How to make your own builds

How to make your own builds


This guide is intended for beginners. It covers basic principles of creating character builds.

I hope this guide would be helpful. If I missed something or if you have any suggestions, please leave a comment.

What Are Builds?

A Build is a combination of weapons, skills, spells, armor, talismans, and allocated character attribute points within a limited rune level range.

Regardless of whether you primarily play PvE or PvP, creating a build allows your character to specialize in a specific combat style. Creating your own build will help you to effectively progress through the game in PvE and enjoy it, as well as have fun participating in PvP.

Usually, builds are restricted by the character's level, whether this is related to the current stage of the game's PvE progression or the level restrictions in PvP. (For more details on multiplayer and level restrictions, check my other guide: Vanilla multiplayer (COOP, PVP) - detailed guide).

What's The Fun Of Creating Builds By Yourself?

Sure, you can Google "top 10 OP Elden Ring builds" and play through the game with it, but you'll miss out on the entire thrill of discovering the vast array of combat styles that can be achieved through combinations of numerous weapons, their skills, and spells.

Once you've created a build yourself and optimized it after PvP battles or in PvE, you won't be able to resist the urge to try build something else - maybe you'll come up with a unique weapon combination or want to play as a mage instead of a warrior.

Then, you'll create new characters with a starting class suitable to your build, level them up to 125, and test them in PvP.

And, since there are countless combinations, you won't even notice how you've already spent over a hundred hours playing.

In my opinion, those who Google OP builds and rush through the game with cheasing to one of the endings in single-player mode are missing out on the main fun - interacting with other players in multiplayer.

That's the adrenaline rush in battle, the joy of victory, and the experience of defeat.

What Level To Aim For? (Meta Levels)

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There are two meta levels on which most of pvp is happening: 125 and 150.

This division is due to the fact that most players finish the game at ~150 lvl, and after that they might try the arena.

At 125 lvl you will encounter specialized builds, and mostly those players who know what they are doing. At the same time, at 150 lvl, you may encounter inexperienced players with characters that are more focused on PvE and can do a little bit of everything.

If you just want to finish the game in PvE or you are interested in more casual/chaotic PvP in the arena, aim for 150 lvl.

If you want to play with specialized build and want more competitive PvP in the arena, aim for 125 lvl.

Invasion levelsAlso if you want to invade at specific regions of the game aim for corresponding levels.

Some user from reddit collected interesting data, link is here, all credits to him.

On the graph you can see some rough correlation between players' level and location on which they are playing.

More detailed info about players' levels in multiplayer I provided in my other guide: Vanilla multiplayer (COOP, PVP) - detailed guide in section Restrictions - Character level restrictions

How To Start?

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How to make your own builds image 27

To begin, you can choose any weapon you like.

Does the weapon deal massive damage? Please do.

Does the weapon have a beautiful skill? Take it.

Do you like spells? Why not?

Have you come up with a wombo-combo? Excellent.

Have you chosen? Let's create a build around your favourite weapon.

It's worth saying right away - don't be afraid to experiment. Don't worry if you created a build but then dislike the weapon or realized you've inefficiently distributed your character's attribute points. There's an item in the game that allows you to redistribute points - the Larval Tear.

This is a consumable item, 18 are scattered throughout the base game. However, I've never encountered a shortage. Anyway you'll have another 18 on NG+. And some more in DLC.

To redistribute attribute points, you need to defeat the boss Rennala Queen of the Full Moon. After that she'll stay in the library as an NPC.

Talk to her and select Rebirth, then redistribute your points. Note that your attributes will be reset to their state of your starting class which you chose at the beginning of the game, and you'll only need to distribute the accumulated points up to your current level.

Weapon Scaling

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Let's take the Zweihander as an example.

If you open the weapon information in the game, you'll see the following:

Attribute Scaling Requirements Str D 19 Dex D 11

Attribute scaling is marked with letters: E, D, C, B, A, S. Where E is the weakest and S is the strongest.

Scaling affects the attack power of weapons, the power of spells (if it's a staff or seal), and the build up of status effects (more on that in the Status Effects section).

Looking at this table, you'll understand which attributes to increase to boost the damage of this weapon.

Obviously that in this case, you need to increase Strength and Dexterity. However, note that the minimum Strength requirement is higher than Dexterity. Also, if you upgrade the Standard Zweihander to +7, you'll notice that the Strength scaling changes from D to C. Therefore, for this weapon, it's better to prioritize Strength over Dexterity.

So, what does "Standard Zweihander" mean? Are there any other types?

Weapon Affinity

How to make your own builds image 49AffinityIconEffectHeavyKeenQualityMagicFrostFireFlame ArtLightningSacredPoisonBloodOccultIron WhetbladeGlintstone WhetbladeRed-Hot WhetbladeSanctified WhetbladeBlack Whetblade

If you apply any Ash of War to a weapon, the game will prompt you to choose a . Affinities allow you to customize the weapon's specialization.

Besides Standard, there are 12 other Affinities that change the weapon's scaling and add status effect build up. Let's check all the Affinities first, and then check Statuses in the next section.

Increases Strength scaling Increases Dexterity scaling Balances Strength and Dexterity scaling Increases Intelligence scaling

Adds damage Increases Intelligence scaling

Adds damage

Adds bite status effect Increases Strength scaling

Adds damage Increases Faith scaling

Adds damage Increases Dexterity scaling

Adds damage Increases Faith scaling

Adds Holy damage Increases Arcane scaling

Adds status effect Increases Arcane scaling

Adds loss status effect Increases Arcane scaling more than or

For example, if you apply the to the Zweihander, its Strength scaling will change to B (and to A at +25), and its Dexterity scaling will disappear. This way, you can improve the weapon's damage by investing only in Strength.

To apply Affinities to weapons, you need to find the corresponding Whetstones in the game world.


Flame Art

Status Effects

Statuses help weaken enemies by applying negative effects after accumulating the status on them.

The higher the corresponding weapon scaling (e.g., Arcane for Blood loss) and the higher the relevant character attribute, the faster the status will build up.

However, enemy attributes, in turn, reduce the build up of corresponding statuses. The effects of attributes are described in more detail in the next section.

Statuses can be applied through weapon affinities, weapon grease, weapon skills, or spells.

StatusIconEffectResistance AttributeFrostbiteUpon accumulating the status, the target takes instant damage calculated as a percentage of their maximum HP, reduces resistance to all damage types by 20%, and slows down for 30 seconds.RobustnessBlood lossUpon accumulating the status, the target takes instant damage based on their maximum HP value.RobustnessPoisonUpon accumulating the status, the target takes periodic damage. The exact damage and duration depend on the source of the poison.ImmunityDeadly PoisonSame principle, but the damage received is higher than from Poison.ImmunityScarlet RotUpon accumulating the status, the target takes significant periodic damage. The exact damage and duration depend on the source.ImmunitySleepUpon accumulating the status, the target falls asleep until they take damage or are stunned for a short time.FocusMadnessUpon accumulating the status, the target is briefly stunned and takes damage based on their maximum HP value.FocusDeathUpon accumulating the status, the target dies instantly.Vitality

Attributes And Sofcaps

After checking Scaling and Statuses, let's determine which Attributes our character needs.

Softcap is a value of a Attribute beyond which further improvement will bring significantly less benefit but still provide some advantages.

To create effective builds, you need to consider these Softcap values for each relevant Attribute.

Let's check each Attribute, its Softcaps, and its bonuses. I'll provide approximate soft cap values; if you have a different opinion, please leave a comment.

VigorSoftcaps: 40, 60.

Increases HP, Immunity, and slightly increases Fire Resistance.

So, boldly (and necessarily) increase Vigor to at least 40, and to 60 at high levels. If you want to play PvP at level 125, there's no point in increasing Vigor beyond 60, but you can do as you please.

MindSoftcaps: 50, 60.

Increases FP and Focus.

If you don't use sorceries or incantations, there's no point in increasing this Attribute. However, if you plan to spam skills, you can increase it a bit.

EnduranceSoftcaps: 15, 30, 50.

Increases Stamina, carry weight, and Robustness.

Personally, I level up Endurance just enough to wear the armor I need at medium weight, usually around 20-25 with the Great-Jar's Arsenal talisman.

If you want to use shields, definitely level up this Attribute, as blocking consumes Stamina.

Also, level up if you want to spam spells, skills (or generally any attacks), as casting consumes FP and Stamina.

Don't exceed the Medium carry weight, otherwise you'll be 'fatrolling' - very slow rolling.

StrengthIncreases Physical Defense and Fire damage.

Softcaps: 18, 50, 60, 80.

The damage boost depends on your weapon, one-handed/two-handed grip, and weapon affinity.

If you want to use pure Strength, level up to 60-80.

If you want to use combinations, such as Dexterity with elemental Fire damage, try to level up to 50 or lower, as there's no point in going higher.

DexterityIncreases spellcasting speed, reduces fall damage, improves stability in saddle, and increases Lightning damage.

Softcaps: 18, 50, 60, 80.

Again, everything depends on weapons, their affinities, elemental damage, similar to Strength.

IntelligenceIncreases Magic Defense.

Softcaps for weapon affinities: 20, 50, 80.

Softcaps for spells: 60, 80.

If you're a pure mage, level up to 60-80.

If you want to combine something with magic, aim for the lower limits and the required minimum value for the spell you're interested in.

If you're a pure Strength-based character, ignore this Attribute.

FaithSoftcaps for weapon affinities: 20, 50, 80.

Softcaps for spells: 60, 80, similar to Intelligence.

ArcaneIncreases Vitality and enhances Statuses build up: Poison and Bleed.

Softcaps for weapon affinities: 20, 60, 80.

Softcaps for Status build up: 40, 45, 60.

So what to level up?Level up the Attributes required for your weapon, its affinity, its skill, your spells, your weight, and according to your feelings.

Definitely level up Vigor! Don't put it off.

Poise, Hyper Armor And True Combos

Poise is one of the main parameters of a character, determining how many hits they can withstand before entering a Staggered state.

Poise is accumulated from the sum of the poise of your armor. Typically, the heavier the armor, the more poise it provides.

Poise represents an invisible scale, similar to the HP scale, which depletes as the character loses balance. After depletion, the scale instantly refills.

You can also replenish poise in combat using certain skills, such as the skill of the Starscourge Greatsword or Stamp. There are quite a few of these skills.

The staggered state of a character is divided into three types:

Weak stagger — character cannot move or deal damage for a short time.

Heavy stagger — character cannot move or deal damage for a slightly longer time.

Knockdown — character falls to the ground, unable to move or deal damage. The first few seconds in this state grant the character invincibility frames, but they become vulnerable to all damage afterwards (to exit this state, press the dodge button as soon as the invincibility frames end).

Players usually strive to accumulate as much poise as possible to make it harder to knock them off balance.

Hyper armorHyper armor is activated when a character performs two-handed or one-handed attacks with certain two-handed or colossal weapons.

This creates a sense of weapon weight, making it impossible to stop the attack mid-swing.

So, if you want to build a strength-based character with a massive weapon, consider that it will be hard to knock you off balance during your attack.

True combosThere are certain attacks that can stagger an enemy, allowing you to deal a second hit without their retaliation.

Such "stagger-attack" combinations are called True combos.

You can even perform True combo chains if you can catch the enemy before they recover from the second stagger.

There are many ways to stagger an enemy, but I'll provide an example using the Zweihander.

Take the Zweihander with the Storm Stomp skill in your right hand and any weapon in your left hand.

1. Crouch/dodge, make a weak attack - the Zweihander performs a forward lunge and staggers the enemy if it hits.

2. Deal free attack with your left-hand weapon.

3. Use the Storm Stomp skill, staggering the enemy again.

4. Deal another free attack with your left-hand weapon.

This is just one example of many combinations you can come up with using various weapons, skills, and spells, and then create your build around these combos.

Talismans And Armor Pieces

To save level points when distributing Attributes, use talismans and armor pieces that boost Attributes.

For example, to save on investing in Endurance for heavy armor, you can wear the Great-Jar's Arsenal talisman.

To increase Strength by 5, you can wear the Starscourge Heirloom.

The same applies to some armor pieces.

For example, the Omensmirk Mask increases Strength by 2.

So, if your goal is 60 Strength, you can raise it to 53 and save 7 points by simply wearing the talisman and mask. You can then direct the saved 7 points, for example, to Vigor.

At high levels, it makes sense to wear talismans that provide a percentage boost to Attributes.

For example, the Dragoncrest Greatshield Talisman increases physical damage resistance by 20% in PvE and 5% in PvP.

Or the Bull-Goat's Talisman increases poise by 33%.

Online Services-tools

When you'll gain some experience in build making, you'll want to optimize your builds as much as possible.

That's where these online services come in handy.

This practice is called min-maxing - maximizing the benefits from minimal levels. Some people don't like it and call users tryhards.

It's a personal matter, and you can share your opinions in the comments.

These online services will help you optimize your builds and save some level points.

Build Planner[]

A very useful calculator that allows you to plan your build's overall outline and then refine it.

Starting Class Calculator[]

After entering your Attributes points, it will show you the most optimal starting class. This way, you can save a few level points.

Armor Optimizer[]

Here, you can calculate the most optimal armor for your build - just enter your stats and click "calculate best armor." You can sort armor by balance, damage resistance, and more.

I like to choose some nice looking armor piece, a mask that boosts Attributes, and then calculate the rest armor for maximum efficiency.

Weapon Calculator[]

Here you can calculate your weapon's damage based on your Attributes and chosen Affinity.

Some Tips

User Lilith left some useful tips in comments. Thanks for contributing!

Avoid holy damage as enemy resistances are high, especially mid to late game. Use it generally against undead enemies like raising skeletons or Death birds.

Madness will only be applied on other players and humanoid enemies, but will still do fire damage.

Fire damage for flesh enemies, blunt for armored, and pierce is overall the best performing.

Magic is generally stronger and has further range, faith is more versatile but has reduced ranges and is outclassed in damage.

Hyper armor has frames, executing a charged attack with some weapons actually reduces your poise or may have a softer version of hyper armor, meaning you still have to time it correctly if you want it's benefit.


In short, how to create your own build:

Choose your favorite weapons / come up with a combo

Look at the weapon scaling

Increase the corresponding scaling Attributes up to the necessary Softcaps

Don't forget about Vigor and Endurance


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