Elden Ring - 10 Crazy Useful Gameplay Secrets
Crystal darts control golems
With just a few crystal dots, you can stun and short-circuit the old tree burial watchdogs, causing them to attack anything around them. This sort of mind control effect lasts for 30 seconds, which is more than enough time for them to kill anything else in the room. This effect also builds up on the smaller imps, but they have to have enough health to withstand a few darts.
Catacombs are all throughout Elden Ring and this tip makes so many of them way easier. Why do crystal darts have this effect then? Well, to me it seems like crystals were once a part of the watchdog's creation. It is said that a Golem crafter employed a similar crystal tool. I think we'll go deeper into this in a lore episode.
Night sorceries don't trigger dodges
I recommended making Chris Crystal darts for your playthrough when the game first came out. They're quite powerful and they're easy to make, but it always bothered me then how so many humanoid enemies have this habit of dodging them. Elden, Ring's enemy, does quite a lot of input reading. I'm sure you're familiar with this, but the same goes for most sorceries as well.
Did you know that there's an entire class of sorcery that specifically does not trigger enemy Dodges like these are the night sorceries. Of course, these night sorceries do a little less damage than their glintstone counterparts, but you know, actually being able to hit your enemy makes these spells pretty damn worth it.
Sometimes night sorceries are designed to be assassination spells, which gives them a really nice piece of gameplay flavor. Since enemies can't dodge them, I'm glad they have that.
Crouch attacks can be op
But speaking of assassination, people commonly underestimate how useful Crouch is in this game. Of course, it lets you sneak up on enemies, and if you hit an unaware enemy, then you'll do like 25 extra damage on your first hit, but beyond that, crouch attacks specifically can be really powerful even.
If you use them in mid combat, this is because crouch R1 attacks have you perform the same animation as your rolling R1 attacks. So, if you want access to your rolling attack on demand, then remember you can just input L3 and R1 to bring it out quickly at any time. This attack is especially great for certain weapon classes because it can compensate for the weaknesses that they have in their traditional move sets.
For example, halberds, for example, typically lack a fast horizontal swing, but your Crouch R1 gives you quick access to one. As another example, colossal swords like the Gut's great sword only have horizontal swings, which is a bit of a letdown, but your crouched R1 gives you access to an insanely fast and long-ranged poke attack alternatively.
If you're dual wielding, you can even try a crouched L1 attack, so just consider weaving these into your playstyle if you weren't already. It can completely change the viability of certain weapons.
Weapon feints are a thing
Another thing a lot of players don't know about are weapon faints, which are actions that you can only perform with rapiers and curved swords. If you tap the Dodge button while you're holding a heavy attack, you'll cancel the heavy attack while stepping backwards and attacking at the same time, which allows you to maneuver for distance and steal damage at the same time.
This backstep attack has been around since Dark Souls and it didn't get much play in Dark Souls either, but in Elden Ring I think there's one exception that makes this attack really good and that's the Frozen needle. Rapier. This rapier is really cool, and it's hard to end its charge. The second attack is unique in that it shoots a little icicle at your opponent, dealing damage and frostbite without even costing you FP.
This is really great. However, when you use this R2, you faint. The icicle attack doesn't have a huge range, so you can faint at a sort of middle distance and actually make use of the back step in kiting enemies around, which is a really awesome play style and I wish Eldon Ring had more techniques like this.
Certain spells can be chain-casted
These are the sort of little combat intricacies that I love making use of, and I have another really good tip that spellcasters will appreciate. You would have noticed that spells have a set cast time. Sorcery is like a carrion slicer. It has a wind-up before you attack, as do incantations like Stone of Gunk.
However, one really cool thing is that you can make a lot of these spells come out a lot faster if you combo them with other spells and attacks. For example, you can remove the windup on Carrion Slicer if you cast it right after a regular melee attack or right after casting a different spell. Here's a comparison: As for incantations, magma breath comes out way faster if you use catch flame right before it, which actually goes a really long way towards making magma breath a viable spell.
There are a ton of other spells that work this way, and while the inputs can be a little bit tricky with the d-pad, it's a really fun high-skill cap thing that you can do to deepen the gameplay of your spellcaster. There are a lot of spells that combo in this way.
Mimic tear can become a tank
Doing this makes spell casting a bit more of a high skill cap thing, but if you want to make spellcasting less complicated, well. I have just the thing for you: defeat, rad, and progress below. To find Lim's grave here is to find the mimic tier ashes in Nocron. How could it not be? And speaking of talismans, there's a talisman in the game called Shari's Woe, which you can find here in the frenzied village when it's equipped.
This talisman forces enemies to focus their attacks on you to the point that they'll actually ignore your summons completely. This kind of just makes the game more dangerous for you, especially during Co-op, but one clever thing that you can do with this talisman is to have it equipped and then summon your mimic tier and then take Shiri's woe off your character.
So, since your mimic tear was summoned with this talisman equipped, it will now take all of the enemy aggro, leaving you free to cast ranged attacks with complete impunity. This is a really good way to help increase the viability of bow builds, for example, but it's also a great way to make sorcery completely broken, since sorcery is very powerful.
You could even go a step further with this and give your mimic a great shield before you unlock and equip it yourself. If you really want them to tank for you, then this is what you do.
Armor alteration changes a lot
Of course, all of you know about armor alteration at this point, but there are three surprising facts about armor alteration that I think a lot of people might have missed. First, altering a piece of armor affects its stats.