This Elden Ring tip will help you earn Runes early — but beware

To update: Unofficial mod support is coming to Elden Ringhere is everything you need to know

Now that it’s been out for a while, Elden Ring has earned a reputation for being a tough game with players learning that lesson firsthand. It’s arguably no more difficult than previous FromSoftware games, and there are plenty of ways to tone down the difficulty. But sooner or later, you’ll run into a challenge you can’t avoid, and when you do, you’ll want to earn runes.

Much like souls in Dark Souls and Blood Echoes in Bloodborne, runes in Elden Ring are both experience points and currency. You can use them to slowly increase your attributes, buy new items, or upgrade equipment you already own. As the game progresses, you’ll need a lot of runes, as prices tend to go up pretty quickly for all three features. (If you’re very new to the game and still can’t level up, check out our Elden Ring tips for how to do it.)

The best way to collect runes is usually to explore an area, fight new enemies, and take on optional bosses and Golden Rune consumables. But early on, you might run out of safe areas to do it, especially if you haven’t fought Margit the Fell Omen yet. And for Margit, you’ll need all the help you can get.

While building my character to fight Margit, I found a reliable way to earn runes quickly. It’s not easy and it’s certainly not safe. But it’s reliable and gets a little less painful with each run. Let’s start with the warmaster’s hut.

The Warlord’s Hut

antique ring

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

One of the first real obstacles in the Elden Ring is in the Gatefront Ruins. There, you will come face to face with a group of undead swordsmen and archers, all of whom have the advantage over you. To top it off, midway through, a giant named Troll Warrior will jump down from above and tear you to shreds, if you let him.

It’s a tough encounter, but you can survive it if you focus on one enemy at a time and slow down. And, if you make it up the hill to the next Grace site, you’ll also have a whole new area of ​​Limgrave to explore. Go up the hill until you reach Stormhill Shack, then head east until you reach Warmaster’s Shack. (Watch out for wolves on the trail. There are plenty of them.)

There are some fun things to do at Warmaster’s Shack, but right now we’re more concerned with what’s nearby. Turn southeast and past the shack, and you’ll see something creepy and exciting. Remember the Troll Warrior single from earlier? Now there are five. And, if you play your cards right, they can be an endless source of runes.

a horde of giants

antique ring

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

At the risk of underestimating the challenge for early game characters, these behemoths are essentially a way to craft 5,000 runes quickly and reliably. And before Margit, 5,000 runes at a time is no small feat. To put this in context: a single run will get you to level 20. Two runs will get you to level 40. If you’re willing to spend an hour or so raising giants, you’ll have a huge advantage when facing Margit.

There’s also a secondary bonus for killing these behemoths: a small cache of Smithing Stones, hidden in a fallen pillar. Although they don’t respawn, they are still a great way to upgrade your weapon early in the game. Just lure in a giant and let him break the pillar; you can’t do it yourself.

The only downside to the plan, of course, is that you actually have to fight giants to earn runes. And, unless you’re an exceptionally good Soulsborne player, you probably had at least a little trouble with the first one. How can you take five?

antique ring

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

The good news is that you don’t have to take on all five at once. The giants’ patrol territories don’t actually overlap, and if they do, you can walk away across the open plain. As you defeat each giant, you get some of your jars back, so keeping your health topped up isn’t a problem either.

The best way to fight giants depends on your character build and strategy. However, I personally found that staying on horseback, targeting the giant’s main body, then riding alongside it and chopping off its legs was a reliable strategy. This allowed me to leave whenever a giant made a smash attack. Also, after enough hits to the leg, the behemoth will collapse and plunging your sword directly into the head will deal a massive amount of damage.

If things look bad, walk away and restart at Warmaster’s Shack. And if you die, you’ll respawn at the Warmaster’s Hut, where collecting your runes is just a short ride away. Since you’ll be leveling up quickly and upgrading your weapons thanks to Stone Cache, Giants will get a little easier each time and considerably easier after a few runs.

antique ring

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

You can even grab an extra 1,000 runes, if you’re willing to roll a little further. After killing the giants, head back west and you’ll find the initial giant that jumped in to attack you in the Gatefront Ruins. You’ll have to send out some wolves, but that’s a bit of a detour for a fair amount of Runes.

The limits of giant slaying

antique ring

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

I can’t promise that this is the fastest way to earn runes at the start of Elden Ring. However, I can say that it helped me go from “getting my ass kicked by Margit” to “defeating Margit” in a relatively short amount of time. It’s fast, it’s reliable, it’s relatively low risk, and it’s a defined, repeatable strategy.

The only downside is that when you hit level 40, 5,000 runes doesn’t seem like much anymore. Once you progress to Castle Stormveil and beyond, killing giants suffers from some serious diminishing returns, and you’re probably better off looking elsewhere.

Still, that’s the beauty of Elden Ring. No place can hold you for the entire game; you have to go out and explore. And with 40 levels and an upgraded weapon under your belt, you should be able to explore a lot more Midlands.

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