How to upgrade normal and special weapons in Elden Ring

Here's how to upgrade your weapon in Elden Ring.

Image via FromSoftware

Elden Ring has many different aspects of character building and customization. One of those is upgrading weapons and Ashes of War. While the process is not particularly evident to the player, upgrading armaments makes the life of a Tarnished more bearable and even more enjoyable. 

The main benefit that comes from upgrading weapons is a higher damage output. Here, we’ll go through the steps involved in upgrading normal and special weapons in the Elden Ring upgrade system.

Upgrading normal weapons

Many weapons in Elden Ring are under the normal upgrade progression system and require regular Smithing Stones for reinforcement.

Smithing Stones

Smithing Stones can be found all around the Lands Between in a variety of ways, including buying them from vendors, looting them from corpses or chests, and even finding them on the walls in a mine shaft. Elden Ring provides several opportunities for players to run into and buy these upgrade materials.

Normal Smithing Stones range from Smithing Stone [1] to Smithing Stone [8] and upgrade normal weapons starting from level zero to 24. The number of stones required for each level increases in quantity and quality as the weapon reinforcement increases. 

For example:

  • Reinforcement to weapon +1 requires two Smithing Stone [1].
  • Reinforcement to weapon +2 requires four Smithing Stone [1].
  • Reinforcement to weapon +3 requires six Smithing Stone [1].
  • Reinforcement to weapon +4 requires two Smithing Stone [2].

This upgrade process continues all the way to weapon +24. At this point, an Ancient Dragon Smithing Stone is required to reinforce the weapon to +25. This is the maximum reinforcement level for normal weapon types.

Upgrading special weapons

Special weapons require Somber Smithing Stones for reinforcement. These weapons tend to be stronger than their normal counterparts and can be advanced to a maximum +10 reinforcement. 

Somber Smithing Stones

Like Smithing Stones, Somber Smithing Stones can be found in many different areas in the game. Players can commonly find them in treasure chests, on corpses, or even buy them from NPC’s. 

Contrary to normal reinforcement, special reinforcement follows a more prototypical upgrade pattern where the quality of the material is equivalent to the quality of the upgrade.

For example:

  • Reinforcement to weapon +1 requires one Somber Smithing Stone [1].
  • Reinforcement to weapon +2 requires one Somber Smithing Stone [2].

This continues until weapon +9 and finishes with a Somber Ancient Dragon Smithing Stone advancing the weapon to a +10 reinforcement.

How to Reinforce

Players can go to a few different characters to reinforce their weapons.

Option One: The Church of Elleh

Just north of the First Step Site of Grace, there are blacksmith tools available to the player to do their own reinforcing. This is decent at the beginning of the game, offering players a way to get their hands on upgraded weapons earlier in their playthrough. Players can reinforce normal and special weapons here until +3 before they need to seek out a blacksmith. 

Option Two: Smithing Master Hewg

Once the player enters the Roundtable Hold, they’ll have access to weapon reinforcements through Smithing Master Hewg. Here, players can reinforce their weapons to completion and even apply Ashes of War to normal weapons.

Option Three: Smithing Master Iji

Smithing Master Iji is another blacksmith NPC that can upgrade the player’s weapons. He can be found on the northwestern side of Liurnia of the Lakes just past the Kingsrealm Ruins next to the Road to the Manor Site of Grace.

Here, players can reinforce their weapons to completion as well as purchase Somber Smithing Stones [1] through [4]. Master Iji offers unlimited Somber Smithing Stones [1] and [2] and a limited number of Somber Smithing Stones [3] and [4].

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