Elden Ring Beginner's Guide: 10 starting tips to help you die less often

Published: 13:29, 21 February 2022
Updated: 16:25, 21 February 2022
Geoff Keighley
Elden Ring - a mini boss?
Elden Ring - a mini boss?

If you're playing Elden Ring on February 25, here are some general tips that should make your life easier in the Lands Between. 

If Elden Ring is your first souls-like game, first of all, we envy you - you're yet to experience some of the greatest games ever made. Secondly, this may be a painful experience so we're here to help with some simple but key tips to make your adventure in The Lands Between somewhat easier. 

  • Respect your opponents - Every enemy is challenging

No matter how goofy or easy they look, take every enemy encounter patiently and with the utmost respect. Heading into the combat with arrogance just because you killed that enemy a dozen times before is not the right way of thinking and will get you killed very often. Every enemy in Elden Ring is challenging no matter how many times you've killed them. 

  • Take your time - Rushing will get you nowhere

It's simple, you will die a lot in Elden Ring if you rush through buildings, dungeons or open areas, thinking if you already killed that enemy he must be easy. Like previous FromSoftware games, Elden Ring will punish you for storming into rooms or taking on multiple enemies, especially if you approach fights without any cohesive plan.

Elden Ring locations are packed with hidden traps, enemy placements and Souls veterans are well aware of this. It's you, newcomers, that we are trying to warn.

  • The shield is your friend until you learn how to roll

Shields are usually recommended to souls-like genre newcomers. You can use them from the get-go until you get comfortable with roll/dodge mechanics. 

Having a shield can make the game a tiny bit easier if you know how to manage it. Larger shields will block even the heaviest of attacks.

Geoff Keighley Elden Ring - new enemy types Elden Ring - Respect every enemy

  • Use the surroundings to your advantage 

When fighting enemies or bosses in Elden Ring, that short amount of time needed to chug a flask of crimson tears or recover after a hard hit can be crucial. 

But since combat is fast and often hectic, look for spots where enemies can't easily reach you with their attacks, such as behind concrete poles, walls or other objects, to heal or take a breather before getting back into the battle. 

  • Examine your enemy and find their weakness 

One of the key tips for each From Software game is to learn something every time you die. Don't make those deaths worthless - if you have to go, make sure you know exactly what you did wrong and how can you improve on that. 

This is especially important for boss fights. Try to analyze your enemy, their moveset, animations, attack patterns and openings. 

For example, some enemies have strong attacks with slow recovery time. Use that to your advantage to strike them while they're lifting their big axe or mace from the ground. 

Every enemy will have weaknesses that you need to exploit. You just need to discover them by carefully analysing the fight. 

Bandai Namco When Elden Ring waifu invites you over Elden Ring - Don't rush

  • Don't be greedy

Another key tip for boss fights and enemy encounters overall - don't be too greedy with your attacks, a hit or two is usually enough. Some bosses are designed to bait you into a long attack combo before punishing you for being greedy. Be patient, wait for the clear opportunity, strike a couple of blows and retreat to a safe position. Rinse and repeat.  

  • Summoning is part of the game so it's totally fine

To make your adventure easier, you can summon NPCs to help you take down bosses. Playing with NPCs is usually a much different experience than soloing the game but when you're stuck on a certain boss, this feature is a no brainer. 

To summon, use ashes when a rebirth monument is nearby and a monument icon is shown on the left side of the screen.

You can also team up with other players thanks to a co-op option. 

  • Explore, explore, explore

It's easy to miss valuable items in Elden Ring which is why exploring every room and corner is important. Sometimes, some rooms will be locked and you'll need to backtrack from time to time but this is a standard for From Software's games so don't worry if a door can't be opened straight away as you'll usually arrive to that spot later on.

  • Use Guidance of Grace if you're stuck 

For the first time ever in From Software games, you can use a guide mechanic called Guidance of Grace to show you where you need to go if you're stuck. 

  • If you feel underpowered, farm some runes to upgrade your stats 

This was always a viable option in souls games. Find some good rune farming spots and slay enemies until you have enough runes to level up a couple of levels.  

Bandai namco Elden Ring - Guidance of Grace Elden Ring - Guidance of Grace

While we can't promise your playthrough won't be a tough one, these tips should come in handy. If you follow all of them closely, you should not be dropping your runes on every corner of the map. 

Remember, it's all about patience in souls-like games. If you keep your nerve, plan and execute your attacks properly, you'll find yourself enjoying this game more than you may have expected. 

Elden Ring - an action RPG by George R.R. Martin and FromSoftware

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A man with an axe running through a forest in SCUM
Elden Ring

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