Elden Ring: How to use Incantations
It's not as clear as you think it would be, but we're here to help if you're confused.
Elden Ring is undoubtedly a masterpiece, and will no doubt go down in history as one of the best RPGs ever made. With that said, some of its gameplay mechanics may be a little confusing for new players, especially if they haven't played one of FromSoftware's earlier "Soulsborne" titles before.
One of those mechanics is Elden Ring's magic system, which allows players to use powerful sorceries and incantations as long as they have the stats necessary to do so. Of the two magic types, incantations are considered to be the most versatile, as there are a wide variety of both offensive and supportive incantations that can be used to attack, heal, or buff before or during combat. Incantation spells can often be obtained while exploring or from vendors, but many players aren't sure how to actually cast them.
If you're interested in trying out incantations but you don't know where to start, this guide will go over everything you need to know.
Elden Ring: How to use incantations
While Elden Ring sorceries are almost always dependent on your character's Intelligence stat, all of the game's incantations require Faith, though some will also need Arcane or Intelligence as well. Note that all classes and all players can get and use incantations throughout a playthrough, provided that you tailor your stats to meet a spell's minimum stat requirements.
With that said, only two classes begin with the stats and the equipment necessary to actually use incantations, which is likely where some confusion is coming from. Both the Prophet and Confessor class start with incantations (often shortened to incants), as well as the correct item needed to use them. If you're playing something like a Wretch or a Vagabond, you need to buy an item to use incants: a Sacred Seal. Below, we'll go over how to equip Sacred Seals, as well as where you can purchase one.
Here's how to equip a Sacred Seal:
- Press the view button or inventory button on your input device to access the equipment area.
- Equip a Seal in either your main hand (right) or your offhand (left).
- Pressing left and right on the D-pad lets you cycle through equipment in your offhand and main hand, respectively.
- With the Seal equipped, you will now be able to cast any equipped incantation by pressing the left bumper (offhand) or right bumper (main hand).
- Many incantations can be charged by holding down the bumper before releasing it. Charging incantations typically increases their potency and damage, and may also improve their area of effect as well. Charging is also helpful if you want to wait a few seconds before casting a buff or healing spell.
Keep in mind that you'll also need to equip your incantations in order to cast them. This is done by memorizing spells, which you can do whenever you're sitting at a Site of Grace. You can find incantations out in the world as loot, rewards for boss kills, or even purchases from vendors. Press up on the D-Pad to cycle through your spells, and hold the up button whenever you want to jump back to the first spell in your inventory.
Note: If you're unable to cast an incantation with your Sacred Seal, it means you either don't have enough FP or don't meet the spell's minimum requirements. Your FP, represented by the blue bar under your health, can be replenished with the Flask of Cerulean Tears ("mana potions") and upgraded with investment into the Mind stat. You can find the stat requirements of any spell in your inventory menu, where your collected incantations are listed. More often than not, you'll need more Faith if you're not able to cast a spell, though you'll also need Arcane for Dragon Communion spells and Intelligence for Golden Order spells.
Elden Ring: Where to get a Seal
If you're starting as a Confessor or a Prophet, you start with a Sacred Seal already equipped. If you're playing another starting class and want to pick up incantations a bit later, it's very easy to purchase one and get started. Here's how:
- First, you'll need to get your horse, Torrent, using this guide here.
- Once you have Torrent, head to Stormveil castle, via the Castleward Tunnel. It's in the top northwest corner of Limgrave, Elden Ring's starting region.
- Do battle with Margit. Even if you lose, you'll still be able to get access to a Sacred Seal.
- After one encounter with Margit, you'll be able to speak to Melina at any Site of Grace. She'll describe to you the Roundtable Hold accessible via the bottom left corner of the map, which gives you access to a new vendor.
- Head to the Roundtable Hold with Melina, and you'll find a safe zone hub area. There's also an incantation vendor here.
- When you spawn in, head down the left corridor and past the bookshelves. You'll find a small room with two mummified witches who can sell you a basic Finger Seal for 800 runes.
This Sacred Seal is the ideal one to get started using incantations with, as it has low stat requirements and good incantation scaling at lower Faith levels. However, as you progress through the game, you'll find a variety of different Sacred Seals that outperform this basic one when paired with certain Elden Ring builds. We'll go over these Sacred Seals in the next section.
Elden Ring: Best Seals to use
While all of Elden Ring's Sacred Seals can be used to cast incantations, some of them are better than others depending on the type of character you have. This is because each Sacred Seal scales with each of the game's stats differently. If your character's stats line up with the stats that a given Seal scales with best, that Seal will provide you with higher incantation scaling, improving the effectiveness of your spells. You can also improve a Sacred Seal's incantation scaling by upgrading it with Smithing Stones.
Additionally, many Sacred Seals also boost the power of certain incantation types, regardless of whether or not you actually cast with them. For example, the Godslayer's Seal improves the potency of Godskin Apostle incantations when equipped — even if it's equipped in the hand that doesn't have the Sacred Seal you're casting with. Notably, these bonuses can stack, allowing you to get up to a 30% damage bonus if you acquire an additional version of a Sacred Seal via player trade.
Below, we've listed all of game's Sacred Seals, along with a short description of each one's stat scaling properties (when upgraded) and bonus effects. Note that in general, to achieve maximum damage with the best Elden Ring spells while using high Faith builds, it's best to cast with the Erdtree Seal while holding a Sacred Seal that boosts the damage of your chosen spell type in your other hand.
|Sacred Seal||Scaling||Passive Effects||Notes|
|Finger Seal||STR D, FAI S||N/A||Best incantation scaling for low Faith builds.|
|Erdtree Seal||FAI S||N/A||Best incantation scaling for high Faith builds.|
|Golden Order Seal||FAI A, INT A||Boosts Golden Order incantations by 10%.||Best for Int/Faith builds.|
|Gravel Stone Seal||STR D, FAI S||Boosts Dragon Cult Incantations by 15%.||Equip when using Dragon Cult spells.|
|Giant's Seal||STR D, FAI S||Boosts Fire Giant and Fire Monk incantations by 20%.||Equip when using Fire Giant or Fire Monk spells.|
|Godslayer's Seal||STR D, FAI S||Boosts Godskin Apostle incantations by 10%.||Equip when using Godskin Apostle spells.|
|Clawmark Seal||STR B, FAI B||Boosts Bestial incantations by 10%.||Equip with Str/Faith builds and when using Bestial spells.|
|Frenzied Flame Seal||STR C, DEX C, INT C, FAI B||Boosts Frenzied Flame incantations by 20%.||Equip when using Frenzied Flame spells.|
|Dragon Communion Seal||FAI B, ARC S||Boosts Dragon Communion incantations by 15%.||Best for Faith/Arcane builds and for Dragon Communion spells.|
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.
FromSoftware's latest role-playing game took the world by storm, so much so that it ended up winning Game of the Year 2022. It's easily one of the best games ever made, and we can't recommend it enough.
Buy from: Amazon | Microsoft | GMG (Steam)
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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.