Golden Hippopotamus Guide and Location (Elden Ring DLC Boss) (2024)

How to Beat Golden Hippopotamus in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree

Welcome to our Golden Hippopotamusguide for the Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree expansion.

This is likely the third boss you will face from the new DLC, after you defeat Divine Beast Dancing Lion and Rellana, Twin Moon Knight.

Once you beat the Golden Hippopotamus, head to our Messmer guide.

If you’re having trouble beating this guide due to a lack of damage or overall strength, check out our Elden Ring build guides.


The Golden Hippopotamus can be found in the first chamber of Shadow Keep just past the Shadow Keep Main Gate site of grace.

Defeating this boss is required to access the rest of Shadow Keep and progress the story.


After killing this boss you will be rewarded with the following:

  • 200,000 runes
  • 2 Scadutree Fragments, which is an important resource for increasing your damage and decreasing the damage you take in the land of shadows
  • Aspect of the Crucible: Thorns, which is an incantation that creates a mass of bristling thorns on your back to scour the area.

Recommended Level for Attempt

It is recommended that you reach at least level 150. Regarding the DLC’s leveling system, I recommend being at least Level 8 for your Scadutree Fragments level.

Damage Types

Strong Against

The Golden Hippopotamus is resistant to fire, holy, and frost damage so it is not recommended to rely on these as your primary damage type for this boss fight.

Weak Against

Here are a few damage types it is weak against:

  • Slash
  • Bleed

This boss is especially susceptible to slash damage so I recommend using weapons that deal this damage type.

Two Phases

The Golden Hippopotamus has 2 phases. Its second phase begins once it has lost at least 35% of its HP.

In its first phase, it deals solely physical damage relying mostly on bite attacks and slam attacks being fairly aggressive constantly.

This boss will always try to attack but it has a long recovery after most attacks so there are many windows to attack if you are being patient.

In its second phase, it generates golden quills on its back capable of shooting out and dealing massive damage.

This phase grants the Hippo 3 new attacks which can be quite lethal, but otherwise, all attacks and patterns remain the same.

Notable Attacks

Attack NameDescriptionCounter
GrabThe Hippo charges forward with its mouth open and attempts to grab the player.Running away, then to the side and rolling past the mouth at the last second.
Side BiteThe Hippo turns its head towards you and attempts to bite you.Rolling forward will allow you to get an attack in.
Double BiteThe Hippo opens its mouth and then bites to the right and after a short delay, opens its mouth and bites again.Rolling to the right for both bites with a slight delay in between.
Upward Head SwipeThe Hippo moves its head to the left and then swings it to the right knocking up the player.Rolling to the right as it swings its head.
Head SlamThe Hippo opens its mouth and raises its head slightly then slams its head into the ground making a small shockwave.Rolling forward then attacking.
Double Head SlamThe Hippo lifts its head and quickly slams its head down twice with a slight delay in between the slams.Roll the first slam forwards and then roll the second slam with a slight delay.
Lunging BiteThe Hippo looks to the ground and then lunges at the player attempting to bite them.Roll to its left then attack.
Body SlamThe Hippo stands on its hind legs and takes two steps forward, then slams the ground creating a large shockwave.If you are not directly under him you can jump the shockwave and get in a jump attack. Otherwise, just roll forward after the second step.
Quill SlamThe Hippo empowers its quills and slams the ground shooting a barrage of quills from the sky toward the player.Wait for the quills to fall and then roll 4 times to the left or right.
Quill SpinThe Hippo empowers its quills and stands on its hind legs, then it curls up and spins to the left shooting out quills as it spins.Rolling twice to the right as it starts spinning.
Quill RollThe Hippo empowers its quills and then leaps into the air and curls into a ball rolling towards the player.Running to the side and then rolling as the Hippo gets closer.

Phase 1

The Golden Hippopotamus will usually begin the fight by doing either the grab or lunge attack, both of which can be dodged to the side which will leave it open to a couple of attacks.

While this boss may be slow, it hits very hard so it helps to get some damage negation.

In this phase, it deals purely physical damage so talismans like the Dragoncrest Greatshield and buffs like Black Flame’s Protection help a lot.

Timing windows to attack/heal

This boss attacks fairly slowly and has long recovery times so it is best to attack/heal while they are recovering after you dodge their attacks.

Phase 2 (<65% HP)

The Golden Hippopotamus will grow golden quills which can be extremely lethal.

In this phase, the Golden Hippopotamus gains access to three new attacks.

While these attacks are very dangerous, they are also quite slow and easy to dodge.

It also does not alter any of his moves from phase 1 so he has the same openings to attack/heal.

You can make this phase slightly easier by acquiring the Haligdrake Talisman +2 or the Golden Braid as the Golden Hippopotamus’s quills deal holy damage.

General Tips

While this boss is only a minor boss, it is one of the hardest-hitting bosses in the entire DLC and there are many people who seem to struggle with the timings and delay of its attacks as well as finding windows to heal because the boss is so aggressive.

Listed below are a few tips that can help make this boss fight much easier.

Stay close

  • While it may seem daunting at first, the safest place to be in this boss fight is right next to the boss.
  • The Golden Hippopotamus is a large boss, so positioning yourself closer to it can allow you to dodge much more effectively and even allow you to evade its combos with a single roll.
  • Sticking close to the boss will also allow you to punish its attacks much more effectively as you will not need to close as much distance after rolling to deal damage.

Attack from behind

  • Whenever possible, you will want to position yourself behind the boss.
  • Unlike most four-legged bosses, the Golden Hippopotamus lacks a hind kick attack that allows most bosses to cover their backs, which means it will have to turn 180 degrees to try to hit you which gives you more time to deal damage.
  • The best way to capitalize on this is to roll to the side to get behind it and land a couple of attacks, then once the Hippo attempts to do its side bite and spin around you can continue to rotate around it to keep the position.
  • If the Hippo attempts to do its body slam, you can jump over the subsequent shockwave which would not be possible if you are positioned directly in front of the boss.

Defense, Defense, Defense

  • Defense is one of the most undervalued but most important stats in the game.
  • The most common criticism of the DLC is that bosses are “too difficult” because “they deal way too much damage”, but this is only true if you are not properly prepared.
  • With only 30 points in faith, you can take up to 80% less physical damage using the Dragoncrest Greatshield Talisman(20%), Opaline Hardtear Physick(15%), Golden Vow(Spell)(10%), Black Flame’s Protection(35%), Braggart’s Roar(10%), and Endure(45%), and that is assuming you are not wearing any armor.
  • While this may seem like way too many buffs, incorporating just a few of these can significantly decrease the difficulty of any boss you may face.
  • When facing a boss that deals elemental damage such as fire, it is possible to take up to 88% less damage with a similar setup.

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Golden Hippopotamus Guide and Location (Elden Ring DLC Boss) (2024)
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