FromSoftware’s Elden Ring poses multiple challenges for players in terms of world exploration or combat. Elden Ring introduces several new game mechanics and old ones from previous titles, which you can employ to make the most of your experience in The Lands Between. In this guide, you will discover 11 of the most useful game mechanics you should master to increase your chances of survival in Elden Ring’s open world or dungeons.
Master your knowledge of Elden Ring’s Stats Soft Cap
In Elden Ring, the stat boosts provided by leveling up and assigning attribute points are not linear. Most stats in Elden Ring have soft caps, thresholds, after which assigning attribute points to their related attribute leads to diminishing returns, while some stats have hard caps, after which there are no gains.
You should understand Elden Ring soft caps and make the most of your Runes when you level up and create the ideal build for your character.
Use Torrent Against Overworld Bosses
Elden Ring offers many general strategies to aid players in defeating bosses. However, one specialized tactic involves using your ghostly steed, Torrent, in overworld boss fights. While you can’t summon Torrent in certain dungeon settings, the mount proves invaluable in numerous open-world boss engagements.
An early instance where this comes in handy is while facing the Tree Sentinel in Limgrave as soon as you reach the outside world. Battling Tree Sentinel on foot is challenging but feasible.
Yet, using Torrent adds a jousting dimension to the fight, providing increased mobility and enabling effective hit-and-run tactics. Torrent’s double jump also serves as a precise evasive maneuver against incoming attacks.
Keep Track of the Weather and Elements When Using Spells
Weather in Elden Ring affects the potency of spells. In particular, rainy weather reduces fire spell damage while it buffs lightning spell damage.
Use the appropriate magic element based on the weather to maximize your damage in combats.
Additionally, lightning goes through water, similar to real-life physics. Keep this in mind when casting lightning spells on watery surfaces to take advantage of AoE damage and maximize your DPS.
Use Ashes of War on Your Weapons
Ashes of War mechanics offer a playground for experimentation since they can be duplicated or swapped with other skills. Take advantage of them to strategically add skills and affinities to your weapons, giving you an edge in combat.
For instance, Mighty Shot excels in eliminating multiple enemies from a distance. Using this skill allows you to dispatch groups before they can close in on you. Meanwhile, Ash of War: Bloody Slash is great for dealing massive damage with the Bloody Slash skill and inflicting blood loss buildup with your weapon.
Summon Ally Spirits Through Spirit Ashes
Like Torrent, Spirit Ashes can be a game-changer in your journey through the Lands Between. While limitations exist on where they can be used, they are powerful allies when available. Besides inflicting damage and applying status effects, they divert enemy attention from you.
You can also double up on summons, like pairing a Spirit with an allied NPC. For instance, the NPC Sorcerer Rogier can be used against Margit, the Fell Omen, in tandem with your Lone Wolf Ashes. Make sure you get the Godrick Soldier Ashes in Stormhill early in the game, as they are even more valuable than Lone Wolf Ashes and pretty tanky.
Master the Art of Guard Counters
Guard Counters are one of Elden Ring’s most satisfying combat mechanics. They allow the Tarnished to execute powerful counters after successfully blocking an enemy attack. This can break the enemy’s poise, setting them up for a devastating Critical Attack.
To execute a Guard Counter, you must use your shield right at the time when an enemy’s attack is about to hit you. Use your standard attack as soon as the attack lands on the shield. You will hear a sound, and your character will perform a unique animation inflicting massive HP and stance damage to the enemy
While this technique is riskier, players who prefer shields will find it particularly useful.
Experiment with Flask of Wondrous Physick
After obtaining it from the Third Church of Marika, the Flask of Wondrous Physick allows for various buffs. Players can mix different Crystal Tears to customize the flask’s effects, which include gradual health regeneration, healing, enhanced stamina regeneration, avoiding the loss of Runes upon death, curing status effects, and enhanced damage output.
Discover Map Fragments for Location Insights
Unlike traditional open-world games that often reveal the map automatically, Elden Ring requires you to find Map Fragments. These are usually relatively easy to locate, especially since their icons are visible on the map before discovering them.
Use Stealth and Backstabs
Elden Ring allows players to execute high-damage backstab attacks using stealth and catching enemies off guard. Utilize crouching, environmental elements like tall grass for strategic positioning, and employ stealth during adverse weather for maximum effectiveness.
Stock Up on Smithing Stones in Mines
Smithing Stones are essential for weapon upgrades and can be found in abundance in smaller dungeons like mines and tunnels (e.g., Limgrave Tunnels, Morne Tunnel, and Raya Lucaria Crystal Tunnel). These locations should be your go-to spots for collecting standard Smithing Stones and their special counterparts, Somber Smithing Stones, used to upgrade unique weapons.
Use Combo Attacks to Maximize Damage
Every weapon in Elden Ring has a standard attack combo, where damage gradually increases with each attack of the combo, with the final hit being the strongest. Try to execute combos whenever possible to boost your damage against both regular enemies and bosses.
Stock Up on Grave and Ghost Gloveworts in Catacombs
Always watch for Grave Gloveworts while exploring catacomb dungeons, as these are crucial for upgrading your Spirit Ashes. Ghost Gloveworts can upgrade elite-level Spirit Ashes like Lhutel the Headless, one of the best Spirit Ashes in the game. It’s wise to identify the most effective Spirit Ashes for your playstyle and invest in upgrading them.