Elden Ring has a steep difficulty curve, especially if you spend a lot of time trying to sneak your way through the game’s main “Legacy” dungeons. Enemies and bosses there can crush you with one blow or depleting your resources so quickly that it can be difficult to progress.
For much of the game’s start – which, remember, will be a fair amount of time in its huge open world – you’ll be deprived of opportunities to level up. Runes, the currency you spend to increase your stats, are hard to come by in large quantities. For a casual player or new to Souls this has the advantage of not being as punishing when you lose your souls because you can’t get back into your body, but for the diehards you might want a way to upgrade your class stats to equip certain magic weapons and abilities.
YouTube user PowerPyx has found a great place to farm runes that you can access early in the game as long as you have your horse, Torrent. They claim it will net you around 300,000 runes per hour, which is enough for many, many levels at the start of the game, even if you only do it for 10 or 20 minutes. The catch is that it’s largely only useful for magic users, but melee-based characters can get away with it after a bit of practice.
They lay out the exact instructions in the video, but basically you want to visit Marika’s Third Church in Limgrave – it’s located east of the First Grace sites. From there, you need to head northeast to find a portal sitting in the water. This portal takes you to Greyoll’s Dragonbarrow, a high level area that features one of the weirdest characters in the game. There are relatively weak enemies around there that you can defeat with multiple spells or swings with a sword to earn around 900 runes per kill. Enemies stagger with most attacks, but if you’re low level, they might be able to kill you in one hit.
Another magic-based farm location that isn’t as efficient, but more manageable, is located in Stormveil Castle at the isolated Grace Cellsite just before the boss. Here you can use your Spirit Calling Bell to summon allies and take down the giant which grants around 1000 runes. Melee players can also take him on, but watch out for the two masked attackers nearby.
For melee builds, or anyone really, you can just fight your way through the initial trooper camp at the Gatefront Site of Grace, which is north of the starting area. Stealth can get you close to many armored knights before they can get to you, but just watch out for the high-ranking knight patrolling the middle of the camp.
A bit later in the game, I found a post at the Liurnia Highway North Grace Site (after Stormveil Castle) where you can earn runes while AFK. Right next to the checkpoint are a group of soldiers fighting spirit attackers and a giant (which you need to run over with your horse to trigger). The Giant will crush most soldiers fairly quickly and grant you around 43 runes per kill. It’s not much, but if you want to mindlessly do it while watching Netflix, it might come in handy.
If you need more advice, check out our introductory guide to Elden Ring, which offers eight tips to get you started on your journey through the Middle Lands.