One aspect of the Souls games that doesn’t get talked about too much, but is one of the most beloved features by fans, is just how many options there are for different weapons and armors. With two major exceptions — Bloodborne and Sekiro — FromSoftware games somehow pack in dozens upon dozens of different styles of equipment that all have different stats, moves, special abilities, and requirements. Elden Ring, being the studio’s largest game by a wide margin, has even more space to fill with all these items. It’s safe to say that the weapon variety is what makes these games so replayable.
The variety of weapons is again outstanding in Elden Ring, with everything from typical swords, spears, and axes, to weirder options like whips and claws available to be wielded. Armor also runs the gamut of styles. In past Souls games, every weapon and armor also had a durability stat that would need to be monitored or else they would become next to useless. This was another one of those hidden mechanics you probably never knew about until you got a warning, and even then it was unclear what it meant or what to do about it. Elden Ring is just as cryptic with its inner workings as past Souls games, but does it have armor and weapon durability? We have the answer.
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Weapon durability, or rather it running out, was always a major pain in past Souls games. You would be going along fighting enemies or, worse, be in the middle of a boss fight, only to get the alert that your weapon was at risk. Every hit your weapon took, no matter if it was against an enemy or the environment, would chip away at its durability until it was low enough to warn you. When that happened, you would have to either use an item that restored durability, or travel all the way back to a blacksmith and pay to repair it. These repairs cost next to nothing, and felt like a waste of time. But you couldn’t ignore it, because if your weapon broke, you were better off fighting bare handed.
Depending on the game, durability was always hard to track, and hardly consistent. Thankfully, in Elden Ring, you don’t have to worry about your weapon going dull on you. There’s no weapon durability or repairs in this game, only upgrades. Feel free to swing away at every wall with a sign in front of it that says it’s illusory (but it never is).
What about your armor? Armor breaking can be almost as bad as your weapon, and is probably harder to notice. Again, Elden Ring does away with this archaic system and makes your armor stay in pristine shape no matter how many battles you take it through. Once you find the set you like, you’re free to upgrade it and rock that set for as long as you want without it breaking.
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