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6 best Elden Ring hacks to get you through the early game

It’s a long, hard journey for a puny Tarnished.

Bandai Namco

Bandai Namco

Elden Ring is in many ways FromSoftware’s most approachable game ever, despite its intimidating scope. If you’re just starting out, though, it can still feel hopelessly daunting.

Here are 6 early-game tips to get started in Elden Ring.

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6. Choose your class and keepsake wisely

The quickest way to get a leg up in Elden Ring is to pick a class that suits your playstyle.

Bandai Namco

Bandai Namco

Before you even step into the Lands Between, you’ll need to choose a character class and a keepsake. Keepsakes are just bonus items, and while there are a few good options, the Golden Seed will give you an extra healing charge, making it a great pick.

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Your class doesn’t limit your abilities in Elden Ring; it just determines starting stats and equipment. It will be a while before you unlock the ability to respec your character, so choose a class with attributes that suit the weapons or abilities you want to use.

5. Follow the guidance of grace

Follow the yellow mist road to gear up before exploring on your own.

Bandai Namco

Bandai Namco

The guidance of grace leads you toward mandatory objectives in Elden Ring. It’s visible as a twinkling yellow glow around Sites of Grace (the game’s checkpoints) and on the map. You’ll want to follow this guidance at least until you reach Stormveil Castle.

This will keep you from wandering into high-level areas, and it also guides you to several Sites of Grace where you’ll be gifted crucial items. In particular, you’ll want to hit the Elleh’s Church and Gatefront Sites of Grace to unlock your horse and the Spirit Calling Bell.

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4. Explore and find essential items

Don’t spend too long on the beaten path.

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Once you hit Elden Ring’s first mandatory boss, take some time to explore. Many of Elden Ring’s best items are found in optional dungeons you’ll only find by heading off on your own, and clearing them will also net you plenty of runes to level up.

Bandai Namco

Bandai Namco

Early in the game, if you head south of Limgrave and cross the Bridge of Sacrifice, you’ll find a whole new zone you can clear before taking on Stormveil’s boss (just watch out for that ballista).

Exploring the world has another hidden benefit: it can help you unlock Roundtable Hold. You can access this important hub area by resting at a Site of Grace after fighting the first boss, or by simply resting at Sites of Grace that are outside the starting area.

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3. Embrace rune farming

There’s no need to get stuck on a hard boss in Elden Ring.

Bandai Namco

Bandai Namco

If you want to level up, you need runes, and if you want runes, you have to earn them. There are plenty of great rune farming spots later on in Elden Ring, but it takes some time to reach them.

Starting off, the Gatefront area is great to farm runes, since it’s packed with enemies and the Site of Grace is nearby. Another option is the Stormhill area just northeast of Gatefront, which has five patrolling Trolls. They can be a challenge for low-level players, but they drop 1,000 runes each.

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2. Unfold your map

Elden Ring’s map is more than a pretty illustration thanks to a few hidden features.

Bandai Namco

Bandai Namco

When you enter a new zone, you’ll first need to find the area’s map. If you’re having trouble, look closely for these marker icons. That’s where you’ll find the full map.

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You can place markers on Elden Ring’s map to track anything you deem important, and even put down beacons you can see on your compass and in the world. The latter is especially helpful when you’re navigating new areas and don’t want to lose your way.

1. Don’t fight alone

Elden Ring makes it easier than ever to call for help (and you’ll need it).

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With the exception of Sekiro, FromSoftware games all allow you to summon other players. Elden Ring relies on summoning even more through the use of summoning pools, so don’t be shy about engaging in some jolly cooperation.

Bandai Namco

Bandai Namco

Spirit Ashes let you call in help from NPCs, provided you picked up the Spirit Calling Bell. Even weaker spirits can help distract enemies and pile on attacks to help build up stagger.

These tips should get you through the opening act of Elden Ring.

Beyond that, look to Elden Ring’s multiple endings to see where you should head next.