Elden Ring DLC: How to get hand-to-hand martial arts in Shadow of the Erdtree

Elden Ring
A Tarnished uses a Hand-to-Hand martial arts weapon. (Image credit: Windows Central)

On top of numerous additions to existing classes, the Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree DLC adds eight new weapon types to the award-winning open world ARPG. Of these, some that are particularly interesting are the Hand-to-Hand weapons, as these essentially transform your Tarnished into a skilled martial artist. I didn't use them much before I wrote my review of the expansion, but I've been testing them out since then, and so far they've been solidly strong and — more importantly — very fun to build around. Who needs swords or spells when you can kick and palm strike a boss to death?

Before you can get your Kung Fu Souls on, though, you'll need to progress past the DLC's starting area and complete a short NPC quest. In the guide below, I go over everything you need to know about this process so you can get your first Hand-to-Hand weapon.

Elden Ring DLC: How to get the Dryleaf Arts weapon

There are two different options for Hand-to-Hand in the Elden Ring DLC, but the earliest one you can get is the Dryleaf Arts weapon. Here's how to obtain it:

Get the Monk's Missive

Here's the location of the Highroad Cross Site of Grace in Scadu Altus. (Image credit: Windows Central)

First, you'll need to pick up the Monk's Missive, which is located by a Miquella's Cross at the Highroad Cross Site of Grace in southern Scadu Altus (the large central region in the Land of Shadow). There are two ways to get to this area and this Site of Grace, which I'll explain below:

  • The shorter path is through Castle Ensis, the large fortress positioned on the edge of northeastern Gravesite Plain across the Ellac Greatbridge. To get through to Scadu Altus, however, you'll need to beat the Rellana, Twin Moon Knight boss. Once you do, you'll see the Site of Grace and Miquella's Cross just outside the castle's exit.
  • There's also a somewhat hidden route that involves going southeast from the Castle Front Site of Grace (it's just before Castle Ensis) and down the sloped path there that leads to a poison swamp. Once in the swamp, travel as far east as you can and look for a Spiritspring along the cliffside. Break the nearby pile of rocks to "unlock" it, then use it to jump up with Torrent. After landing, use the second Spiritspring nearby to jump up to the Fort of Reprimand. From here, fight or run your way through the fort until you reach its front gate and then simply ride northwest.

The Monk's Missive is one of the rare purple items located here (the other is a Scadutree Fragment). Picking it up will also give you the "May the Best Win" gesture — you'll need this shortly — and if you read the note in your inventory, you'll see that it's from a monk who wants to challenge you to the east.

How to fight Dryleaf Dane

Dane won't duel you unless you perform the "May the Best Win" gesture. (Image credit: Windows Central)

Hop back on Torrent and head east and you'll find the NPC monk Dryleaf Dane — one of Miquella's followers — next to another Miquella's Cross and the Moorth Ruins Site of Grace (you likely saw these already if you came to Scadu Altus the secret way). He's who you're looking for.

Dane won't speak to you, so you can't initiate your duel with him that way. However, he'll fight you if you perform the "May the Best Win" gesture in front of him. Doing this will transport you to a battle; note that he deals lots of damage per hit, but has low Poise due to the fact he's wearing light clothing. In my experience, I've found that the best way to beat him is to use a large weapon that has superior range.

If you win the duel, you'll be teleported back to the Moorth Ruins Site of Grace, where you'll find the Dryleaf Arts weapon, the Dane's Hat armor piece, and another note from Dane himself. With that done, you now have your first Hand-to-Hand weapon. Though it scales entirely with Strength and Dexterity as is, you can tailor it to fit any of the best Elden Ring builds you're using thanks to the fact it's infusable.

The Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree DLC is finally here, and it makes one of the best Xbox games and best PC games of all time even better. It's out now on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, and Windows PC for $39.99.

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree | $34.89 at CDKeys (Xbox)

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree | $34.89 at CDKeys (Xbox)

Shadow of the Erdtree is Elden Ring at its most refined, with the base game's overly formulaic elements cut away and some of FromSoftware's best boss fights. The result is a 40-hour-long masterpiece of a DLC that's an absolute must-play for any Soulsborne fan.

Also see: Shadow of the Erdtree (PC, $37.09) | Deluxe Edition (PC, $90.89)

Collector's Edition: Bandai Namco Store (€249.99)

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.