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How to farm Runes in Elden Ring: Early, mid and late game spots

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

Elden Ring is a long and difficult game, but there are plenty of ways to make your journey a bit easier. The simplest and most consistent way to get stronger in Elden Ring is to level up your attributes. The best build depends on your character class and playstyle, but no matter which attributes you want to improve, you’ll need lots of Runes, Elden Ring’s all-purpose experience points and currency.

Runes in Elden Ring are easy come, easy go. Every enemy drops Runes upon defeat, and you can find lots of items that confer additional Runes as you explore. However, if you die twice in quick succession, your Runes will disappear forever. This ranges from “not a big deal” if you weren’t carrying many, to “catastrophic” if you had been saving up for an important upgrade.

Luckily, Elden Ring has plenty of places to build up your Rune collection at relatively little risk. As I played Elden Ring, I found a handful of locations that I’d revisit anytime I needed a few extra Runes for a level-up, or after I’d lost a whole bunch of Runes and wanted to recoup my loss.

While I can’t promise these are the absolute best Rune farming spots in the game, I can promise that they’re simple, consistent and effective, particularly if you’re willing to grind for an hour or two.

Early-game Rune farming: Warmaster’s Shack 

elden ring

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Early on in Elden Ring, you’ll come across a location called the Warmaster’s Shack. Here, you can purchase Ashes of War from a merchant named Knight Bernahl. This is good to know, but what’s even better is what you can find if you venture to the southeast. There, you’ll find five deadly Troll Warriors, each of which drops 1,000 Runes upon defeat.

I’ve written a separate guide to earning early Runes in Elden Ring with this method, but here’s the basic gist: Fast-travel to the Warmaster’s Shack Site of Grace. Ride to the southeast. Fight the Troll Warriors, one at a time, preferably on horseback. They’re relatively tough foes for low-level characters, but they have a pretty predictable attack pattern, and they’ll get a little bit easier each time you level up. Furthermore, it’s easy to recover your Runes if you die, since can isolate the enemies and focus on one at a time.

This approach admittedly has limitations, as 5,000 Runes per run will only take you so far. But if you’re beefing up to fight Margit the Fell Omen, this is the place to do it. 

elden ring

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Mid-game Rune farming: Leyndell East Capital Ramparts 

Elden Ring does a pretty good job leading you from the beginning of the game all the way through the boss fight with Queen Rennala. After that, though, you’ll have to make your way to the capital city of Leyndell, and that’s quite a trek.

If you want to find a lot of Runes between Liurnia and Leyndell, your best bet is probably just to explore, since the world opens up considerably around this point in the game. But once you reach Leyndell, you’ll find another good spot for Rune farming: the East Capital Ramparts.

The East Capital Ramparts are the entrance to Leyndell, and the Runes can stack up surprisingly quickly, if you’re methodical and careful. You’ll start off by working your way through a gauntlet of simple mushroom-like enemies called Envoys, then a guard in a parapet, followed by more envoys, followed by another guard. The big source of Runes, however, is the fire-breathing gargoyle, which you can destroy from behind.

When you take the elevator down, you can use target lock to find and dispatch some additional humanoid foes, who probably won’t have enough time to fight back. You can also destroy a Perfumer if you run up to her quickly enough.

Anything past that is up to you, since the next area contains deadly Leyndell Knights and a room with two Perfumers and a much tougher guard. But even if you just make that run and teleport back to the Site of Grace, you’ll probably have earned between 10,000 and 13,000 Runes.

Late-game Rune farming: Mohgwyn Palace Approach Ledge-Road 

elden ring

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Lastly, when you’re strong enough to reach Mohgwyn Palace, there’s a Site of Grace at the Approach Ledge-Road that will be your primary source of Runes until you complete the game. Getting to Mohgwyn Palace is an odyssey in and of itself, since you’ll need to either complete Varré’s player-versus-player (PvP) questline, or make your way to the optional and hard-to-reach Consecrated Snowfield. The Elden Ring wiki has more details.

Either way, once you reach the Approach Ledge-Road, rest at the Site of Grace. You’ll find yourself next to a long line of Albinauric soldiers, but here’s the catch: Most of them are asleep, and won’t respond until you attack them. Once you do, you can dispatch them in a few hits, and each one is worth about 2,000 Runes.

There’s also a way to earn a solid 10,000 Runes right next to the Site of Grace. Simply pull out a bow, look toward the distant lake, and strike the giant crow. It will run toward you, but won’t be able to clear the gap, and fall to its death.

Between the crow and the Albinaurics, you can earn 30,000 or 40,000 Runes per run. Just be aware that there’s a large group of Albinauric soldiers toward the bottom of the path. You can fight them if you want — they also drop quite a few Runes — but they can be tough to take on as a group.

Of course, if you really want to maximize your Rune earnings, you’ll want the Golden Scarab as well.

How to find the Golden Scarab 

elden ring

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

The Golden Scarab in Elden Ring is like the Covetous Silver Serpent ring in the Dark Souls series. Simply put, it increases the amount of Runes you earn by a staggering 20%. This adds up quickly, particularly if you’re using the farming methods above.

Just be aware that while the Golden Scarab isn’t unduly hard to find, it is tucked away in a difficult-to-reach dungeon, behind a tough boss fight.

The first thing you’ll want to do is find the Abandoned Cave mini-dungeon in Caelid. You’ll have to complete a tricky platforming challenge to get there; once again, the Elden Ring wiki is a good resource for the specifics.

The Abandoned Cave is a pretty straightforward dungeon, although you’ll have to be cautious of Scarlet Rot. At the end, you’ll fight two Cleanrot Knights: one with a sickle and one with a spear. If you’re not used to fighting multiple Cleanrot Knights at once, consider using a Spirit Ash summon or calling another player into your world. While the fight is tricky for solo players, it’s much more manageable with a partner.

Once you defeat the knights, the Golden Scarab is all yours. Equip it, and watch the Runes flow in.

Also check out the 10 best games to play after Elden Ring and how to beat Starscourge Radahn in Elden Ring.

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.