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

The watcher in the woods

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.

How do you beat the Tree Sentinel in Elden Ring?

You don’t, not the first time you see it unless you’re very patient. 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.

Tree Sentinel boss 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 horsey in hand, you’ll still need to time your attacks and dodges carefully. Torren’t 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.

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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