Home » Guides » Elden Ring Guides » Shadow of the Erdrtee Beginner Guide: Things I Wish I Knew Before Playing

Shadow of the Erdrtee Beginner Guide: Things I Wish I Knew Before Playing

In this Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Beginner Guide, we’ll give you the best tips and tricks for getting started with the DLC and having a smooth first approach to the expansion content. This guide contains only minor mechanic, equipment and early location name spoilers, and we don’t go into specifics of NPCs, characters or bosses. We have limited the footage of locations to the map so that you can be surprised when you get there.

Shadow of the Erdtree Beginner guide

Your first hours in the DLC are crucial to set a good tempo, and they can be very frustrating if you don’t understand the expansion mechanics and progression objectives. With this guide, you should be able to tackle the DLC with ease and be fully ready to enjoy all it has to offer.


Make Sure You Have a Good Build and are around level 150

This may sound obvious but it is not as simple. You should aim to go into the DLC with a 150+ Build that has its weapons and spirit ashes at max upgrades, and with a good amount of health to carry you through the initial toughness of enemies. I have several builds that I can recommend you use. Note that there are more Larval Tears in the DLC so you can use them to change Builds if you desire.

  1. Knightblade
  2. Dark Paladin
  3. Sniper Samurai
  4. Scarlet Spear
  5. Ghostblade

Get these Scadutree Fragments and Revered Spirit Ashes Without Beating Any Bosses

All enemies in the Realm of Shadow are incredibly tough when compared to the base game. The way to become more powerful is not necessarily via character levels and upgrades, but through special items called Scadutree Fragments that improve your damage dealt and reduce your damage taken. Revered Spirit Ashes does the same thing for your spirit summons. You will want to obtain these items and consume them at a bonfire to enhance your “blessing” and receive a permanent upgrade that makes everything in the DLC a lot easier. You can find all of these items in our Shadow of the Erdtree Map, however there are 10 Scadutree Fragments you acquire before facing a single Boss. Get these Fragments by simply running to these locations and picking them up!

  • 2x Fragments at Church of Consolation
  • 1x by the Three-Path Cross Site of Grace
  • 1x by the Main Gate Cross Site of Grace
  • 1x dropped from a shining Pot Shadow found in a graveyard West from Prospect Town
  • 2x in Castle Ensis before any boss
  • 1x Scaduview Cross Site of Grace
  • 1x Pillar Path Cross Site of Grace
  • 1x Belurat, Tower Settlement before boss

Get these Revered Spirit Ashes by simply running to these locations:

  • 1x by a cliff found east from Scorched Ruins (just west across the gap from Church of Consolation)
  • 1x in the pond north-east from Prospect Town
  • 1x looted in the Abandoned Ailing Village altar
  • 2x looted by the Spider Scorpions shortly after entering Belurat Tower Settlement
  • 2x looted from places inside Belurat Tower Settlement

These should set you up quite nicely to tackle the first bosses without much frustration. You can get as many or as few as you feel you need, then progress the game. How you progress the game is rather important in this DLC, however!

Try out these DLC Weapons

If you want to try new weapons from the DLC, this is a simple list of what you can find very early in the game. We have some build guides for them as well publishing right after launch.

  • Backhand Blade (New weapon type) 30 second right from the first grace by a coffin
  • Smithscript Dagger (New Weapon Type) Ruined Lava Forge Intake
  • Great Katana (New Weapon Type) 1 minute ride from first grace in the lake by the dragon
  • Milady (New Weapon Type) just inside Castle Ensis in a tower chest
  • Swift Spear – on the road east of castle Ensis
  • Firespark Perfume Bottle (New Weapon Type) in the camps in front of Castle Ensis in a chest
  • Bone Bow in Belurat, Tower Settlement

Early DLC Progression Tips

It is very easy to mess up NPC quests and miss out on a lot of interest content, lore and equipment. I strongly suggest that you talk thoroughly to every NPC you meet, read the notes they give you, and visit their locations everytime after you enter a castle, talk to another npc, or defeat a boss.

Most NPCs will hang out around Miquella’s crosses and graces, but they can also move inside locations as their quests advance. It would seem most NPC quests are linked to each other, so if you’re aiming to do as much as possible you should spend the time talking to each whenever possible.

It is very easy to follow the game’s recommendation and accidentally miss out on a lot of content and NPC questlines. Try and stay away from the north-west side of the map until you want to progress the main story. Your game path should look something like this:

  • Explore south plains from the entry point
  • Explore west plains from the entry point
  • Talk to all NPCs you find
  • Explore North plains from the entry point
  • Cross the bridge and explore eastern plains south from Castle Ensis without going inside it
  • Find Pillar Path Cross here and talk to any nearby NPCs
  • If you feel adventurous, find the loop on the bottom area of that road that takes you down to Ellec River, then follow the river south and explore the south-western area lightly
  • Return to progress Belurat Tower Settlement
  • More detailed tips and progress past this point on the wiki

Finding Secrets in Shadow of the Erdtree

The DLC is full of secret paths, diverging questlines, and very hard-to-reach locations. You can use guides if you want, we have most of the information on the wiki already, but if you want to explore and discover yourself here are some tips on what mentality to have:

Explore EVERY corner of each location. A lot of items are cleverly hidden behind awkward point of views. Additionally, hidden walls usually have a very subtle, faint “tell”. It can be some enemies nearby, or a weirdly colored floor, or a slight disruption on the walls around them. Be on the lookout for these signs

The DLC is VERY vertical and most hard-to-reach places have to be accessed through long elevators, spiritspring jumps, or by using coffin steps on the sides of cliffs. Look at the map very closely and you will find clues on where to go and what to do.

Look around for items in hard to reach places as they help to signal that you are missing something important. You should always look up and down from bridges, cliffs, ladders and such to try and determine if there are nearby destinations you may be misssing.

There are a lot of new and powerful talismans and consumables added with the DLC, including new pot types. Make sure to equip the more powerful versions of talismans, and gather cookbooks to give the new items a try when in combat.

Read all the notes you find, maybe several times. It really helps with NPC questlines and with tackling some enemy mechanics such as the giant Furnace Golems.

Don’t forget about the base game mechanics like Teardrop Scarabs. The DLC has a similar type of Shadow Pot enemy that drops loot as well. You should also be on the lookout for invisible pathways, emote-triggered doors, and well-hidden switches.

You cannot get everything on the DLC in one playthrough as NPC questlines diverge and you must chose A or B. If you want to avoid having to do an entire NG+ all the way to Mogh again, we recommend you backup your save now before starting the DLC. Details on how to do this for all platforms can be found on the save management page on the wiki.

Getting Help for Shadow of the Erdtree

Our community will continue to use the password “Fextra” to play together, and you can also get help on our discord on a dedicated help and trade channel. You should also remember to upgrade new spirit ashes and weapons with the abundant upgrade materials found everywhere in the DLC, and if you progress npc questlines you will have NPC assistance for many of the hard bosses of the game.

Visiting the wiki is an option but it’s very easy to be spoiled on the names of enemies or bosses that drop equipment, so we made videos showcasing the new spells, incantations and ashes without showing their locations so you can pinpoint the one you want to try and check only that page if you want to have it.

You can also make good use of many guides that we are working on that will be going live on Youtube soon after DLC launches. Right now we have a video showing 20 weapons you can get without beating any boss, and several DLC-weapon builds releasing now. We also have prepared full video 100% walkthroughs of Legacy Dungeons and smaller dungeon areas, and videos with tips for all bosses without using spirit ashes or summons.

I want to keep this video short as I’m sure everyone wants to get to playing, but I hope these simple tips turn out useful. Please share your own tips in the comments so others can benefit from your wisdom!

About the Author



Log in to leave a Comment

Latest from Fextralife