Home How to respec in Elden Ring to change your build

How to respec in Elden Ring to change your build

TL:DR

  • Stats in Elden Ring dictate weapon and spell usage, important for first playthroughs.
  • Respecing requires defeating Renala and using rare Larval Tears, making it a significant decision.
  • Soft caps for stats reduce the benefits of leveling up after certain points, affecting gameplay efficiency.

Elden Ring is, in the broadest strokes, an action RPG, and those RPG elements include levelling up and stat allocation for your build. Once you’ve spent your Runes, the in-game currency, your decision is permanent…unless you’ve unlocked the ability to respec your character.

Your stats are really important in Elden Ring because they dictate what weapons and spells you can use. This is doubly relevant for anyone trying to do a first playthrough of the DLC with no knowledge of the cool new weapons available. Finding a new weapon that looks super cool and not being able to wield it can be a major downer.

The game can also be pretty opaque as to the benefits of various stats. For example, it’s easy to tell what stat a particular weapon scales with, but the game doesn’t tell you about the soft caps after which stat increases have diminishing returns.

Elden Ring stat caps explained

Essentially, while you can pile Runes into levels all the way up to 99, after a certain point the returns you see on each spent level will begin to diminish. There are several thresholds where the diminishing increases for each stat, after which each subsequent point makes a negligible difference.

Vigor – this governs your character’s HP. The first soft cap is at 40, and the second is at 60, after which each point spent will yield negligible increases in HP.

Mind – this is the stat connected to your FP, essentially Elden Ring’s version of mana, and is needed to cast spells and summon Spirit Ashes. The first soft cap is at 50, and the second is at 60, after which it’s hardly worth spending points in the stat.

Endurance – needed to increase your stamina and maximum equip load, endurance is important for almost all characters. If you’re focused on stamina, the soft caps for endurance are 15, 30, and 50; for equip load, the caps are at 25 and 60.

Strength and Dexterity – primary stats for physical fighters in the game, though each is related to different weapons, Strength and Dexterity have the same numbers for their soft caps, which are 16, 60, and 80. Dexterity also controls spellcasting speed, and its benefit to this attribute caps out at 70.

Faith and Intelligence – these stats are needed by spellcasters, governing incantations, and sorceries respectively. The caps for both these stats are at 20, 50, and 80.

Arcane – a tricky one because Arcane governs several things from item discovery to how quickly you inflict status effects. If a weapon scales its damage from Arcane, the caps are related to the type of damage. For physical damage, the caps are 20, 60, and 80, but for magic, fire, or lightning damage the caps are 20, 50, and 80. For status build-up on melee weapons, the caps are 25, 45, and 60.

Luckily for us, there is a way to reallocate all your accrued runes and rebalance your stats if you want to wield a funky new weapon or create an inefficient character before you know better.

Typical of FromSoftware though, it’s not as straightforward as opening a menu. Not only do you have to beat a challenging boss, but each respec costs a Larval Tear, a rare and finite resource.

How to unlock respecing in Elden Ring

You can’t respec your character in Elden Ring until you’ve defeated Renala, Queen of the Full Moon. She’s located in The Academy of Raya Lucaria, the game’s second legacy dungeon which can be found in the middle of Liurnia of the Lakes. Renala can be part of the main progression path through the game, so you won’t have to go out of the way to defeat her.

When you get to Raya Lucaria you discover it is locked and you must go and find the key. There’s a corpse with a handy map of where you can find it.

location of raya lucaria glintstone key
Location of the Glintstone Academy Key. Image credit: Bandai Namco

The run through Raya Lucaria is challenging, with tons of enemies waiting to waylay you on your path. Around halfway through the area players will have to face off against the Red Wolf of Radogan boss, a magic-wielding dog who hits extremely hard.

After dispatching the Red Wolf and getting past a tricky NPC enemy named Moongrum Carian Knight (if he gives you trouble, it’s not too hard to lure him off the edge of the elevator to his death), the player will have to battle Renala, Queen of the Full Moon. This is a two-phase boss fight so make sure you’ve upgraded your weapon and stocked up on Crimson Tear flasks before engaging.

When you’ve put Renala in her place, talk to her and she’ll tell you she can make you reborn anew, which just means that you can now respec. However, it takes a Larval Tear each time. These are rare and finite, so don’t waste them!

Where to get Larval Tears in Elden Ring

A picture of a larval tear in Elden Ring, it's a silvery grey kidney shaped item

Every time you respec in Elden Ring, you have to expend a Larval Tear, a rare and finite item dotted throughout the game.

There’s only a single Larval Tear available in Limgrave, the game’s first area, and it’s not exactly easy to get. You have to track down a lone noble on the East side of Lake Agheel and then try not to run in fear when it turns into a Lesser Runebear when you hit it.

location of the lone noble/runebear who drops a larval tear
The lone noble can be found in this area of Limgrave. Image credit: Bandai Namco

Runebears are an extremely challenging enemy so you have to work hard for this Larval Tear. There’s one in Liurnia of the Lakes that’s easier to get.

In the Village of the Albinaurics, nestled under the cliffs on the southern edge of the lake in Liurnia, there’s a Larval Tear in a grave near the town well, which is mercifully near a grace and lightly guarded.

Another relatively easy-to-locate Larval Tear is available in Caria Manor. You have to make your way through the manor (dodging the horrible handy Fingercreeper enemies) and defeat the boss at the end, Royal Knight Loretta. From there players can drop down into the room where the merchant Pidia is found. Pidia has just one Larval Tear for sale at 3,000 runes. The full list can be found on the Elden Ring Wiki.

In the base game of Elden Ring, there are fewer than 20 Larval Tears, and many of them are tricky to get or in out-of-the-way places. The DLC, Shadows of the Erdtree, adds nine new ones, bringing the total up to 26. That should be plenty, but it’s not infinite, so give at least some thought to your stats before spending them.

More on Elden Ring

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Ali Rees
Tech journalist

Ali Rees is a freelance writer based in the UK. They have worked as a data and analytics consultant, a software tester, and a digital marketing and SEO specialist. They have been a keen gamer and tech enthusiast since their childhood in are currently the Gaming and Tech editor at Brig Newspaper. They also have a Substack where they review short video games. During the pandemic, Ali turned their hand to live streaming and is a fan of Twitch. When not writing, Ali enjoys playing video and board games, live music, and reading. They have two cats and both of…

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