How to Pause Elden Ring Without a Mod

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Everybody’s writing about Elden Ring these days. That’s because everybody’s reading about Elden Ring—or, more importantly, searching Google for help and information on From Software’s latest game. And one thing people really want to know about Elden Ring is if you can pause it.

Of course you can’t. This is a Dark Souls-style game from the people who made Dark Souls. Not pausing it is like a core, foundational concept for these games.

But wait: what if you can pause this one? Not just the thing that these games normally do, where you pull up a menu or your map while bad guys keep chopping you to pieces, but a legit, honest-to-God way to completely freeze the game from running, without having to close out of the whole thing?

Apparently there is a way to do just that. It’s weird and not something you’d ever think up on your own, but for now, at least, it effectively pauses the whole world of Elden Ring. If that’s something you’re in need of, here’s how to do it—and don’t get too used to it, as From will no doubt patch it out at some point now that everybody’s discovered how to do it.

This little exploit was discovered by a twitter user named Iron Pineapple. Here’s their explanation on how to pull it off.

Here’s how to do it. Open up your Main Menu screen—the one you can open by pressing the equivalent of a Start button on whatever controller you’re using. Then open any of the submenus—inventory, equipment, whatever. At that point you’ll want to hit the Help button, which will open up a window with a few options. Pick the Menu Exploration option from that window, and everything within the world comes to a stop. It’s a legitimate way to pause the game, something you’ll almost never find in a From game. (Yeah, Sekiro let you pause, and maybe that’s why I liked that one more than most.)

If you’re grunting your way through Elden Ring, and suddenly you get a phone call, or a knock at the door, or your dog needs to go out, or your significant other needs something from you ASAP, you’ll now be able to pause this game and not go through the whole process of saving, quitting, and then reloading the whole thing once you’re no longer distracted. Or at least you can until From inevitably removes this from the game.