There’s no shortage of ways to beat FromSoftware’s Elden Ring. You could play it straight and face all the mandatory bosses waiting to kick your teeth in. Maybe you’re keen on playing with a banana controller or running two separate instances simultaneously. Or, as in the case of Souls YouTuber ymfah, you could skip almost everything and finish the game by merely hiking around The Lands Between, using a handful of helpful glitches to reach the game’s end and prove that, even in Elden Ring, violence isn’t necessary.
Ymfah is a YouTuber who specializes in putting together entertaining guides on bonkers methods of beating Souls games. One time back in December 2021, he finished Bloodborne with only consumables like molotov cocktails and oil urns. Or in July 2018 he beat Dark Souls: Remastered by killing just four bosses. Ymfah has even completed Dark Souls 3 without taking a single step, but his latest feat might be his most mind-boggling to date.
Zips let you skip most of The Lands Between
In a video published on April 1 (April Fools Day, I know), ymfah showed that you don’t actually have to fight anyone face-to-face to send them to the grave. In fact, by relying on a handful of glitches—zip / mega zip and wrong warp chief among them—ymfah bypassed almost all 13 of Elden Ring’s mandatory boss encounters.
A quick glitch explainer is in order before breaking down ymfah’s video. “Zipping” is an in-game exploit used by Elden Ring speedrunners to instantaneously traverse distances great or small at high velocity. By ensuring a smooth 60 frames per second and timing certain button presses correctly (blocking and walking at precise intervals—he recommends using a metronome), they can effectively teleport from one area of the map to the other in an instant. Think of instant transmission from Dragon Ball Z and you’ll get the idea. (A mega zip, as the name suggests, is just a supercharged zip that makes you travel even further.) Meanwhile, the “wrong warp” glitch is a staple Souls exploit that lets you warp to a safer location (usually a Bonfire or Site of Grace) by force-quitting the game during a loading screen.
These two glitches make up the bedrock of ymfah’s video, which essentially sees him beating Elden Ring by doing nothing but walking. He couldn’t attack foes directly, use consumables like flasks or throwables like stones, summon friends or NPCS, roll or parry or level up or anything. Jogging around was all ymfah could do, and that was all he did to hit the game’s final location and see the ending credits.
Ymfah started a new playthrough as a vagabond with no gift. After leaving the beginning dungeon and entering the Chapel of Anticipation, where you fight the Grafted Scion, he zipped to skip all of Stormveil Castle. From the Liurnia of the Lakes Site of Grace (remember, no touchy), he then zipped to the Moonlight Altar, a location only available after progressing Ranni’s quest. After some minor platforming and putting a ring on Ranni’s finger (which essentially completes her quest), ymfah then did this over again.
He used the Memory of Grace tool to return to the Chapel of Anticipation, zipped to Stormveil Castle, reached the Liurnia of the Lakes Site of Grace, then zipped to the Raya Lucaria Academy. At this point, ymfah skipped some four or five mandatory bosses, including Margit the Fell Omen and Red Wolf of Radagon. From the Academy, he zipped to The Four Belfries to ride a portal to the legacy dungeon and one of the game’s final locations, Crumbling Farum Azula. It’s here where ymfah force-quit to wrong warp to a safer location within the ruined, labyrinthine city.
Ymfah performed a couple more zip glitches to skip the Godskin Duo and Maliketh the Black Blade, but realized that in order to actually kill Maliketh and reach the next boss fight, he had to mega zip. Unfortunately, at this point he noticed that a wonderful glitch that makes bosses fall to their deaths by unloading their arenas out from under them had been patched, so he had to fall back to an archived copy of patch 1.04 to continue. So, after loading up the previous iteration of Elden Ring and doing this all one more time, ymfah then mega zipped in Crumbling Farum Azula and swung his sword to extend the fall, giving him just enough falling time to glitch-kill the hapless Maliketh. With another zip glitch, ymfah bypassed Sir Gideon Ofnir The All-Knowing to reach the ErdTree Sanctuary building, then mega zipped to glitch-kill Godfrey, First Elden Lord. He died during the second phase of this fight against Hoarah Loux but still reached the final location, Stone Platform, and rolled the credits.
Kotaku reached out to ymfah for comment.
From the vid it’s unclear just how ymfah defeated Elden Ring’s final two bosses, Radagon of the Golden Order and the Elden Beast, but I assume he didn’t summon LetMeSoloThem for assistance. Regardless, I’m just stunned that he managed to glitch his way to the end of the game, doing so without directly fighting anyone. As ever, it’s wild how thoroughly speedrunners can bend these games to their wills.