The decrepit high fantasy world of Elden Ring can be a miserable place for newcomers and the uncoordinated alike.
As the latest entry into a notoriously unforgiving series, our Elden Ring beginner’s guide will lead you through some of the foggier systems and mechanics as you traverse the mist in The Lands Between.
We’ll first go over some basic advice that even returning adventurers will need to remember, before linking out to full explainers on the more intricate aspects of selecting your character and finding what you need to survive.On this page:
- Elden Ring Beginner's Guide
- Elden Ring Systems Guides
- Elden Ring Item Guides
- Elden Ring Quest Guides
- Elden Ring Enemy Guides
Elden Ring Beginner’s Guide
- Exhaust all dialogue options for every NPC you talk to
While the Souls series is renowned for its esoteric approach to storytelling, that doesn’t mean everyone you meet will give you the silent treatment.
Really, it means every morsel and crumb of interaction you have with another soul is precious and should be treated as such.
When you get the chance to speak to someone, exhaust all the dialogue options you’re given. They often contain hints, clues, and faint nudges towards interesting or intriguing locations out in the open world.
But pay attention! NPCs have a habit of not repeating their instructions twice.
You’ll know when you’ve exhausted it all because they’ll repeat the last line of dialogue.
- You can't ride mounts in co-op
Your uphill struggle against evil is more tolerable with a friend in tow, but be aware: three is a crowd.
You can’t hop on your noble steed to move quickly between places when there’s another player in your game, so we suggest summoning help in areas that limit your access to a horse, such as Legacy Dungeons, caves, tunnels and smaller dungeons.
- Mounts let you ride through poison swamps and take no damage
Something your four-legged friend can do however is ferry you across poisonous landscapes without them gnawing through your life bar.
If a corrupted patch of swamp seems unpassable, try mounting up before you attempt a crossing, but remember, if they’re found indoors where you have no access to your horse, your only option is on foot.
- 20 Strength and 20 Dex opens up most weapons to you
Variety is the spice of life, and in Elden Ring it can be the seasoning of death too.
Pumping 20 points into Strength and Dexterity gives you access to a wide arsenal of different pointy objects to ward off your foes. Certain options will still be out of reach, because they require a greater investment, but 20/20 is something to aim for.
- Locations NPCs mention are marked on your map with a bright, easy-to-miss shadow
Cartography isn’t Elden Ring’s strongest point. The sprawling map of The Lands Between is dense with dungeons, forsaken settlements, and monster dens.
Sometimes, after you’ve been pointed towards some horrible place or another by an NPC, its location will get marked on your map with a shadow that’s very easy to overlook.
Study the screen carefully when you think someone has given you a lead. NPCs will usually say ‘north of this’ or ‘south of that’, so open your map and look around that area and you’ll spot it.
- Make a habit of marking locations on your map
In a similar vein, many of the locations on your map are completely unmarked.
Try to get into the swing of marking interesting or important places on your map or you WILL get lost. You can place blue columns, which will appear on your compass and 3D world. You can also use a glossary of icons to denote sites with monsters/chests/etc. you want to return to.
- Major Sites of Grace have a ray of light leading away from them and into the direction you want to go (also visible on the map)
One subtle push in the right direction you do get though is from major Sites of Grace, which have an arching ray of light coming out from them in the best direction to proceed.
- You can't fast travel or craft in combat
If you thought things would be that easy, then you’d be wrong.
Before you take on pretty much any encounter in Elden Ring, make sure you’re in it to win it with the right items equipped.
Once that baddie locks onto you, there’s no fast travelling to safety or crafting extra items to cheese your way through a fight.
However, if you’re in the open world and manage to break line of sight, or put enough distance between you and your enemies, things will quiet down and you’ll be able to resume both.
- The flame-throwing traps in certain dungeons can be shot to deactivate
Like previous games in the series, Elden Ring takes great joy in tricking players into an untimely death.
Keep an eye out for the particularly dangerous flame-throwing traps, which can be disabled harmlessly with a ranged weapon.
You could try timing your roll to avoid the flame, but try shooting it first.
- Not every shield blocks all damage
When the odds are so insurmountably weighted against you, it can be very tempting to cower behind whatever slab of wood or metal you can slide between yourself and the terrible monsters on your trail.
However, most defensive items won’t block all of the incoming damage from enemy attacks. This leaves you open to being whittled down by chip damage in drawn-out, intense fights or just getting squished by bigger beasts.
If you’re a defensive player, seek out adequate protection as soon as possible.
Elden Ring Systems Guides
- How do you invite friends to coop multiplayer in Elden Ring?
- What is the best class in Elden Ring?
- Can you pause in Elden Ring and how do you save?
- What can the horse do in Elden Ring?
- How do you use Ashes of War in Elden Ring?
- How do you two hand weapons in Elden Ring?
- How do you craft in Elden Ring?
- What are the best tips for Elden Ring?
- Elden Ring New Game Plus & Journey 2 explained
- Elden Ring Best Faith build: How do you make a Blackflame build?
- Elden Ring best Strength build: How to make a powerful colossal weapon character
- Elden Ring Best Intelligence build: How do you make a Mage or Sorcerer build?
- Elden Ring Best Dexterity/Arcane build: How do you make a Bleed build?
- Elden Ring: 14 hidden mechanics you didn't know you could do
- Elden Ring - The best things to do in the first 20 hours
- What are the best rune farming locations in Elden Ring?
Elden Ring Item Guides
- How do you farm Smithing Stones to upgrade items in Elden Ring?
- Elden Ring: Where to find all Grave and Ghost Glovewort Bell Bearings
- What are the best weapons in Elden Ring?
- What is the best armor in Elden Ring?
- What are the best staffs in Elden Ring?
- What are the best spells in Elden Ring?
- What are the best Talismans in Elden Ring?
- How do you change appearance in Elden Ring?
- What is the best Keepsake in Elden Ring?
- How do you get the Spirit Calling Bell and summon help in Elden Ring?
- Elden Ring Dragon Locations - What are Dragon Hearts used for?
- How do Rune Arcs work in Elden Ring?
- How do you get a 100% shield in Elden Ring?
- Where do you get a lantern in Elden Ring?
- Where can I find Deathroot in Elden Ring?
- How do you get the Mimic's Veil in Elden Ring?
- How to respec and reset stats in Elden Ring: Where do you find Larval Tears?
- Elden Ring Ashes of War: How to use Ashes of War, Whetstone Knife location
- Dog trouble in Elden Ring? Just use the Beast-Repellent Torch
- Elden Ring Grand Lift of Dectus: Where do you find the Dectus Medallion?
- Elden Ring: How do you summon spirits, and where is the Summoning Bell?
- Where to find the Glintstone Key in Elden Ring
- ‘Rainbow Stones lead the way to riches’: How do you use Rainbow Stones?
- Elden Ring paintings locations and solutions guide - rewards detailed
Elden Ring Quest Guides
- Elden Ring Volcano Manor guide: Should you join Volcano Manor?
- How to start and finish Blaidd's quest in Elden Ring
- Elden Ring D quest and what to do with the Twinned Armor
- Elden Ring Irina quest and how to deliver the Castle Morne letter
- How do you "seek three wise beasts" at Oridys's Rise in Elden Ring?
- Elden Ring Corhyn quest guide: How to solve the regression alone reveals secrets riddle
- Elden Ring Gowry and Millicent Quest: Should you summon or invade Millicent?
- Elden Ring Fia Quest: Where to use the Carian Inverted Statue and get the Mending Rune of the Death Prince
- Elden Ring Alexander quest - How do you complete Iron Fist Alexander's questline?
- Elden Ring Ranni Quest: How to find the Baleful Shadow in Nokstella and use the Dark Moon Ring
- Elden Ring Nepheli quest guide and what to do with the potion
- Elden Ring Lanya location and how to complete the Diallos quest
- Elden Ring Sellen quest: Sellia Hideaway, Witchbane Ruins, and choosing Sellen or Jerren
- Elden Ring Jar Bairn quest guide and how to find Jar Bairn's potentate
Elden Ring Enemy Guides
- Elden Ring boss order Walkthrough
- How do you beat Margit, the Fell Omen in Elden Ring?
- How do you beat invisible enemies in Elden Ring?
- How to beat the Regal Ancestor Spirit in Elden Ring
- How do you beat Tree Sentinels in Elden Ring?
- How to beat Godrick the Grafted in Elden Ring and power up his Great Rune
- How to easily beat the Red Wolf of Radagon in Elden Ring
- How to beat Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon in Elden Ring
- How to beat General Starscourge Radahn in Elden Ring
- How to beat Malenia, Blade of Miquella in Elden Ring
- Knock Elden Ring's Malenia out of her unfairly OP attack with this simple method
- How to beat Draconic Tree Sentinel and access Lyndell, Royal Capital in Elden Ring
- How to beat Morgott, the Omen King in Elden Ring and power up his Great Rune
- How to beat Godfrey, First Elden Lord (Golden Shade) in Elden Ring
- How to easily beat Sir Gideon Ofnir, the All-Knowing in Elden Ring
- How to beat the Godskin Duo in Elden Ring without losing your mind
- How to beat Radagon and Elden Beast in Elden Ring
- Elden Ring Endings guide: How to get every ending