Elden Ring leveling guide – how to spend runes and level up

Elden Ring leveling guide

So you’ve started Elden Ring are are immediately wondering how to get stronger efficiently – we’ll explain how to progress here in our Elden Ring leveling guide!

As you get beat up by a few monsters, clear the tutorial, and wander The Lands Between, you should have a couple hundred Runes by now and you’re aching to spend them, but you can’t. Why? Because you are Maidenless.

In order to spend Runes in Elden Ring your Tarnished hero needs the help of a Maiden, someone who can use the Runes you collect to empower you. Luckily, your Maidenless life is shortlived soon after you enter the wide world.

What you’ll want to do, is keep exploring. After activating a couple Sites of Grave (Elden Ring’s equivalent to Bonfires) you’ll meet a young girl who joins you by the fire named Melina. Melina, will offer to play the role of Maiden and empower you with the runes you collect.

This happens usually near the Lordsworn camp, which has a Site of Grace on each side. So if the first one doesn’t do it for you, the second probably will. But if you want to hold your Runes, maybe go around the camp; if you’re not careful you can quickly get overwhelmed by shielded enemies.

Here are the main attributes you’ll have to decide upon when progressing through our Elden Ring leveling guide:

  • Vigor (VIG) – Increases HP
  • Mind (MND) – Increases FP
  • Endurance (END) – Increases stamina bar and equip load
  • Strength (STR) – Damage modifier and usage requirement for Strength-based weapons
  • Dexterity (DEX) – The primary damage modifier/requirement for Dexterity-based weapons; as well as secondary modifier/requirement for most weapons. Also slightly increases casting speed of spells
  • Intelligence (INT) – A damage modifier and usage requirement for Sorceries and certain Incantations
  • Faith (FTH) – A damage modifier and usage requirement for most Incantations and certain Sorceries
  • Arcane (ARC) – A damage modifier and usage requirement for certain Sorceries and Incantations; determines item discovery rate

As you level up, it’s a good idea to focus on upgrading your Vigor and Endurance, as these two main attributes will be key to your survival in the Lands Between early on.

From there you should considering leveling up Strength and Dexterity as they are the most common requirements for weapons, and they also help you deal more damage.

Lastly, the sorcery-focused attributes with Intelligent, Faith, and Arcane all focus on spells, both also covering prerequisites for spells and also acting as damage modifiers for magical abilities.

So don’t be disheartened that you can’t spend your Runes yet. Just play safe, reclaim them if you run into trouble, and before you know it you’ll be leveling your stats to face bigger and badder threats (don’t forget to look up!).

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.

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