Elden Ring Leveling Guide – How To Use Runes

While exploring Elden Ring you will collect runes to use as a currency to advance your character stats and level up. You gather runes by defeating enemies, consuming items, or selling materials and armors to a merchant.

In Elden Ring the leveling system allows players to tailor the game difficulty and their characters strength to the play-style they prefer. Think of the level number as a reference of how many times you have improved your stats.

You can out level enemies in a region because your attributes will eventually be higher than the enemies of an area and your character will be more powerful. Or you can maintain a certain level if you prefer the content to be more challenging, the choice is yours.

This guide will explain how to level up in Elden Ring and where to collect runes in the starting region of Limgrave.

How To Level Up In Elden Ring

To level up in Elden Ring, you must first meet Melina, the Finger Maiden, she will appear when you have discovered at least three lost sites of grace beyond The First Steps. To find Melina follow this path to these sites of grace, be sure to touch grace and unlock each one.

  • Church of Elleh – Head North West from the Sanctuary where grace is guiding you on the map, avoid the Tree Sentinel overland boss.
  • Gatefront next to Stormgate – from the Church of Elleh head North through the forest, fight the guards here along the path, head towards the castle entrance to the Stormgate and touch the grace. Head just past the nearby wagon and loot the glowing object at the base of the stele on the roadside, this will unlock the Limgrave, West map piece. Be careful not to alert the guard walking down the center of the road with a horn in his hand.
  • Agheel Lake North – Go around the Gatefront Ruins camp to the east side, heading east along the road you will see another site of grace on the left. Melina will speak to you and she will grant you her power to Level Up.

How To Use Runes To Level Up

Once you have met Melina, rest at any Site of Grace and select the Level Up option from the menu.

On the Level Up screen select the Attribute Points you want to improve for your character, putting a point into any of these will cost runes. Notice on the left top section the Runes Held is how many you are carrying and Runes Needed is the total number of runes needed to advance.

There are 8 Attributes to spend your runes on, they are: Vigor, Mind, Endurance, Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, Faith, and Arcane. Each Attribute Point will max out at 99 and the total number of levels is 792.

As you level the runes needed to advance will increase, for example this table shows the runes needed for the first 20 levels which totals 25,529. It will then take an additional 252,042 runes to reach level 50 and if you want to reach 100 that will take an additional 1,781,894 runes and the cost will continue to rise as you go. Most characters start at level 5 or higher with the Wretch being the only build to start at level 1.

LevelRunes NeededLevelRunes Needed

What Happens To Runes When You Die

Whenever your character dies, any runes you were carrying will drop at the site of your death. You can return to that location and collect your dropped runes. The location will be marked on your map and on the compass with a rune symbol as pictured above. If you die before reaching the site where your runes dropped you will lose them forever.

Tip: When gathering your dropped runes, carefully clear enemies and if you happen to be in a boss fight, pick up the runes as soon as you enter the dungeon, before entering combat if possible. This way if you die again you have another chance to get your runes back.

Best Places To Farm Runes in Limgrave

Limgrave is the starting map for Elden Ring and there is a lot to explore. It’s easy to wander into an area that is too difficult for a Tarnished that just emerged from the Cave of Knowledge. To be most efficient, I recommend practice fighting enemies and gather runes to level and improve your stats. These are some of my favorite places to collect runes for the earliest levels, the locations offer the least path of resistance for new characters with a site of grace nearby to reset and farm runes.

Forest North of Church of Elleh: As a new player after completing the Cave of Knowledge head North and gather any and all materials you find along the way, pick up the site of grace at Church of Elleh and continue North to the forest, here you will find Godricks Soldiers that drop 64 runes each.

Spend some time here gathering materials and runes, these soldiers drop a complete set of armor and some weapons too. To reset the area (respawn enemies) head back to the church and rest at the site of grace. To maximize your rune collection sell all the materials for runes to the Wandering Merchant Kale’ at the Church of Elleh.

Gatefront Ruins: Just north of the forest area is Stormgate and a camp of Godricks Soldiers, there are several things to do here, you can loot the first map piece just inside the ruins at the stele, then clear the soldiers and loot two chests inside the carriages, and check the underground cellar chest for important loot. The helmeted guard in the center of the camp is most challenging here, and quickly dispatch the guard with the horn.

Demi Humans vs. Guards: There is a pack of mobs fighting each other near the Agheel Lake South site of grace. They are easy targets because they focus on fighting each other instead of you. Clear the pack out for about 580 runes and reset at the site of grace.

Giant Abominations: There are a few giants in Limgrave, West that will net 1,000 runes when defeated, they will provide quite a challenge for the work at low level, it’s better to farm the easier targets in camps.

If you’re new to Elden Ring, take a look at our next article, Getting Started In Elden Ring Tips.

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About the Author

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Exploring video games are one of my favored hobbies, and with a fondness for the MMORPG and Simulation genres, I set out on a quest to write guides and share my gaming adventures.

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