Castle Ensis title screen in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree
Screenshot by Pro Game Gudes

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree – Castle Ensis Walkthrough (Map)

Elden Ring's Shadow of the Erdtree DLC has an incredible new map to explore, but while you're out and about you may come across certain locations that are a little tricky to navigate. Castle Ensis is one such place that has a lot of twists and turns so we've compiled a walkthrough to—you guessed it—walk you through the area.

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Castle Ensis location in Shadow of the Erdtree (Map Location)

Location of Castle Ensis in Shadow of the Erdtree
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

Castle Ensis is located right after you cross the Ellac Greatbridge and is directly north of the Scorched Ruines site of grace (although watch out for the giant ravine). There's an annoying ballista guarding the bridge, but with some happy feet, you and Torrent should gracefully pass without much trouble. Once you've passed that little obstacle you'll be greeted with the Castle Front site of grace. Take a seat and gather your strength for the coming trials.

How to enter Castle Ensis in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree

  • Troll Knight guarding Castle Ensis in Shadow of the Erdtree
  • Somber Smithing Stone 9 loot from the Troll Knight in Shadow of the Erdtree

Head straight up the stairs and you'll quickly see the first challenge that Castle Ensis has in store for you: a Troll Knight. Thanks to the level scaling of Shadow of the Erdtree, expect this troll to pack a massive punch. Anyone uninterested in the 8,500 souls or the Somber Smithing Stone 9 can ignore this foe, but remember he is unique and will not return once felled.

If you choose to tackle this beast keep in mind he has the same move set as the Troll Knight guarding the stairs in Caria Manor. Keep on your toes and hit him when he's vulnerable and you'll take home the kill without much trouble.

  • Stone archway leading to Shadow Realm Rune 4 in Shadow of the Erdtree
  • Location of Shadow Realm Rune in Shadow of the Erdtree
  • Confirmation of the Shadow Realm Rune 4 in Shadow of the Erdtree

Once he is defeated turn left, and enter the small room where you will find a lone enemy guarding a Shadow Realm Rune 4. Dunk on his weird hat a few times and he should go down without any trouble. Immediately turn left again and you'll see a corpse holding a Shadow Realm Rune 4 that can be used to earn 20,000 Runes. After you've grabbed the loot retrace your steps and continue up the stairway to the North East.

  • Stairway leading to Castle Ensis Keep in Shadow of the Erdtree
  • Enemies surrounding a camp fire in Shadow of the Erdtree
  • Small cave entrance leading to Castle Ensis Keep in Shadow of the Erdtree

Follow the path around where you will see a footsoldier and his dog relaxing at a campfire. Show them no mercy and after you've collected their runes there will be a natural rock separation that you can use to find the entrance to Ensis Keep.

  • Castle Ensis keep locations marked in Shadow of the Erdtree
  • Soldiers sitting at a campfire in Shadow of the Erdtree

As you enter this small area you'll notice quite a few interesting places, but don't fret we will explore everything in due time. First, turn to your right and dispatch the two soldiers chilling by a campfire, ending their dreams of a peaceful watch. Be careful as a Knight patrols the area and you will eventually cross his path (the reason we eliminate the soldiers is to avoid a messy fight with said Knight). Once you're prepared, square up to him and take him down. Now that you're clear of immediate threats head into the doorway to your left to find a chest holding a Loyal Knight's Cookbook.

  • Castle Ensis closed gate in Shadow of the Erdtree
  • Castle Ensis Cross Message in Shadow of the Erdtree
  • Castle Ensis Scadutree Fragment in Shadow of the Erdtree
  • Castle Ensis Checkpoint Site of Grace Shadow of the Erdtree

Ascend the stairs ahead and you'll find a closed gate, a Miquella's Cross, a Site of Grace, a Scadutree Fragment, and finally a Castle Cross Message from Needle Knight Leda. Grab all the goodies and take a second to rest at the grace, don't worry about resurrecting all your earnt kills as we won't see them again for a while. The next step is to open that pesky Checkpoint gate.

How to open the Checkpoint gate

  • Castle Ensis directions towards the dropdown in Shadow of the Erdtree
  • Castle Ensis dropdown path in Shadow of the Erdtree
  • Surrounded by a pack of dogs in Shadow of the Erdtree
  • Castle Ensis waterfall in Shadow of the Erdtree
  • A starlight shard in Shadow of the Erdtree
  • Castle Ensis sewers in Shadows of the Erdtree

To open the gate we first need to get to the other side where a contraption will allow us to raise the iron bars and grant us free travel. First, start from the recently claimed Site of Grace and head directly forward where a single soldier will be minding his own business on a ledge—dispatch the enemy and drop down onto the path below. You'll find another drop-down right after, leading you to a pack of bloodthirsty dogs.

Follow the path offered to you until you reach a ravine. To your left, you'll notice a waterfall with convenient rocks jutting out of the water, while your right leads off around the cliff. Take the right path first, you will know you are on the right track if numerous eagles are perched along the rocks. Be careful where you step, there's a giant hole in the path that will send you right back to the nearest grace. Jump across the gap and hop onto the nearby roof. A single corpse holds a Starlight Shard, but nothing else can be found here except for the fantastic view. Return to that waterfall to begin the tentative task of climbing the rock faces where you'll be greeted with a large archway and a ladder further passed; when you reach the top be aware that a lurking soldier will jump out and chunk your health. So long as you keep your wits about you there shouldn't be a problem.

As you leave that room and enter the fresh air again, you'll notice you are now on the opposite side of the Checkpoint gate but it's still closed. To change that all you have to do is enter the room directly beside the gate and activate the mechanism.

  • Castle Ensis entrance in Shadow of the Erdtree
  • Castle Ensis gate lever in Shadow of the Erdtree
  • Dog ambush warning in Shadow of the Erdtree
  • Enemy sorcerer in shadow of the erdtree
  • Castle Ensis ladders in the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC
  • Defeated enemy soldier in Shadow of the Erdtree

Take a moment to rest at the Checkpoint Site of Grace if you've taken too much damage or are low on Flask of Crimson Tears. Now that you have collected yourself head back through the gate and across the bridge. Be careful of the soldiers and try to take them down with speed or they will overwhelm you. There's not much else to note in this section of the Castle but be careful when you attempt to move forward as an oddly tanky dog is hiding for another ambush. The trials do not end with that feisty canine either, around the next bend is a trio of spellcasters (two of which love to teleport) that can be quite annoying to deal with.

You will need to be quick on your feet to catch these slippery spellcasters without losing your sanity or your health bar. Taking the duo on the ground out first and moving on to the next area is a great strategy, but if you're looking to clear out the entire area follow the rocks to your left and you'll come across a ladder. This will lead you right to another soldier, but after you deal with him you can bonk the sniper with your biggest sword. Once you're satisfied with your safety climb the short stairs ahead where you'll meet one strong Carian Knight.

How to defeat the Carian Knight

  • Carian Knight Moonrithyll in Shadow of the Erdtree
  • Carian Knight backstab location in Shadow of the Erdtree
  • Castle Ensis chest location in Shadow of the Erdtree
  • Wolf Crest Shield in Shadow of the Erdtree

For those that want an easier time the open door to your left can be used to sneak behind the Carian Knight and deal some heavy damage to him. It may not look like it at first since your opponent will likely instantly heal their health to full, but at least you won't have to deal with that in the future. There's not too much advice I can offer, simply take your time and react when his guard is down (at least this Carian Knight doesn't parry you).

Now that your foe is dead, turn right around and head down some semi-hidden stairs at the side of the castle. This will take you down to a room below where the Wolf Crest Shield is waiting to be claimed inside a chest. Run back upstairs and through the doors the Knight was guarding before his untimely demise.

Castle Ensis Ramparts Walkthrough

  • Castle Ensis Church in Shadow of the Erdtree
  • Enemy sorcerer on the rooftops in Shadow of the Erdtree
  • Castle Ensis Ramparts in Shadow of the Erdtree
  • A group of enemies in Shadow of the Erdtree
  • Castle Ensis wooden stairs in Shadow of the Erdtree
  • Castle Ensis tower room in Shadow of the Erdtree
  • Enemy Knight guarding elevator in Shadow of the Erdtree
  • Using the elevator in Shadow of the Erdtree
  • Lord Chamber Site of Grace in Shadow of the Erdtree

The following section is fairly easy and can be skipped to some extent. After you have entered the church the Carian Knight was guarding head into the right hallway and keep following it. Eventually, you'll step into a courtyard with a single sorcerer casting irritating spells from the rooftops, ignore him, climb the stairs, and open the gate to your right.

Once the lengthy animation plays out follow the ramparts until you find a pack of three soldiers and a pair of dogs. I recommend running right past them as swiftly as possible since the tight spaces and constant threat of the dog attack make this a very dicey fight. You will come across some wooden railings that lead up to the next part of the ramparts; climb the railings but be aware of the soldier guarding them with their spear.

At the top you can hide in a small room with a chest inside, once there you may have to contend with a dog or two and that new soldier. This should be an easier fight than the last and once it's over you can crack open the chest to obtain the Imbued Sword Key.

Golden smoke leading to a boss fight in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

Now that you're free from danger, you now face another Knight that guards the way to the elevator. He can be killed fairly easily with a giant sword and a few staggers, or just keep on your feet and whittle him down. With the Knight dead you can hop onto the elevator and ride it into the final room of Castle Ensis.

There is a Site of Grace if you continue your way into the area and just up a short flight of stairs, you will find one of the hardest bosses I've had the displeasure of facing.

Castle Ensis Rellana Twin Moon Maiden boss fight

Video by Pro Game Guides

I won't sugarcoat this: Rellana may be just as hard as Malenia if the latter didn't regen her health. Rellana is agile, strikes fast and strong, has a plethora of magics at her command that make the fight tedious, and she even has a signature move that is unreasonably difficult to dodge. Buckle up buttercup this one is going to be a ride.

My strategy for defeating Rellana was tailored to me and my build, I can only hope you can adapt it to meet your needs or you find another way to deal with this monstrosity of a fight. First, I didn't use the summonable companions before the fight started due to it giving Rellana too much of a health boost. Second, I utilized the Great Shield Soldier Ashes +10 as my personal summon and my main weapon for the fight was the Darkmoon Greatsword.

From the word go, Rellana teaches you that using heavy weapons is a mistake, she's too quick, you're too slow and you'll never get enough damage in before she steals your heal-y-juice. However, did I listen? No, I did not. If you're smart (unlike me) then grabbing a Light Greatsword may help to deal consistent damage to Rellana. So using the Darkmoon Greatsword's special I can turn my heavy attacks into long-range frost slashes that hit fairly hard but also trigger frostbite (that and Lightning as the only weaknesses Rellana has). The plan is to summon my horde of shield-wielding minions and hope they taunt Rellana enough that I can get in with some damage.

There are two giant flaws with this strategy: the first is that our opponent loves AoE abilities and at times can render this plan useless, and the second is that the summoned minions do very little damage. After a three-hour slog, I finally bested this demon. Whether you adopt my strategy or find your own, good luck with this demon.

That's everything on the Castle Ensis walkthrough. If you're looking for more Elden Ring content check out Is Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Premium Bundle worth it?, How to get the best early game weapon and armor in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree, and more on Pro Game Guides.

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Tyler Towers
Tyler is a skilled Freelance Writer for ProGameGuides, specializing in the most popular FPS games like Call of Duty, Apex Legends, and Valorant. He is also keenly interested in MOBAs and JRPGs, no matter how obscure they may be. With his Game Design degree from Sheffield Hallam University, Tyler has the expertise and knowledge to provide in-depth gaming industry coverage. When he is not knee-deep in ELO hell, he devotes his time to taking care of his beloved ragdoll cat, Ace.

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Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree – Castle Ensis Walkthrough (Map)

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