Elden Ring is the recently released game from the team behind Dark Souls and Bloodborne. It’s been out a few weeks and we’ve seen speed runs and our first in-depth look at the Lands Between. It’s a beautiful world however it’s a world fraught with danger. For example, as soon as we first set foot into The Lands Between, we encounter the Tree Sentinel. So it may not look bad at first, but it’s a fight we won’t win, well least not yet.
If you read our Elden Ring review and decided to jump into the world of Elden Ring, that encounter alone may have you wondering what you’ve let yourself in for and what on earth to do. And yes, you can hit up guides via YouTube and Google but they are no substitute for diving in and playing the game. After completing the game and suffering a few moments like that Tree Sentinel early on, I thought some advice from someone who avoids the Dark Souls games, may be handy.
You Bought Elden Ring, Here’s How I Approached The Lands Between
You met the first boss, who likely pummelled you to a pulp, then worked through a cave system serving as a tutorial to get out into the world and meet that Tree Sentinel. So after he’s killed you and you’re left wondering if you really want to persist. My first advice is to not give up. Yes, this fight is at this moment not doable but it’s avoidable. How I approached it is was to sneak around to the church just past. And remember this church, it’s got the first merchant you’ll encounter and a chance to upgrade weapons. There’s a few enemies nearby and animals that will provide materials to craft and maybe Smithing Stones.
Kills also provide runes, these help you upgrade your gear and purchase gear, and later on level up. So get the crafting tools, upgrade gear with Smithing Stones and start your journey small. It’s possible to explore a huge chunk of the world without needing to tackle the boss fights. And I fully suggest that you explore and open up the map. At this stage, you’ll find the map lacking but if you look along the main roads on that map you’ll see little pillars. These are the locations of map fragments, these as you find them flesh out the details.
The Elden Ring Sites Of Grace. What They Are
These let you unlock fast travel points, let you level up and upgrade your flasks and allocate how many flasks you have for health and magic. You will encounter Sacred Tears in various churches which increase the amount recovered per flask. These are done at Sites of Grace. The Golden Seeds which are found at various points by the base of the small golden tree. For example, you’ll find one on route to the first boss fight. These increase the number of flasks you can carry. Again this is done at the Sites of Grace.
You can also apply abilities to certain weapons, such as blood loss on successive blows to your enemy. These are known as Ashes of War. The magic in-game is either sorcery or an incantation. These are equipped in the Grace sites. You need at least a Finger Seal to use an incantation. Certain classes start with this as a default item. If you don’t have one, however, don’t worry. As just after meeting Margit and likely losing there is an option. At the Site of Grace you can travel to Roundtable Hold. Various NPC’s are found here which can start a few handy side quests. We also have Smithing Master Hewg as well as the Twin Maiden Husks. And it’s from them, you can purchase the seal.
Magic. The Differing Types
There are two types available to you, you have incantations and sorcery spells. Sorcery uses alot of intelligence. For example, way up in the northwest of the map which I recommend avoiding early on, is a volcanic area. This is the location of the powerful Comet Azure. However, with that power, comes a cost. It requires an intelligence of 60 to wield. And when you’re able to get to that area, it’s a spell I fully recommend.
Incantations though are slightly different in fact you will likely need a higher faith and arcane level. A couple to get are Flame, Cleanse Me which will heal you from things like poison. And if you want to give yourself an unfair advantage, the Rotten Breath is worth the time to find. When cast it turns you in effect into a dragon, which breathes a rotten breath. So, in effect, you can let your enemy rot to death.
An example in action was when I first beat the Tree Sentinel. I used the incantation on him and kept out of the way of his Halberd and let him rot to death. My melee attacks were getting nowhere so I tried magic. So my advice is definitely to look into getting a good magic setup. And more FP or Focus Points available will help. You increase these when leveling up by upgrading your Mind stats.
Upgrading Gear In Elden Ring
This is done with Smithing Stones. There are two main types of Smithing Stone you can find which are Smithing Stones and Somber Smithing Stones. The standard stone upgrades your normal gear. There are eight types of stone before you will need the Ancient Dragon Smithing Stone. The Somber variety comes in various levels from one up to nine. Each one upgrades your weapon one level until it requires a Somber Ancient Dragon Smithing Stone. These stones are for special gear such as the Golden Halberd you get from the Tree Sentinel.
You can later buy as many as you need. When you find the appropriate bell bearing, go back to Roundtable and take it to the Twin Maiden Husks to buy. Also, the Church of Elleh smithing table will only upgrade so far. Ultimately you’ll need a blacksmith, and the main point of call is Smithing Master Hewg at Roundtable.
Aids In Combat
When Melina gives you the ability to call your horse, by returning to that first church, the Church of Elleh, an NPC called Renna will give you a Spirit Calling Bell. And this is a key item as it lets you summon spirits from their ashes. These are Spirit Companions you can summon in certain areas. If you’re in co-op, this feature is disabled. Normally these use FP to summon forth and aid in the fight, another reason to upgrade that stat.
But there is one exception, which you won’t find till a little later on. That is a legendary ash called Mimic Tear. This uses your health to cast, a total of 660 HP per use. And it mimics your build when cast. So if you’re running some powerful magic like Comet Azure and Rotten Breath, the potential damage is doubled. For lower level, you get the Jellyfish ashes when exhausting the Roderika chat at Stormhill Shack and you can get the Rotten Stray Ashes which do similar damage as Rotten Breath.
Roderika will then end up in Roundtable with other key NPCs. She will soon be able to upgrade your Spirit ashes with the use of Ghost and Grave Gloveworts. These can be found around certain areas like Smithing Stones. And like them, bought later with the appropriate bell bearing. And a stronger Spirit Aid can be useful. Especially if you’re running the Mimic Tear
The Boss Fights
Eventually, you’ll need to tackle that first major boss. That is Margit The Fell Omen. And there is a chance you’ll die. But if you do, fear not, help is at hand. As if you’ve been doing fights at a level you can approach and upgrade gear and obtain sorcery spells and incantations, you’re on the right road. We also know about the Spirit Ashes. And at this point, the game will have guided you into how the multiplayer works in Elden Ring, but here’s a recap.
- Furlcalling Finger Remedy – This reveals other players summon signs, usually by a summoning pool, boss door, or a Site of Grace.
- Tarnished’s Furled Finger – Let’s you put your summon sign on the ground. This is what others using the Finger Remedy see so they can summon you for help.
- Small Golden Effigy – Sends your sign to multiple pools.
So getting help from a random player can aid you in a boss fight. Though as we’ve said, you can’t use your Spirit Ashes. However, a couple of real allies may be able to turn the tide. If you’re still struggling, explore, level up and repeat. It’s what I did. And another advantage there is you learn the map and where to farm resources such as materials from animals and birds which are great for arrows. The bow can be your friend. As for some enemies, it’s far safer to remove them from distance. And it doesn’t waste FP on magic prior to a boss fight.
This game is huge, and I mean absolutely massive and this is only a brief look at how I approached the game early on. And there are so many more aids such as Talismans and consumables to boost your stats and protect you from things such as fire. And you can upgrade the number held with pouches. Memory stones increase the slots used for spells and incantations.
There are a vast array of mini-dungeons, the likes of caves and tunnels. These all hold resources and sometimes a crucial one from the mini-boss fight you’ll encounter. But hopefully this makes the Lands Between seem less daunting which I Originally found intimidating. That was until I really dived in and started small and slowly working up and exploring and leveling up. Have you beat the game or are you struggling with a task to be the next Elden Lord? The game’s Wiki page may also help guide you to various items or explain things in more depth.