Elden Ring follows in the footsteps of Dark Souls, and as you might expect, it’s a rather cryptic game that doesn’t explain all of its systems to players. Transitioning to an open world format jives really well with the Souls formula, resulting in a game that encourages and rewards exploration. As you start your Elden Ring journey, there’s a lot to learn and juggle, from deciding your character’s build to decoding what the game’s many items do. We’ll help you get a bit of a headstart, however, by walking through a few essential tips that Elden Ring doesn’t tell you.
9. You can place markers on your map
Your map is absolutely essential in Elden Ring, but it doesn’t work quite the same way as other open-world games. The only icons ever automatically added are Sites of Grace, Elden Ring’s equivalent of Bonfires. The game doesn’t tell you about one of the map’s most important features, however, as there are a variety of different markers you can place to represent different places and things you find.
When looking at the world map you’ll see a “Markers” option that, when opened, will provide a selection of tokens you can place on the map. The icons on these represent things like animals, people, treasure, etc. You can place these anywhere on the map to represent whatever you want, whether that’s a dungeon you can’t complete or an NPC you need to return to for a quest.
8. Your mount’s traversal skills are essential
Early on in Elden Ring, you’ll get access to a horse-like creature named Torrent, which you can quickly summon with a simple item use. There’s a short tutorial on how Torrent works, but you might not realize the horse has a super useful double jump from the very start. This double jump can help you reach areas you’d otherwise never be able to, and a lot of Elden Ring’s open-world is designed around it.
There are platforms carved into the side of cliffs that your mount’s double jump can help with, and you might even be able to find some routes to bypass the more obvious ways. At the same time, your mount’s speed can often let you ride right past enemies to get an item, then get out again without even taking a hit.
You’ll also want to keep an eye out for giant gusts of wind in the environment; they basically look like a tower of wind sprouting up from the ground. These are called SpiritSprings, and pressing the jump button while mounted in them will propel you straight up into the air, allowing you to scale massive cliffs and plateaus. Torrent is absolutely your best tool for exploring the open world, both in terms of traversal and combat, so learn how to control your mount early on.
7. Keep an eye out for glowing skulls
There are a ton of items and resources you can pick up while you explore The Lands Between, and early on you’ll start to notice a wealth of skulls littered everywhere. Once in a while, you’ll stumble upon a glowing skull, and it’s always worth breaking these as each one holds a Golden Rune item you can use to get a small number of runes.
It’s not a ton, but collect enough and it starts to add up. The good news is that you can simply roll into the skulls or run over them with your horse to break them, letting you quickly pick up the item. Every little bit you can scrape together to level up is important.
6. Stealth is more useful at night
For the first time in the Souls series, Elden Ring adds in a more robust stealth system, with the ability to sneak and crouch, concealing spells, and more. While there may not initially be much of a difference between exploring at day or night, stealth options actually are much more effective at night, due to enemies having reduced visibility.
If you come across an enemy stronghold you’re having trouble with it may be a better idea to head to the nearest Site of Grace and change the time of day. Nighttime will let you get much close to front-facing enemies so use it to your advantage, especially if you decide to go with a stealth build.
5. Merchants have purchasable hints
There are a lot of merchants scattered across the world of Elden Ring, each of which has a unique inventory. While it may not be immediately obvious, these merchants often have hints that you can purchase for a small batch of runes.
These will oftentimes provide insight on how to beat a boss, solve a puzzle, or even discover a new area in some cases. Once you purchase a hint you can head into your inventory and press X/square to view it. Because of the low cost, it’s worth purchasing each and every hint to help you on your way.
4. Roundtable Hold changes over time
Roundtable Hold is essentially your home base in Elden Ring, home to a few vital shops and a lot of the important NPCs of the game. You can head here at any point to upgrade your weapons, learn new spells, or continue plotlines, but it’s not obvious at first that the hold changes as you progress through the main story.
If you beat a major boss or area it’s always worth heading back to the Roundtable Hold as there will almost always be a new room open, a new piece of dialogue, or sometimes even a brand new NPC.
As an additional tip, you can actually jump off of the balcony on the upper floor of the hold, which will then pit you against an invader. If you manage to beat the foe you get the Taunter’s Tongue, which when used puts you in a state that lest other players invade your world.
3. Undead Spirit Ashes work the same as regular undead
Early on in Elden Ring, you’ll get a Spirit Calling Bell by visiting the Church of Elleh. This item allows you to summon Spirit Ashes of different enemy types to help in battle, and they can be a huge boon in battle.
You’ll find a variety of Spirit Ashes by defeating bosses, picking up items, and more, but the undead ones are particularly useful as they perform exactly like undead enemies, and will get back up when killed unless the enemy attacks the spirit while they’re down.
This can be tremendously useful in prolonged boss battles, allowing your spirit allies to stay in the fray. Undead Spirit Ashes may not be quite as strong as others, but the tradeoff can often be worth it.
2. Defeating enemy groups can recharge your flasks
Elden Ring has two main healing items, Flasks of Crimson Tears and Flasks of Cerulean Tears, which restore HP and FP respectively. Normally the only way to restore these would be to rest at a Site of Grace, but Elden Ring actually introduces a neat feature that gives you more chances to restore your flasks by defeating certain groups of enemies.
There’s no exact way to tell which enemies will do this, but generally major dungeons are pretty liberal about restoring flasks, and if you find an enemy encampment in the open world you can bet on it doing the same. It’s good to keep this fact in mind, as you might be able to push forward a little further instead of returning to a Site of Grace.
1. Remembrance’s can be duplicated
Remembrances are the items you get from defeating the major story bosses of Elden Ring, so you won’t get one until you beat Stormveil Castle. These items can then be used at Roundtable Hold to get powerful and unique weapons, but you have to choose one of two. The good news, however, is that you’re able to duplicate Remembrances, allowing you to get both items.
Across the open world, you’ll occasionally find massive turtle-like creatures that have a massive building and bell built into their bodies. Stuck on the creature’s legs you’ll see piles of skulls, and you’ll want to attack and break these until the creature falls down. At this point, you can head to the building on top and interact with the tomb inside, which will let you replicate one Remembrance. There are multiple creatures scattered across the world, so you’ll need to find a new one for each Remembrance.