Elden Ring players who wish to be able to pause the game have had to resort to mods to do so since the game released, a tactic that's limited only to the PC platform and further runs the risk of being banned should people choose to go that route. However, it looks like there's actually a built-in "feature" that lets people pause the game. It involves heading into the start menu and selecting the "Menu Explanation" option, though it's not exactly a convenient solution and honestly probably won't stick around for forever.
YouTuber Iron Pineapple deserves all the credit for this discovery which can be seen in action within the video below. While you can't open the map when you're in combat, you can open the main start menu where you access equipment and other options. Simply go into the "Equipment" menu – it probably works on other menus too, but that one is the quickest to access – press the input that pulls up the "Help" option on whatever platform you're playing on, and select "Menu Explanation."
guess what, Elden Ring DOES have a pause button— Iron Pineapple (@IronPineapple_) March 8, 2022
just open "Menu Explanation" while on the inventory screen
this isn't a meme, it actually works lmao pic.twitter.com/0tNLFaWwC7
Upon doing so, you'll notice a lack of movement in the background where you'd normally see the game unfolding while you were in the "pause" menu. That's because the game has been really and truly stopped at that point with enemies unable to attack the player and the player unable to move.
It's definitely a pause option albeit a roundabout one, but again, it's not the most convenient method even if it's the only one available right now outside of a mod. It takes two button presses, a scroll, and another press to get to which may not sound like a lot of work, but that's plenty of time to be killed by all manner of things in Elden Ring.
Related Forum: Gaming Discussion