Very quick tips for the Elden Ring closed network test

Elden Ring Tips

Extinguish some flames

Elden Ring is actually playable soon via the closed network test. And you know what that means? Elden Ring tips!

We were able to test out the closed network test early, and have some very spoiler-free tips for you to bookmark for when you start your own journey.

While Elden Ring is going to be very familiar to SekiSoulsBorne fans, it also has some nuances that open up the more you play it.

Drop down into the cave if you want a tutorial

So this one isn’t as obvious from the get-go.

Once you start a new character, you can run forward and up into the main hub area immediately. Or, you can run to the right, drop down the cliff, and go through the “Cave of Knowledge.”

This serves as a tutorial of sorts and will hit you with the basics like movement and combat. Try it the first time around to familiarize yourself with how Elden Ring works, then skip it in subsequent runs/characters.

Pick the “Enchanted Knight” class if you want an easier time or haven’t played a From Software game

There are five “classes” to choose from in the closed network test, as a way to guide people into playing certain preset playstyles (the final version will have full customization, and you can adjust your builds in the closed network test too).

As usual, the semi-tanky projectile mage is one of the easiest characters to learn Elden Ring with. Its magic isn’t super strong and neither is its melee capabilities from the get-go, but the option to swap between ranged and melee without needing further network test gear is invaluable for many types of playstyles: especially ones who are new to From Software’s design philosophy.

Go to the ruined building northeast of the main hub right away

As soon as you enter the open-world hub, go unlock that Site of Grace fast-travel point. Look down on the valley: you should see a knight on a horse, which is slowly trotting around.

That’s actually a miniboss you can either choose to fight now or ignore, but his path leads directly to a small ruined site. There’s another Site of Grace checkpoint in there, and the main merchant NPC of the closed network test. It behooves you to go to this site early so that it becomes a spot you can constantly return to. About that.

You can go to any Site of Grace fast-travel spot instantly

Open your map (down on the touchpad on PS5), and select a Site of Grace: after confirming, you can teleport to it! It’s like a super fast-travel system.

Note that you can’t do this in combat, but make sure you use it often to spend your runes (currency for items and level-ups).

Buy the ability to craft first

Speak to the NPC and buy the basic crafting unlock first. You’ll thank me later.

In Elden Ring, open-world items can be gathered in most shiny foliage spots, which accumulate quickly. If you can’t craft, you can’t actually do anything with them.

To craft, open the main start menu and select the crafting option. You can do this whenever you’re not in combat out in the world — you don’t need an NPC. You do, however, need an anvil if you plan on upgrading weapons: that can be found right next to the merchant NPC.

Then buy the Northern Mercenary Ashes

So you might be fooled by the listing in the merchant’s shop, but the Northern Mercenary Ashes, which utilizes mana (FP) to summon a tanky warrior spirit, is not a one-time use item.

It’s basically a summoning bell for NPCs, mainly meant to help solo players (which you might be). It takes a chunk of FP to summon the Northern Mercenary (some ashes use less), but you can drink a mana (FP) potion afterward. There are others but this is one of the sturdier summons.

Then head to the Site of Grace (Bonfire) near the big arch, northeast of the ruined building

Your next step is to unlock your horse (Spectral Steed).

Go right up to the arch, which is plainly visible and towering over you at the merchant’s location. Right before you enter said arch there’s a Site of Grace to sit at. Once you interact with it, an NPC will unlock the Spectral Steed. Equip the whistle and summon it to gallop around the overworld at a much faster pace.

Finally, get the map near that arch site

So right next to where you get the spectral horse is a key item. See the ruins right near it? Look at the altar and pick up the item there. It’ll fill in your map, which showcases several points of interest that you can mark and visit. Note that some sections of the map are closed for the Elden Ring test period.

Now the world is your oyster! We mainly wanted to give you a quick set of tips so that your playthroughs were getting off on the right foot. Good luck!

Elden Ring Closed Network Test playtimes

  • Friday, November 12 — 3:00am to 6:00am PT
  • Friday, November 12 — 7:00pm to 10:00pm PT
  • Saturday, November 13 — 11:00am to 2:00pm PT
  • Sunday, November 14 — 3:00am to 6:00am PT
  • Sunday, November 14 — 7:00pm to 10:00pm PT
Chris Carter
Reviews Director, Co-EIC - Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff!