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After stepping out into the world of Elden Ring for the first time, players will notice bloodstains on the ground. This, along with readable messages, is one of the first things that players can interact with in the world. The messages have their own system but the bloodstains can be a little more confusing for newcomers to FromSoftware games.

Bloodstains aren’t necessarily an important element of Elden Ring but they can play a part in deciding where you go on the map. Below, you can see exactly what bloodstains mean in FromSoftware’s newest title.

Bloodstains in Elden Ring

You only have one choice when it comes to a bloodstain: to interact with it. Press your interact button and you will see a hologram of a player glowing in red. They’ll likely be fighting or moving and then suddenly perish.

Elden Ring bloodstains
A bloodstain will appear in Elden Ring, along with record of how someone died. | Provided by FromSoftware

Bloodstains let you see how another player, or yourself, has died. While you can’t see what they’re fighting, if you see bloodstains on the ground before entering an area, you can assume something difficult lies ahead.

As previously stated, bloodstains don’t play a huge role in Elden Ring’s gameplay. But they can deter you from entering an area, such as the starting field with the Tree Sentinel. There will likely be dozens of bloodstains on the ground in the field with the Tree Sentinel during your playthrough. This lets you know to not go near that area until you’re ready for a massive boss battle.

On the other hand, seeing a lot of bloodstains could mean that there’s a boss ahead that you can kill for major rewards. The mechanic lets the player decide what to make of them but usually, seeing more than a few bloodstains isn’t a great sign in Elden Ring.