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Is Elden Ring Not Free? A Comprehensive Guide on How to Get Elden Ring for Free

Elden Ring has taken the gaming world by storm since its release in February 2022, garnering critical acclaim and record sales. As an open-world action role-playing game developed by FromSoftware, Elden Ring builds upon the challenging gameplay and rich lore found in earlier FromSoftware titles like Dark Souls and Bloodborne.

However, unlike those previous titles, Elden Ring features a vast open world known as The Lands Between, filled with dungeons, bosses, and secrets for players to discover. The scope and ambition of Elden Ring is unprecedented for FromSoftware, resulting in their biggest and most commercially successful game to date.

But with all the hype and praise surrounding Elden Ring, one fact remains clear – Elden Ring is not a free game.

How Much Does Elden Ring Cost?

On the Elden Ring Steam page, you can see the price of this game. The Standard Edition costs $59.99, while the Deluxe Edition costs $79.99. These prices are consistent across all platforms, including PlayStation, Xbox, and PC (both Steam and Epic Games Store).

Some key differences between the Standard and Deluxe editions:

  • The Deluxe Edition includes the full game as well as a digital artbook and the game‘s soundtrack.
  • Pre-ordering either edition granted early access to the Closed Network Test before Elden Ring‘s release.
  • The Deluxe Edition does not include any additional in-game content or DLC. The gameplay experience is identical between both versions.

There are currently no options to play Elden Ring for free, unless you borrow a copy from a friend or try it out during a free trial weekend if one is offered. While Elden Ring is well worth its $60 price tag for the amount of content provided, let‘s go over some ways you may be able to get it for free or at a discount.

Will Elden Ring Ever Be Free?

The short answer is maybe, but likely not anytime soon. Here are some potential ways Elden Ring could be offered for free in the future:

1. Giveaways

Occasionally developers or publishers will do giveaways for their games on social media or events. This is usually done to promote the game and get it into more players‘ hands. While rare, it‘s possible FromSoftware could do an Elden Ring giveaway one day.

2. Free Weekend Promotions

Some multiplayer games will offer temporary free access for a weekend to encourage new players to try the game out. However, since Elden Ring is primarily a single-player experience, a free weekend seems unlikely.

3. Streaming/Subscription Services

After about 6-12 months, new games are sometimes added to services like Xbox Game Pass, PlayStation Plus, or PlayStation Now. This allows subscribers to access the game for free as part of their subscription. Don‘t expect Elden Ring on these services until 2023 at the absolute earliest.

4. Bundles/Sales

As Elden Ring gets older, it will inevitably go on sale more regularly. Major sales events like Steam‘s summer and winter sales often mark down prices by 50% or more on even newish AAA games. Elden Ring will likely start seeing steeper discounts in 2023.

While waiting for deals can save you money, take advantage of sales at your own discretion. FromSoftware makes masterful, compelling games that are worth paying full price to experience as early as possible.

Access Elden Ring for Free via Game Sharing

One method to play Elden Ring without personally paying the $60 price tag is through game sharing. Game sharing allows you to access games owned by a friend or family member by having their account on your home Xbox or PlayStation.

Here‘s how it works on both platforms:

PlayStation Game Sharing

  • Set your friend‘s account with Elden Ring purchased as the Primary PS4 on your console.
  • Download Elden Ring on your account. You can now play it for free.
  • Your friend plays on their own account, while you play on your account on the shared PS4.

Xbox Game Sharing

  • Set your Xbox as your friend‘s Home Xbox.
  • Log into your own account and download Elden Ring.
  • You and your friend can both play Elden Ring simultaneously while game sharing.

While certainly convenient, game sharing does come with disadvantages:

  • You can only play while connected online and the account holder isn‘t playing.
  • Any user on the shared console has access to the library, not just you.
  • The account holder keeps ultimate control over their games and could cut off access.

For families or close friends, game sharing offers a reasonable way to avoid buying multiple copies of Elden Ring so you can quest through The Lands Between together. But use discretion and make sure the account holder is someone you trust.

Is Elden Ring Worth Buying for Beginners?

As a souls-like RPG, Elden Ring is notoriously challenging with tough enemies, intricate levels, and complex systems. The high difficulty bar may seem intimidating for gamers new to FromSoftware‘s titles.

However, Elden Ring is also incredibly rewarding and satisfying to master. Here‘s why beginners shouldn‘t be afraid to dive into Elden Ring:

  • Open world freedom – Elden Ring‘s open world design lets you tackle areas at your own pace. Getting stuck? Simply explore somewhere else and return later.
  • Cooperative multiplayer – You can summon other players for jolly cooperation and assistance with difficult bosses and areas.
  • Spirit summons – These NPC creatures can be summoned to battle alongside you and provide distractions.
  • Approachable progression – Elden Ring is more forgiving with frequent sites of grace (checkpoints) and better-balanced leveling.
  • Customizable builds – Respecing your attributes and experimenting with different playstyles is easy. Find what clicks best for you.

Thanks to the open world and wealth of options to customize your experience, Elden Ring offers an accessible entry point for gamers unfamiliar with FromSoftware‘s signature hardship. Patience and perseverance will be required, but conquering the challenges of The Lands Between is an immense gaming achievement.

Why is Elden Ring So Popular?

For a game with a reputation centered around difficulty, what accounts for Elden Ring‘s incredible popularity and nearly universal praise?

Immersive Open World

The Lands Between provide an awe-inspiring fantasy realm dotted with grand castles, deep dungeons, and natural spectacles. Elden Ring revels in mystery and encouraging exploration, making each new discovery meaningful.

Dense Lore and Storytelling

Elden Ring’s fragmented narrative style sparse on exposition perfectly complements the desolate, haunting mood. Item descriptions and brief character dialogues masterfully hint at a sorrowful history players must unravel themselves.

Satisfying Action Combat

Elden Ring’s combat mechanics are weighty, deliberate, and responsive. Fights against the epic boss roster test skill and perseverance in equal measure.

Character Customization & Build Variety

With over 100 abilities and spells and a vast armory of weapons, players can experiment to create a playstyle matching their preferences. Extensive customization options allow distinct character builds.

These core pillars elevate Elden Ring beyond just being a difficult game for hardcore players. Elden Ring respects player agency, encourages getting lost in its world, and offers flexibility in how you overcome challenges. Its deliberate design philosophy makes Elden Ring such a phenomenon.

Is Elden Ring a Long Game? How Much Content is There?

With an expansive open world, hidden secrets, challenging dungeons, and dozens of bosses, Elden Ring unsurprisingly offers a massive amount of content. But just how long will it take to complete everything the game has to offer?

  • Main story only – Approximately 45-55 hours
  • Main story + extra content – 80-100 hours
  • Completionist run – 130-150+ hours

As with most open world games, the more time invested exploring off the critical path and taking on optional content, the longer your playtime becomes.

Here are examples of extra content that can lengthen a playthrough:

  • Optional areas – Consecrated Snowfields, Mountaintops of the Giants
  • Side dungeons – Catacombs, mines, tunnels
  • NPC quest lines – Ranni, Nepheli Loux, Millicent
  • Super bosses – Malenia, Dragonlord Placidusax
  • PvP – Dueling, invasions, arena

Part of what makes Elden Ring so repayable is the sheer wealth of content. You could easily invest 200+ hours across multiple playthroughs trying new builds and fully unraveling mysteries.

Has Anyone Fully Completed Elden Ring? What Does 100% Entail?

Given the massive scope of Elden Ring’s open world, is it even possible for players to complete literally everything in the game? Is 100% completion achievable?

The short answer is yes, but it is an extremely time consuming process. Here is what completing Elden Ring 100% entails:

  • Explore every area and collect all obtainable items
  • Defeat all main storyline bosses
  • Defeat all optional and legendary bosses
  • Fully upgrade your character and all weapons/armor sets
  • Complete every side dungeon and mine
  • Finish all NPC quests and storylines
  • Unlock all achievements/trophies

Only a small percentage of the most dedicated Elden Ring players have achieved the incredible feat of 100% completion. It requires using guides, checklists, and countless hours grinding to scour every last corner of the map.

Hardcore fans have logged over 500 hours on a single character making sure every task was crossed off. For most players, attempting to 100% Elden Ring may dampen the enjoyment. Focus on exploring at your own pace and treasure the sense of discovery.

What Builds and Strategies Can Make Elden Ring Easier?

For newer players finding Elden Ring overwhelmingly difficult, certain builds and strategies can help ease the brutality:

  • Co-op summons – Playing with others synergizes abilities and splits boss aggro. r/BeyondTheFog offers a friendly community for finding co-op partners.
  • Overleveling – Grind runes to outpace enemies. You can respec stats later once things become more manageable.
  • Magic builds – Sorceries and incantations let you devastate foes from range. Moonveil and Meteorite Staff are excellent early options.
  • Spirit ashes – Summoning tanky spirits distracts bosses so you can safely attack or heal. Mimic Tear is especially powerful.
  • Shields and guard counters – Strong shields like Brass Shield can block almost anything. Guard counters let you punish foes after blocking.
  • Ashes of War – Special abilities that can infuse your armament with powerful effects like blood loss, frost, or holy damage.

The most important factor is analyzing your playstyle and gear to develop strategies that cater to your strengths. And of course, persistence in the face of failure. The lands may be harsh, but victory is always within reach.

Elden Ring is NOT for You if You Dislike These Aspects

While Elden Ring has brought many new players into FromSoftware’s punishing style of gameplay, it will understandably not be everyone’s cup of tea. If any of these factors turn you off from a game, Elden Ring may not provide an enjoyable experience:

  • Steep difficulty – Elden Ring is hard. Very hard at times. If you get frustrated easily by tough enemies and dozens of deaths, be prepared.
  • Sparse guidance – Elden Ring offers minimal hand holding. Be ready to explore, get lost, and figure things out for yourself.
  • Complex RPG systems – The mechanics go deep with lots of jargon and stats to dive into. If you dislike lots of menus, it may feel overwhelming.
  • Repeating areas – You’ll battle through areas multiple times as you die and have to recover your runes upon respawning.
  • Losing progress – Dying resets the world and causes you to lose all runes which act as both XP and currency.

Elden Ring rewards patience, critical thinking, and perseverance above all. If you thrive on overcoming monumental challenges and unraveling mysteries, there are few games more satisfying. But being honest with your tastes is important. Not all games mesh with every player, and that’s perfectly ok too!

Elden Ring Player Stats – How Many Players Have Beaten the Game?

Elden Ring has dominated sales charts, selling over 16.6 million copies as of August 2022. But with such an infamously difficult game, how many of those millions of buyers have actually rolled credits on Elden Ring?

  • PlayStation – According to PSN Trophy data, around 25% of Elden Ring players on PlayStation have defeated the final boss and completed the game.
  • Xbox – On Xbox, about 27% of players unlocked the "Elden Lord" achievement for beating the final boss.
  • Steam – On Steam, 29% of players have the "Elden Lord" achievement.

Overall, roughly 1 in 4 Elden Ring players across platforms have completed the entire game based on trophy data. Factoring in that some players bought it just to try or only played briefly, that completion percentage is quite respectable for such a long and challenging title.

Defeating the final boss requires 60-80 hours for most, so seeing 25-30% of millions of players reaching the credits is impressive. And for a truly dedicated few (about 3-5%), the astonishing feat of 100% completion has been attained.

Just How Big is Elden Ring Compared to Other Massive Games?

Part of what makes Elden Ring such an incredible achievement is just how gigantic and content-rich the open world is compared to other similar games in the genre. Let‘s see how Elden Ring‘s scale measures up:

Elden Ring

  • Map size – 35 km^2
  • Number of bosses – 183

The Witcher 3

  • Map size – 52 km^2
  • Number of bosses – 10

Red Dead Redemption 2

  • Map size – 29 km^2
  • Number of story missions – 104

Horizon Forbidden West

  • Map size – 103 km^2
  • Number of main story quests – 74


  • Map size – 39 km^2
  • Number of dungeons – 197

From sheer land mass, Horizon Forbidden West‘s post-apocalyptic America beats Elden Ring. But in terms of handcrafted content density, variety of enemies, and dungeons/castles to explore, Elden Ring delivers an utterly staggering amount of content that sets a new bar for open world games.

Final Thoughts – Should You Play Elden Ring?

For gamers craving meaningful challenge, rich worldbuilding, and pure spectacle, Elden Ring stands as a masterpiece and an instant classic. Despite not being accessible for free, Elden Ring justifies its price with an absurd amount of content and unparalleled adrenaline-pumping boss encounters.

Yet with denser systems than ever before in a FromSoftware game, Elden Ring also offers more flexibility than prior Souls titles. Between co-op, spirit summons, overleveling, and more freedom in exploration, you can ease yourself into the trial and error gameplay that defines the Souls experience.

If you enjoy pushing yourself in games, taking your time to learn intricacies, and the sensation of overcoming seemingly impossible odds, do yourself a favor and play Elden Ring. Its adventure is sure to stick with you for a long time. Tread carefully, brave Tarnished. And may grace guide you through the darkest of nights.



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.