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What are Evergaols in Elden Ring?

The Lands Between is not only beautiful but jam-packed with secrets and hidden areas waiting to be uncovered. Somehow FromSoftware was able to put as much detail and specific design into this massive landmass as the developer put in the smaller, more intimate areas of its earlier games. These discoveries can range from NPCs waiting to give you a side quest, secret merchants, dungeons with tough optional bosses at the end, or even just hidden treasures you may happen to find. Whatever it is, you’re always rewarded for spending time exploring in Elden Ring.

That being said, there are some things you will come across that may make you hesitate before investigating them fully out of fear of losing progress or runes. The Evergaols are one prime example. These areas are very mysterious, and only show up in a few distinct places in Elden Ring but with no explanation at all as to what they even are. The only way to find out is to be brave enough to interact with one and see what happens — or avoid the risk and let us tell you everything you need to know about Evergaols in Elden Ring.

Further reading

What are Evergaols?

A knight prepares to enter an Evergaol in Elden Ring.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

To help understand what Evergaols are, let’s quickly go over how it’s actually meant to be pronounced. If you played Bloodborne before, or watched any videos on it, then you probably remember the Hypogean Gaol area. Just like in that game, “gaol” is pronounced the same as “jail,” and means the same thing. So, in Elden Ring, a Evergaol basically means an eternal jail. Now, what could be worth creating an eternal jail? That’s what interacting with them will tell you.

Evergaols will mark themselves on the map when you find them, and are easily spotted once you know what to look for. They’re big, stone disc indents in the ground and are always surrounded by those weird stone ball enemies that will explode if you don’t kill them fast enough. What makes them seem so risky to interact with is that they’re never too close to a Site of Grace, and now that you know they’re holding warriors dangerous enough to be sentenced to eternal confinement, you may be even less inclined to see what’s going on with them.

A map showing the Stormhill Evergaol in Elden Ring.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

While we can’t say you shouldn’t be afraid of entering an Evergaol because the fights waiting inside are by no means easy, you shouldn’t be that afraid thanks to the Stake of Marika nearby. These are hard to spot, but act as checkpoints that automatically trigger once you get near them. You don’t need to — and in fact can’t — rest at them like a Site of Grace, but if you die, you will get the option to respawn there instead of at your last Site of Grace. Also, your dropped runes will appear outside the Evergaol, as opposed to inside like they would in a boss fight where you pass through a fog wall.

When you do interact with the Evergaol, you will be transported into a little pocket dimension that is only slightly bigger than the stone ring you were in. At first it will appear empty, but after a few moments or after running out of the ring, your opponent will appear. These are somewhat like red phantom invaders, but typically much harder. They are all named boss encounters, with their own weapons, spells, moves, and everything. Even the Evergaols in the beginning areas of Elden Ring will hold opponents far stronger than normal enemies, and even some optional bosses, too.

With basically nothing to lose, there’s no reason not to at least give each Evergaol you find a try. Since you can respawn right outside and grab any runes you would’ve lost if you die (or will lose, more likely than not on your first attempt), there’s nothing to lose but a bit of time. If and when you manage to win, the rewards you get from Evergaols are very much worth the effort, and include new weapons, Ashes of War, spells or incantations, and more.

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