Elden Ring boss guide: How to beat the Tree Sentinel

Elden Ring Tree Sentinel gameplayFromSoftware

A golden knight on horseback, the Tree Sentinel is the first field boss you meet in Elden Ring. Here’s how to bring him down.

While the Tree Sentinel isn’t the first boss you meet in Elden Ring, he is the first field boss you’ll come across when you emerge into The Land’s Between. He also packs one hell of a punch and is likely to crush most players who hastily run at him. However, the Tree Sentinel is not invincible.

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The Tree Sentinel looks imposing but there are ways to turn the fight against him to your advantage. Here’s a selection of strategies that will make your life easier — and end his.


Tree sentinel elden ringFrom Software
The Tree Sentinel is a very early obstacle.

Where to find the Tree Sentinel

The Tree Sentinel is easy to find. Once you emerge from the starting point into the open world, you’ll see him riding around in the distance while you chat to that friendly first NPC.

It soon becomes clear that you’ll need to defeat him, or somehow sneak past him, to move to the next area.

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Tree sentinel elden ringFrom Software
The Tree Sentinel can easily crush new players quickly.

Sneaking past the Tree Sentinel

You’ve got nothing to lose in battling the Tree Sentinel now, and if you learn his patterns, you’ll likely be able to beat him in a few tries.

However, there’s no shame in sneaking past him to fight him another day. This will make your next encounter much easier, especially if you level the playing field and return when you have your own horse. This changes the dynamic of the battle, making it a joust between mounted knights.

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So, if that sounds more fun than being endlessly trampled to death, choose that option. You can sneak past the Tree Sentinel by waiting for him to trot over to the other side of the map. Then hug the perimeter on the right-hand side until you’re clear of him and onto the next location.

You may need to take down some bat enemies if they engage you, but try to keep your actions to a minimum and stay in stealth mode. If you make too much noise, the Tree Sentinel will hear you and come charging over — although you can still make it to safety if you run.

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Tree sentinel elden ringFrom Software
Its advised to return when you have your own force to make this fight fairer.

Strategy to defeat the Tree Sentinel

Here are our tips for beating the Tree Sentinel:

Melee strategy on foot

If you fancy fighting him on foot, then wait for him to finish his attack pattern while dodging it, then hit hard once or twice if you can. Don’t get greedy with your attacks, as he’ll catch and punish you. You also need to make sure you’ve got enough stamina to roll away once he recovers – which he does quickly.

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A shield is also a good strategy if you’re not fully confident dodging yet, although, two-handing your weapon will end the fight quicker. You’ll have fewer attacks to dodge, but you need to be better at it. This is because blocking with a two-handed weapon isn’t as effective as blocking with a shield.

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Once you get him to around half-health, he’ll lose his temper and phase 2 of the fight will begin. Now he’ll start bashing his shield into the ground which can hurt you from afar. This attack can one-shot most players, so roll away the moment he lifts his shield.

Repeat the strategy from phase 1, but just be extra careful to dodge his shield attack. Also, don’t try to block it, it’s too risky. Just roll away like your life depends on it.

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Tree sentinel elden ringFrom Software
The Tree Sentinel can be deadly up close.

Melee strategy on Horseback

If you return to battle the Tree Sentinel on horseback, you’re going to have a much easier time. You can get in quick, hit him hard, and retreat before he can recover. Just remember, he can do the same to you.

The trick is to keep moving, target him and try to time your heavy attack to land when you get close to him. This will interrupt his patterns and buy you some more time to hit him with one or two light attacks before riding away and repeating the process.

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Magic or ranged strategy

Battling the Tree Sentinel with ranged or magic attacks is the easiest way to win the fight. If you’re on foot, then run away from him, find a vantage point, and take some potshots. If you can find a spot to shoot him safely then do that. Although, he’ll likely get wise to what you’re doing and move out the way.

If you’re on horseback, then this fight becomes quite simple with a ranged strategy. Just keep moving and fire at him while he recovers from his attack animations. Keep your shield handy, just in case any of his attacks do connect.

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Long-range spells work best here, as this means you don’t need to get close to him to do damage.

So, there you have it, all the tips and tricks you need to beat the Tree Sentinel in Elden Ring. Make sure you check out our Elden Ring page for all the latest news and guides. 

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