Ashes of War are an important part of building up a character in Elden Ring.
Andre of Astora isn’t around to help travelers in the Lands Between. Instead, players need to enhance and customize their own weapons and equipment.
Fans of FromSoftware’s previous games, particularly Dark Souls, will be familiar with the basic concepts of the scaling and magic systems. Players automatically become able to use Ashes of War after collecting one and obtaining the Whetstone Knife. They can be found on the ground, on certain enemies’ corpses, or by buying them. Ashes of War’s appearances are not random, so you can consistently get your hands on them if you know the location.
What do Ashes of War do?
Ashes of War change the attributes and skills associated with a piece of equipment. They serve as a sort of blend of gems from Dark Souls 3 and Combat Arts from Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
Typically, these items allow players to change how certain weapons scale, allowing strength-based characters to effectively use dexterity-based weapons and vice versa. This can also apply to any other stat, allowing players much more freedom in terms of what weapons and items they can use on their journey.
On the flipside, they can also change the skill of a weapon. This allows weapons to have greater customizability, allowing weapons to be more versatile if the proper Ash of War is applied.
How to use Ashes of War in Elden Ring
Whenever you rest at a Site of Grace, there will be an “Ashes of War” option in the menu.
This will only become available after obtaining the Whetstone Knife. The Whetstone Knife can be found in an underground passageway beneath the Gatefront Ruins in West Limgrave.
Ashes of War change the effects and scaling of the weapons or armor that they’re equipped to, allowing players to customize gear to better benefit from their build. An example of an Ash of War is the Keen option, which decreases Strength scaling and base damage for the weapon but increases its Dexterity scaling.
To equip them, simply select the ash you want and apply it to the gear. This can permanently change the skill associated with the weapon but can be unequipped in the same way while resting at a Site of Grace. An Ash of War can completely change the way a character looks to leverage advantages and adds lots of flexibility to character creation.
Ashes of War can also be duplicated to other weapons if you have the Lost Ashes of War and work with blacksmiths.