Elden Ring: Tips and tricks to exploring FromSoftware's open world

Elden Ring Gameplay Trailer Firehead
Elden Ring Gameplay Trailer Firehead (Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Elden Ring is on the way, offering a new world where players can explore, gather items, discover secrets, and of course, defeat difficult bosses. Based on our impressions of Elden Ring, it seems to be bringing a blend of FromSoftware's best together — the game draws on mechanics of past titles, particularly Bloodborne, Dark Souls 3, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice — and puts them in an open world setting. Depending on how things pan out, it might even be one of best Xbox RPGs available.

Whether you're a veteran of past FromSoftware titles or a newcomer that's eager to see just what all the excitement is about, we've got you covered. Based on our time with the game so far, here are the Elden Ring tips and tricks you need to know.

Pick the Enchanted Knight or Bloody Wolf class

Source: Bandai Namco (Image credit: Source: Bandai Namco)

If you're a newcomer and you're not really sure what playstyle you're aiming for, we recommend choosing the Enchanted Knight or Bloody Wolf from Elden Ring's classes. The former combines quick, ranged melee damage with strong magic, while the latter has a heavy sword, a great starting weapon that's easy to learn. Both of these classes are solid choices for developing a deeper understanding of the game's systems.

Thankfully, classes in Elden Ring, like past FromSoftware games, only determine your starting stats and equipment and don't lock you into a particular path. Once you're more equipped and knowledgeable, you can change up the playstyle — if you want — by putting levels into different attributes.

Invest in magic

Source: Bandai Namco (Image credit: Source: Bandai Namco)

Magic is far, far more useful in Elden Ring than in some of FromSoftware's previous games. The fluid animations mean its easier to chain together magic, while the fact your flasks refill after killing mobs of foes means it's easy to restore your magic energy between battles. Even if you're mainly opting for a melee-focused build, we highly recommend experimenting with a bit of magic to widen your arsenal. Elden Ring's magic is divided into a couple of different types, with a long list of spells to acquire.

Play in co-op

Source: Bandai Namco (Image credit: Source: Bandai Namco)

Co-op play is easier than ever in Elden Ring, with a dedicated multiplayer tab that breaks down exactly what items you need and how to use them. Having a friend or two to play with means you can watch each other's backs and work together in encounters, which is particularly useful when facing large groups of enemies or challenging bosses.

You can even set a password to make sure you're only summoning the exact people you want to play with. Co-op play, or "jolly cooperation," is a time-honored tradition in Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, and Bloodborne, while Elden Ring appears to be making it a larger focus than ever before.

Pay attention the time of day

Source: Bandai Namco (Image credit: Source: Bandai Namco)

Elden Ring features a day and night cycle, but unlike many open-world games, this isn't just for show. The cycle changes up the behaviors and appearance of various enemies. For example, a caravan or wandering boss might be located in a specific spot at one time in the morning, but will be in a completely different location at night. Study enemy patterns and figure out their routines in order to better plan your routes when going through various areas.

More secrets to uncover

We'll be adding to this list and expanding our guides as we continue to learn more about the world and gameplay of Elden Ring. The open-world map is the largest FromSoftware has ever designed, so there's plenty of secrets and new features we'll be uncovering as time goes on.

Elden Ring is scheduled to launch on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, PC, PS5, and PS4 on Feb. 25, 2022.

Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.