Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree - Shadow Keep Walkthrough (Enemies, NPCs, & Rewards) (2024)

The Shadow Keep is the third dungeon in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree. It features two boss fights, with the final boss, Messmer the Impaler, being one of the most challenging encounters in the DLC. Like Belurat and Tower Settlement, navigating the Shadow Keep involves complex pathways that players must figure out how to navigate. This intricate layout often leaves players frustrated and disoriented, resulting in frequent backtracking without proper guidance.

The Shadow Keep becomes accessible after completing the minor dungeon, Castle Ensis, where players beat Rellana, Twin Moon Knight in Elden Ring. Her players are led to Scadu Atlus, the next area within the Land of Shadow. Exploring the Shadow Keep advances the DLC narrative and rewards players with valuable loot and gear.


Castle Ensis is a dungeon in Elden Ring, full of valuable items and tough enemies, including the formidable boss, Rellana, Twin Moon Knight.

Where To Find The Shadow Keep In Elden Ring

North of 'Highroad Cross' Site of Grace

Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree - Shadow Keep Walkthrough (Enemies, NPCs, & Rewards) (2)

Starting from the Ensis Moongazing Grounds, exit the castle and head north into Scadu Altus. Follow the road until you reach the 'Highroad Cross' Site of Grace. Along the way, stop at the Map Stele to collect the Scadu Altus Map Fragment. Open your map, and you will see the Shadow Keep further up the road.

Beware of the Black Knight patrolling the pathway on horseback. You can evade him by taking the grassy bank on the path or defeating him before entering the castle grounds.

As you proceed, you will encounter a camp filled with Messmer Soldiers, Perfumers, and a massive Furnace Golem, so be prepared for a fight or rough escape. Look along the low wall on the right to grab a Scadutree Fragment in Elden Ring as you enter the camp. Continue heading north through the camp, enter the imposing black stone keep, and ride the elevator up to find the 'Shadow Keep Main Gate' Site of Grace.

Defeat The Golden Hippopotamus In Elden Ring

Minor Boss Battle

Just past the 'Shadow Keep Main Gate' Site of Grace, players must beat the Golden Hippopotamus in Elden Ring, a minor but formidable boss. This opponent guards the main gate and uses a variety of lethal moves, including ramming, biting, tossing, tackling, and head swings.

The hippo typically starts the battle by charging at players with its mouth open. Dodging is crucial to avoid these attacks, but his massive size and the small arena make it challenging. The best strategy is to stay behind him, avoiding his headand mouth to prevent being grabbed.

Most of his attacks are single hits, so wait for the big swings and avoid panic-rolling. Jay Dunna on YouTube suggests rolling slightly early, as the hippo's attack AOE is very large.

Players will receive several rewards upon defeating him, including a new Ash of War, the Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree - Shadow Keep Walkthrough (Enemies, NPCs, & Rewards) (3)Aspects of the Crucible: Thorns , 200,000 Runes, and a Scadutree Fragment. A new Site of Grace, 'Main Gate Plaza,' will also appear in the arena's center, allowing players to rest before continuing.

Open The Door At The Main Gate Plaza

Enter Through The West Entrance

Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree - Shadow Keep Walkthrough (Enemies, NPCs, & Rewards) (4)

Upon leaving the new Site of Grace, follow the only available path through the open door on the west side to your left. Speak with the ghost in the next room, then proceed up the stairs. At the top, you'll encounter platforms guarded by various Messmer Soldiers.

Fortunately, most soldiers are unaware of your presence. This will allow you to backstab or push them off the ledge, provided you can stealthily crouch up behind them.

The next rooms contain important items in Elden Ring worth collecting. In the first room, two soldiers and a third are descending the stairs in the back corner. Take the Festive Grease from the body by the stairs before moving on.

Halfway up the stairs, you'll find a lookout room with two more soldiers. One will attack immediately, while the other remains distracted by a window. Once you've cleared the room, collect the Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree - Shadow Keep Walkthrough (Enemies, NPCs, & Rewards) (5)Smithing Stone [1] from the ground. To the right of the window is another room with more Messmer Soldiers and a Black Knight.

The Black Knight will notice you as soon as you enter, so proceed with caution. Once he is defeated, you can find the Main-gauche weapon on a nearby corpse.

Explore The Courtyard

From here, return to the previous room and jump out of the window to your right, where the distracted Messmer Soldier was standing. You’ll land in a courtyard with a glowing tree and several praying Shadow Undead.

These enemies are not aggressive, allowing you to approach the tree's base to collect a Talisman in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree—the Talisman of Lord’s Blessing. Next, head through the door in the southern corner and drop off the ledge. This will bring you back to the room with the ghost.

Open The Main Gate Plaza Shortcut

Retrace your steps up the stairs and through the hall. In the next open area, you’ll encounter two pairs of Messmer Soldiers—one pair to the right and one to the left. Clear them out, then continue up the stairs ahead. At the top are two Black Knights: one with a great bow and twin-blade directly ahead and another concealed to the left of the door, ready to ambush you.

To manage the fight more effectively, kite the sword-and-shield knight back down the stairs to avoid constant shots.

After defeating both knights, collect the Golden Vow consumable and the Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree - Shadow Keep Walkthrough (Enemies, NPCs, & Rewards) (6)Shadow Realm Rune [6] . The door on the left side of the hall is a shortcut, but for now, ignore it. Instead, head back to the courtyard with the glowing tree and proceed to the dead-end alley to the west.

Slay the Black Knight guarding the Golden Vow. On the right (north side), find an open floor. Deal with another Black Knight and Messmer Soldiers inside, then continue north to find a ladder. This ladder leads to the other side of the shortcut door.

Next, head through the door at the hall's east end and cross the bridge. Collect the Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree - Shadow Keep Walkthrough (Enemies, NPCs, & Rewards) (7)Holyproof Pickled Liver , then take a right. As you pass the burning ships heading east, deal with the Vulgar Militia, some of Elden Ring's creepiest DLC enemies.

Do not underestimate these small humanoid creatures, as they are fast and relentless and can cause Blood Loss in players.

You'll find more Militiamen and two items: x3 Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree - Shadow Keep Walkthrough (Enemies, NPCs, & Rewards) (8)Smithing Stone [8] and a Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree - Shadow Keep Walkthrough (Enemies, NPCs, & Rewards) (9)Silver-Pickled Fowl Foot . Don’t forget to grab the Messmerfire Grease near the second boat. From here, the path splits four ways.

At the center of the rampart, take a right and descend the long giant staircase, eliminating Vulgar Militia as you go. At the bottom, grab the Drawstring Golden Grease and take a right to push open the door, creating a shortcut back to the 'Main Gate Plaza' Site of Grace.

Find The 'Domain of Dragons' Painting

To collect one of the treasure-hunt paintings in Elden Ring, return to the burning ships where you found the Fowl Foot. You will notice a ladder leading down to the water below. Descend the ladder and leave to find a secret tunnel behind the waterfall.

First, follow the ledge to find a Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree - Shadow Keep Walkthrough (Enemies, NPCs, & Rewards) (10)Somber Smithing Stone [8] , then return to enter the tunnel. This leads to another ladder that brings you to a secret room under the castle. You will find the painting 'Domain of Dragons' in this room.

Strike the wall on the right side of the room to reveal another path. This path leads to a coffin you can climb inside, transporting you to the Castle Watering Hole, a new area of Scadu Altus below Shadow Keep. If you explore this area, activate the 'Castle Watering Hole' Site of Grace before you leave.


Belurat, Tower Settlement is a dungeon in the Elden DLC, presented with many twists and turns, culminating in a boss fight against the Dancing Lion.

Explore The Specimen Storehouse In Elden Ring

Ascend Each Floor To Activate The Sites of Grace

Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree - Shadow Keep Walkthrough (Enemies, NPCs, & Rewards) (12)

If you retrieved the painting, warp back to the 'Main Gate Plaza' Site of Grace and backtrack to the rampart. Head north from the top of the staircase, collecting the two items on the ground: x8 Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree - Shadow Keep Walkthrough (Enemies, NPCs, & Rewards) (13)Bone Dart and x8 Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree - Shadow Keep Walkthrough (Enemies, NPCs, & Rewards) (14)Smithing Stone [2] .

As you cross the bridge, you'll encounter your first Fire Knight in Elden Ring, a new Messmer Knight enemy. These enemies are relentless, using a mix of pyromancy magic and sword combos, primarily dealing fire damage.

Fortunately, Fire Knights have low defense and are easily staggered. Once you strike them, continue attacking to keep them helpless and unable to retaliate until they perish.

Reach The 'Storehouse, First Floor' Site of Grace

Once you have defeated the Messmer Knight, use the elevator behind him to ascend to the Specimen Storehouse, the next stage of the Shadow Keep. At the top of the elevator, go straight ahead and activate the 'Storehouse, First Floor' Site of Grace.

To fully explore the rest of the castle, you must ascend to the top, navigating through each floor. The pathways can be tricky and are not clearly laid out. As you activate each Site of Grace on every level, ensure that you clear the enemies and collect all possible loot.

Reach The 'West Rampart' Site Of Grace

Before exploring and ascending the Specimen Storehouse, take a detour to collect some useful items. From the 'Storehouse, First Floor' Site of Grace, head left around the room and take the first left. Eliminate the Shadow Undead and collect the Rune Arc in Elden Ring. In the next room, use the elevator to descend.

At the bottom, take the first left and grab the Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree - Shadow Keep Walkthrough (Enemies, NPCs, & Rewards) (15)Ash of War: Wall of Sparks from the corpse on the railing. Head back into the hall, take another left, and go to the end of the hall. Defeat the Living Jar and collect the Gold Pickled Fowl Foot.

As you head back and take the first left, a skeletal creature named 'Those Who Live In Death' will jump out at you. Continue straight and deal with another of these opponents.

Ahead, the hall splits. The left side appears to be a dead end but is actually an imaginary wall. Roll against it to pass through and collect the Battlefield Priest’s Cookbook [4]. Once you've collected the loot, exit the room and head down the stairs.

Clear out the enemies, including more 'Those Who Live in Death' and Living Jars, in this room and the next. These rooms are full of little jar warriors who will try to jump-tackle you, so keep aware of your surroundings. On the left, under the balcony where you had earlier found the Ash of War in Elden Ring, you’ll find an Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree - Shadow Keep Walkthrough (Enemies, NPCs, & Rewards) (16)Iris of Grace and a Hefty Cracked Pot.

Continue out the door, heading west and down the stairs on either side. Exit the door to find the 'West Rampart' Site of Grace. This path leads to the Ancient Ruins of Rauh region. Warp back to the 'Storehouse, First Floor' Site of Grace in the Specimen Storehouse to continue exploring the rest of the area.

Reach The 'Storehouse, Fourth Floor' Site of Grace

Loop around the first room of the library clockwise, clearing out all the Shadow Undead and Vulgar Militia. Many shadow figures appear to be reading books and can be ignored, but some wield small blades or use fire-based sorceries.

Be vigilant, as some pretend to read books and then attack when you get close. It may be safer to eliminate all you encounter to avoid surprise attacks.

On the far side, you'll see stairs leading to a secret passage that is not yet accessible. Instead, take the stairs up and to the left. Proceed cautiously through the stacks, clearing out enemies as a Fire Knight awaits. Head towards the north end of the room and go down the stairs. Past the nautical whale-like skeletal display, you'll find Sir Ansbach, a friendly NPC in Elden Ring you can speak to in his second location.

Back in the main room, take two rights to find another staircase. Sweep this floor for enemies, including another Fire Knight, and items. Starting at the top of the stairs, head right and follow the walkway around. Below you, on the left, you'll see an open room with large tables.

Jump the railing and drop down to find the Boltdrake Talisman +3 . Worry not, as the drop is too high to cause fall damage.


Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree - Every Scadu Altus Site Of Grace Locations

In Elden Ring, Scadu Atlus is the secondary region in the Shadow Realm, with many Grace Sites that players can activate, gaining more rest points.

Cross The Hanging Railings

Along the west wall, find a lever that moves the conspicuous bookcase seen earlier. Retrace your steps to the second floor and continue up the stairs against the north wall. On the next floor, turn south and eliminate the Fire Knight before they notice you.

Check the room to the west for additional enemies and items. Once finished, head onto the central balcony and go left (east). Look for a buttress on your left to jump onto.

Use it to cross to the opposite section and head to the south end to find the Dueling Shield.

Return across the buttress to the balcony and continue south. At the end of the walkway, spot the giant hanging corpse to your right. Jump over the railing onto its feet. Upon reaching its knees, turn right and look down. You'll be above a goat-like corpse near the Site of Grace. Drop onto the goat's back to collect the Revered Spirit Ash in Elden Ring.

Drop to the floor and retrace your steps to the hanging giant corpse. Walk up its back and onto its head. Carefully jump from its head to the balcony ahead to find the Storehouse Cross message from Sir Ansbach, a Miquella’s Cross, a Scadutree Fragment , and the 'Storehouse, Fourth Floor' Site of Grace.

Reach The 'Storehouse, Seventh Floor' Site of Grace

To progress from the fourth level in the Storehouse, head out onto the balcony and take a left. Follow the ledge around and pass the formidable Fire Knight. Around the next corner, you’ll encounter some stairs on your left. Go down and make a U-turn to the left at the bottom to find a Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree - Shadow Keep Walkthrough (Enemies, NPCs, & Rewards) (18)Shadow Realm Rune [5] .

Upon heading inside, grab the Holyproof Pickled Liver to the left of the door. Then, walk forward to the edge and take a right to pick up the Secret Rite Scroll. Warp back to the 'Storehouse, First Floor' Site of Grace and hand over the scroll to Sir Ansbach. After your interaction, travel back to the 'Storehouse, Fourth Floor' Site of Grace and retrace your steps.

Pass the stairs and the Giant Bats, then take the first left back into the Storehouse. At the end of the walkway, collect the Rada Fruit, a new DLC crafting item in Elden Ring.

The giant Bats may swoop down to claw at you as you attempt to bypass them, so it's best to face them directly to avoid being chased.

Take a left and check the room at the end of the hall for a Smithing Stone [6]. Go back past the door and follow the floor counterclockwise. Continue past the Fire Knight, defeating them, before going up the stairs.

At the top, you’ll start hearing Redmane Freyja speaking, but don't let this disorient you, as she’s not on this floor. Take a left, go up the stairs, then another left and more stairs. Grab the Sliver of Meat at the top, then head through the door to find the 'Storehouse, Seventh Floor' Site of Grace and Redmane Freyja’s second location, where players can speak to her directly.

Reach The 'Dark Chamber Entrance' Site of Grace

The last Site of Grace before the final boss fight is the 'Dark Chamber Entrance.' To find it, exit the room heading east and cross the bridge to face another Fire Knight. Fight or bypass them and continue to the end of the walkway. At the dead end, turn left and jump onto the back of the goat-like creature to collect a Revered Spirit Ash.

Drop down to the room below. At the east end, collect the Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree - Shadow Keep Walkthrough (Enemies, NPCs, & Rewards) (19)Shadow Realm Rune [5] from a corpse on the right. Pull the lever against the east wall to raise the hanging specimens on the central pillar. Backtrack north and look for a balcony section without a railing on your left.

Jump across to the repositioned beam, climb the steps, and jump to the platform on your left. Then, jump to the right onto the hanging deer-like corpse, run up its back to the head, and jump into the room ahead.

On the balcony, go right and up the stairs. At the top, turn left to face a Flame Knight guarding the large doors to the final boss. This enemy has longer combos and deadlier sorceries than its Fire Knight counterpart and doesn't stagger as easily.

Defeat the Flame Knight to receive the Winged Serpent Helm and a powerful Ash of War: Flame Spear. Push through the doors to collect a Scadutree Fragment, then turn left, head up the stairs, and finally, find the 'Dark Chamber Entrance' Site of Grace.

Before proceeding, a useful talisman was now available because the hanging platforms in the storehouse had shifted. Fast-travel back to the 'Storehouse, First Floor' Site of Grace and retrace your steps to the third floor, where the hanging giant has moved. Beneath its head, collect the Pearldrake Talisman +3, then fast-travel back to the 'Dark Chamber Entrance' Site of Grace.


10 Tips If You're Finding Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree Too Hard

To take on Elden Ring's notoriously challenging DLC, there are many ways to prepare, skills to learn, and items to use that make it more manageable.

Defeat Messmer, The Impaler In Elden Ring

The Final Dungeon Boss Battle

After resting, push through the next set of doors to initiate a cutscene, introducing the boss fight against Messmer, the Impaler, in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Eridtree. Messmer has extraordinarily long and relentless combos with his Spear, which has enormous reach, while he deals fire-based damage. In his second phase, he transforms into Base Serpent Messmer, becoming even more wrathful.

Wilstorm Gaming notes that Messmer is resistant to magic, fire, lightning, and Holy damage but weak to Blood Loss and recommends using a colossal sword with a blood affinity.

You’ll receive 400,000 Runes, the Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree - Shadow Keep Walkthrough (Enemies, NPCs, & Rewards) (21)Remembrance of the Impaler , and Messmer’s Kindling upon defeat. Rest at the newly appeared 'Messmer's Dark Chamber' Site of Grace to regain your HP and resources. Messmer’s Remembrance can be exchanged at Roundtable Hold in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree for the SSpearof the Impaler great spear or the Messmer’s Orb incantation.

Source: Jay Dunna/YouTube, Wilstorm Gaming/YouTube

Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree - Shadow Keep Walkthrough (Enemies, NPCs, & Rewards) (22)
Elden Ring
PS5 , Xbox One , PS4 , Xbox Series X , Xbox Series S , PC

February 25, 2022

From Software

Bandai Namco Entertainment , From Software
RPG , Action

Online Co-Op , Online Multiplayer


M for Mature: Blood and Gore, Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence

How Long To Beat
58 Hours


Platforms That Support Crossplay
PS4 &PS5 and Xbox One & Xbox Series X|S

PS Plus Availability
Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree - Shadow Keep Walkthrough (Enemies, NPCs, & Rewards) (2024)
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