Co-operative play has been a major part of the Dark Souls series, because there’s nothing that curbs such daunting difficulty like bringing a friend along for the ride. Every Dark Souls game, as well as Bloodborne, has featured co-op — and Elden Ring is no different. But what will it look like? Will it be more complicated than previous FromSoftware games? Let’s dig in.
Considering Elden Ring follows in the footsteps of the Souls games the co-op systems sound incredibly similar, but anyone that hasn’t played the series might need a bit of help wrapping their heads around it. Luckily, FromSoftware has provided a good amount of detail on how co-op will work, and the closed network test in November 2021 gave an even better idea of the system. With that in mind, here’s everything we know about Elden Ring’s co-op multiplayer.
How co-op works in Elden Ring
As shown in the network test, Elden Ring will support up to four players in co-op, and that includes any combination of players helping and/or invading. The system seems to be fairly similar to Dark Souls, with players needing to use items in other to join other players’ worlds. These items were immediately available in the network test, but it’s not exactly clear how they’re obtained in the full game.
If you want to join another person’s game, you’ll need to use an item called the Tarnished’s Furled Finger from the multiplayer menu. This draws a gold symbol on the ground that other players can then see and interact with, thereby summoning you into their world. There is a catch, however, as you’ll need a consumable item called Furlcalling Finger Remedy in order to see the gold symbols. Players in the network test instantly had 99 Furlcalling Finger Remedies, but again it’s not clear how those will be obtained in the full game. There’s also an item called Finger Severer, which allows you to send a summoned player back to their own world.
Elden Ring also introduces another wrinkle into co-op with Summoning Pools and the Small Golden Effigy. Apparently, placing a summoning sign into the pool will essentially allow any player, anywhere in the world, to summon you instead of the specific spot you placed the symbol, like with the Tarnished’s Furled Finger. This feature is likely in support of Elden Ring’s more open-world design.
There are a couple of summoning rules to keep in mind with Elden Ring, the first of which is that you can’t summon another player if the area’s boss has already been killed. Certain dungeons and areas may also block summoning.
How do invasions work in Elden Ring?
Invasions work much the same way as co-op in Elden Ring, but with different items. The explanation above is the same for invasion items, but here’s a quick overview of each.
- Duelist’s Furled Finger: Draws a Red Summong Symbol on the ground. Players can interact with the red symbol to summon you to their world for a duel.
- Bloody Finger: Allows you to invade other players’ worlds, with the intent of killing them.
- Taunter’s Tongue: Allows Bloody Finger users to invade your world. You can use this item whether you’re playing solo or with a co-op partner.
- Small Red Effigy: Sends a competitive sign to the nearest Summoning Pool.
It should be noted that you can’t be invaded when playing solo unless you use the Taunter’s Tongue. Co-op is another matter, however, as simply playing in co-op will open you up to invasion by other players. You also can’t use the Finger Severer to send an invader back, as the only way to get rid of them is to kill them.
Just like with summoning, the same rules apply to invading: You can’t invade a player’s world if they’ve defeated the boss of that area, and some places may also restrict it.
Does Elden Ring have Covenants?
Covenants are a feature that any Dark Souls player will be familiar with, as they essentially work like factions that can give various rewards. While Covenants may not exactly return in Elden Ring, a few items suggest that they may return in some way, or at least in the kind of items you’d normally get from Covenants. The Blue and White Cipher rings work to enhance the PvP system even more. Here’s how they work.
- Blue Cipher Ring: Puts you in a “readied” state that will instantly summon you to another players’ world to help defeat a Bloody Finger invader.
- White Cipher Ring: When used will send out an automatic request for help if your world is invaded by a Bloody Finger user.
It’s also important to note that just like with Dark Souls, Elden Ring will allow players to use a password system for multiplayer, meaning you can filter out random players and just play with friends.