Dark Souls III Beginner’s Guide: Essential Tips and Strategies for Novice Players


The Dark Souls series is renowned for its challenging gameplay. While it may seem daunting, Dark Souls III offers a more forgiving experience compared to its predecessors. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll provide you with valuable insights and strategies to help you on your journey through this captivating and terrifying world. Whether you’re new to the series or a seasoned player, you’ll find useful information to enhance your gameplay. Welcome to our Dark Souls III guide for beginners!

Take Your Time and Embrace Death

Dark Souls III
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Prepare yourself mentally for death in Dark Souls III. You will inevitably perish numerous times, whether due to challenging enemies, lack of skills, or unforeseen circumstances. Each death brings you back to a bonfire, which acts as a safe haven. Treat bonfires as your home base and every step away from them as a venture into the unknown. Resting at a bonfire refills your health-restoring Estus Flasks and allows you to travel between them instantly. Keep in mind that most enemies will respawn when you do.

When exploring a new area, your primary goal is not immediate progress but rather familiarizing yourself with the surroundings. If you die and lose your accumulated souls (currency and a means to improve your character), don’t dwell on the loss. Instead, focus on learning from the experience. Dark Souls III is about perseverance and the acquisition of knowledge.

Outsmarting Bosses, Not Just Reflexes

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Contrary to popular belief, success in Dark Souls III doesn’t solely rely on lightning-fast reflexes. While quick reactions can save you in dire situations, the key to defeating bosses lies in understanding their patterns and behaviors. Every encounter is an opportunity to learn how enemies move, attack, and respond to your actions. By studying your enemies’ tells and signs, you can anticipate their moves and plan your own strategies accordingly.

To excel in Dark Souls III, be observant rather than relying solely on instinct. Pay attention to your enemies’ movements and adjust your tactics accordingly. Dodging, blocking, and precise timing are crucial. Learn to read your opponents, and victory will follow.

Dodging Toward, Not Away

Dark Souls III utilizes a stamina system that governs your actions and endurance. Your stamina is represented by a green bar, which depletes with each dodge, roll, attack, or block. To avoid running out of stamina during combat, try dodging sideways or, more importantly, forward toward your opponent. Correctly timing your dodge grants you temporary invincibility, making it a viable strategy. Dodging toward enemies positions you for close-range attacks while simultaneously avoiding their strikes. Remember, continuous backward dodging leaves you out of range for effective counterattacks. Close the distance, strike, and seize the advantage.

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The Importance of a Bow

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Early in the game, consider acquiring a bow as it can significantly enhance your combat options. While unconventional, a well-equipped bow provides the advantage of engaging enemies from a safe distance. You’ll encounter situations where ranged attacks prove invaluable, allowing you to pick off enemies or draw them out of groups strategically.

Mastering the bow requires practice. There are two methods to employ it: locking onto an enemy and firing or utilizing the zoom function for more precise shots. Both techniques have their merits, but zooming in provides greater accuracy. Experiment and find the method that suits your playstyle best. A bow can be a game-changer, enabling you to triumph over challenging encounters.

Understanding the Leveling System

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The leveling system in Dark Souls III may seem complex at first, but it becomes more manageable once you grasp its core principles. By accumulating souls and visiting the Firelink Shrine, you can purchase levels to improve specific character stats. Although multiple stats exist, focus on those essential to your preferred playstyle. For example, a sword-wielding knight benefits from investing in Strength, health (Vigor), endurance (Endurance), and defensive capabilities (Vitality).

Align your stats with the equipment you wield. Weapons often have stat requirements, allowing you to optimize your build accordingly. Avoid spreading your points too thin. Concentrate on a particular fighting style and the pertinent stats to maximize your effectiveness. Leveling up incrementally provides gradual benefits, so prioritize the necessary stats to use desired gear effectively.

Beyond Physical Damage: Weapon Selection

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While finding powerful weapons is important in Dark Souls III, don’t solely rely on physical damage numbers. Weapon stats can be misleading, as many factors determine a weapon’s overall effectiveness. Instead, focus on the usability and feel of a weapon. Experiment with different weapons to find the ones that suit your playstyle best. Upgrading weapons using souls and Titanite items found in the world can make them stronger, enhancing their performance.

Utilize the Blacksmith Andre in the Firelink Shrine to infuse your weapons. Infusing a weapon allows it to scale with a specific element, increasing its power or effectiveness against certain enemies. Opt for weapons that complement your preferred style of combat, ensuring your gear aligns with your capabilities.

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Stay Focused and Overcome Setbacks

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Dark Souls III is a game of triumph over adversity. It’s crucial to maintain a determined mindset and realistic goals as you make progress. The game presents hidden secrets and various traps, so explore every nook and cranny with caution. Always expect the unexpected and exercise caution when something appears too good to be true.

Interact with non-enemy characters you encounter. They often return to the Firelink Shrine, where you can utilize their services or summon them for assistance during boss fights. Seek the camaraderie of other players through cooperative play. Dark Souls III rewards perseverance and resilience, culminating in the satisfaction of overcoming seemingly insurmountable challenges.

Strategic Retreating

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Knowing when to retreat is as vital as knowing when to attack. When facing a boss, it’s tempting to unleash all your attacks when an opening presents itself. However, overextending yourself leaves you vulnerable to counterattacks. Dark Souls III bosses rarely have exploitable weak points, and there are no additional rewards for finishing a boss quickly. Instead, strike a few calculated blows and then retreat to prepare for the next wave of attacks. This ensures you always have enough stamina to defend against combo attacks and allows you to assess the boss’s movements during your recovery time.

Certain boss fights may require more aggressive approaches, but gauge the situation and strike a balance between offense and defense. Recognize the best moments to attack, and maximize your opportunities without compromising your safety.

Alternative Approaches to Enemy Encounters

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When facing seemingly insurmountable challenges, consider alternative strategies. Dark Souls III presents opportunities to bypass or avoid encounters that may hinder your progress. For instance, certain enemies transform into formidable foes once alerted. By eliminating the catalyst of their transformation, you can circumvent battles entirely.

Boss fights may also have unconventional solutions. Yhorm the Giant, for example, poses an immense challenge head-on. However, by discovering a hidden sword within the boss room, you can exploit its weakness and bring it down swiftly. Explore your surroundings meticulously, and you’ll discover alternative paths to success.

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Understanding Ember and Its Significance

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Ember plays a crucial role in Dark Souls III. Dying in the game reduces your total health by 30% and restricts online interaction. To counter this, consume Ember, a valuable item found throughout the world or offered by merchants. Ember increases your total health by 30% and allows online play. However, dying will strip away these benefits. In the early stages, prioritize learning the game mechanics before extensively utilizing Ember, as it may be scarce initially. Once you feel comfortable and confident, embrace the advantages Ember provides, facilitating online engagement and enhanced health.

Start Each Encounter with Full Health

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After each enemy encounter, remember to heal yourself. Starting a new encounter with full health is crucial, particularly when facing unfamiliar enemies who may catch you off guard with unexpected attacks. Utilize your healing items, such as the Estus Flask or Divine Blessing, to ensure you enter each encounter fully prepared and maximally healthy. While healing items may not always be available, use them whenever possible to bolster your chances of success.

Mastering Parrying

Parrying, although intimidating for newcomers, is an essential technique to master. It involves using a shield or appropriate weapon to deflect an enemy’s strike, leaving them vulnerable to a decisive counterattack. Parrying requires precise timing and yields high-risk, high-reward outcomes.

To parry successfully, equip a shield capable of parrying and learn the timing required for various enemy attacks. Not all weapons or enemy attacks can be parried, so exercise discretion. Experiment with the left trigger or corresponding button to initiate a parry and follow up with a powerful strike. Mastery of parrying allows you to dispatch enemies efficiently and effectively, providing an advantage in combat.

Dark Souls III is a world of challenge and discovery. Embrace the journey, learn from each setback, and celebrate hard-fought victories. Remember, none of the bosses are truly unbeatable. Forge your path, conquer your fears, and emerge as a true champion.

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Note: This article is brought to you by OnSpec Electronic, Inc..

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