7 tips for surviving the brutal open world of Elden Ring

With the launch of Elden Ring this week, players unfamiliar with the series will definitely give it a try after its phenomenal critical reception. It is currently on a 97 out of 100 on Metacritic, making it one of the highest-rated games of all time. If you’ve never played a Soulsborne before but are desperate to see what the hype is all about, there are plenty of ways to make your journey through The Lands Between less terrifying.

Here are some tips for surviving the brutal open world of Elden Ring.

Avoid that boss

Elden Ring is huge, and unlike previous entries in the Soulsborne series, you’re almost never stuck with a single area or boss. If something seems too difficult for you, mark it on your map and come back to it later. There is no shame in avoiding a boss who is too defiant. Elden Ring practically encourages it, as the first boss most players will encounter (Tree Sentinel) is unmanageable at an early level.

Elden Ring

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

FromSoftware’s placement of this terrifying boss is probably meant to indicate that players can and should avoid things that seem too difficult to tackle. This remains the case for the rest of the game, with plenty of areas with nightmarish bosses and extra hard enemies that are best dealt with by coming back at a later date. And if you somehow find yourself in a challenging area that you can’t travel quickly from, just run. Run for your life and don’t look back.

How to craft items and upgrade weapons

If you haven’t unlocked the Crafting Kit yet, you can find it at the start of the game. Go to Grace Point “The First Step” and move forward until you see a church in the distance. You’ll see the Tree Sentinel, a huge boss riding around on his horse (unless you’ve already beaten him), so we recommend avoiding him and running into the church. Take the Grace Point and look at your map, you should be in the “Church of Elleh”. If so, talk to the trader ahead and buy the Crafting Kit.

Elden Ring

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

A few steps to the left of this merchant is an anvil where you can upgrade weapons. You can only upgrade to +3 here, and that won’t change until you progress through the game. For this you need Roundtable Hold unlocked and the blacksmith present. To unlock Roundtable Hold, continue to follow the lights on your map from “Church of Elleh”. Once you fight the first boss of Stormveil Castle and sit on nearby Grace Point, you should have the chance to do so. I got to Roundtable Hold by going all the way around Stormveil Castle, so if you’re having trouble with the boss, you can explore the outskirts of the castle until you find a safe path.

How to level up

If you’ve just started the game and are looking for a way to level up your Runes, you can quickly achieve it by rushing to the “Gatefront” Grace Point. This can be found above ‘The First Step’, behind the forest above ‘Church of Elleh’, at the western end of the road from ‘Gatefront Ruins’. If you’re having a hard time finding it, the “The First Step” Grace Point should point directly at it with a glowing light on the map.

Elden Ring

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Once you are at the “Gatefront” Grace Point, you will receive a short cutscene. After that you can start changing your Runes in levels.

Highlight everything and take notes

Unlike many open world games, Elden Ring does not hold the player’s hand when it comes to the locations of points of interest. If you find an NPC in the world, they will not appear on your map or in any mission log. If a character reveals important information to you, they may never repeat it. If you discover a closed door, it is quite possible that you will forget its existence. If you want to progress in discovering the great secrets in The Lands Between, you’ll need to put in the extra effort to decipher the cryptic nature of this world.

Elden Ring

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Have you found an NPC in the world or discovered the location of a boss that you can’t fight now? Place a marker on your map. Is a character spouting cryptic nonsense at you? Write down what they say word for word. Have you found a secret path that has nothing to do with the path you are currently walking? Use a marker as a reminder to visit later.