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How To Start Elden Ring’s New Game+ In Preparation For Shadow Of The Erdtree

Shadow of the Erdtree, the hotly anticipated DLC for FromSoftware’s award-winning action RPG Elden Ring, is dropping on June 21. So if it’s a while since you’ve picked up 2022’s open world soulslike you might want to dive back in ahead of Shadow of the Erdtree to get reacclimated to the world, gameplay, and more. But do you want to start an entirely new game? Shadow of the Erdtree will reportedly have a unique leveling system that will keep players from over-leveling, so getting a refresher on the game’s tough combat might be a good idea.

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Like the rest of FromSoftware’s titles, Elden Ring has a New Game+ feature, which might just be the perfect way for you to familiarize yourself with the Lands Between once more. But how do you actually start NG+, and what does it entail? That’s what we are here to tell you!

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How do you start Elden Ring’s New Game+?

As with NG+ in other games, the first requirement to use this feature is that you have to beat Elden Ring. That sounds simple enough, but this is a Souls game, so it’s not an easy feat, and it’s not a foregone conclusion that every player will have achieved it. Once you have earned the title of Elden Lord and seen one of the game’s many endings you will be given two ways to begin NG+. After the credits roll, a text box will appear asking if you would like to “Begin Journey 2,” simply accept the prompt and you will be taken immediately into NG+.

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If you decline the option when offered it after the credits then you aren’t out of luck, Elden Ring gives you another way to begin your second journey. After reaching one of the game’s endings, you will be allowed to continue exploring the Lands Between to wrap up any loose ends you have. Maybe you just want to do some weapon collecting or you haven’t faced off with every secret boss the world has to offer. Whatever your reason, you can take your time before heading into NG+, but when you are ready, just fast-travel to the Roundtable Hold. Resting at the Hold’s Table of Lost Grace will now present the player with another option, “Begin Journey 2.” Accept it and you are on your way to NG+.

Should you start Elden Ring’s New Game+ before Shadow Of The Erdtree?

Ahead of the DLC’s release a lot of players who have previously beat Elden Ring are wondering what the best way to refamiliarize themselves with the game is. But is the answer really NG+? It’s a bit complicated. I would say that it depends on how much time you think you have to put back into the base game before Erdtree, and also what you are hoping to get out of it before the DLC drops.

The biggest thing to remember about NG+ is that it overwrites your save file. That might be an issue if you want to play Shadow of the Erdtree upon its release but don’t have enough time before then to replay the game up until the DLC’s unlock location. Once you begin NG+ you will not be able to return to your completed save file (unless you are on PC and back it up manually before entering NG+). As with other FromSoft games, Elden Ring’s DLC will require players to start it by entering through a mid to late-game location. For Erdtree that is Moghwyn’s Palace, a fairly difficult location most people suggest you tackle near the end of a playthrough. If you are able to get to that point in NG+ before Shadow of the Erdtree then by all means go ahead.

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For those who are just looking for a way to refamiliarize themselves with the combat and flow of Elden Ring before the DLC but don’t want to playthrough the game entirely, I would suggest just creating a new character (which doesn’t delete or overwrite your other save files) and working your way through the early game. I find that just playing the game, even at a low level, is enough to get that muscle memory working again at which point you can dive back into a higher level and feel much more comfortable.

Whatever you choose you don’t have to worry about your level being important, however. FromSoft has stated the DLC will have its own unique attack power system that will be more important than your already acquired stats. Essentially as long as you can enter the DLC (regardless of level) you will be able to play Shadow of the Erdtree without worrying about being underprepared.

What does and doesn’t carry over to Elden Ring’s New Game+?

The benefit of NG+ over just starting a new playthrough from scratch is that you can take some of your hard-won loot and levels into your next adventure. In the case of Elden Ring, there are quite a few helpful things that carry over into NG+. The big things that you will retain in NG+ are your level, Runes, armor, weapons, and magic spells. Remember that you will also be able to get duplicates of all your favorite weapons in NG+ to dual-wield, so make sure to grab them in your first playthrough before starting NG+ if you want to make some truly broken builds. To balance out the player’s carried-over strength, enemies in NG+ are stronger but will also drop more Runes.

That’s quite a bit and it’s not the whole list. You will also be able to retain the majority of non-quest-related items and consumables. That includes Remembrances, upgrade and crafting materials, Spirit Ashes, and Ashes of War. There are also some key items that the game allows you to take into NG+, which include Stonesword Keys, Dragon Hearts, Larval Tears, Celestial Dew, and Lost Ashes of War. You will also have access to your horse, Torrent, as well as your map progress.

As for what won’t carry over into NG+ that list mainly consists of quest-related items. That just means if an item was used to progress the main quest or any side-quests, you will lose it so as not to mess up the natural progression of the game. Speaking of side quests, all of your side quest progress will completely reset upon starting NG+, so if you are in the middle of any side quests, decide whether you want to finish or give up on them before your next playthrough.

Great Runes that you acquire upon defeating the game’s key bosses will not carry over into NG+. Other key items that don’t carry over are Sorcery Scrolls, Incantation Prayerbooks, and Bell Bearings. While map progress carries over, States of Grace do not, and you will need to refind these points in NG+. An extensive list of every single thing that does and doesn’t carry over can also be found on the Elden Ring wiki, so if you have a question about a specific item before starting NG+, give it a look.

Whichever way you choose to prepare for Shadow of the Erdtree, I’m sure the DLC is going to kick all of our asses regardless of preparation. I can’t wait to find out what’s going on in the expansion’s mysterious trailers.

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