Elden Ring is finally here and it’s going to be a huge undertaking for most players. Learning the ropes in an RPG this massive can be daunting, but this guide explains some of the things you need to know about Elden Ring before you start playing which will make your journey a little bit easier.
Initial Character Selection
While your intial selection of your character will be important in the early game, it’s entirely possible to veer off that path and this made even easier as you find different items that can scale weapons differently or reset your entire stat pool altogether. So picking the right character is important at the onset, but not necessarily as you go forward in the game.
Leveling and Banking Your Runes
Like Souls games, Elden Ring has a currency system where one currency can purchase items from the various vendors of the world BUT it can also level your character, weapons and abilities. Wherever you die, your Runes will be left behind. You need to retrieve these runes if you don’t want to lose progress. Use it or lose it, make sure you don’t go into a big boss fight or an unfamiliar area with a ton of Runes as you might not get them back.
Know Your Stats
Leveling up mindlessly in Elden Ring is going to force you into using certain types of weapons and armor in the game. All weapons and equipment have stat requirements attached to them, so while that massive Sword might look cool if you don’t level your character appropriately to use it it’s ultimately going to go to waste.
Exhaust all Dialogue Options
Souls fans should know this, but not all NPC characters are going to tell you everything the first time you meet them. Always, make sure you exhaust all dialogue options when meeting new characters or completing quests. Doing this will ensure that you don’t miss any key events or items in Elden Ring.
New Save System
Souls games had previously had a system where you rested at a bonfire and that was your save point until you made it to the next bonfire. In Elden Ring, a new system has been implemented which allows you to respawn at locations near your death point if there’s a Marika Statue nearby. These statues will be indicated on the hud while playing to let you know if you’ll be spawning close by or at the bonfire. If a statue is nearby you’ll have the option to spawn at the stature or bonfire.
Use Your Trusty Steed
Torrent, your horse has some abilities, namely a double jump that can help you in numerous ways. This extra jump has certainly been accounted for in the level design so always keep an eye out for opportunities in the open world for areas that seem just out of reach. You could be a double jump away from a new item, cache of runes or smithing stones.
Side Quests / Dungeons
Elden Ring is more like a traditional RPG than any of the other Souls games, and there’s both a main path and a ton of optional content. The rewards for completing these optional quests are many and they range from weapons and items to crucial game changing key items that allow for customization, leveling unique vendors and more. Doing these side quests is going to paramount to having an easier time in the game.
Try different tactics instead of the straight forward path in fights
Elden Ring has taken a page from Sekiro in that you can approach conflicts in a variety of ways. Head-on isn’t always the best option when it comes to conflict. There are many different ways to tackle different conflicts depending on the location. If you’re in the overworld you can stay on your horse in many cases and some conflicts are designed for just that. Some conflicts throw a multitude of enemies at you and picking them off with stealth or throwing distracting items at them are your best chances to thin out the herd.
Explore, Explore Explore
Elden Ring is a lot like Souls games, with a Twist. Many of From Software’s twists and tricks from their previous games are surely here, but if you haven’t played any of their games, they like to hide things off the beaten path. Explore everywhere you can as you just might find a crucial item that you otherwise wouldn’t.
Utilize the map
The map of Elden Ring doesn’t have a legend per say, but there’s a great bit of detail on it that can help you find some of the game’s hidden locations. Almost all points of interest are labeled on the map in some capacity or at least give you hints on things and areas of the map that you can explore. Once you’ve opened up the map by finding map fragments, things get a bit easier in terms of actually seeing these things on the map.
And that’s everything you need to know before playing Elden Ring, which is available on February 25th, 2022 on Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.