RPGs have a long history of making players think a lot about their build choices. Your starting build is pretty important in any RPG. Leveling up your character by upgrading stats is crucial in Elden Ring, as it has always been in FromSoft games. There’s a lot of laboring and theorycrafting that goes into designing these class-based systems, and even more work is done by players in understanding them. Being able to improve that build over time is a core part of the gameplay loop in RPGs as well.
Runes in Elden Ring Explained
Runes in Elden Ring are just like Souls and Blood Echoes from the previous games. As you gain more from defeating powerful enemies, you go up in levels. Each level allows you to put points into the various core stats in Elden Ring. Your build is the combination of these stats and the gear you carry. The attacks you have and their overall power is determined by the choices you make when spending Runes.
After you’ve gotten through the basic tutorial, you will be sent north, eventually landing at the small Grace Site of Gatefront. There’s an NPC named Melina that will show up when you get there. She will introduce you to the level up system, and grant you the ability to use your Spectral Steed Summon. This massively speeds up travel, and makes the later stages of the game much easier to handle.
The Runes are a currency gained from defeating enemies. Tougher enemies such as bosses yield more Runes, so be sure to hunt down tougher foes when you’re ready to take them on. There are also items called Golden Runes that give cash when they’re used/consumed via your inventory. Golden Runes are found everywhere. You can pretty reliably find Golden Runes in teh tombs and graveyards dotted around the map. These work just like boss souls from previous Souls games, and are a great source of Rune currency.
And while you’re leveling, don’t worry, you can respec if you feel like you want to change something. While this won’t reset your levels, it will allow you to reallocate your overall stat layout.
How to avoid losing runes when you die
You need a certain item in your inventory to not lose the Runes you’re carrying when you fall in battle. The item that prevents you from losing runes if you die in Elden Ring is called the Sacrificial Twig. Head to the Merchant’s Shack on the southwestern tip of the Weeping Peninsula, head south from Limgrave to reach it. You can buy three of the Sacrificial Twig for 3,000 Runes.
When you die, the Twig is destroyed, but you won’t lose any Runes. You will want to save these for the much later parts of the game. In the early game where levels are cheap, it would be a total waste to use a Twig on a measly 40,000 Runes.
Elden Ring Rune Farming
Rune farming in this game is just like XP farming in any other RPG. There’s actually a trick to getting more of these, you just have to know where to look.
There is one spot in particular that’s pretty useful as well. Head to southeast Limgrave near the Waypoint Ruins Cellar and look for the Troll Carraige. This spot reliably spawns tough enemies that can be found in the form of two massive trolls. They hit hard, but are rather slow. If you can manage to take them down, they each drop 1,000 Runes. The key to beating them is all about using your newly gained horse to outrun them, slashing them as you pass.