Do you need to beat Elden Ring to start Shadow of the Erdtree? Best starting time, explained

Should you complete Elden Ring before starting Shadow of the Erdtree?

If you are new to Elden Ring and curious about whether you need to finish the main game before jumping into the Shadow of the Erdtree expansion, this guide is for you. Shadow of the Erdtree is a standalone expansion with its own storyline that intertwines with the events of the main game. You do not have to beat Elden Ring to start the expansion, as it is not a prerequisite for understanding the story.

The only requirement before starting Shadow of the Erdtree is to defeat Radahn in Caelid and Mohg, Lord of Blood in Mohgwyn Palace.

Best time to start Shadow of the Erdtree

Image: FromSoftware

Deciding when to begin the Shadow of the Erdtree expansion is a personal choice that depends on your comfort level with your character’s stats and build. FromSoftware is known for making their DLCs more challenging than the base game, so it is advisable to ensure you have high stats before taking on this new adventure. One of the toughest bosses in the game, Mohg, must be defeated in order to start the expansion, so having a strong character is essential.

Think of Mohg, Lord of Blood as a skill check. If you can defeat Mohg with ease based on your stats and build, then you are prepared for the challenges that await you in the Land of Shadows.

While the ideal starting time may vary for each player based on their skill level, it is recommended to have your character at least at level 100 before attempting the expansion. This level aligns with the recommended level for facing Mohg, Lord of Blood, and provides less experienced players with a better chance at success.

Concerned about how starting the expansion might impact the overall game’s story? Fear not, as the story of Shadow of the Erdtree is self-contained and can be enjoyed independently from the main game, while still contributing to the overarching narrative.