How to beat Commander O’Neil in Elden Ring

A knight who has lost their way.

Screenshot by Gamepur

Commander O’Neil is one of the many optional bosses you can encounter in Elden Ring. By defeating this boss, you’ll be able to assist Gowry with their quest to acquire the Golden Needle, and progress this storyline. You’ll also gain some Runes and the Commander’s Standard halberd for defeating them. In this guide, we detail what you need to do to beat Commander O’Neil in Elden Ring.

You can find Commander O’Neil on the east side of the Swamp of Aeonia, at the base of the large tree.

Screenshot by Gamepur

How to beat Commander O’Neil

Commander O’Neil is a large foe with a massive halberd as their weapon. When the battle begins, Commander O’Neil will summon five ghostly minions to fight alongside him. We recommend summoning Spirits Ashes to distract O’Neil, and focus on taking out the minions before worrying about him. He’ll also buff them with a rallying call.

Screenshot by Gamepur

Once the minions are down, you can focus on O’Neil. Because the battle is the middle of a Scarlot Rot swamp, we recommend you use your horse Torrent to ride around the area and prevent your character from taking any Scarlort damage.

It also makes it easier to avoid O’Neil’s attacks. They are fairly slow and heavy, making them easy to telegraph. O’Neil’s swings go from his left side to right. O’Neil will perform a straight thrust with his halberd every so often, followed by a large strike from the left or right side.

You’ll want to be on the lookout for when a whirlwind of energy gathers around O’Neil. Two things will happen: he will attempt to attack you at close range if the whirlwind does not last for a long time, coating his weapon he Scarlot Rot and potentially damaging you with the attack, and adding to your Scarlot Rot build-up, or he’ll release a massive wave of Scarlot Rot energy. The large wave of Scarlot Rot happens when the build-up lasts longer, giving you time to run away, especially while riding Torrent.

Halfway through the fight, he’ll summon another wave of minions to his side. This time, there will be three of them carrying large weapons. Again, you’ll want to take out these enemies first before returning your attention to O’Neil. Despite being his second phase, in our experience, we did not see any changes from this typical moveset. The only change was him summoning his allies to his side.

Upon defeating Commander O’Neil, you’ll receive the Commander Standard’s halberd, and the Unalloyed Gold Needle.