Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree walkthrough route for the main story

With Elden Ring’s DLC as vast as it is, using a Shadow of the Erdtree walkthrough can help point you in the right direction of those wanting to progress the story.

Before launch, it was said to be about the same size as Elden Rings Limgrave, but the Realm of Shadow is definitely much bigger. It’s easy to lose track of your original plan as you explore, so let us help remind you where to go next.

Read on to learn how to progress the Elden Ring DLC’s main story, and what to do once the story wraps.


What this Shadow of the Erdtree walkthrough will cover

The playable character seeing the start of the Elden Ring DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree. Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Johnny Yu

Since you’ve played Elden Ring prior to starting the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC, you’ll know how easy it is to get lost in your adventure. You see a castle in the distance, you go to the castle in the distance. A blue witch sends you on a quest, you complete that quest.

Shadow of the Erdtree will be no different (other than that there are no blue witches). and this walkthrough will help you on your journey by telling you how to complete the main path of the DLC — no side quests, no exploration, and no optional bosses.

You’re more than welcome to get sidetracked and explore, but if you’re ever wondering what you should do next, you’ll have this walkthrough to help you get back on track.


Elden Ring DLC walkthrough steps

A map of the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC marked with routes that show the path for the main story.
A map of the main path through Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree’s story.
Graphic: Johnny Yu | Source images: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Jeffrey Parkin

In brief, here’s the steps of how to complete the main story in Shadow of the Erdtree:

  1. Reach the Three-Path Cross Site of Grace
  2. Proceed through Belurat, Tower Settlement (optional)
  3. Defeat the boss at Castle Ensis (optional)
  4. Reach the Shadow Keep and defeat the boss
  5. Burn the sealing tree in the Rauh Ruins
  6. Face Miquella’s followers in Enir-Ilim
  7. Defeat the final boss of Shadow of the Erdtree

As noted, Belurat and Castle Ensis are technically optional, despite the game pointing you in their direction. We will cover how to reach them in this walkthrough, as they feature useful story beats and offer a more natural transition into the wilder map — but know you can skip them entirely if you wish (which this walkthrough will also explain).

And, before you can begin any of the above, you need to access the DLC — a tall order in itself — before you can start exploring the Realm of Shadow.


Starting Shadow of the Erdtree

Congratulations, you’ve made it to the Realm of Shadow! As a fair warning, this is a very unforgiving land. A lot of enemies will two-shot you regardless of their stature, so be careful out there!

We strongly recommend to explore as much as possible and pick up as many Scadutree Fragments and Revered Spirit Ashes as you can because they can buff your character in the DLC. With that all said and done, let’s make our way through the starting area, the Gravesite Plains.

Character riding Torrent to a willow tree in a field of tombstones in Elden Ring’s DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree. Graphic: Johnny Yu | Source images: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Jeffrey Parkin/Johnny Yu

Walk out into the Gravesite Plains to be greeted with hundreds of tombstones and castles looming in the distance. Interact with the site of grace ahead of you then go northeast towards the ruins to find the Gravesite Plains Map Fragment. Hop onto your trusty steed, Torrent, and head north to the Three-Path Cross Site of Grace where you’ll find your first Miquella’s Cross and a couple of Miquella’s Followers, Redmane Freyja and Hornsent.

Miquella’s cross on a cloudy rainy day in a field of blue flowers in Elden Ring’s DLC Shadow of the Erdtree. Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Johnny Yu

Miquella’s Crosses are used as markers that indicate where Miquella has let go of an aspect of himself that bind him to the Golden Order. They’re clues that will point you in the right direction of where Miquella has gone, and Hornsent just happens to give you a map of said clues.

Character standing in front of huge archway in Elden Ring’s DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree. Graphic: Johnny Yu | Source images: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Jeffrey Parkin/Johnny Yu

After you’ve activated the grace and spoken to the NPCs, head west through the giant archway to find the Main Gate Cross Site of Grace, where you’ll find a Miquella’s Cross and two more of Miquella’s Followers, Sir Ansbach and Moore.

Before you head up the stairs, you should know that there are two routes you can take from here — through Belurat and Castle Ensis, or skip them both. It’s entirely optional to go through Belurat and Castle Ensis, as you can still reach the ending of the DLC without them, but we recommend that you go through Belurat and Castle Ensis to get a better feel for the DLC’s difficulty, collect some Scadutree Fragments, and have a better understanding of the story.

With that in mind:

  • For those heading up the stairs into Belurat, please move onto the Belurat section.
  • For those who want to skip Belurat and Castle Ensis, please move onto the “How to skip Belurat and Castle Ensis” section.

How to skip Belurat, Castle Ensis, and Rellana

If you prefer, it’s possible to skip both Belurat and Castle Ensis, and proceed straight to the Scadu Altus.

Return to the Three-Path Cross Site of Grace and head northeast across the bridge. Grab the Castle Front Site of Grace, then run southeast to find a huge rock archway at the bottom of the hill.

Follow the path to the east until you reach a sealed spiritspring. To use it, you’ll need to continue east to find a ghostly pile of rocks and hit them with a melee attack. Climb up the cliff using the two spiritsprings, but make sure to stick to the right to land outside of the castle. Go around the castle to find the Moorth Highway, South Site of Grace.

The character going through a hole in a rock formation and towards a dark castle in Elden Ring’s DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree. Graphic: Johnny Yu | Source images: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Johnny Yu

Go through the rock formation to the northeast to encounter a Ghostflame Dragon, which we’ll be skipping for now, and run north to find the Moorth Ruins Site of Grace on the eastern side of the path. Follow the path to pick up the Scadu Altus Map Fragment and encounter another strong enemy, the Furnace Golem, which we’ll also skip!

Run past them to enter the Shadow Keep, which will lead to a prompt telling you that “Somewhere a great rune has broken…”, but we’ll keep that in the back of our heads for now.

You’ve made it to the Shadow Keep, so please continue to the “Shadow Keep” section of the walkthrough.

Until then, here’s what to do in Belurat and Castle Ensis for those who want to tick them off first.


What to do in Belurat, Tower Settlement (optional)

For those not fond of bugs, I’ll warn you now because you are about to encounter some terrifying Spider Scorpions. Head up the stairs into Belarut to instantly meet a HUGE Spider Scorpion and continue up the stairs to find a golden statue of an omen, which will have two Revered Spirit Ashes. Proceed up the scorpion-ridden stairs until you reach the Belurat, Tower Settlement Site of Grace at the top.

A character traversing through the narrow alleys and dangerous streets of Belarut, a legacy dungeon in Elden Ring’s DLC Shadow of the Erdtree. Graphic: Johnny Yu | Source images: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Johnny Yu

Head northeast through the small passage between the building and head up the stairs by the water fountain. Turn to the left to find two shadow undeads slinging golden spirals at you from atop the draped arch. Quickly run underneath the arch and into the doorway on your left. Go up the stairs to find the Small Private Altar Site of Grace.

Character traversing Belurat in Elden Ring’s DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree. Graphic: Johnny Yu | Source images: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Johnny Yu

Follow the path up the stairs and continue through the narrow corridor full of shadow undeads until you reach a room with a ladder. Climb the ladder and head up the stairs on your right. Continue along this path, where you’ll traverse rooftops with Gravebirds, a bridge with a dangerous foe, and a spiral staircase with a spinning Curseblade, until you reach the Stagefront Site of Grace.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Divine Beast Dancing Lion Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

Through the doors, you’ll face off against Divine Beast Dancing Lion, the first major boss of Shadow of the Erdtree. As the first major boss, the Dancing Lion can be extremely difficult, so we recommend to search for some Scadutree Fragments to improve how much damage you deal and negate.

Once you’ve beaten the Dancing Lion, ride the elevator and head up the stairs to find that the path is blocked, which is why we’ll have to find another way — and that’s through Castle Ensis.


Where to go after Dancing Lion and Belarut (optional)

A map of Castle Ensis from Elden Ring’s DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree, marked with a route of the main story progression. Graphic: Johnny Yu | Source images: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Jeffrey Parkin

With Belarut completed, let’s return to the Three-Path Cross Site of Grace and make our way across the bridge to Castle Ensis, which you can still skip if you like (see the previous section in this guide for specifics on how).

Follow the path ahead until you reach the Castle Ensis Checkpoint Site of Grace where you’ll find a locked gate.

Character progressing through Castle Ensis in Elden Ring’s DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree. Graphic: Johnny Yu | Source images: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Johnny Yu

You’ll need to drop down into the hole to the south and climb up the ladder by the waterfall. This will put you on the other side of the gate where you’ll follow the path until you reach an elevator that takes you to the Castle-Lord’s Chamber Site of Grace. At the top of the stairs, you’ll find the fog door that’ll take you to Rellana, Twin Moon Knight.

Rellana Twin Moon Knight stands in an Elden Ring DLC boss fight arena in Shadow of the Erdtree. Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

Once you’ve defeated them, exit from the northern side to find the Highroad Cross Site of Grace and a few familiar faces. From here, follow the path north to the Shadow Keep, but don’t forget to collect the map fragment and the Scadutree Fragment along the way.


Where to go after Rellana and Castle Ensis

A map of the Shadow Keep from Elden Ring’s DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree, marked with a route of the main story progression. Graphic: Johnny Yu | Source images: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Jeffrey Parkin

As you near the Shadow Keep, you’ll get a prompt saying, “Somewhere a great rune has broken…” and “and so too has a powerful charm,” but we’ll ignore those for now.

Head up the elevator to be instantly greeted by a fog door, which holds the Golden Hippopotamus. If you’re struggling, now might be a good time to search for the broken great rune and gather some more Scadutree Fragments.

Character staring at a large statue in the Specimen Storehouse in Elden Ring’s DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree. Graphic: Johnny Yu | Source images: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Johnny Yu

Once defeated, go through the door on the left and follow the path until you ride an elevator to the Specimen Storehouse. Head up to the second floor to find a large omen statue with its feet beside the railing. Get on top of the omen statue and jump from its head to the fourth floor to find the Storehouse, Fourth Floor Site of Grace.

A lever that causes the statues to move in the Specimen Storehouse in the Shadow Keep of Elden Ring’s DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree. Graphic: Johnny Yu | Source images: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Johnny Yu

Proceed up to the seventh floor where you’ll find the Storehouse, Seventh Floor Site of Grace, and activate it so you don’t need to run through all of those enemies again. Drop down to the sixth floor and activate the lever along the southern wall that will move the statues in the center. Hop along the statues to the next floor and progress along the path to find a Fire Knight blocking a large black door, which leads to Messmer the Impaler.


Where do you go after Messmer and Shadow Keep

Once you’ve defeated them and received Messmer’s Kindling, return to the Storehouse, First Floor Site of Grace. Enter the room to the northwest and ride the elevator down. Progress through the castle and cross the bridge with raining fire to reach the Rauh Ruins.

Path leading to the Rauh Ancient Ruins, East Site of Grace in Elden Ring’s DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree. Graphic: Johnny Yu | Source images: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Johnny Yu

Hop onto Torrent and follow the path to the right to enter the ruins. You’ll go through rooms full of shadow undeads, Spider Scorpions, more shadow undeads, and lastly some snails to reach a spiritspring leading to a lower floor. Head northwest and follow the path until you find the Rauh Ancient Ruins, East Site of Grace.

Character riding on Torrent in the Rauh Ruins with arrows depicting the route to go in Elden Ring’s DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree. Graphic: Johnny Yu | Source images: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Johnny Yu

Cross the broken bridge and go under the hidden rock archway to the south to unlock the Rauh Ancient Ruins, West Site of Grace. Head southwest to find an entrance to more ruins and stick to the left to find an elevator. Ride the elevator up then go northwest through the gazebo to find another ruin site full of scarlet rot. Head up the ramp to reach the Church of the Bud, where you’ll face Romina, Saint of the Bud. After you’ve defeated Romina, you’re ready to burn the sealing tree, which will automatically take you to Enir-Ilim.


Where do you go after Romina and Rauh Ruins

A map of Enir-Ilim from Elden Ring’s DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree, marked with a route of the main story progression. Graphic: Johnny Yu | Source images: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Jeffrey Parkin

Well, you don’t really have a choice as to where you go as you’re automatically sent to Enir-Ilim after burning the sealing tree. Enir-Ilim follows a rather linear approach as following the main path will take you straight to the next boss. Feel free to explore the branching paths to grab Scadutree Fragments and Revered Spirit Ashes as this is the final area.

The character reaching the cleansing room antechamber where they’ll face off against Miquella’s followers in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree. Images: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Johnny Yu

Progress until you reach a large circular room where Leda will stop you in your tracks and confront you for going against Miquella. Here, you’ll need to defeat Leda and her allies, which may vary depending on how you interacted with Miquella’s followers.

Young Lion Radahn standing in front of a glowing background in Elden Ring DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree. Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Johnny Yu

Once they’ve been dealt with, continue forth to find the fog door to the final boss — Radahn and kinda Miquella. If there was ever a time to explore the rest of the map, it would be now. If you thought Radahn from the base game was bad, wait until you see this guy. You’ll want to increase your Scadutree Blessing as much as you can before taking him on.

Once you’ve defeated them, you’ll be able to access one of Miquella’s memories — providing a little more backstory to their relationship.


What to do after the final boss in Shadow of the Erdtree

After you’ve watched the memory, you might be wondering, “is it over?” The answer is yes — well, at least for the critical path. If you’re looking for a little more insight into the plot, we recommend to check out the Stone Coffin Fissure in its entirety. Other than that, there are no end credits for the DLC, so you’re free to explore the realm of shadow!

With all of Miquella’s followers dead, you’re somewhat limited in what you can do when it comes to quests, but here’s some inspiration of other things you can do in the Realm of Shadow if you haven’t already