Elden Ring is a big game for FromSoftware, literally, as it will be their first ‘soulslike’ game to be set in an open-world. Given that there is a large world to explore compared to the likes of Dark Souls, will Elden Ring feature a map and map markers and other guides to help players travers the Lands Between?
In a recent gameplay preview that we attended, FromSoftware finally gave us a sample of Elden Ring gameplay. Along with combat, we were shown the game’s open-world mechanics. And yes, Elden Ring will give players a world map, as well as the ability to set markers (or waypoints).
Don’t worry though, based on what was shown in the preview, Elden Ring won’t be like your typical open-world game where you are bombarded with tons of waypoints and icons that point to various main and side quests. Instead, you’ll have to set markers on your own in the map. These markers will show up in the overworld as a beam of light that you can go to. There will also be a small waypoint on the game’s compass in the heads-up display to help guide players towards the marker that they set.
As for the World Map, players won’t start with the full map at the beginning of the game. Instead, they’ll have to look for map fragments to get a clearer picture of the game’s world.
“When you start out, there’s basically no information available to you on the map,” shared FromSoftware’s Yasuhiro Kitao. “You will see your own player position, and you’ll also see an illustrated icon of a monument in the distance. This is meant as a sort of starting guide, something that you can see from the player’s perspective at the start. And if you head over there, you’re likely to encounter your first map fragment and start to add information to the map to get your bearings.”
Finding a map fragment isn’t a requirement to access parts of the world though, as Kitao shared that players can still explore most areas in the overworld, even if they don’t have the map fragment for that corresponding area.
To get a better grasp of how that will play out, Kitao shared more insight on how exploring the world works when you don’t have a lot of map fragments yet:
“Even if you don’t have the piece of the map which shows the information of the terrain around you, if you discover a dungeon or a point of interest or checkpoint, they will actually be marked on the map appropriately. This is so that you can sort of triangulate [your position] and get your bearings on where everything is in relation to the dungeon that you’ve discovered.”
The decision to add a World Map and Markers in the game was made as FromSoftware aims to make traversal in Elden Ring as stress-free as possible. Aside from these, FromSoftware also shared other features to make traversal easier in the recent preview, including the Stride Steed which players can ride to travel the overworld faster. There’s also the ability to fast-travel between checkpoints in the overworld.
Elden Ring launches on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC on January 22, 2022.