How to Compare Elden Ring to Skyrim or Breath of the Wild

You may be wondering if you should dive into a video game that everyone is talking about – Elden Ring – based on its reputation of being very challenging and intimidating to inexperienced gamers.

You’re probably already familiar, but Elden Ring is a fantasy – albeit dark fantasy – action role-playing game (RPG) by FromSoftware – the same group of creators who developed Dark Souls – another game known for it’s difficulty.

If you’ve enjoyed other open world fantasy RPG games like Skyrim and Breath of the Wild, or even the Rockstar games like Grand Theft Auto or Red Dead Redemption, then there’s Spiderman, Horizon Zero Dawn and many more – you might be interested in checking out the next big thing but hesitant to spend the money if it’s going to be too challenging.

Fortunately, we have a guide to help you make your decision while comparing some of the notable differences (and don’t worry – it’s all good news!)


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Comparing Elden Ring to other RPG Games

There’s a lot of difference and similarities with open world RPG games. One might have better visuals, while another has a more engaging story.

In short, Elden Ring is QUITE similar to Skyrim and Breath of the Wild – but Elden Rings feels as revolutionary as Skyrim and BOTW did at the time they were released, and includes many callbacks and features from those games. We’ll see the influence of Elden Rings in games to come for a long time.  


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Visuals

This would be the color palette of the game specifically. Visual style can make or break a game, or even leave a unique stamp on the gaming industry.

Elden Ring

The graphics are superb and really showcased in the current gaming systems. While the game has a bleak look of a decaying world, the details are absolutely stunning.

You can visit everything you see on in front of you.

Skyrim

Skyrim was superb when it was released in terms of depth and scaling, but Elden Ring takes it to a whole other level. Elden Ring took Skyrim what started in Skyrim to the next level.

Similar in depth to Elden Ring, but graphics are a flatter.

Breath of the Wild

A vibrant visual style that makes for an utterly enjoyable playthrough. Tonally different from both Skyrim and Elden ring as it’s a less realistic take of a real world.

Lush and vibrant with smooth texture.

Exploration

Freely moving around the world and the perception of choice is a driving force is most modern RPGs. Gamers want to move at the own pace while not being limited to small portions of a map.  

Elden Ring

The map in Elden Ring “unlocks” as you progress and beat certain bosses. However, there are alternative options for opening up the expansive world (such as discovery of a side path). Elden Ring boasts MUCH exploration, but it requires hard work. There’s also FEW ‘safe spaces’ and no real ‘villages’ as you would find in other RPGs – so you’ll want to tread carefully.

Skyrim

There’s an ease and natural sense of freedom to exploring the world of Skyrim. You may run into areas that are more difficult, but it’s certainly easier to just wander the map than it is in Elden Ring. Loaded with villages and towns to barter and trade, it provides many sanctuaries.

Breath of the Wild

The easiest world to explore of the three games as the world is less populated with enemies and danger around every corner. There’s vast expanses you can wander in freely. There’s also many friendly towns and NPCs to interact with and unlock story components.


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Story

Engaging with the main quest or story is an engaging way to keep your progressing – even in Open World games. Following the story usually is the best option to grow your abilities, see more of the world, and expand your character.   

Elden Ring

There’s a story here, but you better pay attention as it’s easy to get lost in the lore or find where to go next. Few map markers exist. Google will become your best friend at times when figuring out where to go next. The story that is there IS interesting and very deep while leading to some intense boss battles, but it takes work to engage in it.

Skyrim

Map markers and waypoints help greatly in Skyrim, in addition to quest trackers. There’s almost TOO many quests in the game (thinking of fetch quests), but the main story is still quite fun.

Breath of the Wild

The tightest and most accessible story of the trio of games without limiting your access to the larger world.


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Customization

Being able to change aspects of your character is a hallmark of RPG games – armor, weapons, gender, and more. It’s what makes the experience unique to you.

Elden Ring

A vastly deep levelling system and weapon/armor system. The combinations are seemingly endless and impact how you engage in combat and situations throughout the game. There’s an appearance customizer as well that you can spend hours with.

Skyrim

Massive inventory/levelling system and appearance customizer. It’s a less modernized version of what you get with Elden Ring, but still offers complexity if you’re looking for it.

Breath of the Wild

The simplest of the bunch, along with a tedious weapon management system (depending on your opinion of your weapons constantly breaking). Can’t customize Link’s actual look (ie, his face or hair), but there are armor options available.


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Combat

Fluid, meaty, and deep combat is important to any long game to avoid becoming repetitive if you plan on playing for 50 hours or more. This can be achieved with weapon options, strategies, and variance of enemies. The combat in some games may feel hollow, while others have a great haptic feel.

Elden Ring

Deepest of the trio by far and it’s not even close. While it’s challenging to master, it’s also incredibly fun once you learn even just a few tricks. Feels great to hit enemies too!

Skyrim

Worst combat system with hollow feeling hits. The actual combat in Skyrim is probably the weakest facet of the game, but it is fun to master and learn different techniques.

Breath of the Wild

Fun, welcoming, and fluid combat system that both masters and beginners can find enjoyment with. The enemies and attacks can get repetitive though over time as it’s not very deep.


Difficulty

Most modern games have difficulty settings that make them very accessible to all levels of gamers.

Elden Ring

Much is made about the difficulty, but a lot of it is TRULY how you decide to play the game and when you decide to try to progress. You’re never forced to move forward until you’re ready, and we recommend grinding now and then if you’re finding enemies too challenging. There’s NO difficulty settings, but there are options to ‘summon’ for help (which honestly DOES make a difference). You’ll want to learn all about summons – such as this guide from GamesRadar.

Skyrim

Settings to change difficulty from easy to hard. Combat is never especially difficult unless you attempt endgame stuff early in the game. Very accessible.

Breath of the Wild

Scales well with how you play the game with the spirit orb system to level up your stamina and heart containers. You never really feel out of your depth in the game or restricted by your level.


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