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Where do you rank Elden Ring's difficulty compared to other Souls games?

How would you rank ER's difficulty?

  • Hardest Souls game to date

    Votes: 31 8.9%
  • Not the hardest, but close to it

    Votes: 35 10.0%
  • I'd put it somewhere in the middle

    Votes: 88 25.2%
  • It's one of the easier Souls games

    Votes: 100 28.7%
  • It's the easiest Souls game thus far

    Votes: 95 27.2%

  • Total voters
    349

kingpotato

Ask me about my Stream Deck
I'm calling bs on this.

You're telling me you got to lvl 170 without grinding for runes?

I'm 130+ hours in at lvl 150 and at the final boss(stuck for 2 weeks try to win without summons) but I still had to grind for runes.

I've almost completed all of the side quest.

There's not enough bosses in the game to get you to lvl 170 without grinding.

I think leveling would cost around 200k runes at that point.
I'm at 175 and around 200 hours. No grinding, just carefully exploring every nook and cranny and meticulously taking my time. Basically playing the way Miyazaki said was wrong lol. I just got to Farum Azula. I think I've completed every optional boss, 100% of the side dungeons, all items up to where I am, etc. Still on my first playthrough.
 

Kagoshima_Luke

Gold Member

Where do you rank Elden Ring's difficulty compared to other Souls games?​


 
I'm at 175 and around 200 hours. No grinding, just carefully exploring every nook and cranny and meticulously taking my time. Basically playing the way Miyazaki said was wrong lol. I just got to Farum Azula. I think I've completed every optional boss, 100% of the side dungeons, all items up to where I am, etc. Still on my first playthroug
That's pretty impressive.

What build are using?
 
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nkarafo

Member
You're telling me you got to lvl 170 without grinding for runes?
Yes. And right now i just waste all of my runes, refusing to level up. I could be 200 if i wanted.

And even at this stage a boss (don't remember who) gave me 400K runes. Even at that high level that's +2 levels and some.

And i'm still hoarding most of the biggest hero runes in my inventory.

The game just gives you too much.
 

kingpotato

Ask me about my Stream Deck
That's pretty impressive.

What build are using?
I've spent a majority of my time with a faith/dex build with a healthy amount of arcane. Switch between the godslayer greatsword and golden order greatsword most of the time, dragon seal on my off hand. I've never touched a shield. I did respec to use blood-loss for Mohg and Malenia. I mostly use the mimic ashes and I will summon if I get stuck on a boss. I'm not an amazing player or anything, just enjoy these games and will stubbornly go over an area until I figure out how to find items you see on ledges and am able to clear all the enemies to ensure I've found everything. I've also been tracking my deaths and I think I hit 520 last night lol.
 

Zug

Member
ER has some difficulty spikes, but also a lot more ways to cheese the game than other Souls games (any bleed build, a wide choice of OP spells and weapons, spirit ashes...).
I think it's fine, but it would be even better if there was a better balance between things (or at least some of it, for a start).
 
Sekiro(First playthrough with Isshin as final boss)
Final 1/3 of Elden Ring(1st playthrough)
Dark Souls 3
Dark Souls 2 DLC
Dark Souls 1 DLC
Sekiro(Second Playthrough)
Dark Souls 2
First 2/3 of Elden Ring(1st playthrough)
Bloodborne
Dark Souls
Demon's Souls
Elden Ring(second playthrough with cheese items)

If you noticed that Elden Ring's difficulty seems all over the place, that's because it is.
 

Arachnid

Banned
sorry but I don't believe you.
???

Strange thing to not believe. Nothing in his post seemed outside of the ordinary. I actually feel like I was about the same set up 60 hours in, and I haven't had any trouble at all. I also am a melee build character who doesn't use summons. Elden Ring is definitely one of the easier souls games.

Not the definitive answer but one data point to consider is the percentage of players who've unlocked the platinum trophy:

Demon's Souls PS3 - 3.2%
Dark Souls III - 5.3%
Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin - 5.9%
Demon's Souls PS5 - 5.9%

Dark Souls - 6.3%
Bloodborne - 6.5%

Dark Souls: Remastered - 8.8%
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - 9.7%
Elden Ring - 9.7%
Yeah but platinum trophies in some of those games are tied to grinding PvP covenants and world state stuff. That doesn't necessarily make it harder. Bloodborne chalice dungeons easily had the hardest bosses in the series and that still has a higher completion rate. Same with Sekiro. I got the BB platinum, but never gout DS 2 or 3 due to covenant stuff (just couldn't be bothered to deal with it, and grinding thousands of enemies for a 2% drop item was unappealing). IMO looking at plat statistics paints a misleading picture.
 
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I can't tell if I'm getting better at them, or it's the easiest one. I'm kinda cruising through a lot of the bosses I read people having trouble with. I beat Astel first try. I don't consider myself very good at Souls games either, though they are my fav series of modern gaming.
 

kingpotato

Ask me about my Stream Deck
Yeah but platinum trophies in some of those games are tied to grinding PvP covenants and world state stuff. That doesn't necessarily make it harder. Bloodborne chalice dungeons easily had the hardest bosses in the series and that still has a higher completion rate. Same with Sekiro. I got the BB platinum, but never gout DS 2 or 3 due to covenant stuff (just couldn't be bothered to deal with it, and grinding thousands of enemies for a 2% drop item was unappealing). IMO looking at plat statistics paints a misleading picture.
That's why I said it was a data point to consider.

Also, you are exaggerating about the grind in DS3 with the convents. You can get all the wolf grass and human dregs in less than an hour each by adjusting your loadout and using items to boost discovery rate. I know because I got that platinum late last year and I'm mediocre in pvp.

FWIW I personally feel the Storm King from DS3 is the hardest boss in any From Souls game.
 

Arachnid

Banned
That's why I said it was a data point to consider.

Also, you are exaggerating about the grind in DS3 with the convents. You can get all the wolf grass and human dregs in less than an hour each by adjusting your loadout and using items to boost discovery rate. I know because I got that platinum late last year and I'm mediocre in pvp.

FWIW I personally feel the Storm King from DS3 is the hardest boss in any From Souls game.
Not exaggerating, just something I'm not aware of personally. Those items are the only thing keeping me from plat so if I could find a resource to get me all those in an hour, I will shit myself. I know people complaining about that grind has been a huge thing in the fanbase for some time (especially among the anti-pvp crowd like myself). I just gave up, and it sucked enough that I didn't even attempt it in the DS1 remaster. Personally, you saying you did it in an hour sounds more like an exaggeration to me when you've got people like this (not that I don't believe you):


Nameless king is my favorite boss in the Dark Souls series, but he's also one of the few I've never died to before. I'd place Champ Gundyr And Friede from DS3 over him, personally. Bloodborne has probably a dozen plus I'd place over him. Same with Sekiro. That's all fine though. I guess it could be subjective. There are just certain bosses I've seen people collectively complain about more than others like Ludwig, Isshin, Demon of Hatred, or Orphan.
 
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Soodanim

Gold Member
ER is well balanced in the beginning, but once you get some points in health it gets easier and easier until you hit some of the late game areas, at which point they make enemies hit so much harder just to keep up.

Open world made it so much harder for them to balance, because you could be level 80 or 180 by the end game depending on your desire to explore.

Let’s be honest, Melania only really causes all those problems because of her health regen on hits including blocks. If she didn’t have that, she wouldn’t be an issue. I found her less of a fun challenge and more of a pain. Artorias, Nameless King and others were more fun, and felt like legitimate challenges that you could legitimately overcome without being pushed into RoB + R2 mimic spam.

Elden Ring is also as difficult as your build, and I don’t mean Broken Tier weapons. If you go STR with ultra/colossal weapons, you’re going to be staggering enemies that tear through DEX builds which also need to hit more as well as dodge more. You also win if you have Bloodhound’s Step, because you balance the playing field against the fast moving enemies that love to jump about.

Ipso facto dual colossal hammers + BHS = top tier PVE.
 
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kingpotato

Ask me about my Stream Deck
Not exaggerating, just something I'm not aware of personally. Those items are the only thing keeping me from plat so if I could find a resource to get me all those in an hour, I will shit myself. I know people complaining about that grind has been a huge thing in the fanbase for some time (especially among the anti-pvp crowd like myself). I just gave up, and it sucked enough that I didn't even attempt it in the DS1 remaster. Personally, you saying you did it in an hour sounds more like an exaggeration to me when you've got people like this (not that I don't believe you):


Nameless king is my favorite boss in the Dark Souls series, but he's also one of the few I've never died to before. I'd place Champ Gundyr And Friede from DS3 over him, personally. Bloodborne has probably a dozen plus I'd place over him. Same with Sekiro. That's all fine though. I guess it could be subjective. There are just certain bosses I've seen people collectively complain about more than others like Ludwig, Isshin, Demon of Hatred, or Orphan.
Boost discovery as much as possible and then hit up the dark souls discord for suggestions on where the shortest loops are to look for each item if you ever want to finish up that ds3 plat. Yes a lot of people complain, I saw the same when I was looking for solutions myself, but I honestly didn't have to spend much time after I finished everything else to get the remaining items. Depending on which you are looking for I can share where I had a lot of success. The DS discord was still very active last year, but I'm sure it's slower with ER still being relatively new.

I beat Demon of Hatred on my first try so I guess I can claim i never died to him even though I only fought him that one time. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I fought the storm king on 3 separate play-throughs and he was brutal in every one. I personally would rank Orphan of Kos second and Malenia third.
 

Arachnid

Banned
Boost discovery as much as possible and then hit up the dark souls discord for suggestions on where the shortest loops are to look for each item if you ever want to finish up that ds3 plat. Yes a lot of people complain, I saw the same when I was looking for solutions myself, but I honestly didn't have to spend much time after I finished everything else to get the remaining items. Depending on which you are looking for I can share where I had a lot of success. The DS discord was still very active last year, but I'm sure it's slower with ER still being relatively new.

I beat Demon of Hatred on my first try so I guess I can claim i never died to him even though I only fought him that one time. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I fought the storm king on 3 separate play-throughs and he was brutal in every one. I personally would rank Orphan of Kos second and Malenia third.
I'll give that a go. I wouldn't even mind dedicating a whole day to farming all the items. That's nothing compared to before, so an hour? Hell ya. Thanks for the suggestion.
 

DragonNCM

Member
Game is perfectly balanced for new & old players.
New can play on easymode with summons & old can test their skills without it.
 

NinjaBoiX

Member
By far the hardest.

The core game seems quite a bit easier, like the common mobs and such.

But the bosses are just too difficult, is really poorly balanced in comparison to the other games.
 

Bojji

Member
It's one of the easiest games FS made. But mostly because some type of builds (magic, bleed) are way more powerful than others and with summons bosses have very hard time sometimes. I had mage so powerful that I have beaten all the hardest bosses in the game with just few attempts (compared to over dozen on first boss).

Some motherfuckers from Bloodborne (Kos...), sister friede from DS3 and entirety of Sekiro are way, way harder...
 

Daymos

Member
If you block, dodge, parry and git gud it's really hard. If you take a look at the stats and spells and form a master plan it's hella easy.

It's a thinking man's game, it kind of reminds me of how you could break baldurs gate 1/2 and make them easy.. or you could just beat your head against the wall.
 

DavidGzz

Member
You guys should watch some streamers who have their chat shame them for using summons, ranged weapons, spells, and arts of war. Easily the hardest one so far if you do strictly melee without researching the best weapons and no summons.
 

BabyYoda

Member
Possibly the easiest so far (excluding some crazy difficulty spikes) and I was really OK with that. I didn't want the same stressful experience as DS3 again, as much as I enjoyed that particular game.

I was able to play the game the way I wanted to, which is exactly what they promised. Loved it!
 

Flutta

My tears. Exclusive to gamepass. Forever.
Sadly i find it to be the easiets of the lot, while Sekiro being the hardest FROM game imo.

Basically this..

1) Sekiro
2) Bloodborne
3) Demon Souls/ DS1
4) DS3
5) Elden Ring

Never played DS2 so cant say..
 

YoungEmperor96

Neo Member
First 3/4 ( everything before Land of Giant ) is the easiest in the whole series ( even for solo ). Then the difficulty bumped up to the level of DLC of the previous games. Like it wants you to use summon. However, later on, there will be a place to farm runes extremely crazy. You can level up to lv200 after an hour of farming. Overall it's the easiest game
 

Danjin44

The nicest person on this forum
I personally don’t consider Sekiro part of “Souls” game, it shares some elements from FROM’s pervious games but Sekiro essentially FROM’s take on single player action game.

For me personally Sekiro by far my favourite FROM game because it has the most satisfying melee combat but also it has proper characters I can get attached to.
 
For my build it was by far the easiest. I did a 70 INT 40 DEX Moonveil char. Finished at lvl160 and by the halfway point I was cruising through bosses. Rock Sling, Magic Shield and Moonveil L2 spam just melts everything. Didn't die to any second half bosses more than 6-7 times. I don't think Magic Shield gets enough publicity on the YouTube circuit for how powerful it is. It turns any old shield into the best greatshield in the game for a minute or two.

My second run I'm going STR FTH double greatsword. Up to lvl50 already and I'm melting stuff with it too. Jumping double bonk spam hasn't failed me yet.

I never progressed through any Souls game so easily. Maybe my hex+mace build on DS2, but I grinded the shit out of it. Best build of Souls history right there btw. Margit was by far my longest blockage.

My difficulty ranking:

DS3
Sekiro
DS2
Elden Ring
DS1
 
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tmlDan

Member
Super easy in comparison, you cant say its easier depending on how you play - if the game offers you tools 90% of people will use them.

Weapon abilities, and summons make it by far the easiest game in the series.
 

Flutta

My tears. Exclusive to gamepass. Forever.
Super easy in comparison, you cant say its easier depending on how you play - if the game offers you tools 90% of people will use them.

Weapon abilities, and summons make it by far the easiest game in the series.
The summons are basically Miyazaki’s way of saying here is your easy mode 🤣
 
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Raven117

Member
Kind of the middle. It felt pretty uneven at times...and it wasn't just from the exploring aspect of it.

Bloodborne and Sekiro remain top tier when it comes to overall quality of bosses.

I still prefer Demon's and Dark Souls...The bosses there were slower, but so were you. Things felt like they had weight (like Monster Hunter). It felt more thoughtful. Since Ds2...they sped things up....and, I dunno, doesn't feel as tactical.
 
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Ogbert

Member
Kind of the middle. It felt pretty uneven at times...and it wasn't just from the exploring aspect of it.

Bloodborne and Sekiro remain top tier when it comes to overall quality of bosses.

I still prefer Demon's and Dark Souls...The bosses there were slower, but so where you. Things felt like they had weight (like Monster Hunter). It felt more thoughtful. Since Ds2...they sped things up....and, I dunno, doesn't feel as tactical.
There are a couple of brutal spikes, especially playing magic (with the rest of the game being a breeze). It just feels unbalanced for that reason.

Still think DS3 was the best balanced of all.
 

Raven117

Member
There are a couple of brutal spikes, especially playing magic (with the rest of the game being a breeze). It just feels unbalanced for that reason.

Still think DS3 was the best balanced of all.
Yup. I was a magic user. I never knew walking into a boss (which were too many tbh) whether it would take hours, or if breeze right through.
 

gow3isben

Member
Please tell me the game gets harder I just finished the capital and dragon barrow. I’m at 125 and mimic 10 and obliterating anything. Kena bridge of spirits on normal is harder. Sure I can limit myself but why not use the tools I have? I want to use them all and still be challenged.

I think glinstone dragon from Ranni’s quest is the hardest thing I fought so far. Margott, Godfrey, and Rykard were piss easy. Even the 2 crucible knights weren’t that bad.
 
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Ogbert

Member
Yup. I was a magic user. I never knew walking into a boss (which were too many tbh) whether it would take hours, or if breeze right through.
I’ve never really got magic in DS games in general. It’s either ridiculously easy to the point of boredom, or infuriatingly hard. And when it’s hard, it just feels like the game isn’t really designed for ranged combat.

I feel like Souls games are melee games at heart.
 

Ogbert

Member
Please tell me the game gets harder I just finished the capital and dragon barrow. I’m at 125 and mimic 10 and obliterating anything. Kena bridge of spirits on normal is harder. Sure I can limit myself but why not use the tools I have? I want to use them all and still be challenged.

I think glinstone dragon from Ranni’s quest is the hardest thing I fought so far. Margott, Godfrey, and Rykard were piss easy. Even the 2 crucible knights weren’t that bad.
Well, you’re pretty overlevelled.
 

mrabott

Member
Elden Ring's difficulty is quite backloaded. You can tool around doing optional content for most of the game and it'll seem pretty easy to you, but the final boss rush (and in particular the optional superboss) is much harder than anything in any other game in the series besides Sekiro.

I totally disagree! If this superboss is whoI'm thinking about, I didn't have any difficulties.
Black Knife Tiche and Rivers of Blood made me beat her on my third try! The same could be said for the other bosses.

Sekiro was the hardest for me of all the souls games. To this day I'm stuck on the final boss.

And, with the exception of Sekiro, the hardest boss I faced was the nameles king.
 

Rawker

Member
I've only beat sekiro and just before ER came out. I haven't had and 8 hour boss sessions in the game yet but my quest has been through. I'm lvl 100 w/ 98 hours played and I just defeated the dragon in atlus plateau (wtf is up with the targeting in this fight?). The fights have all been fair but the parry baffles me with it's tight window. There are plenty of other tactics though so that's a treat. I'm running the typical samurai dex with frost double slash. I'd rather the lightning but I can't figure it's + value /attack. The panic reliance on roll is a mechanic that I don't know if I like but the enjoyment that it brings really adds to the rhythm of the battle.
 

Arachnid

Banned
I don't use summons and I'm melee only so I feel like I can fairly compare. With the exception of 1 or 2 bosses, the game is on the whole MUCH easier than BB, DS, or Sekiro.
 

BadBurger

Gold Member
I've only played two and a half of them at this point, and this is a tough one (Demon's Souls remake, Bloodborne, and Elden Ring).

Minute-to-minute combat in Demon's Souls and Bloodborne were far easier because From wasn't employing input reading, as they heavily, heavily did in Elden Ring.

On the other hand, with the few save points and other restrictions, it was easy to lose an hour+ worth of progress in pre-ER From games. It seemed like one of the features of those games. Meanwhile in ER one could grind up levels, utilize ashes, and come up with insanely overpowered builds that just didn't seem possible in the other two From games I played - and then quickly save that progress pretty much any time.

I guess my final answer is: they're all easy and difficult in their own ways, but From seems close to having perfected their formula with Elden Ring.
 
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k_trout

Member
i was a From Soft virgin before elden ring, then i played DS1 DS2 DS3 and sekiro, sekiro was the hardest for me - that damn dirty ape lol - sekiro was also the most enjoyable
 
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