Elden Ring Randomizer Turns It Into A Whole New Game
If you’re still playing Elden Ring and never want to stop, you’re in luck. A new randomizer mod for PC changes up everything from item placement to boss locations. You can even transform every enemy into Malenia. Consider it the unofficial “new game plus” FromSoftware was too merciful to ship itself.
Announced back in April, Matt “thefifthmatt” Gruen’s Elden Ring “Item and Enemy Randomizer” mod is now “feature complete.” It scrambles world, shop, and enemy items, as well as characters’ starting loadouts. Bosses can also be swapped. You can set key item locations to change as well. Everything is calibrated using sliders, so you can customize how the chaos all shakes out. The mod even has a completionist mode where you can’t complete the final boss fight until you’ve collected all seven great runes.
“In the best case, I hope the randomizer gives players an experience of discovery and adaptation not always found in normal re-playthroughs,” Gruen told Kotaku in an email. “Shuffle-based randomizers have fun design elements too, like knowing that thing X ended up in place Y lets you infer things about thing Y.”
Randomizers have become popular for games with high replayability where those who have already mastered the underlying game need new ways to challenge themselves. While the current 0.4.1 version of Elden Ring is still a work in progress, there’s a roadmap for future improvements and ongoing bug fixes. It also already supports co-op.
Gruen said he was influenced by modder HotPocketRemix’s Dark Souls “Item Randomizer,” which inspired him to create similar versions for Dark Souls 3 and Sekiro. His experience on those projects helped prepare him to take on Elden Ring, whose randomizer clocks in at over 45,000 lines of code.
“Elden Ring is an intricate and generous game where 99 percent of players won’t see all 100 percent of it, so modding it requires a different approach to both mod design and implementation,” Gruen said. But the thousands of hours the modding community poured into FromSoftware’s earlier games have paid dividends. Aided by the Elden Ring’s technical improvements over its predecessors, they’ve been able to mod the game at breakneck speed.
“Many limitations which hindered modding in previous titles are gone,” he said. “I hope Elden Ring has a thriving future in the myriad ways people wish to experience it.”
Clarification: 6/2/22, 9:40 p.m. ET: Removed an incorrect reference to the number of configuration files in the mod.