Elden Ring best weapons 1.08: Tier list, early game, Strength, and more

Elden Ring Golem Battle
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Update 12/16/2022: This guide has been updated after patch 1.08, the latest major Elden Ring update.

While there are tons of unique and exciting items to find throughout Elden Ring's massive open world, new weapons are arguably the most exciting of the bunch. Many armaments have unique movesets and can dish out lots of effective damage when paired with the right build, and though you will have to upgrade them with Smithing Stones, doing so is well worth the effort. However, since there are over 300 weapons in the game, it can be tough to know which ones are (or aren't) worth your time.

In this guide, we'll go over all of the best weapons in Elden Ring. This includes a tier list of all the game's weapon classes, as well as a detailed breakdown of each featured weapon's capabilities, stat requirements, and location. Note that our list includes a wide variety of different weapon types, as different types of character builds generally work better with specific kinds of armaments.

Elden Ring: Best weapons tier list

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Each of Elden Ring's 309 weapons fit into one of 31 different and distinct weapon classes. Due to the sheer number of available armaments and the minute, granular differences between many of them, we feel that ranking all of them in a tier list individually wouldn't be very valuable.

Instead, we've chosen to make a tier list that ranks the classes that these Elden Ring weapons fall into. The vast majority of the weapons within each weapon class have similar movesets, damage outputs, and stat requirements, which means that if you can use one of them, you can likely use most or all of the rest. Then, in the sections below, we'll go over some of the best individual weapons in the game that stand out as top options for specific builds or gameplay scenarios.

Note that every weapon class in Elden Ring can be effective with the proper stat spread and upgrades, even if we've ranked them low on the tier list below. If a weapon class is ranked low, it simply means that weapons from that class are generally pretty niche and aren't as widely useful as other weapon types are. Also, since casting tools like glintstone staves and sacred seals are the only weapons you can use to cast sorceries or incantations respectively, we've chosen not to rank them against the other classes.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
TierWeapon Classes
SGreat Spears, Curved Swords, Katanas, Greatswords
AHeavy Thrusting Swords, Colossal Swords, Spears, Halberds, Curved Greatswords, Thrusting Swords
BReapers, Greataxes, Great Hammers, Hammers, Straight Swords, Colossal Weapons, Daggers
CTwinblades, Fists, Claws, Whips, Axes, Greatbows, Ballistae
DBows, Lightbows, Crossbows, Torches, Flails
Casting ItemsGlintstone Staves, Sacred Seals

Best Elden Ring early game weapon: Morning Star

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  • Stat requirements: STR 12, DEX 8
  • Scaling: STR D, DEX D

The Morning Star is undoubtedly one of the most powerful and easy-to-use weapons you can get your hands on in Elden Ring's early game. Not only can the weapon be acquired in just a few minutes after you take your first steps into the open world, but you don't even have to fight a boss in order to reach it. On top of that, the weapon has extremely low minimum requirements, and it's capable of building up bleed on enemies for large chunks of extra damage. Also, since it's in the Hammer class, it doesn't weigh too much and deals great poise damage. What more could you want out of an early weapon?

You can find the Morning Star in a chest found inside a broken carriage on the side of the road leading to Castle Morne in the Weeping Peninsula region. Watch out for the nearby dog, troll, and misbegotten enemies, as they'll attack if they spot you.

Best Elden Ring Strength weapon: Lance

Elden Ring Lance

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  • Stat requirements: STR 20, DEX 14
  • Scaling: STR D, DEX D

The best Strength weapon in Elden Ring used to be the Berserk-style Greatsword, but due to recent nerfs to that weapon's crouch poke move, the Lance has taken its place. Its relatively low Dexterity requirements mean that players can pump all their points into Strength without having to worry much about the other stat, and with a Strength infusion and upgrades, the Lance gets A scaling with Strength. As a result, it does phenomenal damage, while also giving you the incredible range and poise-breaking power of the Great Spear weapon class. It's best used with a greatshield since you can poke with it while blocking. Alternatively, it's also extremely effective power stanced with another Great Spear.

To get the Lance, you'll need to pick it up off the top of the northwest ruin structure found on the road going from Limgrave's Stormhill area to the eastern section of the region. You can do this by jumping off the edge of the nearby cliff and landing on the structure's roof. The ruin is right by a camp of soldiers, so try to avoid drawing their aggro.

Best Elden Ring Dex weapon: Nagakiba

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  • Stat requirements: STR 18, DEX 22
  • Scaling: STR D, DEX C

The Nagakiba is one of Elden Ring's most versatile Dexterity weapons. Not only does it naturally have good scaling with the stat (it gets A scaling with a Keen infusion), but it has the longest reach of any Katana weapon, high damage, and intrinsic bleed buildup. On top of that, you can put any katana-compatible Ash of War on it that you like, which is always a bonus.

The Nagakiba can be found in the Second Church of Marika in central Altus Plateau by completing Bloody Finger Hunter Yura's questline.

Best Elden Ring quality weapon: Bloodhound's Fang

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  • Stat requirements: STR 18, DEX 17
  • Scaling: STR D, DEX C

Quality weapons — weapons that work best with a relatively even split of both Strength and Dexterity — aren't as effective in Elden Ring as they've been in previous Soulsborne-style games. With that said, some of them are still incredibly capable, and the best of these is arguably the Bloodhound's Fang. This Curved Greatsword ends up with C Strength scaling and B Dex scaling when upgraded and outputs a ton of damage, especially when you use its Bloodhound's Finesse Ash of War. Its range is fairly long, too, and as a bonus, it also inflicts bleed buildup with every hit.

You can acquire the Bloodhound's Fang by defeating Bloodhound Knight Darriwhil at the Forlorn Hound Evergaol in southern Limgrave, just before the bridge that leads to the Weeping Peninsula. For more information about this encounter, check out our guide on how to complete Blaidd's quest in Elden Ring.

Best Elden Ring Intelligence weapon: Dark Moon Greatsword

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  • Stat requirements: STR 16, DEX 11, INT 38
  • Scaling: STR D, DEX D, INT C

The Moonlight Greatsword is in almost every single Soulsborne game released by FromSoftware, and it's back in Elden Ring as the Dark Moon Greatsword. Despite its fairly high stat requirements, this weapon stands tall as the best armament pure Intelligence builds can turn to when spells aren't getting the job done. 

The base damage is already excellent, but buffing the weapon with its Moonlight Greatsword Ash of War will make it even deadlier. Not only will attacks do more damage and inflict Frostbite faster while the weapon is buffed, but players will also gain the ability to launch devastating frost projectiles at foes with heavy attacks. Recent buffs made the weapon even more potent, as these projectiles can now be launched at a faster pace.

Getting the Dark Moon Greatsword is more difficult than obtaining most weapons, as it requires the completion of a lengthy and dangerous quest. For all the details, refer to our guide on how to complete Ranni's quest for the Moonlight Greatsword in Elden Ring.

Best Elden Ring Faith weapon: Coded Sword

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  • Stat requirements: FAI 20
  • Scaling: FAI B

If you're a pure Faith caster and you need a reliable weapon to use in situations where you can't effectively take your foes down with incantations, you won't find anything better than the Coded Sword. It weighs almost nothing at just 2.5 weight, and it only requires points in Faith to wield. It also starts off with an excellent Faith scaling value of B, which climbs up to A as you upgrade it. As a result, it does plenty of Holy damage. Notably, it completely bypasses shields as well, making it an effective counter against turtling enemies.

You can get the Coded Sword from the throne room of the Fortified Manor in the southwestern section of the Leyndell, Royal Capital area. Note that you can't come back to this area after defeating Maliketh, the Black Blade, so make sure to grab the Coded Sword before you do.

Best Elden Ring Int/Faith weapon: Sword of Night and Flame

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  • Stat requirements: STR 12, DEX 12, INT 24, FAI 24
  • Scaling: STR E, DEX E, INT D, FAI D

The Sword of Night and Flame is currently the best weapon for Intelligence/Faith hybrid builds, able to delete most bosses in the game relatively quickly with its devastating Ash of War. Pressing L2 and R1 will make it shoot a devastating beam of sorcery, while L2 and R2 makes it shoot a wide arc of flames that will burn crowds of enemies to a crisp. The physical damage of the sword itself is average at best, but since you shouldn't be hitting enemies with it often anyway, this isn't an issue.

The Sword of Night and Flame is located within a stone tower you have to jump onto from the walkways of Caria Manor, which is located in northern Liurnia of the Lakes. The weapon will be in a chest.

Bes Elden Ring Arcane weapon: Mohgwyn's Sacred Spear

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  • Stat requirements: STR 24, DEX 14, ARC 27
  • Scaling: STR D, DEX E, ARC D

Arcane builds are amongst the best Elden Ring builds in the game, and one of the best weapons to use with them is Mohgwyn's Sacred Spear. This trident-like Great Spear dishes out excellent damage, has great range and stance-breaking potential, and can inflict plenty of bleed buildup, too. The Bloodboon Ritual Ash of War is also devastating against large groups of enemies, bosses that have low bleed resistance, or PvP opponents. The weapon's only downside is that its stat requirements are high, making this a late-game weapon.

To get the Mohgwyn's Sacred Spear, you'll first need to defeat Mohg, Lord of Blood in his arena, which you can find at the southwestern point of Mohgwyn Palace. Then, take the Remembrance of the Blood Lord and exchange it for the weapon with the Finger Reader in Roundtable Hold.

Best Elden Ring bleed weapon: Rivers of Blood

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  • Stat requirements: STR 12, DEX 18, ARC 20
  • Scaling: STR E, DEX D, ARC D

The Rivers of Blood is the perfect weapon for players that want to deal a huge amount of bleed damage in a short amount of time. This is because the Corpse Piler Ash of War allows you to perform several bloodflame slashes in quick succession, all of which inflict huge bleed buildup. This move is extremely strong in PvE, and even though it was nerfed in PvP, it's still very effective if you're able to catch opponents off-guard with it.

To get the Rivers of Blood, you'll need to kill the Bloody Finger Okina NPC that invades you to the east of the Church of Repose, which you'll find in the southern portion of the Mountaintops of the Giants.

Best Elden Ring dagger for crits: Misericorde

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  • Stat requirements: STR 7, DEX 12
  • Scaling: STR E, DEX D

Whether you're planning on parrying your foes or breaking their stance, there's not a better weapon to use for the follow-up critical hit than the Misericorde. This absolute monster of a dagger isn't that useful in direct combat, but keeping it equipped as your secondary weapon and pulling it out when backstabbing or riposting after a parry or stagger will net you some truly insane crit damage. This is thanks to its crit damage multiplier of 140, which is the highest of any armament. Its Quickstep Ash of War is also useful as an enhanced dodge that can often help you survive attacks that are tough to avoid with standard dodge rolls.

To get the Misericorde, you'll need to use a Stonesword Key to unlock a room blocked by white fog in the western section of Stormveil Castle. There are two large exile soldiers inside, so be ready for a fight.

Best Elden Ring bow: Black Bow

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  • Stat requirements: STR 9, DEX 20
  • Scaling: STR E, DEX D

The Black Bow is the most versatile bow in Elden Ring, and because of that, it's also the best bow in our view. It has good max range and strong damage (for a bow), and notably, it possesses the moveset of a Short Bow even though it's part of the regular Bow weapon class. This means you can perform quick shots after rolling or jumping with it, allowing you to stay in the fight even when enemies or bosses are aggressively attacking you. The Barrage Ash of War is also excellent, particularly when paired with arrows that build up status effects like poison or bleed.

You'll find the Black Bow on a rooftop in Leyndell, Royal Capital, to the northeast of the Avenue Balcony Site of Grace. To reach it, you'll need to jump from roof to roof in the area. Note that you won't be able to get this weapon after killing Maliketh, the Black Blade, so make sure to get it before you do.

Best Elden Ring ranged weapon: Jar Cannon

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  • Stat requirements: STR 34, DEX 12
  • Scaling: N/A

While bows are nice, they're more of a mid-range tool and aren't ideal for attacking enemies from afar. That's where the Jar Cannon comes in, a behemoth of a weapon that has excellent range and damage. As long as you've got plenty of greatbolts to spare, you can blow away most basic foes before they even close the distance with this armament. It's also a great option in multiplayer engagements, as distracted players likely won't see you firing at them. The reload speed is pretty slow, but as long as you're careful about when you decide to pull this thing out, it won't be an issue.

You can get the Jar Cannon by killing Demi-Human Queen Margot in the Volcano Cave, which you can find in northern Mt. Gelmir.

Best Elden Ring staff for sorcery: Carian Regal Scepter

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  • Stat requirements: STR 8, DEX 10, INT 60
  • Scaling: STR E, DEX E, INT B

While the Meteorite Staff is better for Elden Ring's early and mid-game, you should plan on using the Carian Regal Scepter once you reach 60 Intelligence with your sorcerey build. This staff provides some of the highest sorcery scaling in the game without any drawbacks whatsoever, making it the best overall staff for casting Elden Ring's best spells. The fact you need 60 Intelligence to use it means it will take a long time before you can obliterate enemies with it, but the crazy damage you can do makes it worth the wait.

You can obtain the Carian Regal Scepter by defeating Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon at the end of Raya Lucaria Academy, which is located in northern Liurnia of the Lakes. You'll then need to use her Remembrance to create the staff by speaking to the Finger Reader in Roundtable Hold.

Best Elden Ring seal for incantations: Erdtree Seal

Elden Ring

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  • Stat requirements: FAI 40
  • Scaling: FAI C

This is essentially the seal version of the Carian Regal Scepter. It has a high Faith requirement of 40, but when upgraded, it gets S Faith scaling and the highest incantation scaling in the entire game when paired with a pure Faith casting build. While having some seals in your offhand can provide a passive damage boost to certain spells (for example, the Giant's Seal will improve the potency of Giants' Flame spells), you should always be casting with the Erdtree Seal to take advantage of its phenomenal incantation scaling. Notably, the Erdtree Seal doesn't weigh anything, either, making it a great choice for players that want to cast spells without sacrificing valuable Equip Load points.

You'll find the Erdtree Seal on a corpse in a cell near an Omenkiller beneath the Volcano Manor Prison Town Church Site of Grace.

Other top Elden Ring weapons

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The weapons listed above may be the best overall weapons in Elden Ring, but they're far from being the only ones you should consider using. There are plenty of other excellent weapons, too, including special armaments that are ideal for hybrid-style builds, highly adaptable ones that work well with a wide variety of playstyles, and more. We've listed these weapons below, along with some quick explanations about why they stand out.

  • Cinquedea: Dagger that enhances the power of Bestial incantations when held.
  • Reduvia: Dex/Arc dagger that inflicts heavy bleed and can fire blood projectiles with its Ash of War.
  • Black Knife: Dex/Faith dagger with Blade of Death Ash of War that reduces an enemy's max HP by 10% for 15 seconds.
  • Sword of St. Trina: This quality scaling straight sword has heavy sleep buildup, allowing its user to stagger or sleep many different types of enemies.
  • Claymore: Extremely versatile greatsword that scales well with most infusions and has a diverse moveset, including thrusts with one-handed heavy attacks. Default Lion Claw Ash of War is also very effective.
  • Blasphemous Blade: Exceptional Strength/Faith greatsword with good scaling and a fantastic Ash of War that deals plenty of damage at range while also healing the user.
  • Sacred Relic Sword: A deadly Dex/Faith greatsword capable of launching huge waves of holy energy with the Waves of Gold Ash of War. Excellent tool for farming runes in the late game.
  • Greatsword: An excellent Strength weapon with a diverse moveset. Can be infused with different Ashes of War as well.
  • Starscourge Greatsword: Powerful Strength/Int weapon with a deadly Ash of War that pulls enemies close to you and then blasts them to smithereens with a gravity explosion.
  • Maliketh's Black Blade: Highly damaging Strength/Faith weapon. Ash of War diminishes enemy HP by 10% like the Black Knife does.
  • Antspur Rapier: Dexterity-focused rapier with good damage and intrinsic Scarlet Rot buildup.
  • Rogier's Rapier: Infusable rapier with great Dexterity scaling and a unique double thrust heavy attack.
  • Bloody Helice: Dex/Arc Heavy Thrusting Sword with strong bleed buildup, high damage, and an agile moveset that includes the unique Dynast's Finesse Ash of War.
  • Scavenger's Curved Sword: This weapon, when power stanced with another Curved Sword capable of bleeding enemies, can output some of the highest bleed buildup in the game.
  • Wing of Astel: Unique Dex/Int Curved Sword that can fire magic projectiles with heavy attacks that don't cost FP to use.
  • Moonveil: Popular Dex/Int Katana weapon with good reach, high damage, and the exceptional Transient Moonlight Ash of War that allows the user to fire waves of magic energy in both horizontal and vertical arcs.
  • Eleonora's Poleblade: Essentially a Twinblade version of the Rivers of Blood. The Bloodblade Dance Ash of War inflicts lots of bleed while also allowing the user to dodge away from retaliatory attacks.
  • Ripple Blade/Ripple Crescent Halberd: S Arcane scaling weapon with low base damage, but it can be buffed with spells or grease items. Useful for Arcane builds that want to use status effects, as the incredible Arcane scaling will make applied status effect-inflicting buffs more effective.
  • Sacrificial Axe: Unique axe that gives the wielder a small amount of FP for each kill they get when it's equipped, regardless of whether the weapon was used for the kill or not.
  • Great Stars: Strength-focused Great Hammer that bleeds enemies, does good damage, and heals the user a small amount with each hit.
  • Giant-Crusher: An exceptional Strength-oriented Colossal Weapon with some of the most damaging and poise-breaking heavy and jumping attacks in all of Elden Ring.
  • Cross-Naginata: A versatile weapon that responds well to infusions, has intrinsic bleeding, and some Halberd-style attacks not typically found on Spears.
  • Clayman's Harpoon: An excellent Strength/Int Spear with the ability to inflict heavy Frostbite buildup.
  • Serpent-Hunter: This weapon is meant to be used during the Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy fight, but since it has no stat requirements and excellent Strength scaling, it's a popular Great Spear to power stance with the Lance.
  • Golden Halberd: Phenomenal Strength/Faith weapon with superb damage and good scaling.
  • Commander's Standard: Strength-focused Halberd that has the ability to empower its user and their allies with a significant damage buff.
  • Winged Scythe: Dex/Faith weapon with very high damage, bleed, and an Ash of War that stops other players from healing or replenishing FP with flasks.
  • Hoslow's Petal Whip: Deadly Dexterity-focused whip with high damage and bleed buildup.
  • Cipher Pata: The fist version of the Coded Sword. Doesn't weigh anything and has excellent Faith scaling and damage, though it has less range than the Coded Sword does.
  • Serpent Bow: This bow has Arcane scaling and adds a poison effect to every arrow shot with it.
  • Erdtree Bow: A unique Faith-scaling bow that does its best damage when paired with Holy Arrow ammunition.
  • Lion Greatbow: A quality Greatbow that does excellent damage when used with Radahn's Spear greatarrows. The Ash of War allows you to rain down volleys of arrows on opponents, similar to the way Starscourge Radahn does against you.
  • Pulley Crossbow: This crossbow fires three bolts in rapid succession, making it ideal for applying status effects with Poison or Sleep Bolts.
  • Beast-Repellent Torch: Holding this torch will make wild beasts regard you neutrally, which is often helpful in areas like Caelid.
  • Sentry's Torch: Makes invisible enemies like certain Black Knife Assassins visible, allowing you to fight them effectively.
  • St. Trina's Torch: This torch's Ash of War will quickly put enemies to sleep, making it a very useful tool.
  • Lusat's Glintstone Staff: Has the highest sorcery scaling in the game, resulting in the best overall damage. However, spells cost 50% more FP to cast with this staff. Best used in boss fights with the Cerulean Hidden Tear and nuke spells like Comet Azur.
  • Prince of Death's Staff: This staff has the best scaling for Int/Faith hybrid builds.
  • Clawmark Seal: Best seal for Strength/Faith builds, as it scales with both stats effectively. Also provides a boost to Bestial incantations.
  • Golden Order Seal: Best seal for Int/Faith hybrid builds.
  • Dragon Communion Seal: Best seal for Faith/Arc hybrid builds that utilize Dragon Communion incantations.

Elden Ring is here, and it's available for $60 on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows PCs, and PlayStation systems. It's one of the best Xbox games you can play right now if you're a fan of challenging action RPGs, and as such, we strongly recommend it. Between its amazing gameplay, phenomenal presentation, and its staggering amount of overall content, it's an absolute triumph.

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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.