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Although Elden Ring is built as a single player game with multiplayer options, it rarely feels as though you’re adventuring through the Lands Between by yourself. That’s largely thanks to the messaging system built into FromSoftware’s games.

To the soulsborn newcomers, Elden Ring’s messages may seem perplexing and outlandish. The use of only approved words and phrases can make the messages clunky and repetitive. Occasionally helpful, often inane and sometimes destructive, the messages left by other players offer a sense of camaraderie and comedic relief to an otherwise grim and solitary world.

The most applauded messages in Elden Ring are split into three categories: genuinely helpful advice/hints, earnest commentary and — in the overwhelming majority — memes. This brief guide will explain how to navigate all three.

When Elden Ring’s messages are actually helpful

Earnest commentary in Elden Ring is the most obvious and least impactful to the player. For instance, a player might write the message “beautiful view ahead” at the edge of a cliff facing one of the game’s sweeping vistas, centered around a resplendent Erdtree. These messages provide a sense of unity and even a much needed reminder to take a moment and reflect on the beauty of the game that FromSoftware have created.

If you’re a hardcore player, the most compelling category of messages may be the genuine guides and tips provided by helpful good Samaritans. These range between anything from a warning that a tough boss is ahead to a secret passage leading to some good loot. One of the most appreciated tips stems from FromSoftware’s longstanding tradition of putting secret passages behind walls that disappear when the player swings their weapon at or rolls into them. Messages will direct other players toward these false walls so they don’t miss out on loot or a shortcut.

The problem — or fun addition, if you take a more lighthearted approach — with Elden Ring’s “helpful” messages are the players who try to deceive you just for the fun of it.

Memes, trickery and the best of the rest

Elden Ring message
Elden Ring messages don’t always offer sage advice. | Provided by FromSoftware

If you’ve even played through the starting area of Elden Ring, chances are you’ve happened across messages that say “Try jumping off” at the edge of a cliff, or “Try attacking” in front of a wall. These exist because of the aforementioned secret areas. Except, surprise! It’s actually just a cliff or a wall. You feel silly and chances are the writer of the message feels a smug superiority at the thought of gullible noobs leaping to their deaths.

Not all the meme-y messages in Elden Ring are nefarious in nature. Some are just… dumb. Or vulgar. Often both. Here’s a glossary of some of the most common messages seen in Elden Ring that have no purpose except to make you chuckle:

Dog — Most commonly placed in front of animals that aren’t dogs. Usually turtles.

Fort, night — Riff on the game Fortnite that actually inspired confusion in the Japanese player base.

Rump — Usually directed at the behind of an NPC or creature.

Try fingers, but hole — No elaboration needed here. Sound it out.

Liar ahead — Often true, but occasionally trolls trying to trick you into ignoring a helpful message.

It’s possible to go through Elden Ring without looking at the messages left by other players, but you risk missing out on a lot of hidden content and helpful advice. That said, it helps to develop a keen eye that will let you tell the difference between true and false information so you can preserve your hard-earned runes.

Happy hunting, Tarnished.

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