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What level should you be for Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree?

Here are our recommended levels in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree for "easy mode" and "hard mode"!

A bioluminescent glow worm in the Gravesite Plain in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
Image credit: FromSoftware/VG247

Elden Ring’s massive story DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree, takes the Tarnished to the Realm of Shadow to learn about the disappearance of the missing Empyrean, Miquella the Kind.

It’s a fantastic, dense new slice of Elden Ring action, but within the context of your wider adventure, it can be difficult to know when you’re ready to tackle the challenges Shadow of the Erdtree has in store.

While the level of your character in Elden Ring can sometimes be an afterthought when compared to your gear and equipment, it has a bigger effect on your damage output and resistance than you might expect - particularly in late-game areas.

There has always been a lot of debate about whether Elden Ring should have an “easy mode”, but your character’s level can act as a difficulty modifier. If you go in with a low level it’s “hard mode”, but you can always over-level too if you want a slightly less taxing time.


What is the recommended level for Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree?

At the beginning of the Elden Ring DLC, you should aim to have your character at level 150. This is the level developer FromSoftware has recommended in press previews of Shadow of the Erdtree, and was the level that best suited a smooth experience during our playthroughs.

Level 150 means things aren’t too hard, but definitely aren’t easy either.

I first tried to play Shadow of the Erdtree at about level 130 and while I managed to get past Belurat, Tower Settlement and through Castle Ensis to Rellana, my Vigor was simply too low. Most enemies would kill me in one or two hits.

However, VG247’s other guides writer, Kelsey, played the DLC at level 180, which they felt was a bit too easy.

At the very least, you should aim for 50-ish Vigor and to have at least your main offensive stat at the soft cap of 60, whether that’s Dex, Strength or Int.

As you explore the Shadow Realm you can collect Scadutree Fragments which buff your character within the DLC area. Many people have said you can use these as a difficulty modifier too. However, I think that ignoring the Fragments would make things too hard unless you’re a complete Souls-God. They’re there to be used, so use them.


How should you grind up to the best level for the Elden Ring DLC?

If you’re on a fresh save file and don’t fancy wading through the whole game to reach the required level, the best place to farm runes to grind up your character is part of the required path to start Shadow of the Erdtree in the first place!

To get to the Realm of Shadow, you need to have defeated both Starscourge Radahn and Mohg, Lord of Blood at Mohgwyn’s Palace.

At the Palace-Approach Ledge Road Site of Grace, which you appear at if you enter the Palace via the teleporter in the Consecrated Snowfield, or need to ride back to if you enter via the Pureblood Knight Medal from Varre’s quest, you find the best rune farm in all of Elden Ring.

Off the side of the ledge on the left, there’s a giant bird you can shoot once with an arrow to aggro, then run backwards away from the cliff edge. This will cause the bird to run off the edge of the cliff below and grant you a chunky 10,000 runes. You can then just do this over and over again to Farm Runes.

Alternatively, if you want something slightly more interactive, you can also kill all of the non-aggressive Albunarics minding their own business along the ledge road. They’re guarded by a few knights, but they’re not that tough themselves and only serve to beef up the haul. Doing this gives you around 40,000 runes per run.

While you might have to spend an hour grinding up to your desired level, it’s a lot simpler than playing the game properly.

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