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How To Beat The Rotten in Dark Souls 2

How To Beat The Rotten in Dark Souls 2

The Rotten is a relatively easy boss from Dark Souls 2. He is literally the squishiest boss in the game and we will cover that in much detail in this guide. The fight itself is perilous in some aspects and there are some hidden features that you can miss out on if you do not thoroughly go through our boss guide.


Fighting The Rotten in Dark Souls 2

The Rotten in Dark Souls 2

The Rotten is an amalgamation of corpses all mangled together in an abomination. You see him innocently trying to fix a statue when you enter the arena but don’t be fooled by this cute moment.

The boss uses the arms of corpses to crawl around. This means that he lacks speed but makes up for it with sheer force in his arms.

He has two arms with fingers made from arms and legs from other corpses. One arm carries a giant Butcher’s Knife which he uses to cleave you while his other arm is empty yet he still uses it to pummel you into a sticker.

You can cut off both his arms if you attack them consistently. He can regenerate the limbs back but in the meantime, he will use Dark elemental attack.

Also, when his HP drops below 50% he will start using Dark projectiles and other Dark based attacks.

Here are some tips and tricks to consider when facing The Rotten in Darks Souls 2:

  • The boss is extremely weak to Thrust damage hence carrying a thrusting weapon will dish out the most damage.
  • He is also weak to Lightning damage.
  • Additionally, the Rotten is susceptible to Bleed.
  • You can summon three NPCs to aid you in this fight; Lone Hunter Schmidt, Lucatiel of Mirrah, and Bashful Ray.
  • Both of his arms can be broken if you target them solely. However, they will regenerate after some time.
  • If you want to sever his arms then do not lock when attacking.
  • Be careful of the fire patches strewn about the arena. Equip fire-resistant armor to mitigate the damage if you accidentally step over them.

Boss Strategy

Boss Strategy The Rotten

When fighting against The Rotten, it is important to note that his attacks are slow, giving the player ample opportunity to recover. However, it is crucial to be mindful of his fist-grab attack and avoid it at all costs.

His ranged attacks are the slowest in his arsenal, so if the player needs some time to heal, they can back away from him.

To defeat this boss, the most effective melee strategy is to move directly toward and backward from him in a straight line, instead of circling around him. It is recommended to keep your shield up, provoke him to attack by moving towards him, and then step backward out of range.

This creates an opening for you to rush forward and strike at his cleaver arm at the end of his attack. Once you’ve dealt enough damage to his arm, it will be cut off, rendering his attacks completely ineffective. However, the limb will regrow shortly after so you need to keep this dance going until he dies.

Ranged players like sorcerers can make this fight incredibly easy to deal with. All you have to do is run to either end of the arena and cast your spells at the boss. The boss’s slow movement gives you plenty of time to cast spells safely.

Keep playing the bullfighting game and running away as he approaches you and cast spells. Slowly and steadily he will keel over.


These are all of the Rotten’s moveset in Dark Souls 2 and how you must react to them:

Knife Overhead SlamRaises his knife and slams it straight down in front. He can combo it multiple times. Roll to the left before the slam lands. Or you can block with a shield.
Knife Horizontal SwipeSwings his knife sideways in a wide arc. Roll into the swing’s direction.
PunchdownPounds the ground in front with his other hand. He can use either one of his hand for a single attack or pummel both of his hands for multiple hits. Dodge backward. Do not attempt to block as it deals a ton of stamina damage.
GrabTries to swing his arm and grab you. If he is successful, he will pick the player and wring them dealing lethal damage. Move out of the way before the grab reaches you or else you are done for.
Dark Knife Overhead SlamSlams his knife as before but this time it sends out Dark projectiles in a cone shape in front. Back off and watch for an opening between the projectiles and stand there for safety.
Flammable SpitGrabs its chests and spits out oil in front of him. If it hits, you will be covered in oil, and if you walk on fire you will get severely burned. Backoff when you see him grab his chest.
Dark BlastCharges up and does a 360-degree Dark explosion.
He can also imbue his weapon with the same energy and cause it to explode after a slam.
Run out of range when you see him charging up.

Rewards for Defeating The Rotten

Rewards for Defeating The Rotten

You’ll unlock all the following goodies in Dark Souls 2 after taking out The Rotten:

  • Soul of the Rotten
  • Old Dead One Soul (Only in NG+)
  • Pharros’ Lockstone (If you cut the boss’s left arm)
  • 47,000 Souls

Fun fact, the Rotten in DS2 is related to Gravelord Nito from Dark Souls in more than one way. Not only is the Rotten a “descendant” of Nito lorewise but many of his attacks are directly pulled from him. Luckily, there are no skeletons to help this boss.