Where to Go or What to Do First in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree?

Lost in the Shadow Realm? Don't panic Tarnished.

By GamesRecon

Elden Ring is one of those games that lets you scratch your head in wonder the first time you enter the Lands Between thanks to its massive in-game content and complex terrain. And with the release of the new Shadow of the Erdtree DLC, there is no surprise that every player wants to know what to do and where to go in this dark new Shadow Realm. If you haven’t gone too deep in the base game, you will find this new expansion even more hard to explore. With a massive map in hand and starting in the open world, a wealth of new items, challenges, and many new boss fights, it’s common that you may find it difficult to know where to go through from there. Don’t worry, we’re here to guide you through the initial steps to make the most of your journey in the Land of Shadow.

Get Map Bearings

Collected Map Bearing from Gravesite Plain in Shadow of the Erdtree The Gravesite Plain map fragment is your first priority. You don’t want to wander around like a headless chicken in this eerie realm. It’s tucked away in a small alcove near the Gravesite Plain Site of Grace. Look for a ledge you can drop down to on your left as you face the Site of Grace. With the map, you’ll unlock a new area to explore, marked by question marks just begging to be investigated.

Thoroughly Explore the New Map

Shadow of the Erdtree’s map size is not small, with many secret ways, dangerous labyrinths, and strong enemies. Think about it as when you are searching for a needle in a haystack, it might be helpful if you took your time to look through every corner because you never know what you might find – useful items, or some exceptional loot. On your way, you will encounter new enemies, such as Furnace Golems, Ghostflame Dragons, and Ulcerated Tree Spirits. Although, they have some skills up their sleeves but once you manage to defeat them, the great rewards will be worth the fighting.

Explore the Gravesite Plain

After getting map bearings in Gravesite Plain, you can start exploring the area. The Gravesite Plain is a relatively open area with some tough enemies and ruins to explore. This is your chance to get a feel for the new environment and mechanics. Keep an eye out for Golden Seeds to increase your Flask charges, as well as other items and resources that might come in handy later. It’s a good idea to activate the nearby Sites of Grace as you go.

Get Scadutree Fragments & Revered Spirit Ashes

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Revered Spirit Ashes Stats Scadutree Fragments can be found all over the Shadow Realm, and they are required to level up your Scadutree Blessing. It’s useful in the DLC as it raises stats and increases the chance of survival, which makes traveling easier. It’s recommended to try to gather as many fragments as possible at the start. Each Miquella’s Cross also has one of these items and you can collect many from each cross. FromSoftware has introduced some new tough bosses in Shadow of the Erdtree and if you include the optional, there are well over 40 bosses. So having a few Revered Spirit Ashes at your disposal is the best choice. Revered Spirit Ashes are particularly powerful which boosts your Spirit Ash companions, and upgrading them with Revered Great Runes increases their stats even further. But you can’t find them anywhere as these are only available at specific statues.

Pick Your Path

From the crossroads, you can visit the three main locations, each leading to major areas and boss encounters:

  1. Belurat, Castle Settlement: Go west, and head along the trail to the northwest to find a huge, ruined fortress. It is relatively easier than the others; it also has a boss fight with the Divine Beast Dancing Lion found in this area. This location is easier to approach and therefore visiting it first is recommended.
  2. Castle Ensis: Taking the eastern path leads you to Castle Ensis, which is under siege. To get inside the fortifications, you will have to clear levels and face the final opponent Rellana Twin Moon Knight. This area is more challenging and is best to explore after completing Belurat.
  3. The Northern Lake: After you have completely explored the Castle Ensis, go straight north from the water, you will find yourself by a lake where the Ghostflame Dragon, a giant skeletal boss, dwells. While this boss is optional, it’s very fun and recommended to anyone who wants a little extra challenge.

Go to Three-Path Cross

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Three-Path Cross At the Three-Path Cross Site of Grace, you’ll encounter Freyja and Hornsent, two NPCs with a quest to find all of Miquella’s Crosses. Each cross you find will reward you with Scadutree Fragments and advance their quest line. This eventually leads to an optional boss encounter and a unique reward. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to learn more about the DLC’s story and lore.

Prepare for the Main Bosses

Starscourge Radahn Boss Fight in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree While the Land of Shadow is filled with a lot of optional bosses, there are a few main bosses that you’ll need to defeat to progress through the DLC’s narrative. These are Messmer the Impaler, Romina, Leda with her gang, and probably the most dangerous, Radahn. Defeating these bosses involves many strategies and making sure you are ready to face them head-on. If you have allies NPC or co-op partners, you might want to call them in for help during the fights. If you are a Mage, you should farm some of the key spells such as Rock Sling, Great Glintstone Shard, Comet, Comet Azur, and Terra Magica. By using some of these powerful Elden Ring incantations, you can greatly improve your chances of survival in the hard boss combats in the DLC.

Bonus Tip:
If you’re a completionist, start hunting down the Crystal Tears for your Flask of Wondrous Physick. Some unique combinations are waiting to be discovered in the Shadow Realm.

While this guide is to give you a good starting point in your first Shadow of the Erdtree journey, don’t be afraid to stray from it and wander as little as you please. Try out the new weapon types and the abilities from Ash of War or go to side areas and look for what mysteries are hidden there. Thus, the liberty to explore and defeat at one’s own pace is the beauty of the Elden Ring.