Great Runes are unique to Elden Ring and are the Key Item reward gifted to the player upon the defeat of a Demigod. Demigods are the main Bosses of Elden Ring, and their power can be felt in these intense and difficult boss fights. However, the Great Rune reward is well worth the challenge.


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Obtaining these Great Runes, and activating them, can be a challenge in and of itself, especially when embarking on a journey through The Lands Between at Rune Level 1. Through the use of a consumable Rune Arc, players will know true power to assist their Elden Ring Rune Level 1 run.

Updated March 22, 2024 by Erik Petrovich: In Elden Ring Great Runes are a very powerful tool that can be used to push the Tarnished’s normal power over the edge. For Rune Level 1 Great Runes are one of the most important tools in the entire game, as they confer late-game-like bonuses no matter what your Rune Level is. But to get these items, you have to beat major bosses – a tall order for a character that never levels up. This guide to the best Level 1 Great Runes in Elden Ring has been updated to describe how to get Great Runes in the first place, how to activate them, and how to use them.

How To Get Great Runes in Elden Ring

Elden Ring Beat Godrick Boss Guide Great Rune Reward

As useful as Great Runes are in Elden Ring, they are very limited in number, and there’s only one way to acquire them. To get Elden Ring Great Runes, you need to defeat Shardbearers. The Great Runes you can equip are quite literally pieces of the Elden Ring, and thus, it makes sense that the Shardbearers would bear the Shards of this fragmented, cosmic entity.

There are a total of eight Great Runes that you can get in Elden Ring, but for players at Rune Level 1 Great Runes are much harder to acquire. Thankfully, the best Great Rune for Rune Level 1 playthroughs is made available first, but the other seven options have their uses in certain situations. As a level 1 player, focus on getting Godrick’s Great Rune first, then Rennala’s, for easy Stat Boosts and the ability to re-spec.

How To Use & Equip Great Runes in Elden Ring

Elden Ring MohgMorgottGreat Runes

Once you have acquired a Great Rune Elden Ring players will need to Restore it. Each Great Rune is acquired in a dormant state, and its latent power must be awakened to make use of them. To do this, you will need to find the Isolated Tower that corresponds to each Great Rune, ascend it, and activate it at the very top. The only exception to this is Rennala’s Great Rune, as it doesn’t confer any active powers to the player.


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After restoring the specific Great Rune in Elden Ring, players will be wondering how to use the Great Rune they want for added power. First, players will need to equip a Great Rune from any Site of Grace. Once their Great Rune has been slotted, they will need to consume a Rune Arc, which is an uncommon item found around the Lands Between.

Rune Arcs work whilst the player is alive, but as soon as they die, they will need to consume another Rune Arc, or they will not see the activation of their Great Rune. Players can find Rune Arcs in many locations, but they can also be purchased for 4,000 runes. In terms of farming Rune Arcs, though, the most effective way to get Rune Arcs is to kill Rats.

8 Great Rune Of The Unborn

A Great Rune In A Normal Playthrough, But Useless At Level 1

rennala from elden ring

Great Rune of the Unborn Effects

Allows players to re-allocate their skill levels with Rennala with Larval Tears.

Other Notes

Passive Great Rune effect with no use in a RL 1 run.

After defeating Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon, players will acquire the Great Rune of the Unborn. For a level 1, this rune is almost entirely useless and seeks no reward or advantage to the player. This is due to the rune allowing players to reset their Rune Level and swap around levels that they have obtained.

Since the player is embarking on a Rune Level 1 playthrough, this Great Rune will serve no use. It can be used for a sidequest or two, but none that are of complete importance, unless the player is also seeking a 100% playthrough of the game, adding an even greater challenge.

How To Get The Great Rune of The Unborn

To obtain the Great Rune of the Unborn, players will need to find and defeat Rennala Queen of the Full Moon. She is located at Raya Lucaria Academy in Liurnia of the Lakes. She can be a difficult boss, considering she is a Demigod Boss. However, the use of this Great Rune doesn’t have anything for a Level 1 player.

The Great Rune Of The Unborn’s Uses

There’s no advantage to using the Great Rune of the Unborn. Players will be utilizing a level-1 run, meaning there are no levels to swap around. This is a passive Great Rune anyway, so players won’t have to worry about using Rune Arcs for this.

7 Phantom Great Rune

Useful In PvP – Which Level 1 Players Should Avoid

mohg from elden ring

Phantom Great Rune Effects

After using the Mohg’s Great Rune, this lets player respawn somewhere else in the host player’s world, potentially closing distance or serving as an escape

Other Notes

Only usable, and only acquired temporarly, after using Mohg’s Great Rune for PvP.

Upon use of Mohg’s Great Rune, and invading another player’s world, Rune Level 1 players will travel through online play to that player’s world. When they spawn in, they will get three Phantom Great Runes, which can each be used once to re-set your position. This can help get closer to the host, or can be used in combat as a quick getaway.


Elden Ring: How To Use Great Runes

Elden Ring players who come across Great Runes can find how to use it here in this handy guide.

To use this Rune, players need an online connection the entire time. Most online players can only be invaded if they have friends, which means it’s more than likely that a ‘Gank Squad’ will be awaiting the Level 1 player who tries to invade another world. Level-1 runs should be reserved for those that want a challenge in the PvE content rather than the PvP content.

How To Get The Phantom Great Rune

To obtain the Phantom Great Rune, players will need to defeat Mohg, Lord of Blood, found at the Mohgwyn Dynasty Mausoleum. After defeating this Demigod Boss, players will need to visit the Divine Tower of East Altus. Once activated at the fingers, players can invade other players for the PvP buffs to kick in.

Phantom Great Rune’s Uses

Level-scaling will prevent the Phantom Great Rune from being mostly effective, as the invader will not be able to invade and draw challenge to a player who has a rune level far higher than their own. Level-1 runs should be reserved for those that want a challenge in the PvE content rather than the PvP content.

6 Mohg’s Great Rune

Heal With Every Kill And Bleed… In PvP


Mohg’s Great Rune Effects

Player is healed for 10% of their HP when Blood Loss happens in nearby vicinity, or when a player using it kills an enemy.

Other Notes

This is most useful in PvP and in Blood Loss builds, and acquired from the late game boss Mohg, making it very difficult to build around

Traversing through the Mohgwyn Dynasty Mausoleum will have players encounter the demigod Mohg, Lord of Blood. Upon his death, Mohg’s Great Rune will be the latest treasure available to the player. This Great Rune grants The Blessing of Blood to phantoms.

This rune can be used alongside summoned spirits found from Spirit Ashes or Legendary Spirit Ashes. The effectiveness of these Great Runes makes it so that the player will heal 10% of health for every enemy killed by a blessed ally. Its usefulness isn’t great but can be an eager substitute if need be.

How To Get Mohg’s Great Rune

In the Mohgwyn Dynasty Mausoleum, players will defeat Mohg, Lord of Blood. After this encounter, players need to reach the Divine Tower of East Altus, which can be located by following the Capital Outskirts ramparts toward the Forbidden Lands. Going southeast will lead players to the Divine Tower they seek, where they will encounter the Fell Twins, and then be able to activate Mohg’s Great Rune.

Mohg’s Great Rune’s Uses

Another somewhat useless Great Rune in Elden Ring is Mohg’s Great Rune. The specific use of this Great Rune is that summoned spirits, whether those are Spirit Ashes or Legendary Spirit Ashes, will help the player heal. Each kill from these Spirit Ashes grants the player 10% of their health. However, since areas are so open, and healing is so easy, it’s not effective, especially when boss rooms won’t spawn enemies to kill.

5 Rykard’s Great Rune

Theoretically Useful, Functionally Unimpressive

elden ring rykard

Rykard’s Great Rune Effects

The player gains HP when enemies are defeated when active. Enemies don’t have to be killed by the player.

Other Notes

Paired with other HP regain items, Rykard’s Great Rune can be phenomenal, but requires a dedicated build to take advantage of fully

Amongst the children of Rennala and Radagon lies Rykard. This monstrous being fed himself to the blasphemous serpent to seek greater power than what was available. Once the player slays him, the Great Rune that the blasphemous serpent consumed will be for The Tarnished.


Elden Ring: What To Do After Beating Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy

After Rykard is defeated, Elden Ring players have a handful of new things to do. Beating the Lord of Blasphemy is only the beginning.

Rykard’s Great Rune has the passive ability to grant the player HP upon the defeat of enemies. This is a useful Great Rune toward the start of the game, as enemy hits won’t immediately kill the player, and this Great Rune will allow their health to return without the use of healing items. However, toward the endgame, enemy hits will be far too powerful for this Great Rune to be of any use.

How To Get Rykard’s Great Rune

Players that want Rykard’s Great Rune will have to traverse through Mt. Gelmir. Here, they will encounter a powerful Demigod Boss known as Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy. Upon defeating this boss, players will need to travel to the Divine Tower of West Altus through the Sealed Tunnel to activate Rykard’s Great Rune.

Rykard’s Great Rune’s Uses

With Rykard’s Great Rune equipped, players will regain health for every enemy they have killed. It will help them through dungeons and other areas, as they will be rather alone and somewhat scared fighting the bosses of Elden Ring solo, and it will save them from using their healing items.

4 Malenia’s Great Rune

An Endgame Gret Rune That Rewards Skilled Play

malenia blade of miquella

Malenia’s Great Rune Effects

Allows players to regain HP with rapid attacks after losing Health, but reduces the effectiveness of Crimson Tears, while active

Other Notes

A difficult Rune to get, and only realistically acquirable near the end of the game

It is a reward in itself to obtain Malenia’s Great Rune. Some consider Malenia, Blade of Miquella, to be the hardest boss in not just Elden Ring, but in any of the FromSoftware titles. Some players have risen to fame for killing her with ease like the glorious pot-wearing Let Me Solo Her. Her Rune is nothing short of legendary.

To those that adored FromSoftware’s Bloodborne, Malenia’s Great Rune may remind them of the very gameplay element from Bloodborne that was different from other titles. When the player is attacked, they can steal their health back by quickly attacking anything with a health bar. This Great Rune is perfect for regaining lost HP, but at the cost of reduced healing power in the Flask of Crimson Tears.

How To Get Malenia’s Great Rune

This challenging boss can be found at Miquella’s Haligtree in the Haligtree Roots. After multiple and inevitable failed attempts, the boss will drop Malenia’s Great Rune upon death. This can be activated at the Isolated Divine Tower, accessible through the waygate from the Divine bridge.

Malenia’s Great Rune’s Uses

After activating Malenia’s Great Rune, players will be able to steal health back after being hit. This is useful to players that expect to get injured during a fight, but it will only be the best Great Rune Elden Ring if the player has a quick striking weapon to quickly get that health back before it is gone forever.

3 Radahn’s Great Rune

Boosts Across The Board Aren’t A Bad Option

radahn in elden ring

Radahn’s Great Rune Effects

Grants a total 15% bonus to HP, Stamina, and FP while active

Other Notes

Big gains in HP, Stamina, and FP are useful, but are outclassed by more direct improvements

Something that players will be in constant need of whilst venturing into The Lands Between is HP and Stamina. They will also need a great deal of FP if they choose to use magic at Rune Level 1. Thanks to the mighty demigod boss, Radahn, players can receive a Great Rune that increases maximum HP, FP, and Stamina.


Elden Ring: How to Get to Radahn

Here’s where to find and how to reach Starscourge Radahn in Elden Ring, one of the main bosses.

At the top of the Divine Tower of Caelid, players can activate the power within this Great Rune, and take a step back, knowing that they have acquired more Health, Stamina, and FP. These increases are by 15%, which is a rather large portion, considering the player is unable to level up naturally.

How To Get Radahn’s Great Rune

In Caelid, players will go through Redmane Castle for the Radahn Festival. Here, they will encounter Starscourge Radahn. Upon his defeat, Radahn’s Great Rune can be activated through the Divine Tower of Caelid.

Radahn’s Great Rune’s Uses

The total Health, Stamina, and FP of the player will be increased by 15% with the use of Radahn’s Great Rune. These increases will assist the player, and noticeably upgrade them considering their level-1 run will prevent them from just throwing Runes into attributes, Radahn’s Great Rune bypasses that.

2 Morgott’s Great Rune

A Big Boost To HP Can Make Or Break RL1 Runs

morgott the omen king

Morgott’s Great Rune Effects

Raises the player’s HP by 25% (Max HP, does not heal the player) while active

Other Notes

More HP is everything in a RL 1 build, and this Great Rune offers it in spades about halfway through the game

If players are not entirely satisfied by the 15% increase in HP, Stamina, and FP found within Radahn’s rune, then Morgott’s will certainly fill that void. This Great Rune increases only HP, but at the benefit of 25%. That increase could well end up saving the life of the player by acting as a spare hit and avoiding that much-hated ‘YOU DIED’ game over screen.

This multiplier is also applied after all other health bonuses, be that from rings buffs or other assortments of equipment and spells. Sometimes, it’s hard to avoid getting hit in Elden Ring, especially in a barrage of frantic panic. Morgott’s Great Rune allows for minor slip-ups from the player’s intimidation.

How To Get Morgott’s Great Rune

At Leyndell, Royal Capital, players will have the challenge of fighting Morgott, the Omen King. Defeating this Demigod Boss will grant them the deactivated rune. To empower it and use it, they must bring said rune to the Divine Tower of East Altus, which can be found in the Capital Outskirts, located after the Forbidden Lands elevator.

Morgott’s Great Rune’s Uses

Health is an important Attribute in Elden Ring, perhaps one of the best. As players progress through the game, enemies will deal more damage, and it is inevitable that players will get themselves killed in one shot. Morgott’s Great Rune increases Health by 25%, giving them a much-needed boost to their health in case they mess up a roll or a block.

1 Godrick’s Great Rune

Basically, 40 Free Levels For Killing The First Major Boss

godrick the grafted

Godrick’s Great Rune Effects

Increases all attributes by 5 when active. Effectively an extra free 40 levels across all 8 stats.

Other Notes

Can be used to cheat the system and raise Stats higher than what Level 1 would normally allow, unlocking new equipment options too.

With Godrick defeated, players can travel to Limgrave Tower Bridge to battle their way to The Divine Tower of Limgrave. Here, they will be able to restore the power of Godrick’s Great Rune and utilize its powerful ability with a Rune Arc.

Some may well consider Godrick’s Great Rune as cheating, as it will raise all attributes of the player by +5. Therefore, they have gained plenty of levels, but not at the expense of their own Rune investment. Players also lose these levels upon death and will be required to consume another Rune Arc.

How To Get Godrick’s Great Rune

Upon entering Stormveil Castle, players will need to reach its final room to find Godrick the Grafted. Once defeated, Godrick’s Great Rune will need to be activated. This can be achieved at the Limgrave Tower Bridge at Stormveil Castle. Following the path will lead players to a lift, and then to The Divine Tower of Limgrave, in which they can restore power to the Great Rune.

Godrick’s Great Rune’s Uses

Godrick’s Great Rune is by far one of the best Elden Ring Great Runes. Not only is Godrick the first boss the player will fight to give them a Great Rune, but the addition of +5 levels in all of their attributes will help “cheat” their level-1 run, as these added attributes are only accessible whilst a Rune Arc is active.

elden ring cover

Elden Ring
February 25, 2022

M for Mature: Blood and Gore, Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence


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