My experiences trying to play Elden Ring with real-life friends were as arduous as my journey to Erdtree. Just as I think I’m getting closer I fall into a ravine, or discover that there’s a whole new land between me and my goal. Such is the struggle to make co-op work that I wonder if all these disconnects, intrusions, summons that don’t show up, and inability to ride horses or travel fast together are part of the game’s big message about the need for suffering.
Well I say ‘hooey’ to all of that and let myself play LukeYui’s mod, which makes Elden Ring a perfect co-op game (thanks, PCGamesN). The mod, which is still a work in progress, claims to remove “all limits on multiplayer and allow connections to persist after death”.
This is not everything. With the mod, you no longer have to mess around with Finger Remedies to summon friends and you can sit around a Site of Grace together so everyone can level up, memorize spells, and generally invoke the ambiance of being on an RPG adventure. from the old school together. To that end, the mod will support up to four players, all of whom will be able to gallop into their respective Torrents simultaneously. There will even be little touches like a fast travel voting system, with players having to agree on where they are being electrocuted to.
But not everything will be easy. Luke added a stackable debuff called Rot Essence, which gives you various negative effects each time you die. Rot Essence can be healed by resting at a Site of Grace.
Crucially, it appears that this clear violation of FromSoft’s online terms of service will circumvent FromSoft’s EAC and matchmaking systems. The mod will run through its own launcher, which means it will be its own game instance separate from the game itself. LukeYui previously released a offline launcher which bypasses the EAC, usable by gamers or “for mod creators to use the source code to inject their mods into the game at runtime”.