An Elden Ring dataminer has uncovered a series of messages in the game files that appear to reference a faction system which is not currently available.
Messages like “bloody finger rank advanced” and “recusant rank advanced” appear in unused text pop-ups, as dataminer StrayKurtis shows in a tweet (via PC Gamer). These messages also make references to ranks for “hunter,” “duelist,” and “furled finger.” These are all references to multiplayer functions in Elden Ring, and hint that some sort of faction system may have been planned for the game at some point.
The covenant system in the original Dark Souls similarly offered a number of factions with ranks you could progress through, most of them focused on co-op or PvP. Progressing through the ranks could net you unique items, spells, or other passive bonuses.