Elden Ring's network test is the latest scalping sensation

A tarnished market.


Elden Ring videos and impressions pieces are now out in the wild, and by all indications, FromSoftware's next game is the real deal. There are a lot of hardcore Souls aficionados out there who would do almost anything to get into the closed network test that starts on November 12, since a lot of people who signed up didn't end up getting a code. As usual, the grey market is more than willing to close that gap — as long you're willing to pay, of course.

If you have a couple hundred bucks burning a hole in your pocket, scalpers are selling keys to the network test on sites like eBay. As IGN reports, the prices range from $33 to $200, and one unlucky soul even bought a PS5 code for $400, which ran them almost as much as the console they're playing it on.

Holding the bag — At the end of the day, people with excess money are almost always going to buy their way into things like this, even though the network test terms explicitly forbid this sort of aftermarket manipulation. Still, even $33 is a lot to spend to get access to the five three-hour sessions that start on November 12 and end on November 14, so you better clear your calendar if you got an invite.

As the previews revealed, Elden Ring is indeed an open-world Souls game, complete with tough bosses, a phantom steed, and even a crafting system. However, the test brought a few surprises to Souls veterans. For example, power-stancing — which allows players to use two weapons of the same type at the same time for unique effects — returns from Dark Souls 2, and the game's armor poise is apparently similar to that of Dark Souls 1. Overall, however, the gamefeel is described as similar to Dark Souls 3.

Elden Ring releases on February 25, 2022 for the rest of us mere mortals. It is certainly one of the most anticipated games of 2022.