Elden Ring main bosses kicking your backside? Git gud, mate. Stressed while soldiering through Leyndell? Git gud, mate. Struggling with the fact the final stretch of Elden Ring makes the first 100 hours look like a vacation? Git gud, mate. Big yawn. It seems the further players wade into the Lands Between (and thus continue to face tougher enemies), the more the age-old and ever-quarrelsome catchphrase tied to the enduring challenge found in FromSoftware’s games rears its ugly head.
The thing is, despite the persistence of the git gud brigade and their tiresome argument – that players struggling to overcome Elden Ring’s toughest areas and bosses should just, simply, get better at the game – it would appear hundreds of thousands of its players would just as easily have an easy life. This certainly seems to be the case for PC players, given the fact Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)‘ three most downloaded Elden Ring mods, at the time of writing, are all designed to make the game easier. Collectively, the Elden Ring Ultimate Table, Cheat Table, and Easy Mode mods have accrued over 200,000 downloads in just over a month. Git gud? Na, get shrewd.
There is, of course, no right or wrong way to play any video game, far less one with so many open-ended questlines, so many optional bosses, and so many explorable locations that are not tied to its central narrative. Instead of asking why some facets of this community are still so hell-bent in telling others to improve their style, then, a more pertinent community question may be: why, in a game that adopts such a fluid approach to character builds and profiles, are players working to strip these elements out of their games altogether?
The simple answer is because they can – according to a number of creators within the game’s modding community (opens in new tab), Elden Ring is the easiest FromSoftware game to mod. Historically, Souls games have been notoriously difficult to manipulate on the code side of things – just ask Grimrukh, the co-creator of Dark Souls total conversion project, Nightfall – but the fact that Elden Ring is seemingly easier to navigate in coding terms, means we’re seeing more sophisticated PC mods surfacing earlier than we might otherwise have in previous FromSoftware games’ life cycles. Elden Ring’s the Lands Between setting is also the most open and inviting playground the developer has ever created, which ramps up the appeal of being able to shoot 100 spells per second, flying through the skies, winning every single battle, and summoning bears and Godfrey and Melania from the outset, to name but some of the player-made leg-ups modders have provided thus far.
Because that’s what mods like Hexinton’s Ultimate Table (opens in new tab) and Satoshi98’s NPCs And Bosses Spirit Summons (opens in new tab) will let you do – the former of which lets you alter over 60,000 lines of code to boost your build beyond reckoning; the latter of which lets you call upon Malenia, Radagon, Millicent, Sellen and Rennala to fight by your side. Odashikonbu’s Easy Mode (opens in new tab), on the other hand, does exactly that – it makes Elden Ring easier by reducing damage sustained by 50 percent, while boosting attack power by 25 percent – whereas Marcus101RR’s Cheat Table (opens in new tab) lets you equip high-level armour, wield top-tier weapons, and cast expert magic, among many other things, unrelated to your current skill level.
If I’m being really cynical about the whole ‘git gud’ way of thinking, and the tedious unwritten rules the collective adheres to (refusing to summon help for boss fights is a particularly well-worn demand, for example), the viewer numbers for GamesRadar+’s Elden Ring guide content suggests a lot of players are not, in fact, practising what they preach. Couple this with the aforementioned 200K+ downloads for mods that make the game distinctly easier than the developers have intended, and it would seem that a sizable chunk of Elden Ring players are playing FromSoftware’s latest however they damn please.
Which is how it should be. I don’t believe Elden Ring is more approachable, but it’s definitely more sensible and, by virtue of the fact FromSoftware games are notoriously punishing, I can’t fault any player for wanting to kick things off super OP. While not the first developer to do so by any means, FromSoftware tends to reintroduce one-time boss battle enemies as generic, run of the mill foes down the line. Demon Ruins in the original Dark Souls, for example, is brimming with Capra and Taurus demons, sometimes in herds, each of who once posed a substantial threat one-on-one in the game’s opening stretch. In Elden Ring, Tree Sentinels fill that role as one of the first mini-bosses you can engage in battle, but who later roam the plains of the Lands Between’s late-game northern sprawl in packs.
There’s something so very satisfying about steamrolling an enemy type who once caused so much dismay. And, having taken Hexington’s Ultimate Table for a spin myself, I can confirm there’s even more joy to be derived from taking down that first Tree Sentinel bastard with a Stars of Ruin magic storm – that’d otherwise require 43-level Intelligence – straight after leaving the Chapel of Anticipation.
One thing I love about where Elden Ring is currently, just over one month from release, is how varied different player’s approaches are. Our own Alyssa Mercante is getting by with a little help from her friends. Players are blasting through Elden Ring with level 1 characters. And, somehow, speedrunners are blitzing through the otherwise epic action-roleplayer in less than 20 minutes. I mean, how is that possible? The steady flow of mods being produced by the game’s most creative hands will only broaden that scope for variety – whether that’s in line with this Homer Simpson and Shrek-flavoured monstrosity, or this totally game-changing alternate starting point (opens in new tab) project. In any event, the sooner we bury the git gud mentality the better, and if mods such as Ultimate Table, Cheat Table, and Easy Mode can do that, then more (over)power to them!
Loving FromSoftware’s latest but need a break from the Lands Between? Here are the best games like Elden Ring to test your mettle.