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To commemorate the release of the Elden Ring DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree, Japan’s Weekly Famitsu conducted a second survey on Elden Ring’s players, and published the results in the 4 July 2024 issue of the magazine.

The survey was conducted from 3-8 May 2024, a month before the DLC Shadow of the Erdtree was released, and answered by around 1400 people. Not all surveyees answered all questions.

The first survey was conducted in April 2022, just two months after the game’s February 2022 release, and comparing the results of the two shows how player’s views on the game have changed since then.

The surveyees

The age group breakdown is as follows:

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10-19: 145
20-29: 433
30-39: 459
40-49: 229
50-59: 52
60 and above: 12
No answer: 17

Surveyees were asked when they purchased Elden Ring:

Pre-ordered before release: 720
On release day: 179
After release: 485
Considering purchase: 13
Have not purchased: 2

Surveyees were asked their platform of choice for the game:

PlayStation 5: 800
PlayStation 4: 488
PC (Steam): 352
Xbox Series X/S: 12
Xbox One: 3

Surveyees were asked whether they were considering purchasing Shadow of the Erdtree:

Already pre-ordered the DLC alone: 708
Considering purchase: 634
Already pre-ordered a set with the base game and DLC: 52
Not considering purchase: 4

Playtime and levels

The playtime clocked by surveyees is as follows:

Under 10 hours: 5
10-29 hours: 4
30-49 hours: 16
50-69 hours: 33
70-99 hours: 73
100-149 hours: 166
150-199 hours: 187
200-299 hours: 237
300-399 hours: 177
400 and above: 498

Surveyees’ levels are as follows:

Under 50: 12
50-99: 31
100-149: 226
150-199: 411
200-299: 338
300-399: 194
400-499: 75
500-599: 44
600-699: 22
700 and above: 44

Surveyees were also asked whether they cleared the game:

Cleared the game and playing on NG+ and beyond: 1037
Cleared the game but not playing on NG+ and beyond: 284
Have not cleared the game: 72

Surveyees were asked about which From Software games they previously played:

Demon’s Souls (PS3): 504
Dark Souls: 596
Dark Souls II (including Scholar of the First Sin): 686
Dark Souls III (including The Fire Fades Edition): 967
Bloodborne (including The Old Hunters): 975
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice: 823
Dark Souls Remastered: 718
Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon: 772

The article also notes that players also mentioned older games such as other Armored Core games and the King’s Field series, but does not list the numbers for these other titles.

What do players like about Elden Ring?

Surveyees were asked about what they like about the game, and could choose multiple options.

  1. Story/setting: 1181
  2. Combat: 1068
  3. Exploration and discovering things: 992
  4. Weapons and armor: 952
  5. Field design and size: 907
  6. Enemy and boss design: 830
  7. Characters (including designs): 824
  8. Skills/ashes: 806
  9. Graphics: 762
  10. BGM: 721
  11. Sorceries/incantations: 720
  12. Spirit ashes: 624
  13. Spectral steed: 593
  14. Controls: 533
  15. Multiplayer/other online elements: 371
  16. Item crafting: 172

Surveyees could also comment freely on their favorite aspects of the game, with some being:

  • “Riding Torrent through a massive world, using the double jumps and spirit spring jumps to expand the range of exploration, made it feel like a fun adventure. It’s also what made me buy the game.” (No age given)
  • “Challenging bosses and the grand BGMs driving you to despair. It’s difficult, but also made for everyone, that both heavy and light gamers can enjoy freely.” (30s)
  • “There is no right choice to the story or playstyle, and each player has their own story.” (20s)
  • “Infinite combinations of weapons and skills make it really fun to go through the game multiple times.” (50s)
  • “I like how, through exploration and combat, you slowly unravel a deep yet not intrusive story and find a sense of accomplishment and your own answers.” (30s)
  • “Even though bosses may seem difficult, you can defeat them if you change your equipment and tactics.” (20s)
  • “Intuitive and deep combat, where the controls themselves are easy to understand yet balanced out with difficult bosses.” (10s)
  • “I’m actually bad at action RPGs like this, but the story drew me in, and before I knew it I’d defeated Malenia.” (10s)
  • “Exploring the huge map was really fun. Even on subsequent playthroughs I kept finding new things, keeping the experience fresh.” (20s)

First class chosen

Surveyees were asked what class they chose the first time they played the game.

  1. Vagabond: 388
  2. Samurai: 360
  3. Prisoner: 102
  4. Wretch: 102
  5. Astrologer: 92
  6. Warrior: 90
  7. Confessor: 83
  8. Hero: 66
  9. Bandit: 62
  10. Prophet: 53

Surveyees could also comment freely on why they chose their classes:

  • Vagabond: “Balancing strength and dexterity” (40s); “A knight fits the world the most, and I wanted to take a look around with a high vigor knight first before using a mage or wretch.” (20s); “It starts with a shield and high strength, and whether or not you have a 100% physical resistance shield changes a lot of the early game.” (20s)
  • Samurai: “I like Sekiro, and liked how the class references it.” (30s); “I liked the design of the armor, and wanted to use dexterity weapons.” (20s); “It starts with a bleed weapon and something to draw out enemies.” (30s); “The uchigatana has traditionally been a strong weapon in From games, and I wanted a build with high dexterity and some strength.” (20s); “I chose solely based on the looks.” (30s)
  • Prisoner: “I wanted a dexterity-based magic swordsman, and really liked the design too!” (20s); “I liked the iron mask, and it seemed useful with both short and long-ranged attacks.” (30s); “I heard that the story was about becoming a king, and liked the idea of a prisoner becoming a king.” (20s); “I liked the idea of how the character’s position is affected by outside factors, making them stand out.” (30s)
  • Wretch: “I wanted to feel the difficulty of the game, and also try out all sorts of weapons and armor.” (20s); “I thought having all the stats equal made it balanced. I was wrong.” (30s); “I started the game knowing nothing at all, so this class fit my situation the best.” (30s); “I like creating a character from absolute scratch.” (40s); “I always have to start with the wretch/deprived.” (20s)
  • Astrologer: “I like magic. The moonlight sword rules!!!!” (20s); “I used strength, dexterity and faith characters in the Dark Souls series, so I went with magic this time.” (40s); “Because there’s more variety in magic this time.” (30s); “I wanted a dex/int build.” (40s); “I saw Founding Rain of Stars in pre-release footage and it enthralled me.” (20s)
  • Warrior: “I like the stylish clothes and how it starts with two scimitars.” (10s); “I always start with a dexterity-based character,  so I chose Warrior because it had high dexterity. Starting out dual-wielding also contributed.” (20s); “I prefer to not use a shield and just dodge, and this one had no shield, started with two scimitars, and had a light equip load.” (10s)
  • Confessor: “Because it had heals and can also fight up-close. I also liked the design.” (40s); “I always liked assassin-type designs, and the flavor text struck a chord with me. Starting with high faith, incantations, and a shield was also nice.” (30s)
  • Hero: “I like the Great Sword, and I thought the high strength would be perfect for it.” (20s); “I always liked the big, heavy weapons in past games that required high strength, and thought that going with the class with the highest strength would let me use them the fastest. I also like how it looks like a barbarian despite being called a hero.” (20s); “Strength and vigor solve all problems.” (20s)
  • Bandit: “I wanted to roleplay as a regular crook who can’t swing big swords or use magic, who ends up changing the world.” (30s); “Bleed was strong in the Dark Souls series, and I thought that Bandit would be good for inflicting it.” (50s); “I like using mid-light weapons and confusing enemies like a ninja.” (30s)
  • Prophet: “I wanted a high faith build.” (30s); “The incantations were filled with romanticism. Salvation comes to those who believe.” (10s); “I always go with strength and faith for my first character since Demon’s Souls.” (30s); “It can keep fighting for very long and is good for support in multiplayer.” (30s)

Favorite weapon types

Surveyees were asked about their favorite weapon types (shields included), and could choose multiple options.

  1. Katana: 758
  2. Greatsword: 527
  3. Colossal greatsword: 452
  4. Sacred seal: 393
  5. Straight sword: 369
  6. Staff: 346
  7. Medium shield: 341
  8. Colossal weapon: 259
  9. Curved sword: 236
  10. Axe: 236
  11. Bow: 201
  12. Twinblade: 193
  13. Greathammer: 185
  14. Greatshield: 183
  15. Curved greatsword: 181
  16. Halberd: 174
  17. Dagger: 173
  18. Spear: 143
  19. Greatspear: 133
  20. Scythe: 131
  21. Heavy thrusting sword: 102
  22. Greataxe: 101
  23. Fist: 100
  24. Small shield: 97
  25. Thrusting sword: 92
  26. Hammer: 88
  27. Greatbow: 87
  28. Claws: 77
  29. Whip: 70
  30. Crossbow: 68
  31. Flail: 54
  32. Torch: 52
  33. Ballista: 39
  34. Light bow: 36

Most prioritized stats

Surveyees were asked what stats they prioritized in their builds, and could choose up to three options.

  1. Vigor: 918
  2. Endurance: 716
  3. Strength: 663
  4. Dexterity: 602
  5. Intelligence: 276
  6. Faith: 242
  7. Arcane: 197
  8. Mind: 178

Favorite weapon skills/ashes of war

Surveyees were asked what their favorite weapon skills and ashes of war were, and could choose up to five. Only the top twelve are listed.

  1. Transient Moonlight: 117
  2. Square Off: 113
  3. Corpse Piler: 86
  4. Moonlight Greatsword: 84
  5. Sword Dance: 82
  6. Parry: 73
  7. Golden Vow: 59
  8. Quick Step: 59
  9. Spinning Slash: 57
  10. Storm Blade: 53
  11. Impaling Thrust: 51
  12. Ancient Lightning Spear: 46

Favorite sorceries and incantations

Surveyees were asked what their favorite sorceries and incantations were, and could choose up to five. Only the top fifteen spots are listed.

  1. Golden Vow: 271
  2. Flame, Grant Me Strength: 210
  3. Comet Azur: 164
  4. Flame, Cleanse Me: 118
  5. Ranni’s Dark Moon: 85
  6. Comet: 84
  7. Night Comet: 80
  8. Heal: 79
  9. Bestial Vitality: 67
  10. Frenzied Burst: 63
  11. Lightning Spear: 62
  12. Rock Sling: 60
  13. Adula’s Moonblade: 50
  14. Rotten Breath: 49
  15. Loretta’s Greatbow: 46

Favorite talismans

Surveyees were asked what their favorite talismans were, and could choose up to five. Only the top fifteen are listed.

  1. Shard of Alexander: 345
  2. Erdtree’s Favor: 299
  3. Great-Jar’s Arsenal: 174
  4. Dragoncrest Greatshield Talisman: 143
  5. Radagon’s Soreseal: 137
  6. Green Turtle Talisman: 100
  7. Gold Scarab: 93
  8. Carian Filigreed Crest: 82
  9. Radagon Icon: 80
  10. Claw Talisman: 79
  11. Rotten Winged Sword Insignia: 76
  12. Ritual Sword Talisman: 69
  13. Millicent’s Prosthesis: 67
  14. Godfrey Icon: 63
  15. Lord of Blood’s Exultation: 58

Favorite spirit ashes

Surveyees were asked what their favorite spirit ashes were, and could choose up to five. Only the top twelve are listed.

  1. Mimic Tear Ashes: 536
  2. Black Knife Tiche: 435
  3. Spirit Jellyfish Ashes: 134
  4. Latenna the Albinauric: 127
  5. Greatshield Soldier Ashes: 96
  6. Lone Wolf Ashes: 92
  7. Redmane Knight Ogha: 82
  8. Banished Knight Oleg Ashes: 73
  9. Dung Eater Puppet: 57
  10. Skeletal Militamen Ashes: 47
  11. Lhutel the Headless: 46
  12. Stormhawk Deenh: 38

NPCs that left the strongest impressions

Surveyees were asked which NPCs left the strongest impressions on them, and could choose up to five. Only the top twenty are listed.

  1. Ranni the Witch: 587
  2. Iron Fist Alexander: 385
  3. Blaidd: 219
  4. Melina: 215
  5. Millicent: 205
  6. Patches: 197
  7. Rya: 149
  8. Sorceress Sellen: 143
  9. Fia, Deathbed Companion: 199
  10. Blackguard Big Boggart: 83
  11. White Mask Varre: 78
  12. Enia: 77
  13. Goldmask: 72
  14. Dung Eater: 64
  15. Thops: 55
  16. Smithing Master Hewg: 46
  17. Gideon Ofnir: 45
  18. War Counselor Iji: 36
  19. Sorcerer Rogier: 34
  20. Gurranq, Beast Clergyman: 25

Enemies that left the strongest impressions

Surveyees were asked which enemies (including bosses) left the strongest impressions on them, and could choose up to five. Only the top twenty are listed.

  1. Malenia, Blade of Miquella: 697
  2. Starscourge Radahn: 364
  3. Maliketh, the Black Blade: 240
  4. Radagon of the Golden Order: 205
  5. Mohg, Lord of Blood: 191
  6. Margit, the Fell Omen: 147
  7. Elden Beast: 132
  8. Hoarah Loux, Warrior: 128
  9. Tree Sentinel: 116
  10. Godskin Apostle: 108
  11. Morgott the Omen King: 94
  12. Godrick the Grafted: 89
  13. Crucible Knight: 68
  14. Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon: 62
  15. Rune Bear: 60
  16. Astel, Naturalborn of the Void: 54
  17. Godfrey, First Elden Lord: 53
  18. Royal Revenant: 44
  19. Fire Giant: 42
  20. Giant Crayfish: 30

Surveyees could also comment freely on their choices:

  • “Malenia was way too strong, but being able to achieve an honorable victory without changing my playstyle left a lasting impression.” (20s)
  • “Malenia broke my emotions. I love her.” (20s)
  • “Radahn being a warrior who is also intelligent and loyal made him very respectable to me. The sight of him coming for me after defeating all the NPCs, showing him worthy of the title of the strongest demigod, remains etched in my mind” (No age given)
  • “When I started the game I just really wanted to beat the Tree Sentinel at the starting level, and I still can’t forget how moved I was when I did it after five hours. Radagon, with his BGM, felt like the end of a long journey.” (10s)
  • “Fighting Maliketh is so fun that it feels like a pity to beat him.” (40s)
  • “Mohg is just beautiful. Everything is just complete. There’s nothing else to say.” (30s)

Areas that left the strongest impressions

Surveyees were asked which areas left the strongest impressions on them, and could choose up to five. Only the top fifteen are listed.

  1. Leyndell, Royal Capital: 217
  2. Limgrave: 206
  3. Lake of Rot: 201
  4. Stormveil Castle: 196
  5. Caelid: 194
  6. Crumbling Farum Azula: 173
  7. Elphael, Brace of the Haligtree: 120
  8. Siofra River: 112
  9. Nokron, Eternal City: 101
  10. Academy of Raya Lucaria: 98
  11. Miquella’s Haligtree: 97
  12. Subterranean Shunning-Grounds: 78
  13. Liurnia of the Lakes: 76
  14. Mohgwyn Palace: 59
  15. Volcano Manor: 49

Surveyees could also comment freely on their choices:

  • “I like how Leyndell looks like a grand royal city, but you see darkness lurking in its corners.” (20s)
  • “As the first area, Limgrave left a strong impression, especially when the area expends outwards on your first playthrough.” (30s)
  • “Seeing the lake of rot make me think “wow, you’d go that far…” of Miyazaki.” (40s)
  • “Stormveil has many ways in and learning of the complexity really astonished me. At 300 hours in the game I still had a weapon missing from it.” (50s)
  • “Caelid really made me think “should I go in there?”” (20s)
  • “Elphael taught me the fun of difficulty.” (10s)
  • “Siofra and the underground areas were astonishing. I didn’t expect to see space underground.” (30s)
  • “Seeing what looked like the stars overhead despite being underground in Nokron made me feel like a completely different world from the one on the surface was awaiting me.” (30s)
  • “Miquella’s Haligtree was fun in the way a tough puzzle is.” (50s)

Scenes that left the strongest impressions

Surveyees were asked which scenes in the game left the strongest impressions on them, with answers being freeform. As such, there is no ranking, only comments:

  • “BEAR WITNESS!!!” (20s)
  • “The Radahn Festival. It made me want to shout and yell alongside the subtitles.” (40s)
  • “The fight with Alexander at Farum Azula drove me to tears.” (30s)
  • “The Elden Beast appearing. It felt blasphemous yet overwhelming, its actions fitting of its majestic and mysterious appearance.” (20s)
  • “Sellen’s conclusion.” (40s)
  • “Nobody can talk about Thops without crying.” (40s)
  • “Ranni’s events left a strong impression. The moving ending made me clap.” (20s)
  • “Putting the ring on.” (30s)
  • “The scene at the cauldron of fire. It made me realize that this was what the whole journey was for, and moved me.” (30s)
  • “The Maliketh stuff” (10s)
  • “When the warp trap sent me into Sellia Crystal Tunnel I got really excited because it made me really feel like I was playing a From game.” (40s)
  • “Seeing Astel for the first time really confused me.” (30s)
  • “The Frenzied Flame was intense.” (20s)
  • “The Fire Giant opening its eye.” (10s)
  • “Miquella’s arm coming out of the cocoon, and Mohg appearing from the blood.” (30s)
  • “The scenes with the small jar. I didn’t think I’d see a coming-of-age story.” (30s)

Favorite online features

Surveyees were asked what their favorite online features are, and could choose multiple answers.

  1. Messages: 815
  2. Cooperative multiplayer: 638
  3. Bloodstains: 486
  4. Illusions: 431
  5. Rescue multiplayer: 238
  6. Intrusion multiplayer: 234
  7. Colosseums: 170
  8. Hostile multiplayer: 140

 

Also see:

Director Miyazaki Discusses Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree – New Weapons, Approach to Difficulty, GRRM’s Involvement, and More

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