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Elden Ring's new inventory features are a game changer

Tools of the trade.

Elden Ring character Ranni the Witch, who is the focus of one of the game's sidequests.
Image credit: FromSoftware

I play Elden Ring like a Hoover. I explore the The Lands Between while hammering the button to acquire new materials. In all honesty, I've barely bothered with crafting unless I really need to, but all those leaves, stones, shards of bone, and strips of meat? They get sucked straight up into my inventory regardless.

But then I get a really great looking item. Maybe it's a new talisman, or an Ash of War. Maybe it's a really important story item with a description that's integral to the plot. But too late! It's already gone, lost in the black hole of my inventory, never to be found again. It's all very well finding an item while exploring, but finding it in your inventory is a whole game in itself.

Now, though, that's a problem of the past. FromSoftware has released an update for its iconic Souls adventure that's available for all alongside its Elden Ring DLC Shadow of the Erdtree. It includes two new inventory features: a recent items tab, and exclamation marks above new items. They're game changers.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree | Official Gameplay Reveal TrailerWatch on YouTube

Weirdly, these options aren't included by default and will need to be found in the game's Display menu. But I implore you to switch these on as, for me at least, they've had a profound impact on inventory management.

They're the sort of features that would have proven essential from the start. Too many times did I pick up a weapon with some bizarre name like Reduvia or Helphen's Steeple or Godskin Stitcher and had no idea which of these is a knife, a greatsword, or a rapier. Or picked up armour that appears identical to so many others. And key story items, notes, and throwable tools have frequently been lost in a menu somewhere never to be found. I remember the Dectus Medallion that grants access to the Altus Plateau disappeared into my inventory and I forgot all about it until I found an alternative route anyway.

Elden Ring's Display menu showing inventory management options
Head to the Display menu to switch on these features | Image credit: Eurogamer

What's more, Shadow of the Erdtree piles on even more loot. There are tons of new crafting materials, but more importantly new armours, new weapons, new spells, and more, the sort of stuff you'll want to experiment with. And without these new inventory features, it's all too easy for these to get lost.

Instead, you can now handily have your recent items rise to the top in a separate tab. That includes useful notes with maps and directions, that weird looking liver you just picked up, an elaborate-looking spell that might be an incantation or a sorcery, or a unique item that just might have lore implications. If Elden Ring tells its story through item descriptions, at least now they're easier to spot.

Playing through Shadow of the Erdtree, my relationship with the inventory has changed. I still hoover up everything I see, but now I can easily pop into the menu to actually read what it is I hold in my grubby, tarnished mitts. I'm engaging with story revelations more, too, as I excavate The Land of Shadow for every minute detail. I recently found an intriguing looking scroll that explains...well that would be telling. But at least that part of the mystery sat neatly at the top of my inventory, awaiting my eager eyes.

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