How to get the Rivers of Blood katana in Elden Ring

by John Stapel

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elden ring rivers of blood
(Image credit: From Software)

There's no single best weapon in Elden Ring for every occasion, but the Rivers of Blood katana may just be the most popular sword in the whole game. That's because bleed damage is very strong in Elden Ring, and nothing makes 'em bleed like Rivers of Blood. This thing will make regular enemies and even bosses burst into blood fountains with just a few hits.

Below is a guide to getting your hands on the Rivers of Blood katana—and if you already have it, you can skip down below for some Rivers of Blood build tips.

One thing to keep in mind if you're starting a new game of Elden Ring: Rivers of Blood is not an early game weapon. If you're a diehard katana fan, you'll have to use other swords for quite awhile before you get your hands on this one. Finding Rivers of Blood requires reaching the late-game area the Mountaintops of Giants, and it's important to grab it when you get there: after defeating a certain boss, it becomes unavailable.

The Rivers of Blood katana is the best sword for a bleed build, either two-handed or dual wielded with another katana. For the first half of the game you'll likely be making do with the Uchigatana, which you can find in Limgrave or start with if you pick the samurai class.

If you're all about the bleed, you can still apply bleed Ashes of War and put points into your Arcane stat and do great damage with other other Elden Ring weapons aside from Rivers of Blood. What makes Rivers of Blood especially good is its unique ability, which stacks up even more bleed damage than most other weapons. That's why it's the go-to katana for inflicting catastrophic blood loss on bosses and slicing off a chunk of their health. It's likely the weapon you'll run into in PvP more than any other, too, so you better learn to recognize it.

Here's where to find Rivers of Blood—and make sure to get it before defeating the Fire Giant.

Elden Ring Rivers of Blood location

Elden Ring Rivers of Blood

(Image credit: Mapgenie.io/elden-ring)

If you've already killed the Fire Giant, Bloody Finger Okina won't invade so you won't be able to get the Rivers of Blood katana in your current playthrough.

If you haven't, venture into the Mountaintops of the Giants to get this katana. It's the area past Leyndell, Royal Capital, so don't expect to get to it too early.

When you approach the Church of Repose, far south of Castle Sol, you're invaded by the NPC Bloody Finger Okina. Okina wields the Rivers of Blood katana and deals heavy bleed damage if he hits you, so your best bet is to keep him at a distance. Or just don't get hit. Easy, right?

Once you've defeated the invader, you're rewarded with the Rivers of Blood katana and the Okina Mask.

Rivers of Blood stats

  • Requires: 12 strength, 19 dexterity, 20 arcane
  • Damage type: Slash/Pierce
  • Scaling: Strength E, dexterity D, arcane D
  • Skill: Corpse Piler
  • Passive: Blood loss buildup (50)

The bleed passive means you'll be able to take chunks of health from enemies with successive hits, making some formidable opponents an absolute breeze.

What makes Rivers of Blood especially popular is its unique skill Corse Piler, which isn't on any other weapons in the game. This multi-slash attack has great range, does heavy damage and piles on extra helpings of bleed. Its bloody slashes are ridiculously effective even after FromSoftware's first few Elden Ring patches.

The Rivers of Blood katana is upgraded with Somber Smithing Stones, meaning you can upgrade it to a final value of +10. At level +3 its dexterity scaling increases to C, and at +10 its dexterity scaling improves to B.

Rivers of Blood build tips

Okay, so you have Rivers of Blood. Now what? What gear pairs best with this bloody blade? Here's a straightforward build to maximize your bleed damage.

  • Off-hand weapon: ⚔ Nagakiba (another katana to amp up bleed), 🧙‍♂️ Dragon Communion Seal (for incantations, but scales well with Arcane)
  • Armor: 🎭White Mask (briefly increase attack damage by 10% after triggering blood loss)
  • Talismans: 🥇Lord of Blood's Exultation (briefly increase attack damage by 20% after triggering blood loss), 🥈 Winged Sword Insignia (briefly increase attack damage with successive attacks)

Elden Ring is a flexible game, so you could easily pair Rivers of Blood with arcane magic or focus less on the bleed proc and more on dexterity. So don't feel like this is the only way to use Rivers of Blood.

Sarah's earliest gaming memories involve playing Jet Set Willy on the ZX Spectrum at a friend's house. These days, and when not writing guides, most of her spare time goes into MMOs—though she's quite partial to JRPGs too. She has spent much of the last decade playing the likes of Star Wars: The Old Republic, TERA, Final Fantasy 14, and World of Warcraft. Sarah has been writing about games for several years and, before joining PC Gamer, freelanced for the likes of TechRadar, GamingBible, and Rock Paper Shotgun. One of her fondest hopes is to one day play through the ending of Final Fantasy X without breaking down into a sobbing heap. She probably has more wolves in Valheim than you.