Elden Ring: Beginner Tips & Tricks

Developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco, Elden Ring is quite possibly the most highly anticipated video game release of the year. Featuring the familiar Souls-like action combat FromSoftware is known for, as well as lore and world-building from George R.R. Martin, there’s a lot to be excited about here. This is also a pretty large game and things can feel very overwhelming when you’re first getting started. With that in mind, here are some Elden Ring beginner tips and tricks to help you on your journey.

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1. Meet With Melina ASAP

Elden Ring Beginner Tips

elden ring beginner tips

If you’re familiar with other Souls-like games, you probably already know that you’ll need to accumulate a certain currency that can be used to either purchase items or level up. In Elden Ring, this currency is called Runes, and you get them by killing enemies or using the Golden Rune items you find in the open-world. However, the ability to level up won’t be made available to you until you’ve progressed through the story a little.

Specifically, once you exit the tutorial area and the Stranded Graveyard, speak with Varre and he’ll direct you towards Stormveil Castle to the northwest. Head in that direction and rest at the Gatefront Ruins Site of Grace to trigger a cutscene with Melina, the maiden who’s in charge of leveling you up.

After that cutscene, you’ll be able to level up whenever you rest at a Site of Grace. I highly recommend doing this as soon as possible, especially if you find yourself struggling with some of the foes in the open-world. Leveling up to increase your HP, stamina, or damage output will make things just that little bit easier.

2. Explore Limgrave Thoroughly

Elden Ring Beginner Tips

After you’ve met Melina, don’t be in a hurry to rush straight to Stormveil Castle. There are a ton of things to see and do in Limgrave; there are optional bosses, dungeons, and various NPCs to meet who can make your journey easier as well.

For instance, after leaving the Stranded Graveyard, you’ll quickly find the Church of Elleh, where you’ll meet the wandering merchant Kale. Speak with him to purchase various useful items, such as the Crafting Kit, which unlocks the crafting option in your menu and is pretty much essential to your journey. You should also purchase the cookbooks from him, which will unlock more crafting recipes.

Several other NPCs are scattered throughout that area at Sites of Grace, and even in dungeons, and they can sell you other handy spells and items too.

3. Save Your Stonesword Keys

Elden Ring Beginner Tips

As you’re exploring the open-world, you might come across fog gates that can only be accessed by using a Stonesword Key in a nearby statue. I recommend saving these; most gates only require one key, but the really good ones will require two. Because of this, try to hold out for a gate that requires two keys.

There is an early exception: when you reach Stormveil Castle, you’ll find a fog gate in the basement, near the Grafted Scion. If you have a Stonesword Key on you, unlock this gate to get the Iron Whetstone, which will help greatly with your weapon upgrading process.

4. Visit the Roundtable Hold Regularly

Elden Ring Beginner Tips

elden ring beginner tips

After defeating the first story boss in Elden Ring, Melina will visit you again at a Site of Grace, and offer to bring you to the Roundtable Hold. This is basically a hub area where you can speak with various Tarnished NPCs and learn more about them.

Some of them are also vendors that will sell spells and sorceries, or help you in other ways like giving you consumable items. A few of the NPCs you meet in the open-world will also go to the Roundtable Hold once you’ve exhausted all their dialogue, and this may unlock new quests or merchants, so make sure to visit regularly.

Things will also change in the Roundtable Hold as you progress in the story. One tip to keep in mind, however: don’t jump off the balcony into the great hall if you have a ton of Runes on you.

5. Abuse Your NPC Summons

Elden Ring Beginner Tips

Just like in previous Souls-like games, Elden Ring also features tons of NPCs that you can summon to help you out in boss fights or just clearing out areas of enemies. Their golden summon signs will usually appear right before a boss fight, so keep that in mind.

Another thing to note is that some NPCs will only offer their summon signs once you’ve spoken with them and exhausted all dialogue. Because of this, you’ll need to make it a point to explore all areas thoroughly to make sure you’re not missing anything.

Aside from NPC summons, you’ll also pick up Spirit Ashes, which can be put on your inventory bar. Whenever you’re in an area that allows for summoning, a purple icon will appear on the left side of the screen. When you see that icon, use your Spirit Ashes to summon a ghost spirit to aid you in combat. Do note that this consumes FP, so make sure to have your Cerulean Flasks handy.

Other Things to Keep in Mind

Elden Ring Beginner Tips

elden ring beginner tips

There’s so much to learn in Elden Ring that a simple beginner tips post won’t even begin to cover it all. Listed below are a few other smaller tips to keep in mind as you’re exploring:

6. Equip Load

There are a few different rolls in Elden Ring: a light roll, medium roll, and the heavy roll. When equipping armor and items, check your equip load on the right side of the screen. Staying below 30% of your equip load gives you the light roll, staying below 70% gives you the medium roll, and going over 70% gives you the heavy roll. If you exceed 100%, you become overencumbered and you’ll only be able to move slowly.

You can increase your Endurance stat or equip certain Talismans to raise your Equip Load, but try to stay below 70% at all times. The better your roll, the more i-frames you’ll get when dodging. Of course, the tradeoff is that you either have to pump tons of points into Endurance if you want a light roll with heavy armor, or just wear light armor and risk taking more damage.

7. Upgrading Weapons Past +2

The smithing table in the Church of Elleh will only get your weapons up to +2. Past that, you’ll need the help of Smith Master Hewg, who is found in the Roundtable Hold after you beat the first story boss. Once you hit +2 on your main weapon, consider moving on with the story so that you can upgrade it further.

8. You Can Run From Overworld Bosses

The Lands Between are seriously huge, with so many dungeons to explore and bosses to fight. Every so often, you might come across a boss just patrolling the area at certain times of day. These bosses are optional, so if you feel unprepared, run away and come back later. Bosses that you encounter in dungeons, however, cannot be escaped. You’ll need to beat them to get out, or die.

9. Buy a Torch

When you get to the Church of Elleh, we recommend buying the torch from Kale as well. You’ll need a light source when traveling at night or exploring dungeons, even if it does require you to sacrifice an armament slot. When you get to Liurnia of the Lakes, you’ll meet another merchant who sells a lantern, which you can attach to your character without using an armament slot.

10. Smash Skulls for Golden Runes

Finally, as you’re exploring the open-world in Elden Ring, you’ll inevitably come across skulls with glowing eyes just rolling on the ground. Smash these with your weapon to obtain Golden Runes, which can be consumed to give you more Runes. And look, Runes are always nice. They can be used to level up or purchase items you want.

Those are all of the Elden Ring beginner tips we have for now. Be sure to search for Twinfinite or check our guide wiki for more tips and information on the game.

About the author

Zhiqing Wan

Zhiqing is the Reviews Editor for Twinfinite, and a History graduate from Singapore. She's been in the games media industry for nine years, trawling through showfloors, conferences, and spending a ridiculous amount of time making in-depth spreadsheets for min-max-y RPGs. When she's not singing the praises of Amazon's Kindle as the greatest technological invention of the past two decades, you can probably find her in a FromSoft rabbit hole.