How to summon NPCs in Elden Ring and use Spirit Ashes

Elden Ring summon NPCs ash spirits
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Elden Ring Summons and Spirit Ashes are the means by which you bring in NPCs to help you in boss fights and other major encounters - but you'll need some special gear first, namely an item called the Spirit Calling Bell, given to you by a character named Renna early on in Elden Ring. Summoning is one of those powers that can really make a huge difference, not just because of the extra damage that another combatant can do, but because they can draw the boss's focus off you and give you breathing room to heal or plan a new atack. If you want to know how to summon in Elden Ring, including Ash Spirits and NPC characters alike, here's how.

How to summon in Elden Ring with Spirit Ashes

Elden Ring summon NPCs ash spirits

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

To summon in Elden Ring via Ash Spirits - the most common way of doing it - players need to progress to the point where they've unlocked the horse, Torrent. If you haven't done it yet, our guide on how to get the Elden Ring horse will sort you out.

Once you do, head back to the Church of Elleh, the little ruin past the Tree Sentinel where Kalé the merchant is waiting. There'll be a new NPC there now, a witchy-looking character called Renna. Talk to her, and she'll give you the Spirit Calling Bell and the Lone Wolf Ashes.

The Spirit Calling Bell doesn't have to be equipped, it's just enough to have it in your inventory. However, if you use the Lone Wolf Ashes at any point, either through your inventory or by equipping them to the quick-select menu with your Flasks, you'll summon three friendly wolves that will attack nearby enemies. 

As you explore the game, you'll find other kinds of Spirit Ashes that can summon different NPCs. There are limitations to the use of Spirit Ashes, however. And if you're wondering why you can't summon in Elden Ring, we'll go through the restrictions below:

  • You can only summon Elden Ring Spirits with Ashes when close to a Rebirth Monument, a little square statue about waist-high. You'll know when you're in range of one, because of the white symbol of a tablet on the left side of the screen. Rebirth Monuments tend to be fairly common, covering most major areas and practically every boss fight arena.
  • Using Spirit Ashes costs FP. The amount varies significantly depending on the Ash themselves, with more powerful NPCs requiring more FP. Some are so expensive that you won't be able to summon them without significantly levelling up the Mind Attribute first.
  • Elden Ring Spirits can be killed in combat! They're no more immortal than you are, with the exception of Skeletal variants, who can self-resurrect if not damaged while downed.
  • Players can only have one kind of Ash Spirit triggered at a time. If you have the Wolves running about, you won't be able to bring out an Ash Spirit Sorcerer until they're either dead or recalled.

Where to get Elden Ring Spirit Ashes

Elden Ring summon NPCs ash spirits

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Ash Spirits for to find and summon are all over Elden Ring, with dozens to find and keep on you. Here's a select few for early players to look for:

  • Renna the Witch will give you the Lone Wolf Ashes, one of the best early-game options. It summons three wolves that run about mauling enemies. 
  • Talk to Roderika, the young woman at the Stormveil Shack up on the right as you go up through the Stormgate. She'll give you the Jellyfish Ashes that create a spirit that floats about shooting projectiles.
  • North of the Church of Elleh is a set of catacombs with a boss at the bottom - the Erdtree Burial Watchdog. Kill this horrible thing to get the Noble Sorcerer Ashes, which fire ranged spells at targets.
  • West of Limgrave, along the main road, is the ruined settlement of Summonwater Village, which holds the Tibia Mariner boss. Victory will get you the Skeletal Militiaman Ashes, which summon two pike-wielding skeletons that actually self-resurrect when killed, assuming they're not damaged while restoring their bodies. This is the best early-game summon by some way.

Beyond this, Ash Spirits are found generally either in tombs like the one players found the Erdtree Burial Watchdog in, or controlled by other Tibia Mariners, a recurring form of boss that can be found in multiple places across Elden Ring.

How to upgrade Spirit Ashes

Elden Ring summon NPCs ash spirits

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Elden Ring Spirits can be upgraded by Roderika, the young woman at Stormveil Shack who gave you the Jellyfish. After progressing the game into Stormveil Castle, you'll discover she's vanished. She's actually now at the Roundtable Hold - speak to her, then to Smithing Master Hewg, then keep going back and forth between them, ferrying messages. Once you've done this enough, Roderika will explain how she wants to make use of her gift. The next time you come back here, she'll have set up as a merchant opposite Hewg.

Speaking to Roderika allows you to enhance your Ash Spirits, which gives summons greater health, attack power, and even changes how many are summoned, depending on the Ash itself. To do this you'll need to find and spend Grave Glovewort, white flowers that are to Ash Spirits what Smithing Stones are to weapons. These flowers can be found in any underground area or location associated with death/burial across Elden Ring - you'll find plenty in the tunnels leading up to the Erdtree Burial Watchdog mentioned above as a starting point.

How to summon NPCs in Elden Ring

Elden Ring tips

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Elden Ring Multiplayer

Elden Ring

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Looking to try the game with real people? Check out how to play Elden Ring coop and multiplayer at our guide here!

Confusing as it is, Ash Spirits are not the same thing as summoning friendly NPCs, which is somewhat similar to how it was in Dark Souls and Bloodborne before. Here players need to trigger Martyr Effigies, little statues of people about the same size and and common as the Rebirth Monuments. Unlike the Rebirth Monuments though, players need to specifically trigger them by walking up to them and interacting with them. This will enable co-op play online, but also reveal NPC summon signs on the floor, little gold stone scripts that can be interacted with.

There's more advantages to NPC summons over Ash Spirits. They tend to be stronger (though not always), and don't cost any FP. You can also summon as many as you like and they don't override each other.

The downsides, however, are obvious. Aside from needing to find the Martyr Effigy, these characters are incredibly contextual and can only be summoned where you find their summon markers. Some will always be present - you can get the NPC sorcerer Rogier outside Margit's boss arena - but others are linked to story elements, and only ever show up at specific locations, or need you to complete a quest to a certain point. If you want to find as many NPCs as possible, we recommend talking to, and helping out, every character you meet across the game. It pays to network in Elden Ring.

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Joel Franey
Guides Writer

Joel Franey is a writer, journalist, podcaster and raconteur with a Masters from Sussex University, none of which has actually equipped him for anything in real life. As a result he chooses to spend most of his time playing video games, reading old books and ingesting chemically-risky levels of caffeine. He is a firm believer that the vast majority of games would be improved by adding a grappling hook, and if they already have one, they should probably add another just to be safe. You can find old work of his at USgamer, Gfinity, Eurogamer and more besides.

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