Dark Souls 3 – Gameplay Tips

Survival Tips

This guide will provide various tips and advice regarding the gameplay to make things more bearable.

  • The White Sign Soapstone required for co-op play can be purchased from a merchant in Firelink Shrine. It’s a cheap 500 souls and vital for the gameplay so buy it early.
  • Pausing is not possible in Dark Souls, your only form of pausing is by resting at bonfires. (You can also simply exit the game through the menu and when you re-enter you will resume where you where fyi, great for when you get phone calls and don’t want a pesky invader ruining your progress while away). 
  • Resting at a bonfire respawns all the enemies at that location. If you cleared an area and don’t want more enemies don’t rest at a bonfire. If your farming for specific items rest at the nearest bonfire. 
  • You should hit or roll on walls at times to expose hidden passages/rooms. 
  • It’s generally good idea to hit a treasure chest before opening it due to Mimics, they tend to deal A LOT of damage and can ruin your progress. 
  • Be sure to balance your Flasks at a blacksmith. 
  • If you notice a large group of enemies and there are barrel or crates nearby, use a Firebomb or Pyromancy to blow them up and damage/kill them. 
  • Certain blacksmiths can only do specific upgrades. This can be bothersome since some blacksmiths are in far away, difficult to reach areas. Because of this, you should take note of their locations and try to minimize trips by doing the necessary upgrades all at once to prevent unnecessary trips. 
  • Embers are similar to Humanity from previous Souls games. They greatly boost HP and last for as long as you stay alive. Save them for particularly tough areas and try to keep one on hand at all times. 
  • You can kill infected enemies before they transform. You won’t get as many souls but it can help you get past certain areas. 
  • Be wary or Red-Eyed enemies, they tend to be stronger than average mobs but yield greater rewards. 
  • Use auto-target to detect hard to see enemies or seemingly harmless ones. 
  • Speaking to certain NPCs multiple times provides different dialogue and can at times give you useful information or items. 
  • Don’t always take messages on the ground seriously, use common sense and use the rating as a guideline to see if a message is legit or not. 
  • If you need to farm souls or want to experience an area beforehand, place a summoning sign near a boss fight or in a beginning area to help another player clear the area. 
  • If you have multiple players helping you, this reduces the quantity of souls you receive when you clear the area boss. 
  • Resting at a bonfire makes it the spawn point, just lighting it does not. This is good to take note of in certain locations where resting at a bonfire can make things more troublesome than it’s worth should you die. 
  • If you die and need to recover a substantial amount of souls, do whatever it takes to stay alive by being extra cautious or by wearing a soul loss prevention Ring. It’s worth summoning another player to help out to make recovery a lot easier. Also, don’t waste Souls in your inventory if you’re already recovering souls, this is in case you die beforehand and don’t recover your current souls. 
  • Be careful when fighting multiple enemies. Keep an eye on your stamina and make sure you’re aware of where you are so you don’t corner yourself or fall off the map. 
  • If you unknowingly venture into a higher-than-usual difficulty area, don’t be stubborn and press on. Find another, easier route or level yourself up a bit before advancing. 
  • Don’t kill or harm NPCs unless you are ready to accept the consequences that accompany it. Merchants or Blacksmiths that are killed do not respawn until your next playthrough. Also, be sure that whatever the NPC drops is worth obtaining. 
  • Estus Flasks are the most reliable form of healing provided in this game. If you need to heal yourself, use Magic or Estus Flasks and avoid using consumables until you are playing as a phantom or invading. 
  • After a certain while and progression, various Merchants update their stock with newer, better items. It’s worthwhile to check back with them every now and then. 
  • If you are invaded and don’t want to risk a fight, summon white phantoms to fight for you or if you are close to a boss fight or fog gate, try to rush and go through it. 

Dark Souls 3 - Gameplay Tips

Expert Tips

This list will give you more advanced, complex tips to try out to make Dark Souls 3 a cake walk.

  • Be a constant participant of covenant activities. Using the corresponding tokens to upgrade your level with the covenant unlocks covenant exclusive items for sale that are much more powerful than conventional ones.
  • PvE builds are not always ideal when combating other players. Once you feel ready for it, create a separate PvP build for invasions. 
  • If you’re being invaded and want an easier fight, find a hazardous location such as a narrow bridge and try to sneak up on them and push them off. (can backfire pretty bad against experienced invaders) 
  • Take note of items you can burn at Bonfires to adjust certain elements of an area such as difficulty, invasion rate, and Estus Flask strength. 
  • Equipment load determines how quickly your stamina drains and how quick you are when dodging and running. If you want your player to move at a specific speed, adjust your equipment load accordingly (usually ~40%, ~70%,~100%).
  • Certain weapons use certain attack animations that are ideal for specific scenarios. For example, Battle Axes use a sweeping basic attack that is perfect for hitting multiple enemies while Spears use a stabbing motion for 1v1 scenarios. Keep this in mind when using a weapon for specific enemies and scenarios. 
  • Take advantage of the various Battle Stance’s. Certain enemies require certain stance’s to overcome them so if you haven’t made much of an effort to get comfortable with them, do so as soon as possible. 
  • Parrying is a very beneficial move to master since you can block almost all kinds of incoming damage and you can do a counter afterwards called a Ripose. Keep in mind parrying requires precise timing and is easier to do in close quarters. 
  • Riposes are combat moves that deal a massive amount of damage and puts you and your victim in an animation lock that significantly reduces all incoming damage. One type can be done right after a Parry and tends to deal the most damage. Another type can be done after staggering/knocking down an enemy and is weaker than the other types, but easier to pull off. The last type is a Guard Break Ripose that can be performed after using Guard Break on an enemy; it’s similar to the parry Ripose. 
  • Backstabs are similiar to Riposes but are easier to pull off. As soon as you sneak up behind someone or manage to get behind them, try to do a Backstab to quickly finish them off and make combat a little easier.

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