How to unlock leveling and level up in Elden Ring

Wondering why you can't level up early on in Elden Ring? Here's how to unlock leveling and start raising your attribute points!

Updated: November 25, 2022 @ 21:05
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Written By Anastasios Antoniadis

(Former) Computer science Ph.D. student, amateur photographer, passionate blogger, SEO-nerd, and tech-enthusiast, Anastasios is the creator of BORDERPOLAR back in October 2020.

Leveling up may potentially cause early-game frustration for Elden Ring players. As your Tarnished hero emerges from the ashes, they will be called to explore a world they know nothing about. The same will be valid for you as the player, so you may spend the first hour of the game wondering what you have to do and how to level up your character.

In this guide, we will answer this question precisely.

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Starting out in Limgrave

Once you emerge from Stranded Graveyard to the First Step, you will be able to start your world exploration. Just north of the exit, you will find the ruins of the Church of Elleh. At this point, you will only be able to interact with one NPC at the First Step and Merchant Kale at the Church of Elle, the first item vendor in the game.

How to unlock Leveling in Elden ring

You can take down enemies and collect runes at this point, but there will be no sign of a way to level up your character once you open the game's settings and go to stats. And this is precisely what Elden Ring wants you to do. Keep exploring, and things will unfold by themselves.

So, to unlock leveling, you need to face Melina for the first time. For the encounter to happen, you will have to interact with three Sites of Grace and rest at them. So let's do some counting here. Note that Sites of Grace in dungeons and caves do not count towards that number. So let's do a little bit of counting here:

  1. The first Site of Grace you encounter is at the First Step (very appropriate).
  2. The second Site of Grace is at the Church of Elleh.
  3. So there is only one more to go to finally unlock leveling. Here is my recommendation:
Gatefront Ruins Site of Grace Location
Gatefront Ruins Site of Grace Location Image Source: FromSoftware

As I was exploring, I rested at Gatefront Ruins' Site of Grace, which initiated the encounter with Melina in which she offers you an offer to become your maiden, as you won't survive long in the Lands Between going maidenless. Accepting the deal is inevitable to progress with the game's story and will also reward you with the Spectral Steed Whistle, which you can use to summon your mount, Torrent. This is also the initiator for your meeting with Renna at the Church of Elleh to receive the Spirit Calling Bell and unlock Spirit Ashes summons.

How to level up in Elden ring

That's it! You can level up your character anytime you want by visiting a Site of Grace and resting at it. Doing so will bring up the menu below:

Elden Ring Rest Menu
Elden Ring Rest menu at a Site of Grace Image source: FromSoftware

As you can see, the second option is “Level Up.” Press A on your D-pad or E on your keyboard to enter the Level up menu:

Elden Ring Level Up menu
Elden Ring Level Up menu at a Site of Grace Image source: FromSoftware

Inside the menu, you can see how many Runes you own and how many are needed to level up. Suppose you have enough Runes in your possession. In that case, you can choose one of the available stats (Vigor, Mind, Endurance, Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, Faith, and Arcane –in the above screenshot, I did not have enough Runes to assign an extra point to an attribute.

Finally, press A on your D-pad or E on your keyboard to confirm your choice. And that's pretty much all you need to know about leveling up your character in Elden Ring. Now you should look for an excellent rune farming location in Limgrave to level up faster. An excellent recommendation is the aforementioned Gatefront Ruins, as there are plenty of soldiers to take down.

For more Elden Ring guides, make sure to have a look at our Elden Ring guide hub!

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