Elden Ring is a massive, over-the-top nightmare of a game. Its majestic landscapes and brutal boss encounters weave a world of wonder and terror, humbling even the most hardened Dark Souls veteran. In this Elden Ring overview, we review the game’s mechanics, world exploration, and complex story to get you started. As a bonus, we’ll include several tips and tricks to trivialize boss encounters and optimize your playthrough.
Our quest follows the shattering of the Elden Ring, an entity capable of reshaping laws regarding life, death, and power. Following the ring’s destruction at the hands of a grief-fuelled monarch, the lords and ladies of Elden Ring’s world vie over reforging the Elden Ring in their own image. The civil war plunges the continent into utter ruin, with no victor emerging from the chaos. As a last-ditch contingent to satisfy the whims of an eldritch force, we appear as the ones destined to reforge the Elden Ring and determine the world’s fate.
- Playstyle and Stats – Elden Ring has various playstyles, from your typical knight to samurai battle mages to bandit bleed builds. However, most playstyles demand investing your stats into class-specific stats. For example, samurais scale off dexterity and strength, mages off intelligence and mind, and knights off strength and endurance. You’re better off specializing in a specific playstyle and pouring your runes into three or four stats.
- Weapons and Scaling – The primary channel of diplomatic communication between you and your foes, weapons in Elden Ring come in a wide variety of melee and ranged forms. Swords, staffs, warhammers, and bows offer a deadly retort to even the most unstoppable foe. Most weapons scale with a specific stat, so be sure to examine a weapon’s information to learn how to increase its damage through your stats.
- Weapon Art – Almost every weapon in Elden Ring comes equipped with a weapon art that performs a special move to deal extra damage. While some of these arts are rather typical (i.e. roar to slightly increase your damage or perform a riposte), others perform a midair ground slam or jet a wave of black flame. However, these arts require fp, so ensure you have enough fp on hand or a few cerulean flasks if you intend to use them.
Specialized Combat Mechanics
- Regular Weapons – Common, customizable, and easy to upgrade, regular weapons are the most accessible weapons to find and use in Elden Ring. While finding these weapons is no challenge, modifying and upgrading them to their peak takes more time and resources than unique weapons. The mines containing the smithing stones necessary for their empowerment appear as burnt holes on your map.
- Legendary Weapons – Rare, powerful, and challenging to upgrade, legendary weapons are a more powerful variant of weapons in Elden Ring. Acquiring these weapons generally requires using a boss soul, surviving a dangerous gauntlet, or beating a demanding boss. Upgrading these weapons, while quicker and less costly than regular weapons, requires somber smithing stones, which are much more challenging to acquire.
- Status Effects – Some Elden Ring weapons have a special status effect that can bleed, rot, or poison your foes. Bleeding takes away a large portion of your foe’s hp if you’ve dealt enough hits, poison deals a large portion of damage over time, and scarlet rot deals an even more significant amount of damage over time. Other ailments like frostbite and fire increase a foe’s susceptibility or break their poise.
- Great Runes – Great Runes are powerful buffs that last until you die. They can increase your stats, health, stamina, and much more. Earning a Great Rune requires defeating the main boss specific to a region, activating the nearby tower, and using a rare rune shard.
- Flask of Crimson/Cerulean tears – Crimson and cerulean tears flasks function as reusable healing items and fp banks for your character. To increase your amount of flask charges, pick up golden seeds from small golden trees. To increase their potency, acquire sacred tears from the churches of Marika found throughout.
- Armor – Equipping more formidable armor is a viable way to endure foes’ hits and prevent you from getting staggered. However, more protective armor requires a higher equip load, so ensure you’ve invested enough points in endurance. Also, some armor pieces increase specific stats, so keep a look out for your armor’s descriptions if you want to synergize your set with your playstyle.
- Talismans – Serving to modify your health, damage, or resistance, equipped talismans are excellent tools for survival. These equipables come in various forms and can even increase your damage taken at the cost of one of your stats. While you only start with one Talisman slot, defeating a significant story boss will grant you another slot.
- Grace – These small resting spots regenerate and upgrade your flasks, restore your health and fp, enable teleportation, and can guide you to your next objective. If several golden particles appear nearby, look for a golden flame to find a site of grace.
- Torrent – A magical horse with no fear and a midair jump, Torrent is a fierce steed that allows rapid exploration of the world of Elden Ring. We acquire Torrent by speaking with Melania at the Stormfront Castle grace.
- Map – Enabling you to plan your path carefully through the treacherous world, using your map is an essential part of exploring Elden Ring. To increase your map, travel along roads, and look for a small shrine with a new piece of your map.
- Summons – Summoning others is a great way to take down challenging bosses. Using a relatively common furlcalling finger remedy enables you to summon others. Alternatively, allowing yourself to be summoned with a tarnished furled finger grants you runes and a ring arc if you succeed in defeating your patron’s boss. Using spirit Summons is another option for player summoning that summons bots to help you instead of other players.
- Invading – Placing down a duelist furled finger or using a festering bloody finger or bloody finger enables you to invade someone’s world to steal their runes and rune shard. Bewarned, some may call for help after you invade.
- Signs – Helpful, dishonest, and hilarious, multiplayer signs are a fantastic form of communication. While they can often reveal illusionary passages or boss strategies, they also advise you “try jumping” off bottomless cliffs and perform some suspicious activities regarding “offering your pickle, horse but wholes,” and “fort night.” Upvoting a message provides that player with a small health buff, so give that extra vulgar joker a like if you enjoyed their message.
Tips and Strategies:
- Go South, then North, then East – If ever an area feels too challenging, you’re probably not supposed to be there yet. Going South offers an easier transition into the brutal world of Elden Ring and several golden seeds and sacred tears for your trouble.
- Vast Underground – Beneath Elden Ring lies a whole other world! Look for large wells in Limegrave and Liurnia to access these magical areas with glowing ceilings and lovely architecture. These areas can also serve as alternate areas to progress the story of Elden Ring.
- Look for Councilor Iji – Behind an Illusionary wall upon the path to Caria manor in Liurnia rests a peaceful troll selling several somber smithing stones. Purchasing and smithing these stones is an excellent way to grow overpowered early. Just make sure you come to Iji with enough runes; these stones aren’t cheap.
That covers the essential mechanics, combat, and exploration of Elden Ring. Despite its sheer difficulty, you’re now equipped to take on anything the game has to throw at you. So gather your ambition and grab a trusty sword, the Elden Ring awaits!
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