Elden Ring: Guide to Soft Caps & Attribute Scaling

Elden Ring rules. Now that might be the coldest take you’ve heard for quite some time, especially looking at some of the hyperbolic headlines which are making the rounds about From Software’s latest title, but there is no denying it. The game is a smash hit, and I am thrilled to be able to talk to basically everyone I know about it, from coworkers to family members, everyone has heard about it, everyone wants to know what is up.

I’ve been a fan of Miyazaki’s work for years, and to see this amount of fanfare fore guy just warms my heart. One of the many, many great things about Elden Ring though is how it is both accessible to newcomers, whilst also being brutally punishing for those looking to rise to the challenge. The From Software team have been unflinching in the face of hype, knowing full well their game isn’t for everybody, and they don’t care.

It is just so good. In the same way that I could never write a review for Persona 5 to do the game justice, I imagine that Elden Ring will be the same. I simply could not bring myself to do it.

If you’re struggling under the weight of the difficulty, or just someone that likes to min-max as much as possible, the following information is sure to help you out. Checking these stat charts will ensure that your level gains reap the highest stat rewards, whatever build you are going for.  

Why do we care about caps in the first place?

A level cap or scaling cap ensures that whenever you cash your hard-earned runes in at a Site of Grace, you are getting the maximum benefit. If you exceed a certain level, you risk getting a suboptimal output for the number of runes you put in to bump any of your attributes. This will all make sense by the end of this, I promise.

What is a soft cap in Elden Ring?

A soft cap, put simply, is a point of diminishing returns for each level you choose to boost for your character. If you are looking to grow your HP bar to be the largest it can possibly be, your progress will be slowed as your spec your character for this build.

Vigor level caps

Since we just mentioned growing your HP, or ‘vigor’ as it is called in Elden Ring, why don’t we have a look at where the soft caps for this attribute lie.

We can see from the chart above that your HP growth accelerates with each point that you put into it, ensuring that you can deal with most of the devastating blows dealt by the often disgusting creatures you’ll face in The Lands Between.

However, when we reach level 40, there is a sharp drop in the amount of HP that is gained each level you put in above that, hence the red line begins to level out. This is our first soft cap. When we hit level 60, we get our second soft cap, which nerfs the reward for each attribute point spent in here even further, up until the max of level 99.

Mind level caps

‘Mind’ is the stat which governs the amount of FP you have. This is used to cast spells, perform your Ashes of War skills and also summon spirits to aid you in battle. Having a large pool of FP is absolutely essential for any spellcaster builds, and some summons cost more than others, meaning you might want to spec a little further in here if you have one in particular partner in mind.

FP gains are fairly consistent as you put your attribute points in, this is until level 55 at least, as which point it drops considerably. This is where the soft cap takes affect and your diminishing returns begin. Anything from level 60 onwards, reaps significantly less gains each level.

Endurance level caps

Endurance is a funny one, since this attribute actually controls two vital meters when it comes to your character – equipment load and stamina. Equipment load allows for you to wear more gear, meaning that if you want to wear some sick looking armour, you’ll want some points in here. Whereas stamina increases your green bar, meaning you can attack, roll and block more before being staggered. The growth of each of these skills can be seen mapped below:

Stamina tails off significantly after level 50, so if you are adding into this attribute to solely grow your green bar, this is the point at which you should stop.

If however, you are investing here in order to increase your equipment load, the growth looks slightly different, instead being pushed to the second soft cap which begins at level 60.

Strength, arcane, dexterity, intelligence & faith level caps

The attributes which we have mentioned above allow for the growth of fundamental stats, boosting the capabilities of your character. There are five other stats however, and these are more important for your damage output. These are the stats which scale with your weapons and allow for the wielding of some very specific armaments.

The caps for these are practically non-existent from what I can tell, instead, they use the scaling attributes of the weapons you wield. This is donated by a letter, on a scale of ‘S’ being the best, and ‘-‘ meaning there is no scaling at all. By investing in these attributes, you can drastically increase your damage output, and there are no hard and fast rules about what is ‘optimal’. Sorry, no neat graphs for this one. Get out there and experiment.

Final thoughts

Ultimately, the distribution of skill points you choose to allocate is entirely up to you, however with the base graphs I would ensure that you are not going any higher than at most the second soft cap for these.

With the damage scaling stats, go wild, but always make sure it makes sense for your build – no point investing into strength if you are a pure spellcaster, y’know. You can always respec later using a Larval Tear at Rennala, so that should take a bit of the pressure off at least.

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