Hidetaka Miyazaki, in a January 2017 interview, made waves by mentioning that FromSoftware had made an effort to make Elden Ring more accessible than the bulk of “Soulsborne” titles. Elden Ring has been out for a few days and it seems that Miyazaki stays true to his words. Elden Ring is on another level of accessibility compared to titles from the Dark Souls franchise. After playing around with Elden Ring, we decided to compile a list of 11 great tips and bits of information that every Soulsborne newcomer should know. And if you are a veteran of the Soulsborne series, we promise this will be useful to you too!
These tips are mostly spoiler-free, with some “location-specific spoilers”, but they will help you out massively! Tips that make it easy for beginners to get the most out of Elden Ring are what we focused on as FromSoftware hasn't gotten over its urge to make you suffer.
However, Elden Ring is more than just another Soulsborne. The bosses might be some of the hardest in the history of From Software videogame development. But the open-world aspect and its implications make the game more manageable in the long run. And this list focuses on making the most out of opportunities that this open-world presents.
Even The Most Pathetic Enemy Can End You In A Flash
Mini-bosses and Bosses will make Elden Ring are difficult. They are “boss”-type enemies after all! But even weaker enemies output a crazy amount of damage.
Dark Souls, and Demon's Souls, had an infamous “wild flail” move that some of the most common enemy types could fire off without warning. It was a string of unpredictable swipes in all directions that could shred your character even if you were at the mid-point of the game and came back to the first areas to farm or something.
As far as I'm aware that move is gone in Elden Ring. Thank you From Soft. But this should give you a good idea of what type of game From Soft makes. You can become the most over-leveled character in existence and rock the best armor. But every single hit, from every single enemy in the game, will be still a significant portion of your health bar. It will never be a “1” damage point you can see in turn-based RPGs.
So never, under any circumstances, give in to the urge to be smug. Overconfidence is death. Cowardice is salvation.
Starting Classes You Should Avoid On First Playthrough
The Wretch doesn't exist on your character selection screen. He can't hurt you.
There are 10 starting Elden Ring classes to choose from, each one unique in its own way. Wretch is a class reserved for the mad lads who want to go out into the world as a naked man with a stick. This class exists purely out of respect for the Dark Souls series, where each game had a wretch-type starting class.
One of the greatest benefits of playing as a Wretch is that you have total control over your stats and level-ups. So you can avoid some wasted points in your meta-centric, sweaty PVP or speedrun build. But, if you don't know what you're doing, don't bother.
I would argue that any spellcaster should be avoided by “Soulsborne noobs” too. Magic is such a weird thing in these games. It makes some bosses an absolute joke. Common enemies become a trivial matter too! But at some point, you will feel the game enemy scaling creep up on you. You will start to notice that your sword, rapier, or spear do a lot more DPS than your basic spells.
And new magics are few and far between. Unless you know exactly where they are, how much intelligence each one requires, and which boss is susceptible to what type of spell. Game knowledge is what carries magic-flinging classes in the mid to late game. So don't bother on your first playthrough. If you want to cast some glintstone pebbles just find a catalyst, a magic vendor, and invest the bare minimum into intelligence. Just so you can make use of that FP bar.
Don't Miss Out On The Spirit Calling Bell!
Some crucial items in Elden Ring are really a pain to find. And the Spirit Calling Bell, bundled with the Lone Wolf spirit ashes are two such items. Items which I had to do without for about 8 hours of in-game time. Before I realized they are available in the starting area…
To keep things from being spoilt, return to the Church of Elleh at Night as soon as you receive Torrent. This will initiate an NPC encounter that awards you those items. And do be mindful of the time of day. Usually when you fast-travel back to said Church the time of day automatically switches to night, to allow you to meet “the witch”. But I had it overlap with some other event. Thus, I missed out.
So if none of the above happens AFTER you get the goat-horse mount Torrent. Just sit down at the site of grace and wait till nightfall.
Killing Enemies Is Not The Only Way To Grind
In Elden Ring, exploration and grinding go hand in hand. It's a good rule of thumb to spend some time grinding in Soulsborne games if you feel like the difficulty of the current areas is a little “much” for you. While most enemies will still be able to kill you regardless of how hard you grind, it seriously makes a difference how long your health bar is.
The great news is that Elden Ring is very unique in this aspect. Because I found grinding enemies much less rewarding than just exploring. In multiple places in the Lands Between you can actually find graveyards of a sort. They are specifically rows of stone coffins in neat rows. Places like that usually have no enemies AT ALL. But they contain consumable runes. You can easily gain between 5k to 10k runes by looting them. And there are lots of them all over the game world.
Also, you might run into shiny skulls lying about. They also contain a rune inside if you crack them open with either an attack. Or you can simply stomp all over them with Torrent.
Elden Ring Can Be A Lot To Take In – Remember To Relax
I think this tip goes an extra MILE for any Soulsborne veteran. And any “completionist” newcomers. Elden Ring is huge. In fact, it is positively too huge. If you want to comb the land and scavenge for every single item in each area. It will completely drain you.
You should explore, you should find cool things, and you shouldn't limit yourself. But you need to get over the fear that you might miss out on content. Because you probably will. You simply can't find every single thing. Maybe you will miss a boss, a cool weapon, or an amazing armor set. Just be okay with that.
If you find out post finishing your playthrough, you can always come back. Either with a completely new character or with your already built one.
The information overload, the density of its map, and the many directions to go is a double-edged sword. Some notable streamers and other members of the Soulsborne community quit the game due to being exhausted by the humongous open world. Don't burn yourself out, don't rush, and don't be a perfectionist for once.
Stuck On A Boss? Go Somewhere Else!
Like I said. The scale of the game is both a strength and a weakness.
The awesome strong suit of this game is how many options you have. If you get stuck on one of the main bosses, you can always explore that other awesome area you found. And then circle back to this tough boss later with better equipment, more talismans, better buffs, and more upgraded weapons.
Do not chain your progress to one single area or path. This is not the way Elden Ring was meant to be played!
Run Away Often, Repeat Encounters For Better Results
Elden Ring is very generous with the amount of sites of grace it gives you. Use that to your advantage.
If some encounter goes poorly, and you use a lot of heals after leaving the Elden Ring's “bonfire”. Just go back and reset the area. Maybe that huge guy you barely just beat? Maybe he's a unique enemy that doesn't respawn!
This time, you know that other guys moveset. Maybe you will fare better against him. You also know about THAT ambush! Use that knowledge to avoid it. Never think about resetting the area at a site of grace as a waste of time. You are improving second by second. Respawning enemies won't take that away from you.
Choose A Weapon That You Feel Comfortable With
It's much more enjoyable to play Elden Ring according to your own rules. I promise you will find Elden Ring easier to complete with a weapon you find cool and fun to use.
To this end, try out different weapon types often. As often as you possibly can. It is even okay to invest in a weapon that you stop using later. Why? Because you can redistribute your statistics in Elden Ring. Found an amazing strength weapon you might enjoy, but you built up your dexterity? Doesn't matter, look up how to reset your stats and give it a spin!
Don't Uderestimate The Power Of Messages
One very minor feature, that can have a major impact on your journey, are the messages. Both your messages to the community and their messages left for you.
Most of the time messages will troll you into jumping off a cliff. Or into hitting a wall that “totally has a secret behind it, trust me, bro”. But if there is a hidden item in your vicinity, you can bet that some awesome individual left a message pointing you to it.
The same goes for you! Leave plenty of messages around the world. Funny jokes, words of encouragement, tips, directions. If someone “thumbs up” your message, you get healed for a significant amount of HP!
Enjoy Your Time
Take a break from Elden Ring and enjoy the moment from time to time.
FromSoftware is known for creating a hardcore fanbase full of masochists. Previous FromSoftware titles are very much about grinding your teeth on a brick wall until the wall crumbles. But Elden Ring seriously hits different!
This is not to say Elden Ring does not live up to FromSoftware standards. You will still have to grind your teeth here and there. But Elden Ring is a gorgeous experience with an expansive world that is just waiting to be discovered.
Between fighting tough enemies, stressing over how much content is still in front of you, and other variables. These few moments of peace and tranquility are so special among the chaos. Savor them. And remember to takes breaks often and drink plenty of water.
Try To Reach Out To The Community
Soulsborne community is fantastic. You might get scared off by the “git gud” memes of old. But they seriously care about their fellow Souls enjoyers. If you have questions, discovered something cool, or maybe if you want to play with someone.
Check out the community Discords, look around the Reddits, watch some of the recognized figures on YouTube and Twitch. Your first playthrough when the community is at the peak of activity is something special, and you should absolutely cherish it.
And this is it! Go out into the world of the Lands Between and enjoy your time there! If you ever get lost and stray off the path, you can always come back to us. We have excellent guides for Elden Ring, many informative posts about requirements and tips. Do not be afraid to seek some help! The game is seriously tough.