ELDEN RING – Ultimate PVE Guide (FAQ and Tips)

The Ultimate PVE Guide for Beginners

The Quality Infusion Problem

Instead of investing in one stat and meeting the min requirements of certain weapons you are using both strength and dexterity weapons sub-optimally, instead of splitting them into two different builds. To reach the middle breakpoint for Heavy, Quality and Keen it would be 60 points in each stat so, for Heavy and Keen that would be 50 points of total investment, for Quality that would be 100 points. That is disregarding supporting stats like Vigor Endurance and Mind, or any other weapon requirements like Faith Intelligence and Arcane.

As an example if we take a look at a Longsword both on the Heavy affinity (50 points) and the Quality affinity (100 points) you will have an AR of 495.47 and 558.79 respectively. However AR is not damage, and for this damage test I had a defense value of 140 and a damage negation of 30. The damage from the Heavy affinity (50 points) was 250 with the damage for the Quality affinity (100 points) being 291. That is a 41 damage difference for double the points being spent.

Now if we compare the Heavy affinity’s final breakpoint of 80 with the Quality affinity’s middle breakpoint of 60/60 we end up with 30 points for an extra 9 damage (100 stats minus 70 stats) [291 damage vs 282].

How Does Equipment Load Work?

Max Load is determined by your END stat and can be boosted further by some talismans. Your equipped armaments, talismans, and armor/clothing contribute to your total weight (not ammunition or quick items). Medium Load is <70% of max. Medium Roll is the baseline “normal” dodge-roll.

Light Load is <30% of max. Light Roll has the same number of iframes as Medium, but covers more distance. Heavy Load can still roll, but with fewer iframes and much slower recovery (known as “fat roll”). Your stamina costs are increased as well. This is not recommended. Overloaded is >max. you cannot run or jump or roll while overloaded. Just don’t do this.

How to Counter Waterfowl

Frost pot (make sure to reset it with some kind of fire damage, or wait it out) or one of the two following techniques:

When she hovers up, sprint away from her as far and as fast as you can. Keep running after her first attack, and as she does the second. When she finishes the second, and moves to start the third, turn around, sprint toward her, jump and curve inward toward her back while still running. 

  • Best cast scenario, you dodge all three attacks perfectly. 
  • Worst case scenario, you get hit once or twice by the third. 

With at least 40 vig (which you should have), the worst case scenario won’t result in a death. 

I also suggest you watch hitless Malenia runs to better understand what others do to dodge all of her attacks, Waterfowl included.

  • First Flurry: Vow of the Indomitable.
  • Second Flurry: Roll into it as she gets close to you.
  • Third Flurry: Stand still until she passes over your head then roll in the opposite direction.

How Does Arcane and Bleed Work?

  • If a weapon has BOTH bleed buildup AND Arcane scaling, then the bleed buildup will scale with ARC.
  • Blood, Poison, and Occult affinities all add ARC scaling to physical damage.
  • Blood affinity adds a flat amount to the weapon’s base bleed buildup (even if its 0).
  • Occult affinity does not directly add bleed buildup, but it has much stronger ARC scaling (affecting weapon’s innate bleed and/or buff from Seppuku).

CO-OP Checklist

  • Host has a boss alive in the area.
  • Both players confirm the same multiplayer password set.
  • Both players confirm in the same location.
  • Host uses a remedy, then the Cooperator writes or re-writes gold sign.
  • Give the sign 30-60 seconds to show up, sometimes it’s not immediate.
  • Check that both players have “cross region play” setting on “perform matchmaking” (in game settings)
  • If none of that works, both players restart the game (reconnect to multiplayer server).
  • If none of that works, try a different location.
  • If none of that works, you can test by using red duel sign instead of gold coop sign (that should show up anywhere regardless of boss/world state.)
  • If none of that works, there may be a network issue outside of the game. NAT-type 3 is known to not play well with others; try changing to type 2 in your router / gateway’s settings.

Note you can always test (or trade) by using red duel sign instead of gold coop sign (that should show up anywhere regardless of boss/world state).

Note that Leyndell, Royal Capital is not the same area as Leyndell, Ashen Capital (summon sign written in one does not show in the other).

What Do I Keep and What Do I Lose when I Go to New Game Plus?

  • You will keep all of your equipment and levels, and even maps, and key items that are not story-related.
  • You will lose all sites of Grace, and summoning pools are deactivated.

Non-story-related key items (you keep) include Bell Bearings for upgrade materials, talisman pouches, whetblades, cookbooks, and pots.

Story-related key items (you lose) include Bell Bearings from NPCs, Great Runes, and quest-specific tools for example Pureblood Medal.

How Do Armament Buffs Work?

Weapons can be buffed with spells, grease, or skills. These typically add elemental damage and/or status to the weapon for a short duration.

Spell-buffs and grease can only be applied to weapons with physical affinity. (physical affinities are Heavy, Keen, Quality, and usually Standard. This excludes nearly all Somber weapons).

Spell-buffs must be cast from left hand onto right-hand weapon.

Damage from a spell-buff scales with FAI for incantations or INT for sorceries, even when cast with a hybrid catalyst. Status buildup from spell-buffs is flat and cannot scale.

Damage from skill-buffs or grease is flat, but ARC may affect status buildup if the weapon has ARC scaling and bleed, poison, or sleep. (example: sleep grease on the Ripple-Crescent Halberd will have status buildup scaling with ARC).

  • Examples of spell-buffs: Bloodflame Blade, Electrify Armament, Scholar’s Armament…
  • Examples of skill-buffs: Seppuku, Chilling Mist, Royal Knights’ Resolve…
  • Greases are craftable/consumables.

Skills and Ash of War

Ash of War are items that augment the skill and affinity of a weapon. They have unlimited uses and are attached to the weapon while in use.

  • Normal weapons have “default skills”. ALL of these skills can also be found in AoW form.
  • Somber weapons have “unique skills”. NONE of these are found as AoW and these weapons cannot use AoW.

Affinities and Whetblades

Affinities are used to change the damage scaling and may also add elemental damage or status buildup, at the cost of base damage compared to Standard (the weapon’s default scaling). 

  • When you apply AoW to a weapon you choose the affinity as well- choices are based on the AoW’s default affinity and the whetblades (key items) you have. 
  • AoW with a physical default affinity can use ANY affinity. 
  • AoW with a non-physical default affinity can use physical affinities and those within the same “family” (based on whetblade).

Iron Whetblade:

  • Heavy- pure STR scaling.
  • Keen- pure DEX scaling.
  • Quality- STR+DEX.

*Physical affinities can be combined with weapon buff spells/grease!

Glintstone Whetblade:

  • Magic – split damage between Magic/Phys, magic damage scales w INT.
  • Cold – add Frostbite, and split Magic/Phys (with more emphasis on the physical).

Red Hot Whetblade:

  • Fire – split Fire/Phys, fire damage scales w STR.
  • Flame Art – split Fire/Phys, fire damage scales w FAI.

Sanctified Whetblade:

  • Sacred – split Holy/Phys, holy damage scales w FAI.
  • Lightning – split Lightning/Phys, lightning damage scales w DEX.

Black Whetblade:

  • Blood- add Bleed, and ARC scaling.
  • Poison- add Poison, and ARC scaling.
  • Occult- pure ARC.

*Although these affinities deal all physical damage, they count as non-physical and cannot be buffed with spells/grease.

Affinities by Attribute

  • STR – Heavy, Fire.
  • DEX – Keen, Lightning.
  • INT – Magic, Cold.
  • FAI – Sacred, Flame Art.
  • ARC – Blood, Poison, Occult.

*Status affinites (Cold, Blood, Poison) will have their best damage scaling in either STR or DEX based on the weapon’s Standard. STR or DEX builds should feel free to take advantage even if not invested in INT or ARC.

**Quality is the equalizer for all weapons at very high level- every weapon gets B/B.

On Rune Farming

Rune farming is generally a waste of your time. You will get runes appropriately by exploring the open world and it is not that much faster to rune farm

Exploring the world kills three birds with one stone by giving you access to more equipment, increasing your awareness and understanding of the game and its lore, and improving your mechanical skills. Rune Farming could also lead you to unintentionally overleveling yourself meaning you will miss out on a balanced pvp/PvE experience. If you hear all this and still want to rune farm, the most efficient is killing the bird in Moghwyn Dynasty or killing the sleeping Alburnics with a sacred relic sword. 

Stats have a very marginal effect on damage output, upgrading your weapon level is far more likely to increase damage output. You find smithing stones by exploring. 

If you explore the game naturally you’ll level up organically and stay appropriately leveled for whatever region you’re in as well as finding new weapons, lore, and upgrade materials.  On top of that when new players rune farm early on they become overleveled for the early to mid game but by the time end game comes along and they’re no longer overleveled for the bosses they’re going up against on top of the difficulty spike; they’ll find it much more challenging since they didn’t progress the naturally nor learn anything about the games mechanics previously.

Smithing Bell Bearing Locations

  • Smithing Bell 1: smithing stones 1 and 2 – Raya lucaria crystal tunnel boss crystallian. 
  • Smithing Bell 2: smithing stones 3 and 4 – Sealed tunnel corner of the room behind the first illusion wall. 
  • Smithing Bell 3: smithing stones 5 and 6 – Zamor ruins in a chest in the cellar. 
  • Smithing Bell 4: smithing stone 7 and 8 – Crumbling farum azula Godskin Duo boss. 
  • Somber Bell 1: somber 1 and 2 – Sellia crystal tunnel boss fallingstar beast. 
  • Somber Bell 2: somber 3 and 4 – Atlus tunnel boss crystallian duo. 
  • Somber Bell 3: somber 5 and 6 – On corpse outside the first church of marika in mountaintop of the giants. 
  • Somber Bell 4: somber 7 and 8 – Crumbling farum azula on a corpse near tempest facing balcony grace. 
  • SomberBell 5: somber 9 – Crumbling farum azula on a corpse in the building beneath besides the great bridge grace (on route from dragon temple rooftop grace).

Glovewart Locations

Grave Gloveworth pickler bell bearing for normal summons:

  • Grave Gloveworth 1- 3: Wyndham Catacombs in atlus plateau dropped by the Erdtree Burial Watchdog boss
  • Grave Gloveworth 4-6: Giants Mountaintop Catacombs dropped by the Ulcerated Tree Spirit boss
  • Grave Gloveworth 7-9: Found in Farum Azula, tempest facing balcony go back inside and to the door at the opposite end and down the lift then left along the path past lesser wormfaces across a gap to a small lake with a massive wormface and a gazebo, it is in the gazebo.

Ghost Gloveworth picklerd bell for renowned summons:

  • Ghost Gloveworth 1-3: At the start of upper Nokron via starfall crater on a corpse at the base of a gazebo after the first grace. 
  • Ghost Gloveworth 4-6: Found in a chest at the top of the stairs up from the nokstella grace guarded by shield mimics.
  • Ghost Gloveworth 7-9: From haligtree roots go up the lift and outside the church and turn left and go down to the graveyard, the bell is at a grave at the lowest point guarded by many pests

Buff Stacking

How does buff-stacking work?

Buffs of different types can be stacked. Buffs of same type will overwrite one another.

The most common types of buffs are Aura, Body, HP regen, and Armament- but there are several more categories. Many buffs are considered “unique” and will stack with anything else.

Some buffs can have more than one type (example: Vyke’s Dragonbolt has an armament buff AND a body buff/debuff.) These would overwrite all buffs with either type.

Talisman effects are not considered a buff type (they always stack with everything).


  • Aura: Golden Vow, Rallying Standard, Uplifting Aromatic….
  • Body: Flame Grant Me Strength, all consumable meats, all Fortification incants…
  • HP Regen: Bestial Vitality, Blessing of the Erdtree, Crimsonburst Crystal Tear…
  • Armament: Bloodflame Blade, Moonlight Greatsword, all Roar skills…
  • Unique: Contagious Fury, pickled fowls feet, Endure, almost all Crystal Tears….

What Order Should I Prioritize My Stats

Stats to meet requirement ==> 60 Vigor ==> Your main damage stat to a softcap (about 40 or so) ⇒  Main damage stat to 80.

Note that endurance can be leveled at any time to meet the equip load for whatever weapon/armor you have.

Vigor is prioritized first to greatly increase survivability, and because damage scaling from your stats is not significant until the weapon is highly upgraded.

Poise and Hitstun Rundown

DamageLevel are params for levels of hitstun.

  • Hitstun = enemy stagger = enemy flinch.
  • Poise/stance damage ⇨ enemy Poise break ⇨ riposte.
  • Guard/stamina damage ⇨ guard break ⇨ riposte.

An Analysis of Elden Ring’s Starting Classes

Vagabond stands out as the top class, scoring high in DPS and having the highest percentage usage among builds due to how versatile it is for melee builds.

Samurai follows closely, showcasing strong combat performance and build usage.

Hero maintains a solid position, demonstrating respectable DPS and moderate popularity for melee and arcane based builds that don’t require FP. 

Astrologer is notable for having a high percentage usage, indicating that almost all intelligence builds use its stat spread, despite slightly lower starting DPS.

Wretch and Bandit have balanced scores, showing reasonable DPS performance and moderate popularity due to niche builds using them. 

Prophet, despite having the highest starting DPS, falls lower due to a lower percentage of builds using pure faith. 

Prisoner exhibits decent DPS but a lower percentage usage, suggesting it might be outclassed by stat spreads preferring Vagabond and Astrologer.

Confessor and Warrior occupy the lowest position, with both having low DPS and no build representation, it isn’t worth using either class.

How to Calculate DPS

How to calculate DPS:

  • Calculate AR for the Weapon/Ash/Spell
  • Calculate damage with each attack in the chain
  • Average the damage
  • Get the frame data for the full chain
  • Plug into this formula | DMG(30/full chain*attacks in chain)

For DPS from Status:

  • Calculate Status for the Weapon/Ash/Spell
  • Calculate Status with each attack in the chain
  • Average the Status
  • Get the frame data for the full chain

Plug into this formula* for Status damage | (Health*15% for bleed, 10% for frost)/(Resistance/Status)5.1 If the target doesn’t have a Status DMG taken modifier of one multiply the product of the formula you just did by 0.7

Plug into this formula | DMG(30/full chain*attacks in chain)

*If the buildup is higher than the Resistance then it would just be 1

Health / (Resistance/1)

Scaling Letter Range

  • S ⇨ 175% and above
  • A ⇨ From 140% to 175%
  • B ⇨ From 90% to 140%
  • C ⇨ From 60% to 90%
  • D ⇨ From 25% to 60%
  • E ⇨ From 1% to 25% 

Explaining [Git Gud]

Determination! That’s what Git Gud is all about! Stay determined, analyze the patterns and I’m sure you’ll find the solution! Get hits in when you can and learn when to back off, improve your skills! 

Golden Vow vs Other Buffs

Testing with 80 heavy infused broadsword at 80 strength for all but golden vow.

Base 80 strength DPS: 656.982

Golden vow is tested at 64 strength to make up for 25 faith investment cost. On an ideal starting class (Vagabond) that means you’d have to sacrifice 16 points + 9 starting class points to attain this incantation. 

Base 64 strength  DPS: 596.159

Golden Vow:

Buff description: 

  • Damage +15% (7.5% in PvP)
  • Damage Negation +10% (5% in PvP)
  • Lasts: 80 seconds 
  • Fp cost: 47
  • DPS assuming 80 strength if overleveled: 821.228 with vow
  • DPS with 64 strength: 745.199 vow
  • Damage over two minute time period: 83,462.28

Rallying Standard: 

Buff description:

  • Damage: +20% 
  • Damage negation: +20% 
  • Lasts: 30 seconds
  • Fp cost: 30
  • DPS at 80 strength: 854.077
  • Damage over two minute period: 84,750.69

Stormhawk Deenh:

Buff description:

  • Damage: +20% (physical only)
  • Stamina damage: +20%
  • Poise damage: +20% 
  • Lasts: 30 seconds
  • Fp cost: 47
  • DPS at 80 strength: 854.077
  • Damage over two minute period: 84,750.69


For faith builds golden vow might actually be superior/easier to use compared to rallying standard since you will be investing into faith regardless. For any other build type, rallying standard seems to be a clear winner compared to golden vow. Even considering that golden vow lasts 2.6 times longer than rallying standard the dps over a two minute period is better on rallying standards.

The DPS is even stronger the shorter that time period making rallying standard the obvious aura buff choice for one shot builds. That said, Stormhawk Deenh has no stat requirements and fulfills the same buff but for physical damage only. Stormhawk also has the added benefit of more poise damage and will buff you periodically more than once in fights.

Bloodflame Blade Analysis

  • 2h heavy grave scythe using stormcaller without bloodflame blade at 54 strength
  • 2h heavy grave scythe using stormcaller at 48 strength since bloodflame blade requires 6 levels to invest in 
  • And an occult grave scythe at 50 arcane which was the same amount of stat investment for all three 

The data I found using Godfrey’s defenses:

At 54 strength grave scythe is doing  1940 damage without bloodflame blade and 137 bleed using stormcaller which would proc a bleed in 5 hits so in 5 hits of stormcaller you’re doing 10,129 which is effectively killing Godfrey in 11 hits 

At 48 strength + bloodflame blade stormcaller is doing 1881 damage and 217 bleed which would proc a bleed on Godfrey in 3 hits which would be 5643 damage per proc which is effectively killing Godfrey in 12 hits

Occult grave scythe is proccing bleed in 2 hits compared to bloodflame blade 3 hits and does this much damage with the same amount of stat investment 

So 2,911 per proc which is every 2 hits is effectively 8 hits to kill making it more effective than both 2h with or without bloodflame blade 

Radagon Scarseal / Soreseal Dive

Radagon’s Scarseal raises Vigor, Endurance, Strength, and Dexterity by 3 each, but increases damage taken by 10%. Drops from the Ancient Hero of Zamor, in the Weeping Peninsula.

Radagon’s Soreseal raises Vigor, Endurance, Strength, and Dexterity by 5 each, but increases damage taken by 15%. From the Fort Faroth Site of Grace, run into the fort, climb up the ladder and make a right. Run past the first hole on the floor; jump down the second one. Run northeast. Turn towards the right, then make a running jump to another platform to the right. Past the rats and down the ladder is the talisman.

Flat increases to attribute points are more impactful in the early-game. At later levels, it can often be a safer choice to use a different, complementary talisman, and avoid the additional damage taken. Typically, this makes the soreseal not worth using by level 80 to 100, where most builds should be nearing their first damage cap.

In this specific comparison between Sorseal and Scarseal, both are compared with the lightning nagakiba against a PvP optimized armor and stat setup. Let’s analyze the data:

  • Scarseal: Provides a 0.93% damage done increase but comes with a 9.3% damage taken increase compared to using Great Jars Arsenal.
  • Soreseal: Provides a 3.68% damage done increase but also has a 14.5% damage taken increase compared to using Great Jars Arsenal.
  • Comparison: Soreseal offers a significantly higher damage output (3.68%) compared to Scarseal (0.93%). This suggests that if your primary goal is to maximize the damage you deal, Soreseal is the better choice. However, it’s important to note that Soreseal also increases the damage taken to a greater extent (14.5%) compared to Scarseal (9.3%). 

In PvE, Radagon Soreseal is worth using until you can get 60 vigor, all weapon softcaps, and enough endurance and mind where you feel comfortable. 

In Arena it heavily depends on Setup.

It is never worth using in competitive PvP.

Soreseal vs Scarseal vs Great Jar

Quality Cleanrot:

  • Scarseal: 3.33% damage done increase for an 8.8% damage taken increase.
  • Soreseal: 8.22% damage done increase for a 13.62% damage taken increase.

Comparison: Soreseal provides a significantly higher damage done increase compared to Scarseal, but it also comes with a higher damage taken increase. Soreseal may be preferable for dealing more damage, but at the cost of increased vulnerability.

Occult Naginata:

  • Scarseal: 1.41% damage done increase for an 8.8% damage taken increase.
  • Soreseal: 6.15% damage done increase for a 13.62% damage taken increase.

Comparison: Similar to Cleanrot, Soreseal offers a higher damage done increase at the expense of greater damage taken. Again, the choice depends on whether you prioritize damage output or survivability.

Bloodhound Fang:

  • Scarseal: 0.71% damage done decrease for a 9.02% damage taken increase.
  • Soreseal: 6.18% damage done increase for a 13.83% damage taken increase.

Comparison: Soreseal significantly boosts damage done, whereas Scarseal results in a minor decrease in damage done.

Cold Bandits:

  • Scarseal: 2.5% damage done increase for a 9.21% damage taken increase.
  • Soreseal: 6.31% damage done increase for a 13.67% damage taken increase.

Comparison: Soreseal consistently provides higher damage output compared to Scarseal across different qualities. 

Carian Knight Swords:

  • Scarseal: 1.41% damage done increase for an 8.36% damage taken increase.
  • Soreseal: 3.96% damage done increase for a 10.62% damage taken increase.

Comparison: In this case, Soreseal still offers a higher damage done increase, but the difference in damage taken increase is relatively smaller compared to other qualities.

In summary, Soreseal generally provides higher damage output across different qualities, but it also increases damage taken to a greater extent compared to Scarseal. The choice between the two leans significantly towards Soreseal, however neither choice is good for competitive PvP.

Radagon Icon Dive

This talisman will bost your DPS by around 5.5% on charged spells(assuming you use the Godfrey Icon) like a charged Comet and ~12% on uncharged or faster spells like Carian Slicer or uncharged Comet. This is a massive boost in DPS and makes it one of the best choices for a caster build.

Your talisman setup on an int based caster should be: Graven Mass, Radagon Icon, Magic Scorpion, Ritual Sword. On a faith based caster it would be Flocks Canvas, Radagon Icon, Fire/Lightning/Sacred Scorpion, and Ritual Sword.

Here is the raw data that was used to reach my conclusion:

  • 906.239 DPS 80 int lusats slicer startup plus full chain 10 vdex
  • 1,023.831 DPS 80 int lusats slicer startup plus full chain 40 vdex
  • 1,128.175 DPS 80 int lusats slicer startup plus full chain 70 vdex
  • 905.6376 DPS 80 int lusats Comet startup plus full chain 10 vdex
  • 1,017.570 DPS 80 int lusats Comet startup plus full chain 40 vdex
  • 1,118.071 DPS 80 int lusats Comet startup plus full chain 70 vdex
  • 616.994 DPS 80 int lusats charged Comet with godfrey icon startup plus full chain 10 vdex
  • 650.929 DPS 80 int lusats charged Comet with godfrey icon startup plus full chain 40 vdex
  • 678.051 DPS 80 int lusats charged Comet with godfrey icon startup plus full chain 70 vdex
Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 13372 Articles
I love games and I live games. Video games are my passion, my hobby and my job. My experience with games started back in 1994 with the Metal Mutant game on ZX Spectrum computer. And since then, I’ve been playing on anything from consoles, to mobile devices. My first official job in the game industry started back in 2005, and I'm still doing what I love to do.

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