The best keepsake in Elden Ring

Malaenia firing General Radahn in Elden Ring
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

The Lands Between is a deadly place, and it's about to come even more so with the release of the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC. It's only right that you get to choose an Elden Ring keepsake to provide you with a specific benefit and knowing what each of them does will help you make that decision.

Similar to Souls' grave gifts, when creating your character in Elden Ring, you'll get to pick an item to start with. These range from free upgrades to keys you might use later in the game. These special items follow a similar theme to the Dark Souls games: the Crimson Amber Medallion replaces the Life Ring, the Golden Seed swaps out for the Estus Shard, and there's even the Elden Ring Stonesword Key that will lead to treasure a little further down the road. 

If you're intent on making your experience tougher, you can even say no to the starting gift, or choose the one that aggros enemies. In this Elden Ring keepsakes guide, we'll take a look at each of these boons, including which we think is best for the DLC. 

What's the best keepsake for Shadow of the Erdtree? 

Survive the Lands Between with these Elden Ring guides

Elden Ring storyteller

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Elden Ring guide: Conquer the Lands Between
Elden Ring bosses: How to beat them
Elden Ring map fragmentsReveal the world
Elden Ring weapons: Arm yourself
Elden Ring armor: The best sets
Elden Ring Smithing Stone: Upgrade your gear
Elden Ring Ashes of War: Where to find them

If you're creating a new character specifically to play Elden Ring's DLC, the best keepsake is likely going to be the same as if you were just playing the main game, and for similar reasons. That said, there are a couple of considerations, depending on how you're planning on approaching the lands of shadow.

If you want to power through as quickly as possible and get to Mohg's boss room, an Elden Ring golden seed will give you an extra charge of your flask for healing or FP. This is a really powerful starting boon and might be useful if you're a little under-levelled for the areas you're tackling. These do become a lot more plentiful in the main game later on, however, so this choice will really only help in the short term.

If you're not going for speed, the best keepsake overall is the Stonesword Key. These keys stay rare throughout the game. Like Pharros Lockstones from Dark Souls 2, you can plug this key into a statue to open a doorway that usually leads to treasure or a secret location. There's one such doorway right at the start of the game leading into Elden Ring's Fringefolk Hero's Grave dungeon. This is probably the hardest dungeon in Limgrave, with a really tough boss especially if you're trying it at the start of the game, but it does drop a golden seed. Alternatively, there's a stamina talisman locked behind one of these doorways in east Limgrave, so that's another consideration.  

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

All Elden Ring keepsakes

Crimson Amber Medallion
"A medallion inlaid with Crimson Amber. Raises max HP."
It doesn't get much simpler than that, really. The Crimson Amber Medallion will make Elden Ring's early game just a little bit more forgiving. HP boosting items like this don't tend to be particularly useful long-term, however, so you're probably better off with the next item on our list.

Golden Seed
"A golden seed washed ashore from the Lands Between. Said to reinforce Sacred Flasks."
The Golden Seed is Elden Ring's equivalent of an Estus Flask Shard from Dark Souls, and will let you upgrade the amount of charges your Sacred Flask can store. This is a more flexible and useful item that accomplishes the same purpose as the medallion.

Lands Between Rune
"The gold of grace shining in the eyes of the people of the Lands Between. Use to gain many runes."
This one is definitely a skip, as Elden Ring is littered with runes, the game's equivalent of XP or or Dark Souls' well, souls.

Fanged Imp Ashes
"The ashes of small, diminutive golems. Ashes are said to hold spirits within."
Spirit ashes are a new form of summoned help in Elden Ring, distinct from the game's co-op or story-based NPC helpers. Spirit Ashes may be used in certain fights to bring in some backup, usually weaker than a real human compatriot or those aforementioned NPCs, but still useful. While you could do worse than the Fanged Imp Ashes, you can quickly find superior minions with our guide on where to find Spirit Ashes in Elden Ring.

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Cracked Pot
"Three strange cracked pots that somehow mend themselves. A container for certain thrown items."
Cracked Pots function in Elden Ring's crafting system, and are reusable components in the making of this game's equivalent to Firebombs from Dark Souls. Definitely one of the more useful keepsakes.

⭐Stonesword Key
"Two stone keys shaped like swords. Breaks the seal on imp statues but can only be used once."
This is the S tier keepsake. The rewards behind imp statue fog doors trump everything the other keepsakes have on offer.

Bewitching Branch
"Five sacred branches charged with beguiling power. Said to originate from Demigod Miquella."
The ability to charm enemies to fight on your side can certainly turn the tide of some fights, and could yield some very funny results if used on the right target. However, the Bewitching Branch's nature as a consumable makes it inferior to the Fanged Imp Ashes if what you want is combat support.

Boiled Prawn
"Five pieces of boiled prawn. Boosts physical damage negation."
Again this item's nature as a consumable makes it immediately inferior to the Crimson Amber Medallion or Golden Seed. The bottom-tier Boiled Prawn may have some utility as the meme option of Elden Ring Keepsakes, however.

Shabriri's Woe
"The crazed likeness of a goddess with no eyes. Attracts enemy aggression."
A choice for a masochist who wishes to eschew stealth, or more tactically, a player looking to engage in jolly cooperation and tank for their hosts.

Sean Martin
Guides Writer

Sean's first PC games were Full Throttle and Total Annihilation and his taste has stayed much the same since. When not scouring games for secrets or bashing his head against puzzles, you'll find him revisiting old Total War campaigns, agonizing over his Destiny 2 fit, or still trying to finish the Horus Heresy. Sean has also written for EDGE, Eurogamer, PCGamesN, Wireframe, EGMNOW, and Inverse.

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