Elden Ring’s release is fast approaching, but players want to know if they can get a taste of the game beforehand with a demo or beta invite.
Developer FromSoftware is building up a tradition of running network tests before games’ official release. Dark Souls titles ran network tests to try out their net code and trial servers. This was done again with Elden Ring, and with higher stakes given the game’s increased focus on multiplayer elements.
But what has come since then? Is there any way to get involved in the Elden Ring beta or play a demo of the game? Or do players just need to wait for the game’s official release?
Is there an Elden Ring beta?
Elden Ring did not have a live beta, but it did have a closed network test that functionally served as a beta.
The network test ran from November 12 to 14, 2021, and is no longer available for players. Players were able to sign up in hopes of randomly receiving a key to play the game. This worked in a similar way to most closed betas and encompassed both PC and console players.
The test included a small portion of the Lands Between that players could traverse, which included two bosses and many smaller enemies. Players were able to summon one another into their worlds for help and could invade each other for player-versus-player action.
Network tests in FromSoftware titles are historically rife for data mining and Elden Ring was no different. Hidden areas and enemies were discovered in Elden Ring’s trial run and there will likely be other hidden lore and gameplay mechanics unearthed in the future.
Will Elden Ring have a demo?
Elden Ring does not have a demo and it’s unlikely that it will receive one before the game’s official release date on February 25.
Though anything remains possible, FromSoftware games rarely receive demos that are made available to the public. Games such as Bloodborne and Dark Souls 3 have had network tests prior to their releases, and demos that were playable specifically at promotional events.
However, Dark Souls demos haven’t been made available to the masses through services like Steam, the PlayStation Network, or Xbox Live. This applies to original releases like Dark Souls 3 as well as rereleases and bundles like Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin Edition and Dark Souls Remastered.
Elden Ring could buck this trend by launching a demo prior the game’s release date, but that appears unlikely. Players will just have to wait and buy the full game if they missed out on the Elden Ring network test.