Video game graphics from elden ring of a female hero standing in front of a glowing tree.

10 things I hate about Elden Ring

Controversial opinion: I don’t like Elden Ring.

Before you at me in the comments, I’m married to the biggest FromSoft fanboy. For months, I’ve had to endure lectures on why ‘ELDEN RING IS THE CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT OF FROMSOFT’S GAMES!’

Here’s ten reasons I don’t like it.

1. The control system isn’t optimised for play

You’re in the middle of a fierce battle. Health is low. You reach for a healing potion but you now need to scroll through a million items in order to get to it.


Then you want to summon your horse, Torrent, to escape.


Of course, I bloody well want to summon my steed. Why would I be pressing the button if I didn’t?


I know they say a poor craftsman blames his tools, but when you have to remap the control system to make it work for the game, there’s something wrong. In this age of dynamic gaming, where combat is fast, Elden Ring’s controls feel clunky, slowing down gameplay and frustrating players to no end.

2. Problematic lock-on

One enemy, no probs. Two, okay. But fighting a group where your lock on keeps rolling around between enemies, so that you can’t focus on taking down one at a time? Plus, spells don’t really aim well without locking on. It’s a massive playability issue for Elden Ring.

Video game graphics of Elden Ring with a horse rider having issues with lock-on

3. The story is buried

I’ve heard all the lectures about how the story is hidden in the lore, but how the hell do I find the lore? Turns out, one of the best marketing strategies From Software ever did was to bury the lore, so that there are thousands of videos explaining the story of Elden Ring.

Which is great for them, but is it a good player experience?

After forty hours of gameplay, I still don’t know what’s going on. There’s a ring, I’ve gotta go defeat some people. And what do all these inventory items do? How do I know I have to whistle at a certain spot to talk to a werewolf that’s hiding in the ruins? Why is that turtle wearing a pope hat?

I’m all for discoverability in video games, but compared to other open world experiences like Skyrim or Dragon Age, the least they could do was give us a couple of plot bones. Maybe even a cut scene or two, that’s not linked to a boss battle. Not to mention how much it feels like a bloated riff on Shadow of the Colossus.

The issue is that without an obvious story, it’s hard for Elden Ring to be meaningful. Which leads me to my next point…

Video game graphics of an enormous library with a hero in front from Elden Ring

4. I don’t care about being an Elden Lord

Because the lore is so buried in the game, I don’t care about becoming an Elden Lord. I can’t be arsed. I’m pretty happy just being Lady Brumhilde Knobhead, thankyou very much. I don’t even know what I should do half the time, except for riding my horse past enemies and opening up the map.

It’s a key question for any narrative designer: why should the player care? Because if I don’t care, I don’t want to play.

Elden Ring fails to answer the most important question: why should I become an Elden Lord? Because if you can’t tell me why, unless I’m the kind of gamer who plays for the achievement of completion, I’m not going to invest my time in the game.

Honestly, I cared more about my Tamagotchi than becoming an Elden Lord.

5. There are passive aggressive notes everywhere

Yes, Elden Ring is my first From Software game (how did you guess?).

But why, oh why, are there passive aggressive notes and bloodstains everywhere?

While some are helpful, some are just downright nasty, encouraging you to jump off a cliff when there’s nothing down below. Rude.

Passive aggressive note in Elden Ring saying Hidden Path Ahead. A hero stands on the edge of a cliff.

6. The grind is real

I get that in any open-world RPG, you’re gonna need to grind, especially in those early stages when your character is a squishy little level 1 wretch. Where most games give you a couple of low-level quests with a bit of story thrown in, so you can build up your XP while learning the game, Elden Ring gives you a Groundhog Day nightmare.

Hours upon hours running around a boulder Indiana Jones style, to collect thousands of runes, just to run back to a site of grace and start again. Never mind that you have to watch a YouTube video just to know how to do this!

I come back to the question: why?

7. The bosses are over levelled to the area

After you’ve spent all this time levelling up, grinding, rolling around balls, you go and fight a boss.

And you died.


And again.

I’d expect some level of challenge in a boss battle, but these bosses are next level. It makes you feel like you have to progress the map far further than where you’re at with the current boss. The fights are brutal and unforgiving, which isn’t a problem in their own right, but these boss battles stymie any progress you feel like you’re making.

Video game graphics of a woman of asian appearance holding a staff in front of a full moon. Still from Elden Ring Game

8. The stealth mechanics are basic

Assassin’s Creed has better stealth mechanics than Elden Ring.

Apart from being insanely OP, the stealth mechanics in this game have one function: sneak up and backstab. And yes, I’m all for manipulating the weak points of a game’s mechanics to your advantage, but it feels silly that you can sneak up on someone sitting around a campfire in broad daylight wearing full armour and still not be detected.

9. The female character generator is… interesting

I appreciate you can play as a masculine or feminine character here, but it feels like there hasn’t been a lot of thought into how the outfits would appear on different body types. For example, the open shirt outfit – fine on a dude, not very practical on a woman.

And when you age your female character, your boobs don’t sag. Sorry, but this is a fact of life and weird when all your other skin is saggy.

Female character generator in Elden Ring

10. It’s not fun

I had been really hoping to enjoy Elden Ring. After all, open-world RPGs are my jam. But I find myself getting angry at the game (rage quit anyone?). And that’s not necessarily a state I want to be in as a player or a human being. I love the challenge, but when the challenge makes me want to throw a controller across the room, you’ve got to consider whether the game is beneficial to your well being.

And I don’t believe all games should be fun – after all, no one plays The Last of Us for fun. But without the meaning imbued by the story, I’m not intrigued, nor am I compelled to stay in the world of Elden Ring.


9 responses to “10 things I hate about Elden Ring”

  1. Ravelord nito Avatar
    Ravelord nito

    The is satire right?

  2. I love this. Everyone that I know that’s played this game says it’s the best game ever made. And yet, though I keep playing it, I just don’t get it! I agree with all of your points, and I keep waiting to be hooked! My sister was watching me play the other day and was asking what the story line was, and though I’m hours in, I couldn’t tell her lol

    Even if you wrote this as sattire, it is grand!

  3. I know this is an old post, just want to say thank you for sharing. I really don’t like this game. I was thinking of getting something new, another open world game and needed to know if I hate open world of if it was just this game. Your thoughts are spot on and helped me think through what I didn’t like. I’m ready uninstall and move on to the next adventure.

  4. If you’re looking for a much better open world RPG, I thoroughly recommend Baldur’s Gate 3. It’s fantastic, and has a well-told story alongside strategic combat. Much more fun than Elden Ring!

  5. Yeah I’m still confused as to the plot lol… I didn’t mean this as satire, but I like to keep things satirical in tone 😉

  6. Try sekiro imo it has real gameplay. Actually well balanced game and has clear story by from soft standards

  7. Yeah Sekiro is really good, I like it a lot more than Elden Ring. Beautiful game too.

  8. Great post! I absolutely, 100% agree with your thoughts. I would also add the open world which is unfortunately very disappointing and stale, failing to make exploration feel rewarding or fun, especiallly given the lackluster storytelling which you mentioned.

    Everyone’s rattling on about how it’s “tHe BesT gAmE eVAh mAdE!!” and throw a spittle-flecked hissy fit whenever someone dares voice a differing opinion. It baffles me that the fan community simply can’t accept the idea that the game may fall short in some regards, that some people won’t enjoy it and that it’s perfectly fine for them to express that sentiment, just like it’s perfectly fine for Elden Ring stans to say how much they love it. Some comments above saying this is satire show how hard a concept it can be for the fanbase to grasp. No matter how well-argued the point, they’ll just spout the same tired, brain-dead “git gud” retort over and over. It can’t *possibly* be that the game might have some issue that hamper enjoyment for some people, it *must* be the gamer’s fault, right? I guess that’s what happens when they tie their pathetic excuse for self-esteem to mastering a game after spending hundreds of hours grinding at it. The notion that some people dislike a video game that feels like a second job simply bruises their fragile egos.

    To put it into perspective, games like Dead Cells are similarly unforgiving and punishing. They don’t hold your hand and you are expected to fail, die, learn, overcome and repeat. However, the process is varied and entertaining enough that each run is genuinely enjoyable and you truly feel like you’re making progress with each run. The controls are responsive, the camera doesn’t get in the way, and overall the game feels very difficult, but also very fair. Same goes for Hades, another spectacular and incredibly well-made game. These two games are prime examples of how you can make a game that is both very challenging and very enjoyable without devolving into a grindfest.

  9. Couldn’t agree more! It’s so weird how there’s no space for reasonable disagreement in games. It’s okay for people to like Elden Ring and also fine if I don’t like it either – not everyone has to like everything. Also “tHe BesT gAmE eVAh mAdE!!” made me laugh so hard!

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