Can you pause the game in Elden Ring? How do you pause and take a break? Elden Ring is similar to FromSoftware's other action RPGs, where pausing the game isn't really possible. However, in this game, you can in fact pause with a simple workaround. As part of our Elden Ring guide, we're going to explain to you how you can pause the game and keep your character safe from harm.
Elden Ring: How to Pause the Game
Elden Ring is so vast and time-consuming that you will probably want a breather at some point. The game doesn't have a typical pause function; if you spend time in the menus, looking at your inventory or rearranging your equipment, the action around you continues, and it may cause an untimely death or two if you're not careful.
However, as discovered by Iron Pineapple, there is actually a way to freeze the action and pause Elden Ring.
How to Pause Elden Ring
Here are the steps required to "pause" Elden Ring.
At any point during play, press Options and then select Inventory.
In the Inventory screen, press the Touch Pad to open Help. This brings up a dialogue box with a few options.
From the Help screen, select the option Menu Explanation.
As long as you have the above screen showing, the game world will be paused. You can use this respite to take a breath or deal with something outside the game before coming back to it. Just be aware that as soon as you press Options to leave the Menu Explanation screen, the world will return to its normal, live state.
Other Pause Options
The above method is the only known way to pause the game in the traditional sense. However, there are other ways you can safely leave the game idle:
Rest at a Site of Grace
Sites of Grace are spots throughout the world of Elden Ring at which you can rest, replenish your Flasks, level up, and more. While resting at any of these points, your character will be safe from harm. Elden Ring won't pause, as such, but you can leave the game running knowing you won't be killed while you're away.
Go to the Roundtable Hold
The Roundtable Hold is another totally safe area in Elden Ring. After discovering it fairly early on in the game — Melina will tell you about it after defeating Margit, the Fell Omen — you will be able to fast travel to it at any point via the map screen. As long as you're at the Roundtable Hold, your character will come to no harm — there's even a strict "no combat" rule in place. Again, this isn't a pause, just a location you can visit to get away from the hostile open world.
Save and Quit
Kind of obvious, this, but you can always save and quit Elden Ring if you need to come away from the game. If you need to pause but would rather not leave the game running in an idle state, you can save and quit at any time from the Options menu. The good thing about this is that Elden Ring will save your exact location and circumstance, so this acts more or less like a pause, only you have to load the game back up to continue.
Have you found yourself looking for how to pause Elden Ring? Take a break in the comments section below, and check out our massive Elden Ring guide for lots more help.
From really do like to challenge us, even by hiding simple functions in the menu system. Handy knowing this.
It never bothered me much but I can see why it might bother some folks so I hope this helps. I usually just run back to either an area I know I cleared out or a site of grace. If i start a boss attempt sorry world I'm locked in until either death or triumph!
Can’t you just press the PS button to go to the Home Screen?
@jacobia This doesn't pause the game, no.
1 handy feature I noticed (which is a first!) Is that, if you open the map, or menu, and an enemy is wandering close by, the menu (or map) will automatically close when a threat is within close proximity!
If this was DSouls, you would have just got whacked while in the menu still. So... kinda forgiving?
Am I missing something in that it takes less than 20 secs to Exit and Continue the game? Granted, this is on PS5 so it may be a bit faster, but still.
@Quintumply My first From game, and I thought resting at a rune of grace - not just finding it, sitting at it - pauses the game?
I've had the giant t-rex rats about to bite me in half at the merchant shack at the end of the world (his words, not mine), just disappear as my character was sitting down. I also had 1 guy cut me in half b/c I clicked on the site to discover it but I forgot to click it again to rest at the dragon church. 😝
Maybe the game world keeps going but we're invulnerable while resting? Also just so I know, does anything bad ever happen at the roundtable? I assumed if I needed a bathroom or lunch break I could just fast travel there and be safe for 5 minutes. 🤷♂️
I know neither of these are in game pauses, didn't help when my doorbell rang the other day and I just ignored it, but resting has always made me feel safe to wipe the sweat off of my controller. Haven't tried the roundtable hall yet, just got there a couple of days ago, haven't been back. Kinda forgot about it.
Eh? You can just exit the game at any time and it will start you off exactly where you left off. If you're really in a bind to stop, then you can also just hold the home button and close application. I don't know why this is such an issue for everyone.
Nope, game still continues!
How long till you get kicked back to title screen though?
Not that that is such a bad thing. These days with SSDs you can quit the game and be back in, in a matter of seconds.
But why would you need a pause when the whole draw here is self immolation? Wouldn't that take away from Hidetaka Miyazaki's vision of unrestrained torture? 😝
Perhaps ideal for a sudden emergency while you almost got the boss beaten. Haven't had a need yet though.
@rjejr generally speaking nothing bad happens at RoundTable hold. You shouldn't go jumping off any balconies without spending your runes first, though
TBH it doesn’t bother me, easy enough to just quit and restart. Gives the game its charm of some random skeleton finds its way across a map to give you a whack.
Crazy how even at level 127 you can still get killed in one shot.
Honestly I don't really get why you can't pause in these games, just like MHWorld. And somehow I wonder why MHWorld's difficulty doesn't get talked about like From's. I still can't beat that game, yet I beat Bloodborne twice!
@danlk1ng Yeah I watched my kid jump off that balcony and get slaughtered, hard pass. If fast travel can take you to any site of rune or roundtable hall at any time traveling to roundtable hall seems the safest bet. Of course getting back to where you were won't be easy but I've mapped about 35 sites of runes so far and dashing on the horse takes at most 15-20 seconds to get to any part of the map. Though I suppose fast travel respawns all the bosses, so there's that. Next time the doorbell rings though that's probably what I'll do. 🤷♂️
People making an issue out of a non issue. Moles don't live in mountains.
@rjejr worst thing about that balcony is that there's no way back up, until you beat the guy - I jumped down there thinking I was just exploring a bit, and I had 7000 runes on me - which isn't even one level now but I was lv 20 or so at the time, so that was a lot
I did everntually manage to get the runes back and beat him, but I settled for a cheese tactic (kind of - I pummeled him with the Wild Strikes weapon art, which stunlocked him to death) rather than actual skill
@danlk1ng Well that's the thing w/ a lot of the bosses in this game, they are in rooms you can't get out of. Runebear is in a cave w/ no exit. I think several of the doors go into rooms you can't get out of. Those blue glowy circles that transport you to a fight area. I had 1 of the red & black invaders come for me and they put up a whiteish wall all around the area for no reason. It was my 3rd invader, the other 2 I was able to outrun and outroll but that 1 trapped me, so I died. I haven't tried to fight Magrit yet, haven't even fought the army outside yet, but I'm assuming once that fight begins you're trapped in there until it's over.
So I just don't go anywhere. 😂
@rjejr yeah, I just wasn't expecting to be invaded (FYI if you're playing solo, you'll only ever get "invaded" by NPCs in this game, for other players to invade, you have to be playing in co-op, or otherwise actively inviting invaders into your world. NPC invaders are still tough but at least they're predictable) - most of the bosses at least have a gold fog wall so you know to expect to walk into a boss fight
@danlk1ng Fog walls are good. Gold white clear I don't care, just stay away.
I can't beat anything. Even the bats in Caled were kicking my butt. 😝
Demon's Souls was similar, you had to go into Photo Mode to "pause" the game action.
Man, Im not a Souls like games fan, I played only Bloodborne, an only a little, so sorry in advance. But I dont understand the meaning for this in this type of game, this is stupidy.
@rjejr fast travel and resting at a bonfire (sue me) resets the world to the previous state, hence no one attacks you because they went back to their original position.
It also DOESN’T reset bosses, only regular mobs, though some look like bosses.
If/when you’ll see the big bears you’ll het what i mean…😅
@Gbarsotini personally I think it helps keep up the immersion in the game - yes it's a bit of a pain if you're in the middle of a boss fight and you need to deal with something IRL. But on the flip side, being able to pause time to eat 100 potatoes (extreme case- looking at you, Skyrim) to regain health in the middle of an enemy encounter, is a bit over the top and can ruin the immersion. It's a personal taste thing though
@bimboliquido I took photos of 3 or 4 big bears, some bigger than others, managed to get thru at night w/o fighting any. That first 1 sleeping in the broken cabin put me on high alert. I have a hard enough time beating a dog much less a bear.
It's rediclous that you have to go thru these steps just to pause a game that you are playing offline by yourself, what if you need to answer the phone, answer the door, speak to people? Do these Devs think about this situation? I think they are all introverts that don't have a life smdh
@huyi are you having difficulties playing without the pause option?
@huyi it's not the standard way of doing it - "ridiculous" is a bit of a stretch, though.
The biggest "issue" IMO is that there's no equivalent of homeward bone in this game (lets you return to the most recent bonfire you rested at without losing your souls). Those were always great for getting out of boss fights/enemy encounters if you wanted to, e.g. if you absolutely had to "pause" your game (although there's always the option to save and quit too)
Nah, I just leave the game idle. Helps add more hours on play time that way
I don't see the point of denying any quality of life to players.
This is stupid, as are many of the design choices of the game which goes out of its way to be as unusable as possible. Sometimes its a valid design choice, often its bloody minded stupidity.
People have lives emergencies and kids and simply pausing a game should not be designed out - having that function would not have hurt the title.
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