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Runes are some of the most vital parts of Lords of the Fallen when it comes to succeeding in this game, but the weird part about it is that the runes are also some of the most confusing elements. The game doesn’t explain runes all that well and leaves it up to the player to figure out more about it through sources like this Lords of the Fallen runes guide. Fortunately, we have your back.
This Lords of the Fallen Runes guide is going to teach you everything you need to know about this essential part of the RPG using the experience I have learned firsthand in trying to figure this all out. Here is what you need to know about the best runes, how to apply runes, and where to get them.
- How Runes Work in Lords of the Fallen
- How to Unlock Runes in Lords of the Fallen
- Different Types of Runes Explained
- Strength Runes Explained
- Best Strength Runes
- Agility Runes Explained
- Best Agility Runes
- Radiance Runes Explained
- Best Radiance Runes
- Inferno Runes Explained
- Best Inferno Runes
- How Runes Work in Other Similar Games
How Runes Work in Lords of the Fallen
Runes are like enchantments or attachments for your various weapons and shields in Lords of the Fallen. Each weapon or shield can have up to three rune slots on it for players to use, but you have to unlock them first. These three runes have to fit into the correct slot on the equipment item.
There are four different types of runes, and they each have a different shape to it. With the weapons you like in the game, you have to make sure of the shape of the rune slots it has and only try to put runes in there that fit that shape type accordingly.
When you use a rune, it radically changes that weapon or shield item’s function. It can increase the damage of the item, boost its protection, change the qualities of how you use it, or even shift how the gameplay progression works in the title. This is essential for you if you want to succeed in the game and potentially make some of the most broken builds in the entire game.
How to Unlock Runes in Lords of the Fallen
Before you can use a rune, you need first to upgrade the weapon or shield you want to use runes on. While I recommend picking the best runes in the game, it is far more important to focus on the weapon or shield you love. Once you have that decided, it is now time to upgrade the weapon.
This is because almost no weapon or shield in the game lets you use runes in the game without first upgrading them. Once you upgrade them, you start to unlock the various rune slots. Each weapon or shield can have up to three rune slots in total, so you may have to upgrade it multiple times.
But this is only half of the equation. On the other side is unlocking the various runes that exist in the game so you can equip them with your weapons and shields. You want to head to Pilgrim’s Perch and speak with the NPC Gerlinde there.
Trade in rune tablets to her, and you will be able to unlock the different runes you can get acquire in the game. Most of them require you to spend Vigor, so be sure to do your research ahead of time to know what you want. Fortunately, I have your back on that down below.
Different Types of Runes Explained
There are four different types of runes in total you can find in Lords of the Fallen, and this plays a direct role in how they function. The four types are as follows:
- Strength runes
- Agility runes
- Radiance runes
- Inferno runes
This might be interesting to players since the runes focus on some of the major stats you deal with in the game. This may contribute to your build, but there are some runes that work better for other weapons and shields than others.
This is because each of the four runes corresponds to the four different shapes. Some weapons might have slots for strength runes, for instance, but none for agility runes and vice versa. This is why it is best to pick out the weapon or shield you prefer first and then mold your rune selection around what slots you have available.
Fortunately, I have your back when it comes to this. Below, I will let you know about each of the four runes, some of the differences between them, and what types of runes fall under that category. In addition, I will even let you know the best few runes for each rune type so you can pick out which one works best for your weapon or shield.
Strength Runes Explained
The Strength runes are the first of the four types of runes you can have in the game. They are usually noted by their standard circular shape, which looks the simplest out of the four different types. As you might expect, they all generally have to do with the Strength stat in the game.
Because of this, I would mostly recommend the Strength runes to players who are opting for a Strength build. This is mostly everyone except for players who focus on Agility instead, so this is one of the most widespread rune categories that would be a variety of players.
What may surprise you is that even though this particular group focuses on the strength attribute, it often helps with some ranged weapons so it can be helpful for some agility players as well. Regardless, this particular group focuses mainly on the idea of increasing the power of your weapons and stats.
Best Strength Runes
In total, there are 11 Strength runes you can collect throughout Lords of the Fallen. But you can only have so many equipped on your various weapons and shields.
As such, I have three Strength runes that I think are the best of the entire bunch based on their overall function, flexibility for both weapons and shields and how versatile they are for a variety of builds. I also generally skip over the runes that come with adverse factors, as they sometimes render their positives obsolete.
Ixon looks like the most basic of the Strength runes. It focuses purely on increasing stats, and that’s it. But this isn’t a bad thing, as it makes it quite valuable for tons of builds. If you use on a weapon, it will increase your overall physical damage, which is always a welcome upgrade.
On the other hand, if you use it on a shield, it will increase your overall physical defense. So, it basically becomes a question of whether you need more damage or defense, and then you pick what to equip it on accordingly. Its boost is quite good, and it comes with no drawbacks, so it is a solid choice.
This is one of my favorites from this category, especially if you like to run a build with a shield in hand. When you use it on a weapon, it increases the overall Strength stat scaling you have. On the other hand, if you use it for a shield, it will increase the Strength attribute massively.
This makes it the prime rune to use if you want to have the highest possible Strength stat in the game and scale well. Basically, if you are a melee fighter who purely goes for Strength alone and doesn’t deal with Agility or spells that much, this is going to help you have the highest Strength stat possible.
This will, in turn, let you deal the most damage you possibly can for your build. Use this on some of the best weapons in Lords of the Fallen, and you will instantly turn into a beast in battle.
Unlike the other two, this is by far one of the more limited and narrow runes in the game. It only works for specific builds, starting with the weapon function. When equipped with a weapon, this rune will increase the overall damage of your ranged and throwable weapons in the game.
But if you were to use it on a shield, instead, you would get a boost to your overall max ammo capacity for your ranged weapons and other tools. As such, this is the rune I would recommend, ironically, to Agility players who like to use ranged weapons or carry around a lot of throwable weapons.
This can also work for some Strength builds that operate like a hybrid or carry around ranged weapons as a secondary option. Regardless of how you use it, if your character focuses on ranged physical weaponry, this is a rune you should consider.
Agility Runes Explained
The Agility Runes group may surprise you. This is by far one of the most varied groups in the game, and it can help out various builds and players. Some of them focus on status ailments like poison, which is quite lovely for specific builds and weapons in the game.
On the other hand, some build resistance to status ailments or help with rather niche areas like dual-wielding. And if you like increasing your stamina regeneration, this is also the runes category you should look at. They are far more helpful than just to players who focus on the Agility stat.
Best Agility Runes
Below, you’ll find three of the best runes that fall under the Agility category. These runes have an upside triangle appearance to them and will only work in slots that they fit in properly. I picked three of the 12 total Agility runes, which are my favorites, and I highly recommend them for all players to consider for their characters.
Atarux or Vixys
When it comes to status ailments, poison is one of the best, and this rune focuses on that. If you use it for a weapon, it will boost the poison buildup when attacking enemies, which is great for some of the more challenging bosses. On the other hand, it increases your resistance to poison when used on a shield.
Considering how annoying poison can be if you get it, this is a rune that works equally well for both weapons and shields alike. Vixys is another fantastic rune option for the same idea but for bleeding. Bleeding is also another excellent status ailment option you should consider.
If you are a dual-wielder in this game, this is the rune for you. The Dimexus rune works for weapons in that it increases your overall damage with them, which is quite nice for your already powerful build. But I would argue this rune’s best trait comes from the shield side.
While on a shield, it increases your overall stamina regeneration rate considerably. This is fantastic if you find yourself running out of stamina too often and having to run or dodge around while you wait for it to come back.
This incredible rune sounds pretty simple at first. When used with a weapon, it increases your physical damage, and that’s it. So, it is pretty similar to some of the Strength runes in the game in that way. But it has potentially the best shield function out of any rune in Lords of the Fallen.
If used on a shield, it increases your overall status ailment resistance to every single status effect in the game. This means bleeding, burning, poison, and so on. All of them will be less effective against you when you have this rune equipped on a shield. If you run a shield, this is the number one best rune you should get for your character.
Radiance Runes Explained
Radiance runes have a diamond shape to them, and they focus on the Radiance side of Lords of the Fallen, which may not be for everyone. They are pretty specific in their function, mainly focusing on stat boosts and the occasional increases to certain damage types. But they can be pretty helpful for spellcaster classes and builds, which I wouldn’t say for some of the other rune types.
Best Radiance Runes
Below, you’ll find three of my favorite runes in the Radiance category of Lords of the Fallen. I prefer the ones that are more unique and versatile in this group for spellcasters, in particular, since this can be one of the better rune categories for them.
This is by far one of the most basic of the Radiance runes, which isn’t a bad thing. It increases your holy damage when used on a weapon and increases your holy resistance when used on a shield. This is one of the more common spell damage types, so it is a valuable asset in that regard if you like to use holy damage.
This is by far one of my favorite runes to use as a spellcaster, which is what I usually focus on in Lords of the Fallen. If you use it on a weapon, this rune will give you mana back for every enemy you kill in the game. This will then let you keep killing more enemies and create an excellent cycle.
On the other hand, when used in a shield, this rune gives you a nice bit of mana regen boost, which is fantastic. If you use spells nonstop in the game, you should consider this one.
I like to call this the unofficial Umbral rune. Its weapon function gives you a boost to both Radiant and Inferno attribute scaling. Its shield function of dread resistance is fine, but the boost for both stats on the weapon side is fantastic. If you focus on Umbral spells, which usually use both stats, this is the prime rune for you.
Inferno Runes Explained
Don’t count the Inferno runes category out. This rune has a unique star shape to it, which means you can only use it in those types of rune slots. There are only 10 of the Inferno runes in existence, but they offer a wide variety of options, especially for spellcasters.
Best Inferno Runes
These are my three favorite Inferno runes for spellcasters and other types of players alike.
This is the counterpart of the mana rune from the Radiant side. Its weapon function gives you HP back every time you take out a foe, while the shield function boosts your overall max HP. Every player could use more HP no matter what your build is, so this is a highly valuable one.
Tumul is a decent alternative. It has the same weapon function, but its shield version grants HP regen instead, which is pretty nice.
This is probably my second favorite rune when it comes to spellcaster classes. It increases your overall elemental damage for weapons but boosts your elemental defense for shields. This makes your elemental spells much better, but it can also be great for melee users with elemental swords and the like.
This is another status ailment-focused rune. It focuses on the ignite status effect, and its weapon function increases the buildup for it on enemies you hit. On the other hand, the shield version gives you better resistance to ignition.
This is a solid option for ignite builds. I also recommend taking a look at Tianarx, which does the same but for fire elemental damage if you like fire builds.
Question: What do you do with the runes in Lords of the Fallen?
Answer: For the most part, the purpose of the runes in Lords of the Fallen is to allow you to equip them on your various weapons and shields in the game. They radically change the properties of these items, turning them into much different gear. For instance, they might let you have higher stats at the cost of something else, and so on.
Question: What do you do with the Rune of Adyr in Lords of the Fallen?
Answer: The Rune of Adyr in Lords of the Fallen is quite different from the other runes on this post. This one has to do with the Inferno ending in the game and is vital to getting that ending. You want to take that rune to the Remnant NPC in Mother’s Lull so you can gain a better form of it and prepare yourself for this ending.
Question: What is a sealed rune in Lords of the Fallen?
Answer: The sealed runes in Lords of the Fallen were present in the original 2014 game. You would take these to the crafter NPC in the title, and they would convert them essentially into keys, which you could then use to open up special locations throughout the world. You could also gamble experience to try and get a better rune. This system is unavailable in the new Lords of the Fallen.
How Runes Work in Other Similar Games
The runes in Lords of the Fallen provide one of the most vital parts of the entire game when it comes to your weapons and shields. The game doesn’t explain this feature that well, which is why it is so important you read up above and find out everything you need to know about this valuable part of equipment.
Runes change everything about your weapons and overall build, letting you create unique types of characters that are far different from what others are making. You could be a life siphon player who takes the damage you inflict on enemies in the game and brings it back to yourself to heal your HP and so on. There are so many ways to use the runes in Lords of the Fallen.
But now that you know everything you need to know about runes in this game, it might be time to check out the runes in other games. Elden Ring, for instance, has a very different take on runes, as they are essentially the experience items for that masterpiece of a title. Fortunately, there are ways to farm runes in Elden Ring quite easily.
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