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How to survive the Abyssal Woods in Elden Ring

Learn how to get around the instakill enemies that inflict Elden Ring madness in the Abyssal Woods area of the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC.

Elden Ring madness: a humanoid figure with a cane hobbling along with a giant yellow glowing head.

Want to survive the Abyssal Woods in Elden Ring? After conquering a perilous descent alongside a massive waterfall, the region opens up enough for you to assume that you can finally your horse Torrent without slipping off a high ledge. However, not two steps into your ride, the poor beast gets spooked by something and will not come out. It’s as if Torrent knows something sinister lurks deep among the trees ahead.

This is because the Abyssal Woods region of the Elden Ring DLC has some enemies that can’t be killed, and will instantly annihilate you no matter your Elden Ring build. It’s typical for Soulslike games to have at least one notorious curveball area, and this is perhaps the cruelest of the lot. However, we’ve managed to come out the other side unscathed, so here are our survival tools to help you escape Elden Ring madness in this dank forest.

Elden Ring madness: The Tarnished is hiding in the grass in the swamp near one of the instakill enemies.

How to avoid enemies in the Abyssal Woods

The golden rule when encountering the giant eye enemies in the Abyssal Woods is: don’t be seen. If any of these terrifying creatures spot you, they’ll run to your position and use magic to hold you in place while they inflict the maximum amount of madness and kill you on the spot.

Your best chance at survival is to hide among the bushes and move only when you’re sure it’s safe. The enemies are painfully slow, but have a set movement pattern that gives you a window of opportunity to dart across to the next patch of grass. Always keep one eye on the enemy, even when you think you’re clear, as they can see from very far away. This is especially important in the one area with two of these enemies, as one can easily spot you from afar while the other one’s back is turned.

Elden Ring madness: the Tarnished is hiding in the grass as the enemy is alerted to their position because of the glowing bell plants.

If you hit one of the tall yellow plants, a chime will sound, quickly summoning the nearby enemy to its position. Should this happen, don’t panic just yet as you can still avoid being caught. Move quickly to the side and stay hidden. It’ll linger for a while before moving back onto its patrol route. You could use this to your advantage and move to a location that might otherwise be tricky to reach, but this is extremely risky, and the entire section is possible to complete without triggering the plants.

There is one other area in the Abyssal Woods with one of these enemies in it, and it’s a very dark ravine. There’s no grass patch to hide in, but the trees do give you some protection from their deathly gaze. You can also wade around the left side as you enter to find a gap in the trees around the back of the monster.

Once you reach Manse Hall, the biggest Elden Ring madness threat is behind you. Of course, inside are plenty more monsters that can inflict this deadly effect, but they won’t kill you outright. Getting through the mansion will, however, require that you get as many Elden Ring Scadutree Fragments as possible. You should also pick up Elden Ring Revered Spirit Ashes to buff your summons for the Elden Ring boss ahead.