How to use Great Runes in Elden Ring

Survive the Lands Between with these Elden Ring guides

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(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Elden Ring guide: Conquer the Lands Between
Elden Ring weapons: Arm yourself
Elden Ring armor: The best sets
Elden Ring Smithing Stone: Upgrade your gear
Elden Ring classes: Which to choose

If you've picked up an Elden Ring Great Rune in the Lands Between, you might want to know what to do with it. The main bosses (opens in new tab) drop them, alongside Remembrances (opens in new tab), and they can offer a handy boost to your Tarnished—provided you take the steps needed to activate them.

You can equip a Great Rune at a Site of Grace once it's been activated, but you'll need to use a Rune Arc for it to give you its passive bonus effects. You can only equip one at a time, too, so you should take note of what each one does and switch between them for different encounters or areas. 

A word of warning: Boss names appear in this guide, so click away now if you'd rather avoid potential spoilers. Otherwise, here's what you need to know about Elden Ring Great Runes, including where to find the Rune Arc items needed to get their effects. 

How to use Great Runes in Elden Ring

Whenever you pick up a Great Rune from a boss, you'll need to restore it before it can be equipped. To do this, head to the Divine Tower in the region of the boss that dropped the rune. As an example, Godrick is the first boss that drops a Great Rune, so you need to make your way to the Divine Tower of Limgrave.

The good news is that once a Great Rune has been restored, you won't have to do it again. If you're planning on switching them often, however, you should make sure you have plenty of Rune Arcs.

Elden Ring Rune Arc: Where to find them

Restoring a Great Rune isn't enough to actually see its benefit. To make use of the passive effects a rune offers, you'll need to equip it, then activate it using a Rune Arc. 

Rune Arcs are fairly rare drops from enemies—mostly from rats, though still not often—and they can occasionally be found in chests or on corpses. The most reliable way to get your hands on the item is from the vendors at Roundtable Hold and Liurnia of the Lakes. Each Rune Arc item will set you back 4,000 Runes.

(Image credit: From Software)

Elden Ring Great Rune list

Here are the Great Runes we've found so far, along with the effects they offer and where to restore them:

Godrick's Great Rune

Great Rune of the Unborn

  • Boss: Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon
  • Effect: Used to perfect rebirth
  • Where to restore: N/A as it automatically allows you to respec (opens in new tab)

Radahn's Great Rune

  • Boss: Starscourge Radahn
  • Effect: Raises maximum HP, FP, and Stamina
  • Where to restore: Divine Tower of Caelid (opens in new tab)

Morgott's Great Rune

Rykard's Great Rune

  • Boss: Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy
  • Effect: Restores HP upon defeating enemies
  • Where to restore: Divine Tower of West Altus (opens in new tab)

Mogh's Great Rune 

  • Boss: Mogh, Lord of Blood
  • Effect: Grants a blessing of blood to phantoms
  • Where to restore: Divine Tower of East Altus (opens in new tab)

Malenia's Great Rune 

  • Boss: Malenia, Blade of Miquella
  • Effect: Attacks dealt after taking damage recover HP
  • Where to restore: Isolated Divine Tower (opens in new tab)
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.