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Elden Ring: Tips for Beginners

Elden Ring: Tips for Beginners

Top tips for beginners of Elden Ring from a couple who’ve spent over 300 hours in The Lands Between.

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Since Elden Ring is open world and it’s set in a vast as well as rich setting, there’s so much you can do in the game. Even when you enter your second or third play-through, you will still find new things or places you haven’t found or explored before. It has so much to offer, and it’s endlessly entertaining, but it’s also for this reason that it can be overwhelming for some to get into.

I did a post outlining everything you need to know before playing Elden Ring as well. In that post, I talk about all of the basics you’ll need to know, but here I talk about all of the top tips that beginners, who are completely new to Elden Ring, will want to know.

Important things to do at the start of Elden Ring

  • Find the tutorial. In the cave you are in at the start of the game, you’ll find an area with a hole. To access the tutorial, you need to jump down it.
  • Purchase some items from Merchant Kalé. Purchase a crafting kit from Merchant Kalé in the Church of Elleh, so you can craft items, and a torch, which you can equip to light your way through dark dungeons
  • Speak to Melina at a Site of Grace (Most likely the Gatefront Ruins Site of Grace) to get your Spectral Steed Whistle, which allows you to call on your horse, Torrent. Talking to her here also gives you the ability to level up with runes
  • Travel to the Church of Elleh Site of Grace to get your Spirit Calling Bell, which allows you to summon Spirt Ashes, from an NPC named Renna who appears in the church
  • Destroy the enemy camp at the Gatefront Ruins and loot all of the items in the area
  • Find your first Map Fragment (Map of West Limgrave)
  • Talk to Roderika in Stormhill Shack. When you exhaust her dialogue, she will give you the Jellyfish Spirit Ashes
  • Unlock the Roundtable Hold by talking to Melina again. She will only show up at a Site of Grace when you meet certain conditions.
Map and Map Fragments Elden Ring

Elden Ring is open world

Aside from the main storyline, Elden Ring allows you to play how you want to. You can explore ruins and dungeons to hunt for items or weapon-leveling materials. You can challenge field bosses or farm areas for runes, which allow you to level up throughout the game. The sheer number of places, as well as regions you can explore within Elden Ring, is one of its biggest strong suits.

The number of regions that are on the Elden Ring map, and the uniqueness of each, including Limgrave, Liurnia, Altus Plateau, Mountaintop of the Giants, and more, keep things fresh.

I always worry that when I say Elden Ring is an open world, some people may take this to mean that Elden Ring is going to be like Skyrim, but this is far from the truth. Both are set in a fantasy world, but they are two extremely different games.

While Elden Ring is open world, it doesn’t hold your hand along the way and it encourages you to explore. There are few coincidences in this game. If you come across something on your journey, you are meant to explore it, and if there is an NPC in the area, you’ll want to exhaust their dialogue to get the most out of the game.

Each death is a learning experience

First thing first, you are going to die a lot in this game. Each death you have in Elden Ring is meant to be a learning experience. I’ve had cases where I had to come up with multiple new strategies to beat a boss, so you have to adapt to the situation. Some bosses are weak to certain things, like the Godskin Apostle and Noble, who are weak to sleep. You can use these weaknesses against them by using certain weapons, spells and skills, or crafting certain items that will give you an edge in battle.

Elden Ring is a game that requires you to think about the situation and truly know as well as study your enemy, including their weaknesses as well as their attack patterns. It’s not a game where you can go in hacking and slashing and hope for the best. Strategy as well as assessing your successes and failures is a big part of this game. When something isn’t working, you have to come up with a new solution, and this is a big reason why I enjoy playing Soulsborne games so much.

If you aren’t getting anywhere with a boss, you probably aren’t leveled up enough to take them on. Since Elden Ring is open world, you can leave, level up, and challenge them again whenever you are ready to do so.

Choose a good starting class

The first big choice you’ll have to make in Elden Ring is your class. You can choose from the following classes:

Starting Classes in Elden Ring

  • Astrologer – Highest mind and intelligence
  • Bandit – Highest arcane
  • Confessor – Less faith and mind than the Prophet, but has more points in strength and dexterity
  • Hero – Highest strength
  • Prisoner – Points in dexterity and intelligence, but low in everything else
  • Prophet – Highest faith
  • Samurai – Highest endurance
  • Vagabond – Highest vigor
  • Warrior – Highest dexterity
  • Wretch – Lowest in all attributes

If you are new to the game, the best starting classes, in my opinion, are the Astrologer, especially for those of you who want to do a magic, casting build, the Hero, because it has the highest strength, and the Vagabond, because it has the highest vigor and a well-rounded base of stats.

The Samurai is incredible for those of you who like to play in this specific style or want to have a high stamina. I found the Samurai to be less beginner-friendly to play than the aforementioned, but it is one of the best and most fun classes to play nonetheless. The Wretch, Prisoner, and Bandit are the ones that I think are the hardest to play and these are the ones that gamers who are new to FromSoftware’s games will want to stay away from, or at the very least, be wary of choosing.

The Wretch by far is the hardest class to play, with the Prisoner and Bandit following. The Bandit isn’t as beginner-friendly, because of the weapon you start with. It has the highest Arcane out of all of the builds, but it relies heavily on stealth as well as ranged and close-quarters combat.

What I recommend doing is thinking about your play style. How do you want or prefer to play? Do you prefer fast builds and like to get in multiple hits? You may want to play as the samurai. If you want to play as a mage and want to cast spells, you’ll want a starting class with higher intelligence as well as mind, like the Astrologer. If you are completely new to Souls games and don’t know which class to choose, I highly recommend choosing the Vagabond. You get a boost in vigor, which is your health, as well as strength, and it is a great base to start from.

Don’t be afraid to respec later down the road, though, if you want to change your playstyle. I started out playing as a Vagabond, and now I’m a Faith build. It’s fun to switch things up, and if you are at a point where you’d like to do so, here’s how you can respec your character with Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon, and Larval Tears.

Torrent Elden Ring

You have a trusty steed named Torrent

Elden Ring features a FromSoftware first: You are able to travel via horseback, and this is all thanks to your trusty steed named Torrent. To be able to call Torrent, you have to rest at a Site of Grace and choose the option to speak to your maiden and guide throughout the game, Melina, who will give you the Spectral Steed Whistle. I first received this at the Gatefront Site of Grace, one of the first Sites of Grace players discover and unlock in the game.

There are three reasons why the addition of a horse makes Elden Ring the most beginner-friendly FromSoftware game to release to date: (1) When you find yourself in a bind, you call on Torrent to hightail it out of any unsuspected battles or situations you may find yourself in, (2) You can explore the map faster, and (3) you can battle on horseback or use Torrent in battles with larger enemies, like dragons and giants, who commonly roll or fly away from you in the midst of battle.

It is also important to note that Torrent is immune to both poison and Scarlet Rot. Torrent makes traversing these regions much less stressful, but there are areas like dungeons and the Lake of Rot that don’t allow you to ride on horseback, so you’ll have to be more resourceful in these areas. You can rest on platforms in these areas and wait for your levels of rot and poison to go down, but given that these safe havens can be few and far in-between in some areas, you’ll have to find other ways to alleviate the build-up, such as incantations, immunity-boosting armor or talismans, or Preserving Boluses.

If you let Fia hug you, remove her HP debuff

When you find Fia in Roundtable Hold and talk to her, you will be given the option to let her hold you. This progresses her questline, which has its own unique ending, but each time you hug her, it will take off 5% of your HP. The debuff can be removed, though.

All you have to do to remove the HP debuff is head into your inventory and consume the Baldachin’s Blessing that Fia gave you. It is important to note that the first blessing comes with a poise buff, so you may want to wait to use this at a specific point in time. After the effects of the blessing wear off, your HP bar will return to normal.

If you don’t consume Baldachin’s Blessing, Fia’s debuff will stay with you. In a game where Vigor is important, this debuff is troublesome, so be sure you consume any Blessings that Fia gives you after she hugs you.

How to level up in Elden Ring

Pick 2-3 stats that you want to level initially

When you put points into everything, you are a master at nothing, so in the beginning, you really want to focus on 2-3 main stats that you want to invest in. While it’s easy to think about where you want to be in the future, you have to focus on the strengths of your current build and work with what you have at that point in time.

For instance, if you are strength build, you really need to focus on vigor and strength with some points also allocated to endurance, which increases your equip load and stamina. If you are an intelligence build, on the other hand, you’ll need a lot of points in intelligence as well as mind, which increases your FP (mana). Vigor is a stat I always invest in no matter the type of build I’m doing, so I’d recommend Vigor here as well. That being said, the stats you’ll want to allocate points to depend on the type of build you are doing.

In the beginning, you’ll want to focus on the main stats you want to invest in. When you spend points in other areas that don’t benefit your class or playstyle as much, those points are wasted.

Pay attention to item descriptions

When you head into your inventory or equipment, you can select an option that allows you to view more about an item. In item descriptions, there may be a clue about an item and information on how it can be used to unlock new regions, help you with puzzles, etc., but they also reveal details about items, particularly weapons, armor, and talismans, including their buffs and special effects. In addition, some item descriptions give you more insight into Elden Ring’s lore.

Elden Ring encourages you to explore and it doesn’t hold your hand along the way

Elden Ring also doesn’t hold your hand as you play. It very much encourages you to explore. When you find an NPC, you’ll want to listen to what they have to say closely and exhaust their dialogue whenever you can. Luckily, now that the game has been out for a while, there are guides everywhere that tell you how to complete side quests, and where to find specific weapons and items, so if you get hung up along the way, a quick search will pull up what you are in search of.

Another quick note: You don’t get a map when you immediately start the game. This is meant to push you to explore the area in front of you and, those areas will only light up on the map when you discover their Map Fragments.

You have to retrieve your runes when you die

When you die, you have to retrieve your runes (the currency you use to level up and buy items). To retrieve your runes, head to the spot where you died. If you aren’t sure where that is, look up on your compass, there will be a yellow dot, which will lead you to the location of your runes. Once you get to the location, you’ll find a little yellow glowing tree sticking out of the ground. Run up to it, and select the option to retrieve your runes.

If you don’t retrieve your runes and you die again, you will lose them. It is important to note that you do not lose any items you acquire when you die. If it’s in your inventory and equipment, you will retain those items no matter how many times you die. The only thing you will lose if you do not retrieve them is your runes.

Spend your runes as soon as you can

Runes can be spent to level up your character, but they are also the in-game currency, so you can buy items from merchants and level up your weapons with them as well.

You’ll want to spend your runes as soon as you can, especially if you are about to go into a big boss fight. Whenever I know I’m about to go into a challenging situation or somewhere like a dungeon, where it isn’t easy to always retrieve your runes, I level up or spend my runes on items, so I don’t have to worry about losing them.

Also, to go along with this, don’t use any Golden Runes you have in your inventory unless you need them to reach a threshold for leveling up or you need them immediately to buy items. Golden Runes can’t be lost until you use them, so it’s important to know when or if you should do so.

Level up your Vigor

If you are having trouble deciding what to level up and you are new to Elden Ring, I highly recommend putting points into Vigor. You will always need more health, and in my opinion, Vigor, is arguably the most important stat in Elden Ring, especially for beginners. Of course, you will also need to invest highly in the stats that your weapon(s) scale in as well, but having high Vigor is a must in this game. And if you are a player who wants to wield an intelligence or faith-based weapon, or you want to cast spells and incantations, you’ll want a strong level of Mind, which increases your FP, as well.

For those of you who have plans to acquire healing incantations in the future, Vigor is still something you’ll want to focus on. The best healing spells, most notably Erdtree Heal aren’t accessible until late in the game. And when I say late, Erdtree Heal isn’t accessible until the endgame. That all being said, when in doubt, Vigor is the go-to stat that I invest points in.

Some NPCs can be killed, but killing them may have consequences

In Elden Ring, some NPCs can be killed. When killed, they usually drop an item(s). Most notably, their armor. But, you’ll want to be 100% sure that you don’t want to complete their questline or others they may overlap with before you choose to do so. These NPCs can be summoned to help you in select battles too, so they will help you on your journey, and you will get special items for completing their quests.

Some NPCs’ quest lines overlap or are connected to other NPCs’ questlines in the game. If you kill them, it may affect your ability to complete other quests in the future.

Killing an NPC on accident would be difficult because you have to hit them multiple times before they become hostile towards you. They also give you audio cues and often plead with you to stop, so you know they are friendly. If you have the option to talk to them, they are likely a friend and not a foe, although this doesn’t mean that somewhere along the way, some of them won’t betray or try to kill you.

If you accidentally kill an NPC that you didn’t want to, unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done. If you have, however, attacked an NPC or done something that makes them hostile towards you, you can atone at the fountain in the Church of Vows in Liurnia where Miriel, Paster of Vows is with the use of Celestial Dew. Doing so will revert any wrongdoing, and that NPC will become friendly towards you once again.

Target Lock is helpful

When you push down R3, you target lock enemies. Target lock is helpful when fighting most enemies in Elden Ring because it allows your camera to follow them. When fighting groups, you can quickly switch the enemy you have targeted by using the right joystick. If you are frantically hitting buttons, it is possible to accidentally switch the enemy you are targeted onto, so if you notice something is off with your camera, make sure you are still locked on to the correct enemy.

For larger enemies, like dragons and giants, there are multiple spots you can lock on to, most notably the legs and head. Your camera can get a bit wacky if you are locked on to these larger enemies while moving around, but you can unlock and relock onto them as necessary when this happens. If you find that your attacks aren’t hitting these larger enemies when locked on, try unlocking and aiming, and attacking their weak points manually.

Knowing when to unlock from or lock on to an enemy is important too. You’ll often have to lock on, unlock, and then relock on an enemy in the midst of battle, so your camera doesn’t get messed up in certain situations, like when an enemy jumps up into the air or when they move around a lot. I had to do this at the very beginning of Malenia’s second phase, for instance.

Target lock is extremely helpful in situations where you might not know if an enemy is hiding or lurking above you. You can only target-lock enemies that are within your view. Enemies can still hide around corners, so you’ll still need to be careful, especially when clearing caves. Anytime I’m about to walk into an area, I quickly hit target lock and keep doing so to check for more enemies in the surrounding environment.

Use stealth to get backstabs on enemies

When your character is crouching (push down on L3 to crouch on PS5), you can sneak up behind enemies and get backstabs on them, which deal a lot of damage. While crouching, you can sneak around enemies too. In camps, where multiple enemies are patrolling the area, stealth is extremely helpful.

If there are packs, lure enemies out one by one

Packs of enemies, especially in dungeons where you are commonly fighting in close quarters, can be challenging. When multiple enemies attack you at once, it becomes increasingly harder to maintain your composure and make it out of situations alive. In these situations, try luring enemies out one by one. You can do this by targeting an enemy, preferably the one closest to you. Shoot them with an arrow or hit them with a dart to aggro and lure them out to you.

If you are a magic build, I found two spells, Loretta’s Greatbow, and Ambush Shard, to be extremely helpful in these situations.

Take messages with a grain of salt

When playing, you’ll see little writings on the ground. These are messages written and left by other players who’ve been in the game. Sometimes, though, you will see a golden message. These messages were left by FromSoft themselves, and you’ll want to pay attention to them. Messages left by players are oftentimes helpful when playing, but sometimes, they are there to mislead you. Some will tell you to jump in a spot where you shouldn’t, while others tell you to jump in the right areas.

It’s a learning experience to know which messages to trust and which you shouldn’t. You always have to use your best judgment and assess the situation yourself before you act on any advice these messages may give you. Many, many times these messages have warned me of packs ahead in dungeons and enemies lurking above me, so they are helpful when they are accurate.

The main storyline only advances when you defeat a certain boss or you are given the option to speak to Melina

Elden Ring has a main storyline, but it is only advanced when you defeat certain bosses or you are given the option to speak to your maiden, Melina, when you rest at a Site of Grace. Whenever you are given the option to speak to Melina, you will want to do so, because this means you’ve reached an important area or pivotal moment in the story.

Anytime a cut scene is triggered, you’ll get more of the story. The lore in Elden Ring is vast and its story is strong, but you will have to seek information if you want to know more. You can learn a lot about the world of Elden Ring and its people on your own by doing things, like reading item and weapon descriptions, talking to NPCs, or taking on quests. When you talk to NPCs, there will sometimes be options that allow you to ask about certain individuals or certain events. These conversations add more to the lore of Elden Ring.

That being said, while Elden Ring has a main storyline that advances at certain points, you’ll only get as much out of its story as you put in.

There are quests in Elden Ring, you just have to find them

Elden Ring has a lot of quests you can complete, but you have to find them. Many NPCs in this game have a questline, so whenever you come across a new NPC, make sure you listen closely to what they have to say and exhaust their dialogue completely. They will either ask you what they need directly or they will drop hints as to what you should do next to progress the questline.

It is important to note too that there is no quest log in Elden Ring. That being said, you have to keep track of the quests you have taken and where you are at within that questline yourself. Some questlines can affect others, like Ranni and Preceptor Seluvis’ questlines and Preceptor Seluvis and Nepheli Loux’s questlines, while others intersect like the Nepheli Loux and Kenneth Haight questlines. If you kill any NPCs that are important to a questline, they will not advance.

The following NPCs have questlines you can complete:

  • Ranni
  • Fia
  • Roderika
  • Blaidd
  • Iron Fist Alexander
  • Millicent
  • Gowry
  • Sorceress Sellen
  • Gurranq, Beast Clergyman
  • Tanith
  • D, Hunter of the Dead
  • Bloody Finger Hunter Yura
  • Nepheli Loux
  • Kenneth Haight
  • Diallos
  • White Mask Varré
  • Brother Corhyn
  • Sorceror Rogier
  • Preceptor Seluvis
  • Dung Eater
  • Latenna the Albinauric
  • Jar Bairn
  • Ensha
  • Thops
  • Rya
  • Hyetta
  • Knight Bernahl
  • Blackguard Big Boggart
  • Patches
  • Boc the Seamster
  • Irina
  • Shabriri (Only follow if you want the Lord of Frenzied Flame ending)

Note: If you complete Fia and Ranni’s questlines, their unique endings will be available to you at the end of the game.

Spirit Ashes Elden Ring

Make use of Spirit Ashes

Spirit Ashes can be found all over The Lands Between in chests, on corpses, or dropped by bosses, and they are spirits that can be summoned during battle to aid you in your fight.

You can’t use them in select battles or situations, but on most occasions, you will be able to summon Spirit Ashes, which helps aggro the boss and allows you to maintain your health, focus on dealing damage, and gives you more time to assess the situation.

To use Spirit Ashes, you need to travel to the Church of Elleh Site of Grace to get your Spirit Calling Bell from an NPC named Renna who appears in the church. There are some early-game Spirit Ashes you can get. The first is from Roderika in Stormhill Shack. When you exhaust her dialogue, she will ask you to take her Jellyfish Ashes and give them a good home. The Lone Wolf Ashes and Skeletal Militiaman Ashes are other early game finds that you can utilize as well.

In the early game, I found the Skeletal Militiaman Ashes, which is dropped by Tibia Mariner in Summonwater Village, to be helpful. They are one of the most helpful early-game Spirit Ashes because they respawn when they aren’t dealt critical hits and they are decent at distracting enemies in battle.

Later, I found the Mimic Tear Ashes, which is found in a chest in Night’s Sacred Ground that’s accessed with a Stonesword Key, and Black Knife Tiche Ashes, which is dropped by the boss at Ringleader’s Evergaol in Liurnia) to be the most helpful and effective, so I highly recommend switching to these when you acquire them.

Upgrading Spirit Ashes

You need to level up your Spirit Ashes. To do so, you’ll want to find Grave Glovewort for standard Spirit Ashes or Ghost Glovewort for Renowned Spirit Ashes. The highest level Spirit Ashes can be upgraded to is +10. Once you have the required leveling items, you need to visit your Spirit Tuner, Roderika, in Roundtable Hold to upgrade them.

If you don’t see Roderika in Roundtable Hold, you need to find her in Stormhill Shack and exhaust her dialogue. You will need to go to Stormveil Castle and get Chrysalids’ Memento. Once you do, return to Roderika and give it to her. She will then move to Roundtable Hold. You’ll find her near the fireplace in the main room. Exhaust her dialogue then go talk to Smithing Master Hewg about her. You’ll need to repeat this process until she moves into the same room as Smithing Master Hewg. Once she does so, you can upgrade your Spirit Ashes.

Be wary of nighttime

Nighttime in Elden Ring can be treacherous for beginners, so I recommend resetting the clock to morning time anytime it may be getting close to dark. You can move forward in time when you rest at a Site of Grace.

The reason nighttime is more difficult is that new and fearsome foes come out at night. You can definitely challenge these enemies as you reach a higher level, but nighttime is something you may want to avoid for the time being.

You can be invaded

As you are exploring, you may be invaded by NPC invaders. You cannot summon Spirit Ashes when you are invaded. One easy way to tell you are being invaded is if you are suddenly knocked off your horse. A little notice at the bottom of your screen will eventually pop up as well that tells you you are being invaded and by who. These invaders only pop up when you enter select locations.

When you defeat an NPC invader, you will be rewarded with a drop.

You can summon NPCs to help you in select battles

In select battles, an NPC can be summoned to aid you in your fight. In these cases, look for the gold summoning sign(s) on the ground and activate them. For most players, the first times they’ll have access to an NPC summon is at Stormveil Castle before their battle with Godrick the Grafted or before their battle with Margit, The Fell Omen.

As long as you find and talk to Nepheli Loux and exhaust her dialogue, she will offer to fight alongside you in the Godrick the Grafted battle. You can summon her by activating the gold summoning sign just outside of Godrick’s arena. For Margit, The Fell Omen, Sorcerer Rogier can be summoned.

In some cases, an NPC will just show up, as seen with Bloody Finger Hunter Yura, who aids you in your fight against the NPC invader, Bloody Finger Nerijus. In most cases, though, you have to activate the gold summoning sign(s) for the NPC summon to show up. For most NPC summons, you have to progress their questlines to a certain point to get their summon signs to appear.

Tools and items can help you in some boss fights

In Elden Ring, there are some tools that are helpful in select boss fights. They are Margit’s Shackle, Mohg’s Shackle, and the Blasphemous Claw.

Margit’s Shackle can be equipped in your quick slots and it binds/stuns Margit, The Fell Omen in his first phase only, allowing you to get in hits. You can only use it two times each time you challenge him. As mentioned, this item only works in Margit’s first phase, not his second.

A similar item is Mohg’s Shackle, which you can equip in your quick slots and use in your battle against Mohg to bind him to the ground. It is only effective during his first phase and, each time you challenge him, it can only be used twice.

Another helpful item in the fight against Mohg is the Purifying Crystal Tear, which you can add to your Flask of Wondrous Physick. The Purifying Crystal Tear “Purifies the Lord of Blood’s curse in a Mixed Physick”. You’ll want to use this before he inflicts his curse upon you. If you don’t have this in hand, you’ll have to constantly heal as he’s doing so.

The third tool is the Blasphemous Claw, which you can use in your fight against Maliketh. It essentially deflects his power, similarly to how a parry would, but it only works on certain attacks. It also notifies you of any parryable attacks he’s about to do by making his sword glow yellow.

Some dungeons and locations have hidden passageways

While a lot of dungeons are denoted on your map as small red circles that are oftentimes found near cliff ledges, some dungeons can’t be accessed without the use of a Stonesword Key and others are hidden entirely.

Some dungeon entrances aren’t revealed until you hit a certain spot with your weapon. There are interactive maps that show where all of the dungeons are. If you reach a location and don’t see an opening in the wall, you’ll want to start hitting it with your weapon to see if it has a hidden entrance.

In ruins, you’ll want to keep an eye out on the ground and be on the lookout for these underground passageways. Most will be visible, but there are some hidden passageways also. If you search a ruin entirely and don’t find an underground staircase, you’ll want to look for messages that may lead you to a hidden one. You have to hit the ground in the right area to reveal these hidden passageways.

In addition to caves and ruins, some locations, like Raya Lucaria Academy, have hidden passageways. This is why you’ll often see players hitting random walls with their weapons to make sure that there are no hidden passageways. While it’s hard to find these hidden passageways, they are a lot of times recognizable, because they look a little different than the rest of the walls in the room. If you see a cluster of messages on the ground near a wall too, this could be an indication that a hidden passageway may exist.

Pick up everything you see

When you explore, acquire all of the materials you see, especially in the early game, because things that seem like they may be insignificant at first will prove to be handy along the way. You’ll need items, like husks and plants, to craft other items. You never know when something will come in handy, so it’s good practice to pick up whatever you can.

Watch out for Status Effects

You can be afflicted by a number of different status effects, including Scarlet Rot, Sleep, Poison, Frostbite, Death Blight, Blood Loss, and Madness, in Elden Ring. You can use status effects to your benefit, but so can enemies and bosses in the game.

When there’s a status effect in the area or an enemy/boss can inflict you with them, you’ll want to keep an eye out on the status effect bar that pops up at the bottom of your screen. When it maxes out, you will be afflicted with Scarlet Rot, Frostbite, Blood Loss, etc. Some of these are pretty hard to come back from. Most notably, Scarlet Rot and Death Blight, because they take effect fast and they are extremely detrimental to your character’s health. Frostbite and Blood Loss are two others that are highly effective.

Certain regions, most notably lakes, are full of Scarlet Rot or poison, so you have to be careful when traveling in these places as well. It is important to note that Torrent, your trusty steed, is immune to both poison and Scarlet Rot.

Torrent makes traversing these regions much less stressful, but there are areas like dungeons and the Lake of Rot that don’t allow you to ride on horseback, so you’ll have to be more resourceful in these areas. You can rest on platforms in these areas and wait for your levels of rot and poison to go down, but given that these safe havens can be few and far in-between in some areas, you’ll have to find other ways to alleviate the build-up.

If you have 12 faith, there is a helpful incantation called Flame, Cleanse Me, which cleanses you of all poison and Scarlet Rot build-up. There are also consumable items called Preserving Boluses, which you can craft if you find their cookbooks, or buy from Nomadic Merchants. Preserving Boluses can be looted from corpses as well. And finally, you can boost your immunity with select armor and talismans. For instance, the Mushroom Set and the Immunizing Horn Charm talisman, boost your immunity to poison and Scarlet Rot.

Taking a step back can be helpful

It’s okay to take a step back from the game if you just aren’t feeling it or you find yourself annoyed by an area or boss. If you go in unmotivated to play or with low morale, which will definitely happen after being killed time and time again by enemies or bosses or entering challenging areas, taking a step back from the game can be helpful. More often than not, it wasn’t a boss that frustrated me while playing this game, it was a dungeon or a castle. Some areas and locations are incredibly frustrating at times to clear, especially when platforming is involved.

When you find yourself hitting a wall, and you just can’t defeat a boss or clear an area, take a small break from the game. Most likely, you’ll return with a more positive mindset and you’ll clear the area or defeat the boss in a few tries, if not a single, try. In some cases, a change in strategy may be needed, but more often than not, it isn’t a case of skill or strategy, but a case of frustration that’s preventing you from moving forward in the game. Knowing when you are in the mood to play, and when you are in the right headspace to beat a boss or take on an area, is part of the battle.

Final Thoughts

These are all of the things I wish I would have knew before I started playing Elden Ring! If you are looking for tips on how to use flasks, how to level up, how to equip spells and incantations, or you want to know more information, such as what bosses are required, here’s everything you need to know before playing Elden Ring.

You can play Elden Ring now on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. If you end up enjoying the game, keep an eye out for the upcoming Elden Ring DLC that was recently announced!

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