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All about Elden Ring, from DLC and sequels to lore and best gear

elden ring key art

Elden Ring is likely to go down as one of the greatest games of all time and for good reason.

FromSoftware has long had a reputation for delivering high-quality games at a shockingly fast rate. Across seven years, the studio shipped the five main Soulsborne games and a slew of other titles. While many of those “other titles” were critically panned, the success of Dark Souls and Bloodborne transformed FromSoftware into one of the most heralded studios in the video game industry and created the Soulslike genre.

The company’s focus narrowed from there, and it began dedicating all its efforts to game of the year contenders like Dark Souls 3 and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Elden Ring was an evolution of that winning formula that captured the world’s attention. Here’s everything there is to know about the game and where it’s going from here. 

Who made Elden Ring?

Elden Ring is an action RPG developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. Its creation was led by famed game director Hidetaka Miyazaki.

The title was in development for several years. It was first revealed at E3 2019 with a teaser trailer. It wasn’t until two years later that more details came out. It was released on February 25, 2022 to overwhelming critical acclaim and commercial success.

Elden Ring borrows gameplay elements from previous FromSoftware games Dark Souls and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. It differentiates itself with a sandbox-style, open-world environment that lets players roam around with help from the trusty spectral steed Torrent. Players only need to find and defeat a handful of bosses in order to beat the game, but there are dozens more to track down with each offering some manner of reward.

What is Elden Ring’s lore?

Elden Ring’s lore centers around Marika, who served as a medium for a cosmic deity known as the Greater Will. Marika is given power by the Greater Will through the Elden Ring. With the power of the Elden Ring, military alliances, and strategic marriages, Marika becomes the unquestioned leader of the continent known as the Lands Between. 

Marika reigned as queen with Godfrey the First Elden Lord serving as her “king.” Godfrey was exiled by Marika for unclear reasons, with Radagon replacing him as the second Elden Lord.

godfrey first elden lord elden ring

Marika and Radagon ruled until the Night of Black Knives, where one of Marika’s children was killed and the Elden Ring was broken. The demigod children of Marika and Radagon scooped up the pieces of the Elden Ring and used its power to rule over their own parts of the Lands Between. Over the course of thousands of years, they waged war against one another but came to an everlasting stalemate.

Eventually, exiled followers of Godfrey known as the Tarnished felt the power of the Elden Ring awaken within them. They return to the Lands Between to break this stalemate in the hope of becoming the new Elden Lord.

What did George R. R. Martin do for Elden Ring?

George R. R. Martin helped write the backstory for Elden Ring.

FromSoftware games have similar stories and environments. Games including Elden Ring, Dark Souls, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice essentially start on the final chapter of a story. The world is already doomed, but the player needs to figure out what happened in those previous chapters and decide how the story ends.

The writer behind the epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire confirmed that he was presented with this general framework by FromSoftware. His contribution was coming up with a reason why the world was irreparably destroyed.

“Basically the people from FromSoftware, the makers of Elden Ring, contacted me a number of years ago and they wanted to do this video game and they wanted a world built…They made it clear that Elden Ring was going to take place in let’s say ‘the present’ of their game universe but what they wanted me to write was what happened 5,000 years before that totally screwed up the world so that the present was really messed up,” George R. R. Martin said in an interview.

It is unknown whether Martin had a hand in naming the NPCs or specific aspects of the story. He noted that he was occasionally shown concept art of enemies during its development, but little is known about the particulars of his involvement with the game.

Elden Ring platforms

Elden Ring is available on PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, and PlayStation 5. The game is being actively supported on all platforms, with all of them receiving patches and gameplay updates.

The support of Elden Ring is notable as other major titles that were released across multiple console generations haven’t been consistently maintained. The most notable example of this is Cyberpunk 2077 which was released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but didn’t receive the Phantom Liberty DLC or other free updates. FromSoftware has traditionally supported its games long past release, with the company updating fans on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 servers for its games all the way into 2023.

Does Elden Ring have cross-play?

Elden Ring does not have cross-play between different platforms.

Different player bases are not completely segregated. There is cross-play between the PS4 and PS5 versions of Elden Ring, the Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S versions, and PC, Linux, and Mac. However, there is no cross-play between PC and consoles, or Xbox and PlayStation hardware.

Unfortunately, this is unlikely to change. No FromSoftware game has ever supported cross-play so while players would generally enjoy having more allies and invaders, it’s unlikely that they will be arriving across platforms.

Is Elden Ring a co-op game?

Elden Ring allows players to enjoy both co-op and PvP multiplayer.

Co-op multiplayer in Elden Ring works similarly to how it does in Dark Souls. Players are able to summon allies into their world by leaving signs for one another on the ground which can be seen and activated after using an in-game item. 

Elden Ring ally summon co-op

In Elden Ring, players can start co-op by touching a Martyr Effigy and then using the Furlcalling Finger Remedy. Martyr Effigies are small statues that show a crucified person. After the player interacts with one, it unlocks the ability to see summon signs in an area. After they’re unlocked, a Furlcalling Finger Remedy can be used to see other players’ signs.

The entirety of Elden Ring can be played cooperatively, but the game isn’t designed in a way that accommodates this. Summoned allies will disappear after the host’s death and every defeated boss and Furlcalling Finger Remedies aren’t easily farmable. Players are generally best served by playing the game solo while summoning help when they are struggling.

What is the best weapon in Elden Ring?

The Moonveil, Rivers of Blood, and the Greatsword all rank among the best weapons in Elden Ring.

The definitive best weapon will vary based on the player’s build and things like the preferred spirit summon and go-to spells or incantations can also change the algebra. There are a few weapons that stand miles above their alternatives, however.

The Moonveil and Rivers of Blood katanas are arguably the strongest weapons in all of Elden Ring for both single-player and multiplayer purposes. Both boast very high damage potential and have bleed buildup, which can chunk down bosses and melt invaders.

The Moonveil is ideal for high-intelligence build and the Rivers of Blood scales on dexterity, but the old-fashioned, Guts-inspired Greatsword is the best weapon in Elden Ring for strength builds. Though colossal weapons have typically been non-viable in PvP, there are two mechanics that were added on top of Dark Souls that make them serviceable.

First, if players do a regular attack while crouched, their character will perform the attack their weapon does when sprinting. For the Greatsword, this is a quick thrust attack that has a great hitbox and deceptive speed. This can be packaged with a good Ash of War like the Lion’s Claw. By combining a good Ash of War with the quick thrust, players have multiple fast attack options that can keep invaders from getting comfortable or parrying.

How many copies of Elden Ring were sold?

Elden Ring sold over 20 million copies in its first year. This made it one of the top-selling games of 2022 and the fastest-selling title in FromSoftware history.

Though the game’s success snuck up on many, it wasn’t an especially big surprise to insiders or fans of FromSoftware. A number of past titles developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment had multi-million numbers of units sold, while Dark Souls 3 sold over 10 million copies by 2020. Elden Ring being a commercial success was largely expected, though few predicted that it would reach the heights it did.

How much DLC does Elden Ring have?

Elden Ring has had multiple free content updates and will have at least one paid DLC expansion

Following the release of Elden Ring, data miners uncovered a wealth of unused content related to some of the NPCs that were in the base version of the game. Much of that was restored in a series of content updates that expanded the questlines for Nepheli Loux, Diallos Hoslow, and Kenneth Haight, added the city of Jarburg, and opened up the previously sealed arenas.

The biggest addition to Elden Ring will likely be the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC. Little is known of the DLC, as the only information confirmed on it is a single piece of artwork.

What is Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree?

Shadow of the Erdtree is a paid DLC expansion for Elden Ring. It was officially announced by FromSoftware after the game’s first birthday. The developer has kept its cards close to the vest in terms of what will be included, but DLC from previous releases offers a hint.

Each FromSoftware paid DLC has added a new area with multiple new bosses. Elden Ring was a departure from series norms with its level designs, but fans can likely expect a new area to explore alongside a new legacy dungeon. Where this will take place is unclear. The “when” in the story is also uncertain, as the art shows a bleeding Erdtree which could be from either before the events of the game or after the ending.

As for bosses, players can likely expect a huge challenge. Many of the toughest Soulsborne bosses came from DLC including Manus, Sister Friede, Darkeater Midir, the Orphan of Kos, Sir Alonne, and Ludwig the Holy Blade. While there’s lots of mystery surrounding Shadow of the Erdtree, players can expect to endure a brutal beating.

godwyn the golden being marked with the rune of death on the night of the black knives in elden ring lore

What bosses will be in the Elden Ring DLC?

Miquella, Malenia, and Godwyn the Golden rank among the most likely characters to appear as bosses in the Elden Ring DLC

FromSoftware games often use DLC to give players a taste of what heavily talked-about characters from the lore were actually like. Miquella and Godwyn fit into the same general niche that Lady Maria and Artorias of the Abyss did in Bloodborne and Dark Souls, respectively. Both are revered figures whose actual role in major events isn’t completely clear to the player.

godwyn face elden ring stormveil castle

Elden Ring gives players an incomplete look at both of these characters. Godwyn is seen as a number of enormous, tentacled heads found across the world. His death is a major plot point in Ranni’s questline and he’s a central component of the Age of the Duskborn ending.

Miquella is alluded to by several major bosses in the game with the most notable being Malenia, Blade of Miquella. Players see Miquella’s arm plop out of the large egg in Mohg, Lord of Blood’s arena but don’t actually come face-to-face with them. It’s implied that Miquella will undergo some sort of resurrection and the fact that they’re likely pictured in the DLC’s artwork means that they are all but certain to appear.

Finally, players may end up having a rematch with Malenia. With Miquella set to be a key figure and numerous references to a “third bloom” for Malenia, the Goddess of Rot may appear once again to kick players’ teeth in.

malenia blade of miquella in elden ring

Will there be an Elden Ring sequel?

An Elden Ring sequel is likely to come out at some point, but players shouldn’t expect it until far in the future. FromSoftware has a number of ongoing projects that will keep the company occupied until deep into 2024.

The Shadow of the Erdtree DLC is unlikely to come out until spring or summer 2024 and odds are that Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon will also receive some DLC of its own. Once all that is out of the way, it could take years to develop an actual sequel to Elden Ring.

That’s also assuming that FromSoftware doesn’t just make a completely different game. Introducing a new IP is possible and it could hypothetically return to any of its past releases such as Dark Souls, Bloodborne, or Sekiro. Fans shouldn’t expect any discussion of a sequel for some time.

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Written by Steven Rondina

Steven Rondina has been playing video games since he was a toddler and appreciates every genre out there. He has earned the platinum trophy in every Soulsborne game, is regularly Master Ball-ranked on the competitive Pokemon ladder, and has spent thousands of hours missing shots on Dust 2.

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