Is Elden Ring’s ‘Can’t See Friends’ Sign Hindering Your Gaming Experience? – A Must-Read for All Fans!

The hype surrounding the release of Elden Ring, the highly anticipated new action role-playing game developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment, has reached staggering levels. Fans of the studio’s famed games like Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice are eagerly waiting for the game’s launch, which is scheduled for January 21, 2022.

However, the game comes with a peculiar caveat that has left many fans puzzled and frustrated. Elden Ring will feature an in-game “Can’t see friends” sign that prevents players from summoning or joining their friends’ games while being actively co-op with NPCs. This limitation has caused much debate among the gaming community, with some seeing it as a smart design choice that respects the game’s lore and challenging gameplay, while others view it as an unnecessary hindrance that detracts from the social and cooperative aspects of the game.

In this article, we will delve deeper into the “Can’t see friends” sign in Elden Ring and analyze its implications for the game’s overall experience.

What Is The ‘Can’t See Friends’ Sign in Elden Ring?

Firstly, it’s essential to understand what the sign means and how it will affect the game’s mechanics. In Elden Ring, players can summon AI-controlled characters to aid them in combat when playing solo. However, players can also summon other players as phantoms to fight alongside them, share loot, and explore the in-game world cooperatively.

The “Can’t see friends” sign will appear whenever players have two or more non-playable characters (NPCs) summoned in the game. These NPCs can range from sidekicks to bosses, and their presence will disable the ability to summon other human players into the game.

Moreover, even players who have been summoned into the world previously by the same host will no longer be able to join if the “Can’t see friends” sign appears. The sign’s purpose is to ensure that the game’s difficulty remains consistent, as the presence of additional human players can make certain portions of the game much more manageable.

Is the ‘Can’t See Friends’ Sign a Good Design Choice?

Many fans argue that the feature is indeed a welcome addition to the game’s combat system. The presence of additional co-op players can often make encounters trivial, and the ability to summon unlimited phantoms can reduce the game’s intended difficulty.

The sign’s appearance is a smart way to encourage players to rely on the game’s AI-controlled NPCs, which FromSoftware’s games have always emphasized, in combat scenarios. It also makes the rare moments when players can play with others all the more precious, as they will be challenging to pull off.

On the other hand, some fans have criticized the decision, stating that the game’s multiplayer features have always been critical gameplay features. Some argue that the ability to play with friends makes the game much more enjoyable, and the presence of the sign sabotages this aspect of the experience.

Additionally, some players work as a team to tackle specific bosses or enemies that are particularly challenging, and the sign’s presence can significantly limit players’ ability to do so.


Q: Can I still play with friends in Elden Ring?

A: Yes, you can, but the game’s “Can’t see friends” sign will prevent it in some situations.

Q: Does the sign always appear when playing with NPCs in Elden Ring?

A: Yes, the sign will appear whenever you have two or more NPCs in the game, preventing you from summoning additional human phantoms.

Q: Will the “Can’t see friends” sign disappear once I defeat a boss or an NPC?

A: Yes, the sign will disappear and allow you to summon other players once you defeat the boss or NPC that you started with.

Q: Is the game still enjoyable without the ability to play with friends in Elden Ring?

A: Yes, the game has always been designed to emphasize its atmospheric storytelling, challenging gameplay, and AI-controlled NPCs, making it a rich single-player experience.

Q: Can I still enjoy Elden Ring if I don’t like playing solo?

A: Yes, the game can still be enjoyable even if you prefer playing with other people. Despite the sign’s presence, there will still be numerous opportunities to summon other players throughout the game.


In the end, the “Can’t see friends” sign in Elden Ring remains a divisive topic among the game’s fanbase. While some see it as a smart design choice that strengthens the game’s intended difficulty and emphasis on AI-controlled NPCs, others view it as an unnecessary burden that detracts from the game’s cooperative aspects.

Regardless of your opinion, it’s essential to understand what the sign means and how it will affect your gameplay experience. Elden Ring promises to be yet another masterpiece from FromSoftware, and we can’t wait to see what the game’s world has in store for us when it releases in January 2022.

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