Dark Souls 3 is a lengthy game and not unlike its predecessors, a tough game. This series is the one that has scared gamers shitless, even more than Slenderman and P.T. And it’s not even from the horror genre. This series has given a lot of pain to many gamers. At one point of this game I had max health and was about to lay the final strike in a boss fight that took me about forever to beat, and guess what? The boss one hit knocks out my sorry ass and presents me with the red ‘YOU DIED‘ text of disgrace. All my hard work gone down the drain. Here’s some tips to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes I did. (Though that’s part of the learning process)
#1 Estus is your friend,use it well.
Estus flasks are the special bottles that give you health. And the number of gulps you can take from it increases with the help of Estus Shards while its effectiveness is increased by Undead Bone Shards. Always be on the search for these shards as taking them to the blacksmith can increase the amount of Estus you carry. A few sips can mean the difference between life and death. (Here, Drinking is not injurious to health)
#2 Keep. On. Sipping.
You have a good bit of health and feel you should save that gulp of Estus when it’s really low? Bad idea. Keep your health as high as possible. If you think you’ll be at 60% Health and be like, “I’ll use Estus once i’m at 20%” A good combo by smallies will make sure you’ll be handing over your souls in seconds. While you think “Who does that!”, it’s the art of ‘saving items for later’ that subconsciously makes us do that. Always keep your health as high as possible, but don’t let Estus go to waste.
#3 Allocating Estus for your survival.
You have an HP bar and an FP bar, the HP bar is really important for a build that is more close range combat oriented while FP is used by magic oriented combatants. Early in the game go Andre the Blacksmith and manage your Estus allotment according to your build. Why does a warrior need to carry blue flasks of Estus? Allocate all of the Estus towards health then!
#4 Use everything you have if needed. Don’t be a collector.
Estus Flasks aren’t the only items that give you health in this game. Since you’re dying so much, remember to use Ember when your health is low (Can be used only once until death but it increases and maxes out your HP) also wear the following rings (In order of how helpful they are): Life Ring, Estus Ring, Ring of Favor, Ring of the Evil Eye, Pontiff’s Left Eye, Aldrich’s Ruby and Sun Princess Ring. Don’t forget to cure status ailments and add elemental damage to your weapons.
#5 There’s always a shortcut.
You find the game giving you a long, perilous and death filled journey to the boss? You’re so beaten up by the small fries that the boss is too strong for you? Fret not, adventurer, and use your skills of exploration to find amazing, level changing shortcuts. During my play-through not once was a boss fight too far away from a bonfire. Great level design makes the game so much easier.
#6 The Bonfire is the only warm place I love.
Aside from getting souls, trinkets, shortcuts and beating enemies, keep your main focus on being healthy enough to reach the next bonfire, however far it may be. Only a true dark souls player knows the happiness of seeing a sword stuck in some burning ash and wood. And it’s your first priority to light it. Die before reaching there, and you’ve just wasted your time.
#7 There will be traps that you can’t avoid the first time. Stay Smart.
The journey is difficult but even the most hardened of players will fall to the traps in this game. It can be a transforming mutant or a sudden attack from above. You’ll have to be ready for everything the road throws at you. Remember where the traps lie and you should be safe.
#8 Treasure Chests are a lie. Never open them directly.
If you see a treasure chest in Dark Souls 3, stay cautious, kill all enemies in the area and then hear closely for a breathing/demonic sound coming from the chest. If you hear something, then the chest is a tough monster that you’ll have to beat to get its loot. You can also spot a mimic chest by checking the chain. A Mimic’s will always be straight, pointing towards the player, real chests chains will always curl inward. Interacting mimic chests directly can lead to a direct death, and you don’t want to get killed like that, do you?
#9 They see me rollin’, they hatin’.
You need to learn the art of rolling and dodging in Dark Souls if you have to stay alive. Remember to roll towards enemies such that you end up behind them, then attack mercilessly. Rolling away from attackers is only a defensive move, and should be done at to gulp Estus from a distance. The roll is your biggest weapon. Keep you equip load ratio below 30% to be fast, but never be above 70% unless defense is absolutely necessary to you.
#10 Watch your Stamina. Know how much to attack.
There’s a green colored stamina bar at the top left, that decides how many attacks are you capable of. Too many attacks done to an enemy, and you wont have the energy to avoid the next attack that wants to kill you. Keep in mind that if you know your flurry of attacks is enough to kill it, and you’re out of danger, then you should go for it. Otherwise remember, slow and steady wins the race.
#11 Run Forrest run!
If you keep running away from enemies, people will call you a coward, but I’d rather be a living coward than a dead corpse. Sometimes, it’s better to run as many strong enemies are slow and stop giving chase after a certain distance. You can always come back and take your time to explore, but sometimes a mad Usain Bolt level dash is just good enough to get you to the next bonfire.
#12 Always have a strategy before confronting enemies.
You see 2 Archers and 2 Guys with Greatswords, you possibly can’t go attack them directly, you’ll be pummeled to death. Learn to isolate enemies. Get one of the greatsword wielding brutes to follow you away from the area, and then one-v-one the little twat. Go back to the area and kill low HP archers first so you don’t have a barrage of arrows flying towards you. And finally show the remaining enemy who’s boss.
Boss Battle Related:
#13 Research to predict every move.
What I mean is don’t go directly into battle thinking you’ll be able to pummel half their health in the first few strikes. You will need to battle the boss a bit differently to understand how it reacts to your movements. Bosses will do different attacks depending on how far you are. Most strong moves have a starting animation that differentiates it from the rest, giving you a chance to run away. Most of the bosses in Dark Souls are predictable, but to be able to predict their next move, you will have to die a bit. Unless you are like me (I actually did beat 2 bosses in my first try.)
#14 Find its weakness.
If prediction seems tough, you can give yourself an advantage by knowing the weakness of a boss. Use different weapons and read hints on the floor to know more about them. Some bosses are weak to electricity and some need a special sword, while some allow you to summon a friendly NPC in a few conditions. Don’t miss up on any chance that can give you an advantage. That extra attack power might just kill them.
#15 Adapt to your enemy.
All bosses in Dark Souls are different, with the exception of all of them being tough. And so one set of armor isn’t enough to kill every boss you face. Some bosses are slow but pack a killing punch, so you can take a faster armor and dodge every attack. While some bosses have fast but weaker attacks, so a good defense and shield could really help in this case. Know what armor gives you the best chance of survival. (I killed one boss while having almost no armor equipped for ultimate speed and stamina)
#16 Go for the Butt (No Homo)
While I’d like to say go to the back of their neck, all the bosses are so huge, you’ll be swinging your long sword at their rear end most of the time. And that’s the place they can’t get you. So aim to generally be positioned in that one area, roll around to dodge most attacks, and you’ll be fine most of the game.
#17 Classes are important.
As a beginner you won’t know the difference between most classes and will think the game is too tough but in reality, it’s cause you chose wrong. The Deprived Class is for professionals want a good challenge and will have a terrible time with the first boss. As a beginner you will make mistakes so the best class is one that offers high health and has fairly quick, but strong attacks and the Knight Class offers just that. Go for the Knight Class without hesitation if you don’t care about magic and want the best melee experience.
#18 Use your Souls. Leveling Up in the beginning is even more important.
As a beginner you should put all points early on into increasing your HP (Vigor), but make sure to stop upgrading it after you reach to 1000 (That should take around 25 points). No boss battle in the game will take away 1000HP in one hit. So the strategy is to eliminate fluke one hit knockouts,1000HP is more than enough to beat the game.
#19 Know what to do with your weapons and other attributes.
Later in the game,Focus on upgrading your Vitality to 40 points and use a Raw Stone infused weapon during that time. Raw versions of weapons only do high base damage and don’t rely on stats. And finally (End Game) keep adding to Strength to about 40 points and convert your Raw Weapon to Heavy Weapon. Heavy Weapons rely on STR and with 40 STR, you will deal a great deal of damage with your Longsword. Do upgrade the Longsword to +10 as it’s one of the most versatile weapons in the game,and easiest to upgrade.
#20 Never get discouraged
This is the one tip most guides wont tell you, but it’s the most important. Dark Souls plays with your mind. You seem a lot weaker than the bosses you’re gonna face, you will sometimes die without even hurting the enemy, but there’s a smarter, stronger and luckier version of you that will rise from those ashes to beat the demons ahead. Giving up on the accomplishment of beating the toughest triple-A title will be a decision you’ll regret as a gamer. You may die a hundred times without scratching the enemy, but have hope that you’ll be bringing that demon’s soul back to Firelink Shrine the next attempt.
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