If you’ve ever wanted to live out your own Berserk fantasy, then the Elden Ring Greatsword Build was made for you. It’s an Elden Ring build that allows players to wield one of the most intimidating weapons in the entire game, and do so in a manner that lets them rend through enemies and bosses with powerful attacks.
Players can spec into this build fairly early on in the game, and continue using it for their entire playthroughs if they so choose. Acquiring the main weapon might be a bit difficult, but that’s nothing a few early death runs can’t accomplish. They might be intimidating and a bit harsh, but in the end, they’re really worth it.
Because the reward for these will allow you to flourish for the rest of the game. So with that, all said, let’s jump right into our Elden Ring Best Greatsword build. While you’re at it, why not read our Elden Ring best Intelligence build.
You can always respec your stats from your current build to greatsword build by using Larva Tears. You can find one easily in the Village Of The Albinaurics. Your trusty companion Torrent Horse will take you there pretty quickly.
Elden Ring Greatsword Build
Anyone looking to spec into this Elden Ring Best Greatsword build should probably check out our Best Starting Class guide for help on what works best for them, but my personal recommendation is the Vagabond.
The class starts out with high Vigor, Strength, and Dexterity, which are all necessary for this build. The Dexterity stat specifically is something we aren’t going to touch anymore since it’s exactly where we want it to be to wield our weapon of choice, but we are going to pump a lot more points into Vigor, Endurance, and Strength.
In particular, we want to make sure to level up enough and get our Strength up to a minimum of 21 as a baseline, but the optimum value is 31 and beyond.
This is because the Greatsword of this build in question is a colossal weapon that requires 31 Strength to wield one-handed, but you can choose to also use it double-handed with 21 points instead. For those who might not be aware, Two-Handing weapons allow you to increase your Strength by 50%, letting you circumvent otherwise high requirements for some larger weapons in the game.
Now whatever route you decide to take with your own personal Elden Ring Greatsword Build, this article has you covered either way. Fair warning, this is a pure melee build. If you’re looking for something with some Ranged Weapons, then maybe our Elden Ring Best Samurai Build is more your style.
Greatsword Build Gear
We are now going to talk about all of the gear you’ll require for this build in a bit more detail while keeping a beginner character in mind. Once again, this guide is meant primarily for new players, so all of the items mentioned below can be acquired relatively early on in the game. And none of those items involve any Incantations or Sorceries.
As you grow stronger and acquire some of the Best Melee Weapons in the game, you can choose to substitute any item you want at your own leisure. I do however believe that the Greatsword we mention in particular is useful throughout the whole game, and you can continue upgrading it and keep it useful indefinitely. After all, the build is specifically named after the weapon.
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Now you might have seen the title of this guide and assumed that we might be talking about greatswords in general, but that’s not quite the case here. For the purposes of this Elden Ring Greatsword Build, we’re specifically talking about the weapon simply named the ‘Greatsword.’
This is the weapon that has quickly become a fan favorite among players due to both its capabilities as an armament, as well as what it is a reference to.
As both its appearance and item description imply, the sword is a reference to Kentaro Miura’s legendary manga Berserk, whose main character Guts wields a weapon that looks extremely similar to the Greatsword. Elden Ring Game director Hidetaka Miyazaki has also previously cited Berserk as a massive influence on his work.
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Once again, the weapon is classified as a colossal sword so it weighs a lot and its moveset is one of the slowest in the game. Swinging the weapon for even a simple attack takes a lot of time. Some other Dexterity-based weapons like the Elden Ring Meteoric Ore Blade, have heavy charge attacks that have shorter animations than a regular light attack from the Greatsword.
But in return, each blow deals a tremendous amount of damage, and you are able to stagger most enemies and bosses with one to two charged hits at most. The attacks also have a large enough arc that you can easily get multiple enemies at the same time.
The weapon however doesn’t have any passive effects like some of the Best Weapons In Elden Ring, but it also doesn’t really require them either.
This weapon operates on pure destructive power alone, and that’s enough for it to get its own Elden Ring Best Greatsword build.
At a base level, the Greatsword deals a good 164 damage without any upgrades or affinities. And once upgraded to the max of +25, that value increases to a whopping 401 damage. As of right now, that is the most physical damage of any armament in the entire game.
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Furthermore, the Greatsword deals more and more damage the higher your Strength stat is. Without any affinities and upgrades applied, the weapon has a C in Strength scaling, which is pretty decent to start with. However, If you upgrade the weapon to +8 and then apply one of your Ashes of War to it and change its affinity to Heavy, that scaling increases to a B.
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Now B is an incredibly decent rank for Strength scaling as far as this Elden Ring Greatsword Build is concerned, and your weapon should easily be dishing out over 350 damage per hit if you have at least 31 Strength. But stick with the weapon and keep upgrading it to at least +20, and that scaling will change to an A.
Also, keep investing in Strength, and you should easily be dealing 500 – 550 damage per hit at that point. You will cut through bosses like they’re made out of paper.
The Greatsword’s own ‘Stamp (Upward Cut)’ skill is also an extremely useful Ash of War that has two different uses. The first of these is the Stamp, which allows players to brace for impact and get into a stance that negates the recoil from most attacks.
Using this against enemies such as giants that hit big, allows you to take the attack like a champ and then follow up with the Upward Cut. This is a devastating upwards swing that can one-hit most regular enemies and deal incredible posture damage against bosses and the like. So while it is a risky skill, successfully using it always pays off.
Players can locate the Greatsword in a caravan chest to the North West of the Caelem Ruins Site of Grace in Caelid. The entire region is an absolute death trap for new players, but trust me, acquiring this weapon is leagues easier than finding the location of the Elden Ring Moonlight Greatsword.
Armor For Greatsword Build
Armor is a complicated thing to talk about in Elden Ring Greatsword Build, and that’s mostly because of your Equipment Weight. You see, the Greatsword is already one of the heaviest weapons in the entire game, and it is also enough to bring you up to Medium Load by itself when equipped. Combine some armor on top of this, and you’ll reach Heavy Load instantly. See the problem?
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On one hand, this is acceptable to a lot of players who try to utilize blocking with shields instead of dodge rolling. But on the other, enemies hit hard in this game, and sometimes you have no choice but to dodge away from their attacks. And so when you have a Heavy Load, that rolling action becomes really slow and ineffective.
This is where Endurance comes into play, and it’s something we haven’t touched on before. This stat increases the amount of stamina your character possesses, as well as the maximum weight they can carry before becoming encumbered.
So if you pump points into this, you can sprint longer, attack and dodge more frequently, and have more heavy gear equipped at the same time.
Using this you can technically have the Greatsword equipped alongside some of the heaviest armors in the game, and still, be able to dodge roll effectively. The problem however is that you require a lot of points invested in Endurance for that to even work. And at that point, you’re sapping Runes away from your other stats. Remember, this Elden Ring Greatsword Build is primarily centered around Strength.
So you have two options at this point. You can either choose to limit Endurance and invest in a really light armor set and have that equipped alongside the Greatsword. This will allow you to dodge roll effectively but at the cost of severely limited defense.
If you have absolutely nothing invested in Endurance, then you can even choose to completely take your armor off if you want and that would still work. But a strong hit or two will definitely be enough to kill you, so being light on your feet and nailing the timing of dodge rolls is essential, to be honest.
Your other option is to Farm Runes and upgrade Endurance until your allowed Equipment Weight is high enough to support both the weapon and somewhat decent armor.
This is the recommended course of action because while dodging is great and all, sometimes you will take a hit, especially with a weapon as slow as the Greatsword. You simply want to make sure that you do not drop dead when it happens.
Now as far as an armor set is concerned, you can pick whatever you feel like, there’s not a particular one we recommend for Greatsword Build.
The Vagabond Armor Set is good enough for your first 10 or so hours, but after that, you might want to grab the Knight Set after defeating Godrick The Grafted. Pick and choose whatever suits your fancy after that point.
Talismans For Greatsword Build
There are a lot of Talismans in Elden Ring, but we’ve picked out a few that can absolutely make or break your character. So as part of this Elden Ring Greatsword Build, we’ll go over some of them and explain their importance and uses.
First up, we have the Arsenal Charm, which is an extremely useful item for this build as it increases your maximum equipment load by 15%. Using this, players can get that slight edge they require in order to have some proper armor equipped alongside the extremely heavy Greatsword.
This can make the difference between being able to dodge roll, or not at all. Starscourage Heirloom is also an excellent talisman for STR-focused builds.
You can get this Talisman by talking to an NPC named Nepheli Loux, who can first be found in a room a bit before the Godrick The Grafted boss fight in Stormveil Castle.
After you have exhausted her dialogue and defeated the boss, she can then be encountered in the Roundtable Hold where the first Elden Ring Blacksmith is located. Talk to her here, and she will reward you with the Arsenal Charm.
The second item on this list is the Axe Talisman, which can be found pretty early on in the Mistwood Ruins in East Limgrave. This increases the damage dealt by your charge attacks, by boosting the overall damage dealt by your character by 10%.
Using this, players can supplement their already powerful attacks and shave off health and stagger enemies faster. It’s a pretty simple Talisman, but it’s effective.
And finally, we have the Assassin‘s Crimson Dagger. This is a Talisman that is not going to be unique to the Elden Ring Greatsword Build and for good reason. Because this restores health on critical hits, the Greatsword is able to stagger enemies more effectively than a lot of other weapons.
So you can chain together staggers and critical hits, ensuring that your health always stays topped up.
Elden Ring Greatsword Build Tips
During the first 10 or so hours of the game, your character will be extremely weak and one or two hits from a strong enemy are going to be enough to kill you. And as someone playing an Elden Ring Greatsword Build, your armor situation is also extremely likely to be uncertain. But this is the path you’ve chosen, and now you’re going to have to stick to it.
Colossal Sword wielders cannot dally around the edges of a group of enemies, they have to get up close and personal to be effective at all. You have to find openings wherever you can and approach with confidence and your weapon ready.
You go in, take a big swing and try to get as many enemies in a single arc as you can. Analyze the situation, and if you can get a few more hits in, then take them.
But know when to retreat and when to keep the pressure on, because even the most heavily armed character can get swarmed in Elden Ring Easily.
Your weapon has an extremely slow moveset and it can take time to initiate attacks. If a small group of enemies is raining down blows on you at the same time, you’ll never be able to even retaliate. Depending on the speed of your dodge roll, your avenues of escape might be limited as well.
Remember your Stamp (Upward Cut) skill though. The first part of this can let you negate the recoil you’ll take from attacks, which is an extremely effective way of maintaining your posture in the heat of battle.
You can even use the upwards slash to take down one or two enemies in a single hit if you can find the window to attack.
If you have invested some points in Endurance, a shield can be a killer combination with the Greatsword. You swing your sword, and then immediately bring up the shield to defend. Repeat this process as many times as you have to. This Elden Ring Greatsword Build is primarily intended to be a Two-Handed style, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t use a shield if you choose to.
But make a choice, and make it early. You either forgo dodge rolling in favor of shielding and heavy armor by investing in Endurance. Or you give up damage negation to prioritize higher damage and dodge rolling by investing in Strength.
You can go for both of these things together in the late game when you’re over level 70, but early on you have to stick with one or the other. Make your choice.