A black knight fighting a Tarnished in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree
Image via FromSoftware

Does Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Change Anything About the Base Game?

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree is chock full of amazing content, but does it change anything about the base game?

In most FromSoftware games with DLC — the Dark Souls series and Bloodborne, specifically — the additional content either adds some bits of new dialog or lore to the base game or recontextualizes what you already know. Elden Ring is similar to its predecessors but also different in a few key ways, so does the Shadows of the Erdtree expansion change anything about the vanilla experience? Let’s discuss.

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Is Anything Different in Elden Ring After Beating Shadow of the Erdtree

If you played Dark Souls 3‘s DLCs, you might remember after meeting Sister Friede in Ashes of Ariandel, Yuria of Londor got a few small but significant updates to her dialog tree. Go back to Dark Souls 1, and the boss Sif’s opening cutscene got a massive overhaul if you saved her in that game Artorias of the Abyss DLC. The question then becomes, does Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree do the same thing?

Sadly, no, not really. There are only a few very small updates to the base game after completing the Elden Ring DLC.

Miquella's coccon and Needle Knight Leda in Elden Ring
Screenshot by GameSkinny
  • The new character, Needle Knight Leda, appears in Mohg’s arena once you unlock the ability to access the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC. She gives a brief introduction, a bit of guidance, and some small lore information about the content you’ll experience.
  • The Finger Reader Crone at the Roundtable Hold will allow you to buy specific new armors available in the DLC as well as spend Remembrances you collect.

Other than these two minor updates, nothing else about the base Elden Ring changes. There are no additional endings, no new dialog from any of your NPC allies (even that idiot Gideon), or anything else of the kind. Like Bloodborne‘s DLC, The Old Hunters, Shadow of the Erdtree instead makes you rethink and reconsider your role in the wider world. Short of spoiling anything, the DLC asks a lot of really interesting questions and even goes so far as to pose some of the largest across the entire game.

I’ll admit, there was a moment in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree where everything I thought I knew about certain things changed. I was moved at the same time by the implications of what I’d found and needed to think long and hard about the assumptions I had about the game’s story and lore. Other moments gave me pause for different reasons, whether positive or negative, and the ending was…something.

In short, Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree changes very few concrete details about the base game. It opts to force all who play it to give some extra thought to what they believed they knew about the history of the Lands Between and the major players in its story. I know the lore heads will have an absolute field day with the DLC, and I am excited to watch plenty of first playthroughs and see what everything thinks.

In the meantime, though? We’ve got plenty of guides on the Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree and the base game in the Elden Ring guides hub, including pieces on the point of no return or how to find the O Mother gesture.

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John Schutt
John Schutt has been playing games for almost 25 years, starting with Super Mario 64 and progressing to every genre under the sun. He spent almost 4 years writing for strategy and satire site TopTierTactics under the moniker Xiant, and somehow managed to find time to get an MFA in Creative Writing in between all the gaming. His specialty is action games, but his first love will always be the RPG. Oh, and his avatar is, was, and will always be a squirrel, a trend he's carried as long as he's had a Steam account, and for some time before that.