With the recent release of the remastered version of Dark Souls, there will surely be many people who will approach the saga created by From Software, known to the public especially for its difficulty. If you are also novices and have never played any of the "Souls" don't worry, this guide will surely be for you.
One of the reasons why the Dark Souls saga is considered so difficult is the almost total absence of a guide within the game, leaving the player the burden of discovering how the game works through a trial-and-error system, which could lead to frustration. So we present some tips to keep in mind that will not spoil the pleasure of discovery but will help you to have fun without getting too frustrating.
Dodge when the attack has already been launched, not during the attack animation.
While in other RPG actions such as The Witcher 3 and Monster Hunter World you'll have to use the dodge button to dodge the attack before it's achieved, in Dark Souls Remastered you'll have to dodge the attack itself, that is, press the button at the very moment when your enemy's weapon is only a few inches away from your character. It's a counter-intuitive thing, we realise, and it may take some time to assimilate. When you dodge a dodge, there's a small window of invulnerability, thanks to which you can dodge attacks that seem to have already been successful.
If you become masters of dodge, however, you will be rewarded with the ability to launch a powerful counterattack against your enemy. The dodge, in fact, is as useful as a defensive tool as it is offensive, paving the way for an immediate counterattack.
Learn to parry
Dodging is not the only fundamental thing to keep in mind during a fight. The parade (made by pressing the L2 button) will be your second best friend that will allow you to overcome even the most difficult enemies. Just as with the slavata, use it when your opponent's attack is about to be scored. By doing so, not only will you not receive any damage, but you will open your opponent's defenses allowing you to score a powerful counterattack. The Undead Village will be a great place to practice with this tool as it is full of minor enemies with very slow attacks.
The blows to the back are the most effective
Sometimes confronting your enemy face-to-face won't be the best solution. It is in fact much more effective to hit them from behind, with the technique called backstabbing. To backstab, approach an enemy from behind by walking slowly, then press R1 to deliver a blow so powerful and lethal that in many cases you kill your enemy with a single blow. No matter how powerful, not all enemies will be caught off guard, so be careful and always keep your eyes open.
Keep your shield active when venturing into new areas.
Remember: Dark Souls Remastered is a cruel game that doesn't warn the player before something happens. So always be careful, because you might get caught off guard, so always keep your shield active (by holding down the L1 button) when you enter a new area. Using the shield will not use stamina unless you are actually attacked, in which case you'll be glad you kept it active.
Prioritize movement speed over heavy armor
If you come from the world of RPGs you will surely be tempted to always equip the most powerful armor and weapons thinking that it is the best way to face the enemies that will oppose you. However, although it may be tempting to make more defense against enemy attacks, the best tactic to use will be to avoid damage by dodging all enemy attacks. The heavier your armor and equipment, the slower your dodge will be. If the weight you are carrying is below 25% of the maximum range then the rolled fox will be fast, between 25% and 50% will be of medium speed, over 50%, instead, your dodge will be very slow.
As we mentioned before, dodging will make you invulnerable for a few moments. The invulnerability time of the fast and medium speed rolls will be the same but the average one will require more recovery time before you can perform another action. The slow roll will not only make you invulnerable for even less time but it has a much longer recovery time than the medium speed roll.
If you think you need more powerful armor to face possible bosses or enemies, remember that to increase the maximum weight capacity you'll have to increase the resistance parameter.
Never underestimate any enemy
Dark Souls is an extremely punitive game: even the smallest of enemies could result in failure and eventual death. Take rats, for example: although their damage itself isn't enormous, with just two attacks they have the ability to poison you, making life considerably more difficult. Or think of the case of being attacked in a narrow staircase: a simple skeleton could make you catapult downstairs.
Be careful where the walls are while you fight.
Another basic rule to keep in mind in Dark Souls is to always pay attention to your surroundings. If you're in tight spaces, it's a good idea to swap your weapon for something smaller, as hitting the wall with our broadsword risks opening us up to possible powerful enemy attacks.
Never rely on a single weapon
As mentioned before, always keep at least one secondary weapon handy. A two-handed broadsword is definitely a deadly weapon and will be the most effective in most cases but it's always good to have a back-up weapon for specific situations. You may need a weapon with more range in case of ranged enemies, or a faster weapon in case the enemy in front of you is too fast to be hit with a broadsword.
Study well the merits and defects of the objects that you will find
Exploring the world of Dark Souls you will find on your way a huge variety of equipment such as shields, armor and weapons, as well as healing and support items. Before you equip your shiny new sword or armor, read their descriptions well to understand their strengths and weaknesses. Not all objects will always be effective, but you must be able to equip the right one at the right time. If you are in an area where physical damage is your biggest concern, then regular armor that will give you more resistance to such attacks will be the right choice, but on other occasions you will need to select the right equipment with the right resistance. There are armor with greater resistance to poisoning or specific elements that will help you overcome specific areas much more easily.
Solaire will be your new best friend
There is a reason why Solaire became so popular (did someone say LODA IL SOLE?). If you're nice to him the first time you meet him you'll have a chance to evoke him during boss battles. Doing this could save your life if you find yourself in trouble, as Solaire will distract the boss long enough for you to give him the final blow.
Without going to spoil how and why you'll meet Soilare, just remember to talk to him twice and answer yes twice to unlock him as a helper during boss fights.
Always keep an eye on your surroundings and any traces of other players
Keeping your eyes open and observing the area you're in will be an essential tool to survive in the world of Dark Soul Remastered. For example, if you see sooty black spots on the ground, watch out for explosions. Or, if you see scratches on the ground, it may mark the passage of a rolling boulder. The same goes for the signs of other players passing: a lot of bloodstains may mean that the area you entered is very difficult. Players also have the option to leave notes on the ground: read them because they may contain some advice and notes that are essential to continue the adventure, bearing in mind that it could still be a troll or a joke.
To escape a bonfire after you've died you must have rested at it.
Here's something that may not be immediate and therefore frustrating if you're a new Dark Souls player. Lighting a bonfire won't be enough to set it as a respawn point after you die but you'll have to rest at it for it to become your respawn point. Keep this in mind to avoid unpleasant surprises and to find yourself having to cross entire areas again (which, don't worry, will happen anyway...).
Losing humanity is not the end of the world.
When you start your adventure, you won't possess your humanity but you will be in the undead state. To become human you will need to collect humanity points scattered in various areas.
As undead you won't be able to light new bonfires, summon Solaire or the help of other players, while as a human you can do both, as well as invade the world of other players to collect even more humanity points.
Our advice is to spend as much time as possible as undead to avoid being invaded by other players (which, if you are new, would probably result in your defeat) and to preserve your humanity in order to light bonfires in the most difficult areas. If you light a bonfire with a humanity point, in fact, that bonfire will give you twice as many flasks of Estus every time you rest in front of it.
Another occasion when you may need to become human again is in the case of boss battles, if you need help from Solaire or other players.
The statistics are very easy to understand
While the list of statistics in Dark Souls may make you think it's a complex and unclear system, luckily it's not. In most cases you'll find yourself increasing specific statistics to be able to equip a certain object, and the object itself will be what will lead to your success or defeat, not the statistics itself. Here is a table to help you better understand what each statistic does:StatEffECTSoft CapHard Cap
|Vitality||Increase your health points||30||50|
|Will||Increase the number of slots will||–||50|
|Stamina||Increase your stamina, the weight you can carry and your bleeding resistance.||–||40|
|Come on||Increase the attack of your weapons and the ability to equip certain weapons||20||40|
|Dexterity||Increase the attack of your weapons and the possibility to equip certain weapons||20||40|
|Resistance||Increase your defense and poison resistance||15||30|
|Intelligence||Increases the power of spells and magical weapons and the ability to equip spells.||40||50|
|Faith||It increases the power of miracles and divine weapons and the ability to equip miracles.||–||50|
Strive not to waste statistics
Although the statistics as stated above are not the most important aspect of the game, it is important to keep in mind what are soft and hard caps mentioned in the table above to avoid wasting points. Explained in a simple way, for each statistic there is a value (the cap, precisely) beyond which each point assigned to that statistic will be extremely inefficient or even no longer have any effect.
The force has a cap of 40, for example. In case you want to equip weapons based on force value then it will be a good idea to increase the force statistic up to 40, man on more. The dexterity, on the other hand, already at level 20 (its soft cap) will lose considerable effectiveness, and 20 of dexterity will still be enough to equip most of the weapons based on strength you will find in the game.
Be careful who you help because there may be consequences.
During the course of your adventure in Dark Souls Remastered you will encounter several NPCs who will ask you for help in exchange for a reward. Many of them are harmless and will reward you properly once you return to your hub, but helping some of them might be more harmful than anything else. There is no rule to understand who you can trust and who you can't as well as using Google, but if you don't want outside help then try to use your own judgment and only help those who will give you an accurate and detailed description of the rewards you will receive and ignore those who are shy and unreliable.
Don't be afraid to use the fragments of titanite
Once you reach the blacksmith in the Undead Village, you'll have a chance to start upgrading your weapons using the Titanite fragments. You can find them around the world and buy them from the blacksmith himself for 800 souls each. The advice is to upgrade the weapons you use up to +5 and reserve higher upgrades only for your favorite weapons later in the game.
Always hit each chest before you open it.
Whenever you come across a chest, be happy because it may contain items essential to you to continue the game. As in any self-respecting RPG, however, behind a harmless chest may hide a mimik, thus becoming a threat capable of launching hard attacks. The way to avoid being caught off guard is to always hit each chest with your weapon before opening it, to confirm that it's actually a trunk rather than a monster.
Learn which souls you can and which souls you cannot (or will not) consume
In your adventure in the meanders of Lordran you will encounter a huge variety of consumable souls. It is absolutely necessary to know right from the start which are good to consume and which are best avoided.
For example, you will never have to consume a soul of the Fire Keeper. They are very rare and can be used to upgrade your Estus flasks. We also invite you not to consume the souls of the bosses as they will generally be used to unlock special weapons that cannot be obtained in any other way. In line adi maximum, if the soul refers to a common enemy or does not have a specific name (hero, soldier, knight, etc.), then consume it will not have negative consequences. Another way is to pay attention to the description of the soul itself, as in it there will be clues about how such soul can be used.