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Elden Ring's pre-release build is a fascinating glimpse at what could've been

It's no secret that Elden Ring houses significant unfinished content, and one modder's just highlighted this by accessing a pre-release build.

A known figure in Soulsborne circles, modder Lance McDonald has been hard at work ever since Elden Ring's launch back in February. Having previously datamined Elden Ring's November 2021 network test build — where he discovered you could originally get NPCs drunk — he's now gained access to Elden Ring's beta version, streaming it yesterday (August 11) via Twitch.

Confirmed via Twitter, McDonald revealed this beta version is from “two months before the game released”. That includes “heaps” of unfinished content, such as "different items, enemies, mechanics, character names, and full debug camera mode". To achieve this, McDonald used a jailbroken PS4, advising viewers this beta version's “using the network test user interface”. 

Intriguingly, this debug camera lets you detach yourself from the playable character, finding new discoveries like multiple shipwrecks in the western sea. Confirming "this is my own work" (via NME), McDonald advised he patched the game to enable this feature, porting over "a bunch of code to make this work". It's a fascinating insight and you can watch Lance McDonald's Elden Ring Twitch stream right here.

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No end of discoveries

Margit in Elden Ring

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

It's a known fact that video games always cut content during development. Sometimes a feature simply doesn't fit the team's current plans anymore, or maybe it's a necessary sacrifice for reigning in scope. FromSoftware games are no exception to this rule and nearly half a year later, Elden Ring revelations are still plentiful. 

We've seen it a few times in recent months. Back in June, YouTuber Sekiro Dubi discovered that Merchant KalĂ© once played a bigger role in Elden Ring, where he would've appeared in a late-game questline. In May, Twitter user JesterPatches uncovered plans for a weapon and armor durability system, and there's likely plenty more to come.

We're still seeing the occasional official updates, too. FromSoftware's just dropped Elden Ring patch 1.06, which nerfs one of the game’s most frustrating abilities, Bloodhound Stop, and we're also aware the developer's been secretly changing Elden Ring's map between updates. It's hard to say what'll come next but we're hoping the first Elden Ring DLC isn't far off.

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