You actually can pause Elden Ring, without mods

You don't need a mod to pause Elden Ring, it turns out

Meeting an enemy in mounted combat in Elden Ring

Whether it’s because of the asynchronous multiplayer features or a dedication to keeping you immersed in a harsh world, you typically can’t pause From Software’s Soulsborne games. From Demon’s Souls to Dark Souls III, the game will just keep running even while you explore the menus, and while Sekiro turned out to be an exception, Elden Ring is not.

Or, at least, it seemed that Elden Ring was another no-pauser. But you actually can suspend the game at any time by popping open the menu, entering your inventory, opening the help function, going up one slot, and choosing ‘menu explanation’. The game freezes for as long as the help box is on screen, and action resumes the moment you close it.

The hidden ‘feature’ was noted by popular Souls YouTuber Iron Pineapple on Twitter today, and we’ve double-checked to find that it works both on PC and PlayStation 5. You can even take breaks during boss fights. Five button presses is perhaps four too many for a pause feature, but hey, if you really need to take a brief break, the option’s there.

Mods to enable a pause button for Elden Ring already exist, but this has the advantage of not requiring any third-party alterations to the game – and it works on console, too.

While you’ve got the game paused, check out our guide to Elden Ring spells for some help with your magic builds, or our Elden Ring mods guide for other cool stuff you can add to the open-world game.

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