How to start Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree DLC

Scott Baird
Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree New Weapon Types

Elden Ring doesn’t let players access the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC from the menu, so you’ll need to prepare before you can take on the challenges that await in the expansion.

FromSoftware is known for hiding its DLC behind bosses and story progression, such as needing to beat Vicar Amelia in Bloodborne before you can start The Old Hunters storyline. Elden Ring is no exception, as the new content in Shadow of the Erdtree is gated behind bosses.

Shadow of the Edrtree launched on June 21, and for those returning to Lands Between, some preparation is required. You need to complete specific tasks before you can start the DLC, this involves conquering some of the game’s trickiest bosses.

Mohg lord of blood
Mohg is the final boss keeping you out of Shadow of the Erdtree.

How to start Shadow of the Erdtree

To start Shadow of the Erdtree, you must defeat two bosses and then touch a specific location. This information was first revealed in a Famitsu interview with Elden Ring director Hidetaka Miyazaki.

Beat Starscourge Radahn in Caelid

The first boss is mandatory for completing Ranni’s questline, and it’s something that players hoping to bring about the Age of Stars will be looking to do anyway. You must defeat Starscourge Radahan, who can be found in Redmane Castle in the southeast of Caelid.

It’s recommended that you be above level 60 before taking on Radahn, but skilled players can attempt it earlier, as multiple NPCs can aid you during this battle.

For more information about defeating this mighty boss, check out our Starscourge Radahn guide.

Beat Mohg, Lord of Blood in Mohgwyn Palace

The second boss is also optional, though many players likely encountered him during their journey. You must defeat Mohg, Lord of Blood, who can be found within the Mohgwyn Palace, a secret level within the underground Siofra River. This location can be accessed through a portal in the west of the Consecrated Snowfield. 

It’s recommended that you be above level 90 before taking on Mohg, but you can attempt it earlier, as there are specific items & Crystal Tears you can use to make the fight easier.

Check out our Mohg, Lord of Blood guide for more information about defeating this powerful boss.

Once these bosses are defeated, you can start the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC by interacting with the cocoon in Mohg’s boss arena, as it contains the body of Miquella, who is vitally important to the story of Shadow of the Erdtree.

Do you need to be a certain level to access Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree DLC?

No, there is no level requirement to start the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC in Elden Ring.

So long as you’ve met the requirements listed above, having killed both mandatory bosses, you can technically access the DLC at any level.

What level should you be to start the DLC in Elden Ring?

Ultimately, the choice is yours as to when you start your journey in the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC. With no set level requirement, you can technically jump right in as soon as you’ve beaten Starscourge Radahn and Mohg, Lord of Blood, though these fights can be quite far into the base game experience.

As a result, you should be at a fairly high level with plenty of stats upgraded. You likely won’t reach these sections of the game without being at least level 100, though we recommend being a bit higher before progressing down the DLC path.

Beginning Elden Ring’s DLC roughly between 150 to level 200 would be an ideal starting point, just to ensure your Vigor stat is boosted as much as possible, and you’re not lacking for health when entering Shadow of the Erdtree. Anything beyond this isn’t really necessary for one key reason: The DLC relies on a different scaling system.

Whether you’re level 200 or level 500, you’ll still be finding the DLC difficult to begin with. Shadow of the Erdtree revolves around the Scadutree Blessing system. Rather than falling on your regular attack and defense stats, this instead requires you to collect Scadutree Fragments in order to boost your most important qualities.

Therefore, no matter your grind in the base game, Shadow of the Erdtree has its own form of difficulty to keep an even playing field. Thus, it really doesn’t matter all too much what level you are when starting out, so long as you’ve done enough to boost your health, Endurance, and any other relevant stats to your build.