Elden Ring DLC Guide: Shadow of the Erdtree Explained

When you have an utter masterpiece like Elden Ring, it begs the question: what do you do next? FromSoftware already created such a glorious open-world take on the usual Soulsborne gameplay, but there is still more for players to check out. This comes in the form of additional content, as you’ll see in this Elden Ring DLC guide.

This Elden Ring DLC guide is here to break down all of the extra downloadable content that is set to come to arguably the best FromSoft game ever. There is already some free DLC available for the game at this time, but there is even more on the way, including a full-fledged paid expansion. If you’re ready to know more about how you can expand your time in the Lands Between, you’re in the right place.

elden ring dlc

Bottom Line Up Front

Elden Ring is a complete open-world action RPG from start to finish. Players have a massive world of the Lands Between to explore, with dozens of challenging bosses and numerous different Incantations, weapons, armor, Ashes of War, and more to collect. But the job isn’t finished, as there is more coming to the game soon.

There is already the existing Elden Ring Colosseums DLC, which is free to all players. This adds the Colosseum challenges in a few places around the world and six-player competitive multiplayer content. However, there is more on the way with the Shadow of the Erdtree paid expansion, which will likely add new areas, weapons, and, of course, bosses.

Elden Ring DLC Overview

While some may see Elden Ring as the closest thing you’ll ever get to a “perfect” video game, even a masterpiece like this one isn’t fully finished. There is still so much more room for players to explore the Lands Between and this intricate world that was created in collaboration with George R.R. Martin.

While Malenia and the other Shardbearers in Elden Ring might be some of the most challenging bosses ever faced in a FromSoft game, there is still room for further challenge. And, of course, room for players to collect more spells, skills, armor, weapons, and various items.

This is where DLC comes into play. Thankfully, it didn’t even take a full year after Elden Ring’s release for publisher Bandai Namco and developer FromSoftware to announce additional downloadable content. This first came in the form of the Colosseums DLC update, but it didn’t stop there.

While that update didn’t suffice the need for more content for the hungry players who already saw everything the Lands Between has to offer (likely multiple times), fortunately, more hearty content was later revealed. In early 2023, just a year after the game’s release, Shadow of the Erdtree was announced.

Together, these two pieces of content make up the currently known Elden Ring DLC. Here’s what you need to know about both of them.

Elden Ring Colosseums DLC Explained

elden ring colloseum

First off, there is the Elden Ring Colosseums DLC. This is already out right now, so by the time you are reading this, you can update your game and enjoy this DLC for absolutely free. You don’t have to pay anything extra for this content; update the game to the latest patch version, and you’re good to go.

As such, there is a high chance that you already have this DLC pack installed in your game if you continually keep it up to date. Colosseums was a free update that came out in December 2022, not even a full year after the initial release of Elden Ring.

This free DLC update brought with it the first bit of content for the open-world action RPG since its launch, which was just in time for players who had already seen everything the game has to offer. This is pretty much the competitive multiplayer update, which brought with it some much-needed online multiplayer options.

Multiplayer DLC Options Explained

For those who like to battle against other real players online, this is the update for you with three Colosseums set around the Lands Between. There is the Limgrave Colosseum, Royal Colosseum in Leyndell, and the Caelid Colosseum.

All three of them function entirely differently and require the player to visit each one to unlock them. Once you enter a Colosseum, you only need to interact with the statue in the middle of the area to unlock it. From this point forward, you can enter the location from the Roundtable Hold hub instead of having to trek across the entire map to reach it again.

You have to repeat this process with all three Colosseums to unlock them as an option for online multiplayer. This is mainly because the three Colosseums function differently from one another. They all have various modes and rules that players can engage with against others in real-time competitive combat.

The saddest part about the situation is that this is mainly DLC for players who like to fight against others. If you’re like me, you probably aren’t a huge fan of competitive multiplayer, which isn’t why I personally play a game like Elden Ring. That said, everyone could enjoy one addition in this DLC.

This was in the form of five new hairstyles, which added new looks that almost anyone should be able to appreciate. They are quite varied from one another and some of the best looks that have been released in the game yet. These five new hairstyles are available to new characters and even existing characters alike.

elden ring colloseum hairstyles

Colosseum Game Modes Explained

When it comes to the three Colosseums and their game modes, they differ considerably in what they offer. Some have modes for teams while others are for individual competitors. Here’s what you need to know about each of the various Colosseums, the game modes they offer, how each one works in terms of gameplay, and where to find every single one so you can start dominating the online Elden Ring community.

Limgrave Colosseum Game Modes Explained

limgrave colosseum

Starting with the Limgrave Colosseum, this is one of the easier ones to reach, and it comes with two main game modes that players can engage with: Combat Ordeal mode and United Combat.

Combat Ordeal is the most basic game mode you’ll find in this competitive multiplayer update. With almost all of these modes, it is up to six players online in a single match, with only a few exceptions. Combat Ordeal sees up to six players battle it out in a free-for-all match where the player with the most points (aka eliminations) at the end of the round winning.

On the other hand, United Combat is more of a team affair. This is where six players are divided into two teams of three each for a point-based battle. There is a timer, and you get unlimited respawns during that time. The team with the most eliminations (points) wins at the end of the match.

Royal Colosseum Explained

royal colosseum

From there, we take a trip to the Royal Colosseum in the capital city of Leyndell, which has its own mode. There is only a single mode here, and that is the Duel mode. This one is pretty simple: two players gather together and duel to the death. They each have only one life, so it is the actual test of flexibility, gear, stats, and talent.

Caelid Colosseum Explained


Finally, there is the Caelid Colosseum, which is the one that I presume most players are interested in. Unlike the other two, it is the most comprehensive location with all of the previous game modes included in it. So, you can go here for free-for-alls, team matches, duels, and so on.

In addition, though, it comes with its own unique feature. This is the only location of the three where you are able to summon Spirit Ashes. The NPC-controlled companion is fantastic in the single-player portion of the game, exploring the Lands Between but this is the only place where you can fight alongside them in more significant PvP battles.

But if you don’t want to use Spirit Ashes, you should probably stick to the other Colosseums. When it comes to matchmaking, there are two main ways to do this. You can show up at a particular location and queue up randomly for a particular game mode to fight against whoever shows up there.

On the other hand, you can use a specific password to find others who are using the same password and only play with them. This is the best way to make a private lobby of sorts, so be sure to connect with players you want to play with ahead of time on platforms like Discord.

What Is Shadow of the Erdtree?

For those of you who are like me and prefer playing alone and exploring the Lands Between, there is DLC for you. This is in the form of the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC, which was formally announced in 2023 and is set to come in the near future.

I’ll be the first to admit it: there is little known about this DLC at this time when I am writing this. That said, I know that it is meant to be a properly paid DLC expansion. This is nothing like the Colosseums update, which was completely free to all players and only mainly added multiplayer content.

This expansion is meant to radically change the Lands Between with new content all across the board. It is the proper extension of the already amazing Elden Ring vanilla content and should give nearly all players more reason to come back to this game, even if you’ve seen all the endings.

While there is little known about the Elden Ring DLC expansion outside of the name, here is what we can presume about it and some possible speculation about what it could include.

Possible Shadow of the Erdtree Release Date

For starters, what most players want to know is when they’ll be able to get their hands on the Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree expansion. This is tricky since there wasn’t even a release window revealed in the initial announcement of the upcoming expansion.

However, that is almost telling in a way. FromSoftware wasn’t comfortable revealing a release date yet, likely because it is still well into development. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the DLC is extremely far away, but it could indicate that the release window is totally up in the air right now.

That said, I feel like there are two possible times when this DLC will release. First off, I still think there is a chance that Shadow of the Erdtree could come out in 2023, which is the same year it was announced. More than likely, I wouldn’t be surprised if this expansion was meant to come out a year or a year and a half after the game’s initial launch.

Of course, development issues can come into play, and this possibly happened here, resulting in an unknown release window at this time. However, if things go well, I could certainly see it coming out in late 2023, possibly around the December time frame when the Colosseums update dropped.

On the other hand, I could also see a situation where Shadow of the Erdtree comes out in the first half of 2024, possibly even close to the two-year anniversary of the game’s launch. This would be a great time to release it since it would have given players plenty of time to explore everything the Lands Between has to offer and be ready for a new adventure.

shadow of the erdtree

What Will the DLC Cost?

One of the trickier parts about the Shadow of the Erdtree expansion is how much it will cost. What we can presume for now is that it won’t be free. Instead, I expect it to be more in line with previous FromSoft offerings like The Old Hunters expansion for Bloodborne.

That particular DLC came out and retailed for around $19.99, a third of the game’s original price. Honestly, though, with the rising costs of development these days and how much sheer content is likely involved with this expansion, I expect Shadow of the Erdtree to cost more.

If I were to guess, I would say it should cost $30 at the bare minimum. It could cost more than that, but I feel like that is a nice safe spot, essentially saying that you are getting quality content and hours that is half a game in its own right, even if it isn’t necessarily half as long as the base game.

It could also be offered as part of a season pass of sorts, but this is unlikely for now since no other expansions have been announced. Expect this to be a standalone paid DLC release. For now, we will have to wait and see for when we are closer to its launch.

Rumors and Possible Content Explained

As for the heart of the Shadow of the Erdtree content, this is where things get intriguing. As of right now, almost nothing is known about what the paid expansion will include. That said, there is a lot of speculation we can put into figuring out what it should and could have in it.

For instance, you can almost put money down that it will include new weapons, armor, items, and bosses. These are the core aspects of Elden Ring, and it wouldn’t make sense to offer new DLC that doesn’t have any of those. So, I expect to see all of them.

It will be interesting to see what kind of new gear players will be able to equip and, hopefully, even some new weapon types. I’d love to see a new class or two, too, as while that would require you to create a new character, this would be a fun way to extend your time with the game.

It would also be nice to see some new spells for the casters out there like myself, as there is definitely room for some new broken incantations and the like. It would also be fun to take those new spells and use them on the existing bosses to destroy them even faster.

Speaking of bosses, Shadow of the Erdtree is the place where I feel the most challenging bosses in all of Elden Ring should be released. Some would argue that with the plethora of broken builds out there, this game’s overall difficulty isn’t quite as hard as other games, even if bosses like Malenia are ridiculously tough.

Shadow of the Erdtree is the place to offer bosses more challenging than Malenia that create a new series high for how challenging a FromSoftware game can be. I only hope that the challenge isn’t too absurd that it essentially requires you to use only the new weapons and gear that was launched with the DLC.

Where Will Shadow of the Erdtree Take Place?

elden ring dlc artwork

Furthermore, there are questions about the actual location of this DLC content. Elden Ring is the first actual open-world game in the stylings of the Soulsborne games, and it is a massive one. You would think this paid expansion would continue the idea of an open world and add some new regions to explore.

The only issue with this is that it’s hard to say where it will occur. Personally, I would like to see some brand new locales and regions rather than new areas tacked onto the existing places. The only artwork we’ve seen of the DLC so far shows a stunning field that is quite far from the titular Erdtree.

I would presume then that this new area(s) is the farthest region we’ve seen in the Lands Between yet. I would like to see some new biomes, enemies, and NPCs that we have never seen before. I would also like to see a new hub area that is more interesting or even city-like compared to the decent Roundtable Hold area that we already have.


Question: Will Elden Ring have DLC 2023?

Answer: It is currently unknown if Elden Ring will have DLC in 2023. The Colosseums DLC came out in 2022, but Shadow of the Erdtree has no current release date. It could come out in 2023, and I think it was initially intended to, but I could also see it come out in 2024.

Question: Will there be an Elden Ring 2?

Answer: It is currently uncertain if there will be an Elden Ring 2. Outside of the core Dark Souls games, other similar FromSoft titles like Sekiro and Bloodborne were one-off games. Given the record-breaking success of Elden Ring, though, I feel like you have to revisit the Lands Between at some point. It might not be the next FromSoft Soulsborne game, though.

Question: How many DLCs will Elden Ring have?

Answer: For now, we only know about two DLCs that Elden Ring will have. There is the already existing Colosseums DLC and the upcoming Shadow of the Erdtree. It is possible that there is another DLC (free or otherwise) that could come out after that, but we will have to wait for now.

Find Out More about the Lands Between

The idea of Elden Ring DLC is one of the most exciting prospects right now. Let’s face it: we are likely many years away from the next FromSoft Soulsborne-style game. Whether that is Sekiro 2, Bloodborne 2, Elden Ring 2, or something entirely different, there is a long way to go before that.

So, having some Elden Ring DLC that expands upon one of the best games ever made is a promising event that could tie us over until the next full-release title. Though the Colosseums DLC was quite nice for the multiplayer fans, I know I am much more interested in Shadow of the Erdtree.

Shadow of the Erdtree has the potential to expand upon the rich lore and characters in the base Elden Ring game. In addition, this is a proper opportunity to introduce some new regions to the Lands Between. In the meantime, find out more about the original game’s setting so you are ready for whatever is added in this upcoming DLC.

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