11 Tips & Tricks for ELDEN RING
I'm pretty sure this is something we all have in common: One way or another, we all inevitably suck at ELDEN RING. Bosses hit us too hard, we move too slow, and overall it feels like the game is meant to make us cry. Well, fear not, for I have stockpiled a list of 11 things that you can do to get through your arduous trials in ELDEN RING!
#1 — Don't panic roll
We all do it; all an enemy has to do is raise their weapon and we'll immediately mash the roll button so hard that our keyboard/controller begs us to stop lest it breaks. I'm here to tell you that this is possibly one of the biggest reasons why you're dying so much in the game.
You see, I am a FromSoftware veteran, and even I am guilty of being scared when the Tree Sentinel raises his weapon just a bit too high for my liking. FromSoftware likes making us try to dodge just a second too early in order to hit us, and learning when it's best to wait and for how long is the key to victory in most fights.
#2 — Learn what build you're going for and stick to it
You're going to want to know what build you want, maybe even before you pick your class; this is because you're working towards the build even as early as the character creator. Spending too many points in random areas will lead to having a suboptimal build, which can make some bosses very difficult to fight.
It's not as complicated as it sounds either; all you have to do is find whatever stat fits you best and work towards that. Do you like heavy weapons? Go for Strength and Endurance. Tanks? Vitality and Endurance. Mages? Mind and Intelligence. With this in mind, your playthrough is sure to be a heck of a lot easier.
#3 — Ignore the Tree Sentinel boss
So you finally made it out of the damned tutorial after getting destroyed by the Grafted Scion, and then over the horizon, you see a menacing mounted figure. Maybe if you're feeling particularly reckless, you'll charge at it and notice that it's a boss. Am I speaking from personal experience? Yes. Did I die a lot? Yes. Did I regret it? No.
The Tree Sentinel is actually not something you're supposed to fight early on and works more as a red herring. Although you can (like I did), it's preferable to avoid him and come back later.
#4 — Advance the story until you meet Melina
Are you tired of everyone in the Lands Between calling you maidenless? Maybe you're just confused about what that means, but you're sure that it's some sort of slur because of the way the first NPC in the game talks to you. Well, there's actually a reason for all of this; you should probably progress until you get a maiden.
Not only will progressing until you meet Melina ensure you can use your runes to level up (which means you won't lose them if you die twice), but she will also bestow upon you a mount, which will allow you to gallop across the Lands Between to your heart's content. This is actually a great way to fight the Tree Sentinel, as well as other bosses that are easier and more comfortable whilst on horseback.
#5 — Allocate your flasks
The first time I played DARK SOULS III I didn't know what the word "allocate" meant, so I clicked it very nervously, unsure of what it was going to do to my flasks; it was then I realised that it allows me to select which flasks I want where. You see, in ELDEN RING there are two types of flasks — one that raises your HP and one that raises your FP. If you're going for a build that doesn't use any FP, there is no point in having any of your flasks allocated for it.
Having an extra flask can be the difference between victory and defeat when facing some bosses, as you have no idea how many times I was left with zero flasks and one hit of life left. You needn't look further than my video of defeating the Tree Sentinel.
#6 — Have patience
You bought ELDEN RING, which means that by proxy you and the Grim Reaper are now best buddies, but he doesn't have the best manners and likes impromptu visits; that is basically how playing ELDEN RING can feel. This is all a very long way to say that you will die, and the quicker you get used to this and use your deaths to learn why, the better.
As depicted in my general boss tips & tricks, it is a crucial part of ELDEN RING to die while you learn what each boss does at any given time; the sooner you learn that dying is part of the experience, the more you'll love the game. Sit back, watch the boss fight unfurl, and learn the pattern; this is the best way to learn and slowly get through an arduous battle.
#7 — Don't carry too many runes at a time
I know it's fun to see the number skyrocket into obscenely high digits, but this is a recipe for disaster. As you know, in ELDEN RING you lose your runes once you die; although you can pick them up afterwards, dying again means that you lose all of them. It's easy to think that you'll be careful and always die in safe spots, but since sometimes random boss fights trigger and lock your runes, it puts you at an ultimatum: beat the boss and get your runes back, or give up and risk losing them forever.
You should always try to carry as few runes as possible unless you are trying to decipher what you will be building next; this is the best way to ensure you never lose too many at any given time.
#8 — Find a main weapon and upgrade it excessively
This one is pretty simple: Try to find a weapon you're comfortable with, be it a longsword, greatsword, axe, or pickaxe, and upgrade it as much as you can. The upgrade will offer extra damage, which will allow you to farm runes easier, which then will snowball into an endless pit of runes and upgrades.
Upgrading your weapon is one of the most important aspects of ELDEN RING, as even the first core boss of the game — Margit, The Fell Omen — is built on the expectation that players will face him with a +3 upgraded weapon. If you ever regret it, you can always farm more runes, farm more smithing stones, and upgrade the next weapon you fell in love with.
#9 — Explore
ELDEN RING is an open-world game at its core, and it was built with exploration in mind. Running around, exploring, and finding dungeons is one of the main ways you'll not only find unique weapons but also build up your runes to get more levels. Following the light from the Sites of Grace will lead you to Margit, and, as we established, he is later into the game, and you're not supposed to fight him early.
Instead, run around, explore, and find more enemies to fight. Not only will the extra runes and unique weapons help you on your journey, but each fight teaches you more and more about the game; there is no stronger weapon than knowledge when it comes to the soulslike genre.
BONUS: Whilst exploring, keep a lookout for skulls on the ground with glowing eyes; they contain golden runes within them. They might be underwhelming on their own, but once you’ve gathered many of them you’ll notice you can get several thousand runes.
#10 — Pay attention to your Equip Load
ELDEN RING has done a nifty thing that shows you how your Equip Load will allow you to roll, and even highlights it red when you reach “Heavy”. That said, it might not be immediately obvious to everyone what that actually means.
Your Equip Load chooses which of the three types of roll your character can do: heavy, medium, and light. Generally speaking, you never want your Equip Load to get to “Heavy”, as it makes one of your most important tools (invulnerability with rolls) nigh impossible to take advantage of.
#11 — Have fun
ELDEN RING is thus far the most accessible entry in the genre as it offers a wide variety of approaches to any scenario. If you like difficulty, add your own self-imposed challenges like fighting horseback bosses on foot and see how well you fare. And, if you don't like difficulty, fight everything whilst mounted on Torrent, find some suitable rune farming locations and level up obscene amounts, or just cheat and raise your stats; there is no right way to have fun with a game, even a soulslike.
A friend of mine, whom I've been exploring the Lands Between with, farmed over a million runes and got to level 88 before reaching Godrick; something I personally would never have found fun. Meanwhile, here I am trying to level up as little as possible so the bosses kill me with a single look. The definition of fun is "amusing, entertaining, or enjoyable", and that is all games are supposed to be. Play at your pace and let no one tell you what's right or wrong.
That's it for our tips & tricks article! Did you enjoy it? Did I miss something? Feel free to tell me in the comments below, I'll gladly make a second list if I find more to add! Good luck, Tarnished.