Elden Ring: Can You Pause?

This pesky but familiar mechanic returns in Elden Ring. Here’s how it works.

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The Soulsborne games are notoriously difficult for a number of reasons--one of which is that, except for Sekiro, you cannot pause them. If you set your controller down, you run the risk of being invaded by another player or being attacked by a gigantic creature. That remains the same in Elden Ring, sadly, but there are a few things you can do to mitigate being taken out if you have to step away for a moment.

In short, you can’t pause in Elden Ring, at least not in the traditional sense. Going into the menu simply places an interface on the screen while everything in the world remains constant. You can actually continue to control your character while the menu is up, which is nifty. However, if you’re playing in offline mode, you can put your PS5 system into suspend mode, and it will effectively “pause” the game. As soon as you jump back in, you’ll be able to pick up right where you left off. We haven't tested this on Xbox, but it presumably works the same way. However, keep in mind that if your system decides to update and restart, your latest save data on PS5 will likely kick the bucket, too.

Make sure to stop at a safe place if you need to step away. Or simply quit the game.
Make sure to stop at a safe place if you need to step away. Or simply quit the game.

If you happen to be playing online at the time, and need to pause, your best bet is to simply quit out of the game. Thankfully, you’ll be able to load back in pretty much exactly where you last were, so it’s only slightly less convenient to do it this way.

Otherwise, it’s recommended to go to an area where you know you can’t be reached by enemies in-game, such as close to a Site of Grace or merchant. These areas aren’t always safe, but for the most part, you can gauge if enemies are likely to be nearby. This doesn’t prevent you from being reached by an enemy invader, so use this method at your own discretion if you need to pause.

For starting tips, check out our dedicated guide, and for details on keepsakes, we've got you covered here. You can also check out our full Elden Ring guide hub for a whole lot more.

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