Oops, Elden Ring accidentally made a dog stronger than 11 Radahns

Elden Ring blood-infested dog sitting on ruins.
(Image credit: Tyler C. / FromSoftware)

Poison swamps and terrible dogs have one thing in common: FromSoftware absolutely cannot resist putting them in all of its games. Elden Ring is full of dogs that might have a better chance of becoming Elden Lord than you do, considering how often they launch into nearly unstoppable barrages of fangs that always seem to stagger you. And that's just Elden Ring's normal breed of terrible dog. The bleed-inflicting dog variant in Elden Ring is so, so much worse. These bleed dogs are currently bugged, causing them to deal over 11,000 points of damage in one attack animation.

For reference, that's about five times the amount of health a you have at 99 vigor. Put another way: Starscourge Radahn deals about 1,000 damage with his most brutal attacks. These dogs are like fighting 11 Radahn's at once—an actual nightmare.

FromSoftware dataminer and modder Zullie the Witch has arrived at an explanation for how the developer accidentally made its dogs so much worse in Elden Ring. That ludicrous damage comes down to a fault in the way the game determines whether an enemy attack hits you or not. 

Enemies in Elden Ring share animation data for efficiency. Instead of having to have unique attack animations for every slight variation of a horse, many of them use the same animations. It works the same way for the dogs, except the bleed dogs come in two sizes. When either size of dog attacks you, the game checks to see which one it is and allows it to deal an appropriate amount of damage to you. It does this so that once you've been hit, you can't be hit again from the same attack.

Instead of locking in its decision on which dog attack hits you, though, Elden Ring picks one, then erases the data of that choice instead. As a result, it makes this decision over and over for every frame that you're within the hitbox of the dog's attack, meaning you get hit for absurd amounts of damage in an instant. And that's not including the bleed status that shaves off a fat percentage of your health after successive attacks. It's truly brutal.

The fix for FromSoftware, as Zullie explains in the video, is quite obvious: don't wipe the data for the choice each time it makes a decision. That way, the dog won't hit you harder than every boss in the game. But until FromSoftware patches the bug, the only solution for players is to run far, far away.

FromSoftware games have run into similarly strange issues before. In Dark Souls 2, weapon durability was tied to frame rate, so running the game at 60 fps caused your weapons to break twice as fast as those playing at 30 fps. At the time it felt like the developer had it out for PC players specifically, but given that Elden Ring is capped at 60 fps on all platforms, we are all blessed: we get to experience the worst dogs of 2022, together. Can we please go back to simpler times, when the dogs (and cats) were good? 

Associate Editor

Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.