Elden Ring co-op is both a handy way to deal with some of the tougher challenges in The Lands Between and part of a more complex PVP system involving a bewildering number of fingers and finger-adjacent items. It’s a bit vague at times, but we’ve broken down how each type of co-op works and what the items are for.
How to Start Elden Ring Multiplayer
You can begin playing cooperatively almost as soon as you leave the Stranded Graveyard (the tutorial dungeon). Near the elevator that exits you from the Graveyard is a corpse with a glowing spot, indicating it has loot for you. Pillage the corpse to obtain the Finger Severer and Tarnished’s Furled Finger items. The Finger Severer ends both co-op and invasion play while the Furled Finger lets you enter another player’s world to help.
Summoning someone to your world requires yet another finger item: the Furlcalling Finger Remedy. This is a craftable item for which you obtain the recipe after getting the Crafting Kit from Kale the Merchant. Kale is in the Church of Elleh, the second Site of Grace you visit after leaving the Graveyard (assuming you follow the golden dust trails to each Site of Grace). Each Finger Remedy requires two Erdleaf Flowers to craft, though these are fairly easy plant items to find across the world — including around Limgrave and even next to the Church of Elleh.
How Does Elden Ring Matchmaking Work?
Elden Ring matches players based on their gear progress for both co-op and PVP. It’s quite a vague system to be quite honest. However, the idea is to keep players evenly matched based on their equipment and, presumably, their total level. For example, a level 12 Tarnished with a +2 Broadsword who raced ahead to the Academy in Raya Lucaria won’t necessarily be able to help a level 20 player with a set of gear to match; it goes both ways, too.
You can also set a password in the multiplayer options menu and share it with those you want to play with. Only those who have the password can choose you at a Summoning Pool. On the bright side, this seems to forgo any of the matchmaking restrictions! If you use the same password as another player, you’re free to play together. Even if one of you is on New Game+ and the other isn’t. The downside is that the more powerful player will be scaled down to match the weaker host.
How to Summon Another Player for Co-Op in Elden Ring
Furlcalling Finger Remedies reveal summon signs other players have left. Golden signs represent friendly players wanting to work together in co-op, so interact with them to summon an ally. This automatically designates you as the Host of Fingers, and your ally’s task is seeing you safely through a dungeon until you defeat its boss. Dying means your ally fails their objective. You will have to restart and use another Furlcalling Finger Remedy to find another summon sign. Using a remedy while you already have one active, however, will deactivate co-op and return the Furlcalling Finger Remedy to your inventory without expending it.
Most dungeons also have Summoning Pools outside them marked by “Martyr Effigies.” Interacting with these effigies does two things. First, it will allow you to see any gold summon signs from other players using a Golden Effigy in your region. Second, it will let your sign show up at that Summoning Pool when you use a Golden Effigy. This means the Golden Effigy functions like a sort of matchmaking tool — making you more visible to random co-op hosts. So long as they’re in the same general in-game zone as you, of course.
How to Join Another Player in Elden Ring
If you want to do the protecting, use your Tarnished’s Furled Finger. This lays out a golden summoning sign for other players to reveal with their Finger Remedies. If they do, you’ll arrive as a helper meant to keep the Host of Fingers alive against enemies, in dungeons, and until you defeat a boss.
The Small Golden Effigy sends your summoning sign to all the Summoning Pool markers across a particular zone (as stated above). For example, if you use the Golden Effigy somewhere in Limgrave, players all over Limgrave will see your sign appear before the Summoning Pool in any dungeon you’ve previously activated. This means you need to at least explore to be summoned by random players. Though you don’t need to beat the boss of a particular dungeon in your own world, first. You just need to activate the Summoning Pool.
Once you finish helping another player this way (or one of you dies) you will be teleported back to your own world, in the location from which you were summoned, not the location you were summoned to. Put another way: if you’re riding around Agheel Lake, and get summoned by someone to help fight Margit, you will return to Agheel Lake once the summoning ends. You won’t get dropped out beside Margit. Nor will you lose your runes if you die, for that matter. You keep everything you gain while in another player’s world once you return.
This includes a single Rune Arc and one Furlcalling Finger Remedy for defeating a boss with your co-op host. The Rune Arc is the real prize here. These items are tremendously powerful but exceedingly rare in-game. Multiplayer is the only reliable way to earn them.
How to Defend Against Invasions in Elden Ring
The final form of co-op multiplayer in Elden Ring involves defending against invaders. Purchase the Blue and White Cipher Rings from the Maiden Husks in Roundtable Hold (1,000 Runes each).
Activating the White Cipher Ring puts out a call for immediate assistance should you be invaded by another player. This is separate from scripted invasions, where you usually have NPC allies who join the fight. If you want to do the assisting, activate the Blue Cipher Ring, and you’ll get yoinked into another game if that player activates the White Cipher Ring and gets invaded. In that sense, it functions just like the Small Golden Effigy, but for PVP instead of PVE.
Elden Ring’s bosses are tough, and a ghostly horsey only gets you so far. If you find yourself struggling, don’t hesitate to call for backup.