The cosmic horror, Bloodborne-y side of Elden Ring is alive and well, if you’re willing to dig a little deeper and look past the dark fantasy roots of the rest of the game’s world. If you go down the rabbit hole of trying to understand all the other deities and ideologies that go against the ruling Erdtree religion, plenty of unusual revelations will present themselves.
This is mostly hidden behind the illusive, convoluted, multi-step Ranni quest, which culminates with a boss fight against Astel, Naturalborn of the Void – one of the most unusual bosses in Elden Ring.
Astel, Naturalborn of the Void would be right at home in Bloodborne, which is part of what makes this encounter all the more unique and surprising.
When should you fight Astel, Naturalborn of the Void in Elden Ring?
Astel, Naturalborn of the Void is an optional boss. You do not have to fight it to progress the main story, but you do need to beat it if you’re going for the Age of the Stars ending. Astel is not a demigod or Shardbearer.
Unlike most other bosses in Elden Ring, Astel, Naturalborn of the Void’s arena is in a secret area only accessible after reaching yet another secret area. This is why you can put off this fight for as long as you want, provided you don’t finish the game before beating it.
Astel’s fight will be easier if you’re character level 110 or above, ideally 115-120. Your weapon upgrade matters more, however, and we recommend no less than +19/+22 weapon level for this one.
How to make Astel, Naturalborn of the Void fight easier in Elden Ring
Astel, Naturalborn of the Void hits hard and has an unusual hitbox. Your main problem, however, is going to be actually getting close to it. This is especially a pain for melee players, as the arena is vast enough, and his reach long enough, that you’ll die on your way to it more often than you’d like.
There are a few things working in your favour. Ringing the bell and summoning Spirit Ashes to aid you in the fight is one. We’re more concerned with diverting Astel’s attention away from you so you can more safely approach, not so much the summon’s damage output.
We recommend picking a tanky, melee-based summon for this one, even if it’s going to take them a while to get to the boss and be effective, they’ll quickly steal aggro as the boss focuses on them – which is what we need.
Astel is also weak to both poison and Scarlet Rot. The Spirit Jellyfish is excellent at applying poison, but because it’s a ranged summon, it may not be enough to steal away Astel’s gaze. Basically, if you’re having trouble getting close, pick a melee summon. If you’re struggling with Astel’s health bar, slowly chew it up with poison.
How to beat Astel, Naturalborn of the Void in Elden Ring
Astel’s unusual form makes it hard to figure out which part of it is best to target. As bizarre as it might sound, the hardest-looking body parts are the weakest to physical damage. In other words, its head and arms/legs are your ticket to finishing the fight quickly – if you can target them consistently. The wings and other ethereal parts are the most armoured. If you’re struggling to get close to Astel, consider aiming for the wings and such. You’ll deal less damage, but you’ll be safer at a distance.
Though we recommend summoning Spirit Ashes for this fight, don’t do it immediately upon entering the area. Astel always starts the fight by firing off a massive beam of light that will hit you (if not outright kill you) if you’re in the middle of the summoning animation. Dodge that first before ringing the bell.
Astel really only has a single phase, but as we mentioned, the challenge lies in simply closing the distance and getting to it. The main thing you have to watch out for as you make your way towards it is the tail attacks, which are very hard to anticipate because their animation is short, and the way the tail waggles can make it hard to be certain whether it’s preparing to launch an attack or simply idling.
Nevertheless, dodging just before the tail lands is the way to go here. Ideally, you should be dodging towards the boss to close that distance even faster.
Many of Astel’s attacks could kill you in one hit, or drop your HP low enough that you might not even get a chance to heal – especially as a sub-100 character. This is the other challenge of the fight, and it can make it seem unfair.
Once you get close, lock onto the head and start attacking. If you stay under Astel long enough, the boss is going to put its hands up to summon a purple bomb, which will deal damage all around it – including right under it. Be ready to dodge just before the explosion. At that point, Astel will teleport further back into the arena, requiring you to make yet another trip to it.
Astel has a grab attack that’s among its most dangerous. If you see its hands extending towards you, time to dodge. At about 50% HP, Astel will spawn purple meteors. Continue dodging until the meteor rain is over before you get back on the offensive.
For the rest of the fight, Astel will create purple orbs just before delivering an attack. The shape and direction of each attack is different, so keep an eye on the orbs to anticipate where they’re going to land. The most dangerous is a three-hit AOE combo where each strike will spawn a circle on the ground, expanding the reach with each one. Simply time your dodges or run away to avoid being hit. This attack is easy to read, since Astel levitates and spawns purple orbs in all six of its limbs just before landing and delivering the one-two-three explosions.
If you spend too long around Astel this late into the fight, expect an anti-gravity attack that will send you flying before bringing you crashing down. If you get caught in it, there’s no way to escape the damage, but you can dodge away from the boss if you spot tiny pillars of light around it, which spawn just before the anti-gravity attack begins.
What to do after defeating Astel, Naturalborn of the Void in Elden Ring
Once Astel is down, a Site of Grace will appear and an exit just behind where the boss was will become available. This is a sealed area that you can only open after acquiring the Dark Moon Ring, which you get towards the end of Ranni’s quest.
If you don’t have the ring, mark the area and come back when you have grabbed it from the locked chest in the Raya Lucaria Grand Library. Having the Dark Moon Ring will not only allow you to remove the seal, but also reveal a hidden elevator that will take you up to a certain part of Limgrave you can’t otherwise reach. There, you’ll be able to finish Ranni’s quest and unlock the ability to trigger the Age of the Stars ending.
Even if that’s not the ending you're going for, it helps to see Ranni’s quest through to its conclusion so you have the option. You also get the Dark Moon Greatsword, which is cool.
Catch up on all of the best boss fight tips so far in our Elden Ring guide, which we recently updated with new pages on how to finish Seluvis’ quest, trigger Blaidd’s quest, understand Sellen’s quest, as well as how to start New Game Plus - and what happens when you do.