Elden Ring Runes is really a tough game. Would-be Tarnished discovers this immediately after creating their characters once the game asks what Keepsake you want to take into the Lands Between. First-time players have simply no idea, however, that Elden Ring has celebrated its first anniversary, veterans are debating just which Keepsake may be the right one for any new player's journey.
Just like a recap, your choices for Keepsake would be the Crimson Amber Medallion, a Lands Between Rune, a Golden Seed, the Fanged Imp Ashes, a Cracked Pot, a Stonesword Key, one Bewitching Branch, a Boiled Prawn, Shabiri's Woe, or free. Besides selecting nothing, some of these we can immediately discount as poor choices.
The Fanged Imp Ashes aren't much better than the trio of wolves you receive as your first summon and you will just purchase them from the merchant very in the early stages. Cracked Pots have little use before you unlock recipes, and you receive plenty of them besides. Boiled Prawns and Bewitching Branches are single-use items that don't provide you with much value, and Shabriri's Woe does nothing if you don't’re playing in co-op, after which it becomes actively detrimental to the user.
Over around the Elden Ring subreddit, veteran Tarnished has largely come to the consensus the Golden Seed may be the top pick. As explained by Rigel311, "It's probably the most universally used item around the list." They caution, however, "None from the starting gifts are likely to make or break a build though."
One Redditor suggested the Stonesword Key in order to gain access to the Fringe folk Hero's Grave. This will allow the player to loot Erdtree's Favor, a strong talisman that may be quite beneficial at the start of a playthrough. That said, you can get much from the same benefit simply by selecting the Crimson Amber Medallion if you can also purchase that medallion in the merchant around the eastern side of the Weeping Peninsula.
There is a good reason to consider Shabriri's Woe, though. As explained by user Hellhult, "Gotta keep those hosts alive."
If you're an elden ring runes vet, you may be surprised to find out the toughest enemy hanging around is actually only a crab. You can read much more about this secret than others by checking out our previous coverage here.