Sourcing the best weapon possible in Elden Ring will help improve your chances of survival.
Depending on your starting class, the weapon you begin with range from middling to half-decent to take you through your immediate surroundings.
On this page is our recommendations for melee builds - including the best early weapon to see you through the more challenging dungeons.
We also explain the best weapons for stat builds - including dexterity, magic and strength weapons - as well as other best melee weapons you can find based on various playstyle.
On this page:
If you're after magic at the start of the game, then we can suggest where to find a staff location and a sorcery teacher - and if you want to look beyond armaments, our best armor sets can help there.
The best early weapon in Elden Ring
Your starting weapon will do fine for most of the opening hours - but the time you want to tackle the critical path proper and head to Stormveil Castle - or even some of the meatier locations within Limgrave - then you need a decent armament.
Perhaps the best early weapon in Elden Ring is the Twinblade, which is just a stone's throw away from where you emerge in Limgrave. There are other strong weapons out there - some of which we'll discuss shortly - but in terms of accessibility location-wise, and how much of a step up it is versus starting class weapons, is one we'd highly recommend tracking down.
To find the Twinblade location, head to the south of Lake Agheel and approach the Dragon-Burnt Ruins.
At the south-east most corner of the ruins, you'll found a walled structure which you can only access by leaping with the aid of your horse.
Once within, you'll find an underground passage. The chest within contains the Twinblade.
The Twinblade comes with the stat requirements of 10 Strength and 18 Dexterity, the latter putting it out of reach of any starting class choice. As such, you might need to farm Runes so you can level stats high enough to wield it.
Once you do, it works both as a fast but strong one-handed blade and as a powerful two-handed weapon that, with a couple of Smithing Stone upgrades, will put a decent dent in the more challenging enemies in the areas to come.
Other best weapons you can find early
If you don't fancy the stat requirements of the Twinblade, then other weapons available in the early hours of Elden Ring include the following drops from Limgrave enemies...
The Bandit's Curved Sword is a strong weapon that's a possible drop from certain enemies, such as a skeleton found in the river north of Lake Agheel (just north of where the glowing jellyfish spawn at night in the cave, and before the gust of air which can take Torrent up when jumping).
The stat requirements are accessible - 11 Strength and 13 Dexterity - and though the drop rate is low, we found clearing the group of skeletons here in a loop could be achieved in about a minute before fast travelling back to the Grace at Murkwater Catacombs just to the north.
Elsewhere, the Grave Scythe can drop from skeletons that wield them, such as those at the graveyard just east of Saintsbridge in the north of Limgrave.
The 17 Strength and 13 Dexterity requirements give you a slow but very powerful early game weapon to wield; our recommendation is using it as a jump and slashing weapon before switching it out to something a little faster to finish foes off. It also has a useful blood loss buildup passive effect.
Meanwhile, defeating Mercenaries has a slight chance in dropping a Dismounter. This has a 19 Strength and 16 Dexterity requirement, which is pretty high at the start of the game. You can find one Mercenary location very early on the north side of the beach close to where you start in Limgrave, otherwise they can be often found in bandit camps, such as the one in the far south-east of Limgrave, mentioned below.
If you're not patient enough to wait for a weapon drop via the above sources, then you can pick up a Great Epee - a heavy thrusting sword - from a treasure chest in the bandit camp in the south-west corner of Limgrave.
This camp, situated at the foot of some ruins, is heavily guarded - including by several Mercenary (one on a horse!) which as mentioned above, can drop a Dismounter as well. However if you are careful, it's possible to sneak in from the east, open the chest and grab the weapon before the worst of the sentries come down on you.
With the ability to roam most of Elden Ring's regions from the off, chances are there are many more strong early game weapons to be found easily if you know where to look.
The best melee weapons for dexterity, strength and magic
Once you have your hands on a strong early weapon, and build your character, you'll get a taste of your preferred playstyle and which stats you want to invest in, or build on depending on your starting class choice.
For example, for high strength and / or dexterity weapons, you'll want high strength and dex stats to begin with, such as confessor, vagabond, prisoner and samurai and then continue levelling them. But some weapons will also require investing in faith or intelligence.
Here's our best weapon choices by various stats:
- The best dexterity weapon is the Bloodhound's Fang, a curved greatsword that can be found near the start of the game in Limgrave, although you'll need to overcome a pretty tough boss fight to get it.
- The best strength weapon is Grafted Blade Greatsword, found in Castle Morne in Weeping Peninsula, a region to the south of Limgrave that's accessible from the start of the game.
- The best magic melee weapon is Sword of Night and Flame, which can inflict both magic and fire damage. It does however require an equally significant amount of intelligence and faith. You'll find it in Caria Manor in northwest of Liurnia, which is on the way to the start of the Ranni quest.
Once you have settled on a starting class and starting Keepsake item, you should first work out how to level up, how to respec and use Ashes of War. Need some direction from there? Our Elden Ring walkthrough and Elden Ring boss order can help with where to go next, but we also recommend hunting down Golden Seeds, Sacred Tears, Crystal Tears, Talismans and some of our best weapon and best armor choices. If you are approaching the end game, we can help with the Volcano Manor quest and Rykard, Haligtree Secret Medallion locations, solving the Ordina, Liturgical Town puzzle, the Millicent quest, Commander Niall, Morgott, Godskin Duo, Maliketh and Malenia.
Other best weapons in Elden Ring
There's of course many other excellent weapon choices for melee builds, though remember to get the most out of them, you'll want to upgrade them. In the case of the special weapons, you'll need Somber Smithing Stones.
For dex builds who want something more nimble, a dagger is a way to go, and one of the best is Reduvia that's dropped by Bloody Finger Nerijus, one of the first NPC invaders you're likely to encounter.
He'll invade as you head down a ravine north of Agheel Lake close to Murkwater Caves. While he's intimidating at first, you'll fortunately also have Finger Hunter Yura jump in soon after to help you, so if you're struggling, just try to hang back until he arrives.
Stats are fairly accessible - 5 Strength, 13 Dexterity, although you'll need 13 Arcane - and while it's a dagger for using up close, its unique skill also provides range as it fires projectiles of blood.
You can get great strength melee weapons by using the remembrances of major bosses you've defeated. One of the most powerful is Starscourge Greatsword that can be yours after defeating Starscourge Radhan, a tough battle all the way in Redmane Castle in Caleid, albeit not essential to completing the story.
You will however not only need 38 Strength and 12 Dexterity but also 15 Intelligence to wield this curved greatsword but it's great for cutting down foes, especially with its unique skills Starcaller Cry that pulls in enemies with a gravitational wave followed by a powerful slam.
However, if you prefer a remembrance melee weapon that doesn't require worrying about magic stats, then you'd do well to have Axe of Godrick, which is also one of the first you can unlock as it's one of the weapons you can get after defeating Godrick at Stormveil Castle and then exchanging the Remembrance of the Grafted item to the NPC at the Roundtable Hold for it.
It requires 34 Strength and 22 Dexterity to wield, and as a greataxe can be slow, but its unique skill delivers a fierce AOE shockwave that up to three times to obliterate crowds.
For another great magic-based weapon, look no further than Dark Moon Greatsword, which transforms into FromSoftware's classic Moonlight Greatsword that inflicts frost damage and even fires blasts of moonlight when charged.
Getting this weapon requires completing Ranni's quest, where you'll eventually find it high up in Liurnia at Moonlight Altar and deep inside the Cathedral of Manus Celes.
It's a long quest that will take you for much of the game's length to complete, but it's hugely rewarding. Considering this path is also how you get hold of Starscourge Greatsword and Mimic Tear Ashes, the best summon in Elden Ring, there's no reason not to do it!