Elden Ring Progression Route: Complete Step by Step Guide

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This post was last updated on November 1, 2023

Elden Ring is an amazing open-world game with so many secrets to uncover. Unfortunately, the main progression route can also feel a bit secretive, as you are not exactly told what you need to do. especially if you plan on completing one of the five endings besides the Elden Lord one.

Thankfully, that’s where this guide will come in handy, as we will go over everything you need to do in order to get to the main boss and complete the game. For this guide, we’ll focus on the primary ending, but at the end, we’ll give a brief overview of what you need to do to uncover the alternate ones.

1. Getting Started on Your Elden Ring Progression Route: First Step Site Of Grace

You need to kill two demigods to get into the capital in order to get anywhere with the main story. The easiest and quickest ones to get to are Godrick the Grafted in Stormveil Castle and Renalla Queen of the Full Moon in the academy of Raya Lucaria.

However, just because they are the easiest, it doesn’t mean you can just swan up to their boss rooms and beat them without breaking a sweat. Unless you are an old hand at Souls-like games, you are going to need to explore and level up a little bit in Limgrave to give your character a fighting start.

From the First Step site of grace the best way to progress is to first unlock the ability to turn runes into strength by accepting Melina’s help at the third site of grace you rest at (or while you rest at the Gatefront ruins Site of Grace).

With leveling up unlocked, the next place you should head east. East Limgrave This is the safest place to level up and can get your character up to level 20 easily. It is also well worth visiting Fort Haight to collect the Dectus Medallion (left), which can be found at the top.

During this time and after resting at a few site of grace, you should also unlock access to the Roundtable Hold, which is an essential location as this is where you can upgrade your weapons with smithing stones.

Tip: be sure to pick up the golden seed in the region as they allow you to get more from flasks.

2. Reaching Level 30

Ideally, your character should be at least level 30 to comfortably progress, so once east Limgrave is explored (remeber to pick up the east limgrave map fragment), the next place you need to head is the Weeping Peninsula in the south. Once you cross the bridge into the region, head south to Castle Morne, as clearing it will give 5–10 levels.

3. Locating Godrick The Grafted

3. elden ring progression route, Locating Godrick The Grafted

Once you are over level 30, it is safe to tackle the demigods. The easiest is Godrick the Grafted. To get to Godrick, follow the shimmering trail given off by a site of grace (in west Limgrave). The first site of grace you encounter near Varre will point you toward the next, which leads you up Stormhill and all the way to legacy dungeon, Stormveil Castle. If in doubt you mosty just need to head north.

On your way, make sure to pick up the Limgrave Map Fragment near the bottom of Stormhill, as it will show the Grace Trail whenever you open the map and help keep you on track. Before you enter the castle, there is one boss you need to defeat to progress: Margit the Fell Omen. Once he is defeated, it will unlock access to Stormvale castle.

4. Navigating Stormveil Castle

  1. Past Margit, you will find the gates to the castle. Here you will meet Gatekeeper Gostoc, who can open the gate but will warn you that it is dangerous and will suggest that you take the path to the left. 
  2. If you take the “easy” path, you will go through the opening and make your way through the courtyard of Stormveil Castle. The enemies are quite spread out at the start, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble if you have made it this far. You need to make your way to the main courtyard, but the route is relatively straight.
  3. If you take the dangerous path, you will need to run a gauntlet of arrows and enemies. If you have a bloodhound’s step, you can blitz your way up the path to reach the main courtyard of the castle.
  4. From the courtyard, you need to follow the stairs up until you get to the Secluded Cell site of grace. Also, if you met Nepheli while exploring the castle you should also see her golden summon sign outside the boss door.
  5. When you pass through the doors, you will be greeted by Godrick the Grafted. This fight has two stages. The second triggers when he is around 60% health, and he will get a flame attack.

With Godrick’s defeat, you’ll receive the first demigod remembrance and will officially be halfway to gaining access to the capital.

5. Locating The Next Demigod

5. elden ring progression route, Locating The Next Demigod

After Godrick, the next easiest demigod to kill is Rennala, Queen of the the Full Moon. She is in the Academy of Raya Lucaria in the Liurnia of the Lakes region, which can be found on the other side of Stormveil Castle. The academy is in the center of the region, but to get access, you will need to pick up the entrance key.

The key is near the Temple Quarter Site of Grace., head north of the academy and in the nest of the Glintstone Dragon Smarag nest. You don’t need to kill the dragon, simply run in, pick it up, and then run away. Note: This is the item with a purple glow.

With the key in hand, you can make your way through the gates to the academy. The quickest gate to use is the South Raya Lucaria gate in the academy gate town, north of the gatefront ruins (the closest grace is the academy gate town Site of Grace.), but there is also one on the Bellum Highway in the east.

6. Navigating Raya Lucaria

  1. The East and South Raya Lucaria gates will teleport you into the legacy dungeon and to Main Academy Gate, where you’ll need to make your way to the Church of the Cuckoo.
  2. Near the grace in the church, there is a path through the graveyard, where multiple corpses will jump out at you. Run through this area until you find the rotating lift. Travel all the way up to the top, where you will see a ledge you can jump to.
  3. There, you will be at the Great Hall Site of Grace.. Progress through the hallways and glintstone sorcerers, to a library, from which you need to climb to the upper floors and travel through a fog door.
  4. Here you need to fight the Red Wolf of Radagon, an agile boss that uses both magic and physical attacks. When the wolf dies, a new site of grace will appear, which will be the nearest one to Rennala.
  5. Go out the doors to the courtyard and to the eastern edge, where a raised bridge is located.
  6. Follow the bridge and watch out for the rolling ball. At the top, you will find a single enemy, a Carian Knight.
  7. Kill the knight or run past it to gain access to the elevator that will take you to the Grand Library, where the Queen Rennala of the Full Moon boss fight takes place. Note: She is resistant to magic damage attacks.

7. Alternative Demigods

7. Alternative Demigods

Godrick and Rennala are the two easiest demigod bosses to kill in the game, but there are two other options to get access to the royal capital. The first is Starscourge Radahn found in Redmane Castle, and only unlocked by:

  • Killing the two previously mentioned demigods
  • Arriving on the Altus Plateau
  • Following Ranni’s quest line

The other option is to kill Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy, who is in the Volcano Manor. There are two ways to get to him. The first is to do the Vocano Manor questline, as at the end of it you will be teleported straight to his chamber, or you can fight your way through the lower levels legacy dungeon of the volcano manor.

8. Getting To The Royal Capital

With the defeat of two demigods, you will be able to enter Leyndell, Royal Capital. This is an essential area in order to progress the main story of the game. The Royal capital is in the northeast corner of the Altus Plateau.

There are three ways to get to this region, but two require fighting a boss, while the third simply involves picking up two key items.

Altus Plateau Method 1

Altus Plateau Method 1

The easiest method to reach the Pateau is to collect the two halves of the grand lift Dectus medalion. The left side of the medallion is found in Fort Haight, in the Limgrave region. The nearest site of grace is Fort Haight East. The area is part of the Kenneth questline, but you don’t need to interact with him to find it.

You don’t actually need to attack anything to get into the fort. You can simply run past everything, enter the gates, then head up the stairs. At the top there is an elite soldier, but, again, you can run past him into the tower and up the ladder. At the top you will find a chest with the medallion in.

The other half can be found in Forth Faroth, in Caelid. The easiest way to get to the fort is from the Bestial Sanctum, which you can teleport to from the Third Church of Marika (the portal is in the water behind the church). From the Bestial Sanctum, head south and across the stone bridge until you find the giant dragon, and the fort is on its left next to the burning wall.

Once again, the medallion is in a chest accessible by a ladder, and once again, you can run past all the enemies inside to get to it.

The grand lift the medallions work on is in northern Liurnia at the end of the Bellum Highway (near the east gate to the academy). You just need to follow path leading to the east, past the enemies and trebuchets. At the base of the lift, you will get the “hoist medallion” prompt. This starts a cut scene where your character will be transported to the Altus Plateau.

Altus Plateau Method 2

The second way to get to the Altus Plateau is via the Ruin strewn precipice. This is accessed via the mines in the northeast corner of the swamp in Liurnia. The route is straightforward, but it is a narrow path which are easly to fall from thanks to the flying enemies in the area.

At the end there is a Magma Worm boss fight that needs to be defeated before getting to the Altus Plateau.

Altus Plateau Method 3

This method is the most unique as it requires getting swallowed by the Abductor Maiden at the bottom of the lift inside the Academy of Raya Lucaria. This will teleport you to the lava area beneath the Volcano manor. By working your way through the caves, you’ll reach the dungeon’s main boss, two abductor maidens. Killing the maidens will open an exit to the base of Mt. Gelmir (west of Altus).

9. Entering Leyendell, Royal Capital

To get to the entrance you need to head to the north of the city, the easiest way is to follow the road north form the Altus Highway Junction site of grace. When you arrive at the entrance, there is one last hurdle to jump, as the door is guarded by a Draconic Tree Sentinel.

This is a tough fight, so your character should be at least level 50 to proceed. There is a way to cheese the fight and kill the draconic tree sentinel though, which involves hiding behind it while slowing poisoning it with poison mist while chugging FP.

10. Inside The Capital

Once inside the capital, all you need to do is head through the city and up the Erd Tree roots. To do so, you need to climb the giant dragon within the city center until you reach the base of the roots.

On the way to the Erd tree, you’ll need to fight a Golden Shade of Godfrey, First Elden Lord. Using a spirit summon to distract him is the easiest way to win the fight. Otherwise, watch out for his AOE attacks.

Past Godfrey, First Elden Lord, the next boss, Morgott, The Omen King (note: this is a main story boss and not optional) . Morgott’s mechanics are similar to those of Margit, the Fell Omen (not surprising as they are one in the same), as he uses heavily delayed attacks. In the first phase, he sticks to delayed melee attacks.

In the second phase, he will be a little more active, using bleed attacks as well as more ranged attacks. But keeping your distance and not getting greedy will allow you to whittle down his health bar.

In this fight, you can also use Margit’s Shackle to stun him, and summon Melina to help fight with you from outside the golden fog door. Mimic tear is a useful spirit summons for this fight.

11. The Grand Lift Of Rold Through the Forbidden Lands

Once Margot The Omen King is dead. To progress the main questline, try to enter the Erd Tree and speak with Melina. She will give you the Grand Lift Rold’s medallion.

When you open your map with the Rold medallion in hand, a bright red map marker should appear roughly where the Rold route is, but it’s not clear where you’ll need to go. The quickest way is to go back to the Avenue balcony site of grace as it is the nearest site of grace to get to the Rold Route entrance.

  1. From the Avenue balcony site of grace you need to head up the stairs to the main street of the Capital, where the Erdtree Avatar is patrolling, and head left.
  2. Follow Leyndell’s main road to the left.
  3. Follow the path past several demihuman enemies until you reach a large closed door.
  4. Proceed through the doors and go up the nearby stairs.
  5. At the top, turn left through the archway.
  6. Walk onto the elevator and pull the lever.
  7. At the end of the elevator ride, you will get the prompt for the Forbidden lands.
  8. Proceed north to get to the Grand Lift of Rold (there is a grace located before the lift of Rold).
  9. At the Grand Lift of Rold, follow the prompt to hoist the Rold medallion (there is also a Haligtree secret medallion for this lift to take you to the optional consecrated snowfield).
  10. A cut scene is triggered as the lift takes your character to the Mountaintop of Giants.

12. The Mountiantop of Giants

12. The Mountiantop of Giants

While the Mountain Top of Giants isn’t the largest region in Elden Ring, it can feel that way due to the circuitous route. The next boss you need to defeat to progress is the Fire Giant. You need to head north ahead from the lift, following the cliff tops and crossing a large chain bridge. On the other side of the bridge, you’ll enter a canyon with several golems, where you’ll need to travel on the path west towards the frozen lake.

Once you hit the lake, you need to follow the path south, past the first church of Marika, and follow the path up the hill and head south. You will pass several giant corpses until you get to a fissure in the mountain with two large chains.

12a. Fire Giant Fight

From the nearest site of grace to the fire giant boss, the Foot of the forge, you enter the boss arena by crossing over the chain bridge and through the fog door. The Fire Giant is one of the toughest compulsory bosses in the Elden Ring due to his huge size and his AOE during his second stage.

13. Getting to Crumbling Farum Azula

Once the fire giant is dead, it will open the area behind it, revealing a large cauldron. You need to climb onto the rim of it (don’t jump in) and follow it around the left hand side until the very end, where you’ll find a site of grace called the Forge of Giants.

To get to Crumbling Farum Azula, you need to rest at the site of grace and talk to Melina. She will ask if you are ready to commit a great sin, which you do, and there will be a cut scene where the Erd Tree burns down and your character passes out to wake up in Crumbling Farum Azula.

Alternatively, if you’ve sided with the Three Fingers, while resting at the Forge of the Giants Site of Grace, select the option ‘Listen to the sound of the flames’ resulting in a different cutscene but ultimately letting you reach Crumbling Farum Azula.

13a. Crumbling Farum Azula

13a. Crumbling Farum Azula

Crumbling Farum Azula is another area with a relatively straight forward path. Continue down the ruins to your right and keep following the path until you get to a ledge overlooking several Azula Beastmen. Fight or ignore them, then head inside the building, where you’ll find more Azula Beastmen and the Crumbling Beast Grave Site of Grace.

Back through the hallway and back outside. You will find the first Farum Azula Dragon on the bridge right in front of you. The dragon takes some time to land, leaving time continue to run past it. Afterwards, head up through the arches to your left at the end of the bridge, continuing forward to reach the Crumbling Beast Grave Depths Site of Grace.

Keep heading forward through the dragon temple and to the Godskin Duo boss fight. You must defeat them to be able to advance in Crumbling Farum Azula. Thankfully, they are weak to sleep, allowing you to fight them one at a time.

After the Godskin Duo fights, head northeast and continue heading north through the ruins until you reach the Beside the Great Bridge Site of Grace. This is the last site of grace until you defeat the final boss of the area, Malikeith.

Before the boss, there is a Draconic Tree Sentinel that will intercept you when you attempt to reach the gates.

Note: You don’t need to kill the Draconic Tree Sentinel, but it can still hit you even while you are in the boss room behind it.

14. Maliketh, the Black Blade

Once you enter the boss door behind the tree sentinel, you’ll begin fighting the Beast Clergyman. His attacks are close and fast but overall manageable until about halfway through the fight, where it will reveal itself to be Maliketh, The Black Blade, and use a new skill set.

After you have defeated Maliketh, you will be teleported to Leyndell, Capital of Ash Site of Grace. Note: Upon defeating the boss, Leyndell, Royal Capital will change, causing many weapons, items, spells, and armor located there to become unaccessible.

15. The Ashen Capital

Travel southwest towards the dragon corpse, and follow the mounds of ash downhill. Head south from the Site of Grace and go towards the Erdtree Sanctuary. Here, you’ll have to fight Sir Gideon Ofnir, the All-Knowing.

Depending on what you say to him in the Roundtable hold as you kill demigods, his move set can be very easy. He will also monolog for what feels like a solid minute at the start of the fight, giving you some free hits.

After Gideon’s defeat, head east onto the balcony and then head north to the Queen’s Bedchambers. The boss behind the next fog door is the penultimate boss of the game, so be adequately prepared for the fight.

Beyond the door is Godfrey, First Elden Lord. There are two possible NPC summons for this fight: Nepheli Loux if you have finished her questline, and Shabriri if you’ve met the Three Fingers. At 50% health, the second stage starts, and he becomes Hoarah Loux, Warrior.

When Hoarah Loux is killed, you’ll unlock the Elden Throne Site of Grace. At the top of the stairs, you’ll find a golden light that teleports you to the final two bosses of the game.

16. The Final Boss(es)

The last boss fight involves defeating two separate bosses with no rest in between. The first is Radagon of the Golden Order. He is immune to most things, so it can feel more effective to brute force the fight. Group spirit summons are a great help to keep him distracted.

Defeating him, will start the next phase, the Elden Beast, immediately after. This is a giant boss that likes to kite your attacks, and as it is right after Radagon, you will not get any item refills.

Defeating them both will reward the Elden Remembrance and unlock the ending choices at the base of the Elden Throne in the boss room. Selecting an ending will start the credits, and at the end of those, you’ll get the choice to start a new game plus game.

17. Elden Ring Progression Route: Alternative Endings

In total, there are six endings in Elden Ring. The Age of Fracture is the one you’ll get following the above steps, but if you want one of the other five endings, there are additional steps.

  • To progress through the game and get The Age Of The Stars ending you’ll need to follow all of Ranni’s quests.
  • The Lord Of The Frenzied Flame ending involves inheriting the Frenzied Flame from the Three Fingers in the underground area beneath the city sewers.
  • Complete all of Goldmask’s and Brother Corhyn’s quests, and you will have the option to select the The Age Of Order ending.
  • The Blessing Of Despair ending comes from completing Dung Eater’s quest.
  • Completing Fia’s side quest and beating the Lichdragon boss will unlock The Age Of The Duskborn ending

Useful Tips

  1. Try to complete NPC quests as they will not only unlock additional ending you can also get some sweet loot, such as the dark moon ring.
  2. Try to find the Haligtree secret medallion as it unlocks a massive area and one of the toughest boss fights in the game.
  3. Pick up every golden seed you see. these are the items at the bottom of the erd tree saplings scattered across the map
  4. Collect all the map fragments or the world will be a little more difficult to navigate.
  5. The Night’s cavalry found in Dragonbarrow is easy to cheese with the poison traps in the area and a great source of early game runes.
  6. Head to the Night’s Sacred Ground. Obtain the Mimic Tear Spirit Ashes. (in the Eternal city of Nokron
  7. When you kill a demigod and get their rune be sure to find the corresponding divine tower and activate it so you can use the perks with a ruin shard. There are six divine towers in the game; Divine Tower of Limgrave, Divine Tower of Caelid, Divine Tower of Liurnia, Divine Tower of East Altus, Divine Tower of West Altus, and the Isolated Divine Tower.

Final Thoughts on This Progression Route Guide

Even if you follow only the main questline, the Elden Ring progression route is by no means a short. But you should bear in mind that unless you are the greatest of souls players, you are going to have to spend a substantial amount of time hunting down side bosses and collecting OP weapons and spells to help raise your rune level as even the easiest of the demigods.