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How to Beat Godfrey, First Elden Lord in "Elden Ring"

Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.

As the ruler of the maze-like Leyndell, Royal Capital, and one of your final obstacles to reaching the base of the great Erdtree, Godfrey is no joke. Appearing as a being of almost pure gold and wielding an enormous axe, Godfrey is more than capable of ruining your day. What's worse, if you die, you won't get to jump straight back into the fight - you'll need to scale a bunch of perilous tree roots to fight him again. Eesh.

This guide will help you defeat Godfrey. It's not the worst fight in Elden Ring, but Godfrey is good enough at laying on the pressure that you'll spend the entire battle on the edge of your seat. (Probably.)

One note: This is a guide for the first battle against Godfrey, when he appears as an all-gold warrior. Yes, you get to fight him twice, and yes, he's different the second time. Fun!

All images copyright FromSoftware.

All images copyright FromSoftware.

Finding Godfrey

Godfrey awaits in the final building between you and the base of the Erdtree, the largest, most obvious landmark in all of Elden Ring. To get to him you need to do quite a bit, and you'll probably leave a lot of it until you're almost done the game:

  • Enter the Capital Outskirts. You'll find them up a huge set of stairs on the Altus Plateau, just up the road from the Grand Lift of Dectus. Bolt straight up the stairs on your horse to avoid the enemies guarding the path.
  • Travel north along the outer walls until you find the front gate. Guarding it is the Draconic Tree Sentinel, so you'll need to take him down.
  • Enter and explore the Capital. It's a massive, sprawling area, and it's easy to get lost here. Your target is the huge dragon corpse that is laying across a chunk of the Capital's south side. You can climb its wing to get into the walls.
  • Climb along the roots of the Erdtree until you reach the last available building. There are plenty of enemies waiting on the roots so you'll need to fight very carefully.

Godfrey is waiting for you once you leave the Erdtree's roots. The battle is on the moment you enter the building.

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Godfrey's Moveset

Right off the bat Godfrey will leap into the air and hurl his axe at you, which will be a bit of a surprise if you expect him to come down with it. Dodge out of the way. After he fetches the axe the fight is on, and Godfrey will use the following attacks to wipe you out:

  • Godfrey will try to combo you with his axe. He usually swings two or three times per combo. There's a bit of a hold on each swing, so don't roll out of the way immediately or he'll catch you. Once you get the timing down avoiding Godfrey's axe isn't that difficult.
  • Godfrey will stomp you. He often does this at the end of a combo, so be ready for a quicker attack once the axe stops moving.
  • Godfrey will slam his axe down into the ground, drag it along for a moment in a circular motion, then sweep it up at you. The drag is the real nail biter here, so just get out of the way entirely.
  • Godfrey will slam his foot into the ground, generating a cone of spikes that can knock you around if you get hit. Just get out of the way as soon as you see Godfrey's foot leave the ground. The range of this attack is not that great, though Godfrey will often follow up with another crushing move while you're dodging, so be ready to roll again.
  • Godfrey will leap into the air and try to crush you with his axe. The leap is more of a hop, really, and Godfrey hangs for a moment, so this isn't too difficult to avoid, and will give you a chance to wallop Godfrey when he lands.
  • Godfrey will try to jab you with his axe. This attack has a bit of range to it and can come out of nowhere, usually at the end of a combo, so don't assume that Godfrey only tries to chop his opponents to death.
  • Godfrey will sweep his axe up over his head and try to split your head in half. It's a slower move, but it has a lot of range and will sometimes come paired with a rush. Be ready but don't dodge too quickly.
  • Godfrey will nudge you with the butt of his axe. This is a quick, weak attack that will catch you off guard more than anything. Not a big deal so long as you move before he follows up with something more deadly.

In addition to his attacks Godfrey will often fling himself across the room at great speeds, closing the distance with ranged attackers in an instant. Never assume that you're safe.

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Defeating Godfrey will require a fair amount of patience and careful timing, along with good reflexes. Godfrey's attacks are all well-telegraphed and can be avoided without too much trouble so long as you don't get greedy. Overstretch yourself and Godfrey will likely take you down.

As a melee fighter you'll do well with Godfrey to roll into most of his attacks. Godfrey's range is significant, but if he starts to combo while you're right up against his torso he will miss you completely. This gives you a moment to get in a few hits before he repositions himself. Don't stay in close for long or Godfrey will stomp you to death. Move back, wait for him to attack, roll in, and repeat. Leaping attacks are also pretty good in this fight, as most of Godrey's basic axe swings are horizontal. You'll jump right over most of them if you're careful.

Ranged fighters need to practice the same amount of caution, though most of the time you won't be rolling towards Godfrey. Make distance, wait for him to attack, draw back, and open fire. Get in a hit or two, then prepare for Godfrey's next assault. If you're quick on your feet Godfrey will have trouble keeping up with you.

Summons are a good choice for this fight, though given Godfrey's hitting power and sweeping attack patterns you're better off summoning a single, stronger fighter. If you're a melee combatant, try summoning something that will hit Godfrey at a range, and vice versa if you're a ranged fighter. Get on both sides of Godfrey and he'll be drawn back and forth rather than focusing on a single target.

You'll earn 60,000 Runes and a Talisman Pouch for defeating Godfrey, First Elden Lord. On to the next!

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