Elden Ring's Best Keepsake
So you're starting a character in Elden Ring and you're wondering what the best keepsake is. Depending on what you're asking with a question like this, there are a couple different answers. A lot of it comes down to your initial goal:
- Do you want the best overall option?
- Do you want the most value with the least amount of effort?
- Are you trying to beat content you're not supposed to?
- Are you looking to explore more areas early?
The Best (and Recommended) Keepsake -- Cracked Pot
Three strange cracked pots that somehow mend themselves. A container for certain thrown items.
Cracked Pots will give you a pretty big head start for difficult mobs and some bosses but the biggest problem with taking this keepsake is remembering to use them.
Using cracked pots helps create a good habit in Elden Ring -- using consumables. While there are a few cracked pots you can pick up from vendors in the starting area, having three extra consumables goes a long ways.
Until you hit the cap (20), each cracked pot gives you an extra reusable consumable. This is different from Golden Seeds, where it starts to take extra seeds to increase your flask (and this greatly reduces the value of the Golden Seed).
If you're new to Elden Ring -- Golden Seed
A golden seed washed ashore from the Lands Between. Said to reinforce Sacred Flasks.
If you haven't played any Souls games before, the easiest (easiest, not best) keepsake is going to be the Golden Seed -- having one extra flask at the beginning of the game will help smooth your start quite a bit. The biggest problem I have with the Golden Seed is that it's value falls off considerably if you've played the game for a little bit (it's very, very easy to find a lot of Golden Seeds once you know a little bit about the game).
For Completionists and Perfectionists -- Boiled Prawn
Five boiled crayfish meats. Boosts physical damage negation.
Boiled Prawns is a controversal pick but it's useful if your goal is to defeat the game's prologue boss -- the Grafted Scion. This item gives you a ton of value for this boss but pretty much loses all of it's value after that and since you're at the very start of the game, you can restart and try again.
It's a time-saver, just like the other keepsakes so it gets the job done... it just loses it value almost immediately after. I'd rather spam restart the game until I defeat the bosss and take cracked pots (or even the Golden Seed or Stonesword Key).
A Trap Pick (Quite Literally) -- Stonesword Key
Two tone keys shaped like swords. Breaks through an Imp's seal, but shatters in the process.
The Stonesword Key keepsake is probably the highest "value pick" (most expensive keepsake) and it allows you to open a side area immediately after leaving the tutorial... so what's the problem? While this side area has incredibly good rewards, it's insanely difficult for new characters (let alone new players).
Like the Golden Seed, it's pretty easy to find two keys pretty early in the game if you want to come back and open this area at a slightly more reasonable time.
Fanged Imp Ashes: This spirit is pretty good but it competes with at least two other summons you get for free. The biggest problem? It's easily accessible if you know about a hidden route and only costs 2000 runes to get.
Lands Between Rune: This keepsake gives you 3000 runes (worth roughly one boss). This allows you to buy most of Marchant Kalé's relevant stock immediately: 3x Cracked Pot, Crafting Kit, Torch, Nomadic Warrior's Cookbook , Missionary's Cookbook . So why isn't this a good option? Runes are a reward for playing the game, not for starting the game.
Crimson Amber Medalion: This medalion increases your hit points by 1% and it's a completely reasonable option for a blind playthrough because useful talisman are somewhat hard to find. Why not? You can buy it from a merchant for 1500 runes after a short run from the starting area.
Bewitching Branch and Shabriri's Woe are just bad, I can't really see any reasonable scenarios where you'd want to take these keepsakes over anything else listed.