Why Won’t Elden Ring Let You Join Your Friend? The Surprising Reason Explained

Why Won’t Elden Ring Let You Join Your Friend? The Surprising Reason Explained

Elden Ring, the highly anticipated action role-playing game developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco, has been making headlines since its first announcement in 2019. The game, created by the same team behind the critically acclaimed Dark Souls series, promises to offer a seamless open-world experience with intense combat, intricate lore, and deep customization options. However, as the release date draws closer, many players have been wondering why the game won’t let them join their friends and explore the world together. In this article, we will explore the surprising reason behind this decision.

Before we get to that, let’s take a closer look at Elden Ring’s gameplay mechanics. Similar to Dark Souls, the game features a single-player campaign where the player assumes the role of a chosen one on a quest to restore the Elden Ring, a powerful artifact that has been shattered and scattered across the world. Along the way, the player must defeat a vast array of enemies, from small minions to powerful bosses, using a variety of weapons and spells. Additionally, the game allows players to customize their character’s appearance, equipment, and abilities, making every playthrough unique.

Now, let’s talk about multiplayer. Elden Ring does have a multiplayer component, but it’s different from what most players are used to. Instead of allowing players to join each other’s worlds and play together, the game features a unique system called the “Summoner and the Summoned.” In this system, the player can summon other players, or “phantoms,” to assist them in combat. The phantoms are NPCs that resemble actual players and can be summoned by using an item called a “Summon Sign.” Once summoned, the phantoms will follow the player and help them defeat enemies until their time limit expires or they are killed by enemies.

So, why did the developers choose this system instead of traditional co-op gameplay? The answer lies in the game’s design philosophy. According to an interview with director Hidetaka Miyazaki, the team wanted to create a sense of loneliness and isolation in the game’s world. By making the player character the only true protagonist, the team could ensure that every player’s experience would be unique, and no two playthroughs would be the same.

In other words, Elden Ring is designed to be a single-player game first and foremost. The multiplayer component is there to supplement the single-player experience, not replace it. This is a fundamental difference from games like Dark Souls or Bloodborne, where co-op multiplayer is a significant part of the gameplay experience.

It’s essential to understand that this decision is not a result of technical limitations or budget constraints. The team could have implemented a traditional co-op mode if they wanted to. Instead, they chose to focus on delivering a rich and immersive single-player campaign that players can enjoy on their own terms. The Summoner and the Summoned system adds an additional layer of depth to the game without compromising its core design philosophy.

In conclusion, Elden Ring’s decision to limit multiplayer to the Summoner and the Summoned system may come as a surprise to some players. However, it’s important to remember that the game is designed to be a single-player experience at its core. The Summoner and the Summoned system complements the game’s focus on isolation and loneliness, allowing players to experience the world on their terms while still providing a unique multiplayer component. As always, FromSoftware has proven that they’re willing to take risks and push the boundaries of what’s possible in video game design.


Q: Can I play Elden Ring with my friends?
A: No, you cannot play Elden Ring in traditional co-op mode. The game features a unique Summoner and the Summoned system, where you can summon other players to assist you in combat.

Q: Can I customize my character in Elden Ring?
A: Yes, you can customize your character’s appearance, equipment, spells, and abilities in Elden Ring.

Q: Is Elden Ring an open-world game?
A: Yes, Elden Ring features a seamless open-world that players can explore at their leisure.

Q: What platforms will Elden Ring be available on?
A: Elden Ring will be available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Q: When will Elden Ring be released?
A: Elden Ring is set to release on February 25, 2022.

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