Game Guides

Here's the Very First Thing You Should Do in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree

Following the signs.

A knight in armor views a mystical castle enveloped by mist and backlight by a golden sky in a fanta...
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If you’ve played even a minute of Elden Ring, you’ll know that exploration is vitally important. Elden Ring doesn’t hold your hand with its story, and often doesn’t even let you know where you should be going. That’s even more true with Shadow of the Erdtree, a DLC that unceremoniously lets you loose into a massive new realm, the eerie Land of Shadow. This new area is huge, rivaling the size of any area from the main game, and as you might expect, you’re given next to nothing in clues on where to go and what to do. Luckily, we’re here to help give you a gentle nudge in the right direction. Here’s where you should tackle first in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree.

Where to Go First in Shadow of the Erdtree

Your very first stop should be the Three-Path Cross Site of Grace, as it’ll give you NPCs to talk to, a Scadutree Fragment, and hints on where to go next.

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As soon as you step foot in the Land of Shadow, you’re let loose in a wide open field. In the distance, you can see dreary castles, terrifying fire giants, and the ever-imposing Scadutree. Be warned that enemies in the Land of Shadow are scaled to your level, so even the weakest enemy can take you out in just a few hits.

With that in mind, your first stop should be at the Three-Path Cross, where you’ll find a Site of Grace. From the starting point, head straight to the North. There are some ruins you can explore for some items, but be extra careful of the Furnace Golem that’s wandering nearby. At this point, you’ll be way too under-leveled to take the Golem on, and it can hit you with a ranged attack from across the map, so give it a wide berth.

Continue heading North until you see a massive glowing yellow cross sticking out of the ground. Here you’ll find a couple of NPCs to clue you into the story and suggest where you should go. At this point, the path splits in two. On the left, you have Belurat, Tower Settlement, and on the right, there’s the Shadow Keep. While you can realistically go either way, we heavily suggest you head to Belurate, as this is intended to be the first “dungeon” of the game. Clearing this area first will let you get new items, level up, and prepare for the Shadow Keep.

Follow the path to the left after the cross.

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To get to Belurat, take a left from the Three-Path Cross and follow the tunnel up to a sealed door. Open the door and be ready for a fight with a couple of huge scorpions. If that wasn’t enough, head into the next room and you’ll be ambushed by a dozen little scorpions. Use a weapon with a good area attack, or magic that can hit them all at once.

Don’t get taken by surprise by the scorpions hanging from the ceiling.

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After that just keep following the path until you reach another sealed door, and a Site of Grace to the left. Unfortunately, you can’t open this door quite yet, so head to the right of it and find the path to continue into Belurat.

You can’t enter the door at Belurat just yet, so follow this path to the right.

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This dungeon is mostly self-explanatory, so just keep following it until you reach the DLC’s first boss, the Divine Dancing Beast. Once you’ve mopped the floor with the boss, the Shadow Keep is your next destination.

Tips For Following the Story in Shadow of the Erdtree

Make sure to talk to every NPC you meet, as they’ll give you story details as well as some helpful items to guide you on your way.

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While the Land of Shadow has a lot to explore, as a general rule of thumb, if you’re looking to just complete the main story, follow Miquella’s Crosses. They all look the same as the one at the Three-Path Cross, and they all mark the path that Miquella took through the world. In this way, the crosses signpost where all of the “main story” content can be found, as well as a few prominent side areas that tie into the story.

As you make your way through the world, there’s an NPC who will give you “Cross Maps,” that show you the location of crosses you likely haven’t reached. If you cross-reference this item with the game’s map, you should easily figure out where you need to go next. Of course, if you’d like to throw caution to the wind you can simply explore anywhere that tickles your fancy.

Accessing New Items and Finding Scadutree Fragments

If you go into your Display settings, you can toggle an option to have a tab of “new items” in your inventory, making it much easier to access everything you pick up.

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To make things even easier on you, here are a few tips on how you’ll want to manage your items. Scadutree Fragments are by far the most important items in Shadow of the Erdtree, letting you boost the damage you cause and mitigate. You’ll find one Scadutree Fragment at the Three-Path Cross, and another within Belurat. Make sure you use these at a Site of Grace, though, or they won’t have any effect.

If you want to get your hands on a few more Scadutree Fragments, we’ve marked the location of the closest three in the starting area.

A quick bit of exploration at these locations will give you a nice boost.

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Using all these can help give you a little boost if you’re struggling with the Divine Beast boss. After you’ve cleared both initial dungeons, we’d recommend spending a good amount of time exploring so you can gather fragments and weapons. The rest of the expansion’s bosses are significantly harder, so be prepared.

Scadutree Fragments aren’t just found through exploration, however. Keep an eye out for weak enemies carrying pots as they often hold fragments. Defeating certain boss-type enemies in the open world, like the mutant Hippos, can also yield them.

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree is available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

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