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Do this NOW to get ready for Elden Ring's Shadow of the Erdtree DLC

Here's how to get your save ready to start Shadow of the Erdtree on release day!

The erdtree and a boss in Elden Ring's Shadow of the Erdtree DLC.
Image credit: VG247/FromSoftware

Elden Ring’s Shadow of the Erdtree DLC beckons the Tarnished back to the Lands Between for another slice of epic adventure, promising not just nigh-insurmountable bosses, but to fill in the tantalising backstory of the demigod Miquella, the last child of Marika missing from Elden Ring’s main game.

Shadow of the Erdtree’s story follows the Tarnished to the mysterious Lands of Shadow, a whole new area said to be about the size of Limgrave including the Weeping Peninsula. But one simple question looms in the run-up to the official release date: how do I actually start Elden Ring's new DLC?

In short, there are two key bosses that you need to have defeated to access the DLC area, and they’re a fair way into the base game. Here's what you need to do.


How to start the Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree DLC

To start Elden Ring’s new DLC, you need to have defeated Mohg, Lord of Blood in Mohgwyn’s Palace and General Starscourge Radahn. You can then approach the area at the back of Mohg’s boss arena and interact with the object there to travel to the Lands of Shadow.

Radahn is one of Elden Ring’s main bosses, and one of the most feared to boot. Triggering him can be tricky, but the most reliable method involves progressing Ranni’s quest (either via an introduction during Rogier’s quest or just by visiting her in Ranni’s Rise of your own volition) to where she sends you to Radahn’s Festival in Caelid. You can then travel to Redmane Castle in the far east of Caelid, fight your way through to the end, and, instead of the usual battle against the dual Crucible Knight and Misbegotten Warrior, you find an assembled posse to fight Radahn instead.

You don't necessarily need to team up with Ranni since Radhan's Festival will begin naturally once you reach Altus Plateau, and travelling with Blaidd down to the Siofra River is technically slower than speedrunning past the Magma Wyrm via the Ruin-strewn Precipice to reach Altus early. But Ranni's quest is one of the best in the game, with tons of great characters, so it just makes sense to follow it, particularly if it's your first run.

Mohg is more difficult to track down, but completely vital to the DLC given his link to the demigod Miquella. Also, we’re talking about the “Lord of Blood” version of Mohg found in Mohgwyn's Palace here, not “the Omen” that’s found in the Subterranean Shunning Grounds.

But there are still two ways to eventually face him, with the first being to travel through the teleporter in the Consecrated Snowfield to reach Mohgwyn’s Palace. To get to the Consecrated Snowfield, you need to use the Secret Hagiltree Medallion on the Grand Lift of Rold. However, this takes a very long time. It’s much easier to complete Varre’s quest (he’s the white-clad man you meet immediately as you step into the Lands Between) and receive the Pureblood Knight’s Medal, which will teleport you to Mohgwyn’s Palace from anywhere.

The player stands outside of Mohgwyn Dynasty Mausoleum wearing the White Mask in Elden Ring
The malevolent Mohg is a key player in the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC. | Image credit: VG247/FromSoftware

You can now also complete Varre’s quest completely offline by interacting with the red invasion sign in Writheblood Ruins. You can then fight your way through the Palace to face off against the Lord of Blood himself.

Both of these bosses will hopefully be familiar to you if you’ve already completed your first run through Elden Ring (or if you’re a few playthroughs deep into New Game+). However, what you will also notice is that they’re pretty late game bosses.

Don’t make the mistake of waltzing in on release day with a fresh character or a fresh save expecting to jump straight into Shadow of the Erdtree. If you want to launch into the DLC day one, you need to massage a save file to where you’ve defeated Mohg and Radahn, but not past the point of no return at the end of the game.

But then you also need to consider difficulty. Because of its location within Elden Ring’s main game, Shadow of the Erdtree is endgame content. In our hands-on preview of the DLC, the character was set to Level 150, and it was still a challenge. Obviously, you can under or over-level on this target as a de facto difficulty modifier.

However, there’s apparently another way to gain power that’s unique to the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC and only takes effect within the Lands of Shadow; this is the Scadutree Blessing. It works similarly to collecting Golden Seeds to improve your flasks in the base game, but buffs both your damage dealt and damage resistance. Consuming these items will help to offset the level gap when you reach the Lands of Shadow and make your experience with Shadow of the Erdtree more bearable; if you want it to be, of course.

Either way, Elden Ring’s Shadow of the Erdtree DLC drops on June 21 on PC, Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation - be there or be square, Tarnished.

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