Elden Ring best keepsake: Which starting item should you choose?

Elden Ring
Elden Ring (Image credit: Windows Central)

Like the Dark Souls games before it, Elden Ring allows players to choose a special keepsake item whenever they make a new character. There are nine different keepsakes that you can pick from, and each one offers a unique benefit or advantage. But which one should you actually pick?

Ultimately, while all of the keepsake items are useful in one way or another, a handful of the options are much better than the others in terms of overall usefulness and value. Here's a full breakdown of Elden Ring's keepsake items, including an overview of what each one is and which ones are ultimately the best to choose.

Elden Ring: Keepsake list

Source: Windows Central A Golden Seed is available as a keepsake item. (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

When creating a new Elden Ring character, there are nine different keepsakes that you can choose from. Here's a full list of all of the keepsakes, as well as an overview of what each of them do:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Keepsake itemItem effect
Crimson Amber MedallionIncreases maximum HP
Lands Between RuneProvides a large number of runes
Golden SeedIncreases number of Flask of Crimson/Cerulean Tears charges by one
Fanged Imp AshesAllows summoning of Fanged Imp spirits
Cracked PotCan be used to craft throwable items like fire or poison pots
Stonesword KeyCan be used to unlock sealed off areas that typically contain treasure
Bewitching BranchFive branches that can be used to temporarily turn an enemy into an ally
Boiled PrawnRaises physical defense and reduces damage taken
Shabriri's WoeA talisman that constantly attracts enemy attention

Note that all of these items can eventually be found throughout the Lands Between if you don't choose them, meaning that you don't need to worry about missing out on using these items. Selecting them as your keepsake simply means that you'll start the game with them instead.

Elden Ring: Which keepsake should you choose?

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

While all of Elden Ring's keepsake items are useful, we ultimately think that you'll be best off choosing to start the game with one of the following items:

  • Crimson Amber Medallion
  • Golden Seed
  • Stonesword Key
  • Bewitching Branch

The Crimson Amber Medallion is a very useful tool for the early game since it increases your HP considerably, making it harder for enemies to kill you and thus allowing you to make more mistakes before dying. The Golden Seed is also a great choice, as you can use it to get an extra charge of your Flask of Crimson or Cerulean Tears immediately for more HP or mana replenishment.

Choosing a Stonesword Key isn't a bad idea, either, as it will allow you to open up one of the various locations sealed away by a wall of white energy that you'll come across in the game's opening hours. These areas typically have strong weapons or spells in them, and obtaining them will give you a massive advantage when starting out.

Finally, there's also a case to be made for the Bewitching Branch, which can be incredibly handy in a pinch since they allow you to turn an enemy into an ally temporarily. It's not as useful as the other keepsakes we recommend, but it's still effective. It's also incredibly rare and can't be obtained until much later in the game, so if you want this item, choosing it as your keepsake is a good idea. When chosen as a keepsake, you get five Bewitching Branches.

Elden Ring is finally here, and it's available for $60 on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, and PC. It's one of the best Xbox games you can play right now if you're a fan of challenging RPGs, and we strongly recommend it.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.