This article contains spoilers for Elden Ring.
While Elden Ring clearly separates itself from other FromSoftware titles through its massive open-world filled with adventures and secrets, the game does feature that same brand of obtuse storytelling and complicated lore that helped make FromSoftware’s other titles (most notably the Dark Souls series) famous. That also means that there is a good chance you’ll reach the game’s various endings and have no idea what any of them mean or how you even managed to arrive at them in the first place.
So far as that goes, I’ll warn you right now that Elden Ring offers relatively few definitive narrative answers, and those answers that are buried in the game likely won’t be unearthed for months to come. Part of the joy of playing a FromSoftware game involves learning to love occasionally being confused, and that’s certainly true when it comes to explaining, or even talking about, the game’s endings. These intentionally ambiguous finales are meant to be discussed, dissected, and debated.
In the interest of getting that discussion going, though, here’s a look at our what we think Elden Ring‘s endings mean and, more importantly, how to unlock them.
How Many Endings Can You Unlock in Elden Ring?
So far as anyone can tell, there are six available endings in Elden Ring. While it’s possible to play the game in a way that allows you to choose between multiple endings by the time you reach the finale (with one notable exception that we’ll discuss in a bit), you’ll ultimately need to decide which ending you’ll see.
For what it’s worth, it seems like there may be a seventh ending in the game currently known as the Age of Absolution ending. However, it’s not entirely clear at this time whether that ending is real or just an urban legend fuelled by misinterpreted datamined information. If we learn more about the rumored Age of Absolution ending (or any other additional endings in Elden Ring), we’ll be sure to let you know how to unlock it.
Elden Ring: The Age of Fracture Ending Explained
This is Elden Ring’s basic (or, if you prefer, “standard”) ending. It sees you finally repair the Elden Ring and become the Elden Lord. A voiceover that accompanies this ending talks about how the “fallen leaves tell a story of how a Tarnished became Elden Lord” and notes that “our seed will look back upon us and recall an Age of Fracture.”
On the surface, this appears to be one of Elden Ring’s “good” endings. At the very least, it’s the ending that sees you complete the task presented to you at the start of the game exactly how it was presented to you. The Elden Ring is restored, you have become Elden Lord, and it seems that the dreaded Age of Fracture has finally come to an end.
However, fans have pointed out that previous Soulsborne endings that saw your character rise to a position of apparent power typically came with some kind of catch. In this instance, the mysterious nature of the Elden Lord title as well as the strange circumstances that caused the throne to be abandoned in the first place make it easy to speculate that this entire arrangement is more sinister than it may seem.
Are you just a puppet in someone’s game? By assuming the title of Elden Lord, are you just setting yourself up to become corrupted or perhaps killed? What will the long-term consequences of a Tarnished becoming Elden Lord be? At the very least, the game’s other possible endings suggest that the “best” ending in Elden RIng may be based on how you choose to interpret what you learn as you play the game and the importance of some of the figures you meet along the way.
In the end, my guess is that choosing this ending doesn’t necessarily seal your fate one way or the other. I’m fascinated to see what lore hunters discover about the exact nature of this arrangement, but this does seem to be the most straightforward and logical conclusion in a lot of ways.
Elden Ring: How to Unlock the Age of Fracture Ending
So far as I can tell, anyone who is able to defeat Elden Ring’s final boss will be able to access this ending. It doesn’t seem you have to do anything else to see it beyond the things you would need to do to reach that boss fight in the first place.
However, it’s worth noting that unlocking one of the endings we will soon discuss will prevent you from seeing this (or any other) ending.
Elden Ring: The Age of Stars Ending Explained
This ending sees you choose to become Ranni’s consort and help Ranni become a god (she essentially replaces Marika in the process). With her newfound power, Ranni bathes the Lands Between in moonlight, which she claims will free the lost souls trapped by the Erdtree. In the process, you also begin a thousand-year journey simply known as the Age of the Stars.
This is a very strange ending. The basic idea here seems to be that choosing Ranni over Marika will grant everyone freedom and destroy the old power structure. On the surface, that certainly seems like a good thing, but here is what Ranni has to say about her own intentions:
“Upon the order I envision. Mine will be an order not of gold, but the stars and moon of the chill night. I would keep them far from the earth beneath our feet. As it is now, life and souls and order are bound tightly together, but I would have them at a great remove. And have the certainties of sight, emotion, faith, and touch… All become impossibilities. Which is why I would abandon this soil, with mine order.”
That almost makes it seem like she intends for all living things to “ascend” beyond the trappings of our mortal world. While it’s easy enough to see how that could lead to the end of all pain and traditional power structures, it also seems like that process may, in a way, destroy aspects of humanity and some of the comforts that come with humanity. You could argue that no longer desiring those comforts means that they would no longer be comforts but…well, that’s where things start to get a little more philosophical.
Ultimately, it seems like there is a risk that siding with Ranni could lead to entirely new problems, but given everything that has played out so far, it’s easy enough to understand why some players may be willing to take a chance on a new world and abandon the old one.
Elden Ring: How to Unlock the Age of Stars Ending
You’ll need to align yourself with Ranni throughout the course of Elden Ring to make this ending work, which basically means completing the following steps:
- Defeat Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon
- Complete Ranni’s questline (this guide will help tell you how)
- Put the Dark Moon Ring on Ranni’s finger
- Summon Ranni after you defeat Elden Ring’s final boss
Elden Ring: The Age of Order Ending Explained
On the surface, this ending closely resembles the Age of Fracture ending. The big difference is that the players use the Mending Rune of Perfect Order on Fractured Marika to restore the Erdtree and the narrator mentions that their seed will look back and recall that this was the “Age of Order.”
This is another odd finale. The basic idea seems to be that you’ve somehow restored order to the Lands Between, but there’s a healthy debate to be had regarding what, exactly, you’ve really accomplished.
The popular theory at the moment is that you’ve essentially altered the will of the gods so that they won’t be as emotional and prone to betray each other or suffer from other, more basic emotions. The narrator’s specific wording has led some to suggest that you’ve reset the timeline somewhat by bringing the Lands Between back to a more peaceful time, though it may be more accurate to say that the implication is that this time will be remembered differently because of your actions and not that you’ve reset or undone the timeline in the Back to the Future sense of that concept.
This certainly seems to be one of the better endings in Elden Ring, and it could certainly be argued that it’s the strictly better version of the Age of Fracture ending. However, there’s still no telling where things go from here, and I’m curious to hear about some of the other ways that this ending is different (for better or worse) than the Age of Fracture ending.
Elden Ring: How to Unlock the Age of Order Ending
- Agree to assist Brother Corhyn in his search for Gold Mask.
- Acquire the Law of Regression spell.
- Cast the Law of Regression spell by the statue found near the Erdtree Sanctuary. Report back to Gold Mask when you’re done.
- After beating Malekith, find Corhyn in Leyndell, Ashen Capital. You’ll then need to go to the cliffs by the coliseum where you’ll find the Mending Rune of Perfect Order on Gold Mask’s body. That item will enable you to unlock this ending.
For more information on how to complete that questline, please consult this guide.
Elden Ring: The Age of Duskborn Ending Explained
This ending is yet another variation of the Age of Fracture ending in which the player’s character still becomes Elden Lord. The big difference this time is that the player chooses to use the Mending Rune of the Death Prince on Fractured Marika, which restores the Rune of Death and frees the Lands Between from the curse of immortality. Your ascension to the throne also now takes place in the midst of a massive dust shower.
The basic idea here seems to be that things are now allowed to properly die again in the Lands Between, which would seemingly mean that the resurrection effect you’ve been enjoying throughout the game is no longer available (at least from a lore perspective) and that life is allowed to play out in a more natural way from here on.
This does feel like another one of the game’s “good ending” options, though the long-term implications of your decisions remain to be seen. While I know it sounds odd to suggest that restoring the ability to die is a good thing, you could argue that this ending comes closest to upsetting the old power structure while still preserving most of the things in the Lands Between that were actually good and pure. At the very least, it feels like a better “reset” ending than the ones we’re about to talk about…
Elden Ring: How to Unlock the Age of Duskborn Ending
Unlocking this ending requires you to complete a long and complicated questline for Fia that eventually ends with you acquiring the Mending Rune of the Death Prince (which you can choose to use at the end of the game to trigger this finale).
Because this questline is so complicated and difficult to follow through the normal course of play, I highly recommend checking out this guide if you’re interested in unlocking this ending.
Elden Ring: Blessing of Despair Ending Explained
Like so many of Elden Ring’s other endings, this finale ultimately sees you become Elden Lord. However, the big twist here is that you’ve decided to align yourself with the Dung Eater who will help you curse the Lands Between and all who dare to inhabit it. Yes, you’ve just made things worse for a world that was obviously in pretty bad shape in the first place.
Unless you think that the Lands Between can’t be saved and is filled with people and things that deserve to suffer, it’s really hard to make the argument that this is a “good” ending in any sense of the word. This is an ending born of the Dung Eater’s (admittedly understandable) resentment towards the Lands Between and everything in this world.
Perhaps there is something cathartic about the idea of plunging this world that has put you through so much pain into a cursed age, but this certainly seems to be one of the least ambiguous endings in terms of what the world will be like after this is all done. Of course, it’s possible that I’ve completely overlooked another way to view this ending. If that’s the case, be sure to let me know about that alternate interpretation in the comments below.
Elden Ring: How to Unlock Blessing of Despair
- Give a Seedbed Curse item to the Dung Eater once he enters Roundtable Hold.
- Use the key the Dungeater gives you to access the Subterranean Shunning-Grounds beneath Leyndell.
- Free the corporeal form of the Dung Eater from his cell in the Shunning-Grounds.
- Speak to the Roundtable Hold form of the Dung Eater and defeat him.
- Give four more Seedbed Curses to the human form of the Dung Eater and acquire the Mending Rune of the Fell Curse. That will allow you to choose this ending.
For more information on how to complete that quest, please consult this guide.
Elden Ring: Lord of Frenzied Flame Ending Explained
This absolutely wild Elden Ring ending sees you embrace the Frenzied Flame of the Three Fingers and choose to become the Lord of Frenzied Flame rather than the Elden Lord. Among other things, that means that you choose to destroy the Erdtree and basically burn it all down. It might be a touch dramatic to say that you’ve just triggered the apocalypse, but that seems to be the gist of it.
I’ve heard this described as Elden Ring’s worst ending, and I certainly see why that’s the case. After all, the decision to make yourself the centerpiece of the end of the world is, at the very least, kind of a selfish move that will seemingly lead to almost total death and destruction. At least the Blessing of Despair ended with people lingering on in a cursed existence. This ending implies that nothing will be allowed to exist (at least for some time).
Yet, I have heard some people argue that this ending is really about chaos rather than evil, which is certainly a fascinating way to look at this whole thing. Technically, you could suggest that it’s possible for a new and better world to be built from the ground up after this is all said and done, though that is a somewhat optimistic perspective that is not only at odds with the nihilistic nature of this ending but one that requires you to subscribe to the idea that none of the other ending options could have resulted in a better world.
For what it’s worth, though, this ending’s final cinematic is arguably the most visually satisfying of all the conclusions, so if that’s what you’re into, then feel free to watch it all burn.
How to Unlock the Lord of Frenzied Flame Ending
- Complete Irina and Edgar’s questline in Weeping Penninsula. This quest should end with Irina dying and Edgar promising revenge.
- Give Hyetta Shabriri Grapes at Purified Ruins and Gate Town Bridge.
- Give Hyetta a Fingerprint Grape at Bellum Church. You can acquire that grape by defeating the Festering Finger Vyke at the Church of Inhibition.
- Meet Hyetta at the Subterranean Shunning-Grounds and take off all your clothes and gear before entering the Frenzied Flame door. A cutscene will play that will lock you into this ending.
There are a couple of other things you need to know about this ending:
- I’ve heard that you can actually skip the questline involving Hyetta if you know to enter the Frenzied Flame door with no clothes on, but I haven’t had a chance to try that for myself.
- Choosing the Frenzied Flame ending means that you will not be able to access any other ending in the game. If you want to remove that curse, you’ll need to defeat Gowry and Milicent’s questline, defeat Malenia, use the nearby Scarlet Bloom that appears to turn the Unalloyed Gold Needle into Miquella’s Needle, and eventually equip the needle in Dragonlord Placidusax’s arena. Here’s a guide that will give you a little more information on how to complete that process.