How to play Elden Ring multiplayer co-op with friends

Elden Ring coop multiplayer
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Elden Ring co-op multiplayer is a bit tricky to set up, requiring various in-game steps to let you play with friends or with random players online, but it's worth it. The game includes both an Elden Ring PVP mode, as well as bringing in various NPC Elden Ring Summons, but this is all about the most important version of multiplayer - when you're struggling to take down a boss and you want somebody to come in and help you, you need to know what to do - and with that in mind, here's how you can play Elden Ring co-op multiplayer, either with friends or with random players.

How to play with friends in Elden Ring

Elden Ring coop multiplayer

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

To play Elden Ring multiplayer with friends, players will need to jump through a few hoops first, as co-op has its own limitations and requires a bit of set-up. First of all, online multiplayer obviously requires all players to have their device connected to the internet, but console players will also need the relevant subscription service for online play, such as PS Plus. Elden Ring also does not have crossplay between different platforms but consoles in the same family can play together - for example, PS4 and PS5 players can play together but PS5 and PC or Xbox Series X players cannot.

With that sorted, you can get into co-op play. Elden Ring online multiplayer has one player act as a "Host of Fingers," and everybody else then joins their world as a phantom player, effectively assisting the host with whatever it is they're doing. Here's what you and your friends need to do:

  1. All players need to launch Elden Ring and scroll down to "Multiplayer".
  2. Once there, select "Settings" and enter a Multiplayer Password. It can be anything, but as long as you and your friends both enter it correctly and it matches, that's all that matters. These passwords effectively ensure that you'll only see each other, not the thousands of other players.
  3. Next, any players that aren't going to be the Host of Fingers should use a special item marked in the multiplayer menu called the Small Golden Effigy. This will prompt a message that says "Sending Co-op sign to summoning pool". If you don't have the Small Golden Effigy, head back to the very first area just outside the Stranded Graveyard, looking down at the Elden Ring Tree Sentinel boss. It'll be there leaning against the area's Martyr Effigy. Speaking of which…
  4. The player that wants others to join them (the host) then needs to find a small statue called a Martyr Effigy, specifically in the area they need help with. These are small, common statues with arms outstretched, usually found at the entrances to dungeons or outside boss arenas.
  5. Interact with the effigy to open the summoning pool, revealing a symbol that'll allow you to summon your friends who have used the Small Golden Effigy with matching passwords. You should now be able to bring them in!

How does co-op work in Elden Ring?

Elden Ring coop multiplayer

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Elden Ring co-op supports up to three players at a time; one Host of Fingers and two golden Phantoms to support them. As mentioned, crossplay is also not a supported feature, unfortunately.

It's also important to know that players brought into Elden Ring as co-op golden Phantoms aren't quite as powerful as they are in their own world. They have half the number of Flasks that they normally would and their stats are generally weakened so as to stop two high-level players from stomping all over the bosses for their lower-level friend - basically, other players aren't supposed to do the fight for you, just help out a bit.

You also can't play Elden Ring co-op for the whole game, or at least, not all in one go, as co-op can only be triggered with a specific goal in mind - aka, the boss of the area. Wherever the Host triggers the Martyr Effigy, that effectively makes the whole area into a mission. For example, if the hosts bring players into Stormveil Castle, the goal is to destroy the Castle boss, Godrick the Grafted. Once this is done, the mission is over and Phantoms are sent back to their own games. You'll need to find another effigy if you want to summon friends again.

How to be summoned by random players in Elden Ring

Elden Ring coop multiplayer

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

For players who are happy to be summoned by anybody to lend a hand, you can use a multiplayer menu item called the Tarnished's Furled Finger, right next to the Small Golden Effigy. This simply places down a gold symbol where the player is standing, one that appears in random players' games and can be triggered by them. 

However, these symbols can't be seen until the potential host uses an item in that menu called the Furlcalling Finger Remedy - they're invisible and unusable until they do. So if you want to summon allies, use the Furlcalling Finger Remedy and you'll see symbols left by those who used the Tarnished's Furled Finger. Good thing these names are so simple.

You can also use this method to play with friends too if you coordinate when and where you each your your finger items, but obviously the person joining the host may end up actually joining someone else who needs help.

How to unlock co-op multiplayer in Elden Ring

Elden Ring coop multiplayer

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Elden Ring co-op multiplayer unlocks upon completion of the tutorial, leaving the Stranded Graveyard into the grassy realm of Limgrave. Make sure you collect that Small Golden Effigy too. However, we don't recommend triggering it yet - multiplayer co-op is based around objectives and you should be generally exploring in those first few hours. Still, look around for Martyr Effigies and keep note of them so you know where you can draw upon allies in a pinch.

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Joel Franey
Guides Writer

Joel Franey is a writer, journalist, podcaster and raconteur with a Masters from Sussex University, none of which has actually equipped him for anything in real life. As a result he chooses to spend most of his time playing video games, reading old books and ingesting chemically-risky levels of caffeine. He is a firm believer that the vast majority of games would be improved by adding a grappling hook, and if they already have one, they should probably add another just to be safe. You can find old work of his at USgamer, Gfinity, Eurogamer and more besides.

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