How to start playing Elden Ring if you’re new to the game

Our beginner’s tips are perfect for FromSoftware newbies

Jasper Pickering
Friday 25 February 2022 16:16 GMT
This is our crash course on how to play the highly anticipated game
This is our crash course on how to play the highly anticipated game (iStock/The Independent)

We’ve been very excited about Elden Ring and after reviewing the game for ourselves, we reckon it could be an early contender for the best release of 2022.

“Elden Ring is by far the most accessible game the developer has made,” we said. “But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Rather than lowering the difficulty ceiling, it has instead raised the floor.

“By throwing open the doors of its vast world, Elden Ring maintains the genre’s reputation for challenge without being marred by artificial barriers to entry.”

We added that its “updated combat system that combines Sekiro with the classic Souls formula, it is one of the best games FromSoftware has ever made... but it’s not for the faint of heart.”

It’s true that the open world of Elden Ring has made the game more accessible for new players, but if you are still struggling to choose the best class or receive early in-game items, then we have put together a quick guide based on our experience so far.

Read more:

Which character class should you choose in ‘Elden Ring’?

There are 10 classes to choose from in Elden Ring:

  • Vagabond
  • Warrior
  • Hero
  • Bandit
  • Astrologer
  • Prophet
  • Samurai
  • Prisoner
  • Confessor
  • Wretch

One of the first things you may notice when deciding which background to pursue are the stats. While you may automatically gravitate to the higher level classes such as the vagabond and confessor, starting at a higher level will give you less flexibility for customisation later on.

If you are completely new to FromSoftware games then the confessor class is a good place to start. It’s well-rounded, has high faith and gives you access to an early low-cost healing spell, a sword and shield as well as light but durable armour. The only drawback is that due to its high level and balanced stats, it doesn’t excel at anything in particular.

Read more: Elden Ring release as it happened

All the classes are worth exploring but the only one that should be avoided by anyone but veteran players is the wretch – a low-level character equipped with nothing but a loin cloth and a wooden club. It’s intended as a blank slate for the most customisable options but new players may struggle to stay alive long enough to find better equipment to help protect themselves against enemies.

Which “Keepsake” should I choose in ‘Elden Ring’?

As you are choosing your character’s class, you can also decide whether you want to start with an additional item to help you in your quest. The two most useful for new players are the crimson amber medallion and the golden seed.

The medallion will increase your health points when equipped which is a quick way to make yourself more formidable against foes at the start of the game. While the golden seed can be used to increase the number of flasks (health and magic potions) you can assign at Sites of Grace (resting and fast travel points).

‘Elden Ring’ attributes explained

There are eight different attributes to level up in Elden Ring:

  • Vigor
  • Mind
  • Endurance
  • Strength
  • Dexterity
  • Intelligence
  • Faith
  • Arcane

But the three most important stats to worry about at the start of the game are vigor, mind and endurance.

Vigor determines how much health your character has, and it’s worth investing in early-on when the rune cost of levelling up is cheaper. This will help you stay alive longer against larger opponents.

Read more: Elden Ring is the most accessible game FromSoftware has ever made – but don’t call it easy

Endurance is the second most important as this will determine your character’s stamina and equip load. Your stamina determines your ability to use your weapons, dash, roll and block attacks. Every time an enemy hits your guarded character, your stamina bar will deplete, and if it is emptied completely then you will be left vulnerable to being stunned, giving enemies a chance to land a critical attack on you before you can recover.

The equip load is also important as it will determine the type of armour you will be able to wear and weapons you can carry before it affects your movement. If your equipped items exceed 70 per cent of your total load capacity then it will have a negative effect on your movement and ability to roll out the way of attacks, so it’s worth keeping an eye on to make sure you’re not over encumbered.

Finaly, mind determines how much magic your character possesses. If you’re looking to play a magic-focused build such as the astrologer then this will be important to cast spells and incantations. It’s less important for players who aren’t interested in using magic but it also affects your ability to use certain weapons and summon spirits to fight alongside you.

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The other five attributes determine your ability to use certain items. For example, heavy weapons usually require a high strength score before they can be used and certain weapons can scale with these attributes. If there is a particular weapon, spell or item you wish to use then it’s worth levelling up those particular attributes. To make the most of your build, try focusing on just a few, rather than spreading yourself too thin.

Is there a tutorial for ‘Elden Ring’?

After arriving in the stranded graveyard after your first death, a spirit will encourage you to jump into a nearby pit. This may seem like a trick at first but jumping down will allow players to access the Cave of Knowledge, an area designed for new players to learn the mechanics of the game.

Here you will find several hints on the ground as well as low-level enemies to practice on. This area can be skipped completely but it’s a good way to familiarise yourself with the controls before venturing further into the game.

How to access multiplayer in ‘Elden Ring’

Players can be summoned to your game and vice versa to explore the world of Elden Ring together or to fight.

In order to summon players to your game, you will require players to activate a nearby summoning pool and to use an item called a “furcalling finger remedy” which can be crafted using Erdleaf flowers commonly found in the open world. A crafting kit will be required which can be bought from a merchant found in an abandoned chapel to the north of the player’s starting area.

Read more: The biggest confirmed PS5 releases coming in 2022

In order to be summoned by other players to assist in their domain, one of two items will be needed: a “Tarnished’s furled finger” or a “small golden effigy”. The former can be found on a corpse near the Stranded Graveyard and the latter can be acquired by examining the martyr effigy near the entrance to Limgrave.

How to summon spirits in ‘Elden Ring’

Spirit ashes can be used to summon non-playable characters that help players in combat. They can be especially useful during boss fights or against large groups of enemies as long as there is a monument of rebirth nearby (which can be found near most areas of interest and boss fights).

After resting at a Site of Grace, speak with Melina. Once she has given you access to Torrent – the spectral steed – travel back to the merchant in the abandoned chapel and a witch will be sitting on a nearby ledge enveloped in fog. (Trust us, this all makes a lot more sense once you’re in the game...).

Speak to her and tell her you have access to Torrent and she will give you a spirit calling bell and lone wolf ashes which can be used to summon a pack of spirit wolves. Other spirit ashes can be found throughout the game to summon different types of spirits, all of which should help you on your quest.

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