The different ways ‘Elden Ring’ and ‘Lost Ark’ engage fantasy fans (2023)





So far in 2022, two massive role-playing games have dominated the top rankings on PC games storefront Steam: “Elden Ring” and “Lost Ark.” Both involve a ton of work, the kind of role-playing games where players must sink in dozens and dozens of hours to make significant progress. They also both cater to players who seek detailed, immersive role-playing experiences. To face endgame bosses, players plan out their builds and carefully gear up. However, “Elden Ring” and “Lost Ark” have taken very different approaches in catering to that audience.

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(Video) Why People Are SO Mad At Elden Ring | Asmongold Reacts

“It’s like the difference between steak and ice cream. They’re both delicious, but hard to compare!” said Zack, better known as “Asmongold,” a Twitch streamer based in Austin with roughly 3 million followers. He declined to provide his last name, citing privacy reasons. Asmongold grew his audience playing games like “World of Warcraft,” and has recently been playing both “Lost Ark” and “Elden Ring” on streams.

“There’s going to be a different audience for both games. I’ve played all the Souls games, and I’m also big into MMOs, so it’s hard to say which is more well-liked overall.”

“Players who score high on mastery are more likely to enjoy ‘Elden Ring,’ while players who score higher on achievement are more likely to enjoy ‘Lost Ark' …”

— Nick Yee, co-founder and analytics lead at Quantic Foundry

For most players, due to each game’s massive scope and required time investment of hundreds of hours, playing both simultaneously isn’t an option. And so RPG fans have found it necessary to pick one title over the other. In so doing, gamers have defined their preferences within the genre.

“Lost Ark,” developed by Smilegate and published by Amazon, imagines a world with consistent, emblazoned signposts for players. (Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, owns The Washington Post.) Guides are plastered everywhere within the game, quests helpfully recorded in a notebook, treasure chests generously handed out to new players. “Elden Ring” caused an uproar soon after its launch for not having an in-game system for tracking quests.

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Unlike “Lost Ark,” “Elden Ring,” the latest entry in From Software’s challenging Souls series, enjoys being inscrutable at times. It drops players into an open field where they’re given few instructions on where to go next. A recent update added the ability to record non-playable characters’ names on the map, a feature that previously wasn’t available; you had to actually remember where they were located.

this is probably the funniest level design of the year to me

— Bruno ☠️ Dias (@NotBrunoAgain) March 2, 2022

Moreover, “Elden Ring” ratchets up the difficulty to a brutal degree. From Software famously crafts its combat mechanics around precise timing, penalizing players who merely seek to button mash. “Lost Ark” features an entirely different playstyle, with the game built around enticing the players to engage regularly, day after day, rather than risk turning off players with formidable difficulty (though “Lost Ark’s” endgame boss battles can also be difficult and relentless, too).


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Nick Yee, co-founder and analytics lead at Quantic Foundry, described the types of players gravitating to each game using Quantic Foundry’s gamer motivation index, which suggests different types of games based on what gamers tend to enjoy most when playing. Players are then scored and sorted into different categories based on those motivations, like Mastery, which ties to a players’ skill development, or Achievement, which is more closely linked to obtaining rewards and completing missions.

“Players who score high on Mastery are more likely to enjoy ‘Elden Ring,’ while players who score higher on Achievement are more likely to enjoy ‘Lost Ark,’ “ Yee said. “Particularly if they score high on one and low on the other, then they have a stronger preference.” If they score high in both categories, Yee said they may enjoy both games.

All the 'Elden Ring' resources you need to start off strong

“Elden Ring,” like other Souls games, poses a challenge and often demands gamers master skills like dodging on time and parrying attacks. While “Lost Ark” does offer tough endgame boss fights, it has a long storyline where progression is linear, and players move from clearly marked landmark to landmark to finish quests.

Both games involve the same kind of work, but they’re going to frustrate gamers with different motivations and experience levels. In the earliest moments of “Lost Ark,” you can choose to play through the prologue or skip it. You are told upfront what reward you will receive. A similar opening part of “Elden Ring” gives players the option of “taking the plunge” into a dark hole or walking up to a well-lit door that looks a lot safer. The plunge is the combat tutorial, granting players runes and important tips on how to fight and parry. Distrusting players tend to not take the plunge (myself included), and missed the tutorial, adding to the early game difficulty.

In a similar vein, “Elden Ring” has also been criticized for lacking accessibility options.


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“The sound cues can be a bit difficult to be able to hear for blind players to be able to know when an attack is about to happen,” said Steve Saylor, an accessibility consultant and blind gamer. “There is no visual indicator for any attack that’s happening off screen. Deaf and hard of hearing players can’t hear the audio cues that an enemy is about to attack them. If they can’t see the enemy on screen, they have no idea that an enemy is about to attack them.

“We just want the same challenge and unfortunately with From Software games, at least with ‘Elden Ring,’ there’s not a lot there that can be able to help remove those disability barriers to help them be able to play.”

“Lost Ark,” which hasn’t seen the same reverence that gamers in regions like North America and Europe have shown “Elden Ring,” has its own negatives cited by detractors. “Lost Ark” has been accused of having pay-to-win mechanics, as players can spend real money to get ahead, getting in-game discounts on traveling and additional conveniences. It’s also sparked a debate over how the term “pay-to-win” should be defined and whether “World of Warcraft” (and other games with microtransactions) should also be considered paying to inch closer to final boss battles.


Fans on his social media have laughed alongside Asmongold as he critiqued “Lost Ark” for being pay-to-win. Ultimately, the fun of “Lost Ark” outweighs the negatives though, he said.

'Lost Ark' is thriving because it's so hard to put down

While some have criticized it as being pay-to-win, “Lost Ark” is still free to play, an advantage it enjoys over “Elden Ring” (which costs $60) in terms of player acquisition. Some players interviewed by The Post said they feared “Elden Ring’s” difficulty may prevent them from getting their money’s worth. One gamer said, “Why would I pay $60 to suffer?” Others said they simply preferred “Lost Ark’s” free-to-play structure, where they can more specifically decide if and how to spend their money in the game.

Christian Carrasco, a 27-year-old public school teacher in the Bay Area, said he initially began to research “Lost Ark” as it was being localized for Western regions and “was really hooked on the art style and fast-paced gameplay.” He noted that he disagreed with other people who might have found “Lost Ark’s” endgame boring, and that he has usually been drawn to massively multiplayer online games like “World of Warcraft” that focus on making small improvements to a character to prepare for late game boss battles.


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“It’s free-to-play, so if I didn’t end up liking it, there was no risk,” Carrasco said, who added that he has played for about 700 hours and has reached item level 1402 on his main character. “Lost Ark’s progression system is very well-paced. I find myself logging in daily to complete a checklist of tasks I find enjoyable and keep my characters constantly moving toward a higher item level.”

The success of 'Elden Ring' has nothing to do with the pandemic

Souls players and new fans of “Elden Ring” have had to master hard combat and find inventive ways around enemies. Meanwhile, “Lost Ark” players are rewarded for regularly engaging with the game, regardless of skill level, by logging on daily and completing in-game tasks like handing out medicine to patients.

Despite their differences, there is still one unifying factor between “Lost Ark’s” and “Elden Ring’s” audiences, whisking players to other fantasy worlds, something that appeals to one of gaming’s biggest audiences. That fact has not been lost on Asmongold.

“I’ve just tried to play both of them alongside each other to make everyone happy,” he said.


Is Elden Ring similar to Lost Ark? ›

Both games involve the same kind of work, but they're going to frustrate gamers with different motivations and experience levels. In the earliest moments of “Lost Ark,” you can choose to play through the prologue or skip it.

Is Elden Ring a fantasy RPG? ›

Elden Ring is a 2022 action role-playing game developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. It was directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki with worldbuilding provided by fantasy writer George R. R. Martin.

Is Elden Ring engaging? ›

Despite not technically being a live game, Elden Ring has some of the strongest engagement elements I've ever seen in a video game. Elden Ring doesn't march to the beat of the industry's current live game drum, though, and instead makes its own way to a strange tune.

Is there a DLC for Elden Ring? ›

And doing the math, announcing DLC for Elden Ring at the Game Awards, a show where it seems somewhat likely to win Game of the Year, actually may add up quite perfectly. With Elden Ring debuting in late February 2022, early December would be just over nine months after the release of the game.

Is Lost Ark more popular than Elden Ring? ›

Asmongold explained why Elden Ring isn't as popular as Lost Ark in terms of Twitch viewership, claiming it's less watchable due to all the downtime, as evidenced by his own numbers.

What is the closest game to Elden Ring? ›

Ever since Elden Ring was released, many gamers tend to compare it to Nintendo Switch's flagship adventure game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Ever since it hit store shelves, many developers aimed to emulate a similar experience in their games.

Why is everyone obsessed with Elden's ring? ›

Described as an open-world title from Dark Souls creator Hidetaka Miyazaki, Elden Ring immediately caught the attention of that franchise's fanbase. What really stood out, though,was the involvement of Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin, who we later learned helped craft the game's lore and mythology.

Why do people like Elden Ring so much? ›

Part of the reason people love video game Elden Ring is because it's so hard to play : NPR. Part of the reason people love video game Elden Ring is because it's so hard to play Elden Ring is the most talked-about video game of 2022, despite — or perhaps because of — its immense difficulty and complexity.

Is Elden Ring high fantasy or dark fantasy? ›

FromSoftware's Elden Ring is a dark fantasy story in many ways, sporting an unforgiving world with danger around every corner. Dark fantasy is a subgenre of great popularity, especially when it comes to video games.

Is Elden Ring still selling well? ›

"Elden Ring has placed first in dollar sales in four of its first five months in market." Elden Ring is the best-selling game of 2022.

Why does Elden Ring so hard? ›

But while each individual block and attack may not be mechanically difficult, Elden Ring can require a lot of focus and endurance to chain moves together into a successful battle (or series of battles). That's especially true when multiple enemies gang up to attack you from all sides.

Is Elden Ring the greatest game of all time? ›

With over 12 million copies sold worldwide, Elden Ring has become one of the most popular games ever played. Elden Ring has been out for almost two months and is considered by a lot of gamers to be the best game ever made.

What is the max level in Elden Ring? ›

With this in mind, it is reasonable to imagine that hitting the max level in Elden Ring would require an absurd amount of runes, and the fact is, it does. The highest level players can get in Elden Ring is 713, and that means players will need to farm well over 1 billion runes.

How long does it take to beat Elden Ring? ›

When focusing on the main objectives, Elden Ring is about 54½ Hours in length. If you're a gamer that strives to see all aspects of the game, you are likely to spend around 132 Hours to obtain 100% completion.

Will there be an Elden Ring 2? ›

However, FromSoftware's next game being Elden Ring 2 is highly unlikely, despite what Miyazaki's statements to 4Gamer. Elden Ring is such a giant and revolutionary title; to immediately follow it up with a game that is expected to expand upon it would be nigh impossible.

What's the most enjoyable class in Elden Ring? ›

Best Elden Ring class for experienced players

Samurai: If Dexterity, agility, and parrying are for you, the Elden Ring Samurai class is definitely one of the best for experienced players. The starting Katana and Long Bow make it a versatile class that'll see you through all kinds of encounters early on in the game.

How many active players does Elden Ring have? ›

63,920 Players Online

You are viewing the live Elden Ring player count on PlayerCounter. Come back to this page when you want the latest update on live Elden Ring players or update to show the most recent amount of players online. *Ad blockers may prevent stats from updating; please allowlist us.

How many copies sold Elden Ring across all platforms? ›

Bandai Namco has released a financial report for the second quarter of the 2023 fiscal year where it revealed that FromSoftware's hit action RPG Elden Ring has sold 17.5 million copies worldwide.

Is Elden Ring AAA or AA? ›

While there is not a set limit on how much money needs to be spent on a AAA game, they usually cost a lot to produce and a lot to market, with many recent examples, such as Elden Ring or Horizon Forbidden West, with high fiedelity visuals and huge interactive worlds.

Why was Elden Ring so successful? ›

The challenge Eldon Ring offers the players is a significant factor in its popularity. The experience of the Japanese creators, From Software, has helped develop an action-packed challenging game for the players. The role-playing game Elden Ring is a dark fantasy that is among the US's top games of the year in sales.

Are there 7 Elden Ring endings? ›

As befits a gigantic game like Elden Ring, this is a complicated question. The simplest answer is that there are six different endings. However, four of those endings are very similar.

Why are game Devs mad at Elden Ring? ›

Elden Ring Criticized By Game Developers Over UI, Performance, and Design. Many gamers love Elden Ring, but a few creators from rival studios have criticized FromSoftware's hit in ways that some are attributing to jealousy. Elden Ring is already shaping up to be FromSoftware's most successful title to date.

Is Elden Ring a masterpiece? ›

Elden Ring is without a doubt in my mind, a masterpiece. There hasn't been a game in a very long time that has hooked me in this hard and for this long. Although the game hasn't been out very long, I can't find myself going back to any other game.

How do you make Elden Ring fun? ›

Eight Ways To Make Elden Ring Feel New Again While You Wait For...
  1. Get into the community. List slides.
  2. Get into the community. ...
  3. Meet cute girls. ...
  4. Meet cute girls. ...
  5. Build, then rebuild. ...
  6. Build, then rebuild. ...
  7. Go on a dragon retreat. ...
  8. Go on a dragon retreat.
13 Jul 2022

Is Elden Ring frustrating? ›

Elden Ring, however, will never achieve that status—the gameplay is just too grueling to appeal to every player. FromSoftware, the developer behind Elden Ring, is responsible for notoriously difficult games, namely the Dark Souls franchise.

Why is Elden Ring more popular than Dark Souls? ›

It wasn't just the huge difficulty spike but also the controls and patterns, for which there was no proper tutorial. Elden Ring employs the same core gameplay but is far more welcoming to new players. An optional tutorial is much appreciated, and the ability to jump is a boon for even the FromSoftware veterans.

What is the strongest magic class in Elden Ring? ›

The Best Mage Build in Elden Ring

We recommend using the Astrologer Class if you want a powerful and well-rounded Mage build in Elden Ring. Of course, you can also make a reliable build with the Prophet Class too, but Astrologer is our first go-to pick.

What style is Elden Ring? ›


Is Elden Ring a bigger game than Dark Souls? ›

Elden Ring (2022)

“Elden Ring” is every idea in the FromSoftware series of Souls games brought to its maximized potential. It's more comprehensive than “Dark Souls 3.” Its world is more sprawling than the one in “Dark Souls 2” could have ever hoped to be.

What is the highest selling game of 2022? ›

Elden Ring

What is Fromsoftwares most sold game? ›

Elden Ring is by far FromSoftware's bestselling title, and comparing it to previous titles from the studio helps to put the game's level of success into context.

How well did Elden Ring sell in Japan? ›

Elden Ring cumulative units sold worldwide 2022. As of November 2022, global unit sales of action RPG Elden Ring stood at 17.5 million units. Just two weeks after its release, Elden Ring sold more than 12 million units worldwide, with one million copies sold exclusively in Japan.

Who is the easiest boss in Elden Ring? ›

Depending on who you ask, Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy, is either one of the easiest encounters in Elden Ring or is an impossible and unfair nightmare to deal with. And while he is undoubtedly a nightmare, this encounter can be trivialized entirely if you use the Serpent-Hunter great spear found within the boss arena.

Is Elden Ring the easiest Souls game? ›

In that light, “Elden Ring,” the latest title by From Software, may be the easiest entry point for beginners looking to try a Souls game. It probably has the most on-ramps to continuous, rewarding play of any From Software game since 2009′s “Demon's Souls.”

Does Elden Ring ever get easier? ›

The same is true for Elden Ring, the new FromSoftware game tearing up the sales charts. It too does not have traditional difficulty settings. But it does have an easy mode.

Should you stop at level 150 Elden Ring? ›

At the time of writing, the "meta level" for PvP duels in Elden Ring is considered 125, and it is recommended that players stop leveling there for now. That said, there is still a very active conversation about the best level at which to PvP, with many in the community arguing that as high as 150 is preferable.

How many runes does it take to get to level 100 in Elden Ring? ›

Level Rune Cost Calculation in Elden Ring

This would require 1,692,566,842 Runes in total.

Is it possible to 100 Elden Ring? ›

RELATED: Elden Ring Has Officially Gone Gold

Technically, it's impossible to reach 100 percent due to the fact that there are branching point near the end, but you can certainly get pretty close." They also detail that players can finish the game without experiencing everything.

What happens when you reach 1000 hours in Elden Ring? ›

Elden Ring Devotee Plays For 1,000 Hours, Breaks The Game's Clock.

What is the easiest ending Elden Ring? ›

The default Elden Ring ending and by far the simplest is the Age of Fracture. You can get this ending by simply following our Elden Ring walkthrough, which will guide you through every critical region and boss. Once you've defeated the Elden Beast, walk over to the fractured body of Marika.

Does Elden Ring have 4 endings? ›

You play as the Tarnished and aim to be the new Elden Lord – or not – dying multiple times along the way. The game is open-world and doesn't have a rigid storyline to follow, allowing players to complete the game in unlimited ways. In addition, Elden Ring has six endings, each showing you a different outcome.

How much profit did Elden Ring make? ›

FromSoftware's magnum opus has conquered the industry. Elden Ring has seen more than 1,100 percent profits with over 16 million units sold months after its launch. The title continues to boost its developer's profits drastically, as revealed in the latest earnings report of FromSoftware's parent company Kadokawa.

Is Elden Ring connected to Dark Souls? ›

The argument sounds plausible. However, other Reddit users quickly reminded the user that FromSoftware themselves have previously declared that Elden Ring is in no way connected to the Dark Souls series. In a 2019 interview with IGN, Hidetaka Miyazaki himself confirmed that the two games' stories are not connected.

What can Elden Ring be compared to? ›

So keep on reading to find our pick of the 10 best games like Elden Ring to play today.
  • Dark Souls Remastered. (Image credit: FromSoftware) ...
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. (Image credit: CD Projekt Red) ...
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. ...
  • Bloodborne. ...
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of War. ...
  • Nioh. ...
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. ...
  • Code Vein.
9 Nov 2022

Is Elden Ring related to any other game? ›

Elden Ring is no more connected to Dark Souls than Sekiro or Bloodborne. Elden Ring is a spiritual successor in the sense that it's a game which is inspired by another title but has little to no connection with its lore or narrative. This isn't the first time FromSoftware has used this model.

What is the best mimic Elden Ring? ›

In our view, the Mimic Tear Spirit Summon is the best one available in Elden Ring, even after the recent nerf it got in Patch 1.03. This unique Spirit Summon creates an exact copy of your character when you use it, including your stats, armor, weapons, spells, and equipped consumables.

Is Elden Ring similar to New World? ›

The combat and interface of New World and Elden Ring have a lot of things in common. Both have a stamina bar, interchangeable weapons, different weapon types for different styles of play, a roll/evade as a dodge, consequences for death, a vast open world, among many other things.

Why is Elden Ring so popular? ›

The challenge Eldon Ring offers the players is a significant factor in its popularity. The experience of the Japanese creators, From Software, has helped develop an action-packed challenging game for the players. The role-playing game Elden Ring is a dark fantasy that is among the US's top games of the year in sales.

What is the strongest class for Elden Ring? ›

Best Elden Ring class for experienced players

Samurai: If Dexterity, agility, and parrying are for you, the Elden Ring Samurai class is definitely one of the best for experienced players. The starting Katana and Long Bow make it a versatile class that'll see you through all kinds of encounters early on in the game.

Why is Ellen not in Elden Ring? ›

If you can't find him, he likely moved onto the academy. From here head to the Raya Lucaria Grand Library Site of Grace, where you fight Rennala. From here, head outside to find two summon signs outside the door, one is gold and the other red.

Is Elden Ring Dark Souls 4? ›

Elden Ring isn't Dark Souls 4.

What is Elden Ring linked to? ›

Published April 18, 2022 at 6:27 AM PDT. By Franz Christian Irorita · 2 min read. One fan theory suggests that the ending of Elden Ring directly leads to the setup of the very first Dark Souls game.

Is Elden Ring the easiest souls? ›

Elden Ring is a More Advanced Form of Soulslike

The difficulty discussion pertaining to Elden Ring is as complex as the game's many mechanics. The game takes after the enemy speed and complexity present in Dark Souls 3 and Sekiro, so one would assume it is more difficult than the oldest Souls titles.

What is the coolest looking weapon in Elden Ring? ›

The Magma Whip Candlestick is one of the most badass-looking weapons in Elden Ring. Its skill is equally badass: Sea of Magma lets you swing the whip and surround the area around you with molding magma, making approaching you very dangerous for your enemies.

Is Elden Ring the largest open world? ›

If players can break the habit of 'I must kill the first thing I see' and then go and explore then Elden Ring opens like a blooming flower. Elden Ring's open world is not the largest there is in gaming but it is detailed and scaled in a consistently enervating way.

Is Elden Ring the best RPG? ›

Elden Ring is the best-reviewed game of the year and one of the best-reviewed video games ever made. Elden Ring, the new open-world RPG created by FromSoftware with a little help from George R.R. Martin, is now the top-reviewed game of 2022.


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