Elden Ring: How To Upgrade Weapons - Smithing Stones Explained

You won’t stand a chance unless you upgrade your weapons.

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Elden Ring, From Software’s latest action-RPG, is the biggest game the studio has ever made. It's also brutally difficult, including some of the early boss fights, and you can help to manage them by upgrading your weapon. Doing so, however, is not made clear at first by the game itself, which is typical of From Software. That's where we come in, as we'll break down exactly how to upgrade weapons in Elden Ring, including those that make use of Somber Smithing Stones.

How to upgrade weapons in Elden Ring

Excluding the weapon itself, there are two things you need to begin enhancing swords, shields, staves, axes, etc. You’ll need a type of Smithing Stone and a smithing table, both of which can be discovered fairly early on in the game.

The first smithing table is found right at the beginning of the game at the Church of Elleh. To the left of the merchant at this location is the smithing table. If you interact with it, you’ll see that you can “strengthen armament.” From here, you’ll be able to upgrade weapons and shields up to +3. That’s the maximum this smithing table will take you, so to upgrade past +3, you’ll need to visit the blacksmith, Smithing Master Hewg, at the Roundtable Hold. From here, the process is the same as before: Use the required type and number of Smithing Stones to upgrade your weapon up to +10 or +25, depending on the weapon.

For the purposes of upgrading, there are two weapon types: Normal and Special. The Normal weapons require regular Smithing Stones, while the Special ones need Somber Smithing Stones. A Normal weapon can be upgraded to +25, while Special weapons cap out at +10. Keep in mind, Special Weapons are typically rewarded for defeating bosses or uncovering secrets.

The smithing table at the Church of Elleh
The smithing table at the Church of Elleh

Not only does upgrading a weapon increase its base damage output, but it also improves scaling. Weapons scale with certain stats, and the better the scaling, the more a particular stat will impact it. For instance, a weapon that has an E strength scaling level won’t be impacted by the strength stat as much as a weapon with A strength scaling. But, as you upgrade your weapons, this scaling stat will increase.

Below is a breakdown of the Smithing Stone type and what proficiency it can be upgraded to.

Normal Armaments

  • Smithing Stone [1] – Reinforce weapons to +5
  • Smithing Stone [2] – Reinforce weapons to +6
  • Smithing Stone [3] – Reinforce weapons to +9
  • Smithing Stone [4] – Reinforce weapons to +12
  • Smithing Stone [5] – Reinforce weapons to +15
  • Smithing Stone [6] – Reinforce weapons to +18
  • Smithing Stone [7] – Reinforce weapons to +21
  • Smithing Stone [8] – Reinforce weapons to +24
  • Smithing Stone [9] – Reinforce weapons to +25

Special Armaments

  • Somber Smithing Stone [1] – Reinforce special weapons to +1
  • Somber Smithing Stone [2] – Reinforce special weapons to +2
  • Somber Smithing Stone [3] – Reinforce special weapons to +3
  • Somber Smithing Stone [4] – Reinforce special weapons to +4
  • Somber Smithing Stone [5] – Reinforce special weapons to +5
  • Somber Smithing Stone [6] – Reinforce special weapons to +6
  • Somber Smithing Stone [7] – Reinforce special weapons to +7
  • Somber Smithing Stone [8] – Reinforce special weapons to +8
  • Somber Smithing Stone [9] – Reinforce special weapons to +9
  • Somber Smithing Stone [10] – Reinforce special weapons to +10

One thing to keep in mind is that you must upgrade weapons in order. For instance, you have to go from +1, to +2, to +3, and so on, meaning you can’t skip around. This might be obvious, but it’s an important detail to be aware of, especially if you’re new to the Souls games.

How to get Smithing Stones

Smithing Stones are scattered around the world, so if you’re thorough, you’ll likely have a collection of them already. There’s a Smithing Stone [1] at the smithing table at Church of Elleh, but you’ll need way more than that to fully upgrade your weapon.

Limgrave Tunnels contain many Smithing Stones [1].
Limgrave Tunnels contain many Smithing Stones [1].

We advise visiting Limgrave Tunnels to collect Smithing Stones [1] so you can get started on the right foot.

There’s also a way to acquire Smithing Stones from merchants. One way is to offer the Smithing-Stone Miner's Bell Bearing to the Twin Maiden Husks at the Roundtable Hold. Doing so will allow you to actually purchase Smithing Stones. It seems you’re able to find multiple Smithing Bells in mines across the map, so be sure to visit the Twin Maidens after you’ve collected some. There are likely other ways that haven’t yet been discovered, and as we learn more, we'll include those details here.

It's possible to skip the first boss altogether, which we cover in a dedicated guide here. For details on classes, and general beginner's tips, we've got you covered as well.

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