How big is Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree’s new map, and how will we reach it?

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree looks so big it feels wrong to call it DLC. The full-blown, $40 expansion that FromSoftware’s been working on for the last two years finally has a date (June 21) and a trailer showing off new bosses, weapons, and very, very pretty locations to be murdered in. 

Between the trailer and a few details shared by FromSoftware, we now have a good idea of where Shadow of the Erdtree is set, and how its new location fits into the existing world map. It’s a wholly new area called the Land of Shadow, “physically disconnected” from the Lands Between for reasons FromSoftware’s keeping a secret for now.

But a few long-awaited details have finally been spilled. Here’s what we know for certain about Shadow of the Erdtree’s map size and location, along with the community’s best speculation on how we’ll get there and how the new map fits into Elden Ring’s overall lore. 

How big is the Shadow of the Erdtree map? 

According to director Hidetaka Miyazaki in an interview with IGN, The Land of Shadow is “comparable, if not larger, than the area of Limgrave from the base game.”

Limgrave is the starting area in Elden Ring, and it’s quite a large chunk of the map—easily big enough to suck up 30 hours of your time if you’re the kind of player who pokes around every corner. Miyazaki confirmed the expansion’s new area will follow the same design as the original game. There will be an open field to explore, “large scale legacy dungeons” (plural) that are more enclosed, elaborate spaces, as well as smaller dungeons. 

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

For reference, here’s Limgrave from the interactive Elden Ring map. It’s possible Miyazaki also includes the Weeping Peninsula to the south of Limgrave part of the region; if so, the Land of Shadow’s big.

It sounds like the layout of the Land of Shadow will be a bit different, though, and perhaps more in line with what Dark Souls diehards loved in FromSoftware’s older games. “We wanted to go more in-depth and bring a denser and richer level design, which brings these types of layout together a little more seamlessly,” Miyazaki told Eurogamer. “There of course will be large open areas, there of course will be legacy dungeons, but we’ve also experimented with something a little more in-between these as well to bring a more diverse gameplay experience.”

There are a few more hints as to the scale of the expansion as a whole. Miyazaki promised more than 10 new bosses, including optional bosses who’ll offer a challenge on the level of Malenia, and eight new “weapon categories” that I imagine the PvP crowd especially will go nuts for. There’s also new magic and weapon skills.

Where is Shadow of the Erdtree set? How does it fit into the lore?

(Image credit: FromSoft)

The trailer for Shadow of the Erdtree makes it clear that Malenia’s brother Miquella will feature heavily into the story—though considering how obscure the storytelling typically is in FromSoftware games, you’re not likely to be palling around with Miquella for hours on your spectral steeds. The villain of the expansion is seemingly a new character, Messmer the Impaler, but things probably aren’t quite so straightforward.

Based on Miyazaki’s oblique answer about the Land of Shadow being “physically disconnected” from the Lands Between for mysterious reasons, it seems possible there’s some element of time travel, alternate reality, or dreamwalking here, akin to the “Nightmare realm” of Bloodborne DLC The Old Hunters. Or maybe it’s nothing so complicated. We’ll see!

How will we access the Land of Shadow from the Lands Between?

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Surprisingly Miyazaki confirmed this detail, vindicating a two-year-old fan theory that has to do with Miquella’s cocoon, which is in the palace of Mohg, the Lord of Blood. In Elden Ring’s campaign, Miquella is sealed away inside the cocoon, but the opening of the new trailer shows a withered arm hanging limp outside of it. That, apparently, is your ticket to the Land of Shadow.

“The cocoon and arm you saw at the beginning of the trailer—this is actually the point of entry to the Land of Shadow where the players will enter the DLC area,” Miyazaki told IGN. FromSoftware’s confirmed that you’ll be able to travel back and forth between the Land of Shadow and the Lands Between, so it’s not going to be a one-way journey. But it might be a pretty gross one.

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