Think of runes in Elden Ring like souls in the Dark Souls franchise. This is the main currency of the game, in fact, your experience and money, combined into one. Here is our guide to help you grow runes and level up.
How to quickly get experience and runes in Elden Ring
At the start of the campaign, you won’t be able to level up yet. Instead, you’ll have to move a little further, heading north and reaching the Entrance Gate. It’s a camp filled with soldiers, but there’s a Place of Grace nearby. When you interact with him, an NPC named Melina will appear. She will ask if you would like her help in converting your runes into power. Accept her offer and it will start the process of leveling up in Elden Ring. From now on, you will be able to use the level up feature when you rest in Lost Grace.
Note: This is also where you will receive the Stream Horse summon. This is your horse, which can be used for fast movement and combat. Also, be sure to return to Elle’s temple at night so that the witch named Renna can grant you the ability to summon ghosts to aid in combat.
The Basics of Leveling and Acquiring Runes
The process of gaining a level is that you use the acquired runes to increase a certain attribute / stat (for example, strength, dexterity, faith, and so on). Ideally, you’ll want to focus on one main stat, perhaps the weapon type or playstyle you’re comfortable with. Likewise, you can add a few points to vigor (for health) or other stats (in case the weapon/shield you like needs an extra boost).
In terms of currency, there are several ways to accumulate runes in Elden Ring. The most common is to simply kill enemies. More difficult enemies, such as bosses, also bring more rewards. There are also items called golden runes that give money when used/consumed in your inventory. Golden runes can be found everywhere, but keep the following in mind:
- Graveyards or Tombs: Some of the glowing items here are golden runes;
- Skulls with glowing eyes: These can be destroyed by riding or simply rolling over them. After that, pick up the golden rune.
Note: If you die, you will lose all the runes you have. However, you can return to the place where you died to collect your currency (i.e. run over the corpses). If you die again before you can claim what you lost, your runes will be gone forever. However, there is a special item that can be used to prevent runes from being lost upon death.
In terms of rune mining in Elden Ring, the most reliable place I found in the early game is the troll wagon. She is located in the southeast of Limgrave near the ruins (that is, in the same place where you will meet the sorceress Sellen).
When you get to this place, you will see two trolls pulling a massive wagon. They are also accompanied by zombies and a couple of soldiers. The good news is that trolls are bulky boobies that are chained to a wagon. You can stay on your horse and stab/cut them while avoiding their stomp.
When the troll takes enough damage, quickly put him out of his misery, otherwise he will be released from the chains and you will have to fight him normally. Also watch out for the barbarian on horseback when he attacks you (he will give you more trouble than trolls).
Each troll here gives about 1,000 runes, and if you’ve defeated the other trolls, you should have a decent supply. The Great Ax can be taken from the chest behind the wagon.
When you’re done, quickly return to the basement in the Settlement Ruins and rest there to revive your targets. Hopefully the quick rune mining in Elden Ring will be enough to keep you level up, or at least allow you to buy more stuff from vendors.