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Where to go first in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree? Answered

The best early game locations in the Land of Shadow.

Exploration is a huge part of Elden Ring, and with a brand new region waiting for you in the Shadow of the Erdtree expansion, deciding where to go first can be a daunting task.

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The Land of Shadow is absolutely massive. While it’s only about the size of Limgrave on paper, the verticality of the new region means there’s much more to discover than you may think. Just like the base game, every deep cave or tall cliff is home to new weapons, armor, and equipment that will help you prepare for the road ahead. Here are some places that you should check out first when you start playing Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.

Best Areas to Explore First in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree

There are a few early-game locations that are perfect starting points for your Shadow of the Erdtree journey. The first place we recommend visiting is Belurat, Tower Settlement. This is the first major dungeon of the expansion, and you can access it right from the beginning of the DLC. Just follow the main road north through the Gravesite Plain area and you’ll reach the town.

Elden Ring Shadow Of The Erdtree Belurat Tower Settlement
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Along the way, you’ll discover a few Sites of Grace as well as a handful of Miquella Crosses. These are very important landmarks in the Shadow of the Erdtree expansion because they have Scadutree Fragments, which are used to upgrade your stats in the Land of Shadow. Enemies are much harder than normal in the DLC zone, so Scadutree Fragments are the main way to get stronger.

There are some Scadutree Fragments and Revered Spirit Ashes (used to power up your Spirit Ashes) within Belurat, so it’s a good starting point. You’ll also find some new weapons like the Bone Bow and come face-to-face with the first major boss of the expansion.

Elden Ring Shadow Of The Erdtree Castle Ensis
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The second place we recommend visiting in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree is Castle Ensis. This is another big dungeon located on the northeastern side of the Gravesite Plain. It’s located across the huge Ellac Greatbridge, so you can’t miss it.

This is a shorter dungeon than Belurat, but it’s filled with much harder enemies. Clearing Castle Ensis will grant you access to the Scadu Atlus, the second major region of the Land of Shadow. The castle is also home to new weapons like Moonrithyll’s Knight Sword and some helpful items like the Loyal Knight’s Cookbook, which unlocks some of the new DLC crafting recipes.

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If you’d rather avoid dungeons, then you can visit the lake to the east of Belurat to find one of the DLC’s best new weapons: the Great Katana. It’s just sitting on a corpse in the center of the lake, but be warned. Picking up the weapon will attract a Ghostflame Dragon. You can run away from it, but it’s actually not that hard to beat if you’re used to battling dragons from the Lands Between.

In addition to the Great Katana, we recommend visiting the Run-Down Traveler’s Rest near the Ellac Greatbridge. There, you’ll find a Cookbook that unlocks an important new crafting recipe: Hefty Furnace Pots. These are used to defeat the wandering Furnace Golems that patrol the Land of Shadow. If you can get high enough, just throw one into the fire pit on their head to deal massive damage.

No matter where you go in the Land of Shadow, you’re bound to find cool gear and tough bosses. Shadow of the Erdtree features some of the best content in all of Elden Ring, so don’t be afraid to just run around in random directions to see what you can find. If you don’t explore, you’ll never find new weapon archetypes like Hand-to-Hand combat.

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Diego Perez
Currently serving as a Senior Staff Writer at PC Invasion, Diego Perez has been writing about video games since 2018, specializing in live service games like Destiny and Final Fantasy XIV. His work is featured at publications like Game Rant and Attack of the Fanboy (where he served as Associate Editor), but PC Invasion is home to his best work. When he's planning content or writing guides, he's yelling about Ape Escape or grinding Lost Sectors in Destiny. Plus, he has a Bachelor of Science in Telecommunication Media Studies for Texas A&M University.