It’s no secret that FromSoftware loves the idea of a poison swamp. They have been featured in all the SoulsBorne and Soulslike games with the Swamp of Sorrow in Demon’s Souls, Blight Town in Dark Souls, Black Gulch Dark Souls 2, Farron Keep in Dark Souls 3, The Nightmare Frontier in Bloodborne, and the Ashina Depths in Sekiro, These types of areas are a test of critical thinking for the players and tend to provide a massive challenge for those who don’t typically approach things cautiously. Elden Ring is no exception in this regard as multiple locations will kill the player if they linger for too long.

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The largest of these areas is the Lake of Rot, the place where allegedly the Outer God of Scarlet Rot that has ties to Malenia is sealed deep beneath. This massive site will infect the Tarnished with Rot, a truly horrific status ailment, after stepping in it for more than a couple of seconds, but there are a few tips and tricks to get through this Elden Ring area alive.

Updated November 23rd, 2022 by Jacob Buchalter: The Lake of Rot has to be one of the most frustrating and intentionally aggravating areas in the Golden Joystick Award-winning game that is Elden Ring. Of course it is, as FromSoftware always puts at least one of these areas in all of their games. Thankfully, the Lake of Rot (excluding the Grand Cloister) isn’t as big of an area as these swamp-type areas tend to be, so it doesn’t take too long to work through it. But, for those who are struggling, let’s go over exactly how and in what method players should tackle this vast expanse of disgusting Scarlet Rot liquid.


Reaching The Main Lake Area

Lake Of Rot Shoreside

This area can be reached from the main Ainsel River, players simply need to move southwest from the Nokstella Waterfall Basin Site of Grace. Along this path will be a lift that will take the Tarnished all the way down to the starting point of the Lake of Rot.

Once the Tarnished rests at the Lake of Rot Shoreside Site of Grace, they will be able to loot the map fragment of the area from a corpse on the shore. This is the perfect time for players to teleport out and get every type of Consumable, Armor Set, or Item they’ll need to tackle the Lake of Rot, as this is an area that will quickly destroy anyone who isn’t fully prepared.

Tips For Survival In The Lake Of Rot

Lake Of Rot Getting The Immunizing Horn Charm

Exploration in this area is tricky and will quickly drain a lot of the player’s resources just by surviving. Therefore, a great, low-risk way of collecting items while exploring this site is to warp back to the Lake of Rot Shoreside Site of Grace every time the player is close to death from the Scarlet Rot. Or, players can take the standard approach and make sure to use all their resources so that they can just bash their head against this area over and over, dying repeatedly until they manage to make it to the next Site of Grace. Then, they can approach the area they just ran through at their own pace, knowing that they’ve already made permanent progress.

But, for players who don’t want to use this, albeit a bit cheap, method, the Preserving Boluses are by far the most vital tool for staving off the Scarlet Rot. Although, the player should be aware that this status effect that even Radagon struggles to deal with will begin climbing again the second that the buildup has been neutralized. Also, Preserving Boluses are one of the harder Boluses to stock up on, even with all the Merchants in the Lands Between, so players might want to take an extra trip in the Siofra River to get the Armorer’s Cookbook 6 so that they have a method of crafting them permanently. Outside of these, there are also a number of different items that the player can equip to make this area dramatically easier.

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Thankfully FromSoftware seemed to realize how painful this area would be for their players, so there are actually a few Rot-resisting items found in the Lake. The Mushroom Armor set, the parts of which are mostly found in Seethewater Cave, has its crown headpiece just sitting on a corpse on a pillar in the southeast corner of the Lake of Rot. This armor set comes with a massive boost to Immunity (the stat that determines resistance to poisons) and should be worn when moving through the lake.

Next, the Incantation called Flame, Cleanse Me (not the similarly named Flame, Grant Me Strength) damages the player but also totally cures Rot buildup (though this is found near the Church of Vows, not within the Lake).

And lastly, from the shoreline, the player should see a single Ancestral Follower wandering around. Killing it and then warping back to the nearby Site of Grace will allow the player to traverse the Lake with the Immunizing Horn Charm as well. Outside of these primary items, players can also use other Consumables like the different Immunizing Meats, Weapons like the Ant’s Skull Plate and Eclipse Crest Greatshileds, or the Mottled Necklace Talisman to push their Immunity even higher.

Actually Traversing & Clearing The Lake Of Rot

Lake Of Rot Pacifying The Basilisks

Along the Lake of Rot, there will be pillars with levers that the Tarnished can use to raise platforms that will give them safe places to move through the lake. There are four pillars in total that are relatively close to one another; when all are activated, a solid path through a large portion of the Lake will open.

As the player is wandering along these platforms, there will be a lot of those FromSoftware iconic Basilisks around that can make this portion of the Lake an absolute pain to get through. Luckily, the player can use the Beast-Repellant Torch to render these enemies useless.

The third platform offers up multiple paths to the player, and they will have the option of continuing on to the Grand Cloister or exploring more of the Lake. If the player decides to go east, they will find the Field Boss of the area, the Dragonkin Soldier.

The Dragonkin Soldier Boss Fight

Lake Of Rot Fighting The Dragonkin Soldier

In order to fight the Dragonkin Soldier, the Tarnished will need to make sure and raise several large platforms around the boss by stepping on a weighted pad on an eastern pillar. This allows the player to fight the boss without having to constantly worry about the Scarlet Rot or making the game harder for themselves.

The best way to take care of this boss quickly is to dive in as fast as possible. While the Dragonkin Soldier is spawning, the player will be able to get in a bunch of free hits before the boss starts swinging. After that, follow all the standard strategies for fighting any of the other Dragonkin Soldier bosses in the game and try to keep away from its front as much as possible, only backing up when it’s about to use either its Body Slam or Deep Slam moves.

Clearing Out The Rest Of The Lake

Elden Ring - Grabbing The Nomad Cookbook 22 From The Chest In The Lake Of Rot

Past the Dragonkin Soldier, there will be a number of small areas that give the player a couple of items like high-level Somber Smithing Stones and the Nomadic Cookbook 22 which will give them the ability to craft Rot Pots, Rot Grease, and Drawstring Rot Grease.

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After raising the fourth and final platform, the player will be raised up to an area where they can fight an Alabaster Lord to get his Alabaster Lord’s Sword and a Somber Smithing Stone. Once the player has this, they’ve pretty much cleared all of the Lake of Rot and can confidently continue the Grand Cloister, which leads to the Astel, Naturalborn of the Void, and the last stage steps of Ranni’s surprisingly long questline AKA the Age of Stars Ending path for Elden Ring.

Exploring The Grand Cloister

Lake Of Rot Grand Cloister

In this last area, the player won’t need to worry too much about the Scarlet Rot because there is another Site of Grace right at the start of this area. The Grand Cloister has a number of Kindred of Rot enemies that aren’t exactly difficult on their own but can become overwhelming if fought as a group. There will also be a hidden Ulcerated Tree Spirit that will ambush the player in a hidden path at the bottom of the small Rot “waterfall” near the Grand Cloister’s entrance that will yield a Golden Seed upon defeat.

Once the player has killed all the Kindred of Rot, they will be able to head inside the main temple where they can pick up the Scorpion’s Stinger dagger. After this, they can move next to the waterfall and interact with the coffin to be transported to the area where they can fight Astel, Naturalborn of the Void, and eventually, if they’ve made significant progress in Ranni’s questline they can take the lift past Astel’s arena to ascend to a higher part of the Liurnia of the Lakes plateau that leads to the Moonlight Altar.

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

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