground area as the Minor Erdtree, near the Forest-Spanning Greatbridge Site of Grace. Cross the bridge then double back south to get to the tunnel. This pair fights with a spear and ringblades. You'll earn 1,800 Runes and the Somberstone Miner's Bell-Bearing  for winning the fight.
- The last Crystalian battle is in the Sellian Hideaway, in the northeast of Caelid. Head to the Church of Plague Site of Grace and check the nearby cemetery for a hidden entrance behind the main headstone. You'll fight all three types of Crystalians here, though they're Putrid Crystalians, and their weapons inflict Scarlet Rot. Ouch. You'll earn 7,000 Runes and the Crystal Torrent Sorcery for winning the fight.
The three types of Crystalians each use different weapons, and they have different movesets as a result. Let's look at each.
The first Crystalian you'll probably run into is the Ringblade Crystalian. This version uses a large, crystalline ringblade to attack you, throwing it towards you in a few slow patterns. It will also throw smaller ringblades at you from a greater range. These Crystalians tend to dance around the battlefield a lot, giving them space to attack you without endagering themselves. Their attacks and movements are not especially swift, however.
The most annoying of the three types, Spear Crystalians come at you with a lengthy polearm. They can perform normal attacks, but most of the time these Crystalians will bounce towards you with their spears outstretched, trying to poke you to death. On their own they're easily avoided and blocked, but in conjunction with other Crystalians these guys can become very irritating. If you have a good shield, block them; otherwise just do your best to keep away from them.
The magic users of the Crystalians, Staff Crystalians will remain in one spot for most of the battle and fire magical projectiles at you from a distance, including a large, dangerous beam. They serve as backup for the other Crystalians, getting in the most dangerous hits while the other types distract you with their weaker attacks.
The key to defeating Crystalians is to hit them enough times. That sounds stupid, but there's more to the advice than it sounds. Unless you're using a striking weapon such as a flail, Crystalians will take very little damage, and you need to break their poise and stagger them once before they become brittle enough to harm. Once a Crystalian has been properly staggered they will flinch backward at every hit, allowing you to effectively stunlock the Crystalian and beat it into submission. All three types of Crystalians work this way.
When fighting the single Ringblade Crystalian all you need to do is avoid its attacks, get in close, swipe it a few times, and get back out. If you're fighting at a ranged then just watch out for its rings and fire away with something that hits fast and often. It won't take long before the Crystalian is doubled over. Mind, too, that you can backstab Crystalians, which is not that difficult to pull off with the single enemy.
The two Crystalian pairs are where it gets tricky. The Spear Crystalians are very annoying, and will distract you enough for their partners to do some serious damage. If you're fighting the Staff Crystalian then it should go down first; otherwise, go for the Spear Crystalian first. Try to lure the Spear Crystalians away from their partners, then rush back and inflict as much damage as you can before the Spear Crystalian comes bouncing over. Magical fighters will have an easier time dealing with the Spear Crystalians, as you can swiftly chip away at them with spells like Glintstone Pebble, though you still need to watch out for other incoming ranged attacks.
Fighting the three Putrid Crystalians is a nightmare, but it's still doable. Your greatest ally here will be... well, allies. Summoning in a mob of fully-upgraded Spirit Ashes will make this fight much easier, as they can both chip away at the bosses and give you the space you need to eliminate one of the Crystalians. Rush the Staff Crystalian to get rid of the big hitter, take out the Ringblade Crystalian next since tracking its projectiles in this small space is awful, and save the Spear Crystalian for last. Hopefully your summons will last long enough to keep the Spear Crystalian busy until the end, though that's not likely.
(Alternately, just... don't fight the Putrid Crystalians until you're an overly-high level. It's a bad time.)
You'll earn variable rewards for defeating the various Crystalian battles. They're listed above alongside the locations where you can find the Crystalians.