The game has racked up big sales numbers, but a recent study finds it is also causing a lot of confusion.

A recently released video game is proving to be a big hit, but it’s also leading in a more dubious category.

“Elden Ring,” a medieval-inspired adventure with lore penned by “Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin, welcomes the player to an enormous world looming in the shadow of an ancient golden tree, populated with creatures great and small.

The action role-playing game was developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. 

Elden Ring was released in February 2022 and scored a perfect 10 out of 10 on IGN, the video game and entertainment media website operated by IGN Entertainment.

The game has sold 13.4 million copies worldwide by the end of March and 16.6 million by the end of June. 

Elden Ring, which was directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki, was the top-selling game in several regions between February and March 2022, and is the fastest-selling Bandai Namco game of all time. 

But it seems that Elden Ring has earned a more dubious honor as a recent survey found it to be 2022’s most confusing video game.

‘Not a Game for Beginners’

The study, conducted by the broadband analysts at Uswitch, a UK-based price comparison service and switching website, said Elden Ring racked up “nearly 180,000 Google searches from players looking for tips and explanations on how to play the game.”

“Although the game has been well-received by the gaming community, it is definitely not a game for beginners who could become easily perplexed,” Uswitch said.

Uswitch said the “game has been noted as ‘notoriously hard’ by gaming journalists at Polygon, who noticed that game has enormous spikes in difficulty with very little help on offer throughout the process, which explains why so many are getting confused and turning to Google for assistance.”

However, Uswitch said that this “hasn’t stopped the gaming community from taking to Reddit to express how challenging the ‘standard’ difficulty mode is and suggesting that less experienced gamers opt for ‘casual’ mode to avoid confusion. “

The survey found that Nintendo’s Metroid Dread was the second-most confusing video game with nearly 54,000 Google searches from gamers looking for advice on how to play it.

Capcom’s Resident Evil Village in third with 44,760 annual Google searches from confused gamers. The survival horror video game has a 10 out of 10 rating on Steam and 8 out of 10 on IGN.

Rounding out the top five were Assassin’s Creed Valhalla which was named the fourth most confusing video game with 33,960 searches, closely followed by Far Cry 6 with 31,920 Google searches. Both games are published by Ubisoft.

None of the gaming companies responded immediately to a request for comment.

Mixed Social Media Reactions to Game 

A journey through the magical realm known as social media turned up some strong reactions to Elden Ring.

“The biggest complaint I’m seeing about Elden Ring is how it doesn’t really explain most of its mechanics,” one person said on Twitter. “So what? Are games not allowed to be obtuse, layered, and confusing, like how many great movies and books are? Is there something wrong with discovery and learning?”

“One of the most confusing things about the lore in Elden Ring (which is very much intensified by the fact that the game tells you very little), is that you’re expected to remember that Godrick and Godfrey and Godwyn are totally different people with different stuff going on,” another tweet said.

One commenter said on Reddit that “the game is really interesting but I have a hard time following whatever the game is trying to lead me to do.”

“I’ve only been playing for a few hours and have been trying to beat the first encounter with Margit,” the poster said, referring to a Great Enemy Boss found in Stormhill. “I can never beat him though and I’m wondering if it’s because I need to do some other tasks to level up, etc, before fighting him or do I just need to keep trying to beat him?”

“Margit is a lesson,” one person responded. “Explore the world, practice with other enemies and come back when you feel throughly prepared.”

Another commenter said in a Reddit post that “I’m tired of people complaining that this game is trash because it’s too hard for anyone to play or it’s too confusing to understand.”

“Most games give specific directions and map markers and a quest log,” the commenter said. “We don’t get that. We just figure stuff out.”