Elden Ring speedrunners are racing to see who can kill Mohg the fastest, which is a good reminder that most of you still haven't finished the job

Elden Ring boss Mohg
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Bandai Namco shared a friendly PSA for Elden Ring players earlier this month: Most of you are not ready for the Shadow of the Erdtree expansion. That word of caution came after streamer Cohh Carnage noted that less than 38% of players on Steam had the achievement for killing Mohg, Lord of Blood—and if you want to get into the DLC, well, Mohg's gotta go.

We expected to see that number tick up as players readied themselves for Erdtree's arrival, but there really hasn't been much movement on that front: Just one day before the expansion goes live, that achievement has now been claimed by 39.1% of players on Steam—an improvement, but just barely.

There are a few potential explanations for Mohg's survival rate: Some players are still relatively new to the game and just haven't got there yet, and because Mohg isn't a required kill, others may have simply bypassed him on the way to becoming Elden Lord. (It's also worth noting that just over three quarters of Elden Ring players on Steam have reached Roundtable Hold, so clearly some people just aren't playing at all.)

Whatever the reason, if you find yourself lacking the requisite Mohg head on your wall, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that you can track him down and put the proverbial three in his head in just a half-hour or so. The bad news is, you have to be really, really good at Elden Ring to do it.

That the feat is achievable has been demonstrated by a number of Elden Ring speedrunners, who as noticed by GamesRadar are taking part in speedrunner NuclearPastaTom's "DLC Unlock% Speedrun Bounty"—simply put, a race to see who can unlock the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC the fastest.

As laid out in this Google doc, the basics are simple: Speedrunners must take down Starscourge Radahn, Magnus the Beast Claw, and (of course) Mohg, Lord of Blood; the run ends once you've lit the Cocoon of the Empyrean site of grace and quit out of the game.

But, in the fine tradition of speedrunning, there are rules: You must start as the Wretch class, and Somber Smithing Stone weapons aren't allowed, nor are quitouts at doors, grace points, or for boss dialogs. The "Radahn Stake Skip," a method of getting to Radahn faster than intended by taking advantage of waygates and Elden Ring's weird geography, is allowed, presumably because it's not really an exploit, but just a weird way of getting someplace that would be instant death for most of us that early in the game anyway. For experienced speedrunners, though, it's the only way to fly.

Currently, the fastest submission to NuclearPastaTom's challenge is 27:39, put up by streamer spicee, but all the submissions, save for one, come in under an hour. Frankly, whether it takes you 30 minutes or 55 minutes to go from new character to Mohg-killer, it's a remarkable accomplishment.

DLC Unlock% 27:39 - YouTube DLC Unlock% 27:39 - YouTube
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Fresh start to dead Mohg in under 30 minutes: Yes, you can.

Now, is this how most people are going to get the job done? No. Let's be honest, if you haven't offed Mohg by now, you're sure not going to do it like this. The speedruns can serve as a basic guide to getting to Mohg quickly, but really, Elden Ring is a game meant to be savored, not rushed—although some of you could maybe stand to be a little bit quicker about getting on with things. If you do want to take a shot at the belt, the challenge is open until 11:59 pm ET on June 20, so as of right now you've got about 30 hours to get the job done.

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree launches on PC at 3 pm ET/6 pm PT on June 20. Here's our own guide to getting ready for the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC, and a bit of advice that runs counter to the speedrunning approach: Instead of jumping into it with your cheesy, OP NG+ build, try something new. Yes, you'll get demolished a lot, but "FromSoftware games are journeys," as online editor Fraser Brown said, "and you should start the journey as a pathetic, maidenless loser." It's the FromSoft tradition, after all.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.