Have you ever heard of Elden Ring soft caps? If this is your first time playing Elden Ring, you may have never known about them, but they are in the game for a few different reasons.
In this article, we are going to explain everything about soft caps. Knowing this information can make your journey through The Lands Between more enjoyable. Let’s strap in, fellow Tarnished!
What is a Soft Cap in Elden Ring?
A soft cap is a point where you reach diminishing returns if you continue to invest in one primary attribute. In other words, the more you spend your runes in an attribute after it reaches the soft cap, the less value each point will provide.
Elden Ring soft caps prevent players from becoming too dominant in one attribute and incentivize spreading more points to other attributes. Without them, players might invest primarily in Vigor stat and become too tanky, even for boss fights.
Soft caps are introduced into Elden Ring and other soul titles by FromSoftware to encourage players to explore the game and use all the mechanics it offers. While the hardcore community expresses that soft caps prevent them from enjoying the game, casuals say otherwise.
Is the Soft Cap a Good Feature in Elden Ring?
Soft caps are a great feature in Elden Ring. Here’s why.
If there is one thing that makes Elden Ring and the soul franchise different, these games offer no guidance. Starting out, Elden Ring throws you into a vast open world with no objectives or markers on the map.
Players explore the open world and learn the hard way through trial and error.
Most casual gamers did not make it to the end bosses because of the unfair difficulty. Others attempt to do so by maxing out their favorite attributes and steamrolling the game’s content.
Knowing this, FromSoftware places systems in their games to prevent you from over-optimizing and missing out on other content. Soft caps are among these hidden mechanics.
Elden Ring is known for its undervalued replayability. The game provides a massive collection of build paths, magics, and skills that the developer spent years adjusting to perfection.
Playing with one build from the beginning to the end can get boring quickly. Players might skip out on the mechanics and weapons that Elden Ring offers and only utilize one build path for optimization.
Elden Ring Soft Caps for Each Attribute
Soft caps limit damage gained by attributes for weapons, spells, and incantations differently.
Now, let’s dive into more details about soft caps. To understand the soft cap better, we need to look at its effect on each attribute, starting with Vigor.
Vigor is the most crucial stat in Elden Ring. It represents your total health points, physical defense, and immunity stat.
Upon leveling, one point in Vigor gives an additional 25HP to your maximum pool. The additional HP gained per level increases by 1 or 2 points until Vigor reaches level 40. At level 40, the first soft cap is in place.
Further points into Vigor gradually decrease the amount of HP gained per level, from +26HP to +13HP at level 60. We recommend not investing runes into Vigor after 60.
Level 60 is the second soft cap. Your character only gains +5-6 HP after level 60. Beyond 90, the low +3-4 HP makes point allocation worthless because late-game items provide better stats.
If you are building a spell caster, Mind is what allows you to fire more spells. It represents your total FP (mana) and Focus stat.
With Mind, you gain 3-4 FP per level until level 20. You gain 8-9 FP per level until level 50. The first soft cap starts at 55, with FP gained per leveldipping until the number reaches 4.
As the name suggests, Endurance governs your total stamina for running, successfully blocking, evading, and performing actions. Endurance stat is essential for smooth, improved gameplay. Melee users need more stamina than ranged casters.
Stamina is soft-capped at level 15/35/50. Stamina’s hard cap begins after level 50, with additional points providing only +0.31 Stamina.
Endurance also determines the max load you can carry. Each piece of equipment has a load rating, adding to the total weight. If the new weapon you found exceeds the total weight your character can carry, you can’t use that weapon.
Equipment load soft cap is different from stamina. You gain +1.6 before level 25, and the hard cap is at level 60. You should only invest in Endurance for equipment load if you are lacking.
If you are a heavy melee user, Strength is your primary damage stat. Strength is the foundation for tanky strongmen, using physical defense and slow but hard-hitting weapons as the playstyle. Weapons that scale with Strength stat are often bulky and two-handed. Soft caps are at 18/55/80.
For magic-melee weapon users, especially those who wield dual swords, Dexterity is second only to Strength in terms of damage. Dexterity does not increase magic, but it increases casting speed, reduces fall damage, and makes you more stable while horse riding. Soft caps for weapon damage are at 18/55/80.
Intelligence improves your spell damage and magic resistance. Upgrading this attribute makes your spells hit harder, and you are more immune to enemies’ spells. Spending runes in Intelligence increases Fire Defense. Soft caps for weapon damage are at 20/50/80. Sorcery rating soft caps are at 60/80.
Faith improves damage from your incantations and allows you to learn advanced incantations. Faith is the stat for weapon buffs and damage buffs. Soft caps are the same as Intelligence.
Arcane is a unique attribute that increases item drop chances and holy defense. Soft caps for weapon damage are at 20/50/80. Soft caps for incantation scaling are at 30/45.
Should You Avoid Soft Caps in Elden Ring?
At this point, you should understand how soft caps work to limit players from dumping all the points into any single stat. The game system tells you to see other attributes as necessary and spread your points across three to four attributes, depending on your character and builds.
Putting points into any attribute after it has reached beyond 90 only makes your character weaker. At this point, the system is screaming, “stop putting points here mate!.”
You should get the memo by now.
Truthfully, Elden Ring soft caps should not be avoided. Instead, we should know where they are and allocate points wisely. For example, soft caps on the Vigor stat are only effective after level 40. Before 40, added points provide an increased return.
What Should Beginners Do Before Approaching the First Soft Cap?
If you are still learning Elden Ring monsters’ attack patterns, it would be best to invest in Vigor to have more sustain. Monsters in Elden Ring hit very hard, and losing health in this game is unforgiving. 40 points in Vigor is plenty to tank a few hits from enemies without instant death.
Upgrading str/dex gives minimal bonuses to your overall damage, so you should focus on survivability with spirit summons in the early game. Weapon damage stacks better with upgrades and buffs.
Until better weapons, we recommend beginners use a hybrid build for easy mob clearing and rune farming. Unlike other RPGs, you only get points by spending runes, a currency in Elden Ring obtained from killing monsters.
Once you are confident with Elden Ring’s enemies, stop allocating points to Vigor and Endurance. Instead, put them into Dexterity and Intelligence, so your skills deal more damage. In the late game, prioritize reaching those soft caps for more damage.
Remember to have a build in mind and upgrade your character with the correct attributes.
Dane started off gaming at the tender age of 3 with the first Atari console. His favorite video game genres are turn-based RPGs (can I get a shout out for Tactics Ogre?) and fighting games. Read more...