Elden Ring players who are getting increasingly irked by the messaging system are just going to have to lump it. FromSoftware says it doesn't have plans to offer an option to disable it. But there is a workaround.
Thanks to Elden Ring's surge in popularity, longtime players are seemingly finding the messages more bothersome than previous FromSoftware titles. The game has sold 12M units worldwide (opens in new tab) as of March 16. By comparison, the Dark Souls series as a whole has sold 27M units (opens in new tab) at last count (2020), so there's been a massive influx of new players.
Messages in Elden Ring let you leave helpful tips and warnings using a combo of preset words and phrases. You'll find missives about enemies and environmental hazards, and, unsurprisingly, outright trolling. So veterans have become accustomed to not trusting everything they read. People will often try to lure each other to their deaths with false information, but it's all part of the fun!
But now that the game has found a larger audience, all of those 'try finger, but hole' messages next to NPCs have lost their luster. And the lighthearted trolling has arguably turned into griefing. Messages can be left so close to interactable objects that reading them supersedes the performing actions. Escaping up a ladder, for example, can be thwarted by someone looking to mess with other players.
The tradition of trolling and memeing with in-game messages has become a tradition with FromSoftware's games. I reached out to the devs to ask if there would be an update to let frustrated players turn off messages and the response was that there are "no specific plans to change things for now." I asked if the studio was looking into ways to prevent this 'abuse' of the system, given how integral a part of the game it is, and the reply to that question was exactly the same.
If you're among the contingent of players who's come to resent the messaging system, there is a workaround... but it has pros and cons.
How to turn off Elden Ring messages
I'll just put this out there straight away – you can't turn off messages in Elden Ring. Sorry (not sorry). If other people discovering the joys of the game and being silly is getting to you, there is something you can do about it: go offline.
Yep, you read that right. That means no summons, no bloodstains, no invaders – and no messages! So if you're happy playing on your lonesome with a purely single-player experience, here's what to do.
- On the main menu, select System
- Navigate to the Network tab
- Scroll down to Launch Settings
- Toggle from Play Online to Play Offline
- Go back to the menu and launch your game
You can now enjoy the offline Elden Ring experience! Which isn't half as fun, let's be honest. But it's the only solution out there for now, if the message system is making you lose the will to live.