Elden Ring: What Does the Cardinal Sin Do?

That sounds bad, right?

by J.T. Isenhour


Normally, committing a cardinal sin is a bad thing and in Elden Ring, it is no different. However, the game can be a little vague on what exactly you will be doing and what the after-effects are once you commit the cardinal sin. It would seem that you running around and killing anyone that stands in your way could be seen as a cardinal sin but Elden Ring feels that is a-ok. In fact, you even get rewards for this in the form of cool weapons and armor. Let’s go over exactly what happens when you commit the cardinal sin in Elden Ring.

What Does the Cardinal Sin do in Elden Ring

To being with, what exactly is the cardinal sin that the game wants you to commit? The cardinal sin you have to do is burn down the great Erdtree. You’ll notice that it says “have to commit” because in order to get to any ending in the game you will have to do this. The burning of the great and beautiful Erdtree is a part of the main story and it will not continue until you burn it down. So the quest of the cardinal sin is not should you do it but instead what happens when you do?

Well, when you burn down the tree all sidequests will no longer be accessible. This means you can’t work with Dung Eater, but you can still get Ranni’s ending. However, it is better to be safe and get done with any sidequests that you want to complete before bringing the ending portion of Elden Ring rather than taking the risk.


Even if you do miss out on a sidequest that you desperately wanted to complete there is always a new game+ to do when you finish the game. Of course, you will be back at the start of the game and everything will be much stronger than it is now. You will still have all your gear and items that you currently have, so you won’t need to regrind all your gear. It’s like using rebirth except the world resets and you don’t.

It’s just truly unfortunate that there is no choice in whether or not you will burn down the Erdtree. The only choice you have in the matter is when it happens. If you need any more help with Elden Ring make sure to check out our other guides.

Elden Ring is out now for PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series X/S, and PC.

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