Is Elden Ring Harder than Dark Souls 3?

From Software tends to stay true to the Souls-borne formula they have created even when venturing into new territories. With this being their first step into the open-world genre, will they lose the difficulty that they are so synonymous with or present a new level of challenge unbeknownst to the fanbase?

Even though Sekiro was their previous game, the closest comparison to Elden Ring will surely be the Dark Souls franchise, especially considering it cemented the hard nature of the genre. So will Elden Ring be as hard as Dark Souls, let’s find out?

Similarities Between Elden Ring and Dark Souls 3

Though it may sound like a new experiment, the underlying similarities between Dark Souls and Elden Ring are much closer than we choose to accept, even the engine the game is built on is the same. The terminology has just changed but the core is loyal to the tradition. Below are some examples of these.

Elden Ring Dark Souls Bigger Map Norse Celtic Setting
  • From Hallowed or Ashen, we are now Tarnished.
  • Form collecting Souls (the primary currency) to now we are collecting Runes.
  • From Bonfire, the previous safe havens between the perilous journey, now are called Sites of Lost Grace.
  • The player stats, in general, are pretty much the same, while some have been renamed and purposes are shuffled around a bit.
  • Estus Flask is now Flask of Crimson Tears.
  • Ashen Estus Flask is now Flask of Cerulean Tears.

Many such minor similarities are very much present in the games to reflect the pedigree From Software has accumulated over the years.

Related: All Classes in Elden Ring (Stats Breakdown)

Differences Between Elden Ring and Dark Souls 3

Here we will discuss all that is integral in making Elden Ring stand out from everything From Software has ever done before, especially Dark Souls. These changes are those key elements that will be the most notable addition in to the mix and will have huge impact to the subjectivity of experience for each person.

Open World Map

elden ring world map

Open World Map, this design choice will benefit the curious players as the map will be riddled with interesting locations to explore and plunder, and enemies and bosses to takedown out in the open as well as hidden.

Day-Night Cycle

The Day-Night Cycle, this feature sounds aesthetical is farther from the truth. Not only this feature will make each player’s experience unique with different weather conditions at play, the events that are triggered in their respective daytime will also provide distinct encounters and adventures.

The Combat

The combat has so many additions in Elden Ring that Dark Soul’s offering pales in comparison. From new attacks like jumping attacks to guard counter and the whole magic combat capabilities are vastly built upon. There are just so many new options to approach a fight and the fact that you are not as restricted to the character build you have chosen, the potential to experiment with new types of abilities makes things even more interesting.


The steed you ride upon, Torrent, this creature opens up possibilities to explore with its double jump feature, horseback combat, and approaching different situations to a whole new level.

Shrines of Marika

Elden Ring Stakes Of Marika

Shrines of Marika, these statues littered all over the map, allow the player to respawn much closer to the action than previously possible in Dark Souls. This single mechanic will encourage players to tackle the failure they faced, who previously were frustrated by the death and trackback loop of Soulslike games.


Stealth! What in Soulslike? This can change the whole attitude of taking on enemies. In the cover of the night, the player can easily dispose of off weaker enemies to go head-on against the big boys without disturbance.



If you are like me and don’t like playing Soulslike games in co-op for the first playthrough especially, then this here is a piece of good news for you, you can now summon spirits that can aid you in battle. They are typically your enemy characters working for you, so you can just hang back and provide range cover to them or they can be used to distract bosses while you prepare for mega hits.


Never before has the addition of a jump mechanic been so game-changing. This simple inclusion has been so masterfully utilized by From Software. By simply jumping you can access areas that have amazing rewards or make new sneakier ways into a previously hard to get in castle or dungeon.

These are the meaty new additions that set the Elden Ring apart from all other Soulslike games or even your run of the mill open-world games. There are many other differences but should be discovered on your own, these are the game changers in my opinion.

Related: How to Fix Elden Ring Crashing, Stuttering, Low FPS Issues

Is Elden Ring More Difficult Than Dark Souls?

Now back to the main question at hand, many of you will feel like the writer has gone on a tangent rather than answering it, so here is my real answer; the difficulty depends upon you. Now you will be wondering I have given a cop-out answer but hear me out.

See it’s all about how you approach it, where previously Dark Souls was somewhat a linear experience this time around it’s a sandbox where your choices will have a huge impact on how you deal with the rest of the game. If you stay on the main mission route like many other open-world games are played then you will be punished and the difficulty will slap you around. But if you are remotely a curious player and likes to indulge in the exploration of the world you will be heavily rewarded.

The structure of both these titles is what makes things hard to explain, previously if a boss was troubling you in Dark Souls tough luck, either you visit already explored locations to farm and power up or just swallow your anger and be adamant in defeating it. This time around you can just ignore the nuisance of the boss and just go to the seeming multitude of locations at your disposal and get better gear and upgrade. This gear and upgrade freedom will make some difficult experiences trivial, which can be disappointing when you are overpowered as hell and you visit a lower level dungeon or enemies, but its all about how you take things along.

And with such a huge selection of combat choices, melee, magic, summons, and weapon arts, just how you approach a fight can vary the difficulty you face. The exploration excursions you lose your time in will be so rewarding to the overall experince.

So its all up to you how difficult you want things to be!

How how is Elden Ring treating you? Are you finding it hard or easy? Which camp of player you belong to curious or straightforward? Comment below and let us know. And for more Elden Ring news and guide visit our Elden Ring section.

Wasay Hasan
Wasay Hasan

Wasay has never set boundaries on what type of games he likes, he has dabbled in many genres but none can run the test of time as a good single-player experience regardless of AAA or Indie. Narrative-based and Soulsborne are his weakness. His all-time favorites are God of War, Hollow Knight, Marvel's Spiderman, Elden Ring, Nier: Automata, Bloodborne and he can go on and on.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *