Elden Ring keepsakes — ranked worst to best

Elden Ring screen shot
(Image credit: FromSoftware Inc.)

If you haven’t started Elden Ring already, now is the time. The game has been out for about a month, and in that time, more than 12 million players have ventured into the Lands Between, seeking adventure and lots of valuable Runes. If you’re one of them, then starting the game with the right Elden Ring keepsake can help.

Elden Ring is one of those games that people will be playing for years to come. If you’re just starting Elden Ring for the first time, you’re in good company. And if you’re ready to start a second playthrough, you’ll want to start it off on the right foot. 

During character creation, as you customize your avatar’s appearance and choose a class, you’ll also get a chance to select a small keepsake. This can be an intimidating choice, especially if you’ve never played a FromSoftware game before.

The good news is that none of the keepsakes will make or break the game, and you can find all of them again during your travels. However, some of them are definitely better than others, particularly if you want an advantage early on. Read on to discover how we’ve ranked the Elden Ring keepsakes, from worst to best.

elden ring

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Elden Ring keepsakes, ranked from worst to best

Boiled Prawn

The Boiled Prawn isn’t a bad item, but it’s a bit of a waste as a keepsake. When you eat it, it will let you resist some physical damage for a limited time. That’s it. Once you consume the Broiled Prawn, it’s gone. Later in the game, you can buy hundreds of Boiled Prawns for a pittance, so it’s not really worth starting off with one.

Bewitching Branch

The Bewitching Branch can be a useful item, but it doesn’t come into play until much later in the game. A handful of bosses in Elden Ring summon phantoms to aid them in battle; the Bewitching Branch can turn one of them against its summoner. Granted, the game doesn’t tell you that, and by time you get that far, you’re likely to have found another Bewitching Branch during your travels.

Shabriri’s Woe

Shabriri’s Woe is another one of those “good item; not good for new players” keepsakes. This talisman will attract enemy aggression in co-op matches. It’s a great accessory if you’re building a heavily armored character and want to assist other players with boss fights. But new players should generally focus on building up their own skills first, and aiding other players later. When they’re ready, they can buy this talisman easily enough later on.

Fanged Imp Ashes

The Fanged Imp Ashes are summonable creatures, and it’s always good to have a few of these in your inventory. At the same time, you can’t use them right away — you’ll still need to find Renna and the Spirit Calling Bell first. And since Renna gives you the Lone Wolf Ashes along with the bell, the Fanged Imp Ashes can feel superfluous. You can also buy them later, if you really want them.

Nothing

As in previous Soulsborne games, Elden Ring keepsakes are totally optional. You don’t have to take anything if you don’t want to. And, truth be told, starting the game off with nothing isn’t the worst idea. Some of the keepsakes are confusing; others give you a big advantage right from the start; still others simply don’t do much. Starting off with nothing keeps your playthrough simple, and lets you learn what you need on the fly.

Lands Between Rune

As you play through Elden Ring, you’ll collect Runes from fallen foes. But you can also use certain consumable items to gain runes, such as the Lands Between Rune. This will give you a bunch of Runes right off the bat, which you can use to level up or buy items. It’s a solid starting bonus, although Runes are easy enough to earn as you go otherwise. Be sure to check out our guide How to farm Runes in Elden Ring: Early, mid and late game spots. 

Cracked Pot

Elden Ring has a significant crafting element, and that means you’ll need to gather materials as you explore the Lands Between. One useful component is the Cracked Pot, which will let you craft consumable offensive items, such as a Fire Pot or a Holy Water Pot. Each Cracked Pot you collect stays in your inventory permanently, making this keepsake a good investment for the whole game.

Crimson Amber Medallion

The Crimson Amber Medallion is a solid choice for pretty much any kind of adventurer. It’s a talisman that raises your maximum HP slightly. The benefits are pretty self-explanatory; there are essentially no drawbacks. While you’ll find better talismans later on, the Crimson Amber Medallion will give you a useful and consistent boost for a good chunk of the early game.

Golden Seed

A Golden Seed will let you boost the amount of Crimson Tear or Cerulean Tear flasks you can carry, right off the bat. This means that you can restore more health and/or magic each time you set out adventuring. Golden Seeds are one of the most valuable items in Elden Ring, and getting an extra one to start can be a huge boon. But there are enough Golden Seeds in the game to max out your flasks, even if you don’t take this one.

Stonesword Key

As you play Elden Ring, you will need a lot of Stonesword Keys. These consumable items unlock a variety of optional doors that you come across as you play. 

Every Stonesword Key area is somewhat different, but you’ll find everything from useful items to entire hidden dungeons. While you can find and buy Stonesword Keys as you play, they’re almost always expensive, or extremely well hidden. Having an extra Stonesword Key off the bat is a great thing. Just be willing to retreat if you come across an early-game area that’s beyond your level.

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.