Elden Ring: How to Summon Spirit Ashes and Play with NPCs

Enemies can easily kill players in most Soulsborne titles, but Elden Ring lets gamers turn the tide of battle by summoning NPCs called Spirit Ashes.

Elden Ring Spirit Ashes
Photo: Bandai Namco

Elden Ring pushes the Soulsborne genre forward in many ways. While the game features many FromSoftware design hallmarks, such as difficult combat and the Moonlight Greatsword, it also includes plenty of new mechanics that make the experience feel fresh. One such addition is Spirit Ashes.

Normally, players have to soldier on alone in games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne, but Elden Ring’s Spirit Ashes let them summon computer-controlled allies to aid in combat. Intelligent use of Spirit Ashes can mean the difference between victory and defeat, but players can’t use them right out of the gate.

Here’s what you need to know about Elden Ring‘s Spirit Ashes:

What You Need to Get Started

Elden Ring has a wide variety of Spirit Ashes to collect and upgrade, and each provides a different spectral NPC. However, the ashes are inanimate items on their own and require a spark to bring them to life.

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In order to actually call forth a spirit ally, you need the Spirit Calling Bell. You don’t start the game with this item, but you can earn it pretty quickly. After talking with Milena and acquiring the spirit steed Torrent, visit the Church of Elleh and talk to the witch sitting on top of the crumbling north wall. This NPC, Renna, will ask if you can summon Torrent. Answer yes, and she will hand over a Spirit Calling Bell, along with the Lone Wolf Ashes.

These are most gamers’ first Spirit Ashes, although you can get a jump on other Spirit Ash collectors if you pick the Fanged Imp Ashes keepsake at the beginning of the game. If you don’t talk to Renna, you can always purchase a Spirit Calling Bell from the Twin Maiden Husks in Roundtable Hold.

With the Spirit Calling Bell in hand, you are finally ready to summon ghostly allies.

When Can You Summon Spirit Ashes

The ability to call forth NPCs who aid you in battle sounds like an overpowered ability in a game like Elden Ring, but the developers built in limitations to prevent Spirit Ashes from breaking the intended difficulty curve.

Summoning Spirit Ash allies costs a set amount of FP, which unlike Stamina doesn’t naturally regenerate over time. The more Spirit Ashes you use, the fewer spells you can cast and vice versa. Moreover, you can’t summon Spirit Ash NPCs anywhere you want, as they also require a nearby Rebirth Monument. These monuments, which look like knee-high stone obelisks, are scattered throughout the world and are also prevalent in boss arenas. You can usually tell one is close when their icons pop up on the left side of the game HUD. 

Each Rebirth Monument has one charge, and summoning a Spirit Ash ally consumes it. These charges don’t replenish unless you rest at a Site of Grace, so you only get one shot per monument. In other words, you can only summon one Spirit Ash ally per boss battle. Make it count. 

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That should get you started on the path towards mastering Spirit Ashes in Elden Ring. Always keep an eye and ear out for treasure, as you never know which dungeon or NPC holds your next spectral ally.