Elden Ring may be a new franchise for FromSoftware, but if you’re familiar with the studio’s past work, you know that this latest project borrows plenty of systems, mechanics, design elements, and its general feel from all those games.
Whether you’ve been playing since the days of Demon’s Souls when no one knew what a FromSoftware is, or you jumped on along the way, these Elden Ring tips are for you. Here, we’re going to go through a number of tips and point out specific quirks that will only make sense if you played Soulsborne(kiro?) games.
While what we’re going to touch on will benefit everyone, newcomer or veteran, the tips are intended for those of us who know their way around a bonfire. So without further ado, let’s see what changes Miyazaki and co made to the formula this time around.
Poise and super armour are big deals
Your character’s poise vs those of enemies and bosses has always been something you had to be aware of if you wanted to improve your survival in Soulsborne games. The same is true for super armour. Elden Ring brings back the two systems, but they’re brought to the fore in a new way.
Having a higher poise than your target effectively means your attacks cannot be interrupted, while theirs can. Think about how easy it usually is to land hits on a mage, and you’ll get the idea. Your armour is largely what affects your poise (you can see that value under stats). For enemies, the heavier they look, the more likely their poise is going to be high.
Super armour, particularly for bosses, is another element that you’ll need to engage with. While Elden Ring doesn’t actually show you a super armour bar or anything like that, it’s always present, and you always need to chip away at it. Super armour regenerates slowly over time. The best way to keep that from happening is by continuing to attack the boss. Even when you need to back away, remember to throw a dart/arrow or two at them. This will prevent them from regaining their super armour.
Once it’s broken, you’ll hear the big boom, letting you get a critical hit. Super armour can be broken multiple times during a fight, so keep at it.
You can move while chugging flasks
Series veterans will be happy to know that while drinking your Flask of Crimson and Flask of Cerulean Tears, you can move. This is a bigger deal than it sounds, because you won’t be locked into a corner as you try to regain some of your lost HP/FP.
That said, you’re going to be moving very slowly, so keep whatever you’re fighting in frame so as to anticipate any upcoming attacks. Obviously, if you get interrupted, you’re going to have to start the animation all over.
There’s no weapon durability
FromSoftware has finally done away with the weapon and armour degradation mechanic. It never really made sense, and that’s likely more true now considering the gigantic size of the game’s world.
In Elden Ring, you won’t have to worry about repairing your weapons and armour, which is just great news. This actually leads us into the next tip.
Illusory walls are back
Yes, as unsurprising as that might sound, Elden Ring brings back secret areas/entrances/chests hidden behind illusory walls. Most of these can be found at a certain academy, and in some caves and catacombs.
If a wall looks too clean or out of place, don’t be afraid to smack it. You won’t have to worry about degrading your weapon’s durability or damage. You should probably also help your fellow players and leave a note letting them know.
Two-handing weapons offers a damage boost
This is another returning mechanic that we’re happy to see again. In Elden Ring, wielding your weapon with two hands offers a clear damage boost. You can track how much that is for any given weapon by simply equipping it and consulting your stats page before and after.
Doing this also unlocks a new moveset for every weapon, so take a moment to experiment with the different combos. The new Ash of War skills - basically Weapon Arts from Dark Souls 3 - mix in particularly well with the two-handed stance, too.
You won't be entirely defencless, either. Holding block will still negate some damage, just like a shield - though nowhere near as effectively. You can track every type of damage mitgation your weapon does by browsing its stats.
Don’t lock yourself into one play style
As much as you might be used to finishing FromSoftware’s games with the same weapon and same armour set, Elden Ring will challenge you to let go of that notion. The game is balanced around juggling ranged with melee combat.
This is also true for spells and incantations. You’re going to need to invest in Faith or Intelligence to keep up with the game’s challenge. Most classes’ starting FP, and the cost of those skills themselves, sets you up to easily include them in your repertoire of moves.
If you're yet to git gud, check out our Elden Ring Beginner's guide.