What stats to put up in Elden Ring
Levelling in Elden Ring can be a bit daunting, especially for new players of From Software games. Given the difficulty of the game, with so many choices available and so many numbers impacted by this decision, it's normal to hesitate and not really know what you need. In this guide, we'll explain how each stat works and which of them you should prioritise.
The different stats
When you level up, you can put an extra point into one of your character's eight statistics. Let's see what each of the stats is for:
Vigour (VIG): Vigour mainly affects your health points, as well as your resistance to fire damage and physical state alterations such as poison. High HP ensures that you don't die from the slightest hit.
Esprit (ESP) : The Spirit mainly affects your character's CP (skill points), as well as your resistance to psychic state alterations such as madness.
Even if you don't play a magician, it can be useful to invest some points in this. After all, you also use PCs to use the special abilities of your weapons or to summon support spirits.
Endurance (END) : Stamina affects your energy points (stamina), the weight of the equipment you can carry and your balance.
Stamina is essential for all players. Fast and light players need stamina to be able to dodge a lot. Tanks also need stamina to take attacks in their shield. Balance also helps you to not fall on your backside when you get hit.
Force (FOR) : The Force allows you to equip yourself with heavy weapons and equipment such as hammers or two-handed swords, but also to reduce the physical damage you take.
Dexterity (DEX): Dexterity allows you to equip technical and complex weapons and equipment such as whips or bows. Dexterity also reduces the time it takes to perform a spell, reduces fall damage and the chance of falling off your horse.
Intelligence (INT) : Intelligence allows you to equip yourself with magic wands and to learn spells. It also reduces the amount of magical damage suffered.
Faith (FOI): Faith allows you to equip yourself with rosaries and to learn incantations. These incantations are different from spells.
Esotericism (ESO): Esotericism affects your chances of finding rare items on the corpses of defeated enemies. Esotericism also increases your defence against holy damage and your resistance to lethal state alterations.
What statistics should be compiled?
Beware, most of the stats have names that tend to mislead those used to classic RPGs. For example, while one might think that Strength increases the physical damage of your weapons, this is not exactly the case. The same goes for Dexterity with respect to bows or Intelligence with respect to magic.
In Elden Ring, there are actually two types of stats: those that affect your performance and those that equip you.
VIG, ESP and END have the greatest impact on your various gauges. They bring the biggest direct benefit to your character with each point invested.
If you have extra points to give out, it is better to put it in one of these threeYou will have to be aware that any points invested in these three stats, beyond the 40th, will bring a lower bonus than the previous one. Be aware, however, that any point invested in these three stats, beyond the 40th, will bring a smaller bonus than the previous one.
As far as FOR, DEX, INT, FOI and ESO are concerned, these are statistics that primarily determine the equipment you can fit or not. Their impact on your power is minimal.
When you are new to the game, you should only invest points in these stats in order to meet the requirements for using a weapon or equipment.
What are the requirements for a weapon?
Everything you can equip in your hands in Elden Ring has prerequisites and affinities. As the name suggests, pre-requisites are essential levels that must be reached in order to use the equipment.
To find out the prerequisites of a weapon, go to your inventory and place your cursor over the weapon you are interested in. You should see a table "Attributes required" and different values for FOR, DEX, INT, FOI and ESO. These mean that you cannot use your weapon until your character has the required stats.
For example, the Uchigatana cannot be used unless your character has 11 points of FOR and 15 points of DEX. It is therefore considered a dexterity weapon.
In contrast, the Duelist's Great Axe requires 30 points of FOR and 10 points of DEX. It is therefore considered a weapon of strength.
While Caria's Staff of Radiance requires 6 points of FOR, 8 points of DEX and 24 points of INT.
You will have to decide early on in your game (before level 30, if possible) what direction to take your character. To make your choice, rely on the prerequisites of the weapons that you find most interesting to play in combat.
The trick of carrying weapons with both hands
It is possible to carry all Elden Ring weapons with both hands. This allows for different movement panels that do 150% of the usual weapon damage. But it also allows you to use equipment you don't have the prerequisites for!
Carrying a weapon with two hands also increases your stats by 50%. If a Scythe requires 30 points of FOR, you can use it in combat as long as you have 20 points of FOR and you carry it with both hands. This is a good way to test the weapons before you have the required level.
What is the affinity of weapons?
Remember when I said that statistics had no impact on your power? Well, I lied. Well, just a little, I promise! Let's just say that when you're a beginner, it's better to focus on the prerequisites. But all weapons also have an attribute bonus, which we usually call its affinity score.
When you look at a weapon's stats, you can see that its damage is always shown as a sum. In reality, each weapon has a base damage and an additional affinity-related damage bonus.
The affinity of a weapon is indicated next to the prerequisites and is expressed as a grade. The grades range from E to A and the higher the grade, the more your corresponding stat points will increase the damage bonus of the weapon.
However, these bonuses are negligible until you reach the end of your first game. Indeed, it takes a lot of points (and therefore levels) for affinity to really make a difference to your damage. This is why you only invest bonus stat points once you have reached the VIG, ESP and END limits.
But how do I increase my damage then?
The most important way to increase your damage is to increase your weapon's forge level and battle ash. Each additional forge level brings damage comparable to 10 to 20 stat points for the weapon you are using.
But this is mostly covered in our guide on the Forge in Elden Ring.
I made a mistake in my stats!
If after reading, you realise that you have not set up your stats properly, don't panic! A mistake of a few levels is not serious in absolute terms and should not really impact your game. On the other hand, if you have really put all your points in ESO while you only want to use FOR equipment, you will have to consider reset your character's stats. There is no need to restart a game for this.
This is explained in the guide on Reset the stats.