How to make Elden Ring’s challenge more palatable for newcomers

We need to make something clear from the off – Elden Ring is a tough game. While it is never unfair in the challenge it lays before the player, it is indeed a challenge.

This is what puts so many people off of games coming out of the FromSoftware stable. The idea of banging your head against a boss for hours only to be wiped from existence because of a poorly timed dodge sounds like a bad time.

However, Elden Ring is so good that it will likely become a game that is as talked about as much in a decade as it is now and us being the FOMO averse gamers we are, we can’t just ignore Elden Ring.

And frankly, neither should you.

Not only is the open world jaw dropping, the challenge is memorable and exploration is heavily encouraged from the outset.

However, we also recognise that “git gud” and “try finger, but hole” are not good pieces of advice for newcomers who may not be up to the idea of getting dispatched with one hit. More so, Form Software doesn’t even give you a quest log so the daunting nature of Elden Ring can feel even more untenable.

This brings us to – in our opinion – the best way to play Elden Ring for people who want to enjoy the story and lore that is oozing from this game.

First things first – choose your class.

If you want to go full “easy mode” then you’ll want to play a mage which means picking the Astrologer or Prophet class. We prefer Astrologer because it has a better distribution of stats but the method we outline below would work for most classes.

We encourage you to pick a class, play it for an hour or three and then swap out if it’s not working for you. As you can respec Runes after defeating the third major story boss, don’t worry too much about what you start with as you can change your specs later to wield two great hammers, if you want.

Before you do anything we recommend exploring Limgrave and the surrounding areas as much as possible. Learn how enemies fight, get Torrent by visiting the Gatefront Ruins Grace Point, and get accustomed to the various systems present in Elden Ring.

Head to the Church of Elleh at night to meet Ranni the Witch as she will give you a spirit bell you can use to summon spirits who will fight with you.

This interactive map from Fextralife will become your saving grace. Bookmark it and bring it up when you’re lost. Hell, bookmark Fextralife as well, you’ll need it eventually. As mentioned, there is no quest log so pull up a guide or a pen and paper to make notes.

Right, so you’ve explored and you want to start playing the game proper. First up, time to get ~96 000 Runes from a dragon. This requires a bit of setup and as Elden Ring has been out since late February, there are numerous guides so we’re recommending ESO’s guide below.

As a point of reference, once teleported from the portal behind the Third Church of Marika, you can head straight down the path toward the bridge where you will find a Grace Point. After passing the dragon on the bridge you will want to go behind the Minor Erdtree – avoiding the boss – for a gust that you can jump into using Torrent to climb the mountain, and arrive at the dragon instantly.

Near Fort Faroth to the left of the dragon is a Grace Point, grab it as soon as possible. We recommend entering Fort Faroth to grab a half of the Dectus Medallion and Radagon’s Soreseal before dispatching the dragon as obtaining these items will lead to your death. The Medallion is one half of your path to the end of the game and the Soreseal gives you +5 to a few stats at the cost of taking more damage.

You should also be invited to Roundtable Hold after resting at the Fort Faroth Grace Point, accept that invitation and fast travel back to the Grace Point if needed.

All tolled, once you’ve dispatched the dragon from the Lands Between, you should be roughly level 39 without any additional Rune farming.

From here, if you are a mage you will want to head west to the Street of Sages Ruins. To the left-most side of these ruins is the Meteorite Staff and the to the right-most side down a cellar is Rock Sling. These are two incredible early game items for mages and make boss fights trivial.

Once you have your Runes (and equipment if you’re a mage) you’re heading back to Limgrave, specifically Summonwater Village

Here, you will find the Tibia Mariner boss and while it shouldn’t be too much of a problem there is a Grace Point and a Stake of Marika nearby. Defeating this boss will reward you with the Skeletal Militiaman Ashes which will become your best friends from here on out.

While there are many great spirits to summon, Skeletal Militiaman Ashes have a unique feature in that, so long as they aren’t attacked while they are self-reviving, they can last entire fights, and even into the second phase of many boss fights.

How well does this work?

After roughly five hours of play, starting with the farm above, completing a few quests and dispatching some bosses including two bosses that progress the main story we are at level 52.

Additionally, if you want to farm even more runes easily there are various areas that can net a high number of Runes for relatively little effort. For those who want to over power everything the Mohgwyn Palace Rune farm is likely the best option but it requires as a fair bit of setup to do so only do this if you’re really struggling.

Fair warning, while levelling does help a lot with survival in Elden Ring, enemies will still annihilate you if you don’t take them seriously. You do still need to get good, this just helps make that process more palatable for those of us who have never experienced a From Software game.


About Author


Related News