This is meant to be a basic document outlining some objectives for magic-users in Elden Ring. It’s for the person interested in sorceries, but uninterested in exploring tons of catacombs and such for weapons they don’t want.
For the record I recommend trying the game without following this first. But if you find the world is simply too vast and open, and you want some more concrete objectives, this might be helpful.
This isn’t a guide. This is just an outline of tips and objectives. There is still plenty of room to explore — Even within the confines of these rails, exploration is at the core of the gameplay loop and there will be lots of it.
You don’t have to explore every inch of the world if it isn’t fun to you. But I’m not including everything useful as a magic-user (nor could I claim to even be capable of doing that). I’m outlining a progression based on building the key, fundamental components to get a pure mage online. If you ignore areas in between, you’ll cheat yourself out the experience and perhaps miss things that become key to you personally.
- Don’t use co-op summons.
- I don’t like to use Spirit Ashes but it’s up to you.
- You can reset stats after defeating a certain boss. The reset brings you back to your starting class’s base stats.
- Cap yourself at level 120. Strong enough to beat everything and dip into pvp if you want.
- Ignore the weird site of grace guidance system where it spams your map with the little indicators on where an objective might be, shit’s dumb and useless.
Collect Map Pieces and explore around the outlined objectives.
- The map icon pieces are shown as little altars in the fog of war. When you get to a new region, your first objective should almost always be to find the map for that region. That makes exploring it much more enjoyable.
- The map is extremely well-detailed once you collect the map pieces, even showing changes in elevation pretty well most of the time (certainly not always).
Set your own beacons, let them guide you
- You can only place 5 beacons at a time. This makes exploration of an area a bit more guided (but you lose no agency in the process). You can open the map, say “I’m going to hit these 5 spots”, then follow your compass for 1-2-3-4-5, open map again, set a new area to explore, etc.
- When you run into a beacon in the world it removes it from your map.
Place Map Markers
- Markers only show themselves on your compass if you are within a certain radius of them, so feel free to spam them for whatever you want.
- I use them to mark spirit spring jumps. I also use them for fights or dungeons I want to come back to.
Do not fall into the bait-attack-roll combat loop.
- This game has a lot of options in combat, especially for sorcs. You can play at long-range, mid-range, close-range, or weave between different ranges to control enemy AI.
- Movement options include simply running (it’s good), backstepping, rolling, jumping, bloodhound’s step, or becoming a literal tank and pointing cannon of haima at the ground.
- You’ll always be doing some amount of attack baiting, but you want to be in control. Try focusing on manipulating AI based on your range and having them play at your pace, rather than the vice versa.
Stop using Glintstone Pebble.
- It’s a good starting spell, but it’s just that: A starting spell. There are tons of spells in this game and pebble runs its course, so don’t cling it. In fact, don’t cling to anything. Just keep trying stuff out.
Hold down the spell swap button to get back to memory slot 1.
- This lets you make consistent spell lists, and you can always reliably reach a spell by long pressing the swap button then counting the presses to your desired spell.
Change your spell swap button away from the default.
- A controller with paddles is ideal as you can bind spell swap and run to a paddle.
- KB+Mouse works but if you use scroll wheel for spell swap, make sure to also set a keyboard key to hold for resets.
- If you must concede to a normie xbox controller, change spell swap to R2 and heavy melee attack to dpad-up; you’ll never use it.
FP is the most precious resource
- Keep your flask ratio favored towards FP when exploring. I usually do a 6:4 fp:hp flask ratio, but sometimes it’s closer to 7:3.
- In bosses, the ratio can flip to be weighted towards HP, because you often don’t need as much FP to take down a single HP bar and you’re gonna get hit by stuff a lot.
- Don’t forget to try charging spells when you get them, otherwise you might miss that they’re chargeable.
- Some spells can be chained into other spells—Play with spell-swapping to see what combos and chain casts are possible.
Take only the spells you need.
- Don’t fill up your memory slots just for the sake of it. Having too many spells can bog you down in your swaps. Only take what you think is worthwhile. I often max out my slots anyways because there’s ton of useful stuff though, not saying to be a minimalist, just don’t memorize junk.
Gear & Stats
Play in medium weight.
- There’s no real point to light and heavy is unusable.
Sorcery Scaling is your king
- It’s the only stat value you care about for damage. Each sorcery scaling point is worth 1% damage. So an increase of 150→155 sorcery scaling means you just gained 5% damage.
- High INT scaling staves are important, so you want to favor S-rank scaling weapons over all else, usually. Upgrading a weapon can upgrade its scaling value.
Only the sorcery scaling value from the weapon you cast out of matters.
- If you have two staves equipped, you can press Rhand OR Lhand to cast. If you cast with Rhand attack, you’ll get sorc scaling value of your Rhand staff. Same with Lhand. The sorc scaling values don’t stack or interact in any way.
Weapon passives work in off-hands. * Anything listed under the “Passives” on a piece of gear work even if you cast out of the other staff. So if you have a Meteorite S-Rank Sorc Scaling staff in your Rhand, and a Carian Glintstone Staff that increases sword sorc damage by 15% in your offhand, your carian swords casted from your meteorite staff will still get the +15% boost.
Talismans are important.
- Switch them around as the situation calls for it. They’re one of the greatest sources of both offense and defense.
Don’t listen to Azur or Lusat scrubs.
- You might find juicy looking staves called “Azur Staff” or “Lusat’s Staff. These staves increase your damage by a shitload or reduce your casting times—and they’re legendary weapons—they are often hailed as the best staves in the game.
- They fucking suck. Don’t use them. They increase your FP usage, which doesn’t matter, but they have a hidden effect of also increasing the amount of stamina your casts consume. We don’t want to waste too many points on endurance because the scaling for stamina gains is awful, so it’s very hard to make this stamina loss back, and the damage is ALMOST never worth it unless you’re going for some specific blast-based setup.
INT soft-caps at 60 and hard caps at 80 * It’s worth hitting the 80 hard cap. With your additional points I recommend focusing on MIND and VIGOR, with enough ENUDRANCE to equip decent gear. Ignore DEXTERITY, the cast time increase is negligible and truly not worth it, I wish it was but it isn’t.
Don’t over-level VIGOR/MIND.
- Keep in mind your flask heal rate based on your sacred tears and try to match your MIND so that your FP refills are making the most of your flask strength without leaving tons of extra unused bar. Effective stat usage means squeezing what you can out of each flask usage without having a ton of left over empty bar.
- Start as the Astrologer.
- Pick the Golden Seed or Stonesword Key. You’ll find plenty of both as you play but they’re a handy boost in the beginning.
- Focus on leveling INT, VIGOR, and MIND.
For starters you need your most valuable key items, Torrent and the Wondrous Physick.
- Church of Elleh. Make sure you buy the crafting kit off the merchant kale there.
- Gatefront Ruins. Get torrent and the map.
- Third Church of Marika. Flask of Wonderous Physick and a Sacred Tear.
- Explore behind the church if you want to find something interesting.
Now you’ll want to expand your spells a little and get useful crystal tears.
- This is Sellen in the Waypoint Ruins. Talk to her until you exhaust her dialogue.
- There are some ruins with mobs around here. This is the location of a spell scroll, the
Royal House Scroll. Bring it back to Sellen and buy your new spells.
- This is the Weeping Peninsula. 2.5 is a church which is a useful spot to be. Make your way over to the minor erdtree in this area and kill the big avatar to get some new crystal tears. Opaline Bubbletear will be your friend for a very long time.
Explore the rest of the weeping peninsula at your leisure.