Elden Ring is out in the wild, and as is to be expected of FromSoftware, it’s a punishingly difficult action RPG that will have you repeatedly throwing yourself at bosses in ill-fated attempts to destroy them. More unusually, however, it also looks like it might be best enjoyed with friends.
As with past Souls titles, Elden Ring doesn’t force you to endure its hardships alone. You can summon friends and strangers into your game for a helping hand. You might simply want company, or, more likely, are desperately in need of some help against a boss who’s been repeatedly pummelling you into the ground for the last eight hours.
Some players have taken their co-op fighting to new heights, tag-teaming bosses in incredibly coordinated, honed, and sometimes plain lucky brawls that have the Elden Ring community all riled up in excitement.
Take a look at this duo who are able to synchronize every one of their attacks perfectly for what might be a record-breaking takedown.
“Was this choreographed?”, asked one Redditor, possibly in utter disbelief at the sheer synchronicity of the fighters. “This was a symphony”, said another user, impressed with the martial efficiency of the duo. If there’s one thing Elden Rings players love more than overcoming the game’s brutal enemies, it’s seeing others kill them with ease.
This Tarnished couple snuck up on an unaware enemy, combining a simultaneous surprise attack with a volley of backstabs, apparently with no planning or communication required.
This pair, meanwhile, was a little more tactical, using an ability that let them mimic stone statues to lure an invading player into their trap.
And then, of course, there are the players who aren’t so lucky and are better at coordinating timely deaths than victories.
Take a cursory glance across the Elden Ring subreddit, and you’ll find plenty of players thanking strangers for lending them a hand, pictures of new players buddying up for an advantage, and others lavishing praise on the coordination of these co-op combatants.
Analysis: harder than it looks, but worth a shot
So, how do you play Elden Ring cooperatively with friends? It’s not as straightforward as you may think. As with past Souls games, you can’t start a multiplayer lobby, but will have to summon other players into your world after loading in. You’ll only be able to do that once you’ve picked up the necessary items.
Using the Furlcalling Finger Remedy (a craftable item), you’ll be able to see summon signs that have been placed across the world by other players. Interact with them to invite others to join you. Pick up the Tarnished’s Furled Finger toward the start of the game, however, and you’ll be able to place down summon signs that let others invite you to their sessions.
If you’re looking to play with friends rather than strangers, you’ll have to do some simple tweaking in the game’s options menu. Head over to the Network tab, agree on a “multiplayer password” for you and your friends to enter, and voila! Anytime you summon players in the future, only those that have input the same password as yourself will be called into your game.
Up to two other payers can join you in-game, meaning parties can’t be any larger than three. Still, that’s enough for some pretty impressive tag-team fighting.
If you fancy trying your hand at it, pick up a copy of Elden Ring.
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Callum is TechRadar Gaming’s News Writer. You’ll find him whipping up stories about all the latest happenings in the gaming world, as well as penning the odd feature and review. Before coming to TechRadar, he wrote freelance for various sites, including Clash, The Telegraph, and Gamesindustry.biz, and worked as a Staff Writer at Wargamer. Strategy games and RPGs are his bread and butter, but he’ll eat anything that spins a captivating narrative. He also loves tabletop games, and will happily chew your ear off about TTRPGs and board games.