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Elden Ring Tree Sentinel guide: How to beat the Tree Sentinel

The watcher in the woods.

Update: Elden Ring has had plenty of updates, so we've updated this Elden Ring Tree Sentinel boss fight guide to reflect any changes made to the game. There's also some new tips and tricks for taking on this troublesome foe, who has earned a reputation for stumping newcomers as they enter Limgrave.

The Elden Ring Tree Sentinel is one of the first overworld bosses you’ll encounter (depending on where you explore) and it’s a good lesson in how to deal with these encounters: just because it exists doesn’t mean you have to kill it – not yet, at least.

The Tree Sentinel guards the path between The First Step and The Church of Elleh, but you can just walk around it or stealth-walk your way through the shrubbery to avoid being seen. There’s a few things you’ll need to do first before you can safely challenge it.

When should you fight the Tree Sentinel in Elden Ring?

You certainly do not fight the Tree Sentinal at the very beginning of Elden Ring, that's for sure. Despite him likely being one of the first enemies you run into, this foe is very much intended for players to come back to at a later point in their game.

The Tree Sentinel’s moveset is relatively limited, compared to other bosses, but it moves quickly. Its galloping slash can catch you even if you’re a fair distance away and is nearly impossible to avoid without timing dodges just right. Even then, you’ll struggle to land hits and get away in time to avoid its close-range attacks.

That’s because the Tree Sentinel, like nearly every other overworld boss, is designed for mounted combat. You’ll want to hold off challenging it until you acquire Torrent the horse from Melina, but even then, you’ll be hard pressed to deal any meaningful damage with just your base weapon.

You'll have better luck returning to the Tree Sentinel in Limgrave between Level 20-30, ideally on horseback.

Tree Sentinel boss fight tips

You’ll want to upgrade your weapon at the blacksmith’s or smithing table at least once or twice to keep the fight from dragging on endlessly. For that, you’ll need Smithing Stones, which you can find in various places, but especially Limgrave Tunnels near Agheel Lake.

Even with enhanced weapon and magic horse in hand, you’ll still need to time your attacks and dodges carefully. Torrent's double jump ability makes escaping some attacks much easier, so bear that in mind if you’re in close quarters and can’t get away fast enough.

Your best bet for defeating the Tree Sentinel is dashing up to it and away to trigger an attack, then galloping back over so you can land two or three hits after the Sentinel’s attack animation, before it launches another assault. It’ll still take a while, but your reward for defeating it is a special halberd.

Attacks that you need to look out for won't come as much of a surprise; he'll do sweeping and stabbing attacks with his halberd, and will also use his horse in an attempt to bash or slam you, stunning you in place temporarily. If you're keeping your distance, you'll want to look out for pesky charged attacks in which the Sentinel will charge at you before swinging his halberd around.

It's also worth noting that the enemy is strong against Fire, Holy, Bleed, and Frost damage, so using any of those on the Tree Sentinel may not be as affective as you might've hoped.

Ranged and magic players will have an easier time of this fight, however, as it's quite easy to cheese from a safe distance. From where The First Steps Site of Grace is, you should see a ruined building in the ground behind (or to the right of) the Tree Sentinel, depending on which angle you are looking at it from.

Use Torrent to reach the top of the building, and from here, you can quite easily hit the Tree Sentinel with ranged attacks. Because of how you're positioned, he will not be able to reach you... most of the time. You'll want to be careful when standing near the edge of the building, as the Tree Sentinel's sweeping attacks can still knock you off your feet.

If you're a magic user, there's one move you'll want to look out for while doing this, and that's the move involving the Tree Sentinel's shield. When facing magic attacks, the Tree Sentinel will often block them using his shield. If the shield comes into contact with an attack, it will fire a beam of holy damage in retaliation at the player. Watch out for this.

There's also a chance he'll despawn, but in our experience, he respawned with his health bar still half intact, so we were able to finish off the fight very quickly.

If you’re looking for more Elden Ring guides, we’ve got plenty of them. Our beginner’s guide has essential tips to keep you mostly alive, and once you make some progress, you’ll need to figure out what to do with those Great Runes you get from defeating story bosses. If you need a break from questing, you can always freshen up your Tarnished’s appearance or invite some friends along to make the journey easier.

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