Calling this sword and that sword the “best weapons in Elden Ring” is a little bit disingenuous. The game is constantly getting patches that nerf and buff certain skills, weapons, and archetypes. So, you can’t just point to one weapon and say “this is the best and it will always be the best”. That’s just not how games work. That being said, I can point to a group of weapons and tell you that these are some of the best weapons in Elden Ring, and it’s likely that they’ll stay that way well into the future.
I’ve a little bit of experience in this area, having started my Souls journey with Dark Souls 2, but I really found myself falling in love with Bloodborne. While I argue that Bloodborne is better than Elden Ring, there’s no denying the fact that the latter is a masterpiece. The fact that new players are flocking to the series as a result of Elden Ring’s success is a testament to that fact. Regardless of whether you’re new to FromSoft games, or you’ve been around for a while, you’ll find something of value in this guide.
So, if you’re looking for a new weapon to replace that rusty old straight sword, you’re in the right place. These are the best weapons in Elden Ring, and don’t worry, there’s a sword for everyone here.
Key Details Up Front
- Rivers of Blood – Bleed katana and best weapon in Elden ring.
- Bloodhound’s Fang – Best early DEX weapon.
- Blasphemous Blade – Great STR weapon for PvE and PvP.
- Wing of Astel – Technical PvP powerhouse.
- Bloody Helice – Heavy thrusting sword that’s my personal favourite.
- Hand of Malenia – One of the most powerful Ashes of War.
Best Weapons in Elden Ring
Rivers of Blood
- STR: 12.
- DEX: 18.
- ARC: 20.
- STR: E.
- DEX: D.
- ARC: D.
Since the patch that fixed Arcane scaling, Rivers of Blood has been at the top of the meta and it isn’t even close. It’s a monster in both PvE and PvP, thanks in part to the fact that it has inherent bleed build-up.
Depending on who you ask, bleed is either very good or downright overpowered. I lean towards the former, but I understand both sides of the argument.
It’s not as big of a factor in PvP as it is in PvE, but it absolutely is something that your opponents need to monitor during a duel and it pretty much prevents anyone from trading with you.
In PvE, this bleed is going to absolutely destroy bosses. If you Power Stance Rivers of Blood with another bleed scaling katana, you’ll be able to proc bloodless insanely quickly. You’ll be taking chunks off of boss’ health bars in seconds, turning otherwise difficult fights into facerolls.
Personally, this kind of playstyle is so effective that I actually decided against using it. I was beating bosses ridiculously easily without needing to learn any of their timings or attack patterns. It takes away what, for me, is the fun part of FromSoft games. You might disagree, though.
If all that bleed talk wasn’t enough, though, Rivers of Blood also deals fire damage. While that isn’t going to scale with your Arcane, it is going to give you a hefty bit of extra damage on top of your physical.
Disregarding its Ash of War, Rivers of Blood is already an incredible weapon. Its fire/bleed damage and fast attack speed make it a monster in PvP and PvE, especially when Power Stanced with another bleed-scaling katana. However, its inherent Ash of War, Corpse Piler, turns it from effective into the best weapon in the entire game.
Corpse Piler consumes 17 FP on use and can be combo’d three times for a total of six hits. When you use it, you’ll swing Rivers of Blood across in rapid arcs, dealing AoE damage to any enemy caught in its arc. These slashes have surprisingly good range, but more importantly, each one causes blood-loss buildup.
Keep in mind that you can pop all six of these strikes in a second or two, so the combination of bleed and flat damage means Corpse Piler is amongst the best DPS Ashes in the entire game. The range and arc of the strikes can be tricky to deal with in PvP, too, and it’s not too easy to punish someone that whiffs them.
Without Corpse Piler, Rivers of Blood is a great weapon. With it, it’s a phenomenal one.
How to Obtain Rivers of Blood
The only downside to Rivers of Blood is how late in the game you get it. The sword is only available in the Mountaintop of the Giants which is the last main area you discover in the game. It’s after the Royal Capital, so you’ll have already defeated most of Elden Ring’s main bosses by the time you can get your hands on it.
In Mountaintop of the Giants, you’re going to want to find the Church of Repose. The church is located in the South of the upper layer of the mountains, so it’s pretty late into the area. Like other churches, there’s a Site of Grace and a Sacred Tear here.
When you reach the church, you’ll be invaded by an NPC named Bloody Finger Okina. Okina is wielding the Rivers of Blood Katana, making them a pretty tough enemy to take down.
When defeated, they’ll drop both the Rivers of Blood and the Okina Mask.
- STR: 18
- DEX: 17
- STR: D
- DEX: C
You don’t see much of Bloodhound’s Fang in PvP, and that’s because it’s just not all that great against other players. In PvE, though, it’s one of the best early Dexterity weapons in all of Elden Ring. It’s ridiculously effective for how early you can get it and can carry you all the way to the end of the game if you build around it.
However, I would recommend ditching it later on in your run once you have your hands on something a little better. For those early hours through Stormveil Castle and Liurnia of the Lakes, though, it’s one of your better choices. Its low requirements and decent scaling make it very accessible to almost every kind of build, too, making it pretty versatile.
Despite being a DEX weapon, Bloodhound’s Fang is pretty slow and heavy. Despite that, it has a pretty good moveset and a great Ash of War that helps counteract its clunkiness.
The weapon also has blood-loss buildup, which isn’t incredible given that it’s a slow weapon with no Arcane scaling, but it’s still an extra effect that can deal some considerable damage. It’s something extra that further cements Bloodhound’s Fang as one of Elden Ring’s best early weapons.
Bloodhound’s Finesse is one of the best early-game Ashes of War and unique to Bloodhound’s Fang. It mimics the dashing attack of the boss you bet to get the weapon, giving a lot of manoeuvrability to an otherwise clunky blade.
Bloodhound’s Finesse is a two-part skill with an initial cost of 8FP. When activated, you’ll perform a massive slash vertically in front of you while somersaulting backwards. This is great for surprising people in PvP and great for disengaging with some damage in PvE. If you get your timings down, you can exploit certain enemies and bosses with this ability for essentially free damage.
If you follow up with a heavy attack after that somersault, you’ll perform a dash forward similar to Bloodhound’s Step and slash upward. The distance this covers is, more or less, the distance you disengaged across with the initial somersault.
How to Obtain Bloodhound’s Fang
To get Bloodhound’s Fang, you’ll need to beat a side boss called Bloodhound Knight Darriwil. He’s located in the Forlorn Hound Evergaol in the South of Limgrave.
This boss is actually a part of Blaidd’s questline, so defeating him at the start of a run will save you time later if you want to do Ranni’s or Blaidd’s questlines.
After defeating Darriwil in the Evergaol, he’ll drop the fang.
- STR: 22.
- DEX: 15.
- FAI: 21.
- STR: D.
- DEX: D.
- FAI: D.
The Blasphemous Blade is one of the main boss weapons. Specifically, you get it by redeeming the Rememberance you get for defeating Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy. He’s generally the fourth demi-god you fight after Godrick, Renalla, and Radhan.
The Blasphemous Blade is a greatsword, meaning you’ve got that standard, slow greatsword moveset. Some people, myself included, really like that moveset. However, if you prefer faster attacks, you’ll struggle to get used to this kind of playstyle.
The blade scales with Faith, like most of the other demi-god weapons in the game. This means that its inherent fire damage is going to scale well, making it an incredible melee option for a Faith spell/sword hybrid.
For the most part, the Blasphemous Blade is just a regular, albeit awesome-looking greatsword. However, its unique Ash of War is incredible and what makes it as popular as it is in both PvE and PvP.
Taker’s Flame costs 30FP to use. When activated, you’ll raise the sword in the air for a second to charge it. You’re vulnerable during this cast so make sure you’re safe before you use it.
After charging, you’ll bring the sword down and shot out several columns of fire in a line in front of you. This attack will hit more or less anything caught in it and has ridiculously good range. This will wipe out groups of ads in PvE and catches a lot of people off-guard in PvP.
That effect is good enough on its own, but the Blasphemous Blade has an extra effect that pushes it into that top-tier category. For every hit you get with Taker’s Flame, you’ll heal 20% of your health. You don’t need me to tell you how valuable healing and dealing damage at the same time can be.
How to Obtain the Blasphemous Blade
To gain access to Rykard, you’ll typically have to have reached the Altus Plateau. However, it’s technically possible to reach him before you defeat a single demi-god if you skip Stormveil and get killed by the grab attack of an Abductor Virgin at Raya Lucaria Academy.
Most people, however, will get to Rykard by completing a part of Rya’s questline to get an invite to Volcano Manor. To get to the boss arena, you can either go through the manor questline or take a hidden passage out of the area. Either way, you’ll need to get access to, and defeat, Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy.
Wing of Astel
- STR: 7.
- DEX: 17.
- INT: 20.
- STR: E.
- DEX: D.
- INT: D.
When you first get your hands on the Wing of Astel, you’ll immediately notice that it’s a rather short curved sword. It inherits that move set, although its range isn’t great compared to a lot of other top-tier weapons. That would be a problem if not for the sword’s heavy attack, which has you swing it to send out a short-range blade of magic. This ranged attack is available as a two-hit combo, or you can charge it to shoot two blasts with each swing, giving you a total of four different ranged swipes. Oh, and the best part of all this is that it doesn’t use up any FP.
This attack will output pretty decent damage in PvE, but the range isn’t enough to rely on it as a crutch. In PvP, though, the Wing of Astel’s heavy attack really shines. While it has a high skill curve, those with the technical talent to use Wing of Astel in player versus player will find the weapon putting in work. The heavy attack is a monster at catching people coming out of rolls, and combined with its Ash of War turns the Wing into one of the best PvP Intelligence weapons in the entire game.
Speaking of the Wing’s Ash of War, it’s called Nebula. It obviously can’t be taken off the sword, not that you would ever want to. When you use it, you’ll spawn a large nebula in front of you in a rather large arc. This Nebula will stay for a second before exploding several times in succession. There is a delay between you using the skill, and each explosion.
This will, and I mean this in no uncertain terms, absolutely maul any enemies you fight that don’t know what it is or how to deal with. Its two explosions are incredibly off-timed. Anyone not aware of these timings will be caught off guard by them, and they deal a whole lot of damage. In PvE, you’ll be consistently hitting for 2k if you build around Nebula, but it is superior as a PvP ability.
With the ability to use ranged attacks through your Nebula, it almost forces all but the best PvPers to either disengage you, or eat some damage, be that from your heavy attack, or the Nebula as they roll out of your heavy and straight into the explosion.
How to Obtain Wing of Astel
Despite Astel, Naturalborn of the Void being a boss you fight as part of Ranni’s questline, you don’t actually get the Wing of Astel as a boss drop from him. Instead, you find this seemingly rather important sword in a small, inconspicuous chest in the Uhl Palace Ruins, located in the Northern part of the Ainsel River.
To get to this area, you’ll need access to Nokstella. There are a few ways to unlock the city, but the easiest is to follow Ranni’s questline up past beating Radhan. If you don’t want to do Ranni’s quest up to this point, you’ll need to jump through a few awkward hoops.
Either way, make your way through there and into the Uhl Palace Ruins to find this sword.
- STR: 16.
- DEX: 19.
- ARC: 17.
- STR: E.
- DEX: D.
- ARC: D.
Bloody Helice is my weapon of choice, so I’ll admit putting it on this list is pure bias. For most people, it’s not going to be nearly as effective as the other weapons I’ve talked about. However, I still love this sword so I’m going to tell you about it, regardless.
For starters, it’s a heavy trusting sword which is my favourite weapon type in the entire game. All of your attacks minus your heavy are thrusts rather than slashes, giving you a whole lot of extra range that other swords wouldn’t have. In fact, your running heavy thrust is one of the longest ranged melee attacks I think I’ve ever seen. Not only is this great for controlling space in PvE, but it makes catching people in PvP a walk in the park. No one expects the kind of range a heavy thrusting sword delivers no matter how many times they’ve fought against one.
I would argue that Bloody Helice’s is just as good in PvE as it is in PvP. Not only do you have bleed on it, but its unique Ask of War Dynast’s Finesse actually gives you invincibility frames when you use it, and can be used to counter. Plus, on top of all that, heavy thrusting swords let you attack with them while your shield is raised. This is very underappreciated by the community at large. For both regular ads, and for boss fights.
Dynast’s Finesse is unique as far as Ashes of War go. It’s got an incredibly low FP cost of five, or seven if you follow it up with its attack. The first part of the skill has you perform a pirouette style spin to disengage from a fight and clear some space. You have iframes during this animation. The second part of this attack makes you lunge out of this pirouette, immediately closing the gap you just created with a long-range thrust.
This will catch a whole lot of people off guard in PvP, and in PvE, it completely changes the way you approach certain boss fights. It gives you an extra damage window against a lot of the slower bosses Elden Ring has on offer. It carried me through the Morgott fight, so if you’re struggling, I would highly recommend giving it a shot.
How to Obtain Bloody Helice
Getting Bloody Helice is pretty easy. It’s located in Writheblood Ruins. This is a ruin in the Altus Plateau. There isn’t too much to worry about in terms of enemies here. In fact, the boss of the ruin is a Sanguine Noble, which is a walk in the park. The Bloody Helice is located in a chest after you beat the Noble in the cellar of the ruins.
Hand of Malenia
- STR: 16.
- DEX: 48.
- STR: E.
- DEX: C.
Okay, last but not least, we have the Hand of Malenia. Malenia is the hardest boss in the entirety of Elden Ring, so it only makes sense that her weapon is top-tier. Well, not top-tier in the traditional sense. It still gets outclassed by weapons like Rivers of Blood. However, the Hand of Malenia’s Ash of War is incredible and what makes it such a sought after weapon.
If you’ve fought Malenia, then you’re already familiar with it, but that can wait.
First, I want to run you through the weapon’s other features. It’s a katana, meaning it has that slashing-style moveset that so many people seem to love. It’s also got great range, as well as DEX scaling, and you swing it incredibly fast. Put all of that together and you have a sword capable of dishing out great damage at decent ranges in both PvE and PvP, although the Hand of Malenia is definitely a PvE weapon more than it is for player versus player, and that’s because of its Ash of War, the Waterfowl Dance.
The Waterfowl Dance is, well, the Waterfowl Dance. Malenia uses it against you during her boss fight, and I guarantee you that every single person died to it the first time they fought her. And the second, and the third, and well, in my case, a hell of a lot more after that.
The Waterfowl Dance Ash of War is, more or less, the exact same as the version Malenia uses. It’s an aerial that costs 12FP to use and involves you swinging your weapon several times in front of you, with delayed damage on the last swing. When I say several times, I mean it. The Waterfowl Dance Ash of War’s combo hits over 12 times. Not only does this deal unreal damage, but it can stack with any abilities you have that apply per hit.
The only downside to the Waterfowl Dance is that it’s very easy for an experienced player to poise-break you out of it. You can’t really control your movement when you’re locked into the animation, so if someone dodges it, you’re screwed. If they don’t dodge it, though, then they’re probably going to die to it.
How to get Hand of Malenia
The Hand of Malenia is one of the possible rewards you get from Malenia’s remembrance. So, you’ll have to beat Malenia in order to get it. Malenia is arguably the hardest boss in all of Elden Ring, so that alone is no small task. However, even just getting to her is a mission in and of itself.
First, you’ll need to gain access to the Consecrated Snowfields by combining two halves of the Haligtree secret medallion and using the medallion at the Grand Lift of Rold. The right half of the medallion is found in the Village of the Albinaurics. The second half is in the Mountaintop of the Giants, in Castle Sol.
After using the medallion to access the Consecrated Snowfield, you need to navigate the area until you find Ordina Liturgical Town. In the town, there is an entrance to an evergaol, use it. Once in the gaol, you will need to find and light four different shrines in the town. Do that, and you’ll unlock the portal to access the dungeon you need to clear to fight Malenia.
There’s a lot to that, topped off by the most difficult fight in the game. The Hand of Malenia isn’t worth all that effort, but the beauty of the fight, and the satisfaction of beating it, is.
Elden Ring’s meta will likely continue morphing and changing as time goes on, especially once the next DLCs come out. Not only will we get new weapons, but the current ones certainly won’t be in the same place they are now. I mean, Arcane/Bleed supremacy can’t last forever, right?
That being said, I find it hard to believe that the above weapons will ever be anything but great regardless of what buffs and nerfs FromSoft have in the pipeline. So, if you’re on a quest to collect the best weapons in Elden Ring, are struggling with your current weapon, or just want a change of pace, I would recommend picking one of the options from this list. Each one is more than capable of holding its own in both PvP and PvE, trust me.
Question: What is the strongest weapon in Elden Ring?
Answer: While the definitive strongest weapon in Elden Ring is subjective and depends on the flavour of the month, there’s no doubting the dominance that Rivers of Blood has displayed over multiple different patches. It’s got insane Bleed buildup, great damage, a phenomenal moveset, and one of the best Ashes of War in the game. Plus, it fits in well with so many different builds. If you’re looking for the “strongest” weapon in Elden Ring, then RoB is probably it.
Question: Are greatswords good in Elden Ring?
Answer: Greatswords have been a staple of Souls games for generations. If you’re a Souls veteran, then you’ll feel right at home using one in Elden Ring as its moveset is virtually unchanged. If you’ve used greatswords in past games, you’ll find that the ones in Elden Ring are incredible. If you’re new to Souls games and are starting out with Elden Ring, then you won’t be as used to the archetype’s nuances, but you’ll still get a lot of use out of one. Its moveset is iconic for a reason, and it’s always a solid STR build choice.
Question: Should I go with Strength or Dexterity in Elden Ring?
Answer: Assuming you’re new to the Souls-style levelling system, I would recommend starting out with a quality build. In other words, invest in Strength and Dexterity in equal measure. These kinds of builds are popular amongst beginners because it allows you to use pretty much every weapon in Elden Ring, aside from any Arcane or Intelligence ones. You can respec in Elden Ring, so don’t be afraid to try out different weapons and styles. Once you find one you like, you can redistribute your stats around that particular weapon type and scaling.