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Elden Ring: All About Co-op and PvP - How Multiplayer Works

 In Elden Ring, you will be able to play both co-op and PvP. We explain how this works and what we know about multiplayer action RPGs.

These are the multiplayer features of Elden Ring: As known from earlier FromSoftware games such as Dark Souls, Bloodborne, or Sekiro, Elden Ring will also be a rock-hard game. Opponents present you with challenges and the boss fights, in particular, can be tough.

So if you're stuck on your own, Elden Ring offers a co-op mode where you can tackle the game's hurdles with either friends or random players.

On top of that, there is also a PvP mode again. You can either invade other players' worlds or be attacked by your enemies in your game world. Duels are also possible.

Here you can find out exactly how it all works and what has changed compared to previous titles.

The open world can be explored with co-op friends
The open-world can be explored with co-op friends 

Co-op in Elden Ring - roam the open world together

This is how the co-op mode works: Other players are “summoned” into your game world. This works through certain symbols that others can place on the ground in their world.

These symbols are then made visible in your game world. So you can explore dungeons and the open game world together in Elden Ring. But you need several items that you can find early in the game:

  • The "small golden statue": With this, you can place a golden symbol in the game world. This then appears in the same place for random players, who can then summon you.
  • The "crooked finger of the tainted" in turn enables targeted interaction with others. You also place a symbol with it, but in order to be summoned, your co-op partner needs another item.
  • You can set a password with a crooked finger to play specifically with friends.
  • With the item "Crooked Finger Medicine" and the corresponding password, you can then make your friends' symbols visible and summon them. However, the item is consumed in the process.

You can get a maximum of two players to help, so there can be a maximum of three on the road. In Dark Souls 3, for example, up to three co-op partners were possible. If you want to tackle a dungeon with other players, you must first enter the instance and summon your friends there.

If you are out in the open world with your co-op partners, you cannot simply enter the next dungeon. You can explore the open world freely with other players. The co-op mode only separates between dungeon and open game world.

If you also kill a boss, the co-op partners will be sent back to their world.

Is progress shared? No, progress is host-only. Anyone who is a guest in a game world cannot take any items with them, bosses that have been killed remain alive in the world of the co-op player unless the player has already killed them himself.

After all, killing enemies gives you the same amount of EXP as the host, and co-op players don't lose it if they die either.

Your horse is also not available in co-op. So you are on foot.

PvP in Elden Ring features dueling and invasions

This is how PvP works: As you know from Dark Souls, you can invade random worlds of other players, i.e. start an invasion. The goal is logical: you have to turn off the host.

On the other hand, it is possible that you yourself will become the target of an invasion. Keep in mind that your potential victim may have help from co-op players, so you could end up with a group of three.

If you want to play PvP specifically, duels are a good idea. For both types of PvP, you also need certain items.

How to start duels:

  • With the "little red statue" you can place a red symbol. This allows players to specifically summon you and challenge you to a duel.
  • The "Crooked Finger of the Duelist" allows you to summon duel opponents with a password, similar to the co-op mode.
  • Again, your opponent needs Crookedfinger Medicine to specifically summon you.
How to start invasions:

  • For invasions, you need the “bloody finger”. With this, you can invade the game worlds of random opponents.
  • Thanks to the "spotter's tongue" you can be specifically "invaded" by other players and thus provoke invasions.
  • With the "blue ring" you can be automatically summoned to the worlds of other players who are currently under attack.
  • Thanks to the "white ring" you can automatically call players who have equipped the blue ring for help if you are attacked by so-called invaders.
  • The "finger separator" in turn allows you to kick summoned players from your own world.
As in co-op, the same applies in PvP: Your horse is not available. You should consider that. But you shouldn't have to search forever for your enemies. According to the developers, there should be interface elements that should prevent you from having to spend hours playing hide and seek in the open world.

Here's a look at the full gameplay from YouTuber Arekkz:

You can also call NPCs for help

Is there a local co-op too? No. But if you basically play offline or your internet access goes on strike, there is a kind of replacement. You can call NPCs for help. This is only possible near small summoning statues, so not without restrictions.

  • The statue marks the beginning of an area where you can summon the NPCs.
  • When you interact with the statue, an icon will appear at the edge of the screen. This tells you that NPCs can be summoned.
  • There are different NPCs, often they are opponents that you can defeat yourself in the game world
  • They then drop their ashes. With this item, you can then summon the corresponding NPC types as support.
  • The ghosts will disappear again if they are defeated, you die yourself, or you move too far from the summoning area around the statue.
For example, you can use the ashes to summon a pack of wolves as a ghost troop. These NPCs are a useful support in combat and can be helpful as a distraction on their own. Even if you should be overrun by hordes, they can save your life.

These helpers can be collected and even leveled up, making them stronger together with you. However, the new system does not eliminate the classic NPCs.

As in Dark Souls, you can summon specific NPCs in specific locations. Often they are characters that you meet in the game world.

You can call for help from different enemy types if you have the appropriate ash.
You can call for help from different enemy types if you have the appropriate ash.

Elden Ring has a new party feature

What is this feature? You can now even create your own groups with your friends. These groups allow you to prioritize your friends' content in-game.

These include the bloodstains known from previous games, which show how a player died in a specific spot.

The well-known text fragments that can be placed on the floor are also back. These can provide helpful tips, mark secret places, or simply mislead other players.

Groups don't have a limited number of members, so you can basically create your own clan for the Elden Ring.

You should also keep this in mind in multiplayer: Just because you're playing co-op doesn't automatically make everything a walk. If you are a PvP or co-op player in another player's world, your potions will be halved. This applies to both healing and mana potions.

In co-op, your opponents will also be adjusted to the number of players and thus become tougher. You'll still have an easier game most of the time, as opponents can rarely target more than one player at a time. But you should still take care of yourself.

When is Elden Ring coming out? The game is coming to Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4 and PC via Steam on February 25th.