You can use a menu trick to pause Elden Ring

Elden Ring pause trick

It was right here all along

There are plenty of situations in Elden Ring where you can’t easily warp to a Site of Grace to catch your breath, and there will undoubtedly be times when a straightforward pause would be super appreciated. Maybe you need to pick up the phone, answer the door, help a significant other with something in the other room, deal with whatever mess your cat just got into, or use the bathroom in a capital-e Emergency. I don’t know your life!

On PC, it didn’t take long for a pause-the-game mod to surface. But actually, there’s a simpler way — you can straight up pause the action in Elden Ring using a sneaky menu trick. It’s kind of a happy accident, but it totally works. Here’s the rundown.

How to pause Elden Ring on PS4 and PS5
Selecting “Menu Explanation” will trigger a pause.

The pause method

As shown on Reddit and Twitter and elsewhere, players can pause Elden Ring by opening their Equipment menu, toggling the Help menu, and clicking Menu Explanation.

On PS4/PS5, in terms of raw inputs, this pausing process involves pressing the Options button, hitting the X button, clicking the touchpad, pressing up on the d-pad, and hitting X again. With enough repetition, you can pull off these steps in a couple of seconds, if that.

The action won’t stop until the final step (when the Menu Explanation is displayed on-screen), so you’ve gotta be pretty quick with your menu navigation — but once it’s activated, it’s instantaneous. You’ll still hear music (which makes for a particularly dramatic-sounding pause screen if, say, you’re doing a dodge-rolling tango with an intimidating boss), but the usual footsteps and swings and general combat sounds you’d expect will cease. You’re free to get up and walk away from Elden Ring.

Here’s an example of what it can look like when the coast is clear:

The unintentional "pause screen" for Elden Ring
The unintentional “pause screen” for Elden Ring.

And here’s a video demonstration from Iron Pineapple:

Because you can kinda sorta see through the menus, when you “pause” the game, you should be able to visually notice that the world is at a standstill.

I tested out the trick with an alt character and the Tree Sentinel — sure enough, it worked. I haven’t been able to try it in a co-op/invasion situation, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. For now, consider it a better-than-nothing Parent Mode; an oh-shit backup option.

If the community is going this hard on tips and tricks, I cannot wait for the lore deep dives.

Jordan Devore
Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random.