Ashes of War are new items introduced in Elden Ring that can replace the Weapon Arts or Skills of an Armament(Weapon).
You can use an Ash of War by resting on a Site of Grace or by visiting the blacksmith and selecting the weapon whose skill you want to change.
The Ash of War game mechanic can make each play style unique.
Additionally, you can even make the same weapon utterly different according to what Ash of War you have put on it and what affinity you have chosen when applying the Ash of War.
Legendary weapons or Boss weapons come with their very own unique skill, which cannot be changed.
For example, Hand of Malenia, the katana Malenia uses, comes with a skill called Waterfowl Dance, which cannot be changed. That means Ashes of War does not apply to these weapons.
Meanwhile, in standard weapons, you can put the Ash of War of your choosing.
All standard weapons already come with a default weapon skill, which is suppressed when applying an Ash of War on it. You can revert the weapon to its original form by removing the equipped Ash of War.
For example, when you begin as the Samurai class. You will get an Uchigatana (a katana), a Longbow, and a Roundshield.
Your katana comes with the skill called Unsheathe. The shield on your left arm comes with a skill called Parry. The Longbow comes with a skill called Mighty Shot. You can replace those skills with an Ash of War and use different skills.
Note: Remember, you cannot put an Ash of War meant for a sword into a bow. Each weapon type has a different set of Ashes you can use.
Before using a skill from an Ash of War, there are a few things to keep in mind,
- The weapon skill you can use is displayed on the HUD on the left-hand side of the screen, just above your equipment and item wheel.
- You can only use one weapon skill at one instance, even if you have two weapons with individual skills on both.
- When you are equipping a weapon on the right hand, and a shield on the left, the weapon skill you use will be from your left-hand shield by default.
- While equipping a weapon on the right hand and a shield on the left, if you want to use the weapon skill of your right-hand weapon, simply wield the right-hand weapon with two hands.
- While on power stance or dual wielding, two same weapons, the weapon skill you can use will be of the right-hand weapon by default.
- While in a power stance, to use the weapon skill of left-hand weapon, wield the weapon with two hands.
- Ash of War: No Skill. You can use the weapon skill of your right-hand weapon even when you have a shield in your left hand if the shield has Ash of War: No Skill. Some shields, by default, come with No Skill.
- You cannot use some weapon skills if you are out of FP. Some weapon skills can still be used when you are out of FP but will lose their effectiveness or power. An example of this is Ash of War: Unsheathe which causes way less damage when out of FP. Some weapon skills do not need FP to be used, the example is Parry, which can be used regardless. Whereas some weapon skills, like Seppuku, cost both HP and FP to be cast.
Once you know all these points, you are ready to use the weapon skill obtained from an Ash of War.
To use the weapon skill, first, check the HUD. A skill with its name should be shown on the left side of the screen above the item/equipment wheel.
- On PC, press Shift Key + RMB by default.
- On PS, press L2.
- On Xbox, press LT.
Note: Weapon arts or skills are visually stunning and have many kinds of utility. The picture below is a skill called Ancient Lighting Spear that comes with a unique weapon called the Bolt of Gransax. These unique skills cannot be obtained through an Ash of War. Boss weapons also come with unique skills, and Ash of War cannot be applied to them.
How to Equip Ashes of War ?
To use Ash of War, you need to apply it to a weapon. For that, you need a few things,
- A weapon whose skill can be changed with an Ash of War. (Note: You can only change Ash of War of standard weapons. )
- An Ash of War of your choosing.
- And a Whetstone Knife or the blacksmith to equip it.
The Whetstone Knife can be found in an underground chamber at the very beginning area of Limgrave called Gatefront Ruins. If you don’t have it yet, head there and pick it up right away.
Additionally, there are 5 whetblades you can find in total. Finding these respective whetblades allows the addition of affinity-based Ash of War to the weapons at the Site of Grace or Blacksmith’s.
Note: There is a total of 91 Ashes of War in Elden Ring. Each has its own affinity. For example, The Ash of War: Prelate’s Charge falls under Flame-Art type Ash of War, so when you select an affinity while equipping it to a weapon, it is best to select Flame-Art. If you select another affinity while finalizing the equipping process, it will do less damage.
Once you have everything, rest at a Site of Grace to equip an Ash of War. If you do not have the Whetstone Knife, you can go to the Blacksmith, who will equip the Ash of War for you. Both methods will be shown step-by-step.
- Find the nearest Site of Grace and rest, or visit the blacksmith at Roundtable Hold.
- Select the option Ashes of War available in both places.
- You will be taken to a menu that shows a grid of all your weapons on which you can equip an Ash of War.
- Choose the weapon on which you want to apply the Ash of War, and you will be taken further into the menu, where your Ashes of War will be shown on a grid. Note that it will only show compatible Ashes of War, as most Ashes of War only work with particular weapons. For example, the Ash of War: Golden Parry can only be equipped with Shields.
- Select the Ash of War, and you get a drop-down menu from which you can select an affinity. There are 13 different Affinities in the Elden Ring. The affinities you can add depend on the whetblades you have found.
- Once selected, your weapon is ready with the new Ash of War. You can now equip the weapon and start using the Ash of War on the battlefield.
How to Unequip Ashes of War ?
This only makes sense if you want to change your weapon but use the same Ash of War on another weapon. In such cases, you can unequip the Ash of War and put it in another weapon.
To Unequip Ashes of War,
- Same as before, find the nearest Site of Grace or visit the Blacksmith Hewg at Roundtable Hold and select the Ashes of War menu.
- Inside the menu, choose the weapon with Ash of War already applied to it.
- You will be taken to another menu, here you can either replace the Ash of War with a new one, which will remove the currently equipped Ash of War and put it back into your inventory. You can also select the currently equipped Ash of War and choose Undo Enchantment to revert the weapon to its default form.
How to Replicate Ashes of War?
If you like an Ash of War a bit too much and want to have it in multiple weapons, or you want to give an Ash of War you like to your friend during multiplayer, there is a way.
You usually only have one copy of each Ash of War, and you need to unequip it from your weapon to put it in another one. But there is another way, and you will need a few things.
You will need Lost Ashes of War, which is a consumable item, and the Ash of War you want to replicate in your inventory. Then head to the Blacksmith at Roundtable Hold and interact with him.
- Select the Ash of War duplication from his dialogue options.
- You will be taken to a menu where you can see the number of Lost Ashes of War you possess and the grid full of Ash of War you can duplicate.
- Choose the Ash of War to duplicate. Once the selection is made, confirm it to get a duplicated Ash of War, in exchange, one Lost Ashes of War will get consumed.