Elden Ring: 10 Tips and Tricks for Newcomers

"Rise, Tarnished"

Elden Ring leaked Gameplay
Elden Ring: 10 Tips and Tricks for Newcomers

Elden Ring, the upcoming open-world action-RPG by From Software and George R.R. Martin, is only a few days away from release. Veterans and newcomers to the Souls series are gearing up to dive into The Lands Between. Whether this is your first From Software game or not, here are 10 handy tips and tricks to get you started.

Elden Ring takes place in The Lands Between, a vast fantasy world teeming with dangers, secrets and challenging encounters. To mitigate some of those stresses, these tips and tricks will touch upon everything from combat, exploration and general information before you embark on your journey as the Tarnished.

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1. Classes are Flexible

The first thing you’ll do before diving into Elden Ring is choose a class. Generally, these classes only impact the starting phases of the game and can be leveled up with varying skills to suit your playstyle. Your starting equipment is dictated by your starting class, which includes armor, weapons and items in the early stages of the game. However, you’re free to hone any kind of skills and abilities regardless of your class. Chose a samurai but want to specialize in magic? Simply allocate points to the necessary skills. If you want a breakdown of each of the 10 starting classes, read this guide for more information.

2. Selective Encounters

Elden Ring From Software 10 Big Changes New Features

Elden Ring is designed to be an open-world game at its core. This means you’ll wander around and encounter several tough foes (like the dragon seen in the network test). However, you have the option to not engage them at all. If they’re giving you a hard time in the early stages of the game, it might mean that you’re simply under-leveled and need to level up some more before you feel comfortable taking them on. You can flee from a tough fight, grind out other fights and return to it once you feel strong enough to defeat them. Of course, if you’re feeling confident in your abilities, you can still engage them at lower levels for a particularly challenging experience.

3. Lights Will Guide You

Elden Ring

Don’t be intimidated by Elden Ring‘s open-world structure. In previous Souls games, you’d probably wander aimlessly before finding the correct path forward to progress the game. However, Elden Ring features Sites of Grace (basically bonfires) that emit trails of light to guide you to your next Site of Grace and towards major objectives and Legacy Dungeons. You can either locate these light trails in-game or open up your map to see where the arrow insignia wants you to go next. Keep in mind, you don’t have to follow the trail and can forge your own adventure in whatever order your like too.

4. Torrent the Spectral Steed

Elden Ring From Software 10 Big Changes New Features

Early in the game, you’ll have access to a trusty steed named Torrent. Mounted combat is a new feature in Elden Ring, and in some cases, might be the ideal way to engage opponents. Other mounted enemies will be a hassle if you’re trying to fight them on foot. Riding Torrent, who can be summoned whenever you like albeit with some restrictions, can provide the leverage you need to battle many mounted or large foes. If you encounter another mounted enemy while on Torrent, you can engage in a jousting match to knock them off their horse and deal considerable damage.

Torrent is also handy for exploration. You’ll encounter several steep cliffs and rugged terrain that might prove difficult to traverse on foot. However, Torrent is capable of leaping greater distances with a double-jump. If you find pillars of wind (essentially knock-up streams of air), you can ride Torrent while you soar into the air, giving you better vertical traversal. Keep in mind, Torrent also has an HP meter so they’re not invincible.

5. Jump!

Elden Ring From Software 10 Big Changes New Features

Elden Ring, like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, now has a dedicated jump button. In past Souls games, jumping was an unnecessarily tricky action to perform. Thanks to having a single button just for jumping, it provides you with so much more opportunities in exploration and (especially) combat. Jumping will factor into your ability to evade, close distances between enemies, and even leap across tricky terrain. As a side note, fall damage still exists in Elden Ring but its far more lenient than Dark Souls. If you’re thinking about jumping off a cliff, make sure it’s from a reasonable height.

6. FP is Valuable Outside of Magic

Elden Ring From Software 10 Big Changes New Features

FP is a very valuable resource in Elden Ring. It allows players to use magical spells, but more importantly, a number of other useful abilities. Similar to Weapon Arts from Dark Souls 3, Ashes of War will gift players various weapon-based abilities from elemental attacks to defensive options. These can be infused onto your gear including weapons and shields. Ashes of War will use FP as well, meaning it’s vital to maintain if you’re planning on making use of these powerful abilities. Additionally, summoning spirits (with Spirit Ashes) will also cost FP if you’re planning on running into battle with spectral companions.

7. Replenish Health and FP Through Combat

Elden Ring From Software 10 Big Changes New Features

Along your journey in The Lands Between, you’ll encounter enemies littered around the map. They’re either located at camps, patrolling the roads, dwelling in dungeons, or defending castles and ruins. If you find yourself running low on health and FP and haven’t rested at a Site of Grace in a while, defeating large mobs of these enemies will often replenish your HP and FP flasks. You can thin the mob by taking the stealthy approach too. Engaging enemies at night means you can also use the darkness to your advantage. Once enemies are cleared, your HP and FP flasks will replenish in most cases, allowing you to forge ahead to find the next Site of Grace.

8. Guard Counter

Elden Ring From Software 10 Big Changes New Features

The Guard Counter might seem familiar to Sekiro fans. Parrying is an important part of that game, but in Elden Ring, the act of parrying is made simple but not without some risks. You can parry enemies with your shield, regardless of its skill, by using the Guard Counter. If your counter is successful, you can follow it up with a powerful, instant counterattack. This is especially useful against single enemies. However, if you’re swarmed by a mob of enemies, the counterattack animation leaves you vulnerable to damage from them. Guard Counters are best used in 1v1 situations.

9. Stakes of Marika

Elden Ring From Software 10 Big Changes New Features

To motivate exploration without having to travel all the way back from your last Site of Grace, From Software have also included Stakes of Marika in the game. These statues are located near areas with enemies or generally scattered around The Lands Between as checkpoints. Passing by a Stake of Marika ensures you get an extra respawn location. When you fall in battle, you’ll be given the option to either spawn at the nearest Stake (granted you found it) or at any Site of Grace. Unlike Sites of Grace, Stakes of Marika don’t provide fast-travel options so they’re situational but nonetheless very handy.

10. The Lands Between Awaits

Elden Ring From Software 10 Big Changes New Features

The last tip for Elden Ring is the simplest but most important: explore. It might be easy to follow the guiding path to complete the story, but Elden Ring‘s detailed world of The Lands Between is packed to the brim with secrets, hidden paths, optional encounters, and treasures to find. Take your time exploring the world and uncovering as much as you can about its intricacies. Not only will this help you get a better understanding of the lore and events, but also reward you handsomely with gear and other unique items.

Scattered around the open-world are several dungeons, some requiring a bit of platforming as they’re hidden off the beaten path. The end of most dungeons results in a boss fight, but as mentioned in the second point, you can choose to flee and return to them once you’ve leveled up a bit more. There’s no rush to find everything that the game has to offer, so take the time to enjoy exploring and see The Lands Between in all its beauty.

Elden Ring launches on 25 February 2022 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC.

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