Hidden mechanics and tips in Elden Ring.

Elden Ring: Hidden Mechanics and Tips

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Rhett Roxl is a professional writer who has been gaming for as long as he can remember. He merged both passions together to become a writer in the game industry in 2020.

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Marshall is a seasoned writer and gaming enthusiast based in Tokyo. He's a prolific wordsmith with hundreds of articles featured on top-tier sites like Business Insider, How-To Geek, PCWorld, and Zapier. His writing has reached a massive audience with over 70 million readers!

There are a lot of hidden mechanics and tips you need to know in Elden RingThis game is notoriously challenging. Equally as notorious is its tendency to keep some of its mechanics vague to the players.

As a FromSoftware title, it should come as no surprise to anyone that Elden Ring is a tough game. Even the most minor of enemies can send you back to the Site of Grace. There’s a sense of danger no matter where you go.

The game also has a lot of mechanics it doesn’t explicitly announce to the players. These mechanics can be discovered by exploring, listening to NPC conversations, or buying notes from merchants. Some players even just discover some of these mechanics accidentally.

If you want to conquer the game in a much more efficient manner, you’ll need to learn these hidden mechanics. On top of that, this guide will also talk about some times you can employ while exploring the Lands Between. Take note of these and use them well as you play and beat Elden Ring.

Table Of Contents

    Quickly Fast Travel to the Roundtable Hold

    Traveling to the Roundtable Hold via Elden Ring's menu.

    When fast traveling to the Roundtable Hold, it is likely that you scroll all the way down to the map just to do it. You don’t have to.

    What you can simply do is open your map, press the triangle or the Y button, hit square or X, then press X or A. With just four button clicks, you’ll travel to the Roundtable Hold.

    Finding Recently Found Items in Your Inventory

    Elden Ring inventory sorted via by order of acquisition.

    One of the most common gripes players have with Elden Ring is that it can be difficult to find a recently picked-up item on the inventory. This is because the inventory menu is defaulted sorted by item type.

    You can actually change this. Simply press the left analog stick and you can change the sorting to order of acquisition. This way, your most recently picked-up items will be displayed at the top.

    Pausing the Game

    Pausing in Elden Ring by going to the Equipment Menu.

    FromSoft’s Souls games, aside from Sekiro, are known to not have a pause button. Elden Ring is the same. Or so most people thought.

    Elden Ring does have a pause option, but it’s unconventional and most probably unintentional. If you hit the inventory button, go to equipment, and open up Menu Explanation, the game will freeze.

    This makes the Menu Explanation option function like a game pause. If it is unintentional, it is likely that it is going to be patched in the future. For now, though, be sure to take advantage of it when you can.

    Leaving a Boss Room

    Quitting in Elden Ring.

    The bosses in Elden Ring are no pushovers. The easiest ones can still easily kill you if you let your guard down. The most challenging ones can do so in just a few seconds.

    If you ever become too overwhelmed with a fight and don’t want to die and lose your Runes, open the game menu, go to systems, and leave the game.

    When you reload the game, you’ll be sent back to the outside for the boss room. You will then be free to head back to the Site of Grace or the Roundtable Hold.

    Parrying Mounted Enemies

    The Tarnished parrying a mounted enemy in Elden Ring.

    Except for the Tree Sentinels and Loretta, you can parry any mounted enemies. This will make them fall off their horse, leaving them open to a critical attack.

    Be sure to try it the next time you’re having a hard time with a mounted foe. This works on the Night’s Cavalry bosses too!

    Hugging Fia Decreases Your HP

    Fia hugging the Tarnished from Elden Ring.

    When you allow Fia to hold you in the Roundtable Hold, you’ll be granted the Baldachin’s Blessing. When used, this item will give you a 35% increase in physical damage negation and it will increase your poise. This means less powerful attacks won’t be able to stagger you.

    What a lot of players don’t know about the Baldachin’s Blessing is that it removes 5% of your overall health. As long as the item is in your inventory, this debuff is continuously applied. Use the item to remove the debuff.

    Riding Torrent on Poison and Scarlet Rot Areas

    The Tarnished riding a horse on poison swamps.

    Elden Ring has one too many poison swamps and areas plagued by scarlet rot. To avoid getting inflicted by these, ride Torrent while navigating.

    This doesn’t work in dungeons and underground levels where Torrent can’t be summoned, but a lot of areas in the open world benefit from this hidden mechanic.

    Rolling in Poison

    The Tarnished rolling on poisoned grounds.

    A big mistake you can do when you’re on a poison swamp is to roll. This will cause the poison to cover your body. When this happens, the poison meter will continue to increase even when you’re out of the poison swamp.

    The same thing can happen with areas that are infected by scarlet rot.

    Just run when you have to cross a poison or scarlet rot area. If you happen to accidentally roll around on them, use Soap. It will reduce the infliction you’ve accumulated.

    Law of Regression Reveals Hidden Paths

    The Tarnished performing the Law of Regression spell.

    The most popular use of the Law of Regression in the game is it reveals the secret hidden by Marika’s statue in Leyndell. It is also very popular in multiplayer as it removes any buffs other players have.

    Its less popular use, however, is that it reveals hidden paths. If you’re ever in an area where there’s no other path moving forward, try using the Law of Regression. This will dispel any illusory walls and reveal previously hidden paths.

    No Skill Ash of War

    The Tarnished performing the Waterfowl Dance.

    The No Skill Ash of War can be applied on Shields and Torches. As the name implies, this Ash of War has no use at all. So why would you bother using it?

    The No Skill Ash of War becomes useful if you always use a shield on your left hand but want to use the Ash of War on your right hand. If you equip a weapon on both hands, pressing L2 or the left trigger will trigger the Ash of War of your left-hand weapon. The No Skill Ash of War bypasses that by triggering the Ash of War on your right hand instead.

    Jump Dodges Attacks

    The Tarnished jumping away from an attack.

    The jumping mechanic in Elden Ring is so simple, yet it gives the game so much more nuance. While a lot of players mainly use it for exploration, its use is not limited to that.

    You can use jump in combat as well. When an enemy has a lot of low swinging attacks or anything directed towards the lower part of your body, you can jump over it instead of dodging away from it.

    This is also great with AOE attacks. Godrick’s earthquake attack, for example, can be avoided by jumping just as the ground beneath you breaks.

    Those who use heavy equipment and are under heavy load can also mitigate the “fat roll” by jumping. While their dodges are affected by the equip load, the jump isn’t.

    Fire Pillars in Catacombs Can Retract

    The Tarnished preparing to fire an arrow at a fire pillar.

    While exploring the Lands Between, you’ll encounter a lot of catacombs that have nasty fire pillars in them. Once you’re up close to the pillars, you can strike them and they will retract to the ground.

    Aside from that, you can also hit the fire pillars from afar. You can use a spell or a bow and hit them from a distance and they will retract. That way, you won’t have to time your runs anymore.

    Using Your Left-Hand Weapon on Horseback

    The Tarnished on a horse in Elden Ring.

    When mounted, you’re immediately subjected to only using one hand for attacks. By default, your player will use your right-hand weapon.

    If you want to use your left-hand weapon instead, use the prompt for one-handing the left weapon on foot. It applies on horseback as well.

    Mounting and Dismounting Your Horse Makes You Invincible

    The Tarnished dismounting his horse in front of a troll.

    Mounting and dismounting your horse activates your invincibility frames. This means you won’t get damaged nor will you even stagger for a short period of time while mounting or dismounting.

    For the dismounting, however, your mount needs to be stationary for this to occur. If you dismount while running, your invincibility frames won’t trigger.

    Unique Torches

    The Tarnished using the Beast-Repellent Torch.

    While torches are mainly used to light up your surroundings in dark caverns and catacombs, certain unique torches have other uses as well.

    There are seven torches in the game. The basic torch is just that, a regular torch. Here are the other torches and their unique uses.

    • Beast-Repellent Torch – As the name implies, when this torch is equipped, animals and beasts won’t approach you. The bears and the dragons don’t count, though.
    • Ghostflame Torch – The Ghostflame Torch’s only unique characteristic is that it glows white light instead of yellow. It’s not really useful in any combat or environmental situations compared to the other unique torches.
    • Sentry’s Torch – This torch reveals invisible enemies. This is very useful in places such as Ordina, Liturgical Town.
    • Steel-wire Torch – This torch gives you the Firebreather Ash of War.
    • Torchpole – This “torch” is more like a spear that has a light at its tip. It functions as a spear but it can also light up dark environments.
    • St. Trina’s Torch – The St. Trina’s Torch comes with the Fires of Slumber Ash of War. This skill causes Sleep buildup, which causes enemies to faint once that bar is filled.

    You Can Kill Merchants

    Tarnished facing a merchant in Caelid.

    Kale warns you in the Church of Elleh not to be hostile towards merchants. You shouldn’t. But that doesn’t mean you can’t.

    You’re free to kill as many merchants as you want. Upon death, these merchants will drop their ball bearings. Give these ball bearings to the Twin Maiden Husk in the Roundtable hold and you can purchase their items from there.

    This means you can kill every merchant in Elden Ring, give their ball bearings to the Twin Maiden Husk, and have the ultimate merchant in the Roundtable Hold.

    Removing Beacons Easily

    Five beacons marked on the map of Elden Ring.

    It can be very exhausting to pin a beacon on your map, only for you to forget exactly where you placed it. You want to remove it but you just can’t seem to find it no matter how many times you scroll the map.

    There’s one way you can remove beacons without finding them on the map. You can simply place five beacons close to each other. This will remove any previously placed beacons. You can then remove the five you just placed. Just like that, your map is beacon-free.

    Crystal Darts on Construct Enemies

    An imp getting frenzied in Elden Ring.

    The Crystal Darts have a very unique infliction that only works on golem constructs. This refers to the enemies such as the imps, Erdtree Burial Watchdogs bosses, and the golem giants.

    Simply fire away your Crystal Darts at them and they’ll be inflicted with frenzy. These enemies will then start attacking anything that’s close to them, including your other enemies.

    Water Affects Elemental Attacks

    The Tarnished getting attacked with lightning.

    The elemental attacks in Elden Ring have a very fascinating way of reacting to other elements. Water, for example, affects fire and lighting.

    For example, if you’re on a water source or it’s currently raining in-game, any fire attack you inflict and receive is reduced. Conversely, in the same situation, any lightning attack you inflict and receive is increased.

    Leave Messages to Save Your Life

    The Tarnished leaving a message in Elden Ring.

    The hidden mechanics and tips from this one and the rest are all most likely known already by Souls veterans. If you’re a newcomer, however, these ones will surely be a treat for you.

    First off, leaving messages. If you’re playing online, you should see a ton of messages on the floor left behind by other players. You can leave messages of your own as well. In fact, that’s something you’re highly encouraged to do.

    If you leave messages and they get appraised, your health will be healed equal to that of one Flask of Crimson Tears. You’ll be surprised at how useful this can be, especially during tight situations when you’re out of flasks. It’s a rare occurrence, but it happens. You can make it even more common for yourself by leaving as many messages as you can.

    Movement Variety on Ladders

    The Tarnished healing while climbing a ladder.

    While climbing ladders, your movement isn’t limited to just climbing up or climbing down. You can attack upwards by using the light attack button, and attack downwards by using the heavy attack button. This is useful for when there’s an enemy climbing over or under you.

    You can also climb faster or slide down by holding the sprint button while climbing.

    Finally, you can also heal while climbing. Keep this in mind the next time you’re climbing a ladder and your health needs to be replenished.

    Mash Buttons when Grabbed

    The Tarnished getting grabbed by an Abductor Virgin.

    When grabbed by an enemy, mash your L and R buttons, or trigger and bumper buttons, and the enemy will let you go much faster.

    The difference between doing this and not is somewhat minimal in terms of health saved, but it’s a practice you need to make into a habit. It can literally mean life and death for your player.

    Holding the D-Pad

    The Tarnished at the Mountaintops of the Giants.

    If you assign multiple items on your Quick Items list, it is highly likely that the first one on there is your health flask. It can be annoying shuffling through them to get to the health flask during combat. However, this is something you don’t need to do.

    Instead, simply hold the down button on your D-Pad and it will snap to the first item in your Quick Items menu. Your spells allocation functions the same.

    The Usefulness of Rainbow Stones

    The Tarnished throwing a Rainbow Stone on the ground.

    Rainbow Stones do more than just leave trails of colorful lights for you. In this game, you may have already noticed the height at which you drop where you either die or survive is very unclear. With the Rainbow Stones, you won’t have to guess anymore.

    Stand in front of a cliff and throw a Rainbow Stone below. If it breaks, that means you won’t survive the fall. If it doesn’t, that means you’ll be fine.

    Soft Caps

    A Tarnished's stats in Elden Ring.

    High-level players need to know this mechanic so that they don’t waste any more points on certain stats. In Elden Ring, stats are soft capped when they reach a certain attribute. What this means is that once a main stat reaches its soft cap, any increase in the stats it governs is significantly reduced when leveled further.

    For example, your overall health at 20 Vigor is 652. Your overall health at 40 Vigor is 1,450. That’s a very significant increase.

    The soft cap for Vigor is at 60. At this rating, your health is at 1,900. If you increase this to 80, your health will be at 2,015. That’s only an increase of 115 compared to the previous increase of 798.

    You’re better off increasing your other stats once one reaches its soft cap rather than increasing it further for very little returns.

    With that in mind, here are the soft caps for every stat in the game.

    • Vigor – 60
    • Mind – 60
    • Endurance – 60
    • Strength – 80
    • Dexterity – 80
    • Intelligence – 80
    • Faith – 80
    • Arcane – 80