In Elden Ring, you will find many different weapons that will be better or worse suited for certain situations. Many weapons will have different animations and attack types, and some will be better suited to staggering foes, while others will have damage types that will be more effective against certain enemies. Each weapon comes with different animations for one-handed and two-handed attacks, as well as sprinting attacks, attacks after a roll, jumping attacks, and guard counters.
Contrary to previous games like Dark Souls, weapons have attack chains and some additional ways of inflicting damage on your enemies:
Light Attack Chain: Repeatedly using light attacks will initiate a light attack chain, which will have different attack animations instead of the same two attacks being repeated, like in previous Souls games.
Heavy Attack Chain: Works the same way as the light attack chain, but will generally be shorter, while dealing higher damage per hit. Heavy attacks can also be charged for increased damage, which will also change the heavy attack animation for certain weapons. Heavy attacks also inflict higher posture damage, which might result in the enemy becoming vulnerable to a Critical Attack.
Running Attack: While sprinting, you will be able to unleash a different attack depending on whether it’s a light or a heavy swing, which will also be different when holding the weapon with one or both hands.
Rolling Attack: Dodge rolling and attacking immediately after, will allow you to quickly hit your enemy.
Jumping Attack: Using a light attack while jumping will allow you to attack mid-air, while a heavy attack will result in a downward strike instead.
Guard Counter: While blocking, using a heavy attack right after an enemy’s attack lands will result in a special counter attack that might leave the opponent open to a critical attack.
Critical Attack: Critical attacks inflict higher damage, and are affected by the Critical stat on your weapon. They can be initiated by using a light attack behind the enemy, attacking after successfully using the Parry skill, attacking an enemy left vulnerable after taking enough posture damage, and attacking sleeping enemies.
Additionally, every weapon comes with an equipped Weapon Skill, which is a special skill that uses FP to either deal damage or enhance you for a time.
Every weapon comes with a weapon skill, which can be used for an FP cost specific to the skill. One thing to note is that weapons and shields both have associates weapon skills, but use the same input to activate those. If you’re holding a shield in your offhand, it will use the shield’s skill first, and you will need to hold your weapon with both hands to use its skill instead.
While every weapon comes equipped with a Weapon Skill, these can also be changed by interacting with a Site of Lost Grace, and using the Ashes of War menu.
These ashes can be found throughout the game, and will allow you to modify your weapon’s Weapon Skill, as well as its damage types and attribute scaling.
However there are a few restrictions:
Weapons with unique Weapon Skills cannot equip a different skill. The Reduvia dagger for example, will only have access to its own Reduvia Blood Blade skill.
Certain Ashes of War are limited to an attack type. As an example, the Ash of War: Piercing Fang can only be applied to thrusting weapons.
Ashes of War come with their own attribute scaling types, as well as the skill associated to them, and some of them will modify weapon stats with additional elemental damage.
Weapons in Elden Ring are all very different and it can be hard to pick the one that suits you best. Luckily, every weapon has different stats, which will allow you to prepare for different encounters and ensure that you are well equipped. To explain these stats, we’ll be using the Battle Axe as an example.
Attack Type: The axe deals Standard damage, which is regular physical damage. It can also be Strike/Slash/Pierce, which will determine how effective the weapon is against certain types of enemies. The Slash attack type for example, will be more effective against unarmored enemies, while pierce will be better against armored ones.
Weapon Skill:Frenzy is the equipped weapon skill in this case. As for the FP cost, “1” is the activation cost, while everything in parenthesis is the extra cost in case the skill can be chained with light or heavy attacks. Here, “6” will be the cost of a subsequent light attack, while “10” will be the cost of a heavy attack.
Attack Power: This is a list of the damage types that the weapon inflicts, and critical refers to the strength of Critical Attacks. Here, Physical has an added “13”, which is the damage increase provided by the character’s attributes, which will be determined by the player’s stat investment as well as the weapon’s Attribute Scaling.
Attribute Scaling: Scaling determines the damage increase provided by each attribute. As an example, a weapon with “A” Strength scaling will gain more damage per Strength point than a weapon with “D” Strength scaling.
Attributes Required: These are the attributes required to wield a weapon. If you don’t have the attributes required to wield a weapon, you can still use it, but you will deal very little damage while doing so.
Guarded Damage Negation: Similarly to a shield, this part of a weapon’s stats shows you how effective guarding with this weapon is against different types of damage. With the Battle Axe, guarding against Physical attacks will reduce a decent amount of damage, while it won’t be nearly as effective against Lightning damage.