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Here’s how to get good at Elden Ring before the DLC comes out

Elden Ring troll yell

The Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree DLC looms on the horizon but players who are walled by a tough boss might be wondering how to get good and continue forward.

The blockbuster success of FromSoftware’s Elden Ring earned the studio rave reviews and legions of new fans, but some of those new players may be intimidated by the game’s challenging difficulty. FromSoftware has a reputation for making games that are tough but fair, and Elden Ring is no exception. With the studio’s latest game still being heavily talked about and fans looking forward to the upcoming Shadow of the Erdtree DLC, it’s a great time for new players to pick up the game.

When those same new players feel as if they’ve hit a brick wall in Elden Ring’s difficulty curve, there are several tried and true tactics they can employ to improve their experience. Here are some of the best ways to get good in Elden Ring.

Frustrated players may find tank builds help them get going

While no choice will make a Soulsborne game “easy,” their difficulty varies a great deal depending on the player’s choices in building their character’s stats and equipment loadout.

The very first build decision every player will make is their starting class. For new players who want an easier time with the game, the Vagabond and Confessor classes make solid starting options. The Vagabond features the heaviest armor of any starting class, and the Confessor begins with decent armor and the ability to heal themself.

From there, using heavy armor, a high-stability shield, and healing incantations whenever they can be found will make for an overall easier and more forgiving experience. Mitigating damage, providing an alternative to carefully timed dodging, and increasing recovery options can help players force their way through a challenge if finesse isn’t working.

Elden Ring players needing a break might find transitional games helpful

There is no shortage of Soulslike games on the market inspired by FromSoft’s titles, but some of them are actually a bit easier and more forgiving than the games they emulate, allowing players who feel they need to take a break from Elden Ring’s high-difficulty combat to do so while continuing to hone their skills.

Those who want an ideal “practice game” need look no further than Salt and Sanctuary by Ska Studios, available on most major consoles and PC. Being a 2D game, the combat is less complex while preserving the same basic formula. It makes for an excellent teaching tool for learning the rhythm and flow of Soulsborne combat.

And of course, spending a bit of time away from a game can help players cleanse their mental palate. It’s not uncommon to quit on a game because of a tough boss, pick it up a few weeks later, and then win without incident.

Malenia in Elden Ring

Patience and observation are the best tools to get good at Elden Ring

Getting better at anything takes time and practice, and the same is true for Soulsborne games.

When trying to improve at Elden Ring’s challenging combat, the best thing one can do is be patient. Players should be ready and willing to die over and over again, and when they’re fighting, they should pay attention to how the enemies move and what attacks and combos they use. Gradually learning when to dodge, when it’s safe to counterattack, and when it isn’t is key to winning in FromSoftware games.

A player who will go far in this genre is one who never gives up and treats every death as a learning experience. Knowing why one died helps to gain an understanding of how to avoid that same death next time.

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Written by Jorie McKibbin

Jorie has been playing video games and writing creatively since they were old enough to hold a controller and a pen. They’re passionate about the indie gaming scene, and some of their favorites include Salt and Sanctuary, Stardew Valley, Hollow Knight, and Vintage Story. They also adore such classics as The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind, Fallout: New Vegas, and Dark Souls.

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