The ability to use and upgrade spirit summons is one of the biggest differences between Elden Ring and past FromSoftware titles.
There’s a debate to be had about whether Elden Ring or Dark Souls games are more challenging. The reason that’s a discussion at all is because of the introduction of spirit summons in Elden Ring. Without them, Elden Ring would be decidedly more difficult.
The gameplay between Elden Ring and a Dark Souls game is very similar, but Elden Ring’s open-world environment opens the door for loads of variables. It’s easy to enter a ruin or camp, fight one enemy, and then have multiple other enemies jump in. Spirit summons serve to mitigate those troubles, giving players some guaranteed help against crowds.
While this is a great feature, it’s not particularly well-explained. Here’s how to use and upgrade spirit summons in Elden Ring.
How to use spirit summons in Elden Ring
In order to use spirit summons, players need to have the Spirit Summoning Bell key item and use a Spirit Ash in an appropriate area.
In order to use spirit summons, players need to complete a few steps. These can be done very early in the game, as Spirit Ashes can be used almost immediately in a new playthrough. Here’s how to do so:
- Meet Melina and agree to her accord
- Return to the Church of Elleh and speak with Renna
- Receive the Spirit Summoning Bell and wolves Spirit Ash
- Use the Spirit Ash in an appropriate area
Players can obtain all the items to use spirit summons just minutes into Elden Ring. In order to do so, players just need to partner up with Melina and then speak with Renna the Witch in the Church of Elleh. Renna gives the player the Spirit Summoning Bell and Lone Wolves Spirit Ash. At this point, Elden Ring players can start using spirit summons.
The easiest way to do this is by equipping the preferred ash to the hot bar alongside the flask. Once the player enters an appropriate situation, they’ll be able to use spirit summons by just toggling to the ash and hitting the use item button. This is square on PlayStation and X on Xbox.
Spirit summons can be used in almost every boss fight, but only in a few areas within the overworld. These are generally areas heavily populated by enemies like camps and ruins.
The summons can only remain active within those areas. If the player character walks outside them, the summoned units will disappear. This will also happen if the player summons a spirit and enters a boss fight.
If the player summons a spirit, they will be unable to re-summon until after resting at a site of grace.
How to upgrade a spirit summon in Elden Ring
Players can upgrade spirit summons in Elden Ring by giving Roderika runes and Glovewort.
Roderika is one of the NPCs that Elden Ring players can find early on in their playthrough. She is found in a blown-out building on the road from Limgrave to Stormveil Castle near the Stormhill Shack site of grace.
After speaking with Roderika and exhausting her dialog, she will request the player obtain the Chrysalid’s Memento. This can be found in Stormveil Castle on a pile of corpses near a Grafted Scion mini-boss. If the player defeats Godrick the Grafted, she may disappear. After defeating Godrick or bringing her the Chrysalid’s Memento, she will advance to Roundtable Hold.
Once she advances to Roundtable Hold, there’s a small questline involving Roderika and Hewg. This just requires the player to speak to the two of them, advancing dialog, and then reloading the area. Eventually, she will set up a shop across the hallway from Hewg.
After she sets up her spirit tuning station, Elden Ring players can upgrade spirit summons similar to upgrading weapons. Players need to bring Roderika either Grave Glovewort or Ghost Glovewort, depending on the Spirit Ash. Both types of Glovewort can be found in catacombs, caves, and graveyards.