This game is bound to give a challenge, especially if it is your first time playing a souls game. This doesn’t just apply to strictly gameplay, but also simply learning how the game works. It did after all become its own genre. That’s what this guide is for. Through this guide, you should become educated on all the in’s and out’s of Dark Souls 3. Hopefully, you find this guide useful. Now let’s dive in!
Souls and Death
When playing Dark Souls for the first time it is important to accept the fact that you will be dying a lot. Accepting the idea that you will be dying will make things less frustrating as Dark Souls can be incredibly punishing at times. To avoid death it is important to be cautious and take your time. Dark Souls is challenging, but it is never unfair.
The key currency in Dark Souls takes the form of souls. Souls are collected either from the death of enemies or the use of consuming souls found on either corpse or dropped from bosses. Boss souls can also have other uses which I will explain later so don’t consume them immediately. These souls can then be used to either level up a skill or buy/upgrade an item from an NPC. Upon death the souls being carried will be dropped, however, there is a chance to get them back. The souls that are dropped upon death will remain in the spot the player died as a green orb. If the player can reach their death location then they can retrieve their souls. Something important to note is that if the player died again before recollecting their souls then those souls are lost forever. It is wise to not be carrying too many souls at a given time if it can be helped. Bonfires will serve as checkpoints where the player will respawn upon death.
Exploration and Items
One of the biggest components of Dark Souls is exploration. Never pass on the opportunity to explore. The land of Lothric is vast and contains many different nooks and crannies. Upon exploration, the player may find many different items that may serve as useful. This can include weapons, armor, rings, spells, estus flask shards, undead bone shards, titanite, and many more items. Many items will be hidden in various locations. Some items will be easier to find than others. Make sure to read item descriptions on things you are unsure about. Enemies can carry unique items at times that can be dropped or other enemies may drop generic items often. NPC’s can also be found which can also lead to either bringing them back to Firelink Shrine or starting a questline. Shortcuts can be unlocked as well leading to easier access from bonfires by doing actions such as unlocking doors, starting elevators, or kicking down ladders. Some bonfires maybe a little more hidden than others which may also lead to a little more incentive to search around, although most bonfires are fairly straightforward to find. Exploring is also key to finding more souls to level up and keep with the increasing difficulty of enemies and areas. This is why it is important to take the time to look at everything Lothric has to offer.
Estus shard flasks are used to increase the number of times you can heal yourself with an estus flask. These are incredibly important to find so keep an eye out. Take these back to Andre the blacksmith at Firelink Shrine to increase the number of uses on your estus flask. Undead bone shards are also very useful as they increase the overall healing that each drink from the estus flask can provide. To use these simply return to Firelink Shrine and sit at the bonfire and an option will appear to burn the undead bone shard.
Crystal lizards can be found all over Lothric. Whenever you get close enough they will run away and try to teleport away. Kill them before they have the chance or else you will have to rest at a bonfire before you can try again. So why kill the crystal lizards? Because they can drop various types of titanite for weapon upgrades or gems used for weapon infusions.
Different forms of ashes can be returned to the shrine handmaiden at Firelink Shrine. This will open up new purchase options. Returning various types of coal to Andre the blacksmith will also grant new weapon infusion options allowing different kinds of gems to be used. Different spellbooks can also be returned to various NPC’s which allows for different spells to be purchased from them. Other NPC’s may also take specific items either for questlines or as miscellaneous tasks. Typically there is a reward in some capacity for doing such actions.
There are times that there are fake or illusory walls are in place. To bypass these simply roll or attack them and they will fade away. It can be difficult to determine which walls are fake and which are real. The easiest way to figure out if it is fake is simply to observe the environment and determine if it feels off or not. There is no consequence to simply rolling or whacking random walls. Often player messages can be found in front of illusory walls to help save time searching. Typically valuable items will be found behind these.
Lothric is filled with many different traps. These traps often vary. Traps can include things such as ambushes, pressure plates, mimics, and other various dangers. As with any situation remain on high alert and always be ready. Reading player messages can often warn of certain dangers. Bloodstains will also show where and how players died. If lots of bloodstains are found in an area then it can be safe to assume there is some form of danger in the area.
The Curse Rotted Greatwood, one of the bosses, will drop a transposing kiln that has important uses. Bring the transposing kiln to the Ludleth at Firelink Shrine in order to use it. He is one of the lords of cinder who is sitting upon one of the five thrones in Firelink. The transposing kiln will let you use boss souls to make different equipment, mostly weapons. Each boss soul will have two different choices, but only one of them can be picked before the soul is used up. Otherwise, the player can save the soul and consume it to gain souls for other uses if they don’t want the items that can be created.
Firelink Shrine and NPCs
Firelink Shrine serves as the hub world that the player can always come back to visit. Firelink Shrine will contain different items and NPC’s that may be important. Certain NPC’s can be brought back to Firelink Shrine after talking to them. The most important NPC’s contained in Firelink Shrine or that can be brought back include the Fire Keeper, Andre the Blacksmith, Greirat of the Undead Settlement, Ludleth of Courland, the Shrine Handmaid, Cornyx of the Great Swamp, Orbeck of Vinheim, Unbreakable Patches, Karla, Pickle Pee Pump-A-Rum the Crow, Anri of Astora, Horace the Hushed, Irina of Carim, Eygon of Carim, Yoel of Londor, Yuria of Londor, and Hawkwood. Other NPC’s may also appear, but they don’t have as much importance. DO NOT ATTACK NPC’S (excluding the immediately hostile ones you find as enemies). When NPC’s are aggroed they can only be calmed by finding Velka, the Goddess of Sin who can be found in the Undead Settlement. If an NPC dies they are permanently dead. There are certain NPCs that will lock you out of various things should you be dead, especially if you happen to kill either the Fire Keeper or Andre.
The Fire Keeper is the most important NPC as she will let you level up. Andre will let you upgrade and infuse weapons. He can also be brought coals for more infusion options. The Shrine Handmaid will sell various items including a tower key which can be used to open the tower in Firelink Shrine and access the items in there. She will take ashes expanding her list of items she sells. Ludleth will allow the ability to use the transposing kiln to create equipment from boss souls, but only after having been given the transposing kiln. Cornyx will sell pyromancies. Orbeck will sell sorceries. Irina will sell miracles. Karla will sell various dark magic. All of the magic selling NPC’s can be brought specific items to allow for more spells to be sold typically being books or scrolls. Hawkwood will offer guidance. Pickle Pee, Pump-A-Rum the Crow will let you trade items. Other NPC’s mentioned earlier can also sell various items as well as have quest lines.
There is also a major NPC named Siegward of Catarina, aka Onion Man, which will not be found at Firelink at any point, but has a major questline. Do note that no quests are marked, so it can be easy to miss quests and various parts of them. Quests will typically have multiple parts and will continue as the game progresses rather than immediately being able to be completed. Typically there are rewards for completing quests. Between a few specific NPC’s which I will not mention can allow for a different ending through a longer questline. Dark Souls 3 has 4 endings. The ending pertaining to the longer questline is called the Usurpation of Fire.
Firelink Shrine will dynamically change small things over time. The tower as mentioned above can only be accessed with the key sold by the Shrine Handmaid for 20,000 souls. There is also a naked hostile NPC on the left side of the shrine wielding a katana who drops the katana upon death. Typically hostile NPC’s will drop various items and equipment upon death. Firelink Shrine is the only location that will play music. It has two different songs, but the second can only be unlocked via a secret interaction. All other songs, excluding the menu music, can only be heard during boss fights. This is done purposefully. The shrine’s bonfire will also allow for different options such as burning undead bone shards and playing the undead online match in the Hollow Arena.
Stats and Levels
Dark Souls is full of character customization and that can lead to creating many different builds. It is best to make a build that suits your play style or a play style that you would like to try. There are nine different attributes that can be leveled up. These nine include vigor, attunement, endurance, vitality, strength, dexterity, intelligence, faith, and luck.
Vigor will increase the player’s total hp. The attunement will increase the number of spells that can be carried at once as well as increasing a player’s total FP. Endurance will increase stamina as well as slightly increase certain defenses. Vitality will increase equipment load capacity, physical defense, and poison resistance. Strength will allow for increased damage with weapons that scale with strength as well as giving some fire resistance. Dexterity will do increased damage for weapons that scale with dexterity, reduce spellcasting time, and reduce fall damage. Intelligence will deal increased damage for weapons requiring using intelligence, also require to cast sorceries and pyromancies alongside giving a boost to the magic defense of the player. Faith will do increased damage on faith-based weapons, be used as a requirement to cast certain miracles and pyromancies, and will boost dark defense. Luck will increase item discovery, the likelihood of enemies dropping items, and increase the speed at which both poison and bleed can be applied.
Weapons scale with different ratings on various attributes. For example, a weapon may have an A rating in dexterity and a C in strength. This means that the higher the dexterity than the higher the damage output. This will also apply to strength, but not as much because it is only a C ranking meaning it doesn’t scale as well as Dexterity will. To see how the added damage is being applied to the held weapon, to the right of a weapons base damage will be listed as a “+ (damage number)” showing the added damage. Weapons will also require a threshold to be passed on attributes levels in order to be used efficiently or else the weapon will be far more ineffective. A weapon for example may require 12 dexterity and 30 strength to use properly.
A standard build will typically focus on leveling vigor, the attribute for which increased damage matters to the weapon being used such as strength, dexterity, intelligence, or faith, and some levels may be applied in between to endurance, or more rarely to other attributes. As players level up each level will require an increased number of souls. If a player wants to respec their stats then they must visit Rosaria in the Cathedral of the Deep, but they will only be able to do this up to five times. Typically after having completed Dark Souls 3 a player level will be between 100-120 if DLC is included.
Combat can be a challenge when initially learning how to play. While the controls are quite basic, learning to time and overcoming certain obstacles can prove complex at times. Quick attacks can be performed with R1. R2 will perform a heavy attack. L1 will block and L2 will parry when holding a shield or weapon that can parry. Circle will roll, the square will use the equipped item, the triangle will two-hand your weapon, and x will interact. R3 will lock on. Options open the quick menu to access various things. Note that options do not pause the game. To sprint hold the circle and then to jump press L3 while sprinting. To perform a plunging (aerial) attack, fall off a ledge and hold R1. To backstab press hold R1 when facing enemies back. To counter attack first parry an enemy and then hold R1. While blocking certain weapons will have special moves when you press either R1 or R2. Use the d-pad to switch held items.
Now for some details. Typically you will mostly be sticking to quick attacks in combat as there isn’t much time to perform other moves without risking receiving damage. Heavy attacks usually aren’t worth the charge time to perform. Blocking can usually only be done with a shield, but it’s not advised to rely on blocking with a shield too often. Guards with a shield can be broken if the user runs out of stamina. This applies to enemies with shields as well. Players should rely more on rolling than blocking. Also, know that not all attacks can be blocked. Parrying can typically be done with most shields. Timing can be hard to learn, but once mastered it can be a weapon of destruction. While parrying is very good, it is not necessary. Not all attacks can be parried. When parrying be sure to perform a counter-attack once done. When performing a counter-attack you will be invincible. Players will also be invincible during a backstab. Enemies will not notice you if you walk slowly while out of their field of vision. This can be paired with backstabs. Walk slowly behind an unaware enemy to easily perform a backstab. During combat, the easiest way to backstab an enemy would be to try to roll behind them. Not all enemies can be backstabbed. Rolling will grant invincibility frames which are why rolling is incredibly important. Pressing triangle to two-hand a weapon is strongly recommended for most weapons. This will multiply the strength output on a weapon by 1.5 meaning increased damage output. Also, try to avoid drinking estus to heal until you are in a safe position. It can be easy to try chugging estus while an enemy is performing an attack making you waste an estus.
Ranged attacks can be important from time to time as well. Magic users will largely be using ranged attacks. It’s important to know that magic builds tend to be weaker until the later games so it may make the early game more difficult. Bows and crossbows can also be used. When paired with the binoculars they can be aimed manually rather than having to lock on. Arrows or bolts will be consumed upon shooting. These aren’t useful as standalone weapons but can be effective for picking off groups of enemies from a distance to make life easier. It may prevent more sticky situations. Items like throwing knives and firebombs can also be used.
Stamina is consumed by various actions. These actions things such as rollings, sprinting and attacking. Try to keep a close eye on your stamina meter and increase it if it is giving you trouble. You may find situations where you need to roll to dodge, but you’ve already used up your stamina. This will likely cause you to take damage. When fighting enemies be sure to take your time and don’t rush as this may cost stamina and hp. Stamina will regenerate when not being used.
Items can be placed in players offhand. This means a player can indeed dual wield. Depending on the item in the offhand it may be far less effective unless it is spell casting related or a shield. Off-hand items are typically reserved for shields or spell casting items, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment. If you two-hand a weapon then there is no point in having an offhand weapon for the most part. Some weapons may be dual-wielding weapons naturally meaning you will have to press triangle to pull out the other part of the weapon. These dual-wielded weapons will only take one slot when equipping. Usually, most weapons will not be like this. A player could very easily dual-wield two very different weapons if they wanted to.
Whenever a bonfire it rested at it will heal the player completely. It will also refill the estus flask completely. Not only that, but it will respawn all enemies in the area with potentially a few exceptions. A few select enemies will not respawn, typically larger enemies. Bonfires will also let the player teleport between other lit bonfires. Upon defeating bosses, bonfires will typically be placed within the arena as well.
Weapons, Armor, and Upgrades
Dark Souls will give you many different weapons at your disposal. These types of weapons include things such as straight swords, daggers, axes, spears, hammers, greatswords, whips, scythes, staves, bows, crossbows, and many more. Weapons types can each have different attack types. For example, a straight sword will swing normally, but a rapier will perform a thrusting attack instead. Fists/claws will have an incredibly short range with fast swings while a halberd may have a long-range, but slower swing. Staves will be used to perform standard spells while a pyromancy flame will enable the use of pyromantic magic.
As you may have noticed each type of weapon has a unique set of advantages and disadvantages. The best way to figure out what weapon to choose is simply to test it out and compare its stats to that of another weapon to figure out whether it suits your play style and if it can be a viable weapon. Do note that it is very important to upgrade the weapon you feel comfortable with to make sure it is viable when put into use. One extra mention is that different weapons may also provide various special attacks outside of their standard attacks. Some may consume fp (focus points aka magicka) even. There are two hand slots as well so technically the player can wield to separate weapons at once by having on their offhand. Shields can also be used offhand, although it is important to consider if they suit your play style and build if they are used. It is also important to note that some shields can parry while others cannot, but may provide more protection.
Armor is also an important component of Dark Souls. The armor will include the helmet, chest plate, gauntlets, and leggings. Armor can provide various defensive benefits and resistances to certain dangers. While armor is important, it does not provide major benefits as one might think. Because of this most players prefer to play Fashion Souls and dress into whatever looks good rather than worry about the defensive benefits. This is a perfectly acceptable thing to do as armor will ultimately not make huge differences in gameplay, although there may be some slight differences.
Rings can also be found throughout the world. Up to four rings can be equipped at once. Rings can make a huge difference. The Life Ring for example can provide more max hp while the Chloranthy ring will increase stamina recovery. Be sure to mix and match ring combinations to see how you can optimize your build and take in as many benefits as possible.
Before going crazy equipping as much as you can, consider your equip load. Your equip load can be seen in the top right corner when accessing your equipment or skill screen. It will appear as a percentage. This will determine how much you can have equipped before debuffs are given to the player. There are four equip load tiers, 0%-29.99%, 30%-69.99%, 70%-99.9%, and over 100%. Anything over 100% will nearly stop you from moving at any speed faster than a turtle. When your equip load is between 0%-29.99% you will have fast rolling. 30%-69.99% will be normal rolling. 70%-99.99% has earned the name of “fat rolling” as it’s incredibly slow. It’s recommended to never have an equip load beyond 69.99% as it will hinder your ability to dodge attacks severely. Anything below that is acceptable.
Weapons can be upgraded when talking to Andre the blacksmith. Standard weapons can be upgraded with standard titanite. Titanite shards will be used to upgrade to +3. Large titanite shards can be used to reach +6. Titanite chunks can reach a weapon to +9. Finally, a titanite slab can be used to reach +10. If a special weapon is being upgraded then a weapon can be upgraded to +4 with either titanite scales or twinkling titanite depending on the weapon. Then a titanite slab will be used for +5. To get titanite shards, large shards, and chunks simply search the overworld or kill various enemies find them. Twinkling titanite can only be found on crystal lizards so be sure to kill them as you see them. Titanite scales can also be found by simply exploring the overworld. Titanite slabs are very rare and have limited places they can be found in the overworld. They can also be given as completion of certain NPC quests or by having beaten bosses.
Weapons can be infused via gems. These gems can be found and brought to Andre the blacksmith once again. They can either be found randomly or on crystal lizards. Certain gems can only be used after the appropriate coals are found and brought to Andre. Be careful when adding infusions and consider their effects. Infusions can often make a weapon worse depending on the infusion and the weapon. Certain weapons pair better with different infusions. Infusions tend to add various effects such as fire or lightning as well as many others. Often a safe infusion is to use a sharp gem on dexterity weapons or a heavy gem on strength weapons. Those will boost the stat bonuses for those weapons. Other gems can provide more elemental bonuses. Either way is careful when applying infusions as the only way to remove them is with a shriving stone.
Weapons and armor both have limited durability. While this may sound alarming, it is actually not a major concern. Every time you rest at a bonfire your equipment will be repaired. Items can break if they reach zero durability in which case they will need to be brought to Andre and repaired with souls. In my personal experience, I have never once broken any equipment so it is very unlikely for you to break anything in your experience unless you actively avoid bonfires for an extended period of time.
When talking to Andre there will also be an option to allot estus. This will allow the player to mix the number of estus uses for both healing and fp regeneration. If you don’t plan on using magic then it is wise to allot all estus to the standard estus flask. If you want to use magic then some estus should be allotted to the ashen estus flask.
In order to use magic, the player must first attune their spells. To do this simply sit at a bonfire and choose the spells that you want. Increasing the attunement attribute will allow for more spell slots. Then simply hit upon the d-pad to switch between spells. To cast spells depending on the type will require items such as talismans, chimes, staves, catalysts, and pyromancy flames. Place the spell casting item in your offhand. Then you’re set to go. Just press L1 or L2 to cast various spells.
Magic can be split into three categories being sorceries, pyromancies, and miracles. Sorceries primarily rely on the intelligence attribute. Typically the most common casting items for sorceries are staves. Pyromancies typically deal with fire damage and resistance-related spells. Pyromancies will use a mixture of intelligence and faith attributes. These are normally cast with pyromancy flames. Finally, miracles mostly scale with the faith attribute. These are cast exclusively with chimes and talismans.
Not all spells are used as attacks. Some allow you to take on different appearances. Others increase resistance. Some provide healing. As you can tell, spells have a wide variety of uses other than just attacks so it is important to consider the benefits provided by such. Unfortunately, magic builds are typically found to be a weaker early game. After the early game magic will certainly catch up, however. Not only that, but players can certainly use other weapons with magic. This means you can wield a sword and staff at the same time as an example. You can be Gandalf. If you plan on using magic then make sure to brink your ashen estus flask. This will regenerate your fp which spells will consume. Be sure to pay attention to your fp during combat and make sure you have enough. Some enemies will also have stronger magic resistance than others which could make them harder in some aspects.
Invasions, Summons, and Covenants
Players can have all sorts of interactions with each other. Invasions are a major interaction that will happen. Invasions are when a red phantom (another player) invades your world and has one goal which is to kill you. They will have limited estus, but enemies will not attack them. Invasions can also be done by NPC characters in specific locations. You can only be invaded when you are embered. You will become embered when you use an ember or defeat a boss. Embering will also increase the player’s health by 30% and heal them completely. Dying will remove the ember effect. Some areas are more likely to have invasions than others which could be considered hot zones. Invasions are random so while embered it sometimes players may not even be invaded. You can also invade other players. The most common method is to use a cracked eye orb. This will search for other embered players. Invasions aren’t common unless you are embering often so don’t worry if you would rather avoid invasions since they don’t happen often.
While embered players can also look for white summon signs to summon other players as white phantoms for assistance. Certain NPC’s can also be summoned in specific locations. White phantoms can help clear areas, defend against invaders, and even help kill bosses. It’s recommended to avoid summoning phantoms for bosses on a first play-through since it usually defeats the challenge. Players can also place signs to be summoned by other players using white soapstone. The red soapstone can also be used if you want to be summoned as a red invading phantom. Friends can also be summoned via a password system that can be configured in the settings.
Next covenants are another major online component. Covenants can be found randomly from various interactions with things/creatures and people. Joining a covenant will have no side effects unless the covenant banner is also equipped in the equipment menu so don’t be afraid to accept joining covenants. They can also be unequipped so they aren’t permanent. Most covenants give rewards for participation. For participation, each covenant that has rewards will have a specific item the player can collect. These can be turned in to deepen allegiance and gain rewards. Every covenant works differently.
Way of Blue will summon phantoms automatically from the Blue Sentinels or Blade of the Darkmoon covenant when a dark spirit invades. They do not have any rewards. Warriors of Sunlight must be summoned from a summon sign and they have a goal to help complete an area or defeat a boss. Otherwise, these players can also invade other worlds and kill the host of embers. Mound Makers will be summoned as purple phantoms and they will attempt to kill the host, but they can also kill other phantoms. Blue Sentinels will be summoned to a member of the Way of Blue if invaded and will help kill the dark spirit and attempt to help the member to reach the boss of the area. Watchdogs of Farron will invade the worlds of those passing through Farron Keep to try to kill the host. Rosaria’s Fingers attempt to invade other worlds to kill the host of embers and will also receive benefits from killing Blue Sentinels and Blades of the Darkmoon. Aldrich Faithful will invade those in Irithyll to kill the host. Blade of the Darkmoon members will be summoned to defend those in the Way of Blue when invaded much like the Blue Sentinels, but there are bonuses for also killing Aldrich Faithful. Spears of the Church is the most unique as it summons players to play as Halflight, Spear of the Church in the Ringed City DLC. Members will have the opportunity to play as a boss essentially.
NEVER PICK UP ITEMS THAT ONLINE PLAYERS DROP. Some players will try to get you banned by picking up certain items so just don’t. It’s not worth it. Banned players get their own lobbies which are far less active. Banning is unlikely to be reversed.
Other Online Features
Outside of invasions and covenants, there exist other various online functionalities. Players have the ability to write and leave messages for other players. These messages can include various things from a selection of sentence formats to having the ability to add a gesture to the message. Messages can be rated by other players. When a message is positively rated it can heal the player who placed it as it happens. Often messages will be used for warnings, celebrations, exploration, jokes, or trolling. Don’t trust every message that is placed as they can just as easily troll you as they can help you.
Bloodstains show how a player died. When you touch a bloodstain it will show a red apparition of the player that died in that location. When blood stains are abundant in an area then it is possible that there is a danger in that area. Phantoms will also randomly appear as you traverse the world. These phantoms have the appearance of white apparitions. These phantoms that the player comes across are other players, however, you will not be able to interact with them and neither will they with you.
The Ashes of Ariandel DLC also includes a PVP arena. This arena can be accessed from Firelink Shrine. It is known as the Hollow Arena. This mode includes duels and brawls. In order to unlock this mode, players must find the Champion’s Bones in the DLC and then burn the bones at Firelink Shrine.
Dark Souls 3 area order:
- Cemetery of Ash
- Firelink Shrine
- High Wall of Lothric
- Undead Settlement
- Road of Sacrifices
- Cathedral of the Deep
- Farron Keep
- Catacombs of Carthus
- Smouldering Lake (Optional)
- Irithyll of the Boreal Valley
- Irithyll Dungeon
- Profaned Capital
- Anor Londo
- Lothric Castle
- Consumed Kings Garden (Optional)
- Untended Graves (Optional)
- Grand Archives
- Archdragon Peak (Optional)
- Kiln of the First Flame
- Painted World of Ariandel (Ashes of Ariandel)
- The Dreg Heap (The Ringed City)
- The Ringed City (The Ringed City)
Dark Souls can also be a little confusing at times while navigating the world. While Dark Souls 3 is the most linear of the games, that doesn’t stop it from having its moments. Here is some quick guidance for the less straightforward parts of navigation between areas.
To access the High Wall of Lothric for the first time simply sit at the bonfire in Firelink Shrine and teleport there. To reach undead settlement the player must first talk to the lady named Emma in the building across from the boss room in the High Wall of Lothric to receive a banner. Beyond the boss, room will be a place to set the banner bringing you to the next area. Road of Sacrifices will have split into two sections leading to either Cathedral of the Deep or Farron Keep so if you miss one then search some more. Smouldering Lake can be found by swinging and destroying the bridge on the side of the boss room in the Catacombs of Carthus and then riding the bridge down like a ladder. If Irithyll is blocked off by a fog wall that won’t let you cross then that means you missed the boss in the Cathedral of the Deep which drops the item of passage. Irithyll splits into two directions either going to the Irithyll Dungeon or Anor Londo.
After completing both Anor Londo and the Profaned Capital, return to the High Wall of Lothric and enter the room where Emma was to receive the banner earlier in the game. Interact with the statue behind where Emma was located. This will let you enter Lothric Castle. To reach the Untended Graves the player must continue beyond the boos room located in the Consumed Kings Garden and destroy the illusory wall located behind the chest. Archdragon Peak can be a bit more tricky to access. It will require you to first find a gesture located in a room after the boss in the Consumed Kings Garden. You will then need to head to Irithyll Dungeon. At the end of the dungeon, there is a brief portion that will take you outside. You will find multiple humanoid figures sitting and looking towards the sky. Take empty spots and use your gesture. Once you use your gesture simply wait and a cut scene will play taking you to Archdragon Peak. The Kiln of the First Flame can be accessed only after having defeated the four lords of cinder. Go to each of the empty thrones and place their ashes on each of them. Then talk to the Fire Keeper and after that, you must interact with the bonfire.
To go to the Painted World of Ariandel the player must talk to Gael who can be found talking next to a bonfire in the Cathedral of the Deep. The Dreg Heap can be found by taking the bonfire after the final boss of the Painted World of Ariandel or by taking a bonfire located on the side in the Kiln of the First Flame. It’s recommended to do the Painted World before the Dreg Heap. Ashes of Ariandel can be accessed early on, but it’s recommended to wait to start any of the DLC until the final boss has been beaten in the main game. Also, be sure not to start a new game plus after beating the main game so that you can continue to go on to the DLC afterward. The DLC is intended to be an ending to the trilogy altogether and is also far more difficult which is why it is ideal to play post-game.
Recommended boss order:
- Iudex Gundyr (Cemetery of Ash)
- Vordt of the Boreal Valley (High Wall of Lothric)
- Curse-Rotted Greatwood (Undead Settlement) (Optional)
- Crystal Sage (Road of Sacrifices)
- Deacons of the Deep (Cathedral of the Deep)
- Abyss Watchers (Farron Keep)
- High Lord Wolnir (Catacombs of Carthus)
- Old Demon King (Smouldering Lake) (Optional)
- Yhorm the Giant (Profaned Capital)
- Pontiff Sulyvahn (Irithyll of the Boreal Valley)
- Aldrich, Devourer of Gods (Anor Londo)
- Dancer of the Boreal Valley (High Wall of Lothric)
- Oceiros, the Consumed King (Consumed King’s Garden) (Optional)
- Champion Gundyr (Untended Graves) (Optional)
- Dragonslayer Armour (Lothric Castle)
- Twin Princes (Grand Archives)
- Ancient Wyvern (Archdragon Peak) (Optional)
- Nameless King (Archdragon Peak) (Optional)
- Soul of Cinder (Kiln of the First Flame)
- Champion’s Gravetender & Gravetender Greatwolf (Painted World of Ariandel) (Optional)
- Sister Friede (Painted World of Ariandel)
- Twin Demons (The Dreg Heap)
- Darkeater Midir (The Ringed City) (Optional)
- Halflight, Spear of the Church (The Ringed City)
- Slave Knight Gael (The Ringed City)
3 of the 25 bosses rely more on gimmicks than a standard boss battle. Yhorm the Giant is one of these. The intended method to defeat Yhorm is to grab the Storm Ruler which is a weapon sitting at his throne. To properly use this weapon the player must hold L2 to charge it and R2 to release a massive gust of wind damaging him greatly. The Ancient Wyvern is the next boss on this list. In the boss, arena exists a side section containing enemies. Past these enemies is a high point where the player will be able to perform a plunging attack on the Wyvern’s head instantly killing it. Halflight, Spear of the Church is a PVP boss that is unavoidable. This boss will quite literally be another player and if a player couldn’t be found then an ai will control it.
2 of these bosses can be quite tricky to find. The Champion’s Gravetender & Gravetender Greatwolf can be found by destroying the bridge in the Painted World of Ariandel and taking it down like a ladder. Proceed to then jump down tree branches. There will be a bonfire at the bottom as well as the boss arena. Darkeater Midir can be found through a series of hidden elevators and fog walls in the building right before the boss fight with Halflight.
The DLC contains the hardest bosses in the game so be sure to come prepared. The bosses are some of the best in the Souls series with the exception of the Gravetender and Halflight being rather uninspired bosses. If you exclude those two then you should hopefully have a great time fighting the other bosses as they are both incredibly difficult but notably well designed and by far some of the best in the series.
Some bosses will be harder than others. Every player is different. Some will find one boss very hard while others will breeze straight past it. A player’s build alongside skill can lead to this happening. Don’t get too hung up if one boss seems to be giving you lots of trouble. Everyone hits a roadblock at some point, but don’t give up!
And that concludes this Dark Souls III guide. Do you have any suggestions to improve this guide? Please let us know by leaving a comment below. For any other concerns, please reach us using the contact details found on the contact page.