Tips for New Dark Souls 3 Players

Dark Souls 3 is meant to be a difficult, extremely unforgiving game. It gets easier as you play, but it can be frustrating for new players (especially for people new to the series). These tips should help you out.

Warning: Minor spoilers ahead. None of them are terribly specific and most are in the first area after the tutorial, but there are some spoilers ahead. Don't read this if you want a blind playthrough. But if that's what you want to do, how'd you end up here?

Don't try to be perfect.

Expect to die a lot in Dark Souls 3 and don't expect to always recover your souls when you die. It's okay this time around (unlike Dark Souls 2, it's not going to screw you up later on).

Just remember to spend your souls when you can. Don't run around with souls you aren't willing to lose. Take advantage of the bonfires after beating a boss and head back to Firelink Shrine and level up.

The knight is the best starting class.

If you don't know how you want to play Dark Souls 3, go with the knight and the starting gift of the Life Ring (or possibly a Fire Gem).

The knight has the lowest luck in the game, along with low intelligence and faith. From a stat point-of-view, it's the most efficient starting class.

Along with that, it has the best starting armor in the game, the best starting shield, and the second best weapon. The long sword can actually get you through the entire game as long as you upgrade it.

Stick with one or two weapons.

The long sword (starting weapon for the knight) and the estoc (starting weapon for the assassin) are very strong weapons, especially if you infuse them with a fire gem or raw gem early. This removes stat scaling, but that won't come into play until much later in the game.

Generally speaking, titanite in all forms is pretty rare so find a weapon that you like and stick with it.

If you didn't start as the knight or assassin, don't worry, there are a lot of weapons that can be found early in the game:

  • Broadsword (found in the High Wall of Lothric)
  • Claymore (found near the dragon in High Wall of Lothric)
  • Astora Straight Sword (found in a chest in the High Wall of Lothric)
  • Deep Battle Axe (found in a mimic in the High Wall of Lothric)

In addition to that, long swords drop from hollows at the High Wall of Lothric or can be bought after freeing Greirat from his cell in High Wall of Lothric. He'll also eventually cell the estoc and zweihander.

Bows are your friend.

Bows allow you to take out difficult enemies at range and there are quite a bit of areas where you can cheese those enemies (large enemies sometime get stuck in doorways, enemies generally won't follow you into new areas and you can shoot them from the other area).

A long bow can be found at the beginning of the High Wall of Lothric. It requires 10 STR and 14 DEX, but that's fairly easy to get and you won't regret spending stat points here.

Carry a torch.

Buy a torch from the Shrine Handmaiden early in the game; not only does it increase the light level around your character, the torch has a bunch of small, random benefits. Eventually, you'll run into leeches/maggots that deal bleed damage and the torch burns them off of you. Torches also greatly reduces frost damage build up. On top of all of that, it does a reasonable amount of fire damage (which is very useful for some slow moving, highly predictable enemies that are weak to fire).

Infuse your off-hand with a Simple Gem.

A simple-infused weapon or shield increases FP regen, essentially allowing unlimited weapon art. Weapon art damage takes a huge hit if you have no FP, but even at 1 FP, it will do full damage.

If you want to avoid invasions, don't ember.

There are somebenefits of being embered (bonus hit points, the ability to summon people for bosses), but it also opens you up to invasions. If you get frustrated with invasions or exploring an area that's new to you, make sure you aren't embered. This prevents NPC and player invasions and makes the game much easier. Then, once you find a boss fight, ember, summon up, and fight.

Corey Docken

Corey Docken

Corey has been playing video games all of his life. He learned how to use grid references playing The Legend of Zelda on NES and spent way too much running in front of a TV as a child. He loves the Final Fantasy, Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Dark Souls, and Civilization series and is stil trying to get over the loss of Fable.

Published on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016 at 2:01 PM.
Last updated on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016 at 2:41 PM.