Elden Ring: Hidden features you (probably) didn’t know

Written by. Nick Mosier based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-03-14 11:21 JST)

With Elden Ring being out for two weeks now, players have been sharing all sorts of tips and tricks about the game with each other. Among them are likely some convenient features and ways to use items that you haven’t noticed yet. Let’s take a look at some tips and make your journey through Elden Ring just a little more manageable.

Killing merchants

Some areas of the game will have merchants wandering around with an assortment of items to sell you. Since they each have their own items in stock, you may have a merchant or two that you frequently visit to buy what you need. And depending on the merchant, some can be very hard to reach. You may even forget what items they sell. In order to avoid this frustration, you can kill these merchants and make their wares available at one convenient location.

When you kill a merchant in Elden Ring, they drop an item called a Bell Bearing. If you give the Bell Bearing to the Twin Maiden Husks, they will start selling the items the merchant sold. This will not only reduce your travel time, but means you won’t have to keep track of who is selling what. But be warned, some merchants are related to quests in the game, so killing them can make it impossible to progress those quests forward. The merits are great but do so at your own risk.

As an aside, there are likely many times when buying from merchants where players use Golden Runes to help cover the cost. These Golden Runes are worth the same number of runes when used or when sold, so if there’s a merchant nearby, you can save time by selling them.

Making the best use of your map

The map in Elden Ring displays each Site of Grace you’ve visited, and they can be selected for fast travel. But there are a lot of Sites of Grace in the game, so selecting one from the map or list can feel like a pain. To mitigate that, let’s look at some map features.

Players can mark Sites of Grace, which is separate from the big list, and create a list of favorites among the checkpoints. First, open the map and look at the Sites of Grace list. Then move the cursor over the site you want to mark and press in the right analog stick. After doing that, you can toggle between the full list and the list of sites you’ve selected with the triangle button on PS4 and PS5. The sites you’ve selected will be in the order you selected them, but it’s also possible to change them around. By marking Sites of Grace that you visit often, you’ll have a bit of an easier time getting around.

Another easy to overlook map feature is that from the Sites of Grace list, you can warp to the Roundtable Hold by pressing square on PS4 and PS5. Pressing in the left analog stick while looking at the map will return the cursor to your current location. A simple but useful feature.

By pressing L1 (PS4/PS5) on the map screen, it’s possible to quickly check what the multiplayer situation is like in each area. The blue circles represent cooperative play, and the red circles denote invaders and PvP. The brighter the icon, the more active the area is.

Helpful item tips

Item sorting isn’t mentioned in the guide on the lower part of the menu, so it’s something that’s easy to miss. Within the item menu, items can be sorted based on different classifications by pressing the left analog stick. It’s also possible to sort items in ascending or descending order. Besides just the order you picked up the items in, they can also be sorted by criteria like weight and how much FP they consume.

A convenient feature to use during battles can be done by holding down on the d-pad. Instead of sifting through items by pressing down, holding the button will select the first item in your list. It may also be good to set your HP restoring flasks and FP restoring flasks to different shortcuts to reduce accidentally using the wrong one.

And as another aside, if you press the Help button and open the Menu Explanation, it acts as a sort of pseudo-pause feature for the game.

Rainbow Stones are a surprisingly convenient item. They can be placed on the ground to serve as a guide with their shining light, making them useful as guideposts in dark areas or places with transparent floors. They can also be dropped from high places and used to gauge if a fall will be fatal or not by the sound they release. If you want to jump from a ledge, maybe check how dangerous it is with a Rainbow Stone first.

Elden Ring players have been swapping tips like the ones listed above daily since the game’s launch. By using some of them yourself, maybe your journey will become just a little easier. We’ll likely see even more discoveries as Tarnished around the world press forward on their adventures.