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24 Tips for Dark Souls 3

Christopher Coke Posted:
Columns The RPG Files 0

Dark Souls 3 is upon us and our souls are lost! Literally, in this case, as death means dropping all of your hard earned souls and maybe losing them forever. Have no fear, MMORPG.com is here! Here is our RPG Files guide of tips and tricks to get your started and slaying in no time.

1. Choose your starting class carefully

Classes in Dark Souls aren’t common to other RPGs. The biggest differences really come from the beginning stats and gear for each. As a rule of thumb, however, the Knight is a good choice for up-close-and-personal fighters, and the Pyromancer is good for playing at range (but may make the game easier at later levels and harder early on). If you can’t decide, look at the items they start the game with.

2. Don’t get too attached to souls; be prepared to lose lots of them

Listen, death is a part of the game. You will die, lose your souls, and need to gather them back up again! But don’t fret! Fans and marketers alike have played up how punishing the game can be, but if it weren’t fun, it wouldn’t matter and no one would care. Millions of fans can’t be wrong, can they? Death isn’t as bad as it seems. You’ll have more souls in no time, and if you can get back to where you died, you’ll have even more after fighting your way back. Learn from your mistakes, and before you know it, you’ll know the area you died in like the back of your hand.

3. Souls are used for everything

Souls are your uniform currency. You use them to buy items, but also to level up your character. Bosses will often drop named soul items that can be traded in at Firelink Shrine, so be sure to use them.

4. Level up frequently

Nothing will wreck your adventure faster than forgetting to level up your character. That said, soul hording is a quick way to lose a bunch of souls, so check your character sheet, see how much you need, and spend them when you get there. Leveling up boosts your stats and take on the progressively more difficult challenges. Visit the Fire Keeper in the Firelink Shrine to raise your level.

5. You can get up to five “free” levels

When you get to the Undead Settlement, be sure to talk to Yoel of Londor. Accept his services and he will relocate to Firelink Shrine. There, you can allow him to “draw out true strength” and accept the free level. He will add the Dark Sigil item to your inventory, raising your Hallowing stat every time you die. You can return to Yoel at 2, 6, 12, and 16 hallowing for another free level (or every couple of deaths). Yoel will die and be replaced by Yuria who offers a continuation of the Hallowing quest. Yoel will also appear dead after you High Lord Wolnir, so be sure to take advantage before then.

6. Know your stats, but consider boosting Vigor or Endurance first

All of the stats are important to know, but in the early game, it would be wise to invest in Vigor or Endurance first. Vigor raises your health points and Endurance raises your stamina. Depending on your playstyle, either of these is a safe bet for early attribute points.

For reference, here are what the stats control:

  • Vigor: Health points
  • Endurance: Stamina points
  • Strength: Required for heavy weapons and armor, increases damage for STR-based items
  • Dexterity: Required for advanced weapons, reduces casting time and fall damage
  • Intelligence: Required for spells, increases magic defence
  • Vitality: Poison resistance and equipment load
  • Luck: Increases drop rates, bleed and poison capabilities, and cure resistance
  • Attunement: Increases number of attunement and spell slots
  • Faith: Required to cast miracles and pyromancies, increases dark defense

7. Battle Arts are easy to use and vary by weapon; be sure to try them all out

Battle Arts are a new addition to Dark Souls 3 and have a huge impact on gameplay. Battle arts are really sets of special attacks you can trigger when holding your weapon with both hands and using a heavy attack. These attacks can be devastating but don’t fit every situation and can leave you open to attacks with their long animations, so learn to use them well and increase your damage potential.

8. Look for shortcuts

The Souls series are renowned for hiding shortcuts to speed up navigating through the world. Keep a keen eye and you’ll be able to skip more than a few trash fights. Also, look out for false walls that often hide items.

9. Expect Traps

From Software loves tricking their players. Treasure chests may be placed alluringly out of reach, leading the greedy straight to their death. Others may turn out to be enemies themselves! Pay attention to your surroundings and expect the unexpected.

10. Fight one enemy at a time (and don’t be afraid to cheese!)

There are many more enemies in DS3 than you’re used to fighting. Like always, try to keep it to one at a time wherever possible and use the terrain to separate them out. Many Dark Souls deaths result from being overwhelmed and failing to play it smart.

Also, don’t be afraid to game the system. From Software has shared that they don’t mind players finding inventive ways to beat their bosses. With a game that relishes in challenge, any way you can rise to meet it is fair game.

11. You can run past many enemies

Death in Dark Souls means going back to the last bonfire and fighting your way back to where you died. This can feel especially tedious when you die to a boss and have to go through so much filler just to try the fight again. Don’t bother! Experienced players know you can simply run past most enemies, often straight back to the boss.

12. Don’t be afraid to use wikis

Dark Souls doesn’t hold your hand. The game isn’t going to explain very much of itself to you. If you’re stuck or confused, there is no shame in going to a wiki. It’s actually pretty common. Wikia, Fextralife, and WikiDot are some of the most popular.

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Christopher Coke

Chris cut his teeth on MMOs in the late 90s with text-based MUDs. He’s written about video games for many different sites but has made MMORPG his home since 2013. Today, he acts as Hardware and Technology Editor, lead tech reviewer, and continues to love and write about games every chance he gets. Follow him on Twitter: @GameByNight