Shadow of the Erdtree will be about as difficult as the second half of Elden Ring, but can be altered with a new progression element

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

Elden Ring's highly anticipated expansion, Shadow of the Erdtree, is fast approaching, but according to game director and head of FromSoftware Hidetaka Miyazaki, players won't need to worry about how much or how little they've played the base game when it comes to the DLC's difficulty. 

This comes from a new interview with Chinese outlet Gōuhuǒ yíngdì (Campfire Camp), which has been translated by Twitter user @swordandflower just below, as well as Google and DeepL. Early on in the conversation, Miyazaki is asked how the difficulty of Shadow of the Erdtree has been balanced. After all, even though Elden Ring is a difficult game, at this point, over two years have passed since its release, which has given fans plenty of time to master it. For dedicated players, even the toughest bosses don't pose nearly as much of a threat as they did back in 2022. 

According to Miyazaki, the general difficulty of the DLC should be around the same as the second half of Elden Ring, which makes sense since you need to take down Starscourge Radahn and Mohg, Lord of Blood before you can actually start it. That's not all though, as a new "progression element" has been implemented in Shadow of the Erdtree, which Miyazaki says will essentially allow players to pick how hard they want the expansion to be. By either choosing not to use it at all for more of a challenge, or utilizing it in order to give ourselves a boost, we'll apparently be given the freedom to tweak the experience to our liking.

At the time of writing, it's not clear exactly what this so-called progression element is. The translation makes it sound like a completely new stat to level up, but it's worth keeping in mind that even @swordandflower acknowledges that there could be a "slight lapse here and there" in the overall accuracy, so it could be something a bit different. It sounds like it could be related to the new Sekiro-like leveling system teased by Miyazaki back in February, which will apparently affect players' attack power. 

There's not too long to wait before we find out for sure, anyway, as Shadow of the Erdtree is set to launch next month, June 21, on PC, PlayStation and Xbox consoles. 

If you're looking for a game to tide you over in the meantime, be sure to check out our roundup of 10 games like Elden Ring for some new challenges.

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.