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What Does Arcane Do in Elden Ring?

There will be blood.

To make it through the punishing world of Elden Ring, you need to gather your strength by leveling up, but of course, From Software makes that more challenging than just collecting enough experience. Where you choose to allocate your stats is far more important than just increasing your level, with different playstyles and weapons meriting investment in various attributes. Before you go spending your Runes unwisely, here’s what Arcane does in Elden Ring, and when you should increase it.

Strength, Dexterity, Intellect — if you’ve played enough RPGs then you probably have a good idea of what these basic stats do. But like all From Software games, Elden Ring isn’t content to stop with such basic stats. And while attributes like Vigor and Mind might be a little confusing, Arcane is the strangest-sounding of all. And as it turns out, it’s also the most niche stat in the game, affecting only a handful of weapons and spells, along with more abstract bonuses.

What does Arcane do in Elden Ring?

Want more blood? Try Arcane!

From Software

The most immediate benefit to boosting Arcane is that it will also increase your character’s Discovery stat. Discovery governs your ability to find rare items, and with each increase to Discovery, enemies have a slightly higher chance of dropping rare loot. It has no benefit in combat. Arcane also increases Holy Defense, reducing the damage you take from attacks with the Holy element, and it raises your resistance to Blight, an affliction that can instantly KO your character.

Like other stats, Arcane is required to use some spells and equipment and a higher Arcane level raises their power. However, compared to other stats, the number of spells and weapons that scale with Arcane is relatively small. Where Arcane gets more interesting — and much more useful — is that higher levels let you inflict status effects quicker. The higher your Arcane, the more each attack increases Blood Loss, Poison, Sleep, and Madness for weapons and spells that already inflict them. Time to curse your foes. Weapons given Arcane scaling through use of weapon enhancement will also gain this effect.

Should you level Arcane in Elden Ring?

Arcane lets you harness the power of dragons in Elden Ring.

From Software

As you might have gathered, Arcane is a bit of an oddball stat in Elden Ring. Most players will be fine ignoring it completely, but there are a few cases where investing in it is necessary. Bumping your Arcane up a few points to increase Discovery can make finding rare items easier, but unless you’re farming a weapon that also scales with Arcane, it might not be the best use of Runes.

The two situations where Arcane is a requirement are if you’re working toward a Bleed build or want to master Dragon Incantations.

A high-Arcane character wielding a Bleed-infused weapon, like the infamous Rivers of Blood katana, can absolutely melt almost anything in Elden Ring, making builds of this type highly popular among players looking for something a little different from a typical Strength build. Any weapon with Arcane scaling and Bleed gets a double benefit from investment in the Arcane stat, since both raw damage and Bleed build-up are affected.

Only dump Runes into your Arcane stat if you know what you’re doing.

From Software

It’s also possible to make an Arcane build without focusing on weapons at all. Arcane is required to learn Dragon Communion Incantations, which literally infuse the power of dragons into your character. Grab the Dragon Communion Seal from the Fringefolk Hero’s Grave, stock up on dragon Incantations by trading in dragon hearts at altars, and you’ll be well on your way to an extremely powerful ranged build. Dragon Communion Incantations tend to focus on inflicting Rot and Bleed effects, meaning that just like with Rivers of Blood, investing in Arcane boosts your raw damage and status effect build-up all at once.

Arcane might not be the best stat to spend Runes on for beginners, since it only helps with a small number of weapons and incantations, but it’s a great choice for people looking for something a little different. Especially if you’re already conquered the Lands Between and are going back for a second time through, experimenting with an Arcane build can be very rewarding.

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