Elden Ring co-op: multiplayer items, level ranges and invasions explained – PC Gamer

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By , published 17 March 22
Summon players to help you in the Lands Between—you’re going to need them.
Elden Ring becomes a whole new game in co-op. Summon your friends and the Lands Between suddenly aren’t quite so frightening. It’s still full of terrible beasts and monstrous bosses, but they no longer just have eyes for you: they want to kill your friend, too. Sharing really is caring. I promise there’s a lot more to multiplayer in Elden Ring than all those deceitful messages on the ground saying « hidden wall ahead. »
Co-op in Elden Ring works differently than it does in many other games, though. You can’t just open up your Steam friends list and right-click someone’s name to invite them to your game.
 Which items do you need? What the heck is a summoning pool? Are you going to get invaded by other players just for being online? Let me explain. Here’s what you need to know to start playing Elden Ring in co-op with a friend, or to dive deep into the wider multiplayer community with strangers.

Multiplayer in Elden Ring is built around the concept of summoning other players into your game world (or vice versa) and taking on the threats of the Lands Between together. There’s no invite system or multiplayer lobby. You use an item to place your « summon sign » down on the ground, and that sign will show up for other players. If they interact with it, they can bring you into their game, where you’ll stay until one of you dies or you defeat the boss of the area you summoned in.
There are some limitations to be aware of:
Multiplayer requires using some specific items, which are explained in more detail below. It all sounds pretty complicated, but it’s not that bad once you figure it out—and there are some good reasons to put in the effort.
I could tell you that you should play Elden Ring as a co-op game just because it’s fun, or because it makes the game much easier. Both true! But here are some more specific benefits of trying out multiplayer, even if you typically like to go adventuring solo.
You’re given the option to play online or offline at the start of the game. You can change this at any time through the Network section of the Systems tab in the menu, though you’ll need to restart the game for changes to take effect.
Even if you’re not sure about playing in multiplayer, I strongly encourage playing online. This way you get to see messages from other players as well as their blood splatters, which give you a glimpse of how they died. That can be really helpful information, and it also just generally adds to the flavor of FromSoftware’s games.
To be clear, in Elden Ring, other players can’t invade you just because you’re « online. » You’ll only be invaded while you’re actively in a co-op session with another player. This is part of what makes co-op exciting: you’re much more powerful with a friend in your game, but that power comes with some risk, too.

These items are the gateway to multiplayer in Elden Ring. The names can be a bit confusing, but they’re all housed in a single menu in the game, with descriptions there to help you if you forget. The two most important are the Furlcalling Finger Remedy, the item you use to be able to see other players’ summon signs, and the Tarnished’s Furled Finger, the item you use to place your own summon sign on the ground.
Here’s a rundown of the basic multiplayer items: 
There are several other multiplayer items besides these, but they’re the ones you’ll using most commonly, whether you’re out to co-op with friendly players or get into PvP scraps.

If you’re playing Elden Ring online (the default), you’re ready to jump into multiplayer at basically any time, either by summoning players into your game or being summoned into another’s.
Doing either is simple, but one thing to keep in mind: in the open world of the Lands Between, playing multiplayer means giving up access to your Spectral Steed. You also won’t be able to enter dungeons and other separate areas. It’s a bit of a pain, so it’s often more practical to enter a dungeon before starting up a multiplayer session. If you find a particularly tough enemy out in the world, though, you can still try to summon some help!
Here’s how to kick off a multiplayer session.
Elden Ring storyteller
Elden Ring guide: Conquer the Lands Between
Elden Ring bosses: How to beat them
Elden Ring dungeons: How to defeat them
Elden Ring Ranni quest: What to do
Elden Ring map fragments: Reveal the world
Use a multiplayer password to play co-op with friends
From the multiplayer menu you can set a multiplayer password, which will only show summon signs from other players using that same password. Set a unique password with your friends to make it much easier to party up.
Wait, what’s a multiplayer group password?
Okay, FromSoftware made things pretty confusing with multiple password fields. The first field is what you use to ensure you’ll only get matched up with your friends, while a group password is more like a clan system.
Setting a group password prioritizes online elements from other players using that password, including summon signs, white messages, their phantoms and bloodstains. You can set a group password with your friends if you want, but you can also use one adopted by thousands of other players, like YouTuber VaatiVidya’s « SEEKERS » or the Elden Ring subreddit’s « straydmn. » 
Group passwords reward you with a small bonus: When one of the other players takes down a major boss, you get a temporary small buff to the number of runes you get for killing enemies.
Summon Signs
Elden Ring co-op signs
To reveal Summon Signs left by other players in the Lands Between, you’ll need to use the item Furlcalling Finger Remedy. This is a crafted item that uses Erdleaf Flowers that can be found on bushes throughout the game. Once used, you’ll be able to see any Summon Signs left by other players. To make it, you’ll have to buy the Crafting Kit from Merchant Kale at the Church of Elleh just after the Stranded Graveyard. If you’ve already passed it by, you can always fast travel there.
Pay attention to the colour of the Summoning Sign—gold signs are cooperative players, but red signs signify players looking to challenge you.
If you want to create your own Summon Sign to join another player’s game to help, you need to use the Tarnished’s Furled Finger item.
Summon Pools
These are located next to Martyr Effigies—creepy-looking statues with its arms outstretched. They are found in various places throughout the Lands Between and are generally located near bosses and dungeon entrances. These effigies signal the presence of a Summoning Pool, which you interact with to activate. Once you’ve activated a summoning pool, you can use the Small Golden Effigy item to send your own Summon Sign to the Pool. You can get this item at the first Martyr Effigy just outside the entrance to the Stranded Graveyard at the beginning of the game.
The benefit of Summoning Pools is that you can automatically send your summon sign to multiple nearby Pools at once, so you’ll likely be summoned much more quickly than you would by placing a single sign with the Tarnished’s Furled Finger. They also provide a concentrated place for you to summon other players.
To see the signs around a Summoning Pool and summon another player into your game, you’ll still need to use a Furlcalling Finger Remedy.
Sarah’s earliest gaming memories involve playing Jet Set Willy on the ZX Spectrum at a friend’s house. These days, and when not writing guides, most of her spare time goes into MMOs—though she’s quite partial to JRPGs too. She has spent much of the last decade playing the likes of Star Wars: The Old Republic, TERA, Final Fantasy 14, and World of Warcraft. Sarah has been writing about games for several years and, before joining PC Gamer, freelanced for the likes of TechRadar, GamingBible, and Rock Paper Shotgun. One of her fondest hopes is to one day play through the ending of Final Fantasy X without breaking down into a sobbing heap. She probably has more wolves in Valheim than you.
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