The Demon’s Souls remake for PS5 has arrived, and it’s being hailed as one of the best PlayStation launch titles ever. Developed by Bluepoint Games, the remake retains the original game’s essence while giving it a modern look and feel for the current generation of hardware. However, what hasn’t changed is the game’s notorious difficulty. With challenging enemies and deadly levels, it’s easy to find yourself overwhelmed and defeated before you even know what hit you.
Luckily, we’ve spent a significant amount of time with Demon’s Souls on PS5, and we’re here to share a comprehensive list of tips and tricks that are guaranteed to help you out. Whether you’re a newcomer to the Souls series or just need a refresher, this guide will provide valuable insights. So, without further ado, here are our essential tips and tricks for surviving the Demon’s Souls remake on PS5.
Magic is a Newcomer’s Best Friend
In a dark fantasy RPG like Demon’s Souls, you might instinctively reach for a sword, axe, or other melee weapon as your primary choice. While these weapons are excellent, they can be challenging to master for new players. Instead, we recommend selecting a starting class that grants you access to magic right from the beginning. Classes such as the Magician, Temple Knight, or Royalty allow you to learn and cast spells from the start. It’s important to note that your starting class doesn’t restrict you; it’s merely a way to equip you with specific equipment and items.
To cast magic, you’ll need a device specific to the type of magic you want to use. Talismans are used for miracles, while catalysts are used for spells and pyromancy. If you possess the Talisman of Beasts, you can cast both miracles and spells. Otherwise, miracles and spells require separate devices. Make sure to attune your magic with one of the NPCs in the Nexus, such as Saint Urbain, Yuria the Witch, or Sage Freke. Attuning your magic determines the spells you have equipped to your character and can be changed anytime you’re in the Nexus.
As for the magic to use, we highly recommend Firestorm for dealing devastating area-of-effect damage, Homing Soul Arrow for shooting multiple Soul Arrows simultaneously, and Evacuate for a miracle that allows you to warp back to the Nexus without losing your Souls. Experiment with these spells and find the ones that best suit your playstyle.
Observe and Exploit Enemy Animations
Demon’s Souls is not your typical hack-and-slash action game. Simply rushing at your enemies, especially bosses, with melee attacks will likely lead to your demise. Instead, it’s crucial to learn when and how to strike. When facing regular enemies, the most effective strategy is to execute critical attacks from behind. By holding up your shield and circling around to the enemy’s back, you can unleash a devastating backstab. This not only inflicts significant damage but also momentarily incapacitates the enemy, giving you an opportunity to retreat, heal, or replenish your MP.
Whether you’re fighting regular enemies or bosses, the key strategy is to strike immediately after the enemy finishes their attack animation. They’re vulnerable for a brief moment afterward, providing an opening for you to land a few hits. To effectively employ this strategy, study their attack patterns and become familiar with the exact timing of their animations. This knowledge will empower you to unleash your own attacks at the most opportune moments.
Master the Art of Online Play
Even if you consider yourself a skilled player, you’ll inevitably encounter a boss that seems unbeatable. Bosses like Maneater, Old King Allant, or Firelurker can be incredibly challenging to defeat on your own. That’s where cooperative play comes in handy. You can summon up to three additional players to assist you in taking down a boss. However, before you proceed, there are a few things you should know.
To summon a player, you must be in Human form. This form is attained by defeating a boss or using a Stone of Ephemeral Eyes. In Human form, your character gains increased health and the ability to see other players’ summon signs. These signs are often found near boss fog gates but can be placed almost anywhere within the game’s levels. To be summoned by other players, you need to be in Soul form. Dying in Human form reverts you to Soul form, which reduces your health but can be mitigated with the Cling Ring. When in Soul form, you can leave your summon sign using the Blue Eye Stone, an item obtained from the Maiden in Black at the start of the game.
Pairing with another player requires you to be within a certain Soul level range. The formula is 10 levels plus or minus 10%. For example, if your character is level 20, you can match with players between levels 8 and 32. Similarly, a level 100 character can match with players between levels 80 and 120. Keep this in mind, as trying to summon help in earlier sections with a high-level character might pose difficulty, as higher-level players tend to seek assistance in late-game areas.
Fortunately, there is a way to bypass the Soul range system using a password. Head to the Options, then Settings, followed by Network to set a password restriction. This feature, akin to newer FromSoftware games, enables you to specifically match with players who have the same password as you. Playing with a password allows you to play with your friends regardless of their character’s level. Bid farewell to level restrictions and enjoy co-op with friends who have just acquired the game.
Exploit Boss Weaknesses with Poison Cloud and Thief’s Ring
Sometimes, even with a high-level character or assistance from other players, certain bosses can still pose a significant challenge. Fortunately, many of them can be exploited using a combination of specific items. While the remake has removed many of the original game’s exploits, one combo that remains effective is the Thief’s Ring and Poison Cloud. This duo allows you to sneak up on bosses and subject them to a slow, poisonous demise.
Equipping the Thief’s Ring makes you less detectable, while the Poison Cloud gradually drains the boss’s health. Even without the Thief’s Ring, you can still poison the boss and maneuver around the arena as their health slowly depletes. The following bosses can be cheesed with this combo:
- Dirty Colossus
- Flamelurker (requires alerting him and turning your back, but it can be done)
- Old Hero
- Old King Allant
- Tower Knight
Additionally, the following bosses can be cheesed by positioning yourself in specific areas and using arrows or other ranged attacks:
- Armor Spider
- Blue Dragon
- Maiden Astraea
- Red Dragon
- Storm King
Never Neglect Stamina Upgrades
Many players, even experienced ones, tend to focus solely on upgrading strength or vitality. While these attributes are essential in maintaining high health and damage output, it’s crucial not to neglect Endurance, which determines your stamina. Stamina dictates your character’s movement, and virtually every action drains it, from running and swinging your weapon to rolling. While stamina recharges quickly, mismanaging it can leave you vulnerable. Therefore, always make sure to upgrade your stamina alongside your character, especially if you’re following a melee build.
Understand Weapon Scaling
Each weapon in Demon’s Souls has an Attribute Bonus section at the bottom of its stat screen. This indicates which stats the weapon scales with, and it’s crucial to consider this when choosing your primary weapon. Scaling refers to how much the weapon’s effectiveness increases based on your corresponding stats. The stats can include strength, dexterity, magic, or faith. A higher rating in the relevant stat amplifies the weapon’s power. The scaling rankings range from S (most effective) to E (least effective).
For example, a weapon that scales with magic at an S level becomes significantly more powerful as your magic stat increases. Conversely, a weapon that only scales at an E level will show minimal improvement with increased magic stats. Upgrading a weapon often enhances its scaling stats, so don’t worry if a weapon initially has a low scaling rank. Additionally, keep in mind that some weapons don’t scale at all, so consider this factor when making your weapon selection.
Non-Linear Exploration is Key
Unlike other Souls games, Demon’s Souls follows a relatively linear structure. However, it’s divided into five distinct worlds that can be explored in any order. While it may be tempting to tackle the worlds chronologically, we highly recommend saving certain areas for later on. For instance, the later portion of the first world (1-4) is particularly challenging and best approached at a later stage. Similarly, most of the third world, Tower of Latria, presents considerable difficulty, especially the Maneater boss.
Surprisingly, other areas like the Valley of Defilement, despite being designated as “late-game” areas, offer relatively easier challenges. Don’t let their dark and menacing appearance intimidate you; the enemies here are generally easier to defeat compared to those found in the third world or certain sections of the first world. In essence, feel free to explore the worlds in a non-linear order that suits your playstyle.
Grasp the Importance of World Tendency
Demon’s Souls features a morality system known as World Tendency. This system evaluates your decisions, with “bad” choices, such as dying in Human form or killing NPCs, shifting the tendency towards Black, while “good” choices, like defeating bosses and assisting other players, shift it towards White. The World Tendency of a specific area directly influences certain events. For example, reaching Pure White Tendency in the first area, Boletarian Palace, unlocks a secret door. Additionally, each area has a hidden section that only unlocks when you achieve Pure White Tendency. While Black Tendency makes enemies tougher, it increases the odds of better drops and higher soul rewards, making it a strategic choice in certain situations.
World Tendency operates on a spectrum, with eight possible rankings ranging from Pure White to Pure Black. You can check the tendency of each world by accessing the Tendency option in the game’s menu. The dragon eyes below each world icon indicate the tendency’s brightness. The brighter the eye, the closer the tendency is to Pure White. Various actions can significantly raise or lower the tendency. For more detailed information, consult a comprehensive guide on World Tendency.
Rapid-Fire Combat Tips
Before we conclude, here are some quick combat tips to keep in mind during intense battles:
- Avoid overburdening yourself with heavy armor. Although heavy armor provides better defense, it drains your stamina. Being quick and nimble outweighs being slow and heavily armored in most situations.
- Lock onto your enemies whenever possible. While there are exceptions, such as facing enormous foes or dealing with camera issues in confined spaces, locking on is generally essential for precision targeting.
- Always kill your character in the Nexus to return to Soul form before venturing into the worlds. Dying in the Nexus doesn’t affect World Tendency, allowing you to die without penalty while in Soul form within each world. Remember, dying in Soul form doesn’t alter the tendency, but dying in Human form does. Hence, it’s advisable to remain in Soul form whenever possible.
- The Crescent Falchion+1 is an incredibly potent weapon you should acquire as early as possible. It can be found at the start of 4-1.
- Certain equipment and rings can be combined to enhance their effects. For example, wearing the Monk’s Head Wrappings along with the Ring of Magical Sharpness and the Kris Blade creates a powerful synergy, significantly boosting your magic abilities. Always read item descriptions for additional information.
- Roll through enemy attacks instead of away from them for maximum effectiveness. In most cases, you can roll through attacks without taking damage, maintaining close proximity to the enemy and gaining the upper hand.
- Avoid killing NPCs! If you accidentally attack one, you can seek forgiveness at the statue on the ground level of the Nexus, below the Archstones. It may cost you, but it’s worth preserving your relationship with important NPCs.
- Do not consume boss souls! These souls can be used to create powerful weapons and spells, which are more valuable than the souls you’d gain from consumption.
- Two-hand your weapons for maximum damage output. Additionally, consider adding enchantments like Pine Resin for an additional damage boost.
- Keep some Stone of Ephemeral Eyes on hand for dire situations. Consult a guide to locate these valuable items. Remember, helping someone defeat a boss will restore you to Human form, so consider assisting others instead of using a Stone of Ephemeral Eyes.
Exploit the Power of Cloud Saves
Our final tip may be considered cheap by some, but it can prove invaluable. Demon’s Souls utilizes an autosave feature triggered whenever significant changes occur in the game world, such as killing enemies, dying, or acquiring items. Consequently, after dying, you must restart at the last Archstone visited, which can be frustrating when repeatedly making your way back to a boss.
However, there’s a solution! Disable the auto-syncing feature for cloud saves on your PS5 and manually upload your latest Demon’s Souls save to the cloud. With this setup, you can revert to your older save whenever you die or mistakenly consume an item. This becomes particularly useful when pursuing specific trophies that require certain boss souls. You can unlock the trophy for obtaining all miracles, then reload your save using the cloud to use the same boss souls for acquiring all spells. No need for additional playthroughs! Remember to manually upload your desired save each time you reach a significant point, such as a boss door, to avoid retracing your steps. If the boss defeats you, simply load the save instead of starting from scratch.
And there you have it! These essential tips and tricks will equip you with the knowledge and strategies needed to conquer the Demon’s Souls remake on PS5. So, dive into the game, embrace the challenge, and emerge victorious in the treacherous world of Boletaria.
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