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Why You Should Defeat Elden Ring's Merchants

Since it was released in February 2022, Bandai Namco's "Elden Ring" has gone on to sell over 12 million units worldwide, making it both the best-selling game in February 2022 as well as the best selling game of the year so far (via News Ledge). "Elden Ring" is introducing many new players to the core concepts made famous by developer FromSoftware titles: punishing-but-fair combat, an upgrade system tied to the enemies you kill, and a deep, medieval-style lore that rewards players willing to dig for it. There's also a brand new, open-world-style setting, a first in a FromSoftware game.

Above all, like other FromSoftware games, "Elden Ring" is difficult. For both new and veteran players of designer Hidetaka Miyazaki's games, any advantage that gives them a leg up can help to avoid frustration, lost time, or both. In this case, the following tip won't make the combat any easier, but it will definitely save time.

Like other FromSoftware games, "Elden Ring" is full of merchants who will buy and sell items in exchange for Runes. Visiting merchants is definitely worth your while. They offer useful weapons, armor, ammunition, and crafting materials at reasonable prices. Since many of these items are otherwise difficult to find without resorting to guides, merchants can be a huge time-saver.

But here's one way to make the merchant system even more efficient. Be warned, things are about to get bloody.

This tip will give you a one-stop shop for supplies

The merchants in "Elden Ring" are often found near Sites of Grace. All of them have their own unique inventory, although some merchants do sell some of the same items.

Merchants are peaceful, but don't let that stop you from exploiting this trick. Simply put, whenever you find a merchant, attack and kill them. Once you do, they'll drop a unique Bell Bearing. Pick up the Bell Bearing and take it to the Twin Maiden Husks in the Roundtable Hold. (You'll get an invitation to the Hold courtesy of Melina after unlocking your third Site of Grace. Once inside the Hold, use the path to the left of Brother Corhyn to find the Husks) (via YouTube).

The Husks are one of the early merchants in the game, with their own unique inventory. But after you've handed over the Bell Bearing, the Husks will also offer the items from the killed merchant. As you wipe out merchants throughout "Elden Ring" and transfer their Bell Bearings, eventually the Twin Maiden Husks will become your one-stop shop for everything you need. This will save you time, and from having to keep track of each merchant's location in the game world.

If you're feeling guilty about it, there's a remedy

If you somehow feel guilty over harming a defenseless trinket-peddler, don't. Once you've obtained Celestial Dew, you can take it to the Church of the Vows in eastern Liurnia of the Lakes. Once there, use the Dew with the nearby statue to perform an Absolution. This will undo all antagonistic actions you've undertaken in the game, and revive most of the merchants you've killed. Even better, the Twin Maiden Husks will retain the Bearing Bells. However, an Absolution won't resurrect Traveling or Isolated merchants you've harmed, so it's not a perfect solution. 

The easiest way to acquire Celestial Dew is to buy it from the Ainsel River Wandering Merchant, who can be found inside the massive stone ruins that make up the Ainsel River Well. To reach the merchant, you will need to fight your way past several enemies, but you can also run past them as well (via YouTube). Celestial Dew is available for 7500 Runes. Of course, you can also kill the Wandering Merchant, take their Bearing Bell to the Husks, and buy it from them, too.

Murdering innocent merchants might not suit everyone's play style, but for a game that loves to dole out punishment, it's nice to have a little payback.