Shadow of the Erdtree recommended level - Elden Ring

The right numbers to make The Land of Shadow a bit less brutal.


What level should you be at to start Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree? It’s a good question, especially with so much talk of higher difficulty levels and intense bosses. FromSoftware has its own recommendation, but levels in Shadow of the Erdtree are less important than how you invest your stat points. 

Our Shadow of the Erdtree recommended level guide explains what to aim for with your builds and what levels make it easier to hit those targets.

Shadow of the Erdtree: Recommended level

A Tarnished with investment in Vigor and Endurance standing under a dusk sky

If you’re like me and tried to do a bit of everything in the base game, well, don’t. Shadow of the Erdtree’s challenge level means you need to specialize in one or two stats – a main stat that whatever weapon type you mainly use scales with the most and a secondary. For example, I ran a strength and dexterity build with just enough intelligence to cast sorceries such as Glintstone Pebble and Glintstone Icecrag.

You’ll want to invest at least 50 points in Vigor and, ideally, hit the second soft cap on whatever your primary damage stat is. That’s roughly 50-60 for:

  • Strength
  • Dexterity
  • Intelligence
  • Faith

Arcane scaling is a bit different and hits a cap at around 40-45, but even with an Arcane-focused build, you really don’t need more than 35 for that stat. 

Divide the rest of your points between Endurance and your secondary damage stat. Hitting soft caps is tough if you’re starting Shadow of the Erdtree at level 150 as FromSoft recommends, or even lower. However, if you can’t make 50 Vigor and 60 for your other stat work, aim for 40 and 50, respectively, instead.

If you’re running a melee build, you can get away with 10-15 for Mind and completely ignore Intelligence, Faith, and Arcane, unless you want to use a weapon that has one of those stats as well. Don’t invest much beyond the minimum secondary requirements for weapons with split stats, though, so you’ve got enough points to use for Vigor, Mind, or Endurance.

That’s a lot of numbers talk, and what build you want will probably change once you start finding new weapons. Make sure you’ve got some Larval Tears on hand before starting Shadow of the Erdtree, so you can respec if you run across something you want to change your build for. There are some Larval Tears in the Land of Shadow as well, but they seem rarer than in The Lands Between.

If you've not yet taken the step into the Land of Shadow, check out our guide for how to start Elden Ring's DLC to make sure you've ticked every box.

Contributing Editor

Josh is a freelance writer and reporter who specializes in guides, reviews, and whatever else he can convince someone to commission. You may have seen him on NPR, IGN, Polygon, or VG 24/7 or on Twitter, shouting about Trails. When he isn’t working, you’ll likely find him outside with his Belgian Malinois and Australian Shepherd or curled up with an RPG of some description.

From The Chatty
Hello, Meet Lola