How to ‘Git Gud’ at Elden Ring Before its Release | Hacker Noon

FromSoftware’s action titles are notorious for being difficult. Despite this, there’s quite a lot of buzz around their newest upcoming game, Elden Ring. If you want to prepare your skills to minimize whatever frustration that toughness might bring, this article offers a few strategies you can use to do just that.
I recommend you get your hands on Bloodborne, Dark Souls III, and Sekiro if you haven’t already. Elden Ring’s design will likely be similar to those more recent FromSoftware titles, so improving yourself in those games will help you improve for Elden Ring too.
Make the best of what each game gives you, and not just what it allows you to do. Don’t bother exploiting the AI of a boss – instead, try to find a weak point or specific abilities it can’t stand up to. Fight without assistance, whether that assistance be summoning other players or giving yourself extra attack power through farming. And, if you’re playing at least one of these games on PC, try looking around for mods to increase your challenge and give yourself a brand-new experience.

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Marc Magrini Hacker Noon profile picture

@mm22Marc Magrini

Huge fan of video games hoping to inform and entertain people

Image via Official Elden Ring Twitter (@ELDENRING)

If you’re a fan of action games, RPGs, or just video games in general, chances are the name “Elden Ring” has crossed your path at least once this year. Garnering attention from gamers worldwide, that name belongs to a game being made by FromSoftware, the creators of the Dark Souls series. Without even being released, Elden Ring is still generating immense amounts of hype – it even won numerous awards in this year’s Gamescom.

And if the hype is to be believed, the game will provide an immense challenge.

Elden Ring will have a similar gameplay style to the Dark Souls series, providing a gameplay experience that could be considered “souls-like.” Thanks to the reputation of those games, people expect Elden Ring to be extremely difficult – so much so that certain outlets are even calling for the game to have alternate modes that make it easier.

If you’ve played FromSoftware’s titles before, chances are you’re very excited for Elden Ring. And chances are, you’re expecting a very hard time. But there are ways to improve your skills even before the game releases, which should help in making the experience more fun and less frustrating. Try out the strategies I list, and you should be more than able to – as the souls-like community says – “git gud.”

Above everything, I recommend you get your hands on Bloodborne, Dark Souls III, and Sekiro – as well as any DLC available for them – if you can (and haven’t done so already). It’s okay if you can’t readily play Bloodborne, as it’s a PS4 exclusive, but utilizing all three games on your journey to improving your skills will be immensely helpful. These are the latest and most polished Action RPG titles developed by FromSoftware, so if you can improve in these titles, you might very well improve in Elden Ring as well.

This guide is for both casual players looking to get into FromSoftware’s Action RPGs and veterans that want to be as prepared as possible. Anyone can use this advice, but certain tips – especially the ones mentioning New Game + – are best done after completing a full playthrough. With each tip the guide gives, it will also mention which games the tip best applies to. You don’t have to try them all, but each one can provide a vastly different experience, so pick and choose at your leisure!

Fight Against Bosses Without Any Assistance – Bloodborne, Dark Souls III

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Image via official press release

Both of these games use online play to allow players to summon their friends or NPCs for most boss fights. If you’ve relied on them to beat particularly tough bosses, it might be best to fight them offline. Not only will you force yourself to learn how to defeat them, but they’ll have less overall health than if you fought them with an ally. This has the bonus of preventing invasions from other players while going through areas, but it’s hard to say how useful that aspect will be. Elden Ring’s multiplayer doesn’t seem to be finalized yet, so keep an eye on official sources for further details.

For an additional challenge, you can choose to fight those bosses using only specific forms of attack, such as greatswords or sorceries. You might end up discovering a weakness the boss didn’t have, which leads to the next tip…

Exploit Boss Weaknesses – Dark Souls III, Sekiro

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Image via IGN

This applies to Bloodborne as well, but the tip is mostly relevant to these two. It also might seem like an obvious tip; some bosses are weak to lightning, others to fire, and so on. But the weaknesses of souls-like bosses spread further than boss fights in other genres, and FromSoftware’s titles allow players to overcome those fights with pretty much any tool they can use. This can lead to some very poor strategies akin to bashing your head against a brick wall. Do it hard enough, and the wall will fall, but you probably won’t have much fun with it.

A good example of this is the fight against Darkeater Midir in Dark Souls III. Some of the most-watched videos on youtube feature players running behind the boss and swinging at his legs, causing him to repeat the same attacks very often. However, many of his attacks are designed to expose his head, which takes double damage when hit.

In short, when you go up against bosses, experiment with them. See if you can discover creative weak points for each boss. The most recent FromSoftware titles make the most use of this creativity, even sneaking weaknesses into dialogue, so one can expect Elden Ring to have similar situations. Stay vigilant, and you may be able to apply that knowledge when it releases, turning some of the toughest bosses into cakewalks – and earning yourself bragging rights!

Fight Without Parrying – Bloodborne

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Image via official press release

Parrying during battles is an integral part of Bloodborne’s gameplay, more so than Dark Souls III – but less so than Sekiro. It’s not actually necessary to use, even if it makes certain enemies and bosses much easier. Force yourself to keep from parrying a single attack as you play through Bloodborne, and you’ll face some of the toughest fights in video games you’ll ever go up against. But you’ll also become a master at dodging, and with enough practice, not even the most aggressive enemies can touch you.

Play Through New Game + Without Levelling Up – Bloodborne, Dark Souls III

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Image via official press release

Each game has its own version of New Game +, but only Bloodborne and Dark Souls III allow you to level up throughout the game. The only differences between a regular game and New Game + are how hard enemies hit and how many hits they’ll take to defeat. If you manage to beat either game without any help from friends, you barely even need to pump a single stat point higher than it is. At worst, you might even see some attacks those bosses skipped over when you first fought them – which would actually be good because that’s just one more thing to improve against.

Fight Bosses Without Extra Protections – Sekiro

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Image via official press release

Sekiro has its own little specialties to New Game +. After clearing the game, you get the offer to hand over your charm – a normally non-removable key item. Do so, and the game becomes exceedingly harder, tightening parry windows and causing enemies to fight with deadlier strength. In case you feel that isn’t enough, you can ring the Demon Bell in Senpou Temple to make enemies hit even harder.

Thanks to Sekiro’s recent update, if you do all this after having beaten every boss (across every ending, too), you can refight them at a Sculptor’s Idol with those restrictions in place as often as you like. Attack power – both yours and theirs – will be normalized, too, so you can go up against every fight at their greatest difficulty. Even with the parry-centric gameplay of Sekiro, honing your reflexes can do nothing but good once Elden Ring releases.

Try Out Popular Mods – Dark Souls III, Sekiro (PC versions)

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Image via Dark Souls 3: Archthrones Twitter

One major benefit of these two games being on PC is a level of customization like no other. Modders have gone as far as creating entirely new weapons, redesigning areas and enemies, and sometimes even creating custom boss fights. If you’ve gone as far with these games as you can take them, installing mods can be a great way to freshen up the experience and add even greater challenge. Just be sure you stay offline if you use mods with Dark Souls III – modifying game files may get you banned in some cases.

However difficult a game might be, what’s important is whether or not you enjoy that game. Throughout all the frustration of constantly dying in these games, I’ve found challenging myself makes for a richer experience. Hopefully, these tips allow you to squeeze some greater fun out of these games – and I especially hope they make your experience with Elden Ring even more enjoyable.

Relevant Sources:

‘Elden Ring’ leads winners list in Gamescom 2021 awards (nme.com)

‘Elden Ring’ Should Learn From Dark Souls And Include Difficulty Options (gamingbible.co.uk)

Dark Souls 3 The Ringed City Darkeater Midir Boss Fight Guide – YouTube

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