If you've been playing Elden Ring and haven't yet mastered the art of finding a quiet corner to stand in momentarily whenever real-life calls, you might be interested to know that players have discovered a way to pause the game without the aid of mods.
Last week, there was a gentle 'whoopee' from certain pause-starved corners of the internet when one enterprising modder, going by the name TechieW, introduced the feature to Elden Ring on PC via his unfussily titled Pause the Game mod.
Now though, YouTuber IronPineapple has spotted a quirk in Elden Ring's code that enables players on all platforms to temporarily halt the game in its tracks without the aid of a mod - helpfully also meaning PC players will no longer have to disable online play in order to avoid the swift splat of FromSoftware's undoubtedly ornate ban hammer if they want to pause.
As verified by Eurogamer's Ed Nightingale (a man unwisely suspicious of holes, we recently learned), and also by me on the PC version because I wanted an excuse to play Elden Ring for ten minutes, all that players looking to pause the game need do is call up the inventory screen, press the help button, then select the "menu explanation" option. Once done, not only will the game begin men'splaining, it'll freeze whatever action happens to be going on in the background. Congratulations! You are now paused!
To be honest, I can envisage only very few situations where things won't end extremely badly if you attempt to hit six buttons and navigate three menu levels while a large, bearded man (or, I dunno, giant rolypolying horse with 15 arms or whatever) hurtles at you with an axe, so I'm not sure how useful this discovery will be in practice - but if the alternative of just galloping away to a quiet corner simply isn't an option, it's yours to wield as you see fit.
Given this appears to be unintended behaviour on Elden Ring's part, it's entirely possible this hack-free pause ability will be squirrelled away to the great YOU DIED loading screen in the sky once FromSoftware gets a whiff of it. Until then, however, have at - and pause like you've never paused before. Just remember, Miyazaki is taking note - and he'll personally stick one extra poison swamp (plus crab) in your game each time he catches you at it.