Elden Ring‘s Level Up system, unlike most other FromSoftware games, does not make it clear how to spend Runes to level up your character right away, as the choice is missing early in the game.
If you want to begin leveling up your character, you have to visit a specific Site of Grace and speak to Melina, who will be waiting for you.
So if you’re wondering how to level up in Elden Ring, here is where to find Melina and how to get to her as quickly as possible
Elden Ring Leveling Up System – How To Unlock
Let’s start with the very beginning of the game. Follow the path out of the church you are spawned in, pass the bridge, and you’ll encounter the first boss.
You’re most likely going to die in 2 hits, and that’s the point of it.
Next, you will spawn in a cave, so open the door near the staircase, and you shall find your first Site of Grace.
After you touch your first Site of Grace, go to the west of the chamber and take the elevator up to get outside of the ruins into Limgrave.
Ahead of you is the second Site of Grace.
After you touch your second Site of Grace, look to the north.
You should see in the distance two towers right next to each other (check the image below).
That’s the Castle Gate you need to get to.
On your way to the Castle Gate pictured above, try to avoid fighting the enemies you encounter.
Just keep running until you reach the gate. Once you get there, you should easily spot another Site of Grace. Interact with it, and a cutscene starts.
Accept Melina’s help during the cutscene – if you refuse by accident, you can accept it again – to receive the ability to level up at future Grace sites.
This interaction will also allow you to call Torrent, unlocking Elden Ring‘s horse, making it much easier to explore the land.
Level Up Guide – How To Spend Runes
By defeating enemies, you will gain some form of resource. In Dark Souls, you get Souls, in Bloodborne, you get Blood Echoes, and in Elden Ring, you get Runes.
Runes serve as both experience points (XP) and a form of currency. You can spend them to improve your strength and dexterity, as well as to purchase a sword from a blacksmith, for instance.
Keep in mind that you won’t be able to store this resource in any type of permanent inventory. You’ll lose your entire hoard if you die.
As a result, rather than accumulating Runes, you are encouraged to use them before you are inevitably killed. You do this by resting at these checkpoints called “Site of Grace”.
Here you can spend your Runes on different stats, such as Vigor (which influences your maximum HP) or Strength (which influences how much damage you inflict with certain weapons).
After you’ve finished unlocking the Elden Ring Leveling Up option, return to the Church of Elleh (check out this location guide first), where Renna the Witch should be waiting.
She can grant you the Spirit Calling Bell, which allows you to summon spirit ashes to help you in combat (you can learn how to use it here).