Elden Ring‘s massive 1.03 update features more confirmed changes and additional content than many people were expecting to find in the patch notes, but it’s actually the update’s hidden (or “secret”) changes that have a lot of fans buzzing at the moment.
While it’s not unusual for a major update to feature a few changes that aren’t detailed in the official patch notes, it’s always interesting to try to figure out whether or not those changes are actually intended or merely the result of something that went wrong. More often than not, there’s a healthy mix of both.
So, while it remains to be seen how many of these changes were meant to be added to the game in the first place, here is every hidden change in Elden Ring‘s 1.03 update that we’ve found so far.
Elden Ring Update 1.03 Hidden Changes: Smithing Stones Purchased From Twin Maiden Husks Are Now Significantly Cheaper
Elden Ring‘s update 1.03 patch notes mention that it’s now easier to find Smithing Stones on early enemies and even purchase them from select early game merchants. Well, it turns out both those things are true. Limited quantities of Smithing Stones have been added to the inventories of most of the Nomadic Merchants you meet early on, and it’s way easier to acquire Smithing Stones as drops from early enemies. I’m not sure what the new drop rate is, but the difference is certainly noticeable.
One thing that the patch notes don’t mention, though, is that the Smithing Stones you buy from Twin Maiden Husks in Roundtable Hold are now much cheaper. I haven’t been able to confirm the exact price difference for every item quite yet, but most of the ones I’ve tested so far appear to be about 4X cheaper than they were before. So, if you haven’t already gone out of your way to find those Bell Bearings that allow you to purchase Smithing Stones from Twin Maiden Husks, now is the time to do so.
Elden Ring Update 1.03 Hidden Changes: Banished Knight Engvall’s Spirit Ashes Can Now Be Found in Murkwater Catacombs
For reasons that I can’t quite explain, it seems that you’re able to acquire Banished Knight Engavall’s Spirit Ashes by beating the boss in Murkwater Catacombs. Anyone who already beat that boss will find that those ashes have been added to the inventory.
As for the Battle Hammer you previously got for beating that boss…well, it’s not clear what happened to that. I’ve heard some players report that they were able to acquire it from random mobs, but I haven’t found a consistent location for it quite yet. If you find a consistent drop spot for the Battle Hammer, be sure to let us know.
Elden Ring Update 1.03 Hidden Changes: Many Heavy and Strength-Based Weapons Are Now “Weaker” Thanks to a Bug Fix
Prior to this latest update, some Elden Ring players noticed that some of their fully-upgraded weapons were actually weaker than they were at the previous upgrade level. Many suspected that was the result of a bug, and it turns out that’s true.
However, it seems that the bug wasn’t affecting the total damage for those fully-upgraded weapons but was rather causing the previous upgrade levels to be stronger than intended. As such, it seems that the total attack power for several upgraded weapons has been reduced across the board. I haven’t seen a full list of weapons affected by this change, but it seems that most weapons with the “Heavy” affinity (and some others that primarily scale with Strength) have been impacted by this change.
Simply put, this is a big nerf to most Strength builds and other builds that relied on Heavy affinity weapons. While it seems like most of those weapons were never meant to be as powerful as they were, I hope FromSoftware finds a way to make Strength builds feel more viable than they currently do.
Elden Ring Update 1.03 Hidden Changes: Arcane Scaling Weapons are Now Significantly More Powerful
Ok, so this update is referenced in the patch notes, but you really have to dive a little deeper into this change to appreciate its full impact.
Elden Ring‘s Arcane state primarily determines your Discovery rating as well as your resistances to Holy and Death effects. However, it’s also supposed to enhance the power of weapons and abilities that scale with the Arcane stat. Unfortunately, there was a bug in the launch version of the game that prevented those weapons from scaling with your Arcane stat properly. As such, nobody really knew how powerful those Arcane weapons were.
Now that Arcane scaling is fixed, though, it seems that just about every Arcane scaling weapon in the game just got a huge buff. Rivers of Blood is clearly the biggest beneficiary that players have found so far, but every Arcane weapon is now worth reconsidering. This change also makes certain Bleed builds even stronger than they already were.
I’ve even heard some players report that Arcane scaling weapons are now benefiting more from Arcane than Dexterity (even if that isn’t supposed to be the case), but I’m waiting to see the results of more tests before I recommend investing in Arcane over anything else. Regardless, Arcane is much more useful than it was before.
Elden Ring Update 1.03 Hidden Changes: Moonveil Now Deals Less “Poise Damage”
While some of Elden Ring‘s most powerful weapons were clearly nerfed in this latest update, Moonveil players likely breathed a sigh of relief when they hit Ctrl+F and realized their beloved katana wasn’t referenced in the patch notes. However, it seems the Moonveil was indeed stealth nerfed.
While Moonveil’s base damage appears to be roughly the same as it ever was, the katana’s Weapon Skill doesn’t break an enemy’s Poise as easily as it used to. It seems that it now takes an extra hit (or two) with that ability to stagger most enemies. That means that it’s now slightly more difficult to spam that attack and “stun lock” tougher foes.
It’s probably not enough of a difference to make Moonveil players change their entire strategy, but it does seem like they may need to rely on their roster of spells more than they did before.
Elden Ring Update 1.03 Hidden Changes: Most Shields Are Now Stronger, but the Great Turtle Shell is Noticeably Weaker
Elden Ring‘s recent update includes a reference to “increased shield effectiveness,” but the patch notes don’t say what that actually means.
As it turns out, pretty much every shield in Elden Ring now has a higher Guard Boost rating than it did before. Guard Boost determines how much Stamina is consumed whenever you successfully block an attack, so that basically means that it now costs less Stamina to use a shield in Elden Ring.
It also seems that some shields have had their Physical Damage Reduction ratings adjusted. While players are still assembling a full list of Physical Damage Reduction modifications, it does look like many of the shields in the game were actually buffed in some way.
Weirdly, though, the Great Turtle Shell’s damage reduction is noticeably weaker than it was before. Furthermore, it seems that the Ash of War that shield comes equipped with (Barricade Shield) no longer lasts as long as it used to. All things considered, Great Turtle Shell users might want to look for a replacement.
Elden Ring Update 1.03 Hidden Changes: Endure No Longer Provides a Poise Boost (Possible Bug)
Some players are reporting that the Endure Ash of War (which reduces incoming damage and raises your Poise when used) no longer seems to actually affect your Poise rating. This makes the Ash of War noticeably weaker than it was before.
However, given that a boost to Poise is referenced in the Ash of War’s description, it’s easy to assume that this “change” is actually the result of a bug. We’ll be sure to keep an eye on this one for future updates.
Elden Ring Update 1.03 Hidden Changes: Staff of The Avatar and Rotten Staff’s Erdtree Slam Skill Now Deals Much More Damage
For some reason, Staff of the Avatar and Rotten Staff’s Erdtree Slam Weapon Skill wasn’t doing any damage (or any significant damage) in previous versions of Elden Ring. There was actually a debate at the time regarding whether that lack of significant damage was the result of a bug or a way to help balance those AOE abilities.
Well, it seems that the latest Elden Ring update has finally settled that debate. Not only do those Weapon Skills now deal damage, but they appear to be significantly stronger overall than they were before. As a result of this change, those staffs are much more appealing options than they were before.
Elden Ring Update 1.03 Hidden Changes: New FP Costs For Every Buffed Sorcery Spell
Finally, while Elden Ring‘s patch notes mention that the FP costs of some sorceries have been reduced, the notes don’t say how much those new spells actually cost. Thankfully, the good people over at the Elden Ring subreddit have managed to compile what seems to be a comprehensive list of FP cost reductions introduced by this latest update.
Glintstone Cometshard: 25 FP – 19 FP
Comet: 38 FP – 26 FP
Shard Spiral: 16 FP – 14 FP
Star Shower: 36 FP – 23 FP
Gavel of Haima: 37 FP – 25 FP
Rock Blaster: 30 FP – 25 FP
Stars of Ruin: 50 FP – 38 FP
Founding Rain of Stars: 46 FP – 32 FP
Greatblade Phalanx: 43 FP – 35 FP
Magic Downpour: 25 FP – 20 FP
Loretta’s Greatbow: 32 FP – 28 FP
Loretta’s Mastery: 50 FP – 43 FP
Carian Greatsword: 16 FP – 14 FP
Carian Piercer: 23 FP – 19 FP
Night Comet: 32 FP – 24 FP
While that’s every significant secret/unexplained change I’ve been able to find in the 1.03 patch notes so far, there are surely more waiting to be discovered. We’ll be updating this article as more secret changes are confirmed, so be sure to let us know about any that you’ve discovered in the comments section below!