How Scaling Works in Elden Ring

Image credit: FromSoftware

When it comes to fighting most regular enemies, Elden Ring can be somewhat simple. Isolate the enemies, dodge and block their attacks, and hit them when they are vulnerable.

However, when it comes to the right way to distribute attribute points, things get much trickier. There is a lot to consider when you’re leveling up in Elden Ring.

There’s so much to understand, and so many different things that you can do in a build, that it can be overwhelming for new and old players alike. Even before thinking of a build, players must understand how scaling works so they can choose their weapons correctly.

Do you only deal more damage with melee weapons if you have Strength? Do you always get more damage when you increase an attribute?

Don’t worry; we’re about to teach you everything you need to know about how scaling works in Elden Ring, in a beginner-friendly way.

Once you finish going through this article, you will know what weapons to use and how to take advantage of the build you are going for, so let’s get started, shall we?

How Does Weapon Scaling Work?

You’ll see many different stats when you when you go into the menu and check your equipment in Elden Ring.

There’s information on the weight, attribute pre-requisites to wield efficiently, damage caused, type of damage, and more. It’s a lot to digest.

The most important thing you need to know is that when it comes to the amount of damage you deal and how it is related to your attributes, you need to check a weapon’s scaling. 

In Elden Ring, this can be seen in the Attribute Scaling area when you are checking your Ashes of War, or your Weapons.

If there is a letter next to an attribute, it means that the weapon scales with that attribute. For instance, if a weapon scales with Strength, it means that the more Strength you have, the more damage you deal with that weapon.

Some weapons might scale with only one attribute, some with two, so you need to check each one and see if they are a good choice for your build.

It is important to understand that weapons might scale differently. A weapon that scales with two different attributes might scale well with one and not so much with the other.

This means you need to check the letters next to the attributes.

The order from best to worst, within the scaling system, is S, A, B, C, D, and E. So, if you have a really high Strength, having a Dexterity B and Strength D weapon is not the best idea.

Side note: some people ask why ‘S’ is the best. I believe this is to mimic popular tier lists within video gaming culture, with S-Tier typically being used as the top, ‘Super’ or ‘Special’ tier, which actually originates from Japanese school grades.

There’s a lot of experimentation involved in finding the perfect weapon. A weapon with a C on both Strength and Faith might be better than a weapon with just a B on Strength. The opposite might also be true depending on how you’ve distributed your attribute points.

When you are leveling up, you can see how adding attribute points changes the damage you’re dealing with a weapon — as long as you have it equipped.

That is a great way to see adding points to a single attribute is granting you the extra damage you want or if you should go for something else.

It might also help you understand if your weapon is good or if you need another one.

Change the Scaling With Ashes of War

Soulsborne games always had some strange weapons that scale with attributes you wouldn’t imagine.

They are usually rare or enchanted weapons, but Elden Ring has made it much more simple for players. Now you can use a weapon you like and make it effective enough to be fun to use.

If you don’t know how to use Ashes of War, you should spend your time learning it immediately. This is a resource that allows you to add a new skill to your weapon and change how it scales.

For instance, adding the Holy Vow Ash of War to a weapon can make it scale with Faith, although it might change how its other attributes affect your damage too.

Either way, this is a great resource that can make a weapon viable even if it wasn’t meant for you to use in the first place. That helps casters deal decent damage with Intelligence scaling swords and strongly enables paladin builds.

Final Thoughts

Elden Ring is undoubtedly the perfection of the formula. The way damage and attributes affect one another in this game haven’t changed that much since the first Dark Souls, but so much more was created to allow players to develop their own playstyles and explore the world of this game any way they want.

So, if you found a cool weapon that you like but you don’t have the attribute that makes it effective, keep exploring. All you need is a suitable Ash of War, and you will be able to use it quite well.

Although Ashes of War change how a weapon scales, it won’t change its attribute requirements. So if a weapon needs you to have 30 points in Strength, but you are going for a sorcerer build, you might want to look for something else and then use an Ash of War to make it scale with Intelligence.

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  1. “some people ask why ‘S’ is the best. I believe this is to mimic popular tier lists within video gaming culture, with S-Tier typically being used as the top, ‘Super’ or ‘Special’ tier, which actually originates from Japanese school grades.”

    FromSoftware is a Japanese company so they are just using their own system. They aren’t “mimicking popular tier lists” because those tier lists are mimicking the system From Software is already familiar with.

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