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Elden Ring: How the Radahn Boss Fight is Different After Patch 1.03

Elden Ring: How the Radahn Boss Fight is Different After Patch 1.03 Image
  • Posted on 08th Apr, 2022 20:25 PM

Starscourge Radahn was among Elden Ring’s hardest bosses when the game first came out, but a lot has changed with the advent of patch 1.03.

p>Players are still working through Elden Ring. FromSoftware's newest game has proven to be much larger than anyone could have guessed, with surprises waiting around every corner. From the first time a player passes a locked door to their encounters in the farthest reaches of the Lands Between, there will be constant discovery and combat. A seemingly never-ending flow of equipment, abilities, and enemies rise to meet the Tarnished at every turn. Elden Ring doesn't make things easy for the player, but it does give them all the tools they need to succeed.

Even more tools are being uncovered thanks to the game's 1.03 patch. This update brought an enormous amount of changes to Elden Ring, nerfing several weapons and Ashes of War that were deemed too strong, as well as fixing many bugs. Many sorceries became stronger and easier to use, and NPC markers were added to the map. There are even new phases to several NPC quests, and a whole new character called Jar-Bairn in the previously calm but quiet Jarburg. Of these changes, one that generated the most discussion was not on the official patch notes. The boss Starscourge Radahn was heavily nerfed, and players have been discussing if he was dealt an unfair blow.

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Deciphering Starscourge Radahn's Balance Changes

While Elden Ring patch 1.03 was full of changes, the patch notes left precise details out. There are allusions to improving sorceries and shields, and a brief mention is made of many enemy and equipment changes. However, there is no elaboration on any of these, so public information is based on incomplete datamines and fan observation. Radahn’s changes are more blatant than most. To summarize, Starscourge Radahn, the shardbearer who can be fought in Caelid, had been giving players a lot of trouble. For some, he felt on-par with the superboss Malenia, which was appropriate given their shared lore. Despite that, FromSoftware saw fit to tone Radahn down.

According to dataminer @king_bore_haha on Twitter, Radahn's weapon hitboxes are about 40 percent smaller than they were at launch. Many players used to be clipped by his wild swings as Radahn slid around on his horse, so this made the fight feel a lot more fair. Even if they do get hit, Radahn’s melee damage has also been lowered by eight to 10 percent.

Some projectile and explosion hitboxes have also been shrunk, and explosion hitboxes grow more slowly. The last change that @king_bore_haha listed, besides mentioning that more has been done, was that Radahn's infamous homing orbs have been "heavily modified." Players have noted Radahn's ranged damage seems much lower as well, and his health and stagger thresholds have been noticeably reduced.

The Impact of Radahn's Nerfs on Elden Ring

Radahn is intended to be challenged after the player gains access to the Altus Plateau, by which point they may have beaten the two shardbearers needed to complete the game. Despite that, the Caelid region and Radahn are accessible almost immediately, and many players have found their way to Radahn’s difficult fight before they were ready for it. It appears the patch was intended to lower Radahn to the level of the other shardbearers placed in the player's path. Defeating Radahn is necessary to complete Ranni’s game-spanning quest, so some players felt compelled to beat him as soon as possible. Patch 1.03 makes Radahn a more reasonable challenge for the average player, but not everyone agrees with the change.

Some challenge-seeking players would prefer it if Radahn’s changes could be reversed. Radahn's original difficulty feels appropriate for the oppressive Caelid region, and his backstory justifies why he is so powerful. Those who are pro-nerf have reported immense feelings of satisfaction upon finally bringing the boss down. The presence of around 10 respawning NPCs summon signs in Radahn’s arena now feel like overkill, even though they are intended to help fight the boss. It's unclear if FromSoftware will give Radahn another balance pass in the future, but it may want to at least increase his health and posture to avoid players skipping his second phase.

Elden Ring is available now on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

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