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Elden Ring affinities: how to upgrade and customise your weapons using whetstones and whetblades

Your Elden Ring weapons' elemental affinities explained, and how to change them

What are affinities in Elden Ring? Affinities are the elemental powers your character has the chance to use to upgrade their weapons in Elden Ring. Depending on an item's affinity, its scaling value can change. This means that you can tweak the attribute scaling of a weapon to affect its attack power, and in some cases, deal elemental damage or inflict status ailments with your attacks.

On this page, we'll go over every affinity in Elden Ring and what it does, as well as where to find the Whetstone Knives that can change an item's affinity.

What are affinities in Elden Ring?

Affinities are part of Elden Ring's vast weapon customisation system, allowing you to alter the attribute scaling and elemental buffs of your attacks.

There are a total of 12 affinities in the game, including the standard (no affinity) state:

  • Standard: A neutral state with no affinity. Individual weapons have their own default stat scaling that applies in this case.
  • Heavy: Enhances Strength scaling at the expense of all other attributes.
  • Keen: Enhanced Dexterity scaling at the expense of all other attributes.
  • Quality: Slightly enhances and evenly balances Strength and Dexterity scaling at the expense of all other attributes.
  • Magic: Weakens the weapon's default scaling but adds Intelligence scaling. Changes to split physical/Magical damage type.
  • Sacred: Weakens the weapon's default scaling but adds Faith scaling. Changes to split physical/Holy damage type.
  • Fire: Weakens the weapon's default scaling. Changes to split physical/Fire damage.
  • Lightning: Weakens the weapon's default scaling but enhances Dexterity scaling. Changes to split physical/Lightning damage.
  • Frost: Weakens the weapon's default scaling but enhances Intelligence scaling. Adds Frostbite build-up to attacks.
  • Blood: Weakens the weapon's default scaling but adds Arcane scaling. Adds Bleed build-up to attacks.
  • Occult: Weakens the weapon's default scaling but adds Arcane scaling. Prevents auto-revival of undead enemies.
  • Poison: Enhances Strength, Dexterity, and Arcane scaling. Adds Poison build-up to attacks.

How to change an item's affinity using whetstones

You unlock the ability to change a weapon's affinity when you obtain your first Whetstone Knife. Using a whetstone, you can apply Ashes of War to your weapons to upgrade them with affinities and other special status effects, according to the type of Ashes you use. Furthermore, there are different types of whetstones you can collect, which further expand your customisation options, since there are some affinities that are only made available by using certain whetstones.

Below is a list of all the types of whetstones we've found in Elden Ring so far, as well as the areas in which we've picked them up. This list of locations isn't comprehensive, though, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for them (probably literally, this is a Soulsborne game after all).

  • Whetstone Knife: The most basic whetstone, this allows you to change your weapon's affinity based on the properties of the Ashes of War you use to imbue it. You'll find your first one at the Gatefront Ruins in Limgrave, which initially unlocks the ability to upgrade weapons.
  • Iron Whetblade: Allows you to change your weapon's affinity based on the properties of the Ashes of War you use, with additional opportunity to apply Heavy, Keen, and Quality affinities. We found one at Stormveil Castle in Limgrave.
  • Glintstone Whetblade: Allows you to change your weapon's affinity based on the properties of the Ashes of War you use, with additional opportunity to apply the Magic and Frost affinities. We found one at the Academy of Raya Lucaria in Liurnia.
  • Black Whetblade: Allows you to change your weapon's affinity based on the properties of the Ashes of War you use, with additional opportunity to apply the Blood, Occult, and Poison affinities. We found one in Nokron, The Eternal City.
  • Sanctified Whetblade: Allows you to change your weapon's affinity based on the properties of the Ashes of War you use, with additional opportunity to apply the Sacred and Lightning affinities. We found one in the Fortified Manor in Leyndell, the Royal Capital.

For more on your choice of weaponry to help you survive in the Lands Between, see our best weapons in Elden Ring guide. If you're right at the start of your journey and are struggling to pick an origin for your character, be sure to take a look at our Elden Ring best class page.

About the Author

Rebecca Jones avatar

Rebecca Jones

Guides Writer

Rebecca can usually be found working through her latest fiction-induced anguish by recreating all those lovely doomed characters in The Sims. More recently she discovered a fondness for Genshin Impact, which she pitches to bewildered friends as "Pokémon but with hot people instead of made-up animals". She also loves horror games and will play them at any opportunity, despite the fact that they make her so panicked she once threw her controller in a self-defence reflex. (The controller survived; Rebecca's dignity did not.)

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