How to Upgrade Weapons in Elden Ring? [Materials, Ashes, Types]

Dejan Cvetnarevic
Dejan Cvetnarevic

Updated · Nov 25, 2022

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Elden Ring can be quite challenging, but it can become much easier once you learn how to upgrade your weapons.

Therefore, in this article, we’ll go over everything there is to know about how to upgrade weapons in Elden Ring, so keep on reading.

How to Upgrade Weapons in Elden Ring

Upgrading your weapons in Elden Ring can be a bit tricky. In order to be enhanced, each weapon requires a sufficient number of Smithing Stones (or Somber Smithing Stones) and Runes.

In addition to this, Whetblades are special items that allow you to apply Ashes of War to your weapons, changing their Weapon Skill moveset and affinities like attribute scaling and other stats.

This level of customization and complexity is what made Elden Ring one of the most anticipated games of 2022.

Where to Upgrade Weapons in Elden Ring?

The main locations in Elden Ring to upgrade your weapon are the Church of Elleh and Roundtable Hold:

Church of Elleh

Early on in Elden Ring, you can start leveling your weapons by using lower-value Smithing Stones and a smithing table. The Church of Elleh smithing table is located, right next to Merchant Kalé.

By interacting with it and exchanging Smithing Stones and Runes, you'll be able to strengthen your weapons up to +3, which is the maximum upgrade level this table offers.

Master Hewg at Roundtable Hold

Elden Ring players who want to upgrade weapons past +3 can do that with the help of Blacksmith Hewg, which is located at the Roundtable Hold.

Once you’re there, just head right of the main room, and you’ll spot the Smithing Master Hewg, who can upgrade your weapons up to +10 or +25, depending on the weapon. Remember, you’ll also need to exchange Runes and Smithing materials to get the upgrade.

smithing master Hewg working at his bench in Roundtable Hold in Elden Ring

image credit: eldenring.fandom.com | Smithing Master Hewg — a blacksmith that can be found at the Roundtable Hold

You can also upgrade Staffs and Sacred Seals if you want to use Sorceris or Incantations.

Rest of the world

Smithing tables can be found all around the world, and you can use them to upgrade your weapons yourself, but you won’t be able to fully upgrade them as Blacksmith Hewg can.

Even though armor sets are not upgradeable, you can upgrade Shields along side weapons as well.

FromSoftware games go on sale regularly on Steam, so keep an eye out for the upcoming Steam sale dates.

Items for Weapon Upgrades in Elden Ring

Like we mentioned above, these are the main items that can be used to upgrade weapons:

  • Smithing Stones
  • Somber Smithing Stones
  • Ancient Dragon Smithing Stones
  • Somber Ancient Dragon Smithing Stone
  • Whetblades

Smithing Stones

Elden Ring weapon upgrades require a sufficient number of Smithing Stones which are rare, valuable minerals used by blacksmiths to empower your gear.

You can find nine different tiers of Smithing Stones throughout the Lands Between, and the max upgrade limit you can reach with them is +25. To upgrade a weapon to the max, you’ll have to use Ancient Dragon Smithing Stone, which is quite rare to find, so be careful how you use it.

elden ring ancient dragon smithing stone material

Image credit: eldenring.fandom.com | Ancient Dragon Smithing Stone (reinforces weapons up to +25)

Here is a table of all Smithing Stone tiers and their upgrade levels:

Smithing Stone Tier Upgrade Level
Smithing Stone (1) Reinforces weapons to +3
Smithing Stone (2) Reinforces weapons to +6
Smithing Stone (3) Reinforces weapons to +9
Smithing Stone (4) Reinforces weapons to +12
Smithing Stone (5) Reinforces weapons to +15
Smithing Stone (6) Reinforces weapons to +18
Smithing Stone (7) Reinforces weapons to +21
Smithing Stone (8) Reinforces weapons to +24
Ancient Dragon Smithing Stone Reinforces weapons to +25

Smithing Stones can be found almost anywhere in the Lands Between, but tunnels are the best place to look for them.

Early in the game, you can find Smithing Stone (1) at the smithing table at Church of Elleh — the one that can help you upgrade your weapon up to +3.

From there, you can find Smithing Stones in different game areas, including Limgrave, Stormhill, and Stormveil Castle, as well as in late-game areas, such as the Sealed Tunnel and Zamor Ruins.

Smithing Stones can also be purchased by offering items called Bell Bearings to the Twin Maiden Husks at the Roundtable Hold. By doing this, you’ll be able to buy all the Smithing Stones you want, except for Ancient Dragon Stones.

You'll want to stack up on Smithing materials if you opt to go for a Power stance, since you'll need double the materials to upgrade both of your weapons.

Somber Smithing Stones

You can also use Somber Smithing Stones to level up weapons in Elden Ring. Somber Smithing Stones are even rarer than the regular Smithing Stones, but the upgrading process is a little more straightforward as they require fewer upgrades to fully max out the gear’s effectiveness.

There are ten tiers of Somber Smithing Stones, including the Somber Ancient Dragon Smithing Stone, which is available toward the end of the Elden Ring game and can upgrade weapons to +10 (max upgrading level).

elden ring somber ancient dragon smithing stone

Image credit: eldenring.fandom.com | Somber Ancient Dragon Smithing Stone

Here are all of the Somber Smithing Stone tiers and their upgrading levels:

Somber Smithing Stone tier Upgrade level
Somber Smithing Stone (1) Reinforces weapons to +1
Somber Smithing Stone (2) Reinforces weapons to +2
Somber Smithing Stone (3) Reinforces weapons to +3
Somber Smithing Stone (4) Reinforces weapons to +4
Somber Smithing Stone (5) Reinforces weapons to +5
Somber Smithing Stone (6) Reinforces weapons to +6
Somber Smithing Stone (7) Reinforces weapons to +7
Somber Smithing Stone (8) Reinforces weapons to +8
Somber Smithing Stone (9) Reinforces weapons to +9
Somber Ancient Dragon Smithing Stone Reinforces weapons to +10

Like Smithing Stones, the Somber Smithing Stones are scattered around the world, so you can find them in many different locations; you just need to explore thoroughly and defeat the enemies.

Early on in Elden Ring, you can find Somber Smithing Stones in several locations in West Limgrave, including the Limgrave Tunnels and Waypoint Ruins. As you progress, you should look for them in places such as Raya Lucaria Crystal Tunnel, Sealed Tunnel, Nokron, and many more.

Moreover, if you find Bell Bearings, you’ll be able to purchase an unlimited number of Somber Smithing Stones from Twin Maiden Husks at the Roundtable Hold or Smithing Master Iji in Liurnia.

While both Smithing Stones and Somber Smiting Stones in Elden Ring are for upgrading weapons, there is a difference between them. Namely, Smithing Stones in Elden Ring are required to upgrade your regular weapons from standard to up to +25. Usually, these are weapons that can be purchased, dropped by enemies, or found in treasure chests.

On the other hand, Somber Smithing Stones are an upgrade material specifically for Remembrance weapons and weapons with unique attributes. They can be found in treasure chests or by defeating a boss. And while special weapons can only go to +10, each level is more of a power boost compared to standard weapons and stones.

NPCs tend to offer items based on the decisions you make during your interactions with them. One such NPC is Patches.

Whetblades

Whetblades are unique key items that are part of the Ash of War game mechanic of Elden Ring and can grant up to three Ash of War Affinities. There are a total of six Whetblades you can find in the Lands Between, and each can be used for upgrading and modifying your weapon.

The very first Whetblade you’ll get your hands on is Whetstone Knife — the most basic Whetblade that can be found early on in the game near Gatefront Ruins in Limgrave.

As you progress through the game, you can collect other Whetblades and expand your customization options.

elden ring whetblade

Image credit: eldenring.fandom.com | Whetstone Knife — the most basic Whetblade found at Gatefront Ruins in Limgrave

Here’s a full list of Elden Ring’s Whetblades, what affinities they unlock, and where you can find them.

Whetblades Affinity Location
Whetstone Knife Standard Gatefront Ruins
Iron Whetblade Quality, Keen, Heavy Stormveil Castle
Glintstone Whetblade Magic, Cold Academy of Raya Lucaria in Liurnia
Red-Hot Whetblade Fire, Flame Art Redmane Castle, South Caelid
Sanctified Whetblade Sacred, Lightning Fortified Manor, Leyndell
Black Whetblade Poison, Blood, Occult Nokron, Eternal City

Aside from sprinting in Elden Ring, there are Ashes of War that help you swiftly move around like the Bloodhound's Step.

Weapon Upgrade Types in Elden Ring

One of the ways of upgrading weapons in Elden Ring is through affinities. These special skills allow you to alter the attribute scaling and increase your weapon’s damage.

Every weapon in the game you’ve picked up, purchased, or crafted has affinities. There are 12 affinities in Elden Ring, including the standard (no affinity), and they all have different effects on the weapon.

Here’s a rundown on how each affinity works in Elden Ring:

  • Standard — The Standard affinity is the default weapon state in Elden Ring. Each weapon has its own default scaling.
  • Heavy — The Heavy affinity enhances the strength scaling, but it reduces the scaling on all the other attributes.
  • Keen — With this affinity, you’ll get an increased dexterity scaling on the weapon at the expense of all other attributes. The Keen affinity can be applied to swords, katanas, greatswords, double-edged swords, spears, and great spears.
  • Quality — The Quality affinity will enhance the weapon’s dexterity and strength scaling while decreasing all the other attribute scalings. You can use this affinity on swords, katanas, greatswords, curved and double-edged swords, spears, great spears, hammers, and axes.
  • Magic — If you want to boost the intelligence scaling of the weapon by splitting it with both physical and magical damage, you can opt for the Magic affinity, but remember that your weapon’s default scaling will be reduced. You can apply this affinity to swords, katanas, greatswords, curved and double-edged swords, spears and great spears, hammers, and axes.
  • Fire — The Fire will increase your weapon’s physical/fire damage at the expense of its default scaling.
  • Lightning — This will improve the weapon’s dexterity scaling and add both physical and lightning damage while decreasing the default scaling of the weapon. A lightning affinity is an option for swords, katanas, greatswords, curved and double-edged swords, spears, great spears, hammers, and axes.
  • Sacred — The Sacred affinity increases faith scaling and adds both physical and holy damage to the weapon at the cost of all other attributes’ scalings. It can only be used on small and regular shields.
  • Poison — This affinity gives the weapon ability to make poison attacks and enhances strength, dexterity, and arcane scaling.
  • Blood — This affinity increases the arcane scaling and enables the weapon to make bleed attacks but weakens the default scaling.
  • Cold — The Cold affinity reduces the weapon’s default scaling but enhances the intelligence scaling and allows you to attack the enemies with frostbite.
  • Occult — The Occult affinity also reduces the weapon’s default scaling, but it increases arcane scaling and prevents undead enemies from auto-revive.

To upgrade a weapon in Elden Ring in any other manner besides the standard, you’ll need to apply Ashes of Waritems that can be found in the Lands Between, dropped by bosses, or sold by merchants.

And to apply the Ash of War in Elden Ring to enhance your weapon, you’ll also need Whetstones. By using them, you’ll be able to upgrade weapons in Elden Ring with affinities and other effects, depending on the type of Ashes you use.

Did you know? If you're lacking enough points in a skill that would make you unable to wield certain weapons or shields, you can respec your character.

Bottom Line

So, how to upgrade weapons in Elden Ring?

Early on in the game, you can make basic upgrades using Smithing Stones, Runes and a smithing table. As you progress, you’ll need to locate the Blacksmith Hewg to further enhance your weapon's strength.

In the meantime, you can additionally unlock special skills called affinities to upgrade the weapons, for which you’ll need Ashes of War and Whetblades.

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Dejan Cvetnarevic

Dejan Cvetnarevic

Dejan is a techie at heart who always dreamed of turning his fascination with gaming into a career. He finds working for TechJury a perfect opportunity to express his views of all kinds of different software. Being an avid reader, particularly of fantasy and sci-fi, Dejan pursued a degree in English Language and Literature. When not at his computer, he’s watching sports or playing tabletop games.

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