Elden Ring: How to Level Up Your Character and Quickly Farm Runes
While some dedicated gamers will try to beat Elden Ring without leveling up once, most players will want to figure out how to farm the Runes they’ll need to level up their character as quickly as possible.
The very good news is that it’s not actually that hard to earn the Runes you’ll need to level up in Elden Ring. As long as you’re somewhat comfortable with fighting enemies and navigating the game’s sometimes dangerous world, you should find plenty of opportunities to pick up some extra Runes and grow your character in the process.
However, if you’re looking to farm Runes as quickly as possible and level your character as optimally as possible along the way, then here are a few helpful tips that should help you do just that.
How to Level Up in Elden Ring
To level up in Elden Ring, you just need to visit three Sites of Grace in the game’s open-world (meaning that Sites of Grace in dungeons don’t count towards this goal). At the third Site of Grace you visit, you’ll be approached by Melina, who will allow you to level up your character. From there, you’ll be able to level up whenever you’d like simply by visiting a Site of Grace.
Some players have also noted that they weren’t actually able to see Melina until they visited the Gatefront Site of Grace. Others have stated that they first saw her at the Sites of Grace near Agheel Lake. If you just can’t seem to get her to appear, you might want to try visiting the Gatefront Site of Grace found near the site of the game, as that seems to be the most common “third site” location and “safest” place to trigger her appearance.
You’ll need to spend Runes at a Site of Grace to level up in Elden Ring, and the leveling process becomes more expensive every time you raise a stat. What’s really important to keep in mind is that the expense of leveling one stat isn’t separate from the expense of leveling every other stat. So, if you decide to raise your Vigor the first few times that you level, that doesn’t mean it will be cheaper to raise your Faith or any other stat instead the next time you level.
That’s why it’s important to understand which stats are best for your particular class/build and focus on them as often as possible. While it’s certainly possible to turn your weakest stats into strengths, doing so is a very expensive process that will cost you quite a few Runes and force you to sacrifice the chance to build upon some of your greatest natural assets. That’s why it’s generally easier to focus on your character’s “strengths” and raise those to endgame levels before devoting points to weaker areas that will enable additional playstyles.
That being said, you really are free to level up your Elden Ring character pretty much however you want. You can make things a little easier on yourself by picking the “right” starting class for your preferred endgame build, but if you find that you’ve come to prefer a particular playstyle as you go along, you can always level your character to better support your new favorite strategy.
How to Respec Your Character in Elden Ring
You can respec your stats in Elden Ring, but you won’t be able to do so until a little later in the game.
After you’ve beaten Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon (the main boss found at the Academy of Raya Lucaria in Liurnia of the Lakes), you will receive the Great Rune of the Unborn. You don’t need to have this item on you in order to respec your character, but you do seemingly need to acquire it before you’re able to trigger the respec function.
Once you have that Rune, head to the Grand Library Site of Grace where you’ll find an NPC who will offer to redistribute your stat points. However, they will ask that you pay them a Larval Tear for the service, which is quite a shame given that Larval Tears are incredibly rare items.
You can sometimes find Larval Tears in chests and other open-world areas, but you’re more likely to acquire one from defeating powerful enemies. There are some enemies located near the Lirunia of the Lakes area that have a chance of dropping them, but players are still looking for the best ways to “farm” these drops or at least acquire a couple of them at will.
Once you’ve paid the troll toll, the NPC should “refund” all the Runes you’ve spent on stat upgrades so far and allow you to redistribute them as you see fit.
The Best Rune Farming Spots in Elden Ring
Elden Ring Rune Farming Tip: Sell As Many Crafting Materials as Possible
While this isn’t exactly a farming “spot,” you should know that one of the best ways to earn some extra Runes in Elden Ring is to pick up every crafting material you find in the open world and regularly sell the extra ones as soon as you’re able to do so.
Yes, you will want to keep certain, rare crafting resources (especially if you’re playing a class that will need to craft more items than others might), but if you simply pick up resources in the open world as you come across them, you’ll likely soon end up with a large number of excess resources that can be sold for small amounts of Runes. You won’t get a lot of Runes for every crafting material you find, but you’d be surprised how quickly those extra resources add up when you sell them in bulk.
Be sure to also sell the extra gear and weapons you will almost certainly loot along the way, especially if they don’t fit your chosen class/build.
Best Elden Ring Rune Farming Spot: Greyoll’s Dragonbarrow Portal
Near the Third Church of Marika where you acquire the Flask of Wondrous Physick, you’ll find a portal that will take you to a special area known as Greyoll’s Dragonbarrow. You can find the portal at the map marker indicated in the image below:
To be blunt, this is a very tough area filled with enemies that will probably kill you quite quickly at the start of the game. However, the effort tends to be worth it as you’ll gain about 900 Runes for every enemy that you kill in this area.
This is one of the absolute best “early game” farming spots in Elden Ring, and somewhere you should certainly visit before you move on to some of the tougher areas you’ll soon encounter a bit later in the game.
Best Elden Ring Rune Farming Spot: The Castle Troll
Right before the battle with Godrick in Stormveil Castle, you’ll find a handy Site of Grace located in a secluded cell. Near that same area is a Troll guarded by two soldiers. It might not look like it, but this is absolutely one of the best Rune farming spots in Elden Ring’s early game.
You’ll earn about 1000 Runes every time you kill the Troll (and a few extra Runes if you manage to kill the soldiers), and, since the Troll is located right next to a Site of Grace, it’s incredibly easy to simply rinse and repeat this encounter as often as you’d like in order to fairly quickly acquire a sizeable reserve of Runes.
Best Elden Ring Rune Farming Spot: The Troll Carriage Near Gatefront
Down the path from the Gatefront Site of Grace, you should encounter two trolls pulling a carriage flanked by several soldiers. Because the trolls are shackled to the carriage, they can’t actually move that far or attack that fast (as long as you stay close to them, that is). That means that you can easily earn 1000 Runes from each of the somewhat helpless trolls that you kill.
While you probably won’t return to this spot that often once you’ve leveled up a few times, this is absolutely one of the best early game Rune farming spots.
Best Elden Ring Rune Farming Spot: The Trolls East of Gatefront
Head to the Gatefront Site of Grace, and proceed to the East along the nearby cliffs. There, you should find an air current that Torrent can ride up to take you to the top of Stormhill.
You should soon encounter five Giants that each drop 1,000 Runes. You really shouldn’t try to take down all of them at once, but if you’re able to bait them out one at a time (which shouldn’t be too difficult), you can quickly earn an extra 5,000 Runes. While it’s a little awkward to reset this spot and travel back to it each time, this is still one of the better open-world Rune farming locations in the early game.
Best Elden Ring Rune Farming Spot: Gatefront Site of Grace Soldiers
Near the Gatefront Site of Grace (one of the earliest Sites of Grace that you’ll find in the game), you’ll spot a pack of soldiers huddled fairly close together around some ruins. This pack of soldiers will likely make your life hell early on, but once you’ve leveled up a bit, you should find that they contribute to one of the easier Rune farming spots in Elden Ring’s early game.
While you won’t earn a ton of Runes from each enemy, their relatively low defenses and convenient location next to a Site of Grace means that you should be able to rinse and repeat them with some ease.
Best Elden Ring Rune Farming Spot: Impassable Greatbridge in Southeast Caelid
South of Lake Agheel, you should find a structure labeled as Dragon Burnt Ruins. Inside the ruins, you’ll find some rats and a chest. As it turns out, that chest is a “trap” that will transport you to Sellia Crystal Tunnel.
You can try to fight the enemies in this area if your level is high enough, but if you’re looking for this Rune farming spot, keep heading south until you find a Site of Grace known as the Impassable Greatbridge. Activate that Site of Grace (and rest at it if you need to) and keep an eye open for a pack of nearby dogs munching on some dead bodies. Soon, a group of soldiers should approach the dogs and start fighting them.
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From here, you have two farming options. If you simply crouch down and hang out in a nearby safes spot, you should earn a few hundred souls every time one of the dogs die. However, the better bet is to wait until the soldiers are distracted and then pick them off one by one with sneak attacks.
While this area is a bit tough to get to, the rewards are worth it. You can easily earn several thousand Runes by picking off every enemy in this fight, and it’s incredibly easy to reset this area and return to it as needed once you’ve found it.
Best Elden Ring Rune Farming Spot: Nokstella, Eternal City
Head to the cliffs north of the Site of Grace found at the Lake-Facing Cliff in Liurnia, and you should find a location called “Ainsel River Well.” That location contains a lift that leads to a massive underground area.
Once you’re in the underground, stick to the left path until you reach a Site of Grace called “Nokstella, Eternal City.” Head up the nearby stairs, and you should find a large group of giant slugs. Make sure that these slugs stay close to each other, and you should notice that killing one of them triggers a chain reaction of electricity that typically kills any other slugs located nearby.
So, all you really need to do is kill some of the slugs located in this area, let their chain reaction kill all their friends, rest at the nearby Site of Grace, and repeat this process as often as needed. Given that you can earn 4,000 – 5,000 Runes from every pack of Slugs that you kill, I strongly advise staying at this game-breaking Rune farming spot for as often as long as you can.
Best Elden Ring Rune Farming Spot: Windmill Village
You won’t be able to reach this Rune farming area until much later in Elden Ring, but it’s absolutely one of your best options for farming Runes when you’re trying to reach those last few precious levels.
Once you’ve reached Altus Plains (which you’ll find after going through Liurnia), head to the North of this region and proceed through the Outer Wall. Along the northern border of the region, you’ll find the Windmill Village Site of Grace. If you kill all of the villagers at that location (which shouldn’t take long), you should earn several thousand extra souls. Just reset the area at the nearby Site of Grace, and repeat this process as often as needed.
While you can get overwhelmed by the villagers (and there is a boss just past the nearby Stake of Marika who can really make your life miserable), this is a pretty painless farming spot.
Best Elden Ring Rune Farming Spot: East Capital Rampart
This is another very late game farming spot that may or may not be useful by the time you reach it but should absolutely know about just in case you need it.
After you defeat the Draconic Tree Sentinel and enter the city of Leyndell, you’ll encounter a Site of Grace called “East Capital Rampart.” Take a left just outside of this Site, and proceed along the path until you encounter a giant fire-breathing monster. He’s actually not that tough, and killing it will net you over 3,000 Runes. Between that monster and the nearby soldiers you can easily kill on a “loop” back to the nearby Site of Grace, you can easily gain tens of thousands of Runes in this area in just a handful of minutes.