In many ways Elden Ring is clearly the next step in the Dark Souls series. The combat is nearly identical but improved, the level design is just as intricate and devious, the enemies and bosses are just as tough, and so much more. The world and lore of The Lands Between are brimming with secrets, items, and even characters hidden within its nooks and crannies that can make your quest to reclaim the Elden Ring easier. You will eventually even be able to call upon a cast of fallen allies to aid you in battle as well.
Spirits are a new type of item in Elden Ring that straddle the line between being an item and a spell. They all cost FP — your magic meter — to use, but can be equipped in an item slot and don't need a catalyst to be cast. They are also different from normal NPC summons that typically only appear outside of boss arenas to help you in the major battles. There are plenty of these new spirits to find and summon to help you on your journey, but just finding the item itself won't let you summon them. Because the game isn't going to tell you outright, here's how to summon spirits in Elden Ring.
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Depending on what route you choose to take when starting off your adventure in Elden Ring, you can very easily pick up a spirit or two before knowing how to use them. The items themselves don't give any clues, and the game is as vague as ever when it comes to tutorializing them. You can try equipping them, but even with enough FP, you will never be able to call them out until you get a key item called the Spirit Calling Bell. Here's how to get your hands on it.
Step 1: Meet Melina and unlock your horse, Torrent. If you just follow the natural progression the first couple of Sites of Grace lead you, around the third one you visit you will encounter Melina and enter an agreement with her. As part of this deal, she will also give you Torrent to help you traverse this massive landscape.
Step 2: Once you have the ability to call Torrent, you need to backtrack to the Church of Elleh, which was likely the second Site of Grace you touched after exiting the tutorial zone. It's where the merchant that kind of looks like Santa is set up. Just make sure you do so at night. If it isn't night when you get there, pass time until it is and then fast-travel back there.
Step 3: Once you're at the church at night, you will notice a new NPC resting on a broken wall. This is Renna the witch. Speak to her and she will ask if you're Torrent's owner now. Say you are and she will give you the Spirit Calling Bell, plus the Lone Wolf Ashes, a great summon, for free.
Now that you have all the tools, you can summon spirits at (almost) any time!
Step 1: Equip your summon of choice in whatever slot you like.
Step 2: Whenever you're in an area where you see a glowing gravestone icon in the bottom left of the screen, you can summon your spirits as long as you have enough FP.
Step 3: Be aware that you can only summon a spirit once before you need to regain your charge by resting at a Site of Grace, even if you have enough FP to summon them more than that.
You don't need to equip or do anything with the Spirit Calling Bell. As long as you've acquired it, your character will automatically ring it to summon the spirit you have equipped and ready. We expect plenty of weird, hidden things in Elden Ring, but this one is so easily missed for a main mechanic that it almost seems unfair. Hopefully calling a pack of spectral wolves makes your next boss fight go a little easier.
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