Elden Ring Best Starting Path: Where to Go First in The Lands Between

Elden Ring is enormous and filled with things to do and places to explore. This guide details the best starting path you'll want to take to get the most out of your first playthrough.

Elden Ring is enormous and filled with things to do and places to explore. This guide details the best starting path you'll want to take to get the most out of your first playthrough.
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Elden Ring is a massive game, and you can easily spend more than a dozen hours exploring just one of its smaller areas. There are few limits to where you can go and areas you can visit, even from the start, but unless you’ve experienced everything The Lands Between has to offer, you’re better off sticking to certain areas. Once you enter West Limgrave, you may be wondering where to go first and what’s the best starting path.

In this Elden Ring guide, we’ll share with you the best starting path to take and where to go first to get the most out of your initial playthrough.

Where to Go First in Elden Ring: Best Starting Path

You’ll start your Elden Ring experience in West Limgrave, a moderately-sized set of fields, ruins, and lakes. You would do well to spend at least a few hours exploring it, taking on the mini-dungeons and other threats that mark its environs, and defeating any world bosses you come across (of which there are quite a few).

The first such boss you’ll encounter is the Tree Sentinel south of the Church of Elleh, but you should avoid him for the time being. At such a low level, without increasing your attributes or upgrading weapons and gear, he will put you in the ground faster than you can blink. Instead, go north to the Church of Elleh, through the forest, and into the Gatefront Ruins. This path will give you a crash course in enemy fights and exploration.

Don’t go through the large gate to the west of the Ruins initially; that path leads up to Stormveil Castle, but is full of tough enemies. Go east and explore the area around Agheel Lake (where you can get Torrent), the larger Mistwoods, and south until you reach a large bridge, the Bridge of Sacrifice. Turn back if you make it to the bridge.

Once you’ve canvased most of the above areas, head through the Stormgate and into Stormhill. If you follow the path up and to the west, you’re liable to encounter the first story boss, Margit the Fell Omen. Should he give you too much trouble, return to the east and explore the area atop and around Stormhill.

Before entering Stormveil Castle following the Margit fight, go south over the Bridge of Sacrifice to the Weeping Peninsula. Explore the whole area from Castle Morne at the southern tip of the area to the fields to the west. Doing so will net you valuable experience, runes, upgrade materials, and more.

All that done, return to Stormveil and clear it, a task liable to take several hours at least. Beyond Stormveil, you’ll be greeted with one of the greatest vistas in recent gaming memory, the vast Liurnia of the Lakes.

This large, northern region will open to the rest of the early- and mid-game, and you’ll be going further and further to the north for the foreseeable future.

While you can go further east from Limgrave, it’s not recommended. Enemy health, damage, and complexity vastly increase in the red-stained lands in that direction. You’re liable to get yourself killed quicker and more brutally than the Tree Sentinel ever could.

And that’s what you need to know about the best starting path and where to go first in Elden Ring. The Lands Between are massive, and the choice to go wherever you want is yours to decide. Just know that you may find (more) death along the way should you go a different route to start. For more on Elden Ring, head over to our tips and guides hub right here.

About the author

John Schutt

John Schutt has been playing games for almost 25 years, starting with Super Mario 64 and progressing to every genre under the sun. He spent almost 4 years writing for strategy and satire site TopTierTactics under the moniker Xiant, and somehow managed to find time to get an MFA in Creative Writing in between all the gaming. His specialty is action games, but his first love will always be the RPG. Oh, and his avatar is, was, and will always be a squirrel, a trend he's carried as long as he's had a Steam account, and for some time before that.