Elden Ring survival mod adds hunger, thirst, region-specific diseases

Fringefolk Hero's Grave dungeon room with Grafted Scions
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

For a certain type of gamer, sprawling open worlds cry out for one thing: survival systems. Survival fans crave the chance to not just explore and conquer, but really feel like they inhabit their game worlds, and nothing accomplishes that like having to take care of certain needs for your character: hunger, thirst, heat and cold, disease, and extensive resource management and crafting systems.

Those systems are coming to the biggest open world game in recent memory, Elden Ring, courtesy of Dark Souls modder Grimrukh. You may know Grimrukh's name from the excellent Dark Souls: Nightfall and Dark Souls: Daughters of Ash mods. Grumrukh released a teaser for Elden Ring: Survival Mode on Twitter, which provides a quick look at what appears to be a pretty extensive survival mod:

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In the video you can see some new weapon crafting options (using a metal plate and metal shards to create a dagger), plus a smith's hammer that can be used for weapon upgrades (like turning your dagger into a short sword, and then a longsword or a scimitar). There are nearly 400 new weapon recipes in the mod, so you won't be wanting for options.

Disease looks like it'll play a big part in the mod, too, and I love the idea of these diseases being region-specific, such as the Plague of Limgrave shown in the trailer, which accelerates the effects of thirst and hunger. Cures for disease can be crafted, and your character will be able to build up a resistance to the various illnesses added by the mod: "Diseases cured are less likely to be caught a second time, and a second cure will bestow full immunity."

I think that's a great feature and means that while you may struggle with diseases early on, you won't get sick of getting sick.

Creatures can be hunted for meat to be cooked and consumed (a hunk of meat from a deer can be combined with a smoldering butterfly for a seared steak, which is very clever) and areas of the world with low temperatures can be combated by consuming hot soups. Just be careful with all the extra time you'll be spending in the menus cooking and crafting: there's no pausing Elden Ring (unless Survival Mode is compatible with this mod) so while you're whipping up dinner you might get stabbed in the back.

And as odd as it sounds considering The Lands Between is home to an enormous glowing tree, nights will be made much, much darker. I'm not the kind of person who likes extreme darkness in games—I prefer to see as much and as far as possible, thank you—but I know a lot of survival fans out there love pitch-black nights. 

According to Grimrukh, the mod will be configurable and give players "lots of options" depending on which features they want to enable. If you love dark nights but hate hunger and thirst systems, you'll be able to pick and choose.

The Elden Ring Survival Mode is planned for release Monday, June 6 following a "premiere stream" by Lobosjr. If you were looking for an excuse for a second (or third, or fourth) playthrough of Elden Ring, this mod looks like the perfect ticket. 

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.