Does Elden Ring have a photo mode? It's a question I've seen asked umpteen times online over the last 12 months since FromSoftware's esteemed action RPG first hit our screens. If you own a powerful PC, you may have already tried Frans "Otis_Inf" Bouma's unofficial photo mode – an offline player-made mod that lets you tinker with the game's standard FOV, hide its UI, pause the action, and, most importantly, move the camera freely and make yourself invisible to enemies in order to nail the perfect snapshot.
But if you haven't splashed out for Otis_Inf's Patreon-gated project, or if you're playing on console, the answer is no. There is no official Elden Ring photo mode, and that's left me at a bit of a loss. Especially as I stare out into the hazy, starry expanse that stretches beyond Nokron, the Eternal City; its gorgeous blue and indigo hues begging to be captured in a 16:9 frame. Try as I may, I can't get a decent shot in without my character's head or shield or bum partially blocking my view or obscuring it entirely – and if I switch to first-person via my Telescope, I'm hamstrung by its default zoom that isn't exactly designed for artistic endeavor.
So for me, almost a year on, an official Elden Ring photo mode feels more relevant now than ever. I stumbled upon what I assume was my last significant map discovery earlier this month – and while I'm still impressed this was possible over 300 hours in, the fact that I've now watched the credits roll for a second time means I'll likely take a step back from the Tarnished's misadventures in Limgrave and beyond. Elden Ring DLC will inevitably bring me back, granted – whenever it may poke its head above the parapet – but similar to how the Landmarks in Marvel's Spider-Man provide renewed purpose inside its sprawling open-world playground, adding an official photo mode here would give us another reason to continue roving in the Lands Between.
The aforementioned Nokron, the Eternal City is prime celestial snapshot territory; as are the highest climbs of the Leyndell Royal Capital. The snow-swept peaks of Mountaintops of the Giants are tailor-made for stunning landscape photos; whereas the dead king atop the throne-meets-alter in Nokstella looks perfect for portraits. Those who've defeated the Crystalians in the bowels of the Academy Crystal Cave will appreciate the views at the summit of the Raya Lucaria – and I love the idea of creating an ad hoc photo diary that travels between Flame Peak all the way down to the bottom of the Darkroot Depths. My head is spinning just thinking about the scores of photo opportunities the Lands Between presents, and the creative slants enterprising players might offer if given the chance.
To this end, I don't think I've loved a game world more than Elden Ring's, certainly not in recent times. There are games whose playgrounds I've adored, especially in the wake of their own official photo modes, which only underlines the case for something similar in FromSoftware's ever-popular ARPG. Horizon Zero Dawn's photo mode was a triumph, for example, and a blueprint for success in this space. But I was equally taken with Super Mario Odyssey, God of War, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, GTA 5, and Dead Rising 4's slants on the feature to name but a few – each of which comes with myriad options for capturing the best shots in their respective worlds. In 2018, GamesRadar+'s own Leon Hurley wrote a game photo mode guide, which is a great place to start if video game photography is something you fancy but haven't ever tried your hand at.
With Elden Ring having recently hit 20 million sales on the cusp of its one-year anniversary, much of the buzz around its next steps pertains to its surely inevitable DLC, which will surely, inevitably be announced some point soon. When I penned our Elden Ring DLC wishlist in the summer of last year, I explored the features and hopeful additions that I felt were most relevant five months after the game's launch. At the time, I didn't mention a photo mode – but fast forward another seven or so months, with some players having sunk several hundred hours into the Lands Between since; having toppled all the bosses, mandatory and optional; having maxed out weapons and spells and summon ashes; and having combed every blade of grass and climbed every rocky hillside the game has to offer, the idea of an official photo mode sounds pretty enticing.
In the meantime, I'll continue doing everything I can to keep my character's arse out of shot. But as we wait for Elden Ring DLC, wouldn't an official photo mode be just the perfect thing to tide us over? Over to you, FromSoftware. I can't hold this pose forever.
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