How to beat the Tree Sentinel in Elden Ring

Elden Ring tree sentinel
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

So I guess you've encountered the Tree Sentinel in Elden Ring? Stepping out of the gloomy Stranded Graveyard into the Lands Between, you probably saw the horseman and thought: "I'm sure this will be level appropriate for me" before getting crushed thoroughly. That's what happened to me.

But the Tree Sentinel is relatively easy to beat if you know how, and is a great introduction to two Elden Ring's most special features: mounted combat and open-world bosses. In this Tree Sentinel boss guide, I'll give you some tips to triumph over the tree-loving horseman.

How to beat the Elden Ring Tree Sentinel

The first key to beating the Tree Sentinel is: get Torrent. Your horse is basically a must-have for most mounted bosses and dragons, and it's generally a pain to fight them without Torrent. See our Elden Ring mount guide for details on how to get him. 

The second thing is to bring Rowa Raisins. If your horse loses all its health, it will disappear and send you plummeting to the ground, and it'll take you a while to get up. In a lot of bosses this is a death sentence. But if you heal Torrent with these horse snacks when he's hurt, this is less likely to happen. You can find Rowa Fruit in bushes throughout the Lands Between, and Kale in the Church of Elleh just beyond the boss can sell you a Crafting Kit so you can make them.

Now onto the boss itself. The key with most mounted knights is hitting their shield side and rear, since they generally can't get at you with their weapon hand. They still have shield attacks and their horse can barge, but you're less likely to get the nasty end of its halberd. Another good trick is baiting out attacks, then sprinting in with Torrent to get some hits. If the Tree Sentinel or any other mounted boss is riding at you, they are probably about to do a jumping attack. It's worth remembering that when mounted bosses perform AoE attacks and smashes, you can jump out of the way with Torrent, and Torrent's second jump can let you completely change direction mid-air for getting into a good position. 

Finally, the thing to remember with mounted bosses and dragons, is they're not hugely aggressive fights. There's a lot of back and forth between you and your opponent, as you avoid AoEs, bait out their attacks, change positioning, and chip them down by making passes at them. It's more like the bosses in Sekiro in terms of mobility, than it is, say, a Dark Souls' boss. Still, the Tree Sentinel is a great introduction to mounted combat. Just reposition, attack when you can on his shield side and rear, watch out for his horse's body slam when you're close, and remember that you can jump to avoid AoE attacks.

Once you beat him, you'll get the Golden Halberd, a pretty good weapon with a strong skill that boosts attack for you and nearby allies. Still, it's got some pretty hefty requirements. 

We hope that helps! See our guide for more tips on a number of other Elden Ring bosses.

Sean Martin
Guides Writer

Sean's first PC games were Full Throttle and Total Annihilation and his taste has stayed much the same since. When not scouring games for secrets or bashing his head against puzzles, you'll find him revisiting old Total War campaigns, agonizing over his Destiny 2 fit, or still trying to finish the Horus Heresy. Sean has also written for EDGE, Eurogamer, PCGamesN, Wireframe, EGMNOW, and Inverse.