The actual boss in Elden Ring is just half of the presentation when it comes to individual boss encounters. The other half is the arena. Because the boss’s environment of choice also gives it much lore and characterization. Thus, plain arenas tend to result in plain bosses, even if they have the best move sets.


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Of course, there’s also the fact that most players will die an unhealthy number of times to most Elden Ringbosses. They might as well die in a field of flowers, for example, to soften the blow. Thankfully, the developers of FromSoftware haven’t lost touch when it comes to designing boss arena areas, and neither did they lose their sadism. These thematic boss arenas also double as the player’s graves.

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8/8 Full-Grown Fallingstar Beast Arena

elden ring boss FULL-GROWN FALLINGSTAR BEAST

A good boss arena tells a story about the boss itself. It regales players with lore more effectively than words themselves. For that matter, the Full-Grown Fallingstar Beast’s arena is both a lore monument and a cautionary tale. Because it’s a mountaintop that was turned into a murder bowl thanks to a stray meteor.

And it just so happens that the said meteor is also the Fallingstar Beast. So regardless of whether the players enjoy the fight or not, one can’t deny that even the arena has its own personality. The uneven bowl shape is certainly a drawback, but it’s more or less a good tradeoff in form over function.

7/8 Tibia Mariner Arena

elden ring tibia mariner

The Tibia Mariner is one of the easiest bosses in the game, and there are probably more players that didn’t die here compared to those that died. But one can’t deny the flair and intent of this fight. It takes place in a sunken graveyard where the boss is a boatman who transports the souls of the dead a-la Charon from Greek mythology.

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Teleporting around the graveyard also puts some sense of urgency and a bit of panic into the players, turning an initially boring fight into something more stylish. It’s a good way for newbies to get acquainted with different boss gimmicks, though most of the Souls veterans would have made bonemeal out of this boss in a few dozen seconds.

6/8 Bell Bearing Hunter Sites Of Grace

Bell Bearing Hunter in elden ring

Speaking of catching players off-guard, the Bell Bearing Hunter is always a nasty surprise for players. They only appear at night and they only spawn at select Sites of Grace, practically turning the site into a makeshift arena. Not many bosses can shock players like this and make them feel vulnerable.

There’s also a manner of mystery in their appearance since the NPCs that usually reside at the Sites of Grace they frequent tend to disappear when these hunters visit. It’s like they knew what was coming and promptly evacuated. Regardless, a battle with the Bell Bearing Hunter is always a tough fight, but at least players get the homecourt advantage this time.

5/8 Rykard, Lord Of Blasphemy Arena

Tarnished Wielding Dual Bloodhound Fang Elden Ring in Rykard's, Boss Arena

So many boundaries were violated and many lines were crossed in the Volcano Manor that it’s hard to even call Rykard’s area a boss arena. It also doubles as a kitchen, a dining area, a master bedroom, and the Volcano Manor basement. That’s what happens when one lets a pet snake rule their castle.

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Rykard’s boss arena is a putrid blasphemy of the living and whatever is sacred. He has eaten so many victims that mountains of juicy corpses decorate his room, and there are even chandeliers with candles to help him see what he’s eating. It’s a shame that the boss fight itself was so simple thanks to the special weapon; the developers could have added some prolonged horror mechanics to it.

4/8 Beast Clergyman / Maliketh Arena

Elden Ring Tarnished with Crows Talons at Maliketh Boss Arena

Some boss arenas in Elden Ring and the Souls games might not be artistic representations of their bosses, but they do make up for it when it comes to cutting players some slack. In the Maliketh boss arena, for example, there are numerous pillars that can serve as a breathing room and obstruction for when players need to heal up or reset their poise.

At the same time, it also provides some dangers since there’s an actual moat inside the boss arena, and if players aren’t careful, they can roll down the water and kill themselves. The arena does have its artistic value in the form of the dramatic ruin lighting, but the protective pillars are the most noticeable elements of the room.

3/8 Starscrouge Radahn Arena

elden bling in caelid 2

Starscourge Radahn’s boss fight probably looked awesome on paper, but the execution was a little too limited by the aging game engine and time constraints. Still, it’s one of the most imposing arenas in the game due to its sheer scale and epicness.

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It’s a beach battlefield decorated with the armaments of fallen warriors who attempted to take down the crazed Radahn himself. The novel idea of summoning multiple NPCs in a suicide assault against Radahn made the boss fight a cut above the rest. Besides, it’s one of the few boss fights in the game that integrated Torrent well into the mechanics.

2/8 Dragonlord Placidusax Arena

Placidusax.

Accessing Dragonlord Placidusax’s boss arena was notoriously tedious and vague, but the boss fight itself made the ordeal worth it. It’s one of the simplest arenas in the game, but the backdrop and the setting are special since it literally takes place in the past through some time dilation juju.

In any case, it’s an arena for a dragon boss fight. And unlike those other janky open-world dragon boss fights in Elden Ring, this one is fair and won’t murder players with poorly rendered obstruction limits and geometry. It’s just the players and the Dragonlord in an epic death match.

1/8 Malenia, Blade Of Miquella Arena

elden ring malenia

Malenia’s boss fight is not just crowned as the hardest boss in a Souls game, but also among the most gorgeous. The fight itself takes place in a flower garden, right in front of the giant tree’s roots. The arena itself has no special mechanics or functional quirks whatsoever, but it’s big enough for players not to feel constrained by the fight’s mechanics.

This is an arena that demands near perfection from players. They are encouraged to time their dodges well and play into Malenia’s graceful dance of death, as is the case with any fight in a field of flora. She might have moves that can kill players in one hit, but the fight itself doesn’t feel cheap thanks in part to the arena.

Elden Ring is available on the PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X and Series S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, and Microsoft Windows.

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