Elden Ring Ashes of War are items providing your equipment with new replacements for Weapon Skills and Affinities.
Most players' equipment can apply Ashes of War, giving them new powers, damage modifiers, and combat skills. This allows them to build and optimize weapon functions according to their respective playstyles.
However, Unique Weapons are non-customizable, and simultaneously not all Weapon Skills are compatible with every equipment type.
How To Get Ashes Of War?
Players can find various Ashes of War scattered throughout the Lands Between. Because White Teardrop Scarabs drop different Ashes, make sure to kill any you see. The sounds will be very clear if you are close to them and they will quickly disappear. Be quick to get them or you'll need to leave and reload the area.
Alternatively, you can also buy some Ashes of War at Warmaster's Shack. The titular NPC in the shack will sell them to you.
Another way is to find Ashes of War on some very specific bosses and unique enemies. Buying duplicates of some Ashes of War is also a way, but not recommended as they are also rare and hard to find.
How To Use Elden Ring Ashes Of War?
Always keep in mind that Ashes of War can only be used with a weapon equipped.
In case your Ashes of War doesn't work, you can remove your shield and try again.
Players are advised to learn how to use two-hand weapons proficiently to maximize damage. That also helps you benefit from the free bonus damage.
To be able to use Ashes of War to change Weapon Skills, you are first required the Whetstone Knife. It can be found early in a chest in the Gatefront Ruins. Also here you will get Torrent, your horse. Once you've acquired the Whetstone Knife, you can now use the Ashes of War menu option while resting at any Site of Grace.
In addition, besides using Ashes of War on different weapons, you also need to collect Whetblades to apply to the varying Affinities.
Check the list of the Whetblades and the Affinities they are used for:
Black Whetblade: Blood, Occult, Poison
Glintstone Whetblade: Cold, Magic
Red-Hot Whetblade: Fire, Flame
Sanctified Whetblade: Sacred, Lightning
Iron Whetblade: Heavy, Keen, Quality