Elden Ring New Player Guide: Which Class to Choose, Smithing Stones, Maps and More


It’s time to conquer the Lands Between.

From Software

Elden Ring is one of the biggest games of 2022, featuring over 12 million copies sold in the first month† Fans of developer FromSoftware have jumped in and the hype is bringing new players.

For those new to FromSoftware games, you need to understand a few lessons that veterans already know. But even those familiar with Dark Souls, Bloodborne or Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will encounter some features not seen in previous games from the developer.

Here’s a rundown of tips for Elden Ring players.

Each class offers a different play style.

From Software

Which starting class should I choose?

When setting up a character, there are 10 classes to choose from. As is the case with previous Souls-style games developed by FromSoftware, the starting class determines your weapons and stats, but ultimately your character growth will be open ended. Classes designed for melee combat can eventually learn spells and become proficient magical users as players level up their characters.

If you want to start with a melee character, go for a Warrior, Hero, Vagabond or Samurai. All four have strong starting weapons and defensive stats to take a hit. The Samurai has the advantage of having a bow for long-range attacks, a shield, and the Ushigatana with his strong Unsheathed weapon ability, while the Vagabond is the beefier class in both strength and health.

The Astrologer and the Prophet are the two magical starter classes. The former uses sorcery, while the latter uses incantations. Sorcery has the greater damage spells and incantations can both heal and protect characters along with offensive attacks.

The Confessor is a hybrid class that uses both melee and incantations, while the Prisoner can perform physical attacks and cast spells. The Bandit is a unique villain class designed to be stealthy and combat at a distance. Then there’s the Wretch, a class that starts with minimal gear and stats designed primarily for experienced Souls players who want an extra challenge.

Use your weapon skills

Almost every weapon in Elden Ring has a Weapon Skill, a powerful special attack that uses FP. This is different from other Souls games where abilities were only applied to rare weapons. This means you can use special attacks even with starting weapons, such as the Uchigatana’s ability, Unsheathed.

To use them, you must use the weapon with two hands or equip a shield that does not have a weapon ability of its own. Weapon skills are useful throughout the game and they can really make early game less frustrating.

Torrent, your steed, is a huge help.

From Software

Ride as much as possible on Torrent

To help you travel through the Lands Between, you get a spectral steed named Torrent. Not only can the horse move quickly, it can also absorb blows for you.

Get used to fighting on horseback. It adds a bit of defense while also allowing you to escape when things go bad. Some of the overworld boss battles are easier to win on horseback than on foot.

Keep in mind that if Torrent gets too many hits, it will disappear, knocking you to the ground and becoming an easy target for a follow-up attack.

Collect all resources

Elden Ring has a crafting system that allows you to craft a wealth of items over the course of the game to aid in battle. To craft these items, you’ll need resources obtained from defeated enemies or found around the world.

These resources are plentiful — plants can be found practically everywhere — but they’re not just useful for crafting items. You can also sell them for runes, the game’s currency. If you collect all the plants along your path, that’s thousands of runes that can be spent on improving your character when needed.

As you fill areas of the map, buildings, islands, and other notable structures are displayed.

From Software

watch the Map

The Land Between is huge, so having a map is essential. It also has many clues. As you fill areas of the map, buildings, islands, and other notable structures are displayed. These places on the map can be the location of bosses, dungeons, items or characters.

But the map is divided into sections that you need to find first. If you are in a new country without a map, look for a brownish lantern-like symbol. There is the map fragment for that area.

Look for this symbol when you are in a new area.

From Software

While traveling, keep an eye out for cabins and campfires. Shacks usually contain items or characters to talk to. Traders will always be standing next to a campfire, so be sure to track them down.

When you find a point of interest you want to return to, leave a mark for that spot. You can place 100 different markers on the map.

Keep an eye out for churches and golden trees

Two important items that you don’t want to miss are Golden Seeds and Sacred Tears. A Golden Seed can be used to increase the charge of the Sacred Bottle, which is the main item to replenish your health. They are mainly found at the base of golden trees that can be found all over the map. Sacred Tears increase the amount of health that each potion restores from the Sacred Flask. You can find them in churches all over the world.

Find the flask of miraculous body

If you need a little more health during battle, there’s another healing item to help out. The Flask of Wondrous Physick can be found in the Third Church of Marika (see map below) and can be used to heal and strengthen your character. It works differently from the Sacred Flask in that it only has one charge and uses different Crystal Tears that have different effects. The Crimson Crystal Tear can be found by the bottle and it will heal 50% of your health. Other Crystal Tears heal your FP, increase stats, undo damage, and even make you explode. The Flask of Wondrous Physick can be found early in the game by taking a detour from the broken bridge east of Stormhill.

Where to find the Flask of Prodigious Physick.

From Software

Read messages and leave your own messages

A common feature in FromSoftware games is the ability to read and leave messages on the ground. These messages from other players can give you hints about what to do in a particular place, such as letting you know that an enemy is hiding nearby, that there is a trap in the room, or going in a certain direction to find an item.

Always take a few seconds to read the message and don’t forget to applaud. This gives the writer of the message a health boost. Also feel free to add your own posts in the area. Even if it looks like the same message you applauded, someone can do you a favor by applauding your message and giving you some health in return. Keep in mind that a few players will intentionally throw wrong messages to troll others.

Keep returning to the Roundtable Hold

Somewhat early in the game you will be transported to the Roundtable Hold. As in other FromSoftware games, this area acts as a hub to talk to other characters, upgrade equipment, and learn more about the game.

What’s important to remember is that this hub will change as you progress through the game. New characters will appear, more areas will be opened and more items will be available.

So it’s important to come back to the Roundtable Hold often. Especially when you beat a boss or talk to a character in the world. Transport back to Roundtable Hold to see if anything has changed.

If you have any problems, come back later

Unlike previous FromSoftware games, Elder Ring is open world. This means there’s a huge map to explore, making it easier to find better weapons, summons and, most importantly, more runes to level up. You are not required to continue on a linear path, and areas have no level requirement, so nothing prevents you from returning at a later date. It is also very likely that there were dungeons and other areas that you missed.

Elden Ring is out for PC, PS4, PS5Xbox One and Xbox Series consoles for $60.

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