Summoner Elementals AI - how to get them attacking?

I currently have 2 fire Elementals.
When I walk, they both run like 40m ahead in the direction I walk, aggro every enemy, but don’t attack anything.
If I keep running in circles around the enemies, they just keep running too and don’t attack.
If I run backwards and shoot at enemies that are coming for me, the Elementals run behind me (out of sight) and don’t attack the enemies in front of me.

Basically the Elementals just run around like head chopped chickens and do nothing.
I have to stop any movements, wait about 3 seconds, and only then the Elementals come back to my side and start attacking.

But is this how it should work? Is this the only way?
Did I miss something how to control the Elementals?
Is there a weapon or skill that I need that forces the Elementals to attack my target?

Right now it feels like playing a Summoner without summons.

short answer - the best you can do is move a little bit right before aggroing enemies or while trying to retreat as not to make your minions run too far ahead of you.

there are no minion targeting abilities - they aim where you’re aiming when they’re idle, but when they’re already in combat, they’ll keep hitting whatever they’re hitting until they’re forced to move. maybe Blinking with your elementals somewhere might reset them to the guarding state sooner, but i don’t know - never cared to check.

elementals move ahead of you to make sure they’re the one who get shot and stabbed - not you. i much prefer this behavior to the original one where i had to walk up to enemies for my elementals to notice them - been doing that a lot on my very first playthrough of HGL.

in 2038 i experienced the problem you described to it’s fullest only when i had very few elementals during a fight with Shulgoth - i ran too far forward, then wouldn’t stop running backward, so my elementals couldn’t take aggro until the very end of the fight.

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Elemental AI is a little skittish. I did a season on stream of playing Summoner focusing on Dark Form, with one my party members being a more “traditional” Elemental/Carnagor build. We never had a problem, but the best advice I can give, is advance slowly. Make sure you take your time to clear the areas as the elementals will auto target. There isn’t an attack steroid for minions, so you’ll likely want to increase your minion damage (as well as health) to make up the difference.

or not. with enough minions i can just run into a mob and be fine because the elementals already took all the aggro. another option is running headlong into a fight, then backing off slightly - just far enough to force the minions that are too far ahead of you to teleport back to your side. but no matter what you do, you will have to stop eventually to let the minions attack as frequently as they can. after stopping, you can afford to move around again, just don’t move too far and too fast if you don’t want the minions to run so far ahead.

I’m just and old fashioned “murder everything in the map” kind of guy.

Thanks for the hints. I tried a few things to work with this AI.

Probably the biggest issue was the short range of my weapons. I was using a focus item and a fire dart pistol. Due to the short range of those weapons I had to be close to the enemies, but at the same time my Elementals lured the enemies away from me. The enemies chased the Elementals running away from me and I chased the enemies. Hahaha.
Then I switched to the hive cannon. As I didn’t need to chase the enemies anymore, my Elementals attacked more frequently too. That worked pretty well.

Once I reached level 15, I added a Force Elemental to my army. It seems these Elements have a slightly different AI. They are more interested in engaging the enemies instead of running around.

Now it feels more like a real Summoner.

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Indeed, the melee Elementals (Forces and Spectral) have a more hands-on, aggressive AI. Mind you, we’ve tweaked it before to get them to perform better, and that’s on top of Flagship’s “minion laser” trick where they all mind where you face and who you attack/are attacked by.
On topic, I also spam Brom’s Curse which seems to help somewhat. I suppose marking enemies with it gets their gears grinding a bit, even if it doesn’t damage them.