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How to upgrade weapons in Elden Ring, find a blacksmith and reach 4+

Elden Ring smithing stones
(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

It's important to know how to upgrade weapons in Elden Ring as strengthening weapons is as vital as levelling up - increasing your character stats will only go so far if you don't improve your gear as well. There's an element of gatekeeping here with +1, +2, +3 or more level Elden Ring weapons dealing increasing damage and make higher level areas more accessible.  As you find Elden Ring map fragments and unlock more of the map you'll eventually start to reach tougher places where better weapons will make all the difference. 

You can upgrade Elden Ring weapons yourself at the start, using the anvil you find at the Church of Elleh, and the Elden Ring Smithing Stones you find in the world. You'll need a blacksmith eventually though to reach the higher levels in Elden Ring, which could leave you wondering what to do next for a while. 

So strengthening your weapons in Elden Ring ultimately involves finding a blacksmith, finding the right smithing stones, and understanding what the numbers mean for damage so you don't waste limited stones on the wrong thing. We're going to explain all that, as well as everything need to know to upgrade your weapons in Elden Ring. 

How to upgrade weapons in Elden Ring

Elden Ring smithing stones

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

As we've mentioned, to upgrade Elden Ring weapons you'll need an anvil, some Smithing Stones and the Runes to pay for it. The latter two getting used up whenever you improve a weapon. The Smithing Stone guide we mentioned up top will help you find more of those, as well as ways of eventually unlocking an unlimited supply. We've also got some Elden Ring Rune farming locations to help you there. 

Once you find Stones, head to an anvil. If you're just getting started that will be in the Church of Elleh, the ruins past the Tree Sentinel and right next to the Merchant Kale where you start the game proper. Here you can spend Runes and Stones to upgrade weapons from +0, all the way to +3. Each upgrade enhances certain stats and scaling attached to the weapon permanently (it'll preview the changes when you select it so you know what you're buying).

If you are at an early stage in the game, be extremely careful about what you upgrade. Smithing Stones are rare initially so you don't want to waste them. You also don't want to spread them around as a single +3 weapon will be better than three +1s.

Where to find a Blacksmith in Elden Ring

Elden Ring weapon upgrade blacksmith

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Once you've upgraded something to +3, the anvil can't help you anymore. You'll need a better blacksmith than yourself to upgrade your weapons past that point, and while there are a couple in the game, the easiest and best one to find by far is Smithing Master Hewg.

Hewg is found in a special hub area called the Roundtable Hold, which appears to unlock either after a certain number of Sites of Grace are found, or after beating the first boss, Margit (who's up the hill at the entrance to Stormveil castle). Once you do either, resting at a Site of Grace will prompt Melina to appear before you and offer to transport you there, a small isolated zone that forbids combat and holds numerous merchants and NPCs. You'll come back here a lot over the course of the game.

The blacksmith Hewg is in the corridor on your right when you enter, and he's fairly hard to miss - just look for the bulky, mutated figure working on an anvil of his own. After talking to him, he'll basically function in the same way as the anvil at the Church of Elleh - spending Runes and Smithing Stones to improve your weapons all the way to +25, if you have the resources to enable it. And Hewg will be there permanently, so you can always fast travel back to the Roundtable Hold and get further upgrades whenever. 

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Joel Franey is a writer, journalist, podcaster and raconteur with a Masters from Sussex University, none of which has actually equipped him for anything in real life. As a result he chooses to spend most of his time playing video games, reading old books and ingesting chemically-risky levels of caffeine. He is a firm believer that the vast majority of games would be improved by adding a grappling hook, and if they already have one, they should probably add another just to be safe. You can find old work of his at USgamer, Gfinity, Eurogamer and more besides.

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