Elden Ring Guide – Best Weapons and Shields, and How to Get Them

Facing the various threats of FromSoftware's latest action RPG can be rough but these weapons provide a much-needed edge.

Posted By | On 17th, Mar. 2022

elden ring

When you first start Elden Ring, everything in The Lands Between – and beyond – feels like it’s against you. The Tree Sentinel, the wandering Troll, or just the guards stationed at the first crossing – everybody’s out to get you, and that’s before you step into Caelid. However, much like the Dark Souls games and Bloodborne, knowledge is power. Knowing what the best weapons are and how to acquire them is always key. And make no mistake, there are some truly beastly weapons to be found in Elden Ring, provided you know what build you’ll be rocking.

Let’s take a look at some of the best weapons in the game, why they’re so good and their stat requirements, starting with the Uchigatana. A starting weapon for the Samurai class, it can also be found in the Deathtouched Catacombs in Stormhill, Limgrave. It scales on Strength and Dexterity with “D” ratings in both, and requires 11 Strength and 15 Dexterity to wield. The main appeal of this weapon is the Bleed damage it inflicts, eventually building up to the Hemorrhage status.

This is especially good against just about anything since Hemorrhage causes damage for a percent of an enemy’s max HP (so even bosses with lots of health can be easily felled with enough swings). Equip it with a Blood Affinity Ashes of War and upgrade it to a Blood Katana to get even more Bleed damage with Dexterity scaling. Alternatively, turn it into a Cold Katana for Frostbite and Bleed damage though it requires some points in Intelligence.

Given how good Bleed damage is in this game, it’s a good thing there’s a dedicated katana for that. It’s called Rivers of Blood and can be obtained by killing Bloody Finger Okina. They spawn near the Church of Repose in the Mountaintops of the Giants region. It requires 12 Strength, 18 Dexterity and 20 Arcane with “D” scaling in Dexterity and Arcane.

Since it’s a unique weapon, Rivers of Blood can’t be infused with Ashes of War – instead, it has the “Corpse Piler” skill which will continuously attack an enemy with slashes of blood (further input continues the skill). Given the damage nerf to Bloody Slash, this is the next best option. It also deals Fire damage on top of Physical damage and can be upgraded with Somber Smithing Stones. The weapon was reportedly bugged, preventing it from scaling properly with one’s stats, but it should now function normally.

A katana that’s not bugged and perhaps the meta right now is Moonveil. This one’s tougher to get immediately since you need to travel to Gael Tunnel (which is somewhere on the Limgrave-Caelid border) and slay the Magma Wyrm to get it. The Moonveil deals Physical and Magic damage, can’t be infused with Ashes of War and requires Somber Smithing Stones to upgrade. It has “D” scaling for Dexterity and “C” for Intelligence, requiring 12 Strength, 18 Dexterity and 23 Intelligence to wield.

Along with dealing Bleed damage to build up to Hemorrhage, the Moonveil also possesses an extremely powerful skill called Transient Moonlight. It sheathes the weapon and unleashes a horizontal or vertical magic slash with a follow-up light or heavy attack respectively. Though their FP costs are high, both skills deal lots of damage and can quickly cut enemies down in both PvE and PvP.

We all want to pull off that Berserk fantasy and thankfully, it’s possible to do that with the Greatsword. Located in a caravan in Dragonbarrow, Caelid, north-west to the Caelim Ruins Site of Grace, it’s easy to obtain by simply sneaking past the nearby foes. It scales primarily off of Strength with a “C” rating and requires 31 Strength and 12 Dexterity to use. The skill “Stamp (Upward Cut)” is included but all you really need is to leap at enemies and smash them with it (we recommend having two).

Imbue it with a Heavy Affinity Ashes of War for “A” scaling on Strength or use a Quality Affinity Ash of War like “Royal Knight’s Resolve” to massively boost the damage of your next strike. If you’re playing as a Vagabond and want to leap strike on enemies with impunity or chunk bosses with each hit, then the Greatsword is highly recommended.

The Winged Scythe is a Reaper weapon, located in the Tombsward Ruins of the Weeping Peninsula. Like other unique weapons, it can’t be imbued with Ashes of War, requires Somber Smithing Stones to upgrade and can’t be buffed by Magic or consumables. It scales primarily off of Dexterity and Faith, having a “D” ranking in both, while requiring 16 Strength, 16 Dexterity and 24 Faith to wield.

Of course, along with inflicting Bleed damage, which is very strong, its skill “Angel’s Wings” is a slashing attack that stops recovery actions (like healing with a Flask of Tears). With strong damage and a fairly nice skill for PvP, it’s something different to try and also a great option when dealing with the Undead thanks to its Holy damage.

If you’re using a bow as an offhand weapon, whether as a Bandit or a Samurai, the Pulley Bow may be worth looking into it. This is essentially a Longbow which has a hefty amount of range, and offers “D” scaling in both Strength and Dexterity. Found in a corpse at the top of a siege tower just North of the Gelmir Hero’s Grave Site of Grace, you’ll need 11 Strength and 11 Dexterity to use it.

It comes with the Skill “Mighty Shot” and can’t be infused with Ashes of War. If you’re looking to snipe foes from a distance and then engage them up close with another weapon (or a Shortbow), the Pulley Bow is unmatched.

The Sword of Night and Flame is one of the strongest Straight Swords in the game, dealing Physical, Magic and Fire Damage. It has “D” scaling in Intelligence and Faith while requiring 12 Strength, 12 Dexterity, 24 Intelligence and 24 Faith. You can find it in Caria Manor on the east side – it’s located within a locked room behind the gardens.

It can’t be infused with Ashes of War and comes with the Skill “Sword of Night and Flame” which either casts the “Night Comet Sorcery” with a Light attack or the sweeping flame attack with Strong attack. The latter deals tons of damage with a relatively decent FP cost. Even after nerfs to the Skill, the Sword of Night and Flame should still be very good.

For magic users who want to wield the most powerful Sorcery like Comet Azur, the Carian Regal Scepter is the best option. Acquired by defeating Rennala and handing over her Remembrance to Enia at the Roundtable Hold, it has “B” scaling for Intelligence along with requiring 10 Strength, 8 Dexterity and a whopping 60 Intelligence to use.

You can’t infuse it with Ashes of War and it has the skill “Spinning Weapon.” Full Moon Sorcery like Rennala’s Full Moon and Ranni’s Full Moon is also boosted with it, which is great for lowering a target’s magical resistance. Even if you’re using simple spells like Glintstone Pebble, it’s hard to go wrong with the Carian Regal Scepter. Just make sure you’re going full spell-caster to make it work.

Daggers are fairly underrated in Elden Ring but they can be very good for quickly proccing status effects like Hemorrhage and Frostbite. Reduvia is especially good at the former. Obtained by slaying Bloody Finger Nerijus in west Limgrave, just north-east from Agheel Lake (where you meet Yuria for the first time), it has “D” scaling in Dexterity and Arcane while requriing 5 Strength, 13 Dexterity and 13 Arcane to wield.

It can’t be infused with Ashes of War but along with dealing Bleed damage, it’s equipped with the Skill “Reduvia Blood Blade.” This allows for throwing blood blades quickly and causing Hemorrhage. Given the low FP cost and lack of self-damage (which is what normal “Blood Blade” does), it can be very good at close and mid-range combat.

For every strong melee combat option, a shield comes highly recommended. While shields won’t fit into every build, they can still be extremely potent in many cases and increase your survivability. Let’s take a look at some of the best shields in the game, starting with the Golden Greatshield. Requiring 34 Strength and with “D” scaling for the same, it comes with no Skill and can be imbued with Ashes of War. You can get it from the Gold Dragon Cult Knight who’s located south of the Artist’s Shack in Liurnia of the Lakes and Wyndham Catacombs.

As such, it’s very good at mitigating physical damage though imbuing it in different ways allows for statuses like Bleed, Poison and Frostbite to be inflicted on those who strike.The Ash of War “Barricade Shield” has seen a nerf but it should still be good for the weapon if you’re seeking even stronger damage mitigation.

The Fingerprint Stone Shield demands even more Strength (48 just to wield it) and provides “D” scaling off the same. It’s found in Royal Capital’s Subterranean shunning grounds. You’ll need to find the Underground Roadside Site of Grace and venture through the area to eventually defeat a mini-boss. From there, it’s a challenge to jump across several coffins to reach it.

Boasting some very strong mitigation in all categories, the Fingerprint Stone Shield causes madness buildup and also comes with the Skill “Shield Bash.” This allows for ramming into enemies while still guarding and can stagger weaker enemies. The shield can also be imbued with Ashes of War and buffed with magic and consumables.

If a more offensive sort of shield is what you prefer, the Visage Shield should suffice. It’s located in the Caelem Ruins in Caelid and requires defeating the Mad Pumpkin Head Duo to access. Along with “D” scaling in Strength, it requires 44 of the stat and can’t be imbued with Ashes of War. The main appeal is the Skill “Tongues of Fire” which unleashes fire jets at enemies and can be used while walking. It may not have the highest defenses of all the Greatshields but it should still withstand a good deal of punishment.

Finally, there’s the Great Turtle Shield. A Medium Shield that requires 14 Strength and has “D” scaling in the same, it’s found in Castle Morne in the Weeping Peninsula. Look east from the Castle Morne Rampart Site of Grace and jump with Torrent to a rooftop section to loot it from a corpse. Along with providing a passive boost to stamina recovery rate, it can be infused with Ashes of War. Furthermore, it comes with “Barricade Shield” by default, thus boosting its defensive properties even more. If you’re going with a one-handed build and still want a good amount of mobility, then the Great Turtle Shield should work best, even if Barricade Shield has been nerfed.

The number of offensive options in Elden Ring is fairly good but the most important thing is to use what you’re most comfortable with. Plenty of weapons like Maliketh’s Black Blade, Starscourge Greatsword, Hand of Malenia, Gargoyle’s Black Blades and Grafted Dragon can be very fun to use so make sure to experiment with what’s available.

Elden Ring is currently available for PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One and PC. Check out our review here.

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