What does Dexterity do in Elden Ring? Dex stat and builds explained

What does Dexterity do in Elden Ring? Dex stat and builds explained
Jack Webb Updated on by

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✓ at a glance
  • Put simply, Dexterity is one of the main stats in Elden Ring.
  • Among other things, dex governs how much damage you deal with weapons that scale with dexterity, which are typically katanas, curved swords, and other one-handed weapons.

As one of the main stats, learning about what dexterity does in Elden Ring will help you plan your builds and understand exactly what is so great about dex weapons and builds. But, what does Dexterity do in Elden Ring? It’s no secret that Elden Ring is a difficult game, so to combat this difficulty, you’re given plenty of options to deal with all the nonsense you come up against. Dex is one of the main stats in Elden Ring and this is mostly tied to weapons such as katanas and curved swords. People swear by the effectiveness of these builds.

elden ring what does dexterity do: in-game tool-tip showing Dexterity.
The game explains Dexterity if you go into your stats. Image taken by VideoGamer

What does dexterity do in Elden Ring?

Dexterity in Elden Ring is a fairly flexible stat to level. Dexterity governs how much damage you deal when using weapons that scale with dex, alongside reducing spell-casting time and even reducing fall damage. Not to mention, several weapons in Elden Ring have dexterity attribute scaling, meaning you can get a lot of bang for your buck by investing level points in dexterity.

Dexterity is one of the two melee stats in Elden Ring, with the other being strength. Where the strength stat allows for wielding slow, powerful swords, dexterity allows for quicker movement and nimbleness. Dexterity allows you to wield some of the most complex weapons in the game, such as unique Katanas, curved swords, and twin blades, to name a few. Dexterity also goes hand-in-hand with strength to create what are known as Quality builds. Quality builds are strength and dexterity hybrid builds in Elden Ring that make use of certain strong weapons that share the same stats and can benefit from having points in strength and dex.

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Weapons can also be enhanced specifically to give them better dexterity scaling by making them ‘Keen’ weapons. This increases the scaling rank of the weapon, which can effectively mean any weapon you use can be dex-scaling if you give it the Keen enhancement.

The tooltip inside the game explains dexterity as such: “Attribute required to wield advanced armaments. Also boosts attack power of dexterity-scaling armaments, reduces the casting time of Spells, softens fall damage, and makes it harder to be knocked off your horse.” Dexterity builds are powerful in both PvE and PvP in Elden Ring. For PvP, weapons like the Rivers of Blood and Moonveil are ideal due to their quick and brutal attacks. For PvE, weapons such as the Washing Pole are great due to their high damage, ease of use, and exceptional length.

Are dexterity builds good in Elden Ring?

Elden Ring does a great job of making all builds viable, but it’s no secret that some weapons are far stronger than others. You can certainly beat Elden Ring using a dex build so long as you remember to upgrade your weapons regularly. As with all stats in Elden Ring, you will hit diminishing returns at a certain level.

Dexterity is a good place to start as you eventually make your way to either a full dex build or a hybrid dex/bleed build using Rivers of Blood. This weapon in particular requires 18 dexterity, 12 strength and 20 arcane to wield, so you can see here why it’s good to have a few points spread out. Equally, dex is required to use the Moonveil katana, which is another incredibly powerful dex/intelligence weapon.

Generally speaking, you can use any build you like to beat Elden Ring and you won’t encounter any problems if you happen to invest too much or too little into dex. The reduced fall damage from dexterity doesn’t really make a huge difference since fall damage is already very forgiving. Interestingly, the faster spell-casting from dexterity is very useful specifically for using Moonveil since you will run a hybrid dex/intelligence build for this weapon.