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How to start Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree DLC and get to the Shadow Realm

Access the Shadow Realm and begin your Erdtree adventure with these simple steps.

A warrior approaches a giant cocoon with an arm sticking out of it in Elden Ring
Image credit: Eurogamer/FromSoftware

Want to know how to start Elden Ring's Shadow of the Erdtree DLC? Shadow of the Erdtree is finally here, which means it's time to begin Elden Ring's long-awaited DLC expansion. But there are some vital steps you need to complete first before you start your journey through the Shadow Realm. So if you want to start walking in the mighty shadow of its eponymous Erdtree as quickly as possible, read on below to find out the exact steps you need to follow in order to start Shadow of the Erdtree in Elden Ring.

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How to start Shadow of the Erdtree

Before you can start Shadow of the Erdtree, you'll need to defeat two important late-game bosses in Elden Ring's base game. These are:

To beat Radahn, you'll need to complete Redmane Castle in Caelid while the Radahn Festival is active - which you can do by progressing through Ranni's quest or Blaidd the Half-Wolf's quest, or by entering the Atlus Plateau and resting at any Site of Grace in the area, before going to Redmane Castle (where the festival will already be in progress, regardless of how far you've progressed in Ranni or Blaidd's questlines).

To beat Mohg, Lord of Blood, you'll need to enter Mohgywn Palace, either by following Varré's questline, or using the bloodstained teleporter in the Consecrated Snowfield. Simply make your way through the area and defeat Mohg at the end of it.

After you've defeated these two bosses, you'll be able to interact with the arm hanging out of the cocoon in Mohg's boss arena. If it's been some time since you defeated these bosses, simply fast travel back to the Site of Grace 'Cocoon of the Empyrean'.

A warrior with a plumed helmet speaks to another knight in Mohgwyn Palace in Elden Ring.
Image credit: Eurogamer/FromSoftware

There, you'll find a new NPC called Leda standing near the cocoon. You can chat with her if you like, and she'll tell you to touch the withered arm sticking out of the cocoon. This will transport you to "the realm of shadow where Miquella the Kind now dwells", so once you've wrapped up your conversation, head on over to that bloodstained hand in front of you.

You'll get a prompt to touch it, and doing so will ask you whether you want to 'Head to the Realm of Shadow', which you can answer Yes or No.

A warrior touches a giant withered arm in Elden Ring.
Image credit: Eurogamer/FromSoftware

Select Yes, and the screen will fade to black. You'll then wake up in a cave in the expansion's opening area, Gravesite Plain, and your Shadow of the Erdtree journey will have begun. Enjoy!

Need more help? Improve your stats by finding all of Shadow of the Erdtree's Scadutree Fragment locations and Revered Spirit Ash locations. Alternatively, see which Erdtree bosses you've still got left to beat, and track down some great new early weapons to help you on your adventure.

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