Elden Ring modders have found convincing evidence that the greatest threat in the game is a bugged blood dog which can insta-kill anything, especially you.
As Dark Souls sleuth Zullie The Witch explained in a recent video (citing and sharing the findings of modder Meowmarituswho built the animation tool used for analyzes like this), the bloody dogs found in the later stages of Elden Ring have a unique bug which turns one of their attacks into an absolute face-melter.
To boil down Zullie’s findings, every Elden Ring enemy has an ID file and an assigned animation behavior file. The small and large variants of the blood dogs share an animation file, so whenever a dog attacks, the game checks the data for both the small and large dogs at the same time. If a large blood dog attacks, it cuts the small dog data and correctly registers one hit from that attack. But when the small blood dogs use one specific lunging attack, the system breaks and ends up resetting the player check for that attack, causing it to hit you a zillion times, or at least once every frame.
If you’ve ever gone from full health to your last Site of Grace in no seconds flat after running into one of these blood dogs, this is why. Due to some file errors, Elden Ring is essentially letting these tiny threats attack faster than we can even perceive, dealing upwards of 11,640 damage per second to anything in range, according to Zullie’s calculations. With numbers like that, these dogs could theoretically delete any boss in the game in seconds.
And remember, these are blood dogs, meaning their attacks apply the bleed status which deals heavy chunks of damage. That DPS calculation doesn’t even account for the bonus bleed damage since it varies based on your max HP. And you thought Malenia’s Waterfowl Dance hit hard.
We reached out to Zullie to follow up on these findings. Because this issue is seemingly tied to frames, they reckon that the higher frame rates achieved on PC and new-gen consoles could actually amplify the damage that these bugged dogs can deal, though even at 30 FPS they “can’t think of any other situation that even comes close” to these monsters.
“Quite a few different things had to line up in all the wrong ways for this one to slip through the cracks,” they explained, confirming that they aren’t aware of any other enemies with this problem. “If it weren’t so involved, it probably wouldn’t have gone unnoticed.”
“And it happens to be on a dog, historically one of the worst enemies in FromSoftware games,” they added. Not only that, they believe this issue probably only happened precisely because FromSoftware needed a way to distinguish the behavior of the blood dogs from the normal ones. In other words, the status effect that makes this problem extra devastating, and which makes these god forsaken dogs so annoying to deal with, may have been a central cause of the issue altogether.
The good news, per Zullie’s video, is that Meowmaritus tested a modified version of the killer dog behavior file and found that it correctly registered the small dogs’ attacks, removing this insta-kill death loop. FromSoftware may not use the exact same fix, but at least on paper, it should be easy to reign these dogs in with a future update. But for the time being, keep your distance. The math doesn’t lie: these dogs are the most dangerous creatures in Elden Ring.
This Elden Ring mod adds all the Dark Souls heroes to the game to help you fight the final boss, but even they wouldn’t stand a chance against a pack of these dogs.