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Elden Ring DLC: Price, Release Date and Everything We Know

The first (and likely only) Elden Ring DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree, expands the base game with more bosses, weapons, dungeons and more. At long last, the Elden Ring DLC comes out today, June 21, and is priced at $40. It'll be available for all the platforms Elden Ring was released for: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox One X/S.

That may seem steep for a DLC, but the game's studio FromSoftware has earned players' faith with popular expansions for prior games including Dark Souls and Bloodborne. Then there's Elden Ring itself, which was a massive success that won many awards when it launched in 2022 with so many areas, bosses, weapons and dungeons to explore that playthroughs often exceed a hundred hours. Players have been eager for new content.

But not everyone's ready for the DLC, it seems. We know that you have to beat two bosses to access the expansion, but the global playerbase is lagging in defeating them: according to Steam's global lists of achievements, over 45% of players still haven't beaten Starscourage Radahn, while over 61% haven't beaten Mohg, Lord of Blood -- even hours before the DLC is about to come out. That doesn't take into account console players, but still -- time to get cracking, players.

In the lead up to the DLC's release, even players of the base game who don't buy the expansion are getting something new. A free patch is planned to go live on June 20, the day of Shadow of the Erdtree's launch, which brings quality-of-life improvements to the inventory, friend-and-foe summoning system and even some more hairstyles. And hours before the DLC's release, FromSoftware dropped one last trailer to whet players' appetites.

Judging by the hands-on preview event ahead of the DLC's launch we attended, players have plenty to get excited about. The hours we played had more bosses, areas, weapon types, spells, summon ashes and ashes of war for players to discover -- and take back to the base game for much more remixing. 

Ahead of the DLC, we got a chance to speak to the legendary Hidetaka Miyazaki himself -- director of Elden Ring and Shadow of the Erdtree, as well as creator of Dark Souls, Bloodborne and the modern "Soulslike" genre of games. He spoke about what's coming in the expansion: how new bosses will really challenge players, more on the poison swamp, and which FromSoftware games are his favorites.

With that in mind, we've learned a lot about what's coming in Shadow of the Erdtree. Here's everything we know about the new expansion -- and our suggestions for how to prepare for it.

Read more: Elden Ring DLC Preview: Tough Bosses, New Weapons and More Mystery

Watch this: Elden Ring DLC Preview: Tough Bosses, New Weapons and More Mystery

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Shadow of the Erdtree digest: a summary of what's coming

Shadow of the Erdtree takes place in a new area separate from the lands of the original Elden Ring. The new area is about the size of Limgrave, the large zone players start in at the beginning of the main game. FromSoftware hasn't said how many dungeons or extras are packed into the Land of Shadow, as the new area is called. But the studio has confirmed several things the DLC introduces, including:

  • Over 100 new weapons
  • Eight new weapon types
  • Ten major bosses
  • An undisclosed number of new legacy dungeons, as well as medium and small dungeons
  • An undisclosed number of additional spells, spirit ash summons and ashes of war

All those weapons, spells and skills can be brought back into the main game. And yes, you can bring everything from the main game with you into the Land of Shadow. You only need to do two things in-game to unlock the DLC: defeat the major bosses Radahn and Mohg, the latter of which serves as a sort of soft check to make sure players are powerful enough to handle enemies in the new area. Players should be around level 120 to 150 to tackle the DLC.

To access the DLC, players should enter Mohgwyn Palace (after defeating Mohg) and head toward the giant fleshy ball with a withered arm drooping out -- you know, the one Mohg gingerly holds to his face before squaring up to fight you. Once he's out of the way, touch the arm and you'll be spirited away to the Land of Shadow. 

A man in red holding a spear sits on a throne while behind him stretches a war-soaked land wreathed in flame and shadow, as well as a dim golden light.
FromSoftware/Bandai Namco

Is Shadow of the Erdtree on Xbox Game Pass?

No, neither Elden Ring nor its DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree, is currently on Xbox Game Pass. It's not likely that either will come to Microsoft's gaming cloud streaming service, especially since previous studio FromSoftware games in the Souls franchise haven't come to Game Pass; on the contrary, Dark Souls and Bloodborne have been available on rival Sony service PlayStation Plus before. 

Those who want Shadow of the Erdtree must either purchase the DLC outright (PS5, Xbox One X, Steam) for $40, though new players can get combo packs of the base game and expansion for a discount. Elden Ring + DLC for PS5 and Xbox One X/S are $80 at Best Buy.  

What's the story of Shadow of the Erdtree?

FromSoftware has said very little about the story for the DLC. We know it centers on Miquella, a member of the semi-divine family of powerful beings that includes Marika, Radagaon and Godwyn. In Elden Ring's lore, Miquella tried and failed to cure his sister Malenia of the Scarlet Rot and left his body to travel to the Land of Shadow. It's unclear if he'll help or hinder the player.

More details have been gleaned from a pair of trailers FromSoftware released in the leadup to the DLC's launch. 

The first is a gameplay trailer (above) released in February, which shows the withered arm -- presumably of Miquella himself in the body he left behind -- which we now know players will touch enter the DLC. The trailer's voiceover dialogue contains many cryptic lines, which hint at the cast of characters that make up Shadow of the Erdtree. For instance, "Pure and radiant, he wields love to shrive clean the hearts of men" could be referring to Miquella, but given the factionalism that fills Elden Ring, we'll wait to see who says this before we take it as truth -- but we'll leave it to lore divers to speculate what they all mean.

The second and most recent trailer leading up to the DLC's launch is a story trailer (above) that shows the presumed antagonist of the expansion. Messmer the Impaler, who appeared in the gameplay trailer, is seen amid a massive army burning the city that looks to be below a giant tree that looks notably less golden than the Erdtree (the massive, glowing, hallowed tree looming over players throughout Elden Ring). Despite a vicious monster bearing down on him, he calmly sits and seemingly casts a red incantation of some sort in response. 

In typical fashion for Elden Ring, the minimal voiceover lines scattered throughout the trailer clarify very little but hint and tease at the greater themes of the story we'll see play out in the expansion. They speak of a horribly destructive war presumably carried out by Messmer, and the sacrifices Miquella made to enter the Land of Shadow, and how various NPCs and the Tarnished player follow the demigod. Those eager to dive into speculation at how the original game's history ties into the bits of DLC we've been drip-fed may want to look up various lore-divers and diviners on YouTube -- for instance, SmoughTown has a 44-minute video breaking down and analyzing the official three-minute story trailer.

Finally, hours before the DLC was set to be released, FromSoftware released one last trailer showing more gameplay with voiceover dialogue speaking of regret, redemption and the birth of a new god.

The multihour preview we had with Shadow of the Erdtree in May didn't reveal much about the story either, apart from a nonplayer character decrying the Erdtree as an enemy of his people who were betrayed long ago, as well as a cryptic note in a nearby castle saying Miquella was headed for a tower of shadow. Players have plenty to uncover when the DLC arrives -- but first, they'll want to make sure they're ready.

A knight uses a bladed shield to slash at an enemy.

The dueling shield pictured here is one of eight new weapon categories in Shadow of the Erdtree.

FromSoftware/Bandai Namco

How should I prepare for Shadow of the Erdtree?

The aforementioned recommendation of being between levels 120 and 150 is a good parameter for whether your Tarnished is ready for Shadow of the Erdtree. That's about the level you'll be when fighting Mohg anyway, but should be a warning for those veterans who speed through the game deftly carving up bosses while underleveled. 

If you're at the lower end of the level window, don't worry -- there's a DLC-exclusive empowering mechanic to help players out. Shadowtree Blessings are split into two rare items: Scadutree Fragments, which empower players to deal more and receive less damage, and Revered Spirit Ashes that empower summonable spirit ashes and the player's spectral horse, Torrent. Once found, these can be used at Sites of Grace, much like the flask-upgrading Golden Seeds and Sacred Tears. 

Despite being given prebuilt level 150 characters with fully upgraded weapons, we found the preview to be pretty difficult, so we expect the Shadowtree Blessings to be crucial to making headway in the DLC. That said, players may have more success when they bring their own tried-and-true builds and equipment into the new area.

Thus, prepping your builds is the best way to get ready for Shadow of the Erdtree. Here are a set of guides to snag the weapons you might have missed, upgrade them, and bulk up on runes ahead of time:

  • Elden Ring: The Best Weapons and Where to Find Them
  • Elden Ring Smithing Stones: How to Find Every Bell Bearing
  • Elden Ring: 2 Secrets to Farming Runes Quickly
  • Elden Ring No-Spoiler Ending Guide: How to Get Each Ending

And for those who want to theory-craft new builds with the expansion's over 100 new weapons and eight new weapon types, here are a few we tried out during the preview:

  • Light greatsword: Fun and flourishing with more reach than straight swords but less weight for poise attacks. Great skill that pauses for a cool pose before a jump-and-lunge stab.
  • Beast claw: Close-range but quick attack. Fun skill that pounces on enemies, great for closing distance.
  • Throwing ax: Close-range swings with regular attacks, strong attacks toss axes (no ammo cost) at semi-close range.
  • Throwing blade: Similar knife for close-range quick attacks with a semi-close-ranged strong attack (no ammo cost). Worked great in off-hand to whittle down enemies or finish off low-health foes.
  • Dueling shield: Intriguing shield with speared ends for slashing attacks, little to no sacrifice in defensive capability, easy to chain attacks and guards.
  • Heavy katana: Heavy poise-hammering greatsword-like attacks with flowing katana motions. Neat skill raising the katana above your head for quick and brutal chopping motions.
  • Backhand blade: Short range slashes, can be split into two swords for fast multihit combos. Very fun to use. 
  • Martial fists: Extremely close-range, quick attacks. Very fun skill in a whirlwind kick that covers distance and gets multiple hits in.

Source: cnet.com

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