So, you saw the hype around Elden Ring, have seen all the memes on Reddit and want to try it out as a non-souls player. Before you take the plunge, wait. It’s not the usual action RPG where the Hard Difficulty means the AI gets smarter and the ammo gets scarce. There’s much more to it – here are the most important things to know before starting Elden Ring, the latest offering from FromSoftware.
Things To Know Before Starting Elden Ring (For Non Souls Players)
As a non-souls player who has been converted to a fan of the genre thanks to Elden Ring and Tunic, here’s what you need to know before you dip your toes into this game.
There is No Easy Mode
As you might have heard already, FromSoftware games do not have an easy mode that you can use to breeze through the game. Every player gets the same difficulty – that’s the super-hard nightmarish mode and nothing less. It’s good because it puts all the focus on your character class, build, how you upgrade your character and what you choose to do first.
So, if you are a casual gamer who prefers to play in Easy or Medium mode to enjoy the story more than combat, I recommend that you watch a few gameplay videos before you make a decision to purchase the game.
You will Die Very Often
When you play as the Tarnished, almost every element in the world (and dungeons) is out to kill you. Right from the wild boars to a harmless-looking skeleton enemy. You might even get killed with one swish of a weapon, so you must move very carefully. In case you attract unnecessary attention, an arrow might appear out of nowhere, killing you violently. Prepared for this, and willing to die over and over again just to beat one boss and lose your patience often? Go for Elden Ring. But if you’d like to become OP early, we’ve got a guide that you might want to check out!
Choose a Magic Build
In case you feel nervous about playing this game because you haven’t quite mastered melee combat and the bosses look intimidating as heck, use a magic build. You can use your powers as a mage to drain enemy health from a distance and can have fewer worries about your character dying (as you know, the death penalty in this game isn’t forgiving). So, try a Mage build because that’s the secret easy mode in a Souls game.
It’s a Dark Fantasy World
While you start off in Limgrave and encounter weaker enemies in the tutorial phase, things only get worse (or better) as you progress. In tougher areas like Caelid and Deeproot Depths, you will end up dodging a host of foes – small and big. Some enemies are even invisible! You might evade one opponent, only to come face to face with a huge monster in the next one minute. So, if you prefer to have clear sections in the game where you progress with the story (during which you can chill) and prepare yourself before a boss fight, it will be much different here. You have to always stay prepared.
There’s no Pause Button
Players have created mods that let you pause the game but that might put you at risk in case the devs decide to start a ban wave. There is no official way to pause but there is a workaround that has been discovered. Other than this, there is no way to pause and go for a washroom break because if you leave your character alone, some random creature will come and kill it.
You don’t get Multiple Saves
This raises the stakes, doesn’t it? You get only one save for one character and if you die, you drop your Runes. If you die the second time after that, you lose all of them. It’s all or nothing. You can’t reload an older save and get back your Runes. Plus, some items that you use will be one-time consumables so players must keep finding them or buying them while navigating through a terrifying world. If this excites you, it’s time to start Elden Ring.
Site of Grace Respawns Enemies
There’s a little bonfire called Site of Grace in various locations in Elden Ring that lets you replenish your health, fast travel, and more fun stuff. Sounds good? Yes, it is. But as it replenishes your health, it also respawns enemies. So if you’d like to visit a certain location, you need to beat the enemies in your path again. Or you could use Torrent, your horse, to evade them all.
You can Cheese Bosses
If you are not able to beat a certain boss, there are plenty of guides available online which will reveal special strategies to “cheese” bosses. This means you can use some sneaky tricks and in-game exploits to defeat them like letting them fall off a cliff while you avoid the fall. Try it out!
You can Summon Help
You can Get Invaded
Another side of playing online is that you will get invaded by mischievous players trying to take you down. Here’s what you need to know about invasions in Elden Ring.
There’s a Lot to Play
Even after you finish the game with one class, you can play the New Game+ or you can replay the game with another class or build. Plus, there might be many missable bosses, areas, and items you can explore for a new experience. There are multiple endings and hidden pathways, too. If you want to be a completionist, go ahead! Want to try killing every NPC in your second run? Of course! Want to restrict the use of Flasks? Sure! Here’s how to make Elden Ring harder (and also easier).
This is just scratching the surface, but this should give you an idea of whether you are ready to purchase Elden Ring and enjoy it or not. Even if you are not a Souls player, this could be the first game that gets you into the genre. This game has a niche audience, so remember to watch a few Youtube videos about how the game works and how challenging it is. If you are up for the challenge, I would say, go for it.