Elden Ring is still a new game as far as I’m concerned, but it’s also one many players have already sunk dozens or even hundreds of hours into, and any game, no matter how great, can start to lose its lustre after a while. A new big thing starts calling out to you, like Neon White, or maybe you become preoccupied with the future and start rewatching the Pokemon Scarlet and Violet trailer until your eyeballs explode. But although Elden Ring doesn’t look as shiny as when you first started playing it, a part of you still feels drawn to it, maybe wanting to finish it for the first time, or perhaps to find out what new game plus has to offer. All you need is something that helps bring back the magic of your first trip through the Lands Between.
Good thing I’m here with eight tips to keep your Elden Ring relationship fresh.
1. Get into the community
I am a huge FromSoftware nerd and I usually replay at least one of its games per year (except Dark Souls 2) (I rarely replay Dark Souls 2) (because it sucks), and nothing has made those tweenage games feel eternally “new” quite like getting involved in the FromSoftware community.
The 1.4 million-member-strong Elden Ring subreddit will refresh your interest in the game with daily posts and discussions, and it’s also a useful place for getting quick community feedback, commiserating, or marveling at memes.
I’m personally obsessed with detailed Elden Ring YouTube videos — some of my favourite YouTubers who focus on FromSoftware games include VaatiVidya, who makes assiduously researched lore videos, Zullie the Witch, who shares cut and hidden content, and SquillaKilla, whose gimmick runs destroy my brain (and occasionally act as white noise for me when I can’t sleep). There are countless other fascinating Elden Ring videos, streamers, and even Etsy storefronts. Let the algorithms sweep you away in a sweet, sweet tunnel of Elden Ring love.
2. Meet cute girls
After you’re done getting to know the Elden Ring community, commit to getting to know Elden Ring’s community, its thriving non-playable character population.
It’s easy to let elaborate questlines fall to the wayside during your first Elden Ring attempt, particularly if you’re new to the intricate, opaque threads of NPC questlines in FromSoftware RPGs. You might have spent more time finding your footing in battle than determining which place you’re supposed to teleport to at which time to receive which character’s magical, mystical, large poke-y weapon, but now that you have a few months of playtime under your belt, it’s worth catching up with connections you might have made and missed.
If you have an unfinished game, talk to all the NPCs you’ve met to gauge where you’re at in their questlines. Elden Ring quest lines can be unforgiving, often requiring obscure actions to progress them, but they aren’t as stringent as you think. A lot of them can be figured out by talking to NPCs and reading the descriptions for the items they give you (and, again, turning to the Elden Ring community). It might not be too late to hit Millicent up for some quality time in your current playthrough, or you can commit a new game to following every loose thread.
Questlines keep you engaged and occupied with elaborate backstory, new locations, items, and experiences. Really committing to them can make Elden Ring feel like a completely different game with completely different goals.
3. Build, then rebuild
You might be more interested in Elden Ring as an unalloyed blood bath, though, so for you, testing out various builds could be the best way to reinvigorate it.
Be disloyal to your save files and make a few for the different starting classes that interest you. Personally, I have Prophet, Astrologer, and Warrior characters to test out different playstyles, builds, and weapons, but if you aren’t super keen on organisation, you can throw everything together in one pot by constantly switching builds within one character.
Do this by defeating Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon in the Raya Lucaria Academy (summoning and staying close for rapid, staggering attacks worked for me). Collect Larval Tears, an item that is scattered and dropped around the Lands Between, return to the Raya Lucaria Grand Library, talk to Rennala and choose “Rebirth” in exchange for a Larval Tear. You can reallocate points or respec as many times as you have Larval Tears.
4. Go on a dragon retreat
While you’re full of Larval Tears and flush with points to move around, consider popping a bunch of them into your arcane stat. Doing this, along with boosting faith, will put you in prime position for a dragon build, a unique lens with which to experience Elden Ring.
Like with every Elden Ring build, you have a lot of options to become powerful while prioritising dragon incantations, arcane and faith-based spells you can obtain at the Church of Dragon Communion in exchange for dragon hearts.
There are some established dragon builds online that you could follow, like the Dragon Warrior or Blood Dragon builds, but I think playing around with points and seeing what incantations work best for you is most fun. Just don’t forget the concept of “scaling.” Dragon incantations scale primarily with arcane, so for maximum damage output, you’ll want that to be your highest stat, with faith as your second highest. If you’re unsure about what an incantation or weapon’s scaling is, check out its “attribute scaling” in the item menu.
5. Work with what you got
Thinking too hard about things like stats and scaling can make a game feel more like work than what it should feel like, a game. The easiest way to reawaken your Elden Ring interest is by opening up your dormant save file and barreling ahead from wherever you left off.
Destroy a boss you forgot to crush back in April, scour Elden Ring’s underground map for items you missed, or progress your file until the credits roll. Don’t think too hard about your next move, ignore everything that doesn’t interest you, and play how you want to play. You’ll feel free and entertained.
6. Do the wrong thing
True freedom in Elden Ring means going off-script. This can look like turning yourself into a glitch-hunter, or attempting things that will likely kill you while not caring about being killed. Jump on things you aren’t supposed to jump on, vanquish distant field bosses with arrows, poison every enemy in sight.
Using the game as a vehicle for goofing around may feel blissfully stupid, but doing so also turns you into a stupidity pioneer. You alone can save yourself from boredom by making Elden Ring a third-person shooter or glitching into the underworld.
7. Try a new ending
Elden Ring’s six different endings could be a satisfying enough carrot if you’re a mod-averse traditionalist or achievement hog, though they will require you to finish the game six times (or save and reupload your file to pack achievements into one playthrough), albeit in six specific ways necessary to obtaining each ending.
Within those six games, you could end up using some of my previous tips like trying new builds or questlines, or you could entertain yourself by trying speed or gimmick runs. Give yourself arbitrary confines like no levelling up, no upgrading, or no maiden and see how far you get in unlocking your quest to become Elden Lord again, again, and again.
8. Take a freaking break
If Elden Ring is feeling ugly and boring regardless of what tactic you use, employ the classic method of distance. It’s ok, there are other games in the sea. Elden Ring will be there waiting for you no matter what future releases occupy your time — inanimate objects are loyal like that.
Those are some tips I find useful in making Elden Ring feel brand-new, but comment below if you have any preferred methods. I’m particularly interested in hearing about your Homer Simpson mods.