Elden Ring Ashes Of War Explained: How To Upgrade Your Weapons

You might find yourself becoming attached to many different weapons in Elden Ring, but it’s important to know what Ashes of War are.

Elden Ring FAQ: Every Guide You’ll Need

Weapons found early in the game will serve you well for a time. However, if you want to face some of the later bosses, you’ll struggle without buffing your damage output significantly. Getting ahead in the early stages of the game will save you a headache, too.

Thankfully, getting your gear up to scratch is rather straightforward, once you know how to do it. Here’s how to upgrade your weapons, as well as explaining what Ashes of War are, in Elden Ring.

elden ring ashes of war weapon upgrade


First of all, you need to know how to upgrade your weapon. You’ll first need to find items called Smithing Stone. There are several different types, all of which will upgrade your weapon to a certain level. They range from Smithing Stone [1] all the way to Smithing Stone [9], and you have to upgrade your weapon in that order.

So, first things first – find yourself the relevant Smithing Stone to get your weapon upgrade started. Then, you’ll need to head to an Anvil to commit your weapon and stone to steel. There’s one at the Church of Elleh which will upgrade weapons through the first tier.

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However, if you want to upgrade any further, then you’ll need to find one of two blacksmiths. One is at the Roundtable Hold, which is unlocked after beating Margit the Fell Omen, and the other is the Blacksmith Giant at the Road to the Manor Site of Grace located in Liurnia of the Lakes.

Give your items to one of these two folk and you’ll be slashing your way through end game bosses in no time.

ashes of war explained

Alongside upgrading a weapon’s raw damage output, you can also customise the skills that a weapon has attached to it. This is done through an item type called ‘Ashes of War’. They’re found either as a treasure, an item drop from enemies, or can be purchased from vendors.

Each of these items contain a specific Weapon Art and Affinity which can be passed on to a weapon that you imbue it with. To imbue a weapon with Ashes of War, you’ll first need the Whetstone Knife. This is found at the Gatefront Ruins.

elden ring equip load explained

The Whetstone Knife will only be able to imbue a few types of Weapon Arts at first. You’ll need to find upgraded whetstones to access higher tier Ashes of War. You can perform this action at any Site of Grace or at a blacksmith forge.

Be sure to check out our other guides on Elden Ring. We have starter tips on upgrading your Sacred Flask, using Ashes of War and Spirit Ashes, as well as how to use Torrent. If you want to know more about levelling, check out our guide to each class in the game, how to level up, and the best locations to farm runes. And finally, if it’s boss encounters you’re after we also have some tips to help you beat the early game bosses.

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