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Best builds to play in Elden Ring

The different ways of becoming invisible in the Lands Between.

Character screenshot from Elden Ring showing the Starsourge Greatswords
Image credit: FromSoftware/Eurogamer

While beating the long list of bosses is part of the fun, making your character overpowered by using one of the best Elden Ring builds is also entertaining.

Part of your journey in Elden Ring is centred around levelling up a character and customising it with some of the best weapons, armour, and skills that better fit your play style. Elden Ring allows a variety of combinations, giving you the opportunity to try out new ones with a new character or in a New Game Plus session.

Although all builds are valid, in this guide we point out what are the best builds in Elden Ring from which you can choose and start your path in the Lands Between.

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Best Elden Ring builds explained

With its progression system and the myriad of possibilities in terms of itemisation, Elden Ring allows us to try different combinations and come up with interesting and sometimes way too powerful builds. The motivation behind them differs. Some players might be looking for the most optimal and painstaking way to prepare a character while others may be looking for the less conventional play style and make it work.

Regardless of what the community has achieved in terms of maxing out characters and combining items since the game release, some builds are simple and yet effective, having the power to carry players of any level throughout the whole game. For this list, we’ve selected the best ones that fit into this category, showing their positive aspects and illustrating what kind of play styles they might allow.

Character screenshot from Elden Ring showing the Blasphemous Blade
Image credit: FromSoftware/Eurogamer

Blasphemous Blade build

It doesn’t take long before someone mentions Blasphemous Blade in a conversion about the best builds in Elden Ring. In general, it’s difficult to say otherwise. The sword you get after defeating Rykard, God-Devouring Serpent and exchanging his Remembrance of the Blasphemous with Enia in the Roundtable Hold is still well respected by the Elden Ring community.

This is a Faith-based build, an important stat to use the Blasphemous Blade skill Taker’s Flame. It causes Fire Damage to enemies and scales based on this stat. The basic concept of this build is to spam this skill and kill whatever is in front of you. Taker’s Flame can cause a lot of damage and, because you have high Faith, it’s possible to buff your attacks or raise your defences with incantations. In addition, Taker’s Flame also heals you based on the damage caused. With a perfect balance between sustain and damage, the Blasphemous Build is rightfully considered one of the best builds in the game.

Pure Intelligence build

In Elden Ring, spellcasting is a solid play style that offers damage potential. While some builds are created with the intent of mixing spellcasting with sword-wielding, the pure Intelligence build is the best when it comes to raw power.

With a pure Intelligence build, your character cast sorceries, a specific type of magic in Elden Ring capable of absurd numbers when it comes to direct damage. An Intelligence build can take different forms depending on the type of Sorcerer you want to be. There are the Carian sorceries with its magic swords which you can materialize to attack enemies, the Cold sorceries that freeze enemies by enveloping them in an ice storm, or the Primeval sorceries that focus on suffocating enemies with raw magical power.

Character screenshot from Elden Ring showing Lusat's Glintstone staff
Image credit: FromSoftware/Eurogamer

Bleed build

Among the many types of ailments you can inflict upon an enemy, Bleeding is the best option. Called Hemorrhage in the game, Bleed is a detrimental effect that causes blood loss, making enemies lose a percentage of their health. The Bleed build focuses on using different tools to build up Bleed and finish enemies extremely fast.

Although you can rely on consumable items such as Blood Grease to imbue weapons with the Bleed effect, the most common route is to use weapons with passive abilities that allow you to apply Bleed buildup when you hit enemies. Most types of Bleed builds focus on increasing the character’s Dexterity, wearing light to medium-weight armour, and wielding weapons like katanas. Even though this build might require reflexes to dodge enemies’ attacks since survivability is not its strongest trait, a Bleed build is effective against most high-level enemies in the game.

Stance Break build

If there is a universal truth in Elden Ring is that hitting harder might resolve most of your problems. This concept translates into the Stance Break build, which is a type of build focused on staggering enemies by forcing their stance until it breaks. Think of it as an invisible bar that fills in after you hit an opponent. Once it’s filled, the enemy gets staggered giving you the window to land a critical hit at them.

Each type of weapon causes a certain amount of damage to the enemy’s stance which means you can go for the ones you like the most. By using Heavy and Jump attacks, it’s possible to break the enemy’s stance, but the most effective method is to use skills, such as the Lion Claw. The idea of this build is pretty simple and it works wonderfully for those players less skilful who like to play safe.

Character screenshot from Elden Ring showing the Reduvia dagger
Image credit: FromSoftware/Eurogamer

Long Horn build

The Long Horn build is not only an extremely strong build but it’s also a fun build to play. At the core of this build, you find the Envoy’s Long Horn great hammer. This weapon scales with Strength, Faith, and Dexterity. It has a simple – and fairly slow – move set when it comes to Basic and Heavy attacks. However, what really makes this weapon shine is its skill Bubble Shower. By using it, you send a large number of magic bubbles that damage enemies.

Because this cloud of bubbles covers a wide area, the Envoy’s Long Horn is capable of melting large enemy’s health bars. Even the Dragonlord Placidusax, an extremely difficult enemy to face, can be easily beaten by this build. You don’t have a lot of sustain and you need to think strategically to position yourself before using the skill – it forces you to stand in place while casting it –, so it takes a while for new players to get used to it. But once you’ve mastered it, the Long Horn build is your go-to option to decimate bosses in Elden Ring.

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