Invading is one of the most rewarding things you can do in Elden Ring. Here are some tips from someone with too many hours in DS3/Elden Ring invasions. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: These tips are meant for new and inexperienced invaders. If you are looking for tips on more specific/advanced strategies such as twinking, a different guide will be better for you.
Invading is possibly the most rewarding thing you can do in Elden Ring. Taking down 3v1s, messing around with the host, and being creative with your invasions are some of the most fun experiences you can have when you know what you’re doing. That being said, it is really hard to be a successful invader, and most people get discouraged and stop trying before they have any fun with it.
I am someone who has spent a lot of time invading and having fun in DS3 and Elden Ring, so I’ve figured out a few things. In this guide, I will be sharing some great tips on how to win more frequently, how to deal with losses, and how to have more fun with your invasions. I hope you learn something, and enjoy!
The Invader’s Toolkit
To have the best chances of winning your invasion, you will need to be able to control the situation as much as possible. These items aren’t required, but they can give you the slight edge you need.
Most importantly, make sure you have a Bloody Finger, Recusant Finger, or many Festering Bloody Fingers to invade repeatedly! Aside from this, use:
- Boiled Prawn or Boiled Crab to boost your defenses.
- Anything to boost your damage, such as Exalted Flesh or Fire Grease.
- Albinauric Pot: throw at an enemy to prevent him from using his healing flasks.
- Throwable items to finish off low-health opponents, such as Kukris, Fire Pots, and my favorite, Rot Pots.
- Flask buffed with as many Sacred Tears and Golden Seeds as possible.
- Flask of Wondrous Physick mixed to your liking.
The Golden Rules
- Don’t get discouraged
Invading is really hard, and when you’re starting out, you’ll die far more often than you’ll win. Take losses in stride – if you’ve wasted the host’s resources (flasks, consumables, etc) and time, you’ve done your job. Remember that you will improve and that it will be very rewarding when you start winning more frequently.
- Play creatively
In order to win an invasion, you’ll have to work creatively. You will almost always be outnumbered, so you have to treat each fight like a puzzle and figure out how to trick the host into exposing himself. Going in with a brute force strategy will often get you killed.
Some things I do are:
- Using environmental hazards (elevators, traps, flame pillars in dungeons, etc) to distract the host and to separate him from his friends.
- Pretending to be friendly. If you can get the host and his friends to trust you, you can get some free hits in. You can do this by using gestures, putting weapons away, removing armor, etc. Here’s a screenshot of this from one of my invasions:
- Play cheap
Remember, you are at a disadvantage. To even the playing field, use every cheap trick you can come up with.
Some of the best things to do are:
- Luring in enemies. If you can distract the host or his friends with an enemy, you can buy enough time to get in a hit or land a shot from a spell.
- Abuse weapon arts and spells. There is a wide variety of attacks that can be abused to gain an advantage. For example, I use the weapon art on the Winged Scythe to stop my opponents from healing. Then, I finish them off with a Honed Bolt spam while they’re trying to heal. Use any combo that works best for you.
- Running away. If you are being swarmed, it’s perfectly fine to just run away. Often, your opponents will run into an enemy or separate themselves. This can buy you valuable time.
Stage 1: The Search
At the beginning of an invasion, you’ll be tasked with locating the host and his friends. This might seem like an impossible task in an open world game, but don’t worry, you can find them easily with the help of the map!
See the little icon below the compass? That’s the direction you need to go to find the host! Look around to find the icon as soon as you invade; it will always be there unless you’re very close to the host.
If you’re feeling stuck, or if you can’t reach the host for whatever reason, you can use a Phantom Finger to reinvade and spawn in a different location. 3 of them are placed in your quick item slots when you invade.
Stage 2: The Group Fight
Once you’ve found your target, the group fight begins. this is the most difficult stage of the invasion. If you have managed to single out the host, try to take him down as fast as possible. Most of the time, however, you’ll be fighting 2 or more people simultaneously. Here are some tips to manage this:
- Play defensively. Unless you’re really good, you’ll probably die if you try to fight multiple people head on. Instead, run away, roll spam, and wait for them to separate a bit. If one strays too far from the group, that’s your chance to go in for a few hits.
- Again, play cheap. This has already been covered, but it’s very important. Use the environment, lure in enemies, and be unpredictable.
- Keep everyone accounted for. Once you have separated someone from the group, make sure you can see his friends in your peripheral view. If they charge a magic attack and you don’t see it, you could lose very quickly. If someone is missing, listen for audio cues to hear footsteps and magic attacks.
- Don’t get greedy. If you manage to land a few hits, but your opponents are beginning to surround you, retreat. It is better to run and to let your opponent heal than to get hurt. Remember, you have far fewer healing resources than them, so you can’t allow yourself to take unnecessary damage.
In this screenshot, you can see that the host has strayed a bit too far from his summon. Because of this, I was able to bait out an attack, respond with my weapon art, and oneshot him. Try to create situations like this by playing patiently and defensively and waiting for them to get aggressive and impatient.
Stage 3: The Chase
If you manage to kill the Host’s friends, congratulations, you’ve already done more than what is expected of you. At this point, get ready for the Host to take off running. You will often find that even the most aggressive hosts will lose all of their confidence once they’re alone. Don’t let them get away. If they do, they will likely resummon their friends.
As soon as you kill the host’s last summon, heal up and start running towards him. Don’t stop to taunt him; this will only give him more time to escape. Stay as close as you can and go in for chip damage. If he’s starting to get away, try this:
- Use spells. In my invasions, I find that Honed Bolt, Frenzied Burst, Comet and Loretta’s Greatbow are great at stopping hosts.
- Use your consumables. Fire Pots, Kukris, etc are great for dealing chip damage. If you land enough of them, the host will often stop to heal, giving you time to close the gap.
While you can more or less use anything in an invasion, sometimes it’s hard to figure out what equipment is easiest to use to win more often. To help with that, here are some of my recommendations:
- Weapons: Great Epee, Starscourge Greatsword, Winged Scythe, Uchigatana
- Incantations: Honed Bolt, Frenzied Burst, Golden Vow, Rotten Breath, Flame Grant Me Strength
- Sorceries: Comet, Glintstone Pebble, Loretta’s Greatbow, Meteorite
- Talismans: Great Jar’s Arsenal, Green Turtle Talisman, Marika’s Scarseal, Radagon’s Scarseal, Ritual Sword Talisman