Elden Ring is arguably FromSoftware's most beautiful and challenging souls-like title to date. That's why, if you're just starting out, mentally preparing for a long and difficult battle is a good idea. However, there are a few tips and tricks you should know to maximize your success, in-game. That's why in order to best prepare for the fight, we're bringing you this beginner's guide to Elden Ring. Because in a game where every move, decision, and attack counts, knowing some of the essentials could mean the difference between life and death.
Class & Build
The first and foremost on the agenda is figuring out what build you want to rock in Elden Ring. There are 10 classes to pick from, each varying in skills and stats to give you an early lead on the type of build you want. For example, Hero and Vagabond are melee-focused classes with higher starting strength than the others. On the other hand, they aren't particularly good at Intelligence, so if you want the power of magic and spells, it would be better to go Astrologer.
That's why it's important to learn each class and its strengths and weaknesses to ensure you have one you're comfortable with throughout the game. In even simpler terms, find the build you want to go with, then choose the most fitting starting class and its attributes, for it.
It's good to know that as soon as you break through the short intro sequence, Elden Ring is an entirely open-world game. And it will be intriguing to run off and explore everything that catches your eye. However, at some point, you'll want to start collecting map fragments and piecing the world together. And one thing that frequently confuses players is where to find maps for different regions. Few players are aware, however, that the maps are indicated by a symbol on the map, exactly the one featured above. Find these, walk up to them, and they will hold the map to unlock the area.
Elden Ring is such a large game with so many areas, dungeons, mini-bosses, and secret pathways to explore. That's why it's worthwhile to set markers. We didn't and were constantly asking ourselves, “Where is that place again?” Sometimes we gave up entirely because we couldn't remember where it was. That is why it is critical to place markers if you still need to explore an area, return to a boss fight, or return somewhere in general for later. In the long run, marking these areas will be extremely convenient.
Combat & Weapons
Your weapons, like your character, require leveling. Which you can do at a blacksmith with Smithing Stones. This will increase your weapon's damage and will also scale when you upgrade your character attributes. If you don't level up your weapon, it will be practically useless late game. The good news, is your weapon is entirely your choice, you can do one-handed, two-handed, melee, or even equip a shield. Whatever best matches your playstyle is best.
In combat, you'll come to find there are a number of different attacks. Your standard, slash and strike attacks, but also jump attacks, heavy attacks, and charge attacks. All of these vary depending on the weapon you're using, and you can sometimes get attributes to make significant attacks much more powerful. That is why knowing how to use your preferred weapon is important. You don't want to be aiming for speed and agility while wielding a massive hammer, for example.
Finally, and most importantly, while some blocks can be blocked and parried, not all can. Attacks from larger enemies, and frequently bosses, cannot be blocked and must instead be dodge-rolled through. There will be a brief window when you need to do it, right before the attack hits. The dodge-roll will undoubtedly become your best friend in the game, so practicing on easier enemies first will pay huge dividends later in combat. With that, this guide to Elden Ring, should at least give you a fighting chance – tarnished one.