I don’t know if you’ve heard, but FromSoftware games can be a little challenging at times, and Elden Ring, in all of its open world glory, doesn’t exactly shy away from that either. There’s a lot going on in this game, and as you prepare to venture forth into The Lands Between, you’re going to need all the help you can get. To that end, here, we’ve put together a few beginners tips and tricks to help ease your introduction into this beautiful yet brutal world.
I cannot stress enough. EXPLORE every nook and cranny. You never know what you will come across. So much of the content in Elden Ring is hidden in dungeons and ruins, so if you are not exploring you will likely miss a crucial item or two. Heck, even some side quests and NPCs are hidden within these locations. So, I will say again. EXPLORE!
CAVE OF KNOWLEDGE
In the early moments of Elden Ring, you’ll get the option to head into a small sub-area known as the Cave of Knowledge. This is essentially a tutorial area, and while Souls veterans will be tempted to skip it and head straight out into the open world, it’s a good idea to give it a go anyway. It won’t take too long to get through it, and you’ll quickly learn about some of the new combat mechanics that the game introduces, which will help you out greatly in the long run.
Upgrading your attributes is, of course, one of the primary ways of powering up your character in Elden Ring, and while you’re going to be making those decisions based on your own needs as you progress further into the game, in the opening hours, it’s best to focus more on particular areas. Vigor and Endurance, which govern your health and stamina respectively, are key stats that you’re going to want to pump up early on.
Of course, being able to deal higher damage with your attacks is just as important as it is to have higher health (if not more so, depending on your play style), but rather than investing in Attributes in those areas, it’s better to upgrade your Armaments, which is more effective in the long term and the short term. To that end, when you do upgrade your Armaments, rather than going for even distribution across your weapons, it’s best to focus on the one that acts as your main weapon.
Having a dedicated jump button is a small yet significant new addition in Elden Ring, and though it is, of course, a crucial tool in many ways, it’s smart to remember that it’s not something that’s equally useful across activities. In combat, for instance, the jump action doesn’t serve as a very good dodge. Dodge rolling is still the way to go, because that gives you crucial i-frames, which jumping doesn’t- so keep that in mind.
Elden Ring borrows the stealth mechanics of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and you’d do well to lean on those as often as you can. It’s an incredibly useful option to have in many circumstances, and clearing out enemies bit by bit with the use of stealth rather than taking on large groups head on at once has obvious and immediate advantages. Stealth can also be cheesed quite easily, and yes, combining that with resetting enemies at Sites of Graces is a decent way of grinding Runes.
Elden Ring’s open world approach changes up the core structure of the game in significant ways- one of the smaller ones is having wildlife in the open world that you can hunt. Unlike most beings that you encounter in the game, the wildlife is not hostile and won’t attack you, and the resources that they drop are often crucial for crafting- so every time you see a harmless little animal in your path, make sure to batter the hell out of it.
BEACONS AND FRAGMENTS
Speaking of the game’s open world structure- Elden Ring’s vast world can be a little tricky to navigate, purely because of how utterly free of handholding the game is at its core. You fill out the map and clear its fog of war by collecting map fragments, so you’re going to want to make sure you keep an eye out for those pickups, while using your beacons to make custom markers on the map is also the only way you have of marking points of interest- so it’s best to make proper use of that tool as well, especially since the game doesn’t have any sort of a tracking system to help you keep track of, say, any merchants you may have come across during your travels.
GOLDEN SEEDS AND SACRED TEARS
Just like the Souls games, your flasks are a crucial tool that you’re going to be relying on from beginning to end in Elden Ring, so it goes without saying that upgrading them is something that you’re going to want to do as often as you can. To that end, keep an eye out for Golden Seeds and Sacred Tears, found at ethereal saplings and ruined churches respectively, which can be used to increase your flasks’ total charges and their effectiveness.
Often in the world of Elden Ring, you’ll come across Teardrop Scarabs, and while catching them and killing them can be quite tricky at times, the rewards are also usually well worth the effort. From restoring your flasks to dropping Weapon Arts and Incantations (among other things), the rewards that Teardrop Scarabs drop upon being killed are almost always very useful, so make sure to keep an eye out for them.
Multiplayer tends to be a crucial part of FromSoftware games. Like the Souls titles, Elden Ring does, of course, let you play completely offline if you want- though quite often, it’s advisable not to do so. As most people who’ve played Souls games will tell you, summoning other players to help out during boss fights can be incredibly useful more often than not, and it’s best to remember that that’s always a viable option. Of course, there’s always the danger of getting invaded, so keep that in mind.
There are other forms of summons that can be quite useful in Elden Ring as well. Take the Spirit Ashes, for instance, which allow you to summon spirits to your aid during combat in certain areas of the world. These can be incredibly useful in tricky encounters, especially if you’re calling on Elite Spirits, so make use of this mechanic often. Also remember that you can use items known as Gloveworts to upgrade your Spirit Summons, which will obviously be integral if Spirit Ashes become an important part of the way you play the game.
ASHES OF WAR
Elden Ring offers in-depth weapons customization through a new system called as Ashes of War. When equipped, these give special abilities to your weapon, such as lightning, intelligence scaling, damage negation, and a ton of other skills. There are several Ashes of War that can be found through defeating bosses and world exploration, and using some additional items you can also duplicate them. Using Ashes of War can make a noticeable difference and selecting the right one in the right situation can be critical. In one of my fights with a boss, using the right Ashes of War made it a cakewalk.
Your spectral steed Torrent is another one of Elden Ring’s biggest additions, which makes sense, given its open world nature, and can be useful in more ways than one. For starters, you can blaze past enemies in higher level areas to quickly get to a Site of Grace and unlock a fast travel point. Meanwhile, there’s also mounted combat, which is especially effective against certain bosses and mini-bosses out in the field itself.
Alongside poise, Super Armor is another integral element that you’ll have to keep in mind for Elden Ring’s combat, seeing as it is what determines when an enemy gets staggered and becomes open to a critical hit. Like Stamina, Super Armor gradually restores over time, so if you’re looking to stagger an enemy, make sure you keep hitting them with attacks, even if it’s with throwing knives from a distance.