If Elden Ring wasn’t already hard enough, FromSoftware couldn’t help themselves going that little bit further and depriving players the safety of a simple pause button. By now, just about everyone has naively opened the menu and been caught unawares, thinking the action has been halted. Everyone except FromSoftware veterans, that is.
I love a challenge as much as the next guy, but there are times when important life-dependent tasks arise, such as another game being delivered which requires a signature.
The good news is that you can pause in Elden Ring – just not the conventional way. Here’s everything you need to know about how to pause in Elden Ring with a few extra tidbits of information that may assist further.
- RELATED: Elden Ring Review (spoiler-free)
How to pause in Elden Ring
The quickest and easiest way to pause Elden Ring and halt the combat is by following these steps:
- Open the menu and select Equipment (this is the default selection)
- Select the ‘Help’ option whilst hovering on your R Hand Armament 1 (again, this is the default selection)
- Select ‘Menu Explanation’ at the bottom
This will bring up a dialogue box with some details about the Equipment screen. We don’t need any of this information, but whilst the box is visible the action will be completely frozen… effectively pausing Elden Ring!
You can do the same thing with other menus like Inventory but this method requires the fewest button presses and should be manageable in the heat of battle. However, it is definitely worth having a few tries beforehand, so you are used to quickly using this button combination. It’s also a good idea to put a bit of distance between you and the nearest enemy first, so they don’t manage an attack whilst you are pressing the buttons.
How to pause Elden Ring on Playstation
The relevant buttons on Playstation are:
- Open the menu with the Options button
- Select Equipment with X
- Select Help with the central touchpad
- Scroll down to ‘Menu Explanation’ and select it with X
How to pause Elden Ring on Xbox
On Xbox, the button combination is as follow:
- Open the menu with the Menu button
- Select Equipment with A
- Select Help with the View button
- Scroll down to ‘Menu Explanation’ and select it with A
PC ONLY: How to pause with a mod
If you’re on PC, and would prefer to have a simple one-press pause button without the need to apply the steps above, then you’re in luck. As ever, the modding community have come up trumps.
Find a pause mod here, which will require you to simply place a file in the Elden Ring root folder.
The default pause buttons with this mod are P on a keyboard and Start on a controller, but this can be changed as well. Full instructions are in the link.
Other pause methods in Elden Ring
This obscure pause method isn’t the only way to earn a respite in Elden Ring.
Fast travel to a Site of Grace and rest at the Site of Grace for a period of safety for as long as you stay there. The fast travel menu itself does not pause the game and you cannot fast travel if enemies are targeting you, denoted by a harsh sound effect.
If it’s available another fast travel option is Roundtable Hold which doesn’t exactly pause the game but the golden circular icon the left-hand side indicates there is no combat allowed, so you can safely leave the game. There are some other locations like this, like the festival area at the end of Redmane castle.
When to use Save and Quit
Finally, there is always the option to save and quit. This will whisk you back to the title menu and save your game, inserting you right where you left off next time. The exception to this is when you are fighting a boss, which will instead place you outside the boss arena without costing any runes.
This can actually be a handy tool if you are on the verge of death against a boss and have a hefty stack of runes in tow. The first attempt against a surprise boss who is not denoted by a mist door can often find you in this risky situation. Obviously if you die you will have to keep recovering your runes from the boss arena, so a tactical save and quit from beyond the mist door can earn an opportunity to get your runes out of there and put them towards a level up before trying again.
Hopefully this advice assists you in Elden Ring, and fingers crossed this handy hack doesn’t get patched out in future. Check out some of our other guides and tips below: