Elden Ring Guide: How to get the Zweihander sword early

Elden Ring
Elden Ring (Image credit: Windows Central)

Elden Ring is a masterpiece, and if you're a Souls fan, you've more than likely already bought it. If you haven't though, you probably should buy Elden Ring right now.

For those who are familiar with Dark Souls and other FromSoftware games, you'll know they often feature recurring weapons, complete with unique attack patterns. A popular greatsword in these games is the Zweihander, and for those who have enjoyed using the sword from as far back as Dark Souls 1, you may be happy to hear that it's making a return in Elden Ring, and it's actually not too hard to acquire.

Here's a quick run-through of what you'll need to get the Zweihander in Elden Ring, which is accessible in the early areas of the game.

Elden Ring: Where to find the Zweihander

To get the Zweihander early, you'll need to have unlocked your steed, Torrent, and be prepared for a bit of a road trip across Limgrave. You'll also need 3,000 Runes, since you're about to purchase it from a friendly vendor on the other side of the map.

Isolated Merchant's Shack in Elden Ring (Image credit: Windows Central)

Isolated Merchant's Shack and Limgrave in Elden Ring (Image credit: Windows Central)

Source: Windows Central

You're heading towards the Isolated Merchant's Shack, as shown in the maps above. To get there takes a while, but it's fairly easy. There are a few things you'll need to watch out for along the way, even though you can practically get there simply by following the roads on the map.

Head south past the Agheel Lake, towards Agheel Lake south. It's worth grabbing the sites of grace as you go. Additionally, while inside the map you're yet to clear, there should be little markings that look like obelisks. These are map markers, and will unlock additional portions of the map as you go.

Follow the road south from Agheel Lake through a crevice through the mountain. You'll eventually come upon a bridge, known as the Bridge of Sacrifice. There are a few soldiers on it that you have to fight through, along with a manned heavy crossbow that can do heaps of damage. If you're careful, you can sidestep the crossbow with your horse, but you can also use one of the Spirit Ash summons on this bridge to fight your way across.

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

Once you're across the bridge, there will be another site of grace. There should also be another map marker you can run to and grab along the way. This southern area is known as the Weeping Peninsula, and it's an optional area with plenty of good items and loot if you're feeling brave. For now though, keep following the road on the map to the west side of the Weeping Peninsula.

Eventually, you may see an incredibly large creature in a wide-open space. I won't spoil what it is (because it's epic), but use Torrent to continue running past it and the other mobs in the area. The wide space makes it easy to traverse.

Near the coast on the western side, you'll come across a small shack. This is the Isolated Merchant's Shack. Within, he sells the Zweihander, among various other useful items.

Elden Ring: Zweihander stats and usage

Elden Ring Zweihander stats (Image credit: Windows Central)

Elden Ring Zweihander stats (Image credit: Windows Central)

Source: Windows Central

The Zweihander is what's known as a Colossal class sword, given its massive size, and is therefore about massive damage. However, its slow speed can leave you open to attacks if you're not careful. The Zweihander, unlike some other Colossal class great swords, has a unique thrusting attack that gives it quite some reach. This can be used to devastate enemies, complete with high stance-breaking potential.

The Zweihander has a relatively modest 19 strength requirement and 11 dex requirement, which is very accessible early in the game. It can be upgraded further with Smithing Stones via a blacksmith, and has surprisingly good guard negation for those who may want to use it with two hands and forego a shield completely. The Zweihander is a heavy boy, though, and may drop you into a heavy load status if you don't have the endurance and equipment load stat to properly wield it.

It comes with the "Stamp" Ash of War equipped as standard. When you hit the right trigger with this equipped, you will stamp into the ground and shrug off most standard enemy attacks. Hitting heavy attack after performing the stamp will create a powerful upward thrust that deals huge amounts of damage and can send smaller enemies flying into the air.

The Zweihander remains a staple weapon for early Souls gaming, and its power and versatility makes it a great starter weapon for anyone building out a strength-oriented melee playthrough in this excellent RPG.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!