The world of Elden Ring is by far the largest of From Software, and that can make it very confusing. This is true even if you’re used to how the studio’s games are typically structured. Yes, there are rays of light to guide you somewhat, but the open world of Elden Ring is so vast and full of hidden areas that without a few hints about what to do first in Elden Ring, you can easily get lost and be destroyed by a crowd of very powerful monsters. However, use these tips and life will be a lot easier.
Visit Elleh . Church
The floating gold dust on your first Site of Grace will push you this way anyway, but be sure to visit Elleh’s church as soon as possible. It is a convenient base for most of your West Limgrave activities and the hub for a number of major events. Be sure to give the Tree Sentinel a wide berth unless you’re lucky. This boss can be dealt with better after you upgrade your weapon once or twice.
Find the first card
Elden Ring likes to let you wander aimlessly without even telling you how to find maps, but the West Limgrave map fragment is near the church. Head north until you see a series of ruined stone buildings (the barracks), making sure you are completely healthy. We recommend stealth to deal with the soldiers inside, as it’s easy to get overwhelmed quickly.
There is a memorial stone on the road just outside the barracks. Work with this to get your first map fragment. You may need to time your interaction carefully as a powerful pole-wielding soldier patrols the road.
With a few exceptions, finding and interacting with these monuments is how you get cards in each region. The blank West Limgrave map hides the monument icon, but it is clearly visible on other maps.
Get the Ghost that Calls Bell
Once you’ve activated three Sites of Grace and met Melina for the first time, quickly travel back to Elleh’s church. You will notice that Kalé the merchant is sleeping, the area is surrounded by fog and a glowing blue woman is sitting nearby.
This is Ranni, the witch. Talk to her to get the Spirit Bell and unlock the Spirit Ash Summons. This axis allows you to summon a variety of support NPCs into battle, ranging from a band of wandering wizards to wolves and even jellyfish. Spirit Ashes can be upgraded later, and using them is essential in some boss encounters, including the first outside Stormveil Castle.
Finding Stormhill Shack
The road to Stormveil Castle opens up as soon as you pass Stormgate. Once this is the case, turn right and head east until you come to a small hut. Roderika, the woman inside, is essentially your unofficial tutorial on how side missions work in Elden Ring. Talk to her a few times and you will find that she is interested in Chrysalid items. Talk to her again to receive the Jellyfish Spirit Ash.
You’ll find a Chrysalid in Stormveil Castle, which you can take back to Roderika. When she’s not at Stormhill Shack, she’s near Roundtable Hold. Later, after you defeat the second main story boss, she will help you upgrade your Spirit Ashes.
This is a good strategy for dealing with any NPC that isn’t trying to kill you. Talk to them several times, and if they are in the Roundtable Hold, come back after major story events to see what has changed with them.
Visit the Dragon-Burned Ruins – But Don’t Get Burned
On the south side of Agheel Lake is a series of ruins called the Dragon-Burnt Ruins. Some weak enemies call this area home, making it a good place for some early-game Rune farming. There are two stairs that lead down into the ruins.
The northern one takes you to a room filled with rats, and the treasure chest is a trap that transports you to a significantly more difficult area† The southern one is behind some high walls that you have to Torrent jump over. It takes you to a small room with a chest containing the Twinblade, an excellent weapon for classes that prefer Power.
Battle Bloody Finger Nerijus
Elden Ring features some scripted invasions where enemy NPCs attack on fixed locations. Travel along the river north of Aheel Lake and go as far as you can. You will eventually get a message that Bloody Finger has invaded Nerijus. Stay on the defensive and try to dodge his attacks as they inflict Bleed. A friendly NPC will accompany you and distract Nerijus so that you can attack (usually) without fear of reprisals.
Once Nerijus is defeated, you get the Reduvia Dagger. It scales with Dexterity and Arcane, and what it lacks in sheer power it makes up for by making your enemies bleed. Even if your Arcane stat is a little low, you can still make use of the weapon and its effect.
Buy Margit’s cuffs
Murkwater Cave is near where you fight Nerijus. It’s a short dungeon that culminates in a fight against Patches, the Tarnished merchant. He begs you to spare him towards the end of the fight – and you should. Exit the area, rest at a Site of Grace, and come back to buy some useful items from Patches. One of these is Margit’s Shackle, a unique item that you can use twice during the first scripted boss fight to hold Margit for a few seconds. It has a steep price tag of 5,000 runesAlthough.
Visit Limgrave Tunnels
Upgrading weapons is essential, and for that you need Smithing Stones. Most regions have at least one mine or “tunnels” dungeon, where you can find Smithing Stones both in the environment and as loot from enemies. Melee classes beware though. The enemies in Limgrave Tunnels can withstand most physical attacks, but are vulnerable to magic.
Brave the Waypoint Ruins
If you feel like investing in your Intelligence stats, you can find a Glintstone Sorceress in the Waypoint ruins on the eastern edge of the West Limgrave map. The ruins have been ravaged by deadly plant monsters, including one that rains sacred lightning. Take out the little ones and once a path is clear, run down the stairs into the ruins.
Here you will face the Mad Pumpkin Head boss, although it is a relatively easy fight. The Mad Pumpkin has a three hit combo where he attacks with his flail, then his fist, then his flail again, and it usually fires when you’re near him. Run away to avoid the hits, then run back inside to attack. He also occasionally hits his head on the ground.
Enter the next room after defeating the Mad Pumpkin Head to meet Sellen the sorceress. She sells Glintstone spells by default, and if you bring her Glintstone Craftsman Cookbooks with her, she will expand her stash.
Find the flask of wonderful physics
Northeast of the Waypoint Ruins is another church, the Third Church of Marika, and this is a very important one. Communicate with the statue in the center to get the Flask of Wondrous Physik and two starter crystals used for mixing effects. Unlike the Tear Flasks, the Flask of Wondrous Physik has multiple functions depending on which crystals you add.
For example, some effects amplify your charged attacks, while others give a long-lasting stamina boost. Using the right mix at the right time can make a significant difference in your survivability, making this a must-have item as soon as you can get it.
To learn more about Elden Ring, check out our tips for beginners so you can keep your silent hero afloat and out of the ever-threatening “YOU DIED” screenshot.
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