Elden Ring is filled to the brim with mysteries. Most are intentional, nudging you toward treasure or powerful bosses. However, some mysteries aren’t actually mysteries at all, but instead just the game not being completely transparent with what it’s trying to tell you. Take, for instance, the tombstone icon you might have noticed on screen. This glowing grave symbol seems ominous, but it’s actually a sign of good fortune. What does it mean? Read on to find out.
What Does the Tombstone Icon Mean in Elden Ring?
The tombstone icon in Elden Ring means you’re allowed to summon Spirit Ashes. This grave-like symbol appears any time you’re near a rebirth monument. The in-game tutorial refers to this symbol as a “monument icon” despite it quite clearly showing a gravestone. For whatever reason, rebirth monuments themselves and the symbol on screen look nothing alike. Still, the bottom line is the same. When the grave symbol pops up on screen, you’re able to summon help from Spirit Ashes.
If you hadn’t noticed while playing, you can’t summon Spirit Ashes anywhere you like. Spirit summons are only allowed when a rebirth monument is nearby. Otherwise, you’re on your own, which makes fights with people or certain bosses very difficult. After all, summoning the Mimic Tear is one of the best ways to reduce the game’s overall challenge.
Thankfully, there are a plenty of locations that will allow you to use Spirit Ashes to bring in some much-needed help. Most boss rooms at the end of dungeons allow for summoning, as do some of the more dangerous open areas. Similarly, most major boss encounters allow for summons.
With that said, there are a few special rules worth considering. First and foremost, you can’t use any Spirit summon while in multiplayer, tombstone on screen or not. You can’t summon them, nor can any player who joins your world. Beyond that, you can only use one Spirit Ash at a time, and only once between resting at Grace sites. They’re also entirely disabled when fighting bosses at evergaols.
All things considered, the tombstone on screen is good news. If you see the grave symbol appear, you’re allowed to use Spirit summons. Call in some backup while you can, because there’s probably danger in the area.