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Screenshot via FromSoftware

Do You Need To Beat Elden Ring To Play Shadow of the Erdtree?

You're in luck!

We understand that not everybody has finished Elden Ring, and that’s okay. If you’re one of those people who hasn’t finished yet but still want to enjoy Shadow of the Erdtree, here’s what you need to know about your options.

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Can I Play Shadow of the Erdtree Without Beating Elden Ring First?

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Image via FromSoftware

No, you do not need to beat Elden Ring in order to play and enjoy Shadow of the Erdtree, however, you should be almost near the end if you’ve completed the requirements to enter the Realm of Shadows.

To start Shadow of the Erdtree you need to beat both Starscourge Radahn and Mohg, Lord of Blood. These two are optional bosses, but typically you’ll reach Radahn around halfway through your Elden Ring story campaign, and Mohg a little later. Getting to a point where you can beat Mohg is likely going to come later in the game, but it doesn’t have to. You could run straight to these two bosses to gain access to the DLC in theory.

From a storyline perspective, you’re not going to cause any issues by playing Shadow of the Erdtree before finishing the main Elden Ring narrative. This new story is mostly isolated to its own thread, and of course, there are references to other events in the world, but they don’t play a key factor in your enjoyment of the DLC. 

Like almost everything in Elden Ring, Shadow of the Erdtree often doesn’t make sense until you explore and get the full context of the world so you aren’t going to be any more lost than you would be if you finished the game first.

Now that you know you’re safe to do it, there’s no better time to get prepared and ready to jump into the Shadow Realm. Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree launches on June 21.


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Ryan Galloway
Ryan is a Senior Staff Writer for The Escapist who has been working at GAMURS since 2020. He covers a wide variety of topics between anime and gaming and boasts a degree in Journalism from Murdoch University. Email: [email protected]