Does Upgrading Shields In Elden Ring Do Anything?

In the massive open world of Elden Ring, shields can be a trusty companion against the many perilous foes. Naturally, players wonder if reinforcing shields to higher upgrade levels provides any meaningful benefit.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll shed light on what impact upgrading shields has in Elden Ring.

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: Upgrading shields in Elden Ring increases their damage negation and guard boost, making them more effective at blocking attacks. The exact benefits vary based on the shield.

Over the course of this approximately 3000 word guide, we’ll thoroughly cover the effects of upgrading Elden Ring shields. We’ll look at how defense and guard boost scale with upgrades for different shield types, evaluate if higher upgrades are worth the rune and material investment, and also consider the factors that affect a shield’s effectiveness beyond just upgrade level.

What Upgrading Does for Shield Defense

Upgrading shields in Elden Ring can significantly enhance their defensive capabilities. When you upgrade a shield, it increases its overall defense and provides better damage negation scaling. This means that with a higher upgraded shield, you can effectively reduce the damage taken from enemy attacks, making it an essential aspect of your overall defense strategy.

Damage Negation Scaling

Upgrading shields improves their damage negation scaling, which determines how much damage reduction they provide when blocking attacks. Without upgrading, a shield may only block a portion of the incoming damage.

However, with each upgrade level, the shield’s damage negation scaling increases, allowing you to block a greater percentage of damage.

For example, a basic shield may block 50% of incoming damage, but when fully upgraded, it could block up to 75% or more. This can make a significant difference in your survivability, especially when facing tough enemies or bosses.

Comparing Small, Medium, and Greatshields

When upgrading shields in Elden Ring, it’s important to consider the type of shield you are using. Small shields, medium shields, and greatshields all have their unique strengths and weaknesses.

  • Small Shields: These shields are lightweight and offer quick parrying abilities. Upgrading them improves their overall defense and stability, allowing you to block more damage without being staggered.
  • Medium Shields: Medium shields strike a balance between defense and maneuverability. Upgrading them enhances their stability and damage reduction, making them reliable options for blocking attacks.
  • Greatshields: These massive shields excel in defense and stability but come at the cost of increased weight and limited mobility. Upgrading greatshields amplifies their already impressive defense, providing an almost impenetrable barrier against enemy attacks.

Special Shields Like Fingerprint Stone Shield

In addition to the standard shields, Elden Ring also features special shields with unique properties. One such shield is the Fingerprint Stone Shield, which offers a distinctive ability. When upgraded, this shield not only improves its overall defense but also grants the wearer the ability to track the movements of hidden enemies.

The Fingerprint Stone Shield is just one example of the many special shields you can discover in Elden Ring. These shields often possess extraordinary abilities that can greatly aid you in your journey, making them worth upgrading to maximize their effectiveness.

It’s important to note that while upgrading shields improves their defensive capabilities, it doesn’t make you invincible. Timing your blocks and understanding enemy attack patterns are still crucial for successful defense.

So, don’t solely rely on shield upgrades; hone your skills and strategic thinking to overcome the challenges that await you in Elden Ring.

Effects on Guard Boost and Stamina Reduction

Upgrading shields in Elden Ring can have a significant impact on both guard boost and stamina reduction. Let’s take a closer look at how these upgrades can enhance your defensive capabilities and improve your overall combat experience.

Guard Boost Explained

Guard boost refers to the amount of stability a shield provides when blocking attacks. A higher guard boost means that your shield will be more effective at reducing the impact of incoming attacks, resulting in less damage taken.

Upgrading your shield can increase its guard boost, allowing you to withstand more powerful strikes without being staggered.

According to Elden Ring Guides, some shields may also provide additional benefits when their guard boost is upgraded. For example, certain shields may offer elemental resistance or bonus effects when fully upgraded, giving you an extra edge in specific situations.

Reduced Stamina Cost on Block

Blocking attacks with a shield consumes stamina, and upgrading your shield can help reduce the amount of stamina drained when blocking. This means that you’ll be able to maintain your defensive stance for longer periods, giving you more opportunities to counterattack or find an opening to escape.

As you progress through the game and encounter tougher enemies, having a shield with reduced stamina cost can be a game-changer. It allows you to conserve your stamina for other actions, such as dodging or using special abilities, giving you more flexibility in combat.

Balance Between Defense and Guard Boost

When deciding whether to upgrade your shield, it’s crucial to find the right balance between defense and guard boost. While higher guard boost and reduced stamina cost are undoubtedly beneficial, it’s important not to neglect the overall defensive capabilities of your shield.

Consider factors such as stability, resistances, and weight when choosing a shield to upgrade. A shield with high guard boost but low stability may still leave you vulnerable to stagger, while a shield with excellent resistances may be more effective in specific encounters.

Ultimately, upgrading your shield in Elden Ring can have a tangible impact on your survivability and combat effectiveness. It’s worth experimenting with different shields and finding the upgrades that best suit your playstyle and the challenges you face in the game.

Weighing the Upgrade Costs for Shields

Upgrading shields in Elden Ring can be a crucial step in enhancing your defense and survivability in the game. However, it’s important to carefully consider the costs and benefits before investing in these upgrades.

Let’s take a closer look at the factors to consider when weighing the upgrade costs for shields.

Rune Cost by Shield and Upgrade Level

Each shield in Elden Ring has its own unique rune cost for upgrading, and this cost increases with each upgrade level. It’s essential to understand the rune cost for the specific shield you’re considering upgrading to avoid any surprises.

Some shields may require a significant investment of runes, while others may be more affordable.

For example, the Aegis Shield requires 50 runes to upgrade from +0 to +1, but the cost increases to 100 runes to upgrade from +1 to +2. On the other hand, the Guardian Shield only requires 30 runes to upgrade from +0 to +1 and 60 runes to upgrade from +1 to +2.

By carefully comparing the rune costs, you can make an informed decision on which shield upgrades are worth pursuing.

Scarce Upgrade Materials

Aside from the rune cost, another factor to consider is the availability of upgrade materials. Some shields may require rare or hard-to-find materials to upgrade, making the process more challenging. It’s important to assess whether you have the necessary resources or if obtaining them will be a lengthy and difficult task.

For example, the Dragon Scale Shield may require Dragon Scales as an upgrade material, which can only be obtained by defeating powerful dragon enemies. If you’re struggling to find these materials or they are in high demand among other players, it may be wise to consider alternative shield upgrades that use more readily available materials.

Farming Locations to Gather Materials

If you decide to pursue shield upgrades that require scarce materials, it’s helpful to know the best farming locations to gather those materials efficiently. Thankfully, the Elden Ring community has come together to share their knowledge and experiences on various websites and forums.

Websites like and provide valuable information on farming locations, drop rates, and strategies for obtaining rare upgrade materials. Utilizing these resources can save you time and frustration as you work towards upgrading your shields.

Remember, upgrading shields in Elden Ring can significantly enhance your defensive capabilities, but it’s crucial to carefully weigh the upgrade costs. Consider the rune cost, availability of upgrade materials, and farming locations before making your decision.

With a well-informed approach, you’ll be able to maximize your shield upgrades and face the challenges of Elden Ring with confidence.

Importance of Other Shield Properties

Upgrading shields in Elden Ring not only enhances their defensive capabilities but also improves other important properties that can greatly impact your gameplay. Let’s take a closer look at some of these properties:

Stability, Recovery Time, Parry Strength

One of the key properties to consider when upgrading shields is stability. Stability determines how well the shield can withstand enemy attacks without staggering the player. A higher stability shield will allow you to block stronger attacks without losing your balance, giving you an advantage in tough battles.

Upgrading shields can significantly boost their stability, making them more reliable in combat.

Recovery time is another important factor to consider. When you block an attack with a shield, there is a brief recovery period before you can take any action. Upgrading shields can reduce this recovery time, allowing you to counter-attack or dodge more quickly, giving you an edge in fast-paced combat situations.

Parry strength is a property specific to certain shields that allows you to perform a parry maneuver. Parrying is a high-risk, high-reward move that, when timed correctly, can leave your opponent vulnerable to a devastating riposte.

Upgrading shields can increase the parry strength, making it easier to land successful parries and turn the tide of battle in your favor.

Skills and Passive Buffs

Aside from defensive properties, upgrading shields can also unlock new skills and passive buffs that can greatly enhance your character’s abilities. Some shields may grant you the ability to perform special attacks or provide passive bonuses such as increased stamina regeneration or resistance to status effects.

These additional features can make a significant difference in combat and provide a greater level of customization to suit your playstyle.

Elemental Damage Negation

Certain enemies in Elden Ring may deal elemental damage, such as fire, lightning, or poison. Upgrading shields can improve their elemental damage negation, reducing the amount of damage you take from these sources.

This can be particularly useful when facing tough bosses or exploring hazardous environments where elemental damage is prevalent.

It’s worth noting that the specific properties and benefits of upgrading shields may vary depending on the type of shield and its upgrade path. Experimenting with different shields and upgrade paths can help you find the perfect combination that suits your playstyle and maximizes your survivability in the world of Elden Ring.

Max Upgrade Priority for Best Shields

When it comes to upgrading shields in Elden Ring, players often wonder if it’s worth the effort. Upgrading shields can indeed make a significant difference in your overall defense and survivability. In this article, we will explore the max upgrade priority for three of the best shields in the game: the Barricade Shield, the Golden Greatshield, and the Carian Knight’s Shield.

Barricade Shield

The Barricade Shield is known for its exceptional stability and resistance. It is the ideal choice for those who prefer a more defensive playstyle. Upgrading this shield to its maximum level is highly recommended as it significantly increases its stability, allowing you to block even the most powerful blows with ease.

Additionally, the upgraded Barricade Shield offers increased resistances to various types of damage, making it a valuable asset in tough encounters.

Golden Greatshield

The Golden Greatshield is a popular choice among players who prioritize both defense and offense. This shield boasts impressive durability and high lightning resistance. Upgrading the Golden Greatshield to its maximum level not only enhances its resistance stats but also increases its overall damage absorption.

With the max upgrade, this shield becomes a formidable tool in both blocking attacks and retaliating against enemies. It’s definitely a shield worth investing your upgrade materials in.

Carian Knight’s Shield

The Carian Knight’s Shield is renowned for its exceptional blocking capabilities and versatility. It offers high stability and a balanced distribution of resistances, making it a reliable choice for various situations.

When fully upgraded, the Carian Knight’s Shield becomes even more formidable, providing increased stability and a boost to all of its resistance stats. Whether you are facing physical, elemental, or status effect-based attacks, this shield will have you covered.


Upgrading shields in Elden Ring can significantly improve their damage negation and guard boost, making them more efficient and viable for blocking powerful enemy attacks.

However, the benefits must be weighed against the substantial rune and material investment required. Even low level shields can remain effective depending on their base stats and skills.

We hope this guide provided insight into the effects of shield upgrades in Elden Ring. No matter your playstyle, a trusty shield remains invaluable when traversing the Lands Between.

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