By Sean Martin
Raise the dead, become a vampire, or honk them to death with these strange setups.
The best builds in Elden Ring
Elden Ring bleed builds (opens in new tab)
Elden Ring faith builds (opens in new tab)
Elden Ring strength builds (opens in new tab)
Elden Ring mage builds (opens in new tab)
Want to try some fun Elden Ring builds? Now that the game has been out for a while, one of the best ways to experience it again is to create a fun themed build. Maybe there’s a character in the game that you want to roleplay as, or you just want to see whether an idea you had is actually viable.
Do you want to beat bosses with a giant horn? Use vampiric powers to turn Elden Ring into Bloodborne? Or just run a treasure hunter build that makes a full collection playthrough that much easier? The amount of variety in terms of weapons, armour, talismans, and Ashes of War really lets you experiment with your setup.
And when each playthrough allows you to re-spec multiple times using Larval Tears, there isn’t anything holding you back. That said, here are some of the best weird and fun Elden Ring builds.
The best fun Elden Ring builds
Lord of the Honks
Weapons: Envoy’s Longhorn
Talismans: Shard of Alexander, Godfrey Icon, Carian Filigreed Crest, Sacred Scorpion Charm
Armour: Envoy’s Crown
Stat spread: Faith, Strength, Mind
While exploring Leyndell you’ll have come across the Oracle Envoys: white blob creatures who play horns and attack you with bubbles. But did you know you can get their horns as a weapon? There are three altogether, wielded by Envoys of different sizes, but the one I'm looking at in this build is the Envoy’s Longhorn. Though not as hard to get as the Envoy’s Greathorn, its bubble shooting skill is far better and absolutely melts large bosses.
You can get the horn from the mid-sized Envoy on Leyndell’s Ramparts and you can boost its bubble skill damage with talismans like the Shard of Alexander and the Godfrey Icon. The Carian Filigreed Crest also reduces the amount of FP each bubble burst costs, letting you do it more. You’ll also want to prioritise faith and strength for the Envoy’s Longhorn. Lastly, to fully commit to the concept, you can get the Envoy’s Crown headpiece at the Haligtree as well as summon ashes that let you call some of the little guys.
Bestial Sling Shotgun
Weapons: Two Clawmark Seals or one Clawmark Seal and one Frenzied Flame Seal
Talismans: Radagon Icon, Godfrey Icon, Flock's Canvass Talisman
Armour: The heaviest set you can wear while still having a medium roll.
Stat spread: Dexterity, Mind, Strength, Endurance
Further continuing the trend of cursed PvP builds, credit to Gigasthiccas for discovering that by reducing spell cast time with 40 dexterity and the Radagon Icon, while alternating between two sacred seals, you can cast Bestial Sling at an alarming rate. Bestial Sling is already a very good PvP spell, but this build basically turns you into a shotgun.
If you don't have two Clawmark Seals, you can use the Frenzied Flame seal since it has similarly good scaling and will benefit from all that dex you're boosting for cast time reduction. For other talismans, Godrey Icon will enhance the charged version of Bestial Sling, while Flock's Canvass Talisman grants a damage buff to all incantations.
For this to work you'll need a fair bit of FP, but as you can see in the video above, the key is alternating between each seal as you cast. Though this build isn't so good for PvE, the physical damage still staggers enemies so you can get critical attacks in. With that in mind it might be worth equipping the Dagger Talisman and pairing this with a high crit weapon.
Weapons: Fingerprint Stone Shield or any other dual-wield high-damage reduction greatshields
Talismans: Great Jar's Arsenal, Dragoncrest Greatshield, Greatshield Talisman, Bull-Goat's Talisman
Armour: Bull-Goat set or any heavy set you want
Stat spread: Strength, Endurance, Vigor
Our first build is inspired by Grimmy's amazing PvP "The Wall" build. Essentially you wear the heaviest armor you can and lug around two massive, high-damage reduction greatshields, using the bash to deal with anything that gets in your way. I can't vouch for its viability in regards to actual bosses, but either way, you're going to need a lot of stamina, health, equip load, and damage reduction to pull it off.
Great Jar's Arsenal will give you lots more equip load, Dragoncrest Greatshield reduces physical damage, and the Greatshield and Bull-Goat Talismans will make it harder to interrupt you and easier to guard. If you want to add another layer to this you could try making some Iron-Jar Aromatic perfumes for their damage reduction, since you'll be moving slow anyway, or add the Speckled and Leaden Hardtears to your Wondrous Physick for some increased defense.
Weapons: Any hand weapon with Ash of War: Bloodhound's Step attached
Casting: Frenzied Flame Seal and Dragon Communion Seal
Spells: Unendurable Frenzy, Frenzied Burst
Talismans: Flock's Canvass Talisman, Clarifying Horn Charm +1, Mottled Necklace +1, Stalwart Horn Charm +1
Armour: Silver Tear Mask for increased Arcane
Stat spread: Faith, Vigor, Mind
Probably my favorite weird PvP build to come out of Elden Ring is Adam Barker's mech suit in the video above; basically using everything to stay alive while you melt other players with Unendurable Frenzy. It's a great anti-invader tool to keep in your back pocket as a faith caster, because if they get too close and you use this, chances are they won't get away.
Adam Barker explains his exact setup in this video (opens in new tab), but some of the key elements are the consumables, namely the perfumes; Ironjar Aromatic and Uplifting Aromatic. You need Arteria Leaf to craft the latter, but remember you can farm it from the troll by the Giants' Gravepost Site of Grace in Mountaintops of the Giants. You'll also want a Flask of Wondrous Physick with Cerulean Hidden Tear to eliminate FP consumption so you can keep the spell going, and Crimsonwhorl Bubbletear, which converts damage into HP and will stop you dying as quickly.
Once you use the Ironjar Aromatic, you'll be super slow, but that's where Bloodhound's Step comes in handy, since you'll have to be close to other players for Unendurable Frenzy to be effective. You could also equip the Radagon Icon or build dex to reduce cast time, which would make it easier to surprise players with the spell.
Weapons: Bolt of Gransax, Dragon King's Cragblade, Eleonora's Poleblade, or any dex-scaling weapon with a lightning Ash of War attached
Casting: Dragon Communion Seal
Spells: Lightning Strike, Lansseax's Glaive, Honed Bolt, Lightning Spear, Vyke's Dragonbolt, plus dragon incantations depending on your Arcane level
Talismans: Lightning Scorpion Charm, Flock's Canvas Talisman, Godfrey Icon, Roar Medallion or Radagon Icon
Armour: Drake Knight set
Stat spread: Dexterity, Faith, Arcane
There's a whole backstory in Elden Ring about knights trying to wield the power of dragons and how that power corrupts. You see this with Eleonora is Yura's quest (opens in new tab), and with all of the Magma Wyrms you encounter throughout the game, but as such, there are lots of great weapons and incantations for building your very own Drake Knight.
Since lightning damage scales with Dexterity, you'll want a dex-scaling weapon. Both Bolt of Gransax and the Dragon King's Cragblade are great choices and have some pretty thematic skills. If you're levelling Arcane to use dragon incantations as well as lightning, then Eleonora's Poleblade is another option. You could also just use a regular dex-scaling polearm or spear with a lightning Ash of War like Thunderbolt attached.
For spells, you'll likely want the Dragon Communion Seal if you're levelling Arcane, and then all of the lightning incantations you can get your hands on. Repeat cast spells like Lightning Strike and Honed Bolt will be especially powerful due to the casting time decrease you'll get from levelling Dexterity. You can decrease this even further with the Radagon Icon. The Lightning Scorpion Charm and Flock's Canvas Talisman will also give your lightning incantations a hefty damage boost.
If you choose to favor dragon incantations more, then you might want to equip the Roar Medallion to strengthen them. Alternatively, if you decide to use the weapon skills for Bolt of Gransax or Dragon King's Cragblade, you'll want the Godfrey Icon and the Shard of Alexander to make sure they're packing a punch. The final touch is the Drake Knight armor set that you can find in Farum Azula.
Weapons: Butchering Knife with Ash of War: Lightning Ram
Casting: Giant's Seal
Spells: Fire's Deadly Sin, any other Fire Monk incantations
Talismans: Shard of Alexander, Godfrey Icon, Godskin Swaddling Cloth, Winged Sword Insignia
Armour: Imp Head (Elder), Bull-Goat Armor
Stat spread: Endurance, Vigor, Mind, Faith
A while back there was an Elden Ring PvP build knocking around that involved setting yourself on fire and endlessly rolling towards your enemy. There are two key elements to this build: the Fire's Deadly Sin incantation, and Ash of War: Lightning Ram. When you set yourself on fire with the first, you'll damage anyone nearby, so you roll towards enemies with ram and do damage with both fire and lightning.
The only issue with this is you need a lot of health and mind to keep doing the skill and stay alive. I recommend using Butcher's Knife with Lightning Ram, because everytime it hits you'll get healed a little due to the weapon's ability.You can buff this even further with the Godskin Swaddling Cloth, and boost the attack power of those consecutive rolls with Winged Sword Insignia and its related talismans. You'll also need a lot of endurance if you want to wear the Bull-Goat armor, and some faith for the fire incantation. Honestly, this is a ridiculous build that's only really do-able in the endgame, but it's fun to mess around with.
Weapons: Serpent-God’s Curved Sword dual-wield or Blasphemous Blade
Talismans: Taker’s Cameo, Godskin Swaddling Cloth, Assassin’s Crimson Dagger
Armour: Duelist Helm, Gravekeeper Cloak (Altered), Zamor Bracelets, Prophet Trousers
Stat spread: Dexterity, Strength, Faith
A lot of the serpent god-related items in Elden Ring recover health when you kill enemies, so this build is all about becoming a vampire and healing yourself by getting aggressive. The Serpent-God’s Curved Sword restores health when you defeat an enemy, as does Rykard’s Blasphemous blade, so dual-wielding these can recover quite a bit. In terms of talismans, Taker’s Cameo restores HP for defeating foes, Godskin Swaddling Cloth on successive attacks, and Assassin’s Crimson Dagger when you perform a critical strike.
If you want to add one final layer to this vampiric build, get Malenia’s great rune, as that lets you regain health from enemies that have damaged you when you attack them straight after. Getting two Serpent-God’s Curved Swords would also make the most of the Godskin’s successive attack healing, but you’d need new game plus to grab a second. The final touch is the duelist armour, which has some great snakey details, especially if you alter the Gravekeeper Cloak.
Weapons: Helphen’s Steeple, Death’s Poker, Rosus’ Axe, Ritual Death Spear, Grave Scythe, The Family Heads
Casting: Prince of Death’s Staff
Spells: Ancient Death Rancor, Explosive Ghostflame, Fia’s Mist
Talismans: Graven Mass Talisman, Radagon Icon, Magic Scorpion Charm
Armour: Royal Remains Helm, Night’s Cavalry Armor
Stat spread: Intelligence, Mind, and a combat stat for your chosen weapon.
Death sorceries aren’t that good in comparison to a lot of the others in the game, but between the Deathbirds and the Tibia Mariners, there’s so much potential for a Necromancer build. You can pick any of the weapons above so long as there’s also an intelligence scaling. I went with Helphen’s Steeple because of its cool ghostflame infusion skill. For casting, the Prince of Death’s staff boosts the death sorceries you’ll be using, while Graven Mass Talisman, Radagon Icon, and Magic Scorpion charm buff your damage and casting speed.
The best death sorceries are Ancient Death Rancor, Explosive Ghostflame, and Fia’s Mist, though most of these are pretty late game. To be honest, this entire build is endgame considering how tough the Death Rite Birds are to kill. Finally, for some fun armour, there's the Royal Remains Helm and the Night’s Cavalry set, but anything works so long as it's spooky.
Merchant of Madness
Weapons: Vyke’s War Spear
Casting: Frenzied Flame seal
Spells: Unendurable Frenzy, Frenzied Burst, Flame of Frenzy
Talismans: Godfrey Icon, Flock’s Canvas Talisman, Radagon Icon, Shard of Alexander
Armour: Nomadic Merchant’s Finery
Stat spread: Faith, Dexterity, and Mind
The nomadic merchants are some of my favourite characters in the game, especially when you discover their connection to the Frenzied Flame and madness incantations. Vyke’s War Spear is weirdly the only madness-causing weapon in the game, so this is the sensible choice, and the Frenzied Flame Seal will boost your incantations. Frenzied Burst is an incredible PvP spell, while Flame of Frenzy and Unendurable Frenzy can stagger most enemies and bosses without much trouble.
Talisman-wise, Flock’s Canvas, the Godfrey Icon, and the Shard of Alexander will boost the damage of your incantations while also giving Vyke’s Frenzyflame Thrust a bit more oomph. The finishing touch is the amazing Merchant Finery outfit you can find in the hidden area behind the Cathedral of the Forsaken below Leyndell.
Weapons: Antspur Rapier, Scorpion’s Stinger, Serpentbone Blade, Venomous Fang
Casting: Frenzied Flame seal
Spells: Poison Mist, Pest Threads, Scarlet Aeonia
Talismans: Flock’s Canvas Talisman, Radagon Icon, Kindred of Rot’s Exultation
Armour: Mushroom Crown, Mushroom Chest, Mushroom Legs, Mushroom Arms
Stat spread: Arcane, Faith, Dexterity, Mind
Poison and Scarlet Rot aren’t quite as good as you’d expect them to be, but there are a lot of fun builds you can make with them. The Antspur Rapier is a fantastic weapon choice as it already has Scarlet Rot, but can also be infused with an ash of war to cause poison. The key to making this build viable is going to be stacking both Scarlet Rot and Poison at the same time, so this is important.
Part of this will be through incantations. The Dragon Communion seal is your best casting option due to Arcane-scaling, but Frenzied Flame Seal would also work. You’ll want the typical incantation-boosting talismans, except for Kindred of Rot’s Exultation, which buffs attack when you inflict Poison or Scarlet Rot. The final touch is the Mushroom set from the Seethewater Cave dungeon and the truly majestic Mushroom Crown from the Lake of Rot area.
Weapons: Regalia of Eochaid, Marais Executioner’s Sword, Pillory Shield
Talismans: Winged Sword Insignia, Carian Filigreed Crest, Shard of Alexander, Godfrey Icon
Armour: Black Hood, Briar Armor set
Stat spread: Arcane, Dexterity, Strength
If you’re looking to run a collection playthrough and grab every item in Elden Ring, then this is an excellent build to try. It centres around the Eochaid weapons: Regalia and the Marais Executioner's Sword. Both of them scale with Arcane, improving your item discovery, but also have the Eochaid’s Dancing Blade skill that lets you blend bosses with a spinning magic sword. The key to strengthening this skill are the consecutive attack-boosting talismans such as the Winged Sword Insignia, Rotten Winged Sword Insignia, and Millicent's Prosthesis. Since every hit of the spinning blade buffs attack, it can rack up some nasty damage.
The other talismans listed will boost the skill’s damage and reduce its FP cost. Regalia of Eochaid is available relatively early in the game in the Gaol Cave dungeon, letting you use it before upgrading to the Marais once you beat Elemer. For armour, I chose the Black Hood and the Briar Set, as well as the Pillory Shield. It’s not a very good shield for anything other than buffing deathblight resistance, but it fits the whole escaped criminal vibe.
(opens in new tab)
Elden Ring quests guide
Elden Ring: Ranni's quest
Elden Ring: Blaidd's quest
Elden Ring: Millicent's quest
Elden Ring: Sorceress Sellen's quest
Elden Ring: Nepheli's quest
PC Gamer Newsletter
Sign up to get the best content of the week, and great gaming deals, as picked by the editors.
Sean's first PC games were Full Throttle and Total Annihilation and his taste has stayed much the same since. When not scouring games for secrets or bashing his head against puzzles, you'll find him revisiting old Total War campaigns, agonizing over his Destiny 2 fit, or still trying to finish the Horus Heresy. Sean has also written for EDGE, Eurogamer, PCGamesN, Wireframe, EGMNOW, and Inverse.