Critical hits are important mechanics to know and utilize throughout your time in Elden Ring. Many enemies are susceptible to critical hits, including some bosses. Critical hits do a lot of damage, as well as push your opponent away, giving you room to heal, prepare a spell, or otherwise put yourself in a good position. Here’s how to land a critical hit in Elden Ring.
Critical hits can be used in three ways. The most common is the backstab. If you stealth behind or circle around humanoid enemies and attack directly behind them, you will often land a backstab — dealing significant damage and crumpling your enemy to the ground. This is a very effective way to deal with player invaders as well.
The next way to land a critical hit is to deplete your opponent’s stamina. If you land an attack on an opponent with no stamina, you will cause them to flinch, opening them wide up for a critical hit. Bosses can be extremely susceptible to this, particularly — if you hear a guard breaking shatter noise and see the boss reel in pain, that’s your cue to find their weak spot and attack it.
The final way to get a critical hit is much more challenging than the above two and the one most likely to catch enemies off guard. If you successfully parry an opponent’s attack with your shield, you will open them up, similar to depleting their stamina, allowing you to score a critical hit. This method is extremely effective against humanoid bosses and players — but be warned, a failed parry will often just leave you taking significant damage.