Invaders 1, Hosts 0: Shadow of the Erdtree's annoying Winter Lanterns are a great Rune Arc farm, because they can basically do your job for you in PvP

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree screenshot
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree is pushing fans to their limits, with a slew of deadly new bosses to defeat that even the most hardened Soulslike veterans are struggling with. Because of this, you might have found yourself utilizing the power of the Great Runes for some extra buffs, and there's a great – if not slightly evil – way to farm for as many Rune Arcs as you need to get powered up for every major fight.

If you were unfamiliar, Great Runes are dropped by Elden Ring's Shardbearer bosses, like Godrick, Morgott, and Malenia, and when restored at a Divine Tower, you can equip one for some extra buffs which are activated when you consume a Rune Arc. Rune Arcs can be found in a bunch of places around the action RPG, but one sure-fire way to farm more is by helping another player defeat a boss, or by invading another player and defeating them. Shadow of the Erdtree has introduced a rather cruel new way to achieve the latter, and it's all thanks to those annoying Winter Lantern – or 'Untouchable' – enemies in the Abyssal Woods.

The Winter Lanterns are no joke – you can't just run at them and start swinging with regular attacks because they won't do a thing, and the creepy foes can quickly charge at you to hit you with a lethal Madness-inducing attack if they detect your presence. While it is possible to parry them, at which point they'll become vulnerable, they're not to be messed with, and generally speaking, most players will probably just want to sneak past them if they're on their way to the special location and boss at the end of the area. However, by invading an unsuspecting real player, you might be able to cause enough ruckus that the Winter Lanterns do your job for you, killing the player without you having to get your hands super dirty.

While it was first thought that Winter Lanterns could be alerted directly by invaders, sending them after the Host of Fingers without being attacked themselves, it turns out this isn't the case. However, since they don't seem to attack invaders, what you can do is start engaging with the player you've invaded to try and lure them into danger. If they're trying to sneak past unnoticed, for example, they'll have no choice but to fight back if you start swinging a sword at them, which will blow their cover. Equally, you could try and chase them into an area where they'll be spotted. It might not be quite as easy of a PvP win as it first appeared, it definitely seems like the Abyssal Woods will be an invasion hotspot, so y'know, watch out for that. 

The key thing to remember is that as soon as the player dies, you'll get that all-important Rune Arc reward, and in a dangerous area like this, that's more likely to happen than in some of the tamer areas on the map (not that anywhere in Elden Ring is really a walk in the park). In fact, in the case of the Abyssal Woods, there's a decent chance that if you invade someone, the Winter Lanterns might already be doing their job without any need for you to intervene. Just be aware that if you're planning on playing through the Abyssal Woods in co-op, there might be a player hungry for Rune Arcs waiting to take full advantage of the tricky spot you're in.

Be sure to check out our guide to the best weapons in Shadow of the Erdtree for all builds.

Catherine Lewis
News Writer

I'm one of GamesRadar+'s news writers, who works alongside the rest of the news team to deliver cool gaming stories that we love. After spending more hours than I can count filling The University of Sheffield's student newspaper with Pokemon and indie game content, and picking up a degree in Journalism Studies, I started my career at GAMINGbible where I worked as a journalist for over a year and a half. I then became TechRadar Gaming's news writer, where I sourced stories and wrote about all sorts of intriguing topics. In my spare time, you're sure to find me on my Nintendo Switch or PS5 playing through story-driven RPGs like Xenoblade Chronicles and Persona 5 Royal, nuzlocking old Pokemon games, or going for a Victory Royale in Fortnite.