There are plenty of areas in Elden Ring that are extremely dark, making the torch an indispensable tool in the mines, tunnels, and various other underground sites common in the Lands Between.
The torch shows enemies who would otherwise be completely obscured in darkness, makes it easy to avoid getting lost in caves and at night, and can also be used as a weapon. Appropriately enough, the torch does a lot of damage against enemies who are weak to fire. It can also be raised high in the air when equipped in the left hand to illuminate an even broader area.
Luckily, a torch is available for purchase in the very early game of Elden Ring. Merchant Kalé at the Church of Elleh sells a torch for a mere 200 runes, an absolute steal considering the utility of the item.
There’s also a lantern available to players willing to hoof it a little further. The Isolated Merchant, located in the far southwestern corner of the Weeping Peninsula south of the main landmass of Limgrave, sells a lantern for 1,800 runes. But the lantern isn’t strictly necessary.
Once players buy a torch, the basic problem of illuminating dark areas has been solved. The light that the lantern provides isn’t as potent as the torch, and the tiny little tool can’t be used as a weapon. But the lantern allows players to use a shield or offhand weapon while still providing a decent amount of illumination. It also doesn’t take up a weapon slot and looks nice hung on some armor sets to boot. It’s worth it to buy both items.