FromSoftware’s games are often as confusing as they are difficult. You won’t get far without acquiring Great Runes, powerful items within the Elden Ring universe. Here’s how to use Great Runes once you get your hands on them!

Elden Ring’s story is vague, as with all FromSoftware games, but one thing is for sure; Great Runes are important, and you really need to get them. In fact, you can’t complete the game without them!

The Runes are the pieces of the fractured Elden Ring, the sole purpose of your quest into the Lands Between. They’re what you’re really here for!

But, they do more than progress the story. These legendary items offer buffs to your Tarnished that can turn your character into a fearsome Elden Lord or Lady.

However, once you pry each Great Rune from the dead hands of several bosses, you may be left wondering how to actually use it. Here’s how you can reap the rewards of your new loot…

And to see just how each Great Rune buff will boost your abilities, check out what each stat actually does for your Tarnished!

Elden Ring Rune being used

Awakening the Great Runes

The Great Rune can’t serve you in battle just sitting in your inventory. In fact, it can’t do much at all initially. You’ll need another item known as a Rune Arc to embrace its full power.

But, before that, there’s another step to the process. You’ll need to awaken the rune before using it.

Your first Great Rune can be obtained after defeating Goldrick the Grafted, the culmination of your siege on Stormveil Castle.

If Godrick the Grafted is stalling your progress, check out our guide on how to defeat him and gain your first Great Rune.

  • Next, you’ll need to find the Divine Tower which is at the other end of the damaged bridge heading North-East from Stormveil Castle. To reach the bridge, the Castle gate must be open.
  • Golem enemies will try to stop you crossing the bridge, including one armed with a bow. Roll well, or bring a good shield.
  • Once you reach the gap, scale the bridge edge and you’ll find a teleporter. This will take you to the other side.
  • Activate the Site of Grace here and rest up.
  • Scale the Divine Tower which now stands before you.

A collection of shrines are waiting for you at the top, featuring a statue that you can interact with. Do so and your newly-acquired Great Rune will be awakened.

Elden Ring Divine Tower Limgrave Map

How to Equip & Use a Great Rune

You might think that’s the job done, but unfortunately, there’s still work to do before Elden Ring’s Great Runes can benefit you in combat. Here’s how to activate those powerful buffs.

  • Return to any Site of Grace. Take a look at our map to unlock every Site of Grace and reach every inch of the Lands Between.
  • Rest and you’ll see a new option, “Great Runes,” within which you can equip the rune to your chosen slot.
  • Here your Rune Arc comes into play. The power of the Great Rune cannot be unleashed without the elusive Rune Arc.

Your Great Rune boosts will last until you die, but if you want to use the Rune again, you’ll need to obtain another Rune Arc. Therefore, it’s vital that you know how to easily farm Rune Arcs in Elden Ring.

Awakened Great Runes are also required to complete the main questline and complete Elden Ring!

Buffs not permanent enough for you? Get your hands on infinite Smithing Stones and upgrade your favorite weapon forever!

Or check out this insane Elden Ring farm location that provides 10 million Runes an hour!