How to Beat Starscourge Radahn in Elden Ring

How to Beat Starscourge Radahn in Elden Ring
Image credit: FromSoftware

Demigod Starscourge Radahn is one of the best boss battles FromSoftware has ever made. Everything from the lore, difficulty, setting, cinematics, and spectacle work together to create a memorable encounter.

General Radahn is one of the three children of Lady Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon, and Radagon of the Golden Order. His other two siblings are Lunar Princess Ranni and Praetor Rykard.

From a young age, Radahn deeply idolized Godfrey, the first Elden Lord. Radahn’s Lion Armor reads, “The golden lion is said to symbolize Godfrey, the Elden Lord, and his beast regent, Serosh. From his youngest years, Radahn was naturally captivated by the Lord of the Battlefield.”

General Radahn is fiercely loyal to his horse, Leonard. The Remembrance of the Starscourge item gives more information on the subject, “The Red Lion General wielded gravitational powers which he learned in Selia during his younger days. All so he would never have to abandon his beloved but scrawny steed.”

After the cataclysmic event called the Shattering, several demigods went to war with each other to become the next Elden Lord. One of these battles was between Malenia, Blade of Miquella, along with her Cleanrot knights versus General Radahn and his Redmane army.

At first, the battle heavily favored General Radahn. But, Malenia bloomed the scarlet rot festering within her, poisoning Radahn from the inside and breaking his sanity. The result of their battle is also the reason why the disease ravages Caelid.

Yet, even in his sorry state, he’s able to hold back the stars and protect his trusty steed.

General Radahn’s army stayed in Caelid to rid the region of the scarlet rot. At the same time, they’re hosting a Festival of War in Redmane Castle, calling the greatest warriors in the Lands Between to grant their former general an honorable death.

The Radahn Festival is one of the most epic funerals in gaming history. In this guide, I’ll show you how to start the Radahn Festival, what to prepare, and how to beat Starscourge Radahn in Elden Ring.

Starting the Radahn Festival

To begin the Festival of War to beat Radahn, you have to make your way to Redmane Castle in Caelid. But, before that, there are two known events that trigger the Radahn Festival in Elden Ring.

The first is by resting at any Site of Grace in the Altus Plateau.

The intended way to reach the Altus Plateau is by activating the Grand Lift of Dectus, then using it to access the region. You can do so by finding the two halves of the medallion needed to start the lift.

The left half of the Dectus Medallion is found in a treasure chest in Fort Haight in Limgrave. Follow the main road south from the Third Church of Marika until you find the fort guarded by knights and rats. Clearing out the fort is also tied to Kenneth Haight’s questline, an NPC you can meet just west of the Third Church of Marika.

The right half of the Dectus Medallion is also in a treasure chest in Fort Faroth in the scarlet rot-blighted region of Caelid. All the enemies in Dragonbarrow are challenging and meant for a high-leveled character; therefore, gathering the other half of the medallion is most likely a suicide run.

Afterward, travel to the Grand Lift of Dectus in the northern part of Liurnia of the Lakes. Activate the lift, then use the Site of Grace nearby. Resting there triggers the Radahn Festival.

Alternatively, you can take the Coward’s Path, as the game calls it. Follow the ravine north of Liurnia of the Lakes until you reach wooden scaffolding. 

Navigate through that path and fight Magma Wyrm Makar at the top. After beating the boss, you’ll unlock the lift in the cave that takes you to Altus Plateau.

The second way to start the Radahn Festival is by proceeding with Ranni’s questline.

Ranni, the Witch, is the character that offers the spirit calling bell in the Church of Elleh. She first introduces herself as Renna before bidding you goodbye.

You can meet her again in Ranni’s Rise in the northwest part of the Liurnia of the Lakes. But first, you have to make your way through the Caria Manor and defeat Royal Knight Loretta at the top to access the area.

After talking to Ranni for the first time, you have to return to the Roundtable Hold and talk to Sorcerer Rogier. He’ll suggest that you enter into her service.

Follow this questline until Seluvis gives you a letter of introduction for Sorceress Sellen. Sellen will explain how Radahn holding back the stars also holds back Lunar Princess Ranni’s fate and that you have to beat Radahn to free the stars.

Return to Blaidd at Siofra River and tell him what you learned. Then, exhaust his dialogue to unlock the Radahn Festival to defeat Radahn in Elden Ring.

Doing either of these two events will trigger the Radahn Festival. So now you can make your way to Redmane Castle in Caelid.

Redmane Castle is located in the southeast region of Caelid. You can find the castle by following the main path south of Caelid. Then, when you reach the Cathedral of Dragon Communion, keep heading east.

There’s a waygate right before the bridge that teleports you to the courtyard just before the Redmane Castle Plaza Site of Grace. Alternatively, you can also scale the side of the castle to find a ladder leading inside it. 

There’s also another waygate at the top of Fort Gael, south of Gael Tunnel, where you can find the Moonveil Katana. The waygate drops you right after the bridge leading to Redmane Castle.

If you explored Redmane Castle without progressing through Ranni’s questline, a boss fog would block the way to the castle’s plaza. Inside, you’ll fight both Misbegotten Warrior, similar to the one south of Castle Morne, and Crucible Knight.

Fight aggressively and do your best to quickly burst down Misbegotten Warrior before Crucible Knight spawns. Additionally, both of these enemies are easy to parry; ergo, this is a fun time if you’re a small shield carrier.

Defeating them awards Ruins Greatsword, a colossal greatsword infused with gravity magic. It also has a unique Ashes of War called Waves of Destruction, which fires a wave of gravity magic in a straight line.

Afterward, resting at a Site of Grace starts the Radahn Festival. However, if castellan Jerren says that the festival isn’t ready and to return at a later date, you have to trigger the festival through the ways mentioned above.

If you triggered the Radahn Festival through Ranni’s questline, the fight wouldn’t be there. You can directly fight Starscourge Radahn once talking to castellan Jerren.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t fight the two bosses anymore. 

After defeating Starscourge Radahn, you can exhaust castellan Jerren’s dialogue to get him to leave. Then, you can reset the area by resting at a Site of Grace. Afterward, the boss fog to Misbegotten Warrior and Crucible Knight would appear. 

Starscourge Radahn Tips

Even after the nerfs, Starscourge Radahn is a tough fight. Fortunately, Elden Ring gives you all the tools you need to beat Starscourge Radahn, provided you’re willing to use them.

First and foremost, the recommended level to beat Starscourge Radahn is around 50-70. Fighting him from that level range ensures a challenging yet fair fight, where you won’t overpower him by being overleveled.

When it comes to status effects, Starscourge Radahn is severely weak against scarlet rot. Lore wise, it makes sense because you’re basically accelerating the disease inside him.

Applying scarlet rot to Starscourge Radahn is akin to cheesing the fight because of how weak he is to the status ailment. You only need to use it twice in the battle to beat Starscoutge Radahn.

There aren’t many ways to apply scarlet rot on your first playthrough. The most reliable way is by using dragon incantations that involve scarlet rot, namely Rotten Breath and Ezykes’s Decay. Both of these incantations require Faith and Arcane to cast.

Against Starscourge Radahn and bosses in general, I recommend Rotten Breath over the upgraded version. Though Ezykes’s Decay does more direct damage and can be used while in the air, casting Rotten Breathe is faster. After all, your goal is to apply scarlet rot, not deal raw damage.

Another way is through scarlet rot-infused arrows and bolts. You can learn how to craft scarlet rot arrows and bolts by purchasing the Nomadic Warrior’s Cookbook [15] from the nomadic merchant south of the Swamp of Aeonia. In addition, you’ll need to collect Aeonian Butterflies to craft scarlet rot items in Elden Ring.

You can find the merchant by following the main road south of Caelid. He’s sitting at a campfire near the road heading to Redmane Castle.

Unfortunately, the Nomadic Warrior’s Cookbook [22], which is used to craft Rot Pot, Rot Grease, and Drawstring Rot Grease, can only be found in the Lake of Rot after defeating Starscourge Radahn. Though, there are a few Rot Grease found in Sellia Crystal Tunnel.

As a last resort, there’s also the Rotten Stray Ashes spirit summon to call upon a stray dog that applies scarlet rot. The spirit is north of the Sellia Under-Stair Site of Grace near Sellia, Town of Sorcery.

Don’t worry if you don’t have access to scarlet rot. Bleed, poison, and frostbite are viable status effects to beat Starscourge Radahn. If you don’t have any weapons that apply it, you could also use throwable knives. Just avoid holy damage because he’s resistant to it.

Once you’re ready to fight Starscourge Radahn, head to the plaza in Redmane Castle. There are a few NPCs you can interact with here. For example, both Iron Fist Alexander and Blaidd will appear in the plaza, whether you previously encountered them or not.

Finger Maid Therolina will also teach you the polite bow gesture, a must for any honorable PvP duel.

Talk to castellan Jerren at the top of the stairs. He’s the person who looks like Slave Knight Gael announcing the festival. Choose the option “Ready as I’ll ever be,” and he’ll tell you more about General Radahn.

After the cutscene, he’ll announce the Radahn Festival and you’ll learn the Heartening Cry gesture. Reset the area by resting at the nearby Site of Grace.

Then, head to the church and go through castellan Jerren. Use the elevator to go down to the beach. Finally, use the waygate to fight Starscourge Radahn in Elden Ring.

Defeat Starscourge Radahn

Before anything else, it is best not to summon any other players while fighting Starcourge Radahn. You can’t use Torrent when other players are around, and Radahn gains bonus health and attack. The fight is significantly easier on horseback, so it’s best to fight Starscourge Radahn on your own.

Starscourge Radahn will immediately open with his greatbow as soon as you enter the arena. His arrows are plucked from the Cleanrot spears impaled on his back, infused with gravity magic. 

There are three attacks Starscourge Radahn can execute while using his greatbow. First, a regular charged shot. The tracking is pretty precise and will home towards you; either sprint sideways with Torrent or dodge through it.

His second attack is a spread of multiple arrows. Though it looks intimidating, it’s easier to dodge by sprinting away from the shot. Lastly, he’ll shoot arrows into the sky, and it will rain towards your location for a few seconds. Stay on the move as the attack will continue following you for a few seconds.

You have two ways to approach Starscourge Radahn, depending on whether or not you want to use NPC summons. If you’re going to fight him on your own, gallop to your right and use the sand dunes as cover from his arrows. Doing so will nullify most of his bow attacks.

If you want to use summons, look for the ghostly white banners floating above the desert as summon signs spawn under them. It’s particularly advantageous to know when the NPC dies, and their summon sign moves.

There’s a group of summon signs directly in front of you. Use the obstacles to block Radahn’s arrows. For this fight, you can summon as many NPCs as you want since this is a unique mechanic to the Radahn Festival.

Additionally, you can summon NPCs with only the press of the interact button, even while on your horse. There are a total of 8 NPCs to summon against Starscourge Radahn:

  • Blaidd the Half-Wolf attacks with his greatsword.
  • Iron Fist Alexander the warrior jar fights bare-handed, striking, spinning, and slamming Starscourge Radahn.
  • Okina looks like a shinobi and uses a katana to fight.
  • Lionel the Lionhearted wears a heavy suit of armor; he primarily fights using melee attacks but occasionally casts spells.
  • Great Horned Tragoth wears the bull-goat set and wields a colossal hammer. He also teaches the Casual Greeting gesture when you first summon him.
  • Finger Maiden Therolina uses holy pots and casts area of effect healing spells. She’s a great summon to support the party.
  • Castellan Jerren appears in the second half of the fight using the Flamberge.
  • Patches appears for a few seconds before leaving the fight, which is very in character for him.

The easiest way to defeat Starscourge Radahn is to stay on horseback while continuously summoning NPCs to fight him. You can speed up the fight by attacking him with your bow, sorceries, or incantations while on horseback.

Assuming you want to fight him on horseback, try to bait out his attacks before committing with your own. Starscourge Radahn is unusually fast for his size and can quickly close the distance before you can retreat. Approach from behind him or when he’s busy with another NPC.

If you’re fighting him with a melee weapon, try to stay near his leg as much as possible. Most of his attacks will overextend and miss you entirely. If possible, wail on him from behind, but save some stamina to dodge.

Starscourge Radahn Moveset

Starscourge Radahn has three phases tied to his current health. Most of the attacks have erratic and quick timings, making it challenging to defeat Starscourge Radahn on your first try.

If in doubt, stay on your horse and try to watch his moveset against the NPC summons. Also, none of his physical attacks are parryable, so don’t attempt it. You can use Carian Retaliation on his magic attacks, but the timing is difficult and not worthwhile.

He has a few attacks he can cycle from during his first phase. The most dangerous one is where he draws both blades to his right side, then attacks after a few seconds of holding it. He’ll first sweep both blades from right to left, attack once with his left, then pause for half a second before sweeping again, and finally, circle around you on his horse before lunging.

The first two attacks come out in quick succession, dodge away from the sweep, then dodge into the slash. The subsequent two attacks have a pause between them, so don’t dodge too early. You’ll have an opening to strike back after the last attack.

If it’s too tricky, learn to recognize the initial build-up. Fortunately, it’s just enough time for you to get on Torrent and sprint away.

Another attack looks just like the previous move; however, he raises his left knee for this variation. Starscourge Radahn will lean down execute two spinning slashes while moving away from you. You’ll need to dodge twice to escape the initial and retreating slash.

Starscourge Radahn will raise both blades into the air and slam down. If you’re far away, you’re must dodge into the attack. However, if you’re near him, move closer, and he’ll completely miss. This attack is one of the best opportunities to attempt a stagger on him.

He also has another attack that starts the same way, but instead, he’ll lean down and sweep at the player. The attack is also punished the same way by moving right next to his horse.

When you’re within melee range of Starscourge Radahn, he can perform a quick gravity stomp before retreating with a slash. Another dangerous attack is a fast slam that he can chain multiple times. While these are easy to dodge, be careful about committing an attack as he can recover fast from these moves.

Starscourge Radahn can encircle you while readying a swipe, don’t panic roll during this time. Instead, run to his opposite side to buy you more time to dodge out of the way.

When he drags his sword to the ground, dodge after about half a second. Then, dodge his follow-up attack before countering with your own.

When you’re on either side of Starscourge Radahn, he can raise his blade to strike down twice after a slight delay. You can also dodge by moving as close as you can to his horse.

Lastly, Starscourge Radahn shoves his horse underground then roars while holding both blades to the side. Then, he will jump forward and attack twice; next, he will attack three more times before slashing the ground. In his second phase, his last sweep will be infused with gravity.

If you’re close enough, the first five hits are free. But, get ready to dodge during the final chain of his attack.

The second phase begins when you lower his health down to about 75%. Starscourge Radahn signals this by digging his blades into the ground, infusing it with gravity magic. You can anticipate this transition by punishing him while he does it.

Starscourge Radahn learns new attacks during his second phase and even empowers some of his old ones. The significant change is that he’ll start using the gravity magic he’s famous for.

When Starscourge Radahn crosses his gravity blade above him, he’ll slam both of his blades down, causing a magical explosion and invoking gravity orbs.

Then, these purple orbs will fly towards you after a slight delay. Do your best to dodge right through the balls at the last second. You’ll be punished if you evade too early or too late.

However, when Starscourge Radahn crosses his gravity blades in front of him, he’ll pull all of his enemies near him before leaning forward and slamming his colossal blades, creating a big gravity explosion. Though, he doesn’t always perform the second part of the attack.

Although this attack is intimidating and hits hard, it’s effortless to dodge. If you’re on horseback, you can attempt to use the invincibility frames from dismounting Torrent.

But, if the timing is tricky, it’s a non-issue as the initial pull barely does any damage. Just remember to sprint away as soon as you can.

While on the ground, again, if you could dodge the pull, you’ll be in a better situation. But if not, simply run behind Starscourge Radahn and start attacking.

You won’t get hit because the boss leans forward before attacking. This is Radahn’s most vulnerable state, and you should attempt a stagger during this time.

If you’re fighting him from a distance, Starscourge Radahn will occasionally shoot gravity waves at you. While on foot, dodge towards it, no problem.

But, if you’re on Torrent, you can attempt a double jump over it or use the invincibility frames from dismounting. You have slightly more invulnerability during the slow dismount while standing still compared to the fast dismount when you’re running full speed.

When Starscourge Radahn’s health reaches 50%, he will bury Leonard underground before flying high into the stars. Then, a few moments later, he’ll come back crashing down into the arena as a meteor, signaling his third phase.

During the time Starscourge Radahn is away, get on Torrent and start summoning more NPCs. Keep looking for the meteor while on your horse. Move to either side as soon as you spot it, instead of away from it.

Fire will surround Starscourge Radahn when he lands, so make sure to keep your distance. If you were using any status effects like scarlet rot, you have to reapply it again after he lands.

Radahn will gain two more attacks during his last phase, but it isn’t too much of an issue. If you survived this long, you’d most likely beat Starscourge Radahn.

When Radahn slams his blades into a V-shape, he’ll call upon multiple meteors that will orbit him. Although they are intimidating, the meteors won’t randomly hit you.

You’ll only need to worry about the meteors when Starscourge Radahn starts retreating. If he does, get on Torrent and try to find terrain for cover. Those meteors are notoriously tricky to dodge.

And finally, Starscourge Radahn will once again bury his horse then levitate into the air. He’ll dive towards you while spinning like a drill, and then after a brief pause, he’ll do it for the second time. It’s best to dodge to the side when he’s about to come in contact with you.

Radahn may seem impossible at first, but you’ll eventually know his tricks after a few tries. After all, there are multiple characters to help you beat Starscourge Radahn because it is a festival, meaning that you don’t have to bring down the demigod on your own.

Rewards for Beating Starscourge Radahn

Congratulations on beating Starscourge Radahn! For your valiant efforts, you’ll receive excellent rewards both in items and in story progression.

First of all, don’t forget to talk to Blaidd and Alexander after beating Starscourge Radahn. Then, you’re free to roam around the desert to loot any items scattered about.

When you’re done, stick to the shore and keep heading north. Eventually, you’ll find a door leading to the War-Dead Catacombs.

Inside, you’ll find the Collapsing Stars sorcery, which pulls foes closer to you when hit by the projectile. There’s also the Radahn Soldier Ashes and the powerful Redmane Knight Ogha Ashes that you get from defeating the Putrid Tree Spirit.

Back in Redmane Castle, you can talk to castellan Jerren to relieve him of his duty. Jerren will later appear during Sorceress Sellen’s questline.

Additionally, the previously locked doors inside Redmane Castle are now accessible. You can find great items like the Flamberge, a greatsword that deals bleed damage, and Red-Hot Whiteblade, an essential item that allows you to add flame affinity to weapons.

Most importantly, beating Starscourge Radahn causes a meteor to crash, revealing Nokron, Eternal City. The newly opened crater is located west of Fort Haight in Limgrave.

Defeating Starcourge Radahn makes the General Radahn Set available to purchase from Enia at the Roundtable Hold. Overall, one of the best armor sets in Elden Ring in terms of defenses and fashion.

And finally, the Remembrance of the Starscourge item can be converted into either the Starscourge Greatsword or the Lion Greatbow.

The Starscourge Greatsword is one of the best strength weapons in Elden Ring. It requires 38 strength, 12 dexterity, 15 intelligence to wield properly, but with only one weapon, you can dual wield two colossal swords.

Its unique skill, Starcaller Cry, replicates Starscourge Radahn’s move where he pulls enemies towards him before slamming down both his gravity blades. It’s very strong when fighting groups of enemies, especially in PvP scenarios.

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