Notoriously hard Elden Ring gets its world-first no-damage playthrough

An Elden Ring player squaring off against a boss
(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

An Elden Ring streamer has posted the game's first-ever no-damage playthrough, beating the whole game without taking a single hit. That's a monumentally impressive achievement considering the game's enormous scope and – of course – its crushingly high level of difficulty.

Twitch streamer Seki announced the completion of their Elden Ring no-damage run on Twitter. The tweet has since gone viral throughout the Elden Ring community, gathering over 26,000 likes at the time of writing. You can view the tweet below, though do be wary of spoilers if you've yet to complete the notoriously difficult game for yourself.

Seki provided context for the Elden Ring no-damage run to Kotaku, saying: "No-Hit/No Damage is harder than a regular no-hit run as the player cannot take [any] environmental damage such as fall damage/poison etc. This adds difficulty to the run as I don’t have access to buffs such as Red-Feathered Branchsword which could potentially increase my damage output if I had low health."

Without helpful crutches like the Red-Feathered Branchsword – or the option to take damage at all – Seki had to rely on equipment that's powerful in most Elden Ring encounters. His weapon of choice was the Moonveil katana, a popular sword that scales with the Dexterity and Intelligence stats. The katana also features the incredibly powerful Transient Moonlight Ash of War, which fires a potent magical projectile from the blade.

Seki, who has also completed a no-damage playthrough of the brutally hard Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, claims to have spent upwards of 130 hours solely on preparations for the Elden Ring run. That includes planning out the optimal route to beat the game in a reasonable amount of time and practicing certain boss fights. The final run clocks in at just under three hours.

Elden King

It goes without saying that completing Elden Ring in under three hours without taking any form of damage is supremely impressive, especially considering that a significant number of players are struggling with the game's first major boss fight.

It can also be argued that it's much harder to achieve a no-damage playthrough of Elden Ring than other FromSoftware titles, as it lacks the relative predictability of the studio's other games, like Dark Souls 3. In Elden Ring, the open-world map of the Lands Between is fraught with hazards. Sudden mobs of enemies or a gate-crashing boss can easily stop a run in its tracks.

Elden Ring also features a notorious difficulty spike in the game's later areas and boss fights, many of which are arguably some of the hardest From Software has ever devised. Bosses like Malenia, Blade of Miquella, the Fire Giant or even recurring enemies like the Crucible Knights are sure to represent considerable roadblocks for anyone attempting a similar run.

Streamers and speedrunners of FromSoftware's back catalog have already completed "all boss" no-damage runs for each game, meaning they've managed to defeat every boss without taking a hit, from Demon's Souls all the way to Sekiro. A run like that could be considerably trickier in Elden Ring, considering the game hides hundreds of boss fights in dungeons all across the map.

However, Seki tells Kotaku that he's next planning an "all Rememberances" no-damage run – that means fighting every story-related boss fight that drops a Rememberance item upon death.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.