Elden Ring files appear to reference Dark Souls-style covenants

Elden Ring
(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

An Elden Ring dataminer has uncovered a series of messages in the game files that appear to reference a faction system which is not currently available.

Messages like "bloody finger rank advanced" and "recusant rank advanced" appear in unused text pop-ups, as dataminer StrayKurtis shows in a tweet (via PC Gamer). These messages also make references to ranks for "hunter," "duelist," and "furled finger." These are all references to multiplayer functions in Elden Ring, and hint that some sort of faction system may have been planned for the game at some point.

The covenant system in the original Dark Souls similarly offered a number of factions with ranks you could progress through, most of them focused on co-op or PvP. Progressing through the ranks could net you unique items, spells, or other passive bonuses.

It's unclear whether these Elden Ring messages reference a system that was cut from the game ahead of launch, or something that the devs plan to fill in with future DLC or patches. The game's currently impregnable colosseums have modeled interiors that appear to be the perfect spot for PvP battles, and dataminers have long speculated that these areas are intended for DLC.

While Elden Ring's in-game secrets have largely been sussed out by now, the community is continuing to make the game feel fresh. One player spent hours hiding as a bush to spite an AFK rune farmer. Another revamped the map to show how small it is when you stick to the main path. And the legendary Let Me Solo Her has killed Malenia 1,000 times only to restart the game.

If you're looking for more games like Elden Ring, we've got you covered at that link.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.