9 Life Lessons I Learned While Playing Elden Ring

By Matthew McCallister   
Last Updated on March 22, 2022

I'm not gonna sugarcoat it...

I am a total fantasy nerd who loves video games!

Between college and my desk job, day-to-day life can be pretty busy, but I usually find a little bit of time on the weekends to play video games. 

The big one that just came out is this open world game called "Elden Ring". It is basically a world full of giant, crazy difficult enemies and your goal is to beat them all and become the "Elden Lord" (I know, it is incredibly nerdy).

That being said... the game often feels impossible to beat. I played all weekend and couldn't get past the first main boss. But, in my quest to beat him, I learned many (often hard and frustrating) lessons from the game  that I think can be applied to the real world.

#1 Be Humble

In this game, everything with a pulse can easily kill you. There is never a situation where you see an enemy and say to yourself 

"I can take them, no problem!"

...then they kill you for the fifth time and you're cussing at your screen...

run away

Respect for your enemies and the  world is imperative if you wanna win. So, you should always enter a fight with a certain level of humility and respect that they can kill you if you screw up. 

Real Life Application:

Now in the real world, You will be encountered with all sorts daunting and seemingly impossible hurdles.

Stuff like:

  • Financial Instability
  • Earning a Degree or Certification
  • Business & Legal Trouble
  • Relationship Drama
  • Mental and Physical Health Issues

Without proper respect for each situation, any one of those hurdles could ruin your life if you let it. Lots of people ignore their problems because they are afraid or ignorant of reality. They think that if they avoid those issues long enough, then they will go away. 

We all know that isn't true!

The best thing to do is to be humble enough acknowledge that those problems exist and are serious. From there, you are in the best headspace to overcome those hurdles.

#2 Don't Panic or Freak Out

One of the things that I quickly learned when playing this game was how panic is your biggest enemy. The minute you start panicking and spamming the roll button to escape, the enemy has already won.

The key to winning (or at least putting up a good fight) is to keep calm even when you have run out of health potions or get trapped in a corner.

Keep cool

Also, when you do lose, don't scream, cuss, or weep to the heavens for vengeance. It is just a video game, nothing you do in this video game will lead to any consequences or reward in your actual life.

Also, in the event of an embarrassing or frustrating death, you shouldn't cuss, scream, or smash your controller. Games like this are intentionally difficult, and "raging" is just a way of showing that you can't separate the game from reality.

When I get pissed at the game, I will take a break doing something else that relaxes me and brings me joy.

I decompress with simple stuff like:

  • Walking the Dog
  • Reading a Book
  • Cooking Something I Like
  • Even Taking a Nap

Take a breath... It's not that deep!

Real Life Application:

Why does anyone freak out when things go bad and lash out when things fail? Because they care.

Because they are emotionally invested in the goal, which is perfectly fine. However, there is a big difference between investment and obsession. 

No matter how hard you fail or how devastating a loss may seem, take things into perspective:

  • No one died
  • The world will keep spinning 
  • Your loved ones will still love you

One of the best words of wisdom that I have ever received was 

"Don't lose sleep over things you can't control, but focus on what you can control."

#3 Use Failure as an Opportunity to Learn

When playing Elden Ring, failure is inevitable and extremely frequent. You have two options when you die in this game

  1.  Whine and blame everyone except yourself
  2.  Analyze the failure and figure out what went wrong

Option 1 will get you nowhere in this game. Figuring out what you did wrong also teaches you what you can then do instead next time you fight some giant boss.

The name of the game is "Trial and Error". You aren't expected to win a fight on the first, third, or even fifth try. The trick is to experiment with different approaches, emulate what works, and avoid what doesn't.

Real Life Application:

One thing that we should always do is look back on our failures as a tool, and not just a sore memory.

  • What did I do wrong? 
  • How was that mistake made?
  • What was the correct option?
  • How can I avoid making that mistake again, and ensure success?

They say that failure is the best teacher, and as humans, we are doomed to constantly fail. But that also means that we are blessed to get wiser every time we fail.

With a little bit of humility, you can take something as embarrassing as failure and use that knowledge for future success.

#4 Commit to Your Strengths

The thing about becoming good at Elden ring is that there isn't a sure-fire method. The best technique is to choose a "build" and commit to become as powerful in that build as you possibly can.

The Most Common Builds Are:

  • Magic
  • Strength
  • Speed/Dexterity
  • Some Hybrid of Those Three
block this

Your best bet is to decide early on what you want to build your character to be and commit to that build. If you try and become a "jack of all trades" then you're just gonna plateau and be mediocre at everything.

If you want to be a Knight, put all your points into strength, endurance, dexterity, and health.

If you want to be a wizard, put all of your points into faith and magic.

Real Life Application:

In the real world, we aren't exactly able to decide on a dime what we are good at and what we are bad at like in a video game. However, if you can pinpoint those things that you are great at, you can optimize and often monetize those skills by focusing on honing those skills.

Let's say that I am really passionate about coding, but I have a really weak back and hate working outside. I see two job openings:

  1. Entry Level Website Developer ($25/hr)
  2. Construction Worker ($25/hr)

 I would stand to make more money at that software job compared to a construction job even if both pay the same. I know that I am better at coding than I am at manual labor, and I have the potential to really apply myself and climb up at the first job.

#5 The Best Growth is Through Real Experience

One of the main ways you will spend time in the game is endlessly grinding to make your warrior better, faster, and stronger so that you have the best chance against the next boss you run into.

That means

  • Scour the map for the best weapons and armor
  • Kill anything that moves and collect the XP
  • Do every side mission that you can

However, when you do this, you will quickly find yourself getting better at the basic fighting and come back not just stronger, but also smarter and more experienced.

You look for easy XP and end up learning about skills and techniques that you had never even knew existed, which drastically improves your chances against the big baddies.

Real Life Application:

If you want to become, then do!

  • If you wanna be a blogger, make a blog and get started Today!
  • If you want to be a software engineer, write programs in your free time and look for every internship and shadowing opportunity you can!

Nothing good will ever just fall on your lap. You wanna master something? go out and immerse yourself in that subject. Statistically, it takes about 8 years for anyone to be considered a "master" at anything.

If you want to master something, make it a part of you and embrace the grind that comes along with it.

#6 Assessing Risks Over Reward

When you travel the world, you will collect these things called runes, which are essentially coins that you can use to either purchase gear or level yourself up. However, if you die in the game, all of your runes die with you, as well.

That means that when you see a boss who will more than likely kill you a ton of times, you should make sure you are willing to lose the runes you have collected in exchange for the potential reward of killing that boss.

Real Life Application:

Every day, we make risk-reward assessments. The trick is to have your priorities straight and keep a realistic expectation of what those rewards will actually be. Things like:

  • Taking out a loan for your business
  • Dedicate several years of your life getting a higher education
  • Investing in businesses or assets
  • Even getting on the highway to see your Girlfriend is a risk assessment

Each of these examples have two aspects, risk and reward. The nature of life is a series of risk-reward assessments, and often we get those assessments wrong. The goal is to both know what you want to get out of taking the risk, and be willing to live with the worst case scenario when the risk becomes a reality.

Minimize your risk as much as you can before taking it, but don't fear taking those risks, because that is how life works.

#7 Reach Out to Your Friends and Peers

Another aspect of this game that has made it so popular is that it has such a large community of players and fans that help each other out. The game doesn't really tell you everything that you need to know right away, so engaging with the Elden Ring community is really important. 

I remember one time where I watched someone's video of them beating the same boss I was stuck on. By watching their video, I was able to see what moves and weapons they used to beat it, which helped me beat that boss as well.

Another great feature in this game is multiplayer co-op. You and your friends can "join forces" and take on the harder bosses together, making the fights that a bit easier.

You know what they say... "Team-Work Makes the Dream-Work!"

Real Life Application:

In real life, you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with. A lot of people think that they can't engage with people in the same field as them because they are "competitors".

That couldn't be farther from the truth! 

The world is big enough for more than one blogger, entrepreneur, etc.

Picking a good partner is integral to achieving success, and unless you have the drive, brains, and productivity of several people, working alone is only gonna do a disservice to you and your goals. 

Working for yourself doesn't mean you have to work by yourself!

#8 The Fight Isn't Over Til It's Over

One of the best things I can recommend to a new Elden Ring Player is this: NEVER Give Up!

No matter how low your health is, no matter how strong the boss is, if you are still alive, there is still a great chance that you will win if you don't give up. just trust your fundamentals and keep trying until either you or the boss is dead.

This game rewards people who aren't afraid of failure and refuse to give up!

Real Life Application:

This is a pretty straightforward lesson that we all learned at an early age, but need to constantly remember. "It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings!" Fortune favors the bold, but it also favors those who never stop and stick with their goals.

CONSISTENCY is the heart of success; even more-so than grit and determination.

If you chase after some ambition, it will feel hopeless at times. The beautiful part is that if you never give up, even if you fail, you will be able to hold your head high and say you gave it your all.

Failure is just the beginning for the kind of people who keep at it no matter what.

#9 Take Time To Celebrate Every Victory

This is the part that makes Elden Ring so addictive: finally winning!

That rush you get when you finally take down that boss you've been stuck on for literally days is euphoric. For a brief second, you feel like you could take on the entire world!

In Elden Ring, those moments are hard earned and rare, so make sure you stop and savor that moment because you don't know the next time you will be able to celebrate like that again.

Real Life Application:

Just like in Elden Ring, success is a precious commodity, and it is hard earned. Hard work without celebration is just slavery, and at the end of the day, you accomplished that goal for you and no one else.

Every sacrifice, roadblock, and doubter didn't stop you!

So live it up, you've earned it!

About the author, Matthew McCallister

Matthew is a professional blogger and content marketer. He is a student at The Ohio State University, where he is currently pursuing a degree in Computer Science. His favorite hobbies include weightlifting, hiking with his dog, and playing video games.

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