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Elden Ring Shields: Where to find a 100% shield early

It is important to remember that not every shield in Elden Ring is created equal.

After a little bit of a hiatus with Bloodborne, and Sekiro, Elden Ring brings shields back to FromSoftware's games. This might sound small, but the return of shields makes a world of difference to how you could approach gameplay in Elden Ring.

The classic, tried-and-true style of cautiously moving through the environment with your shield up is once again a valid tactic. Sword and board is a defensive style, sure, but it’s one Souls veterans have been relying on for years.

Considering the many, many dangers that await you in this giant world, it helps to have a little defence.

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Why you need a 100% shield in Elden Ring

If you’re unfamiliar with how shields work in FromSoftware’s games, allow us to explain. All shields in the game will block damage and consume some stamina with every hit blocked. However, not every shield you find will mitigate the entirety of that damage.

In other words, you need a shield with 100% physical damage mitigation, otherwise you’re going to take some damage, as well as the hit to your stamina, with every blow you block. A shield that blocks 40% or 60% of damage can still be useful, but you ideally want to upgrade as soon as you can.

Typically, the shields with 100% damage block you come across early on will be of the heavy variety, which means they’re going to really slow you down because of how they affect your equip load, and therefore your roll speed.

We're only referring to physical damage here, as shields block a variety of damage types - but physical will continue to be the most important.

How to start Elden Ring with a 100% shield

Assuming you don't want to look for a 100% shield in Elden Ring's open world, you can circumvent this process by simply picking Vagabond or Confessor as your starting class. Either of these will allow you to start the game with a 100% shield, but you obviously need to be happy with everything else the two classes offer from the off.

Where can you find a 100% shield as early as possible in Elden Ring?

Ignoring the large shields you might find towards the beginning of Elden Ring (and the two classes outlined above), the first viable 100% medium shield is the Beast Crest Heater Shield, and it requires just 10 Strength to wield. This shield mitigates 100% of any physical damage it blocks. You’ll obviously still lose stamina, but you won’t take damage.

The Beast Crest Heater Shield can be found inside a loot chest in some random enemy camp south-west of the broken bridge in Limgrave West. The closest Site of Grace is the Deathtouched Catacombs.

Start there, and head outside. Begin moving south-west and you’ll see some wooden ramparts and a patrolling dog. It’s your choice whether to take everyone out or head straight for the chest, but you can make a right as you enter, and you’ll find the chest near the stone structure in the north-west corner of the camp.

See our map above for a clearer idea of where to start and the chest's location.

Looking for more helpful tips like that? Look no further than our ever-growing Elden Ring guide.

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