Elden Ring: it’s good, people are saying, but it’s good with certain caveats, like the fact you can’t properly pause the game. This isn’t anything new for Souls-like titles, of course, but if Elden Ring’s hype means this is the first of them that you’re checking out (or if you’ve got older and/or your circumstances have changed since you last played one), then you should know that now you can pause the game, you just need to do some stuff first.
For anyone just joining us, while Souls-like titles let you bring up menus like a normal video game, they never actually pause the action, meaning that unless you’ve found somewhere particularly safe and cozy to bunker down, your inventory juggling might be interrupted with some arrows in the face. And while earlier, strictly singleplayer games had pause-like workarounds like accessing certain quit menus and photo modes, ever since Miyazaki and co brought in online elements to the games you’ve been unable to pause them via normal means (the lone exception being Sekiro).
While I applaud the intent here—as with most design decisions in Souls games, the brutality is the point—in practice I hate this with all my heart. I’m a father of two who also works in a job where my attentions are constantly being split in 1000 different directions, and while I’d love to play a game without interruptions, my life is nothing but interruptions, and so trying to play these games is a constant strain for me. Elden Ring is no exception.
So I’m very excited to try this new mod out, which as PC Gamer reports is now available for download. Called Pause The Game, and made by TechieW, it does exactly what the name suggests and adds a proper, working pause mode to Elden Ring.
There is, however, a catch: one of the reasons the game doesn’t pause is that it technically can’t, since its online components wouldn’t then work, so to enable Pause The Game you need to disable the Easy Anti-Cheat service, which will then boot Elden Ring in an offline mode. This will let you pause, at the cost of not being able to use the game’s online components, but for some people—like myself!—that’s a trade-off worth making.
You can download the mod, and find instructions on how to install it, here.