Home Best Elden Ring progression route: The fastest way to become Elden Lord

Best Elden Ring progression route: The fastest way to become Elden Lord


  • To beat Elden Ring quickly, plan your character build around a powerful weapon, ideally one that uses Somber Smithing Stones for faster upgrades.
  • To access Leyndell: Royal Capital, defeat two Great Rune bosses, with Godrick the Grafted being the fastest option for early progression.
  • Enter the Capital via either the Grand Lift of Dectus by collecting the Dectus medallion halves or through the Ruin-Strewn Precipice, culminating in a fight with Magma Wyrm Makar.
  • After reaching Altus Plateau, follow a boss gauntlet through the mid and end-game, culminating in the final battles against Radogan of the Golden Order and the Elden Beast to become Elden Lord.

Elden Ring is, in a word, big. There are over 160 bosses (way more if you add the DLC) and it’s hard to know what exactly you need to do to beat the game. So, here’s our guide to the fastest progression route in Elden Ring – the bare minimum you need to do to become Elden Lord.

This won’t be as fast as an Elden Ring speedrun, which the best players in the world have down to less than an hour, but it should be enough to get you to the end of the game in just a few hours, depending on how much extra help you need to gather up as you go.

A note before we start – if you limit yourself to just the bosses on this list, the game will be extremely difficult. If you find yourself struggling, take a bit of time to get some extra levels (either by fighting some extra bosses or using a rune farm), consider upgrading your Flasks, or even level up a Spirit Summon.

Step 0: Planning

One of the keys to speeding through the game is to use a weapon you are comfortable with. A lot of the best weapons require stats above and beyond the starting character, so find out what stats you need to wield your weapon of choice and pick the starting class that gets you closest. You can also select the Lands Between Rune as your starting item to help get closer.

Iji, a blacksmith in Elden Ring
Iji is the best person to upgrade your weapon with. Image credit: FromSoftware

Important to note is that you will have a faster and easier time if you choose a weapon that uses Somber Smithing Stones to upgrade rather than regular Smithing Stones. You need far fewer of these materials than you do of the regular stones which cuts down on the time needed to gather them up, and the cost of performing the upgrades.

Take a look at the recommended route and decide at what point you’re going to go off and get your weapon in advance. If it’s quite a way in, it might be worth starting as a Samurai anyway, because the uchigatana is a powerful early-game weapon and can get you through the start of the game if needs be. It’s really a matter of preference.

Step 1: Kill two great rune bosses

Much of the latter half of the game is locked behind access to Leyndel: Royal Capital, for which you need two Great Runes. There are four options players can choose from – Godrick the Grafted, Renala Queen of the Full Moon, Starscourge Radahn, or Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy.

Godrick is the earliest and fastest to fight so for pure speed and to make the fastest progress, he’s definitely a good choice. You get the added bonus of his great rune which you can activate for a huge stat boost if you start having trouble later.

The other three have their own pros and cons. Rykard gives the player a huge ton of runes, but Volcano Manor is out of the way and you have to make your way through the Godskin Noble to get to him, a boss that can be a real roadblock to many.

Renala, Queen of the Full Moon
Renala, Queen of the Full Moon. Image credit: FromSoftware

Radahn and Renala both require time to get to. Renala requires you to get through The Academy of Raya Lucaria and defeat the Red Wolf of Radagon to get to her, and Radahn requires you to run through Caelid and either fight an extremely tough miniboss (Leonine Misbegotten and Crucible Knight) or go to the Altus Plateau and get a grace to activate the festival before returning to fight Radahn.

Step 2: Get into the Capital

There are two ways you can get into Altus Plateau and from there into the Capital, and again it’s really up to you which one you do.

Option one is to collect the two halves of the Dectus medallion and go up the Grand Lift of Dectus. This requires a lot of riding around on Torrent but otherwise isn’t too challenging. There aren’t any bosses to fight on this route and it takes you near some useful upgrade items.

The first half of the medallion is in Fort Haight, in the southern area of Limgrave. Players can snag a Golden Seed right outside the fort, to add a charge to your flasks. The second half is in Fort Faroth, in the Dragonbarrow area of Caelid (take the teleporter from behind the Third Church of Marika in Limgrave to get there faster), and while there, you can grab the powerful talisman Radogan’s Scarseal, which boosts stats at the cost of taking a little extra damage. Then as you run down Bellum Highway towards the Dectus Lift, you can stop in the church along the way and grab a Sacred Tear to boost the potency of your healing Flask.

The second option is to go up through the Ruin-Strewn Precipice, a tricky vertical dungeon that culminates in a fight with Magma Wyrm Makar before you exit into the Plateau.

Step 3: The mid-game boss rush

After you’ve made it to Altus Plateau and secured your two Great Runes, the end of the game is essentially just a boss gauntlet away, starting with the Demonic Tree Sentinel at the entrance to the Capital.

After fighting the Demonic Tree Sentinal, make your way through Leyndell Royal Capital until you find your way to Godfrey, First Elden Lord (also known as Goldfrey to his friends). Beat him and run up to a battle against Morgott The Omen King. After this fight, make sure you head up to look at the thorns blocking the path to the Erdtree – this triggers Melina to come and give you the Rold Medallion.

Head back through the capital and up the huge elevator to the Forbidden Lands. Don’t get too comfortable as you just run straight through this area and to the Grand Lift of Rold. This will take you up to the Mountaintops of the Giants, where you need to do a ton more running.

Your next boss is Fire Giant, an extremely challenging boss. Remember, you can always go and get some extra upgrades to make things a little easier. An upgraded Spirit Summon or some consumables like Fire Grease can really make a huge difference in a tough fight.

Maliketh, the Black Blade
Maliketh, the Black Blade. Image credit: FromSoftware

After dispatching Fire Giant, you have to talk to Melina again, who proceeds to burn down the Erdtree and teleports you into Crumbling Farum Azula. Make your way through this challenging late-game area and try not to get flattened by the Beastmen along the way. Fight the Godskin Duo (if you’re struggling with this fight, don’t forget that you can use Sleep Pots or arrows to put them to sleep and make the fight easier) and continue through to the area’s boss Maliketh, the Black Blade.

Step 4: The end-game boss rush

Well and truly into the end game now, defeating Maliketh will teleport you into the Ashen Capital. Just four bosses stand in your way of becoming Elden Lord from here.

The first is Sir Gideon Ofnir, the All-Knowing. If you don’t manage to kill this boss first try the fight can get a lot harder, so grab your damage buffs and go to town before he can fight back.

Next is the two-stage fight with Godfrey, First Elden Lord, who becomes Horah Loux, Warrior in his second phase. This fight is fun and challenging, and winning it means you are ready for the final fight. It’s two bosses back-to-back so make sure you’re prepared before going through the crack in the Erdtree in the final step to becoming Elden Lord.

Radogan of the Golden Order is the first boss of the final duo. He hits hard and fast but has very clearly telegraphed moves and predictable patterns which means after a little bit of practice, he shouldn’t pose too much of a challenge.

The final boss is the Elden Beast, a huge monster of a boss who sails across the battlefield out of range and has a combination of tricky melee attacks and devastating ranged moves. The final fight is a challenge worthy of the end of a FromSoftware game and when you beat it, you will become the Elden Lord.

From here, you can either go on to enter the DLC and take on a whole slew of new bosses, or progress into New Game Plus for an even greater challenge.

Featured image credit: FromSoftware

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Ali Rees
Tech journalist

Ali Rees is a freelance writer based in the UK. They have worked as a data and analytics consultant, a software tester, and a digital marketing and SEO specialist. They have been a keen gamer and tech enthusiast since their childhood in are currently the Gaming and Tech editor at Brig Newspaper. They also have a Substack where they review short video games. During the pandemic, Ali turned their hand to live streaming and is a fan of Twitch. When not writing, Ali enjoys playing video and board games, live music, and reading. They have two cats and both of…

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