Don't Fear: Elden Ring Has An Easy Mode, If You Want It

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Elden Ring is out now, and as the latest game from Dark Souls developed FromSoftware, the game already has a reputation for being punishing and extremely tough to get through, even for Souls veterans. Depending on your playstyle and character build, this can be very true, but it doesn't have to be. You can make Elden Ring very, very easy for yourself if you want to make it easy. In this article, we'll explain how to play Elden Ring on easy mode.

Use Magic, Ranged Weapons, Shields, and Horse Combat Always

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Credit: FromSoftware

Most of the difficulty in Souls games and in Elden Ring, in particular, can be traced back to figuring out a particular enemy's moveset, understanding when to roll, and killing your foe before he can damage you enough that you ought to go refill your healing items.

You can avoid a ton of this difficulty by not using melee weapons, always blocking with a strong shield (one that reduces 100% of the incoming damage type you're looking to block) when you're up close, and trying to first take down every enemy you can with spells or ranged weapons.

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Magic is extremely powerful in Elden Ring. You'll quickly get access to a huge variety of spells, many of which are extremely powerful, you can use to take down even bosses in the blink of an eye. Plus, you'll get to do all this damage while always keeping a nice, healthy distance between you and your enemy.

Horseback combat is a feature new to Elden Ring that can make many tough encounters much, much easier. Galloping by an enemy and whacking him with a strong attack before sprinting off so they can't swing back at you and repeating the process is an effective tactic against many different enemies.

In general, invest in weapons you can use from afar, and make sure you're using your shield if an enemy gets up close to you. Take enemies down slowly, putting distance between you and them and picking off enemies from larger packs rather than taking a large group on.

Related: Is Elden Ring Like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Dark Souls, Bloodborne, or Demon's Souls?


Summoning: NPCs or Real People

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Credit: FromSoftware

Whether it's an NPC, a co-op partner, or a magical beast that's fighting by your side, summon whenever possible. Summon when walking around the open world, and always make sure to summon for boss fights.

As you'll expect, if there are two, three, or even four players taking on a single boss, you'll be doing significantly more damage to the boss much quicker than you would be able to alone. Plus, with all these other players, the boss isn't always going to be attacking you, giving you ample time to figure out your next move.

The hardest bosses in all of FromSoftware games can be pretty easily trivialized if you fight them with a decent party. This is by design: FromSoftware bosses aren't like bosses in MMOs that are built to scale to accommodate many different players fighting them.

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A FromSoftware boss is designed to be fought by a single player, and when multiple players are thrown into the mix, fights get very cheesy, very quickly. You can still, as a party, get wiped by a boss if nobody knows how to fight the boss, but as Elden Ring is out longer, more and more players doing co-op will know how to fight more and more bosses.


When you combine summons with magic and a nice, heavy shield, even the toughest fights in Elden Ring can become fun walks in the park with your buddies. The game doesn't have to be bonegrindingly tough.

Overleveling in Elden Ring

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Credit: FromSoftware

In any RPG, if you grind up enough XP to level up your character a bunch, the combat encounter you were struggling with will suddenly become a lot easier. This isn't new. And in all FromSoftware games, you can grind the same series of mobs until you can level up enough to make any challenge seem doable.

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The same is true with Elden Ring, but it's a lot easier to become overleveled in Elden Ring and make many boss fights in the game intended for lower-level players almost hilariously easy. Like bosses falling over in a couple of hits, easy.

The key difference in Elden Ring is in its open-world format. In Souls games, while you can oftentimes pick between exploring a few areas, there's a linear path. Enemies that pop up at the beginning of the game have a lot less health and do less damage than enemies at the end of the game, generally. The challenge ramps up.


There's way less of this control in Elden Ring. If you completely skip an early area or boss and come back to it way later, you can probably breeze through it without any effort at all. And with so many open-world mobs to fight and a huge variety of different places to explore, going through areas you can handle to level up until you can handle even more areas isn't hard to do.

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When you overlevel yourself for areas that give you trouble, always keep your shield up, use lots of magic, and keep your distance from enemies while making sure to summon as much as possible, there's nothing in Elden Ring you'll feel frustrated by.

Be careful, though, because the main appeal of a FromSoftware game is in learning how to play it well enough that you can take down scary-looking enemies you never imagined you could kill, and many, many more gamers are capable of finishing FromSoftware games with a normal build and just a bit of dedication.