Elden Ring: 12 Best Axes

Elden Ring gives fans of the series more options to customize your Tarnished than ever before, including an excellent assortment of axes to hack and slash through bosses. Axes usually require investment in Strength, so be prepared to re-allocate your levels using rebirth with Rennala if you've focused your points elsewhere.

While greataxes can be cumbersome and slow, there are various options of different weights, each with its own prerequisites to wield effectively. Luckily, Elden Ring subverts the traditional requirements to include more than pure Strength builds in the axe-swinging fun, so don't be deterred if you're not very interested in changing your build. These are some of the best choices in your search for the best axe in Elden Ring.

Updated July 10, 2024, by Andrew Scariati: The fight for the best axe Elden Ring has to offer intensified with the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC, adding strong new contenders for the crown. Whether you prefer to judge Elden Ring's best axes by their swing speed, weapon art, or status-infliction, there are plenty of qualities to love about these weapons.

12 Forked-Tongue Hatchet

Elden Ring: 12 Best Axes

Stat Requirements

Upgrade Method

  • Ten Strength
  • 13 Dexterity
  • Smithing Stones

What the

Elden Ring: 12 Best Axes

Forked-Tongue Hatchet lacks in scaling, it makes up for in versatility, as this weapon comes with a solid weapon skill and the ability to inflict the bleed effect after enough basic swings.

You must kill imps who wield this weapon in any catacomb from the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC. Head to the Scorpion River Catacombs to farm the imp in the room beside the first bridge and, eventually, this weapon will drop.

If basic attacks aren't your thing, then the Dragonform Flame Weapon Art can switch things up, giving you access to Fire damage, and some extra help against multiple enemies, as you spew flames in an area in front of you.

11 Rotten Greataxe

Elden Ring: 12 Best Axes

Stat Requirements

Upgrade Method

  • 30 Strength
  • Ten Dexterity
  • Smithing Stones

The Elden Ring: 12 Best Axes3Rotten Greataxe is an excellent alternative to standard greataxes, as it comes equipped with the ability to inflict Scarlet Rot buildup with every swing. The 30 Strength requirement is moderate, but unfortunately, it scales better with Dexterity (D-scaling) than Strength (E-scaling) at the base level.

On the flip side, the Rotten Greataxe can be infused with Ashes of War to augment its damage with an additional effect of your choice. If you're using the axe as a means of inflicting status, then you should aim to use the Poison, Cold, or Bleed effects as the former two add a second status on top of the Scarlet Rot, while Bleed changes the entire infliction to hemorrhage, inflicting 120 blood loss with each hit.

10 Rusted Anchor

Elden Ring: 12 Best Axes

Stat Requirements

Upgrade Method

  • 26 Strength
  • Nine Dexterity
  • Smithing Stones

Despite its immense size, the

Elden Ring: 12 Best Axes

Rusted Anchor requires less of an investment in Strength than the Rotten Greataxe with a C-scaling as well. If you love a pure Strength build, then you'll be delighted to apply the Heavy effect while upgrading, as it maxes out with A-scaling in Strength to give you a massive amount of bang for your buck.

The Rusted Anchor also comes with a nice Weapon Skill — Barbaric Roar — which buffs your physical damage by 7.5 percent and adds five to your Strength scaling, increasing its efficacy.

Your heavy attack will also be slightly different, so try it out before diving headfirst into combat as the timing may take a moment to adjust to mid-fight.

9 Winged Greathorn

Elden Ring: 12 Best Axes

Stat Requirements

Upgrade Method

  • 30 Strength
  • 20 Dexterity
  • Somber Smithing Stones

The

Elden Ring: 12 Best Axes

Winged Greathorn is a unique Greataxe, requiring you to invest in Somber Smithing Stones rather than the regular variant. While you cannot add additional effects or infuse this weapon with Ashes of War, you won't mind sticking to the excellent Soul Stifler skill, as it releases a cloud that produces an Area of Effect (AoE) debuff to enemies caught in its radius.

The Greathorn's lingering debuff is excellent against bosses and usually lasts long enough to catch your target inside as they approach. You'll need to acquire the Remembrance of the Regal Ancestor and exchange it at the Roundtable Hold to purchase this weapon, meaning you can obtain it even before fighting Radahn.

Light the braziers in the Siofra River and approach the large deer carcass nearby to fight the boss and claim the Remembrance.

8 Gargoyle's Black Axe

Elden Ring: 12 Best Axes

Stat Requirements

Upgrade Method

  • 24 Strength
  • Eight Dexterity
  • 22 Faith
  • Somber Smithing Stones

The

Elden Ring: 12 Best Axes

Gargoyle’s Black Axe is an excellent option if you focus on a Faith and Melee build as the prerequisites are fairly low. Unfortunately, you will need to defeat the Black Blade Kindred in the opening segment leading to The Mountaintop of the Giants to acquire this wonderful weapon.

Once the Black Axe is in your possession, test out its War Cry skill, which provides identical bonuses to the Rusted Anchor's Barbaric Roar. In addition to considerable Physical Damage, it also inflicts Holy damage, which is excellent in a New Game Plus setting, but loses its luster in the late game as most enemies are resistant to Holy damage by then.

7 Rosus' Axe

Elden Ring: 12 Best Axes

Stat Requirements

Upgrade Method

  • 18 Strength
  • 18 Intelligence
  • Ten Dexterity
  • Somber Smithing Stones

Elden Ring: 12 Best Axes11Rosus’ Axe comes equipped with a uniquely powerful Weapon Skill that makes this weapon a must-try. Rosus' Axe boasts Rosus's Summons, which calls forth three skeletons to swing their axes with you every time you use it. Upon activating the skill, three skeletons appear, swing in tandem, and then disappear after dealing massive damage in the direction of your swing.

Intelligence and Strength users will be satisfied with this axe, as they both receive C-scaling, allowing you to focus on whichever stat best fits your build. The Physical Damage is augmented with additional Magic damage from your skeletons, making for a versatile choice against various enemies.

6 Death Knight's Twin Axes

Elden Ring: 12 Best Axes12

Stat Requirements

Upgrade Method

  • 14 Strength
  • 12 Dexterity
  • 16 Faith
  • Somber Smithing Stones

The

Elden Ring: 12 Best Axes

Death Knight’s Twin Axes are an unusual weapon with a fantastic weapon art, making them one of the best axes Elden Ring has to offer. Blinkbolt: Twinaxe transforms you into a human lightning bolt that launches itself into its enemies, slashing them on impact.

You receive this weapon after defeating the Death Knight boss at the end of the Fog Rift Catacombs.

This weapon's fantastic moveset and abilities make it an excellent choice for a Strength/Faith build in Elden Ring, opening up a variety of options for engaging enemies.

5 Duelist's Greataxe

Elden Ring: 12 Best Axes

Stat Requirements

Upgrade Method

  • 30 Strength
  • Ten Dexterity
  • Smithing Stones

The

Elden Ring: 12 Best Axes

Duelist Greataxe is a solid, versatile choice for a moderate investment in Strength.

You must randomly acquire this weapon by defeating Duelists, but you must acquire it before defeating Maliketh, as this event causes all Duelists to disappear.

The Duelist's Greataxe has excellent base damage, exceeding 400 at full investment, or slightly less if you split your damage between Physical and the effect of your choosing.

Both Strength and Dexterity can achieve a maximum B-scaling depending on your choice of upgrades.

4 Axe Of Godfrey

Elden Ring: 12 Best Axes

Stat Requirements

Upgrade Method

  • 42 Strength
  • 14 Dexterity
  • Somber Smithing Stones

The First Elden Lord is a mountain of a man, so it's no surprise that the

Elden Ring: 12 Best Axes

Axe of Godfrey requires immense Strength to wield effectively, mirroring its namesake's power and making it one of the best Strength weapons in Elden Ring.

The Regal Roar Weapon Skill grants the same 7.5 percent attack boost and an additional five in scaling , while also sending out a shockwave along the ground that cannot be guarded against.

The weapon's scaling maxes out at a C grade for Strength, but luckily its raw damage is so high, it easily eclipses 400, which makes it one of the strongest available. Unfortunately, higher-leveled characters won't be able to get much out of investing in this weapon, so it functions best for a mid-game build, which is awkward considering it is acquired after defeating Godfrey toward the end of the game.

3 Executioner's Greataxe

Elden Ring: 12 Best Axes

Stat Requirements

Upgrade Method

  • 34 Strength
  • Eight Dexterity
  • Smithing Stones

The

Elden Ring: 12 Best Axes

Executioner’s Greataxe is another farmable option that provides great damage and decent scaling. With an investment in the Heavy effect, you will achieve A-scaling in Strength, making this a superb option for those building around Strength.

The Executioner's Greataxe also comes with the War Cry Skill for buffing, which can further push its damage higher for those venturing deep into NG+ and beyond. The ability to change its Ash of War and augment it with magic makes it an extremely flexible option to suit your needs.

2 Icerind Hatchet

Elden Ring: 12 Best Axes

Stat Requirements

Upgrade Method

  • 11 Strength
  • 16 Dexterity
  • Somber Smithing Stones

As the only top-tier axe to primarily require Dexterity to wield, the Icerind Hatchet sticks out among its peers.

Elden Ring: 12 Best Axes

Icerind Hatchet also touts the excellent Hoarfrost Stomp Skill, which is similar to the shockwave from the Axe of Godfrey, but with far greater effect. The stomp sends out a wave of ice, damaging enemies, staggering, and inflicting them with Frostbite.

This multifaceted hatchet has B-scaling in Dexterity, so you can use it to great effect throughout your playthrough.

If you're looking for extra utility, Hoarfrost Stomp is an excellent stun-locking tool that can nullify difficult bosses like Malenia if used in tandem with a powerful Spirit Ash Summon.

1 Axe Of Godrick

Elden Ring: 12 Best Axes

Stat Requirements

Upgrade Method

  • 34 Strength
  • 22 Dexterity
  • Somber Smithing Stones

Though the

Elden Ring: 12 Best Axes

Axe of Godrick requires perhaps the steepest attribute investment, its C-scaling in both attributes and unique Weapon Skill put it slightly above the competition for everyday use. Its unique Weapon Skill: "I Command Thee, Kneel" is an exceptional AoE option for clearing out swarming enemies with an earth-shattering shockwave.

This weapon is very slow, so having a way out of tight corners is exactly what you would want from your Weapon Skill. Chaining your shock waves makes the skill incredibly fun to use and mimics Godrick's attacks from his fight. Although its damage caps out around 350 before scaling, this axe's versatility should be enticing if you prefer a more traditional greataxe experience.

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