Before you play Elden Ring
Whether you’re a new player to FromSoftware’s titles or you’re a hardened veteran to their challenging formula, Elden ring will offer you something new you’ve likely never seen before in their previous titles. As with any Souls game, discovery is part of the experience, and as such, I will not be discussing spoilers or giving away key information before you play Elden Ring. Simply put, this guide will provide you with some points you should keep in mind when first stepping into The Lands Between.
Many of the mechanics of Elden Ring are similar to those of FromSoftware’s previous titles (or any Souls-like game), however, there are some new elements in the world of Elden Ring that you should keep in mind.
Crafting is one of the major new mechanics added to Elden Ring, this mechanic allows you to create many useful items by forging for resources.
Crafting is a common mechanic seen in most RPG’s, so why should you care about it in Elden Ring? Well, some of the items you can craft can prove to be hugely useful, arrows that can put your enemies to sleep, food for your spirit speed, concoctions that boost your stats etc.
The resources for these recipes can be found all over, some will need to be foraged from wild plants whilst others will be hunted from the wildlife.
I highly recommend keeping crafting at the top of your priority list as it can change the outcome of many battles.
Combat is at the heart of it Elden Ring like the previous Souls titles. While most things have stayed the same or had minor changes/balances made to them, there are a few things that are either new or work differently in Elden Ring.
One of the bigger changes to combat comes from your ability to jump, we have seen this mechanic before in Sekiro and this is just one of the features Elden Ring borrows from their previous title.
Being able to jump also allows you to attack whilst jumping, a jump attack can easily break an enemy’s guard and can dismount mounted enemies. If you jump off your mount whilst dashing you will be thrown farther and can still attack whilst doing this.
This changes many combat scenarios and definitely plays to your favour, practice with different weapons and learn some combos that suit your play style.
During the CNT I had a lot of fun playing around with jump attacks and slamming both weapons down onto my enemies, it’s a very easy new mechanic to learn that will absolutely help you win your battles.
The other change I want to talk about is the way you now switch between one-handed and two-handed with your weapons.
This change took me a while to get used to and I still need some practice with it. Previously you would just press one button and it was done. In Elden Ring, you now have to hold down Y/△ and press the corresponding bumper to where you want to set your weapon.
It’s not the easiest change of controls and I recommend you take some time when you first play to master this. It is a little complicated but does open up more options for combat. Now you can switch which weapon is in which hand a lot easier than you previously could and once you’ve got the controls down you can quickly change the outcome of a battle.
Another major addition to Elden Ring is your spirit steed Torrent, this steed allows you to quickly traverse the vast open fields and scale cliffs with ease to reach new areas.
You can however also use Torrent in battle, I have never been a fan of mounted combat however it feels natural and well-developed in Elden Ring. The controls are simple enough and I quickly learned how useful it can be to fight on your steed.
If you venture into Agheel lake you will encounter Flying Dragon Agheel, this is an optional boss fight and is fought in a very open space, Agheel uses a variety of aerial and land-based AOE attacks, using Torrent during this battle helped tremendously, I was able to quickly retreat when I knew an AOE attack was incoming and managed to defeat Agheel.
If you’re wanting to practice mounted combat I suggest facing one of the mounted enemies that surround caravans or patrol bridges. The enemies offer a fair challenge and will help you understand this new mechanic.
One of the most important decisions in Elden Ring is what class you want to start as. Yes, you can respec during the game but your starting class usually sets the style of your playthrough.
There are 10 starting classes to choose from, each offering a unique starting loadout. It is worth taking some time prior to release to figure out how you want to tackle Elden Ring on your first playthrough.
In all previous Souls games I did my first playthrough as a strength build, this to me, is the easy route. There’s no shame in playing strength. I enjoy using large weapons to destroy my enemy’s health bars and being able to tank hits always helps in Souls games. However. after playing the CNT and experiencing the new magic and incantations I am definitely going to be focusing on that branch of skills.
Demon Souls brought us some stunning visuals for magic paired with haptic feedback, when I first used Glintstone Pebble I was equally impressed, and the incantations are just amazing. My favorite of them all so far has been “Litany of proper death”. Just the name alone speaks volumes.
What class/build are you planning on using for your first playthrough? Let us know in the comments!
Other games to try
It’s not long now till we get to play Elden Ring, however, In the meantime why not try some other souls like games or some RPGs to get you in the mood.
If you’ve never played a soul’s game before I highly recommend you start the trilogy and see how far you can get before Elden Ring releases. If you’ve played the souls games through and through why not try a challenge run to really refine your skills before stepping into Elden Ring.
If you’re looking for something a little different but still want a challenge you should check out some dungeon crawling/rouge-lite games, there are plenty available that you can sink hours into.
Thank you for reading this article and if you have any comments or opinions feel free to let us know down below.