Elden Ring is the latest RPG from developer FromSoftware, and since its release has been the talk of the gaming world. It comes after masterpieces like the Dark Souls series, Bloodborne, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and of course Demon's Souls, combining elements from every previous game (and adding plenty of its own) to create a truly massive, mysterious, and engaging open world with so much to discover it makes one's head spin.
Like all FromSoftware titles, Elden Ring is difficult, especially for players new to the Souls RPG format. New mechanics and systems make it much more approachable than previous games, but that doesn't mean its easy. Below, players can find a variety of guides separated into sections that cover all aspects of the game from new mechanics to bosses, from powerful weapons to NPC questlines, and everything in between to help veterans and beginners alike in their Elden Ring journey. Check back on this Complete Guide to Elden Ring regularly for continuous updates.
New And Returning Mechanics In Elden Ring
Elden Ring introduces a number of new mechanics to the traditional Souls formula. These new mechanics generally make the game more approachable for new players and veterans alike by taking away the needless inconveniences of FromSoftware titles past. Mastering these new mechanics is essential to being able to succeed in this game, partially because encounters are designed with systems like Guard Counters and Jump Attacks in mind. Returning mechanics work much the same way veterans are used to, though some have been updated or changed slightly.
New Mechanics – Mounts, Crafting, Stealth, And More
Returning Mechanics – Power Stance, Parrying, Online Co-op, And More
Elden Ring Bosses
Bosses are the main challenging obstacles of Elden Ring, often halting one's progress through the Lands Between until their defeat. Some are considered Main Bosses, tied to the overarching story of Elden Ring and required obstacles for players to overcome. Others are Optional Bosses, like most Overworld or Dungeon bosses, that don't necessarily need to be defeated to beat the game – though it's a good idea to explore and fight them for unique items and Runes.
Major Story Bosses And Shardbearers
Optional Bosses (And Named Invaders) In Elden Ring
Quests, Puzzles, and Exploration
The main selling point of Elden Ring is its freeing approach to open world exploration. The traditional Dark Souls and FromSoftware formula is pretty linear (despite all the shortcuts) but the vast Lands Between can be explored in just about any direction a player sees fit. Bosses aren't the only thing that guides Elden Ring players forward – NPCs throughout Elden Ring send the Tarnished on cryptic quests that span all the Lands Between, too, including a few that continue until the very end of the game. Puzzles are encountered here and there throughout Elden Ring with solutions as cryptic as lore details in NPC dialogue.
Locations in Elden Ring
Dungeons, Catacombs, and Other Walkthroughs
Puzzles in Elden Ring
NPC And Questlines
Armaments, Sorceries, and Incantations
Elden Ring gives players more freedom than ever before in their builds, mostly thanks to the incredible variety of weapons, armor, Sorceries, Incantations, and other combat gear and skills that can be customized to the heart's content. Weapons vary from daggers to greatswords to axes and everything in between, but choosing the right one for you is more difficult than some of the game's bosses. Nevertheless, this gear and these spells will set a Tarnished well on their way to strengthening a multi-faceted build.
Elden Ring Weapons And Staffs
Elden Ring Legendary Weapons And Spells
Armor and Shields
Elden Ring Incantations
Elden Ring Sorceries
Ashes, Talismans, And Other Key Items
Weapons and armor aren't the only important pieces of equipment a player will need to use in Elden Ring. Talismans, for example, provide bonuses while equipped to a variety of mechanics, Ashes of War are used to change scaling and skills on weapons, Spirit Summons can be called to aid you in challenging areas, and other Key Items throughout Elden Ring can affect how you experience the game just as much as your choice of armament.
Ashes of War
Spirit Ash Summons
Elden Ring Talismans
Crystal Tears and Flask Upgrades
Other Key Items And Essentials
Elden Ring Builds And Classes
There are 10 starting classes in Elden Ring. Some, like the Samurai or the Confessor, are unique to Elden Ring, while others like the Wretch or the Vagabond might remind FromSoftware veterans of the Deprived or the Knight class. Ultimately, it doesn't matter what class you start with because you can build your character however you please. For example, even though a Confessor starts with low Intelligence, they can still mix Glintstone Sorceries into their Incantation rotation with the right attribute investments.
Other Tips And Tricks For Elden Ring
To say that Elden Ring is an expansive game is a severe understatement – some reviewers more accurately described it as "Dark Souls4, 5, and 6 all at the same time". It's a huge game and it has a lot of things for players to do and understand. Below, find guides for subjects not covered in the sections above, like how to change your appearance, tips for farming Runes, and what to do at the start of the game. It's fun to discover these things for yourself, but understanding workarounds like leveling and weapon upgrades can make the game's most challenging areas a walk in the park.