Elden Ring guide: Everything you need to survive the Lands Between

Elden Ring guide - a view of Liurnia after leaving Stormveil Castle
(Image credit: From Software)

These Elden Ring guides will see you safely through the Lands Between, especially if you're preparing for the DLC arriving in June, and are just starting out on a new adventure. The vast world can seem pretty overwhelming at first, thanks to the freedom you have to explore in whichever direction you choose. As with most Souls games, you're expected to overcome notoriously tricky enemies and bosses, but there are a number of weapons to choose from, as well as myriad collectibles that can make your perilous journey a little easier. 

Elden Ring is a huge game, and there's certainly a great deal of satisfaction to be had from going in blind. That said, you might find that there are a few things you wish you'd known beforehand, especially when it comes to some of the more obscure Elden Ring quests. Maybe just a peep is in order? 

With that in mind, I've listed all of our Elden Ring guides below to help you on our journey, whether you're a new player or a seasoned Tarnished. 

Starting out

Character Creation
Before you can dive into the Lands Between, you need to make a few choices, both stylish and otherwise. This guide shows you what to expect from the character creation process in Elden Ring, from body type to background.

Your class—or origin—will determine your starting stats and level, as well as the weapon with which you start. There are ten classes to choose from, and this guide helps break down the strengths and weaknesses of each one to help you pick one that suits your playstyle.

These starter gifts can offer you a variety of bonuses, from an increase in your overall health to the ability to unlock a certain item or door later in the game. You can only pick one for your character when starting out, so this guide details the known benefits of each.

(Image credit: From Software)

Spirit Calling Bell
This item is given near the beginning of the game and is easy to miss. The Spirit Calling Bell allows you to summon NPCs and creatures to help you out during boss fights, dungeons, and other specific enemy-infested areas.

NPC quests
You'll meet a lot of NPCs during your time in the Lands Between and many of them have their own questlines. These aren't signposted though, so it's easy to miss one of the steps or lock yourself out by progressing the story too far.  

Beginner's tips
There's a lot to figure out as you venture into the vast world of the Lands Between. This guide gives you the tips to help you out.

It's easy to miss how to craft in the Lands Between. You can make useful items on the fly to help you out in various situations, and learn more recipes from cookbooks. Here's what you need to know.

Stats and gear

(Image credit: From Software)

Level up
You'll want to increase your attributes so you can have an easier time with tougher bosses or moving through more difficult regions. You won't get the option to level up right away in the Lands Between, and you'll need to meet Melina in order to do so. This guide tells you how.

As with other Souls games, you can increase individual attributes as you level up. Each class starts with a specific stat balance, but you can customise this as you go, building your character around your preferred weapon and playstyle.

There are various weapons to try out in the Lands Between, from an unblockable knife made of ciphers, a giant flaming hammer, and a dragon head you can attach to your arm. They're not necessarily easy to find, though, so this guide lists the best of each weapon type.

You can find many different armor sets in the Lands Between. Some are great at offering a specific type of defense for the different situations and enemies you'll come across. Others just make you look really cool.

Magic has always had a place in the Souls games, relying on intelligence and faith attributes. Sorceries still provide powerful offensive magic, and Incantations lean towards healing, support, and fiery damage spells. This guide covers everything you need to know. 

How to respec
You increase one of your attributes every time you level up. But what if you make a mistake, or find a weapon you want to use but your stats are all wrong? This guide shows you how its done.

(Image credit: From Software)

Ashes of War
These are used to enhance weapons with certain skills and affinities. You can apply Ashes at any Site of Grace, though you'll need the Whetstone Knife to do so. This guide covers some of the best ones, where to find them, and how to find more whetblades for adding affinities. 

Great Runes
These items are dropped by main bosses in the Lands Between and offer a passive effect when equipped. There are a couple of things you'll need to do to make use of them, though. Here's how they work.

These are like the rings in Dark Souls, in that they grant you a passive effect when equipped. You start with one slot but can equip multiple talismans later on, and their effects generally stack.

Smithing Stones
These items, along with the Somber Smithing Stones variant, are used to upgrade your weapons. There are various ways to get them, including inside chests or from vendors once you've met the requirements.

How to alter armor
Tailoring Tools and the Sewing Needle items allow you to change up your armour as the game goes on. The change appears is cosmetic rather than altering stats, but you'll want to look your best when stepping out into the world of the Lands Between.


(Image credit: From Software)

Souls games are notoriously unforgiving. So if this is your first time playing a FromSoft game, you should familiarise yourself with the basics of Elden Ring's combat system. This guide will help you out.

No Souls game would be complete without a variety of bizarre bosses to tax your reflexes—and patience. This guide breaks down the main boss encounters, where you can find them, and tips on how to overcome them. 

There are a lot of dungeons to tackle in the Lands Between. They can reward you with helpful items, weapons, or tools, so it's well worth your time to explore any you find. Luckily, we explain the different types, and how to get through some of the first ones you'll encounter. 

If you're struggling with a boss or if you just want to bring a friend along for the fun of it, you can summon them (or a random player) into your game. This guide explains how it works. 

Spirit Ashes
As you make your way through the Lands Between, you might have noticed you've picked up various different Spirit Ashes. These can be used to summon NPCs and mobs to help you fight bosses or complete dungeons.

Spirit Tuning
Unlocking this allows you to upgrade the power of the spirits you summon with your ashes. We explain how to complete the NPC questline that unlocks it, and where to find the material used in the upgrades.


(Image credit: From Software)

How to get Torrent
You'll be spending quite a bit of time on horseback in Elden Ring. This can make traversing the Lands Between much faster, but it also introduces a new element to several boss fights. This guide shows you how to get your trusty steed.

Fast travel
The Lands Between is vast. And as wonderful as Torrent is, you can't expect him to carry you back and forth across the map multiple times. Luckily, you can fast travel and this guide explains how.


(Image credit: From Software)

Golden Seeds
Golden Seeds are required to increase your flask charge, and you'll need several of them after a certain number of upgrades. These collectables can often be found by small golden saplings along main roads or close to various landmarks.

Tear locations
You can find both Sacred Tears and Crystal Tears throughout the Lands Between. The former improves your flask strength, whereas the latter is needed to brew the Flask of Wonderous Physick. Here's where to find these life-saving collectables.

Stonesword Keys
These are similar to the Pharros Lockstones from Dark Souls 2. They unlock fog doors throughout the game, allowing you to access certain areas, loot, or enemies. This guide covers the ones we've found so far.

Map Fragments
These uncover parts of the map when found. Each area has a "map pillar", and when you find the Map Fragment for the area, that part of the map is revealed. They're invaluable for orienting yourself and finding your way around, so I've listed the location for each one. 

You might have come across a few pieces of fine art as you explore the Lands Between. This guide explains what they are and how you can solve them to collect valuable rewards.

Endings and their associated quests

(Image credit: Tyler C. / FromSoftware)

You can get several different endings in Elden Ring. Some require you to use a specific Mending Rune, while others can be triggered by your actions during your time in the Lands Between. This guide covers all of them. 

Ranni (Age of the Stars)
As well as having one of the best plotlines, this NPC questline allows you to choose a certain ending once you've defeated the final boss. Her story arc revolves around various characters and their motivations and this guide tells you what you need to know to complete it. 

Fia (Age of the Duskborn)
You'll encounter this mysterious "deathbed companion" when you first venture into Roundtable Hold. Not only does she give you a consumable in return for a hug, but she also has her own questline.

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Dung Eater (Blessing of Despair)
While you can meet this NPC early on, you can't start his quest until you pick up a specific item. This is a fairly short quest and you can obtain an item for one of the game's endings as a reward.

Brother Corhyn/Goldmask (Age of Order)
Another relatively simple quest that takes you into some of the later game areas. Goldmask plays a big part in this quest and finishing it up awards you with an item needed for one of the endings.

This NPC is easy to miss as she's in an area that you might not think to visit until later on. While this quest doesn't lead to a specific ending, completing it successfully rewards you with Miquella's Needle, an item that lets you get rid of the Frenzied Flame. 

Sarah James
Guides Writer

Sarah started as a freelance writer in 2018, writing for PCGamesN, TechRadar, GamingBible, Red Bull Gaming and more. In 2021, she was offered a full-time position on the PC Gamer team where she takes every possible opportunity to talk about World of Warcraft and Elden Ring. When not writing guides, most of her spare time is spent in Azeroth—though she's quite partial to JRPGs too. One of her fondest hopes is to one day play through the ending of Final Fantasy X without breaking down into a sobbing heap. She probably has more wolves in Valheim than you.

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