Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree DLC FAQ — Release date, price, trailer, and other questions answered

Elden Ring
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FromSoftware's latest fantasy ARPG epic Elden Ring completely blew all of our minds when it launched in February 2022 and introduced us to one of the widest and deepest worlds in all of gaming, complete with breathtaking sights to see, incredible secrets to discover, rich lore to study, a ridiculous amount of gear and magic to play with, and boss fights for the history book. Without a doubt, it's one of the best games of all time, and was more than deserving of the Game of the Year award it took home that year.

It's no surprise, then, that fans have been extraordinarily excited for Shadow of the Erdtree — a major DLC coming to Elden Ring — ever since it was revealed early last year. And now, thanks to the arrival of our first look at the expansion as well as tons of new details shared by game director Hidetaka Miyazaki, we know more about it than ever.

Ahead of its release later this year, you no doubt have plenty of questions about what's shaping up to be the most ambitious DLC FromSoftware has ever made. To help you find the answers you're looking for, I've put together this thorough FAQ that covers everything you need to know about Shadow of the Erdtree.

What is Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree?

Best answer: Shadow of the Erdtree is an upcoming DLC expansion for FromSoftware's colossal open world fantasy ARPG, Elden Ring. It's the studio's "largest expansion" to date, and will have players follow in the footsteps of Miquella after he departs to the Land of Shadow — "a place obscured by the Erdtree," and "where the goddess Marika first set foot."

Messmer the Impaler, one of the main antagonists you'll encounter in Shadow of the Erdtree. (Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Announced in late February last year, Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree is a major DLC expansion coming to FromSoftware's award-winning open-world ARPG. It's the developer's "largest expansion" to date according to a Eurogamer interview with director Hidetaka Miyazaki, and will expand on the already colossal Soulslike with a brand new storyline to experience and play through.

Shadow of the Erdtree will have players following in the footsteps of Miquella — the Empyrean son of Queen Marika the Eternal and her King Consort Radagon, and the brother of Malenia — as he travels to a realm "obscured by the Erdtree" known as the Land of Shadow. Along the way, they'll encounter other characters also searching for Miquella, and will learn about the history of this new region of the Lands Between.

"There are NPCs also following after Miquella. The story of the DLC is told through them, and they cross paths with the player, sometimes as allies, sometimes as enemies," said Miyazaki in a Famitsu interview. "Also, one other main pillar of the DLC story is the history of this shadow land and the history of Queen Marika."

A screenshot of Messmer the Impaler's boss fight. (Image credit: Bandai Namco)

The description of the expansion given by Shadow of the Erdtree's official site doesn't reveal much, but it does highlight that the Land of Shadow was "purged in an unsung battle" as well as Miquella's intent to divest himself "of all things Golden" and await "the return of his promised Lord." Here's the full synopsis:

"The Land of Shadow. A place obscured by the Erdtree. Where the goddess Marika first set foot. A land purged in an unsung battle. Set ablaze by Messmer’s flame. It was to this land that Miquella departed. Divesting himself of his flesh, his strength, his lineage. Of all things Golden. And now Miquella awaits the return of his promised Lord."

Notably, we've learned that "Messmer" is Messmer the Impaler, an imposing warrior draped in red cloth that wields a large flaming sword and powerful fire magic, and also has a wing as well as two small snakes protruding from his body. Little is known about Messmer officially other than that he'll be one of the boss characters players face in Shadow of the Erdtree, though his crimson red hair and some of his dialogue suggests he might be another son of Marika and Radagon's. For more on that, read my full article on the subject of his identity.

Is Shadow of the Erdtree a prequel?

No, Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree is not a prequel. Though many fans believed we might be time traveling for this expansion as we did in Dark Souls' Artorias of the Abyss DLC, Miyazaki confirmed in the aforementioned Famitsu interview that it will take place at the same time as the vanilla game.

"It takes place in the same time as the main title. The setting is not in the distant past or future," he said. "The shadow lands and Queen Marika's past will be told in the same manner as The Shattering was in the main title."

When does Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree release?

Best answer: Elden Ring's Shadow of the Erdtree DLC is scheduled to release on June 21, 2024.

A giant you'll likely encounter while exploring the Land of Shadow. (Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Almost an entire year after Shadow of the Erdtree was announced, FromSoftware and Bandai Namco have confirmed that the Elden Ring DLC's release date is June 21, 2024. At this time, fans will finally be able to install and dive into the highly anticipated expansion (hopefully there will be an opportunity to preload it ahead of its full release).

It's worth noting that things can always change, and FromSoftware may have to delay the launch of the DLC if development issues arise or it feels it needs more time to polish the expansion. If all goes well, though, we'll all be traveling to the Land of Shadow on June 21.

How much does Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree cost?

Best answer: The Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree DLC costs $39.99. Notably, this makes it the priciest expansion FromSoftware has ever released for one of its games. There's also a $49.99 Premium Bundle that includes the expansion as well as a digital art book and soundtrack, a $79.99 edition with both the base game and the DLC, a Deluxe Edition with everything already mentioned, and a $249.99 Collector's Edition with a Messmer the Impaler statue and some other collectibles.

A dungeon full of massive jars in Shadow of the Erdtree. (Image credit: Bandai Namco)

FromSoftware has mentioned that Shadow of the Erdtree is the biggest expansion it's ever made, and that's reflected in the DLC's pricing. Compared to the $10-25 prices of Dark Souls and Bloodborne expansions like The Ringed City and The Old Hunters, Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree costs $39.99 — a full two-thirds of the base game's price. I have no doubts that it'll be worth every cent, though, as the base game is absolutely incredible and historically, FromSoftware's DLCs have been exceptional.

There's also a $49.99 Premium Bundle that includes Shadow of the Erdtree's official soundtrack and a digital art book, as well as a $79.99 Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree Edition aimed at new players that provides access to both the base game and the DLC. Then there's the $99.99 Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree Deluxe Edition for those that want everything, as it gives you the base experience, the expansion, and its digital art book and soundtrack.

Can you preorder Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree?

Yes, all of the different editions of Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree are available to preorder now on digital platforms, with the $79.99 Shadow of the Erdtree Edition also currently available for physical purchase on Amazon. By preordering the DLC, you'll get instant access to a Bonus Gesture when it comes out as a preorder bonus, though players who don't buy the expansion early can earn it through gameplay later. For more details, read our Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree preorder guide.

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree | $39.99 at Xbox (Digital)

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree | <a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/deeplink?id=kXQk6%2AivFEQ&mid=24542&u1=hawk-custom-tracking&murl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.xbox.com%2Fen-us%2Fgames%2Fstore%2Felden-ring-shadow-of-the-erdtree-pre-order%2F9n5p5sc2rz7k" data-link-merchant="click.linksynergy.com"" target="_blank">$39.99 at Xbox (Digital)

Elden Ring's upcoming Shadow of the Erdtree DLC will take players to the dark and mysterious realm of the Land of Shadow, and you can preorder it now.

Also at: <a href="https://store.steampowered.com/app/2778580/ELDEN_RING_Shadow_of_the_Erdtree/" data-link-merchant="store.steampowered.com"" data-link-merchant="click.linksynergy.com"" target="_blank">Steam (PC, Digital)

Premium Bundle: <a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/deeplink?id=kXQk6%2AivFEQ&mid=24542&u1=hawk-custom-tracking&murl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.xbox.com%2Fen-us%2Fgames%2Fstore%2Felden-ring-shadow-of-the-erdtree-premium-bundle-pre-order%2F9nv6bkx90r3f" data-link-merchant="xbox.com"" data-link-merchant="store.steampowered.com"" data-link-merchant="click.linksynergy.com"">Xbox ($49.99, Digital)

SOTE Edition: <a href="https://target.georiot.com/Proxy.ashx?tsid=8428&GR_URL=https%3A%2F%2Famazon.com%2Fdp%2FB0CVSFY7HB%2F%3Ftag%3Dhawk-future-20%26ascsubtag%3Dhawk-custom-tracking-20" data-link-merchant="Amazon US"" data-link-merchant="xbox.com"" data-link-merchant="store.steampowered.com"" data-link-merchant="click.linksynergy.com"">Amazon (Xbox, $79.99, Physical) | <a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/deeplink?id=kXQk6%2AivFEQ&mid=24542&u1=hawk-custom-tracking&murl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.microsoft.com%2Fen-us%2Fstore%2Fp%2Felden-ring-shadow-of-the-erdtree-edition%2F9pmhp6jsxgdh" data-link-merchant="microsoft.com"" data-link-merchant="Amazon US"" data-link-merchant="xbox.com"" data-link-merchant="store.steampowered.com"" data-link-merchant="click.linksynergy.com"">Xbox ($79.99, Digital)

Deluxe Edition: <a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/deeplink?id=kXQk6%2AivFEQ&mid=24542&u1=hawk-custom-tracking&murl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.microsoft.com%2Fen-us%2Fstore%2Fp%2Felden-ring-shadow-of-the-erdtree-deluxe-edition%2F9pgmb8dcq56n" data-link-merchant="microsoft.com"" data-link-merchant="microsoft.com"" data-link-merchant="Amazon US"" data-link-merchant="xbox.com"" data-link-merchant="store.steampowered.com"" data-link-merchant="click.linksynergy.com"">Xbox ($99.99, Digital)

Does Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree have a Collector's Edition?

The Collector's Edition of Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree. (Image credit: Bandai Namco)

DLC expansions don't often get Collector's Editions, but this is Elden Ring we're talking about, so of course there's one. It costs an eye-watering $249.99, and is aimed at superfans that want goodies like limited edition physical collectibles. It includes the following:

  • Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree voucher
  • Messmer the Impaler figurine (46 cm / ~18" tall)
  • 40-page physical art book
  • Digital soundtrack
  • Collector's Edition box

Shockingly, the Collector's Edition of Shadow of the Erdtree doesn't include the base game, so you'll still need to buy it separately if you don't own it already. This makes the Collector's Edition ideal for existing Elden Ring enthusiasts (me) that also have lots of money to spend (not me, but I might buy it anyway and be financially irresponsible). It's available exclusively through Bandai Namco's website, and there are versions of it for all of the game's platforms.

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree Collector's Edition — $249.99 at Bandai Namco

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree Collector's Edition — <a href="https://store.bandainamcoent.com/elden-ring-shadow-of-the-erdtree-collectors-edition-xbox-series-x/" data-link-merchant="store.bandainamcoent.com"">$249.99 at Bandai Namco

If you've already got the original game and you really don't mind spending money, then this version is the ultimate collector's item. The towering statue of Messmer the Impaler heralds the arrival of a dangerous in-game foe, while the soundtrack and artbook are perfect for any enthusiast.

Is there an Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree trailer?

Best answer: Yes! Shadow of the Erdtree has finally gotten an official trailer, which you can watch through the embed below. It's a gameplay reveal trailer that shows off several of the Land of Shadow's in-game locations, as well as combat against various enemies and bosses and hints about the DLC's narrative.

After an agonizingly long wait, we finally got a trailer for Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree when FromSoftware and Bandai Namco premiered it early in the morning on February 21, 2024. You can watch it above (or with this link) and bask in all its glory as I did.

As Shadow of the Erdtree's release date approaches, additional trailers for the Elden Ring DLC will surely come when FromSoftware ramps up its marketing of the expansion. When that happens, I'll make sure to update this section with embeds of each one.

Will Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree be on Xbox One and PS4?

Best answer: Yes, Shadow of the Erdtree will release on all of the platforms Elden Ring is available on, including Xbox One and PS4.

A Tarnished approaches a mysterious figure in Shadow of the Erdtree. (Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Elden Ring is available on last-gen systems like the Xbox One and PS4 as well as newer ones such as the Xbox Series X|S and PS5, but Shadow of the Erdtree is coming out a full two years after the base game did. Thus, many players are worried that the DLC won't be playable on older consoles — a concern heightened by the fact Xbox One and PS4 logos don't appear in any of the expansion's existing marketing material.

I've got good news, though. Bandai Namco has confirmed on its website that Shadow of the Erdtree will be available on Xbox One and PS4 as well as newer systems and Windows PC, so you'll be able to play the DLC even if you're still using one of these consoles.

How will you access the Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree DLC?

Best answer: To access the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC, players will need to touch Miquella's "withered arm" after defeating Mohg, Lord of Blood in the Mohgwyn Palace area.

Miquella's cocoon in Elden Ring, which is where Shadow of the Erdtree will be accessed. (Image credit: Bandai Namco)

The Dark Souls: Artorias of the Abyss DLC was notorious for the absurdly obtuse way you had to access it, and Dark Souls 2 didn't exactly do a good job with this, either. Thankfully, things were pretty clear in Dark Souls 3 and Bloodborne, and accessing the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC in Elden Ring will be easy, too.

All you'll have to do is travel to the underground Mohgwyn Palace area and defeat the Mohg, Lord of Blood boss, then interact with Miquella's "withered arm" that's sticking out of his cocoon. Elden Ring director Hidetaka Miyazaki has confirmed in a few interviews that this will be the expansion's entry point, and there's even dialogue from the player's companion Melina in the DLC's trailer in which she tells you to "touch the withered arm and travel to the realm of shadow."

Note that Mohgwyn Palace is a late/endgame area and Mohg is intended to be a late game fight, though you can get to it early and beat him if you're very skilled (I went over how to reach the region quickly in this guide on rune farming).

Can you play Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree if you beat the game?

Best answer: Though it hasn't been confirmed officially, it's very likely you can play Shadow of the Erdtree after beating Elden Ring since the game doesn't force you to begin a NG+ cycle.

The Land of Shadow, which is obscured by the Erdtree in Elden Ring. (Image credit: Bandai Namco)

It wasn't possible to play the original Dark Souls' DLC after beating it without starting an entirely new playthrough since it automatically loaded you into a New Game+, but FromSoftware's other games — including Elden Ring — give you the option to stay in your current playthrough after beating the final boss if you want to. This made it possible to jump right into Dark Souls 2's, 3's, and Bloodborne's DLC without having to play through the game again in NG+, and while this hasn't been confirmed, I strongly believe the same will be the case in Elden Ring.

Will Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree add a new map?

Best answer: Yes, Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree will feature a new map that's separate to the existing one in the game currently. Director Hidetaka Miyazaki has said that it's "larger even than Limgrave" and will have open-ended locations, massive Legacy Dungeons, and medium-sized areas that sound like a middle ground between these two.

A massive castle-city shown in the Shadow of the Erdtree trailer. (Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Rather than add onto Elden Ring's existing map, FromSoftware is expanding the Lands Between by adding a new one for Shadow of the Erdtree's Land of Shadow. This was confirmed in an interview with Hidetaka Miyazaki that appeared in GamesRadar, in which he said the DLC will take players to "an entirely separate, physically separate map."

"It's a brand new map separate from the Lands Between. It is a land that is overshadowed by the particular Shadow of the Erdtree as opposed to the Erdtree in the Lands Between," he said. "And it takes place, again, on an entirely separate, physically separate map. So it will involve a warp of sorts to get there."

This map seems to be considerably darker and more ominous compared to the one in the base game, as after all, this is the Land of Shadow. Notably, in the previously mentioned Eurogamer interview, Miyazaki also said that it will be "larger even than Limgrave," which consists of the two massive grassy regions in Elden Ring's early game.

A view of the Erdtree from a cliff in Limgrave. (Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Like base game regions, it will have both "large open areas" as well as more linear and interconnected Legacy Dungeons with designs similar to Dark Souls levels. However, FromSoftware is also experimenting with "a denser and richer level design" to connect these layouts more seamlessly, which makes it sound like there will be medium-sized areas that bridge the gap between the open world and the Legacy Dungeons in it.

"This time, we wanted to go more in depth and bring a denser and richer level design, which brings these types of layout together a little more seamlessly," Miyazaki said. "There of course will be large open areas, there of course will be legacy dungeons, but we've also experimented with something a little more in-between these as well to bring a more diverse gameplay experience."

Oh, and there'll be a new poison swamp, too, because of course. Miyazaki said "I realized I really like to create poisoned swamps" after making the base game of Elden Ring, but that's been obvious ever since Blighttown.

Interestingly, Miyazaki told Famitsu there will also be a new form of leveling system unique to Shadow of the Erdtree that's similar to the Attack Power mechanic in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, which improves how powerful you are each time you defeat a major boss. This system will allow players to "do something like exploring other areas before going back to challenge bosses that were too strong the first time," though folks who enjoy an extra challenge can largely ignore it.

Will Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree add new weapons?

Best answer: Yes, Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree will add new weapons. Specifically, eight new categories of weapons are coming in the DLC, and there will be plenty of new armor, spells, Ashes of War, and other types of gear to collect, too.

This character used a new fast-firing repeating crossbow in the Shadow of the Erdtree trailer. (Image credit: Bandai Namco)

One of the most exciting things about DLCs in FromSoftware games is that they tend to add lots of cool new weapons for players to play with. This will be the case in Shadow of the Erdtree as well, as Hidetaka Miyazaki has confirmed that tons of new armaments — along with eight new weapon categories — are coming and will be available for fans to incorporate into their Elden Ring builds.

In terms of what fans can look forward to specifically, Miyazaki told Famitsu that odachi greatswords, reverse-hand gyakute swords, martial arts weapons for monk playstyles, dueling shields, and dedicated throwing daggers are all on the way, along with a few others. Depending on how strong these are, they could become some of the best Elden Ring weapons.

"First of all, there are fairly classic large Japanese katanas known as 'Odachi,' and others are reverse-hand swords 'Gyakute ken,' and more peculiar, highly novel ones. For example, martial arts if you imagine monks, or dual offensive/defensive 'Dueling Shields.' Or throwing daggers that change all attacks into throws," he said. "So it should still be fun and refreshing for players who have gone through all the weapons in the main story."

Will Shadow of the Erdtree add new armor, spells, and more?

Yes, Shadow of the Erdtree is adding other types of gear besides weapons as well. Miyazaki says that "spells, weapon arts, etc. have been added," and that "they are one of the main selling points of this DLC." We see several of these armor sets and spells during the trailer, including what appears to be a new Dragon Communion Incantation that allows players to roar as a massive speckled bear as well as an area-of-effect spell with butterflies that looks similar to some of Malenia's Scarlet Rot magical attacks. The latter may become one of the best Elden Ring spells, as Scarlet Rot is an extremely powerful status effect.

Will Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree add new bosses?

Best answer: Yes, Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree will add "over 10 new boss fights," including one against Messmer the Impaler, another against a massive walking brazier like enemy, and more. Notably, there will be "difficult bosses like Malenia" that are off the DLC's main path and don't need to be beaten, but can be challenged if players want to do so.

You'll be fighting this colossal brazier-like enemy in the DLC. (Image credit: Bandai Namco)

The most exhilarating battles in FromSoftware's Soulslike games are the grandiose boss fights, and luckily, there are plenty of new ones for fans to look forward to in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree. Specifically, Miyazaki has said that there will be "over 10 new boss fights," some of which we got a peek at in the DLC's new trailer.

We know that one fight will be against Messmer the Impaler, while another will have us face off against a gargantuan walking brazier-type enemy that was used as a weapon in a war that took place in the Land of Shadow long ago. There's also an acrobatic horned beast that appeared to be undead and seemed to be using Death Blight and Death Lightning, and I'm willing to bet that guy who was pulling a stake out of his head will be a boss, too.

How long will Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree be?

Best answer: FromSoftware hasn't given any official estimates on how long a playthrough of Shadow of the Erdtree will take, but given that the map is said to be Limgrave-sized, I'm guessing it'll be a 20-30 hour experience.

A swordfight between two Tarnished in a beautiful field of glowing blue flowers. (Image credit: Bandai Namco)

The expansions made for Dark Souls and Bloodborne generally take around 10 hours or so to beat, but given that we know Shadow of the Erdtree is bigger than past DLC and that its map is a bit bigger than the Limgrave portion of the Lands Between, I'm guessing that it'll be around 20-30 hours in length. 

This is speculation, of course, but that's typically how long it takes for players to fully explore Limgrave without outside help, so I imagine you'll need a similar amount of time to see everything the Land of Shadow has to offer. With that said, FromSoftware tends to overdeliver on expectations if you ask me, so the expansion may be considerably larger and longer.

Will Shadow of the Erdtree bring balance changes to Elden Ring?

Best answer: There's no way to say for sure if balance changes will come to Elden Ring with Shadow of the Erdtree, but it wouldn't surprise me if FromSoftware wants to make some adjustments to the sandbox.

A heavily armored cavalry boss using a sword buffed with gravity magic. (Image credit: Bandai Namco)

While Elden Ring got plenty of balance patches in the year after its release to address things like the wildly overpowered Rivers of Blood katana or underperforming colossal weapons, they've become significantly less frequent now that the game is in a more balanced state. However, it wouldn't surprise me if FromSoftware makes further tweaks to the game's balance when Shadow of the Erdtree arrives, as it is adding tons of new items and gear to the sandbox.

If changes are made, though, I expect them to be minor. Nothing other than, perhaps, the strength of Bleed-focused builds stands out as particularly under or overpowered in PvE or PvP right now, and that's something the developers will surely try to maintain.

Will Elden Ring get crossplay multiplayer?

Best answer: Sadly, there's no evidence that Shadow of the Erdtree will bring crossplay support to Elden Ring. At least there's cross-gen play, though.

A mysterious armored figure seen in the Shadow of the Erdtree trailer. (Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Elden Ring players have been hopeful that support for crossplay between the Xbox, PlayStation, and PC platforms would come at some point, and many are wondering if that will finally happen once Shadow of the Erdtree comes out later this year. Unfortunately, though, there's no evidence that suggests this will happen.

One good thing about Elden Ring multiplayer, though, is that it is cross-generational. This means Xbox Series X|S and PS5 players can co-op with or PvP against Xbox One and PS4 ones, respectively.

Will Elden Ring get cross-save or cross-progression?

Best answer: Same story here — there's no reason to believe that cross-save or cross-progression between different versions of Elden Ring is coming, though it would certainly be nice to have.

This might be one of the DLC's new NPC characters. (Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Cross-save or cross-progression is a nifty feature that enables players to save and carry over their progress in a game to multiple different versions of it, but it's not supported in Elden Ring, and there's no reason to believe that it will be after Shadow of the Erdtree releases, either. That means you'll have to play with a different group of save files on each platform you own the game on.

Elden Ring is one of the best Xbox games and best PC games of all time, and I strongly recommend picking it up and beginning a playthrough now if you haven't done one already. That way, you'll have plenty of time to experience all of what 2022's Game of the Year has to offer before the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC launches on June 21.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.