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What level should you be for Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree?

Here's the recommended level for the Elden Ring DLC

A tarnished hoists a spear at some gravebirds while on Torrentback in Elden Ring Shadow Of The Erdtree.
Image credit: Bandai Namco

What level should you be for Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree? Elden Ring is an absolutely gargantuan RPG, and its Shadow Of The Erdtree DLC makes the game even grander. This ambitious expansion adds another 100 hours to your playthrough time, with a brand new map that is reserved only for late-game Elden Ring players.

Just about everyone who's ever graced the Lands Between is itching to see what awaits them in the Elden Ring DLC, so we've put together a guide answering the frequently asked question: what character level do you need to reach in order to play Shadow Of The Erdtree? And how much does your character level even matter for the DLC? We'll answer both of these all-important questions below in our guide on the recommended level for Shadow Of The Erdtree.

The recommended level for Elden Ring's Shadow Of The Erdtree DLC is level 120-150. This is the level that players who attended FromSoftware's preview event were started at, so anywhere around this level should be suitable for the Elden Ring DLC. However, the developers have also said that you could play through the DLC starting from Level 100 if you want - it'll just be a bit more of a challenge.

However, you don't need to be a certain level in order to access the DLC. As you'll know from our guide on how to start the Elden Ring DLC, there are two prerequisites for starting Shadow Of The Erdtree: beat Radahn, and beat Mohg. Of these two, Mohg is the far tougher boss, appearing very late in the base game. Our Elden Ring area order guide recommends you reach at least Level 120 before tackling Mohgwyn Palace. And seeing as Mohg is for all intents and purposes the "gatekeeper" for the DLC, if you can beat Mohg then you're probably in a good position to start Shadow Of The Erdtree.

This puts the enemy scaling of Shadow Of The Erdtree in a similar position to extreme late-game areas like Miquella's Haligtree and Crumbling Farum Azula. Although, given the sheer size of the Shadow Of The Erdtree map, it's a reasonable assumption that certain areas will be more challenging than others even within the DLC.

A close-up of a withered hand hanging from the cocoon in Mohg's arena in the Shadow Of The Erdtree trailer.
To start Shadow Of The Erdtree, you must first defeat Mohg, Lord Of Blood, and touch the withered arm in the cocoon on his throne. | Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Bandai Namco

It's also worth noting: your character level is not quite as important in Shadow Of The Erdtree as it is in the base game. The levelling system is just half of your progression in the DLC; the other half is the new Scadutree Blessing mechanic. By collecting Scadutree Fragments scattered across the Shadow Of The Erdtree map, you can combine them into Scadutree Blessings at Sites Of Grace to increase your overall attack power and defence. This mechanism is very similar to enhancing your attack power in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, but here, it only affects your character while they're in the Shadow Of The Erdtree map.

This means that even if you begin the DLC at Level 200 or higher, you'll still have a tough time travelling through the Land Of Shadow until you start collecting Scadutree Blessings. Likewise, even if you begin the DLC at Level 100 or less, you can still have a fighting chance despite your low level as long as you prioritise collecting Scadutree Blessings to increase your attack and defence.

So to summarise:

  • Start the DLC at Level 100 for a very challenging experience.
  • Start the DLC at Level 120 for a challenging but balanced experience.
  • Start the DLC at Level 150 for a slightly easier experience.

However, you can also adjust the difficulty of your Shadow Of The Erdtree playthrough depending on how much you engage with Scadutree Fragments and Blessings:

  • Don't collect any Scadutree Fragments for an extreme challenge.
  • Collect Scadutree Fragments as you see them for a balanced experience.
  • Hunt down every Scadutree Fragment for a more forgiving experience.

That wraps up our guide on what level you should aim to be for Elden Ring's Shadow Of The Erdtree DLC. If you want to properly prepare for the Land Of Shadow, then take a look at our guides on the best weapons, best builds, best armor sets, and best spells in Elden Ring. If you're just starting your own playthrough now, you can also consult our Elden Ring walkthrough, our Elden Ring beginner's guide, and our primer on what to do first in Elden Ring. Or, for recap of the story and everything you may have missed, check out our Elden Ring lore and story explainer.

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