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Elden Ring keepsake guide – picking the best starter gift

Elden Ring keepsake guide

If you’re familiar with FromSoftware games, the most esoteric part of character creation in Elden Ring has got to be the selection of your gift, or as they’re called: keepsakes – so we’ve prepped an Elden Ring keepsake guide for you.

Some have obvious effects like the Crimson Amber Medallion which grants a bonus to health when equipped. Some are… considerably less obvious such as the Fanged Imp Ashes or the Bewitching Branch.

In this guide we’re going to give you all the information you need so you don’t end up with a keepsake which outlives its usefulness quickly into the playthrough.

Elden Ring Keepsake Guide

Crimson Amber Medallion

A medallion inlaid with crimson amber. Increases maximum HP.

Well, it says it right on the tin in this case. You’ll start the game with an medallion that increases your maximum HP. Definitely a worthwhile choice, especially for beginners or for those beginning the game as a class with low vigor.

Recommended For: Every class but Hero or Vagabond. Especially useful for beginners.

Lands Between Rune

The gold of grace shining in the eyes of the people of the Lands Between. Use to gain many runes.

This item gives you 3000 runes upon use. Runes in Elden Ring are akin to souls in Dark Souls and will be used to level up your character like experience.

To be honest, I wouldn’t suggest this one. Runes can be easily grinded just by playing the game and while it’s true you’ll be a little stronger earlier on, the benefit of an extra 3000 souls quickly becomes negligible. You’ll probably lose more than that dying before you even fight the first boss.

Recommended For: Anyone who wants an early power spike. But honestly? Not worth it.

Golden Seed

A golden seed washed ashore from the Lands Between. Said to reinforce Sacred Flasks.

Now we’re getting somewhere. Your Sacred Flask in Elden Ring is basically your Estus Flask from Dark Souls. For those unfamiliar, you’re given a flask early on in the game which replenishes when you stop to rest at a Site of Grace.

You can spend your Golden Seed to increase the number of uses on your Sacred Flask. This is a buff which scales well and is always useful, having more charges on your flask means lasting longer before needing to rest or spend healing.

Recommended For: Everyone

Fanged Imp Ashes

The ashes of small, diminutive golems. Ashes are said to hold spirits within.

This item will let you summon the spirit of two small imps near a rebirth monument and can be used as much as you like. This is a good, solid choice for players. But since the imps cannot be summoned anywhere, it might be better to not become accustomed to their help. Also adding NPCs into fights can make the movement of bosses and enemies more unpredictable.

Recommended For: Players who don’t mind more chaotic fights.

Cracked Pot

Three strange cracked pots that somehow mend themselves. A container for certain thrown items.

Cracked Pots are a valuable resource in Elden Ring. With them, you can create thrown items with the potential for powerful AoE effects. The best thing is that these pots are reusable. When the thrown item is spent, you’ll get your Cracked Pot back to be refilled with something else via crafting.

Recommended For: Players who want extra thrown consumables in their playthrough.

Stonesword Key

Two stone keys shaped like swords. Breaks the seal on imp statues, but can only be used once.

The Stonesword Key is an item that looks appealing at first glance. It allows you to unlock an imp statue which can be used to access new areas, quests, or items. But the thing is, these keys can be found almost limitlessly at a certain point in the game. While it’s nice to begin exploring early on, late game you may be wishing you went with the Cracked Pot or Golden Seed instead. Especially when you have a dozen of these in your pocket.

Recommended For: Players who like to explore, but honestly not recommended.

Bewitching Branch

Five sacred branches charged with beguiling power. Said to originate from the demigod Miquella.

The Bewitching Branch is the first of two limited consumable Keepsakes. You only get five of them, and their sole use is to simply cause enemies to stop attacking you for a period within a short range. You don’t get these back, once you use them, they’re gone for good. If you really like having consumables at your disposal, just get the Cracked Pots.

Recommended For: No one

Boiled Prawn

Five pieces of boiled prawn. Boosts physical damage negation.

Slightly more useful than the Bewitching Branch. This consumable gives you a boost to your physical defense. But just like the branch, once they’re gone. They’re gone. These could potentially make the difference in early fights, but at that point the Golden Seed gives you more survivability over the course of your entire playthrough.

Recommended For: No one, just get the Golden Seed

Shabiri’s Woe

The crazed likeness of a noble whose eyes have been gouged out. Attracts enemies’ aggression.

This item’s a fun one. It’s largely useless for solo players, but if you want to tackle the game with friends and play a defensive character then it’s worth consideration. Sure you’ll lack the obvious gameplay benefits of Keepsakes like the Golden Seed or Fanged Imp Ashes; but if you’ll have fun playing a tank then by all means.

Recommended For: Players who play with friends and want to live out a tanky class fantasy.

Ultimately, the Golden Seed and Fanged Imp Ashes win out as the most obviously beneficial throughout an entire playthrough. The Crimson Amber Medallion is also good but risks being replaced at some point in your game. Shabiri’s Woe also has its own niche.

All the other items are either limited consumables, or readily available in game through other means.

Elden Ring is available now across Windows PC (via Steam), PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S. In case you missed it, you can find our thorough and spoiler-free review and video review for Elden Ring here.

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A basement-dwelling ogre, Brandon's a fan of indie games and slice of life anime. Has too many games and not enough time.