Bosses getting you down? Dark Souls 3 needn’t be a nightmare.
Dark Souls 3 bosses: how to beat all the toughest baddies
Dark Souls 3 is tough, and the bosses are especially difficult. As in many of life’s endeavours, knowledge is half the battle – while you certainly need good co-ordination and timing, preparation and strategy go a long, long way.
There are several bosses you can easily beat even if your reflexes are more nix than twitch, and many more who become laughably easy once you know their weaknesses – or even special tricks that utterly fox them. We’ve done our best to help you our with some general and specific advice below.
General boss advice
Use your consumables. Too many players ignore their resins and bug pellets. If you know a boss is weak to or dishes our a certain damage type, prepare yourself accordingly. These items are easily purchased so there’s no need to conserve them. Place them on your tool belt or in your quickslots for easy access.
There’s always a shortcut. Apart from a few very rare occasions like the Crystal Sage arena, there’s almost always a quick and easy route to the boss from a nearby bonfire. You can often just run past nearby enemies and lose their attention before you arrive at the arena itself. For example, Vordt of the Boreal can be reached very quickly from the High Wall of Lothric bonfire without killing any enemies at all; just sprint down the stairs and drop off the ledge; wait for the enemies to patrol away; take the lift; sprint through the ambush; hang a right as you roll past the crossbowman; and drop down through a window. From here it’s a short dash to the boss gate, and you only need to kill a couple of grunts near the door if you want to hang around looking for summon signs.
Keep calm. It sounds a bit condescending but it makes a huge difference. Sure, the boss may be able to kill you in one hit – but so can lots of things. Are its attacks that difficult to dodge, or are you dodging too early or too late because you’re so worried about it? Try turning the volume down and telling yourself you’re only going in on a practice run to learn how to avoid the boss’s attacks rather than to damage it, and you may find you get the hang of what seemed impossible before.
Use an Ember when you’re committed. Returning to Ember (Lord of Cinder) mode increases your health substantially. This makes a big difference, especially with high vigor builfs. Embers aren’t an unlimited resource so you should only drop one when you’re fully prepared to have a go, but don’t be too shy about using them.
Bring a friend. Unless you’re seriously over- or under-levelled, you’ll find help waiting for you just outside the fog gate to the boss arena. Two players will have a much easier time of it simply because they can keep the boss’s attention turning between them and stab it in the back when ever it looks away. Look for characters with unusual equipment as this often indicates veteran players who enjoy helping out. Dual-wielding and tanky greatsword users are often very powerful in different ways, and the rare mage you’ll meet can be an amazing helping hand if you can keep the boss’s attention. If all else fails, depending on your allegiances and NPC side quest status, you may find NPCs to aid you. Remember you can summon two phantoms, and if you use your Ember right outside the boss arena, you’ll rarely risk invasion.
Individual boss guides:
- How to beat Iudex Gundyr
- How to beat Vordt of the Boreal Valley
- How to beat Demon
- How to beat Rotted Greatwood
- How to beat Crystal Sage
- How to beat Stray Demon
- How to beat Abyss Watchers
- How to beat Deacons of the Deep
- How to beat Old Demon King
- How to beat High Lord Wolnir
- How to beat Pontiff Sulyvahn
- How to beat Yhorm the Giant
- How to beat Aldrich, Devourer of Souls
- How to beat Dancer of the Boreal Valley
- How to beat Dragonslayer Armour
- How to beat Oceiros, the Consumed King
- How to beat Champion Gundyr
- How to beat Lorian and Lothric, Twin Princes
- How to beat Ancient Wyvern
- How to beat The Nameless King
- How to beat Soul of Cinder