Elden Ring on mobile is a gamer's worst nightmare

Elden Ring Ray Tracing
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

If you ever thought to yourself, "I wish Elden Ring had microtransactions," we have some good news for you. FromSoftware's critical darling 2022 action RPG is currently being reworked into a mobile title by Tencent as a free-to-play title with in-app purchases.

According to Reuters (via The Verge), Tencent has "a few dozen people" working on a prototype of the planned mobile adaption. However, mobile platforms aren't exactly equipped to handle punishingly difficult action RPGs. So this can't be a port of the game to mobile, but a completely new title using the "Elden Ring" IP.

What can we expect from Elden Ring mobile?

Elden Ring

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Reuter's sources indicate that "Tencent wants to make it a free-to-play game with in-app purchases, similar to the hit game "Genshin Impact" developed by its Chinese rival" HoyoVerse.

But "Genshin Impact" is a far different type of game than "Elden Ring." One was developed specifically as a free-to-play mobile and PC game using a gacha system. The other is a massive, action-focused single-player RPG. "Elden Ring" also doesn't have a cast of characters that lends itself well to a gacha style game, which leaves us with plenty of questions about how those in-app purchases will work.

"Elden Ring" is also a game notorious for a steep difficulty curve that requires quick reaction speeds for dodges and parries against bosses with brutally fast animation read times. So you really can't be dealing with finnicky on-screen thumbstick controls and limited button inputs like you do in "Genshin Impact." So there will be a high degree of reworking required, which would leave the IP looking nearly unrecognizable.

Why Elden Ring?

Interrogating Open World Games

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Tencent is a large force in the mobile games market, being the main developer behind titles like "PUBG: Mobile," "Call of Duty: Mobile," and "Arena of Valor." In 2022, Tencent gained a 16% stake in FromSoftware, which makes licensing "Elden Ring" is a pretty smart business move. Especially as Tencent's game portfolio ages rapidly.

Tencent stopped development on a mobile version of the "NieR" franchise in December after monetization concerns. So Tencent is in dire need of new games, which explains why the company has also licensed "Need for Speed" and "Assassin's Creed" with plans to make mobile titles for those franchises as well.

Madeline Ricchiuto
Staff Writer

A former lab gremlin for Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Tom's Hardware, and Tech Radar; Madeline has escaped the labs to join Laptop Mag as a Staff Writer. With over a decade of experience writing about tech and gaming, she may actually know a thing or two. Sometimes. When she isn't writing about the latest laptops and AI software, Madeline likes to throw herself into the ocean as a PADI scuba diving instructor and underwater photography enthusiast.