Should you use Stormveil Castle’s main gate or take the side path in Elden Ring?

The more direct approach might not be the best one.

Image via Bandai Namco

As you approach Elden Ring’s Stormveil Castle, you’ll be faced with a choice: Do you enter the castle through a hidden cliffside path or go straight through the front gate, where hordes of enemies await you? Here’s a breakdown of both options and which one we recommend.

Taking the side path

The NPC close to the castle’s main gate will recommend that you take the side path, which leads you up a cliffside, allowing you to enter the castle without facing much resistance. Thankfully, this NPC isn’t up to anything nefarious like Patches is; he’s offering a genuinely helpful tip that will allow you to get into the castle much easier than charging through the front gate will.

Once you’ve made your way in, you’ll also be able to open the main gate from the inside, which means you won’t be forgoing any items or weapons by choosing the side path. Since the side path allows you to get into the castle rather easily, and considering you won’t lose anything by taking it, we highly recommend taking this path when tackling the castle.

Going through the main gate

If you want to head through the main gate, you can simply ask the aforementioned NPC to open it for you, and he’ll do just that. However, venture through the gate, and you’ll be met with a ton of enemies ready to take you out with long-range attacks.

This route can be rather frustrating, especially if you’re not that high of a level. We don’t recommend you take this route on your initial playthrough; maybe save it for subsequent replays on New Game+.