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Elden Ring: Can you pause? How do you save? How do you level up? and all your other questions, answered

Elden Ring doesn't really explain the majority of its mechanics, but we're here to help.

Like you, we’ve had so many small questions about Elden Ring before getting our hands on it. Some of these concern the many new mechanics the game introduces, others are about returning features that may take a different shape, or follow different rules this time around.

To help newcomers to FromSoftware’s games, and those already familiar with the basics, we decided to put together this FAQ where we’re going to answer as many questions about Elden Ring as possible. Anything major is going to have its dedicated guide, of course, so think of this article as a catch'em-all of smaller, but common questions that are fairly easy to answer.

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Can you pause Elden Ring?

The short answer is No. You can’t pause Elden Ring. The only way to take a respite is to simply stay out of combat, but you won’t be able to pause mid-fight to take a call or answer the door.

This is fairly standard for modern FromSoftware games, and there isn’t really any compelling reason behind that decision. It’s likely the developer didn’t want players to cheese some of the tougher areas by quickly pausing and resuming, or to help keep your entire focus on the fight without giving you the chance to look up tactics or take a breather.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that if you’re playing online – depending on certain other in-game rules – you could be invaded randomly at any moment, so that’s another reason why pausing is not allowed.

Are you vulnerable when browsing your inventory in Elden Ring?

Since you can’t pause Elden Ring in the traditional sense, this unfortunately also means that any menu you bring up in-game, such as the crafting menu, inventory or equipment also do not pause the game. In other words, you’re going to get hit if you get into any of those menus in the field, so look for a quiet area to get your business done.

Alternatively, you can simply travel back to a Site of Grace and do what you need to do there, since it’s likely going to be combat-free.

How do you level up in Elden Ring?

In Elden Ring, you level up by using collected Runes at a Site of Grace.

Maiden Melina grants you the ability to level up after you've unlocked a few Sites of Grace. So if you've got Runes buring a hole in your spectral pocket and nowhere to spend them, all you need to do is push forward until you unlock the option.

Is there weapon durability in Elden Ring?

No, Elden Ring does not bring back weapon durability mechanics from past Souls games. You can use your weapon as often as you want, and you won’t need to worry about repairing it, or the damage it does decreasing over time after extended use.

This also goes for shields and armour.

Does equip load affect you in combat in Elden Ring?

Yes, you should be very mindful of your equipment load. By this, we’re specifically referring to weapons and armour. The game calculates the total weight of everything you’re wearing/holding and slots you into one of four categories: light (under 30%), medium (under 70%), heavy (over 70%), and over encumbered (100% or more).

The heavier you are, the slower your roll is going to be, and the shorter the distance it’s going to cover. If you’re over encumbered, you won’t be able to roll at all. Having a lighter roll also increases your invincibility frames, making it more likely to avoid the hit even as you roll into it, not to mention consumes less stamina.

The good news is that the game tells you how much higher/lower you’re going to push your equip load anytime you view a piece of gear or weapon, so keep an eye on that page before you get too excited about a new drop with better damage/defence.

As you long as you remain within the desired category of equip load, you’ll be fine.

Is there fall damage in Elden Ring?

Generally speaking, Yes, you will die when falling from great heights in Elden Ring. That said, the game is incredibly more forgiving about its fall damage compared to other FromSoftware games. There’s really no better way to know than test it, but if a drop looks too deep, it’s probably going to kill you.

This also goes for your horse, as you can use it to jump down cliffs and such while mounting it.

How do I save in Elden Ring?

Elden Ring, like all other recent FromSoftware games, does not have a manual save feature. The game automatically saves every few seconds, regardless of what you’re doing. It does not tell you when the last save was made, but you should rest in knowing that these auto saves are constant.

If you want to be absolutely sure, sit by a Site of Grace before you quit the game. That said, if the power goes out or the game crashes, you will be back right where you were standing when it happened. You shouldn’t, however, use this as a means of saving your progress, because it could corrupt your save file.

Broadly, Elden Ring offers multiple character slots, so feel free to experiment with new classes while keeping your original safe.

For more in-depth explanations of the mechanics of The Lands Between, here's our Elden Ring Beginner's guide.

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