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Elden Ring Golden Hippopotamus boss guide

While not a mandatory boss, you’re going to want to take down the Golden Hippopotamus for its great loot. Here’s how to do it.

the golden hippopotamus from elden ring with its mouth open

How do you beat the Golden Hippopotamus in Elden Ring? Believe it or not, the new Land of Shadow has a Super Saiyan hippopotamus to overcome, and it’s no easy task. The fight is a lot like taking on a Runebear from the base game – except this hippo hits way harder no matter how much you’ve invested into the vigor stat. Thankfully, we’ve got some tips to help you overcome this fearsome beast.

While the Golden Hippopotamus is completely optional in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree, you’re going to want to slay this titan for its great loot – it’s one of many Scadutree Fragments locations. If you’re still having trouble after reading our guide, you might want to take a look at the best Elden Ring builds to be sure you’re giving yourself a fighting chance.

the golden hippopotamus from elden ring biting the player

How to beat the Elden Ring Golden Hippopotamus

You’ll come across the Golden Hippopotamus after riding the grand lift into the Shadow Keep, found directly north of the Highroad Cross grace, behind the Furnace Golem in the distance. However, if you head east from the Highroad Cross Site of Grace and travel through Bonny Village, you can enter the Shadow Keep through the eastern entrance and skip this fight altogether – or come back later when you’re more prepared. By this point, you should be around Scadutree level 8, which is good enough to take the Golden Hippopotamus on if you’re confident in your dodge-rolling skills.

There isn’t much in the way of equipment prep for the Golden Hippopotamus; the beast will quickly break guards so you’re better off having a medium to light equip load to avoid its attacks altogether.

Outside of the fog door, you can summon either Redmane Freyja or Hornsent to assist you in this battle if you talked to them previously. Their summon signs are on either side of the door. Redmane Freyja can tank a lot more hits; however, Hornsent can apply bleed and take off large chunks of health at once.

The Hippopotamus only has a handful of attacks and getting the timing down on how to dodge them will make your life much easier. The first attack you’ll likely see is its charge, where it rushes you with its mouth open. We found the best way to dodge this attack is to wait at the last possible second, almost when you’re in its mouth, and dodge to the left or right. Otherwise, it’s imperative you stay away from its head as you attack.

At around 60% health, the Golden Hippopotamus will go Super Saiyan and sprout bright, needle-like hairs. It will then slam the ground and shoot hairs out from its left and right flank; you’ll want to stay behind it or run and dodge backward when it begins this transformation. The beast will also curl into a ball and roll around the arena, shooting out golden spikes.

using melee to stab the golden hippopotamus from elden ring in the eye

Golden Hippopotamus melee strategy

Fast weapon attacks that apply a status such as bleed or heavy staggering weapons work very well against the Golden Hippopotamus, so no matter your melee strategy you should be able to handle it. In fact, the only difference is how many attacks you should commit before rolling away: a handful for a fast weapon like the Backhand Blades but just one for a heavier weapon. Consider using the Stonebarb Cracked Tear in your Wondrous Physick to break its stance easier if you’re running a strength build.

The best time to get more than one whack in is when you dodge its open-mouthed charge. It will have about a three second window where you can hits before it tries to bite you again. It may take a few tries to get the dodge-timing down right, as the Hippopotamus tends to strike a little bit after what you’d expect, but once you have it you shouldn’t have trouble staggering or bleeding it into submission.

using ranged spells to attack the golden hippopotamus in elden ring

Golden Hippopotamus ranged strategy

The ranged strategy, whether with sorceries, incantations, or bows, works much the same way as the melee strategy. You’re going to want to carefully avoid its attacks before getting one shot off – or two after its open-mouthed charge. However, the Hippopotamus closes distance surprisingly fast so spells with long windup times like Comet Azur aren’t recommended if you don’t have a drawing aggression. For sorcerries, consider using the tried-and-true Rock Sling to break its stance. For Incantations, we found the Lighting Spear safe to use from a distance; however, this route will take a little while to chip away the Hippopotamus’ massive health pool.

If  you’re all-in with ranged weaponry, we recommend summoning Redmane Freyja as she’s your tankiest option – though don’t discount a classic Mimic Tear Spirit Ash depending on your build.

keeping distance from the golden hippopotamus in elden ring

Golden Hippopotamus cheese strategy

The way to cheese the Golden Hippopotamus is much the same as the ranged strategy: summon Redmane Freyja to tank hits. Dodge the Hippopotamus’ attacks (do not even try to attack) until it aggros on Freyja. From there, use a powerful spell or weapon art at your disposal: Comet Azur for sorceries, Death Lightning for faith incantations, and Smarag’s Glintstone Breath or Ekzykes’s Decay for arcane incantations. Cast these spells as the Golden Hippopotamus begins its attack animation on Freyja so that you have time to recover if it switches aggro when it ends.

Alternatively, we had success using the Moghwyn’s Sacred Spear art, Bloodmoon Ritual, to repeatedly proc bleed with the help of Hornsent.

With the Golden Hippopotamus defeated, don’t forget to upgrade your Scadutree level with the fragments it dropped as there’s a lot more bosses in Shadow of the Erdtree. Be sure to take a peek at all the Elden Ring bosses you’ll face before you see the DLC through – and good luck as they get far more difficult from here. If you need some motivation, check out our Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree review.