Dark Souls 2 community prepares for its annual newcomer co-op event

During the Return to Drangelic, everyone creates new characters to help newbies find their way in Dark Souls 2

An invader with a scythe attacks a fallen knight in Dark Souls 2

If, like me, you’re someone who has always heard lots about the Dark Souls series but have yet to play them, now is the time to consider dipping a toe into their mysterious waters. The Dark Souls II community is gearing up for the annual Return to Drangelic event, wherein the RPG game’s many fans create new characters to help newcomers get started.

This time, the Return to Drangelic will be held a month early – that’s to make sure it doesn’t overlap the Elden Ring release date, which is coming in February. From January 16 – 30, Dark Souls fans plan to start up new playthroughs of Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin edition, for the express purpose of jumping into co-op sessions with new players or engaging in some early-game PvP, without all the end-level gear.

Old Soulsheads recommend using the Blue Acolyte mod with the Scholar of the First Sin edition of Dark Souls II for the event. The mod, which you can find on Nexus Mods. Blue Acolyte is actually a big collection of community patches and quality of life improvements for Dark Souls II, but for The Return to Drangelic event, it does two important things.

First, it’s a kind of community-created anti-cheat system that adds in the ability to use Steam’s block function for malicious players. Second, it makes multiplayer freely available by changing the cracked red eye orb and blue eye orb aren’t consumed upon use.

You’ll need the Scholar of the First Sin edition of Dark Souls II to use the mod. Fortunately, if you don’t own it, both the game itself and the upgrade from vanilla Dark Souls II are 75% off on Steam through January 5.

More information can be found on the Dark Souls II subreddit. Dark Souls II is also a better game than it often gets credit for being, and the Return to Drangelic event is the perfect opportunity to find out why.