What Are the Different Attributes in ELDEN RING and How to Use Them in Builds
You've made it past the Tree Sentinel (be it because you beat him or ran past him) and possibly found a catacomb before you reached the Site of Grace that introduces you to Melina and the levelling system. Now you have tons of runes (or zero, there is no in-between) and have absolutely no clue what Arcane means and why it's different from Vigor. Well, fear no more, as here we wrote this article depicting all of the main attributes, what they do, and how they affect your gameplay. So, what are attributes and stats in ELDEN RING?
What are attributes and which ones should you invest in?
Attributes dictate everything about your build: how much health you have, how tanky you are, your maximum Equip Load, how much damage you do, etc. Their main purpose is to offer a variety between builds, as some people will often raise different stats for different builds and experiment with new combinations.
Generally speaking, you'll want to focus on two primary attributes whilst having two secondaries that you focus on later on. The two primary attributes tend to include Vigor, since some bosses in the game are incredibly difficult without a semblance of tankiness, but that doesn't necessarily mean you have to include it in your build. As a general rule of thumb, however, Vigor will have to be part of your build one way or another, lest you get one-shot by bosses in the endgame.
Generally speaking, attributes have a soft cap and a hard cap. These indicate at which points in the game it's less worth it to level up a particular attribute as they will give less, nearly half, of its worth. The eight attributes are:
Each attribute has different uses and works in different builds. We'll start from the top of the list and work our way down.
Think of this as your tankiness, although it isn't the only dictating factor. Putting a point in Vigor raises:
- Your HP
- Fire Resistance
- Immunity (How resistant you are to poisons and blights)
Each level put into Vigor raises your HP by an amount according to how many points of the attribute you have. The amount of HP goes up incrementally until its soft cap at 40, at which point it goes down from giving +48 HP to +26. Thenceforth, the cap reaches a new low once again at 60 and continues to diminish until 99.
As mentioned before, Vigor is one of the most important stats in the game since it dictates how tanky you are; having less than 1,000 HP for some boss fights feels sub-optimal at best. This stat should often be one of the first to be increased, despite how tempting it might be to dump everything into a form of damage, as it will ensure you can make more mistakes in any given fight.
One of the most crucial attributes for mage builds, as Mind governs how much FP (think Mana, the resource used for spellcasting) the player will get. Putting a point in Mind increases:
- Focus (How resistant you are to sleep and bouts of madness)
Interestingly enough, Mind increases your maximum FP at seemingly haphazard values that stabilize from 21–50. The amount of FP gained per point in Mind starts to soft cap at 52, at which point it goes down from giving +9 to +2 at 62.
FP is most commonly used in mage builds or mage-tank hybrids (such as paladin-esque builds), as FP is used to cast spells from both the Incantations (Faith) and Sorcery (Intelligence). Along with Incantations and Sorcery, FP is also used to do weapon arts and summon with the Spirit Calling Bell.
Another very important attribute; Endurance focuses heavily on how much Stamina you have, along with other very useful additions. Putting a point in Endurance increases:
- Equip Load
- Physical Defense
- Robustness (How resistant you are to Hemorrhage and Frostbite)
Endurance steadily raises both your Stamina and Equip Load per level; however, the soft cap for each is different. Although Stamina soft caps at 50, Equip Load continues strong until 60. The difference with Endurance, however, is that Stamina will often give no increase at all after 50, most often receiving only one increment for every three levels dedicated to it.
Endurance is very often used in tank builds, since the increase in Equip Load ensures that players can wear and wield heavier equipment, which in turn raises their tankiness and damage output. The Stamina increase allows players to do more actions in a fight before they must stand back and let the bar replenish. Additionally, Endurance raises your Physical Defense, reducing how much damage you take from Physical Damage, the most common type in the game.
Strength is the first of the four attributes that increase damage in some form; it allows the player to wield heavy armaments along with increasing their damage. Putting a point in Strength increases:
- Physical Defense
Strength's soft cap and hard cap are difficult to calculate, as the weapon scaling also heavily affects how much each point increases the damage.
As usual in most builds, one of the two primary attributes will be a weapon-scaling one, and Strength is no exception, as it is for builds focused around heavy armaments or two-handing weapons. One thing worth mentioning is that two-handing a weapon increases the Strength effectiveness by 1.5x your Strength stat. Meaning that when wielding a weapon at 66 Strength two-handed, you effectively are wielding it with 99 Strength. This also applies to which weapons you can wield, as two-handing a weapon with a 15 Strength requirement will allow you to wield it when you have 10.
Dexterity focuses on a lot of random benefits, but still increases a lot of things per point. Putting a point in Dexterity affects:
- Reduces the casting time of Spells
- Softens Fall Damage
- Makes it harder to be knocked off Torrent
Dexterity's soft cap and hard cap are difficult to calculate, as the weapon scaling also heavily affects how much each point increases the damage.
Dexterity is one of the main attributes for weapons as well, as it commonly appears in unison with Strength to wield some armaments. Dexterity focuses more on quick attacks and weapons, such as Katanas, whereas Strength focuses on heavier ones. Aside from that, having a lot of points in Dexterity reduces the casting time of spells, which can be beneficial for some mage builds that have long casting times.
Intelligence is the attribute used for spellcasting. Putting a point in Intelligence increases:
- Magic Resistance
Intelligence's soft cap and hard cap are difficult to calculate, as the weapon and Sorcery scaling also heavily affect how much each point increases the damage.
You'll need loads of Intelligence to be able to cast just about any Sorcery to your heart's content. That said, although your main damage output will be Sorceries, there are weapons with Intelligence scaling that are meant to allow for a melee-based offence as well. Some builds include Intelligence and Endurance in order to wield heavy armour and fight as a battle mage.
The main attribute for Incantations. Putting a point in Faith increases:
Faith's soft cap and hard cap are difficult to calculate, as the weapon and Incantation scaling also heavily affect how much each point increases the damage.
This might sound like the most anticlimactic attribute, but don't be fooled; Faith is powerful. Paired with defensive and offensive abilities, putting points in Faith can ensure that players cast Incantations to heal themselves beyond their maximum amount of Flasks to endure in a battle longer. That said, Faith doesn't only work for Incantations, as it is also one of the main stats required for some weapons to give a melee offence capability. Some builds include Faith and Vigor as the main attributes to ensure a nigh-immortal character.
Arcane has several different uses. Putting a point into Arcane affects:
- Discovery (Likelihood of finding items on felled enemies)
- Holy Defense
- Vitality (How resistant you are to the status effect "Death")
- Some Sorceries and Incantations
We do not have any information on the soft caps and hard caps for Discovery just yet.
Arcane's main use is to increase the Discovery stat to get rarer and better items from enemies. That said, Vitality is a very important stat, as it increases how resistant you are to the status effect aptly named "Death", as it kills you as soon as it builds up. It isn't very commonly a stat used as primary nor secondary, but builds centred around Discovery are used to get many items and farm runes at quicker speeds.
What happens if you build wrong?
Building wrong in ELDEN RING isn't catastrophic, and it surely isn't a cause for restarting the game. Although it might make it more difficult to make it past some bosses in the game if you invest too many points in attributes that aren't buffing you against bosses (like Arcane), farming some runes and appropriately levelling should fix the issue. Once you've fought Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon, she will remain at the Raya Lucaria Site of Grace and offer a "rebirth" in exchange for a Larval Tear, an item found in the overworld through different means. Although this is unlocked far later into the game, you will be able to respec anything you put points into that no longer works. You cannot go below your starting attributes however, so you'll be returned to what you started with and be able to build from there.
That's it for all of the attributes in the game! Now you can brag to all of your friends that you're an expert when it comes to ELDEN RING attributes, we won't mind if you take our credit for teaching you! Stay safe, Tarnished.