So you’ve pulled the lever but can’t figure out what it did? Or you did figure it out but now you’re stuck in the boss area? We can help.

The Minor Erdtree Catacombs in Elden Ring is a fairly easy dungeon that you can reach reasonably early on in your playthrough. While the boss may not be defeatable until later in your run, there’s some cool loot inside including the Imp Head (Wolf) helm for you to collect, and you can farm a decent amount of runes from the goblins found throughout the area.



Goblin Farming

You can get Smithing Stone [4] drops from the goblins in this area and also as a rare drop can pick up the cat-shaped Imp Head (Cat) helm (The helm I’m wearing in the photos in this guide).


Minor Erdtree Catacombs Walkthrough

How To Get To The Minor Erdtree Cataombs

A good place to make a run to the Minor Erdtree Catacombs from is the Smoldering Church.

It’s only a short ride away. It’s a good idea to be making your first approach from a nearby Site of Grace as there’s a large enemy near the entrance to the Catacombs that can kill you if you’re not careful. Best to be resurrected nearby if you do die. Watch the start of the video above to see the route between the Smoldering Church and the Catacombs.

The Smoldering Church in Elden Ring
The Smoldering Church is a good place to make a run to the Minor Erdtree Catacombs from.

The entrance is just past the tree, on the right, in the cliff face. When you arrive there will be a Site of Grace in the stairway down into the catacombs. Make sure you rest here to set your respawn point and refill your Flask of Crimson Tears in preparation for the dungeon ahead.


How To Find The Lever and Reach The Boss Area

After the Site of Grace, at the bottom of the stairs you’ll find a Goblin hanging from the ceiling waiting to ambush you. Dispatch him and then follow the path to the right.

The first goblin in the catacombs waiting to drop down on you from the ceiling.

These goblins are your main enemy in this dungeon. They’re tougher than the goblins in the Stormfoot Catacombs but still manageable (obviously this is variable depending on your level and equipment). They’re definitely not as hard as the goblins in the Cliffbottom Catacombs. The goblins have two main threats:

  1. They often hang out in packs with only one goblin visible and others hidden waiting to ambush you. They can quickly overwhelm you if you try fighting multiple at the same time.
  2. They stack a bleed effect which can take off large chunks of health when the bleed meter fills up. For this reason, try to keep your HP topped up and avoid getting hit by them whenever possible.

You’ll now come to a platform that you can ride down to a lower level. At the base of the elevator there are two paths you can take, one in front and one behind. Don’t worry about the one behind you yet, we’ll come back to that later, instead follow the path in front of you, leading further downwards.

Continue forward after riding elevator down.

At the end of this passageway you’ll find the next goblin waiting for you. After defeating it, turn left and continue onwards to the room ahead (harvesting the Grave Violet along the way). Beware that in addition to the goblin visible in the room ahead throwing darts at you, there’s also one waiting to ambush you, hidden on the left side of the doorway.

There are three goblins in the next area, two visible and one hidden one waiting to ambush you.

The best way to deal with the guy waiting to ambush you is to roll quickly into and then back out of the room, triggering his movement out into the open. He’ll then follow you back into the hallway where you can pick him off before dealing with the dart thrower.

Walk around the pillar in the next room and then continue on to the final room in this section. Be careful as you enter the room as there’s a goblin waiting to ambush you on the right. Once again you can trigger him by rolling forwards and then backwards, and then lure him back into the hallway to fight. After dispatching the first ambush goblin, there’s a second that will drop down from the ceiling in the middle of the room.

Trigger the ambush goblin to appear by rolling forwards and then back again quickly.

After defeating both goblins you can pull the lever, which will open the doorway into the boss area. To actually get to the boss area, you now need to backtrack through the dungeon to the room with the platform elevator in it.

Pull the lever to open the boss door in another part of the dungeon.

This time, instead of riding the elevator up like normal, step on the elevator button to send it upwards, but step off straight away so that you stay on the lower level. Once the elevator has risen out of it’s base you’ll see that you can slip down through the hole in the floor that’s been revealed into a room below. There’s a goblin in this room that you can get a headstart on by performing a jump attack while you fall.

By triggering the elevator to rise and jumping off quickly, you reveal a new pathway.

After defeating the goblin, you can head down the stairs in front of you to a hallway covered in red ooze. This red area will give you Scarlet Rot buildup so best to run through it quickly. There are Ooze monsters on the floor that I find painful to kill and will keep you in the Scarlet Rot zone longer if you fight them with a melee weapon, so personally I just jump over them and don’t bother trying to fight them.

Move quickly across the red floor lest you become afflicted with the dreaded Crimson Rot.

At this point you have two choices, you can either escape this area by turning right into the alcove just ahead, if you don’t have enough flasks filled or have tried and failed to kill the boss up ahead too many times. I’ll show how to do that in the section below (you can also see this route in the video at the start of this guide). Or if you’re feeling game, you can continue on and attempt the boss.


How To Escape From The Minor Erdtree Catacombs and Find The Imp Head (Wolf) Helm

Have you jumped down the elevator shaft, considered fighting the boss but then decided you’re not quite up to scratch?

Don’t worry, you don’t have to beat him yet, you can still get out of this area with your runes intact. To do so, turn right just after entering the red ooze area and head up the stairs.

To escape the boss area, turn right as soon as you enter the red ooze room at the bottom of the elevator shaft.

At the top of the stairs you’ll find a mostly empty room with a corpse and item at the far end. To change things up a bit, there won’t be any goblins in this area, instead there’s a small gang of crabs which are easily defeated. Loot the corpse to receive a Golden Rune [4].

In the middle of the crab room, you’ll find a ladder on the right hand side. Climb this ladder up and you’ll find yourself in an entry room leading to a long hallway, at the end of which you’ll see the glint of a lootable item. You might not notice at first, but in this room there are two goblins that are frozen in position, one in the corner behind you to your left and one ahead of you in the right hand corner. While you can leave them and head down the corridor, it’s better to take them out first, as otherwise they’ll come to life and gank you from behind in the next section.

After taking out the two frozen goblins, head down the corridor. You’ll be ambushed halfway down by a third goblin, but as you’ve already taken out the other two this one will be fairly easy to deal with on his own. After dispatching him continue through to the next room.

There are no enemies in this room so you can safely loot the corpse in front of you without fear of being attacked. You’ll receive an Imp Head (Wolf) helm.

The Imp Head (Wolf) helm provides a decent level of protection.

Turn right and continue on to the final room of this section. You’ll be on the second floor and there will be two goblins to your left throwing firebombs at you. While you may not have seen this room yet, it’s actually closer to home than you think. This is the room that you would have gotten to (on the ground floor) if you had of walked backwards rather than forwards after taking the elevator down. Straight ahead of you, you’ll see a corpse with an item on the edge of the platform. Loot this to receive the Sacramental Bud.

Now take out the fire throwers to your left. You’ll probably find that after a hit or two they’ll be knocked down to the floor below. You could drop down and fight them, but once again the floor in that room is covered in the red ooze that gives you Scarlet Rot, and once you move around in the room it will trigger a whole bunch of ooze monsters to fall down from the ceiling. So I’d advise just dropping and running for the exit.

The best place to drop down is as close to the doorway as possible. Drop down, run out of the room and follow the hallway around, back to the elevator room. The elevator will be up so just use the nearby lever to bring it back down and you can ride it back up and exit the dungeon. 

And there you have it, that’s how you get out of the Minor Erdtree Catacombs without losing your runes. If you want to defeat the boss you might pick up some hints in the next section.


How To Defeat The Minor Erdtree Catacombs Boss: Two Erdtree Burial Watchdogs

If you want to fight the Minor Erdtree Catacombs Boss just run straight ahead instead of right when you reach the red ooze floor room after dropping down the elevator shaft.

You’ll then find an empty room with the now open doorway (thanks to activating the lever previously), head down through the door and you’ll find a fog wall leading to the boss.

This boss will be familiar to those who’ve already completed the Stormfoot Catacombs and fought it’s boss the Erdtree Burial Watchdog. It’s the same boss here, but this time around there’s two of them. Which makes this fight a whole lot tougher. This would be a good one to fight with a friend as doing it solo is gonna be tricky unless you’ve levelled up a ton. You can use some ash companions, but honestly they probably won’t help much against these guys. Your best bet here is just to be patient, keep rolling out of their way and come in for a hit only when it’s safe.

If you do manage to beat the watchdogs you get a very cool prize for your efforts – the Mad Pumpkin Head Ashes.


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