This weird Elden Ring mechanic might just save your life

Elden Ring
Elden Ring (Image credit: Windows Central)

In Elden Ring, your success is almost entirely driven by your personal skill and ability to learn. For example, tough boss fights require you to learn their moves and avoid them while going in for strikes of your own at the right time, and many of the game's areas require careful traversal so that you don't get ripped apart by enemies or fall into an environmental trap. However, there is one mechanic in the game that demands no effort from you, and it can often save your life: the message appraisal system.

That's right; whenever one of your messages gets rated by other players, your HP will be replenished.

If you've spent any amount of time wandering through the open world of Elden Ring, you've likely seen hundreds of messages — white runic symbols on the ground — that players have written while exploring their own world. Players often leave these messages to help, troll, or amuse others, adding a fascinating community element to Elden Ring's gameplay. But did you know that if you appraise one of these messages using the in-game rating system, the player that wrote it will get healed if they're playing the game at the time?

That's right; whenever one of your messages gets rated by other players, your HP will be replenished like it is whenever you drink from your Flask of Crimson Tears. This can happen anywhere, at any time, including during boss fights and combat encounters. It's a weird mechanic, but it's incredibly helpful, and it will probably save your life if a player happens to rate one of your messages in situations where you're low on health and out of health potions.

If you'd like to start leaving messages to take advantage of this mechanic, all you have to do is follow these steps:

How to write an online message in Elden Ring

  1. Press the Menu button on your controller, then select the Messages tab from the in-game menu.
  2. Then you can construct and leave messages where your character is standing by using numerous templates and the hundreds of words and phrases available to you.
  3. Generally, helpful and funny messages get rated the most, though many players are also happy to rate devious ones as well ("Try jumping" next to an abyss is a classic).
  4. Get creative with your message. When people appraise your messages, you'll get some health back as a reward.

Note: There's a limit on how often the healing effect will trigger, as you might expect, so having millions of messages won't make you immortal.

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.