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The fantasy city of Leyndell in Elden Ring, under siege by an angry populace.
Image via Bandai Namco

How to enter Leyndell, The Royal Capital in Elden Ring

Face your fears and head to the Big City.

Leyndell, the Royal Capital is a massive city constantly in your sight as you explore the first few areas of Elden Ring. Getting to the Atlus Plateau is one thing, but entering the city requires a bit more preparation. Let’s enter the capital together, and discuss different ways to get there.

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Getting into Leyndell, Royal Capital in Elden Ring

The steps to enter the capital city of Leyndell in Elden Ring, utilizing the Dot Esports icon, on the game's map.
This heavily fortified stronghold has two key entrance points. Screenshot by Dot Esports

To enter Leyndell, Royal Capital in Elden Ring, get to the Atlus Plateau and head northeast until you reach the city’s outer walls, which you can enter through the large set of double-doors to the city’s west. But be careful to avoid the Tree Sentinels guarding it. To enter the city properly, you must circle around to the northeast and beat the Draconic Tree Sentinel. If you have two Great Runes and defeat this difficult boss, you can head across the bridge and finally enter the Capital.

First thing’s first, you must first ascend to Atlus Plateau through the Grand Lift of Dectus or by climbing the Ruin-Strewn Precipice. The previous will require the Dectus Medallion, a medal gathered from the deadly Fort Faroth in Dragonbarrow and the much less deadly Fort Haight in the Mistwood. Alternatively, you can simply head to northern Liurnia of the Lakes and ascend the Ruin-Strewn Precipice, a dungeon with no prerequisites.

The first step of entering Leyndell is bypassing the city’s gigantic walls. Thankfully, someone was nice enough to leave the double doors to the courtyard unlocked. The western side of Leyndell is covered with enemies, though few can keep up with Torrent—just watch out for the archers. The real issue is the pair of Tree Sentinels keeping watch at the top of the stairs. Do your best to run between them and spam Interact on the door to become invulnerable, then sprint forward toward the Site of Grace. Alternatively, you can fight them, but your reward is rather meager for a frustrating two-vs-one. Using a summon as a distraction is a good idea.

There are plenty of dungeons and events to do in the courtyard of Leyndell, but you will have to enter the city if you want to beat the game. To do so, head around the inner wall until you reach the eastern side of the city, by a cliff edge. You’ll know you made it to the right place if you see a Tree Sentinel wielding a massive club and stony shield. This guy behaves like Tree Sentinels but does a lot of additional area-of-effect damage and lightning-based attacks.

Jump Attacks are Key

The Draconic Tree Sentinel doesn’t leave many openings, but many of his attacks strike the ground and primarily the ground. Utilize jumping attacks to dodge the first few frames of his moves before hitting his horse. While not a universal solution to all of his moves, this will often let you avoid getting double-hit if you’re wearing heavy armor while maximizing the damage you do during his vulnerable seconds.

Once the Draconic Tree Sentinel is down, the path to the city will open and you’ll get a Site of Grace for your efforts. Sit down, relax, and get ready for a long and arduous dungeon.

Why isn’t the door opening?

The six Great Runes of Elden Ring, shown in the Great Rune equipment menu.
You can get most of these without entering the Capital, but only three of them are realistic early-on. Screenshot by Dot Esports

To enter the Leyndell, Royal Capital dungeon, you must have at least two Great Runes—rewards for killing endbosses of specific Legacy Dungeons. Before entering Leyndell, it is recommended you test your mettle by killing Godrick and Rennala, the first two bosses of Elden Ring. However, it isn’t too hard to have obtained a third Great Rune before entering Leyndell through slaying Radahn, a more difficult boss than either Godrick or Rennala.

You only need two Great Runes to enter Leyndell. Once you have them, the seal which blocks off the East Capital Rampart should dissipate. If you don’t have two Great Runes yet, there are five locations where you can obtain one before you enter the Capital. They are the following:

Great Rune NameLegacy Dungeon Location
Godrick’s Great RuneStormveil Castle, Northern Limgrave
Great Rune of the UnbornRaya Lucaria Academy, Central Liurnia of the Lakes
Radahn’s Great RuneRedmane Castle, Southeast Caelid
Rykard’s Great RuneVolcano Manor, Northern Mt. Gelmnir
Mohg’s Great RuneMohgwyn Dynasty Mausoleum, Mohgwyn Palace

Of these options, the last two are quite difficult. Rykard’s Great Rune requires a lot of travel through a dangerous area, or being teleported there by dying to an Abductor Virgin at the bottom of Raya Lucaria Academy. Mohg’s Great Rune requires performing invader tasks given by White Mask Varré and entering an endgame boss fight. We highly recommend sticking to the first two, with Radahn a valid option as well.

If you have two or more Great Runes but the seal hasn’t dissipated yet, you may need to reload the area by going to the Roundtable Hold and returning. An event trigger must occur at the Hold, so make sure you visit there somewhat often as you progress.

Alternative routes into Leyndell

The map of the Weeping Peninsula in Elden Ring, with a Dot icon on the Tower of Return.
This tower is risky business. Use it carefully. Screenshot by Dot Esports

Theoretically, it’s possible to get into Leyndell through the Tower of Return, a small building on the Weeping Peninsula. This building’s trapped chest will bring you to the Divine Bridge Site of Grace, which is a later Site accessible in the city. But you will not be able to access the rest of the capital without the help of an Invader or Hunter player who can bring an elevator up for you. This route is janky and might not work on every patch of the game, so we recommend using the intended route if possible.

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Image of Jason Toro-McCue
Jason Toro-McCue
Contributing writer and member of the RPG beat. Professional writer of five years for sites and apps, including Nerds + Scoundrels and BigBrain. D&D and TTRPG fanatic, perpetual Fighter main in every game he plays.