Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree Guide – 10 Starting Tips and Tricks to Keep in Mind

The first and final expansion for FromSoftware’s Elden Ring, Shadow of the Erdtree, is finally here. It’s been a long journey, and based on the critical acclaim heaped on it thus far, the expansion promises a joyous yet super-punishing journey. You don’t have to venture into the new region completely blind – here are some various tips and tricks to help you get started, whether it’s accessing the DLC or finding some of its best items.

How to Access The DLC

[embedded content]

It’s been mentioned before, but it bears repeating: If you haven’t killed Starscourge Radahn or Mohg, Lord of Blood, go and do so now. Slaying them is required to access Shadow of the Erdtree. While Radahn can be tackled after clearing the bosses of Stormveil Castle and Raya Lucaria Academy, it’s possible to fight him immediately after receiving Torrent, though you’ll be under-levelled.

As for Mohg, you can use the Haligtree Secret Medallion, with the right half located in the Village of the Albinaurics in Liurnia. Look for a pot near the Site of Grace and hit it to reveal Albus, who is hidden, to receive the right half. The left half requires going north of the Mountaintops of the Giants to reach Castle Sol. You must defeat Commander Niall in the northeast tower to get it. With both pieces, go to the Grand Lift of Rold, located east of the capital in the Forbidden Lands. You must then go to the western part of the Consecrated Snowfield (Northwest of the Yelough Anix Ruins) to find a teleporter. The Sanguine Noble invades beforehand, so after dispatching them, take the teleporter to reach Mohgwyn Palace.

The alternative is White Mask Varre’s questline, which becomes available after earning your first Great Rune. Invade three players or kill Magnus the Beast Claw in the Writheblood Ruins. Get the Lord of Blood’s Favor and soak it in a maiden’s blood (several options are available, so look up your ideal one). Take the blood-soaked favor to Varre to receive the Pureblood Knight’s Medal. Use it, and you’ll teleport directly to Mohgwyn Palace.

Recommended Level

Elden Ring - Shadow of the Erdtree_05

You can attempt the DLC early into a New Game playthrough, but it’s recommended to be level 120 or so when challenging Mohg (not to mention upgrading your weapons and Spirit Summons). However, you might find the Realm of Shadow to be overwhelming even at that point. Those who previewed the expansion several weeks prior had trouble, even on level 150 builds, so take that as a baseline, at least. It’s recommended to hit level 160 before entering the region. If you want to be really prepared, level 180 or bust.

Vertical Exploration

Elden Ring - Shadow of the Erdtree_09

Plenty of reviews have discussed the more vertical design of the Realm of Shadow, and they’re not joking. If you’re stuck or don’t know where to go next, try looking for cliffside trails or Spiritsprings (more on that later) to reach a higher vantage point. Some optional yet highly rewarding areas can be missed if you’re not careful, so explore thoroughly.

How To Defeat Furnace Golems

elden ring shadow of the erdtree

The one thing you’ll probably notice first when roaming the Realm of Shadow is the Furnace Golem. These hulking monstrosities boast powerful fiery attacks, and, worst of all, they’re invulnerable to damage on most of their body. If you want some of the new Crystal Tears, taking them down is necessary, but it is possible. You can stance-break those without armor on their legs by continuously wailing on the limbs and attacking their face plate with a critical attack afterwards. Alternatively, shoot their face plate with projectiles (Great Arrows work nicely), but if you’re at a high enough position, try chucking a Hefty Fire Pot into their basket for massive damage. Upon defeating a Furnace Golem, you can use their Furnace Visages to craft a Hefty Furnace Pot, which does even more damage to Furnace Golems when targeting their basket.

How To Get All Map Fragments

Out of all the things essential to exploring the Realm of Shadow, Map Fragments are probably near the top of the list. When first entering the land, go northeast to find the first Map Fragment in the Gravesite Plain. The Southern Shore Map Fragment is out of the way but available early on. Go to Ellac Bridge and follow the Ellac River south to the Cerulean Coast Cross Site of Grace to find it. After venturing through Castle Ensis and reaching Scadu Altus, travel northeast from the Highroad Cross Site of Grace to reach the region’s Map Fragment.

The Rauh Ruins Map Fragment is also in Scadu Altus. Go northeast from the Moorth Ruins Site of Grace to reach a cave and venture through the tunnel until the Ancient Ruins base appears. It should pop up near the Temple Town Ruins. Finally, the Abyssal Woods Map Fragment is in the Shadow Keep. You must use the Stone Coffin in the dungeon to venture to the Castle Watering Hole. Head south into the Darklight Catacombs, and in the southeast corner, there should be an Abandoned Church with the Map Fragment.

How to Easily Get Scadutree Fragments

Elden Ring - Shadow of the Erdtree_03

With how much everything hurts in the expansion (depending on your level), it’s a good idea to seek out the various Scadutree Fragments. They’ll reduce the damage taken and increase your damage output with each level, though you must gather more for higher levels. Scadutree Fragments are located near Miquella’s Crosses scattered through the land (two are close to Castle Ensis). However, you also get one every time you defeat a Shadow Undead. These enemies carry a pot on their heads, so keep an eye out for them.

New Wondrous Physicks (and Why You Should Use Them)

As discussed earlier, taking down the Furnace Golems is necessary for earning the new Crystal Tears, which can be mixed to create new Wondrous Physicks. These include the Crimsonburst Dried Tear, which refills your HP every time you slay an enemy. Meanwhile, the Viridian Hidden Tear aids in recovering your Stamina. Those relying on Spirit Summons should keep an eye out for the Glovewort Crystal Tear since this improves them. Even if you’re well off with your current Physicks, try experimenting with the new options – they may be more potent than you think.

Sealed Spiritsprings

Elden Ring - Shadow of the Erdtree_07

Spiritsprings are a means to traverse The Lands Between, allowing you to soar to great heights while still on Torrent. They’re also present in the Realm of Shadow, but you might notice them looking less grand than usual due to a seal. Opening them up is easy, though. Look for stone cairns nearby and destroy them with melee attacks to open the Spiritspring.

Where to Find What Materials

Elden Ring - Shadow of the Erdtree_06

Whether you’re looking for materials to bolster your weapons and Spirit Ashes or Hefty Pots to craft the new Hefty Fire Pots to damage the Furnace Golems, the Realm of Shadow provides. However, understanding where each material type can be is key. If you’re going in blind, then remember that Gloveworts for upgrading your Summons can be found in Catacombs, Bolstering Materials like Smithing Stones (and even some weapons) are in Ruined Forges, and Gaols house Hefty Pots.

Belurat and Shadow Keep

We’ll leave the total number of Legacy Dungeons a mystery, but it’s worth noting the first two – Belurat, Tower Settlement, and Shadow Keep – since they’re mandatory for progressing the story. The former is located in Gravesite Plains to the Northwest, though beware of enemies like Shadows of the Dead, Scorpions, Horned Warriors and Man-Flies. There’s also plenty of room for ambushes, so stay alert.

Shadow Keep is located in Scadu Altus, but here’s the kicker – it has multiple points of entry. How you tackle it is up to you, and while you can once again expect Shadows of the Dead, there are also Black Knights (who drop pieces of the new Messmer Knight Set), Fire Knights, Giant Crabs and – everyone’s favorite – Ulcerated Tree Spirits to deal with.

Comments are closed.