Promotional art for Elden Ring's Shadow of the Erdtree DLC

When in ‘Elden Ring’ Does ‘The Shadow of the Erdtree’ DLC Take Place?

Elden Ring is a long game. Unless you’re a god-tier gamer, you’re going to spend between 120 and 200 hours in there, easily. Bare minimum.

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That puts players in an interesting position when approaching the DLC. Some games, like God of War: Ragnarock, have DLCs which happen after the main story is over. Other games, like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, released their DLC after most of us had finished the game, and while the DLC absolutely would’ve made more sense to do over the course of the normal progression of the game, we did it anyway and had a nice time.

Elden Ring‘s new DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree, is a mid-late-game DLC. What’s more, it’s a DLC you can lock yourself out of, if you killed White Mask Varré. In which case, you’re going to have to revive him and ask for forgiveness. (Don’t worry, you can eventually kill him again.)

When can I start the DLC?

The good news is that even if you’ve beaten the game, you can re-enter your old file and still play around in it. Just head to the site of Grace where you killed Mohg, Lord of Blood, touch the creepy, withered hand, and enjoy dying a whole bunch in a pretty place.

If you’re starting out a new game, you’re going to have to wait a long while.

White Mask Varré is the first person you talk to in Elden Ring, but his quest doesn’t start in earnest until you’ve reached Liurnia. From there, Varré’s quest a long process which will stretch through multiple areas of the game. By the time you’ve finished that questline and can finally enter the Mohgwyn Dynasty Mausoleum and face Mohg, Lord of Blood, you’re probably at the Mountaintops of the Giants. Maybe you’re even at the following area, the Consecrated Snowfield.

Both are considered late-game areas. General wisdom has it that by the time you enter Moghwyn Palace, you should be at least between level 110 and 120. But higher is always better, because we’re dealing with FromSoft here.

This is all relevant because you have to kill Mohg to enter the DLC area. So unfortunately, you do have to wait until you’re strong enough to get through the Mohgwyn Dynasty Mausoleum and Mohgwyn Palace. Which means making your way through the vast majority of Elden Ring before you can see the new DLC. Unless you’re god-tier. In which case, hats off to you.

The potentially good, potentially bad news is that, once you get to the DLC, there’s a whole new system to essentially level up from scratch. So whatever level you are, prepare to get one- or two-shotted. Hooray!

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Kirsten Carey
Kirsten (she/her) is a contributing writer at the Mary Sue specializing in anime and gaming. In the last decade, she's also written for Channel Frederator (and its offshoots), Screen Rant, and more. In the other half of her professional life, she's also a musician, which includes leading a very weird rock band named Throwaway. When not talking about One Piece or The Legend of Zelda, she's talking about her cats, Momo and Jimbei.