Learning how to beat the Elden Ring Tree Sentinel boss fight is the first big test you’ll come across as you start Elden Ring, a huge horseback knight who’s just ahead as you leave the tutorial area. A powerhouse figure straight off the bat, but don’t worry – you’re not actually supposed to actually fight the Tree Sentinel boss fight yes. Sneak around him to the ruined church on the other side and come back later!
But though the Tree Sentinel is an optional boss, you should try fighting him directly at some point. Despite initially being a real challenge, it won’t be too long before you’re ready to come back and fight the Tree Sentinel properly, after levelling up, getting better weapons and upgrades – and maybe even summoning some friends to help. Don’t worry, no matter how you approach him, we’ve got a good selection of Elden Ring Tree Sentinel boss fight tips and tricks to help you get over this hurdle. Here’s everything you need to know to beat the Tree Sentinel boss fight in Elden Ring.
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How to defeat the Elden Ring Tree Sentinel boss
The Tree Sentinel is the first proper boss that Elden Ring players will see as they emerge into West Limgrave. He patrols a key pathway for you to follow to progress, so getting rid of him is important. Take care as he is incredibly strong thanks to his armor, surprisingly agile on his horse, and employs very hard-hitting, long-range strikes with his Golden Halberd. We suggest that you bring along a good +2 melee weapon, or some useful ranged spells or weapons depending on your build.
For players using melee-oriented builds, we think Torrent, the Elden Ring horse and spectral steed, is essential to out-maneuvering the Tree Sentinel due to his size and speed. The general strategy is to gallop toward the Sentinel and get in a few weapon strikes as you charge past. Rinse and repeat until the Tree Sentinel is felled, but obviously there are some things to be aware of.
The Tree Sentinel’s attack range is far and wide but quite slow. You should have a good amount of time to see his attacks wind up, giving you the chance to change course and prepare for another charge at him. Furthermore, avoid riding alongside the Elden Ring Tree Sentinel as you’ll be vulnerable to many of his halberd attacks, and kicks and shunts from the horse. This only gets worse if the Tree Sentinel is stationary, as he can perform a devastating shield crush move which can easily take Torrent – or you – out of the fight. While it might look like a good attack opportunity, do not hang around near the Sentinel while his horse isn’t moving.
Looking to (Mar)git gud?
The first mandatory boss in the game is some way past the Tree Sentinel, and while he’s easier, he’s no slouch either. Check out how to beat Margit in Elden Ring so you’re ready for that challenge!
Elden Ring players using ranged tactics through magic or bows, for example, will need to find a safe place that the Tree Sentinel can’t easily reach and should focus on chipping away at his health. The entrance to the Church of Elleh and some of the ruins surrounding the Elden Ring Tree Sentinel’s patrol route should provide adequate safety. Magic users need to be aware that this boss has a rare counterattack where he can absorb a spell with his shield and fire an empowered version of it back at you, so you’ll need to be prepared to evade.
Regardless of your build, the ghostly allies you summon using Spirit Ashes will really help in this fight if you’re tackling it at a lower level. The wolves, in particular, will nip at the Elden Ring Tree Sentinel, providing a great diversion for you to go in with some proper attacks, as they chip away at his health.
Once you’ve worn down the Elden Ring Tree Sentinel enough and emptied his health bar, you’ll defeat both the Sentinel and his giant horse mount. The path between The First Step and the Church of Elleh Ruins is now permanently safe, and he will not respawn there. If you’re still finding the Tree Sentinel difficult to bring down, there’s no shame in leaving the area, leveling up and enhancing your weapons a bit more before returning for a rematch.
Do you have to defeat the Elden Ring Tree Sentinel?
The Tree Sentinel is one of the many optional bosses found in Elden Ring, which means he is not critical to progression, or the story, and you never have to fight him. It’s a good job that he is an optional boss because he’s very difficult to deal with initially.
For your first few hours of playing Elden Ring, you should absolutely avoid the Tree Sentinel as best you can until you’ve spent a good number of Runes to boost your Attributes, perhaps by doing some Elden Ring Rune farming. To avoid his attention, you’ll have to skirt around the main path between the first open world Site of Grace you find – known as The First Step – and the ruins of the Church of Elleh where he patrols.
If you are spotted, you can take cover in the church or run across uneven terrain that the Elden Ring Tree Sentinel’s horse can’t easily navigate, allowing you to get away. The boss’s health bar will disappear once he’s lost interest so you can carry on about your quest. The reality is that it’s good to fight him now because there’ll be bigger, stronger, less optional Tree Sentinels later in the game – and this guy makes for good practice.
Elden Ring Tree Sentinel rewards
For defeating the Tree Sentinel in Elden Ring, you’ll get 3200 Runes and his own Golden Halberd. Obviously it’s much for you than it was for him, but it’s still incredibly weighty, with minimum Attribute requirements of 30 in Strength, 14 in Dexterity, and 12 in Faith. While it deals a lot of Physical and Holy damage, its scaling isn’t great – a D-rating in Strength and Faith, and an E-rating in Dexterity – so it might not be something that sees you through the whole game if you meet all the requirements. Although, the Rune reward is decent enough that you should be able to level up once or twice, depending on how early in the game you were able to defeat him.
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