ELDEN RING: 7 Tips & Tricks for DARK SOULS Players
We all saw it when we launched the game; the similarities on the rolling system, the critical hit system, even attack combos that we've seen in previous DARK SOULS titles, and we thought to ourselves: This is DARK SOULS IV.
I'm sure we all mourned, some wept, some screamed as we heard that DARK SOULS would end with the third instalment of the series. Now, with ELDEN RING, we have what we always wished for. So, for those struggling with the new systems in ELDEN RING, here are seven tips & tricks for DARK SOULS players!
#1 — Get used to the new ways of performing old mechanics
I don't know about you, but I was incredibly confused when I could no longer do the heavy strikes from the air we used to love doing whilst invading in DARK SOULS; they still exist, and I completely missed the tutorial for them.
It's a bit uncomfortable at first but surprisingly handy later on, but being able to jump and do one of the heavy air attacks helps tremendously in some bosses, and being able to do them whenever without needing a high ledge to drop from is a fantastic addition.
#2 — Make use of the new mechanics
I don't know if you played Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, but some things are present from that game that weren't so in DARK SOULS; such as the stealth and posture systems. Your Tarnished character can now crouch, hide in the tall grass, and sneak up on enemies to do a critical hit, much like we would do in DARK SOULS with the slow walking button.
Posture is also a system that rewards constant aggression, as hitting an enemy and boss enough times breaks their posture, allowing you to get in for a critical hit. This system trivialised some fights, such as Godrick the Grafted, since he gives so many windows to hit him.
#3 — Use different forms of combat
It's easy to forget which new systems were added into ELDEN RING — especially after so many years of playing DARK SOULS — but keeping what's been added and taken away can be tremendously useful. For instance, when fighting gargantuan beasts such as dragons (which should technically be called wyverns) or giants, fighting whilst on horseback will allow for an easier time.
You can fight other sorts of enemies with Torrent as you can ride throughout most of the open world on his back to kill any common mob; fighting on horseback can help with dealing against large groups. If you want a more challenging difficulty, tackle every horseback fight on foot.
#4 — Learn what the attributes affect now
You'll recognise some attributes in the level up menu — such as the likes of Vigor, Strength, Dexterity — but others will sound more confusing, such as Arcane and Mind. Although practically every single attribute from DARK SOULS made it in one form or another to ELDEN RING, you'll note that the total list involves eight, whilst DARK SOULS III had nine.
Not to worry; although things like Vitality were removed, they were actually moved into Endurance, and, although Luck is gone, it's been moved to Arcane. Easy enough to remember, but not obvious to anyone making the transition.
#5 — Explore
We're used to checking the corners, smacking walls for invisible passages, and overall getting a general impression of an area; however, ELDEN RING's "area" is so massive that it can oft be intimidating. You may think you're a great explorer because you found everything in Anor Londo despite the constant rain of arrows, but you'll need to explore a whole lot more in ELDEN RING.
Mostly, exploration helps with finding catacombs (which are dungeon-like areas with a boss at the end) that will reward runes (souls) and a unique item at the end. Without exploring, you'll find yourself short of items and levels to fight some bosses; you can't just follow the path that the Sites of Grace lay before you and expect to kill the boss at the end of the road.
#6 — Use your summons
Maybe you’re used to brute builds (such as myself) or have a particular distaste for magic ones (such as myself), so you might find it hard to get used to using your Summoning Bell (such as myself).
Summoning Bells (and thus, Spirit Ashes) are a summoning spell that anyone can use as long as they have enough FP to make use of them. The first one you'll get (as long as you don't find any in the wild by accident) is the Lone Wolf Ashes, and it can be immensely helpful in any battle that allows you to activate it. The distraction some of these Spirit Ashes provide often open up the opportunity to get a few hits in on a boss.
#7 — Follow general DARK SOULS rules
Aside from some changes, such as the posture system favouring aggressive play, you'll want to try to do exactly what you've done all along; hit, dodge, die, learn, repeat. There are new systems in place, but this still is essentially a DARK SOULS game, and treating it as such will help you in the long run.
This also applies to rules whilst building; you never want to spread yourself thin in DARK SOULS, so you'll want to avoid the same in ELDEN RING. Think back to all of the things you've learned in your time playing through any soulslike in the past and you'll see that most of the rules and tricks that worked there will work here too.
That's it for the seven tips & tricks I have for DARK SOULS players! Have you struggled with these? I know I did at first! Let me know in the comments below.