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Elden Ring Players Are At War With AFK Rune Farmers

A new invasion exploit for easy runes has players getting creative while exacting revenge

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Two Elden Ring warriors fight on horseback in front of the sunset.
Image: FromSoftware

Elden Ring has a new rune farming strategy that revolves around hiding in seemingly unreachable parts of the map until your opponent dies or gets bored and leaves. Now, players who just wanted a good old-fashioned PvP showdown are finding new ways to fight back. The results are entertaining and brutal, but will they be enough to stem the tide of Elden Ring’s latest exploit?

There are few things gamers love more than not actually playing and still getting rewarded for it. AFK farms remain all the rage, and Elden Ring, it turns out, is not immune. More and more players have recently reported getting dragged into PvP invasions where their opponent is MIA, and it’s pissing them off. Some are hopeful developer FromSoftware will eventually patch out the apparent exploit, but in the meantime players are taking matters into their own hands.


So how does Elden Ring’s latest AFK rune farm work? The most popular version involves heading to the First Step spawn where the game begins, and going over to the nearby cliff. From there, using their mount Torrent, players can double jump down to a lower ledge. They then use Furlcalling Finger Remedy followed by Taunter’s Tongue to lure invaders into their game, and keep their White Cipher Ring turned on to summon hunters to fight on their behalf. The result is that most opponents either 1) leave because they can’t find the AFK famer, 2) die trying to reach them on the side of the cliff, or 3) get killed by one of the allied hunters.


Another version of the exploit involves using Torrent to climb the tallest building at the Site of Grace. Because mounts can’t be summoned once PvP combat begins, it makes them basically unreachable by anyone else. For added security, some AFK rune farmers also like to use Mimic’s Veil to transform into an object that opponents can’t use auto-targeting to lock onto. As you would expect, YouTube is already flush with videos called things like “NEW 100 MILLION RUNE AFK FARM IN ELDEN RING!” and propagators of the technique say they’ve managed to farm over 1 million runes an hour. Others say the rate, even at very high levels, is closer to 100,000. But free runes is free runes, and more and more players are trying to get theirs.


But as the exploit has gotten more popular, so have ways to combat it. The Elden Ring subreddit is currently filling up with short clips of players using creative new strategies to kill the AFK farmers. One involves lunging off the cliff and then using Agheel’s Flame in midair to transform into a dragon and murder them on the way down. It’s also possible to use ballistas to knock them off the ledge or kill them outright. The Hand of Malenia katana has also proven effective. Because of its length and unique swinging animations, players can actually use it to navigate over to the ledge themselves without even needing Torrent.

As GamesRader points out, the result of these new strategies is that now in some cases it’s the AFK farmers who are getting farmed. “With my dragon breath strat and the physick I still keep all the souls and don’t have to go bother picking them up every time I die after killing the host,” wrote one player on the subreddit. “Have 50+ rune arcs just this morning in my invasions lol there’s a looooot of people trying this exploit so you can max out your inventory with arcs if you want to.”


Other players have started thinking even farther outside the box. “I’ve just been AFK’ing alongside them,” wrote another player on the subreddit. “I throw on a good movie or some funny YouTube vids and wait until I hear the sound of my free Rune Arc.” Elden Ring players are nothing if not committed.