The Escapist Presents: 5 Early Game Tips For Dark Souls

5 Early Game Tips For Dark Souls

A few tips and tricks for getting a leg up at the beginning of Dark Souls.

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Eh, drake sword isnt bad.

Another thing you can try to do is suicide run into the catacombs and join Nito's cult. ((Covenant of the Gravelord or something)) You get the "Gravelord Sword" which is more powerful then the Drakesword, causes poison damage ((extremely useful against bosses)) and does level with your stats, all be it poorly. You also get an extremely powerful 2 use spell called "Gravelord Sword Dance", which can clear out groups of low level enemys with ease.

The run might not be the safest, or the easiest for someone new to the game, but if you think you can complete it ((or know you can)) then its a great way to start the game. Along the way, if your quick, you can also nab some of the souls along the way to help level your armor early game.

Walk don't run and check your corners with shields up when aproaching door frames.

Oh, but wait, you can't do a "top 5" of something without Lisa Foiles. That was the whole point.

Wow I think The escapist hasn't this for a while, awesome, I hope there is more of these tips to come! I recommend Skyrim, for the next!

I think i did most of those on my own except the drake sword. I killed the drake without getting the sword and so I've rung both bells so far using only my Longsword + 5.

The Demon's Great Hammer is also a trade item from Snuggly the Crow.

The two butchers in the Depths have a chance of dropping a sack, you can trade this sack for the hammer.

The sack isn't a guaranteed drop though, so it depends on how much you want the hammer.

Resistence is also a completely useless stat.

Between raising Vit or Res, always go for the option that also raises HP.

My Top 5

1 Starting Class is important if you're a perfectionist. The pyro and Wanderer start with the highest base stat points. Never pick the sorcerer.

2 Bosses/Minibosses hit hard, and often through your shield. Play tag with them by hitting and stepping back out of range whenever possible. Noone likes a tagback.

3 The best starting gift is the master key. That great hammer can be gotten later, and is useless until you can actually properly wield it. Don't use weapons you can't wield properly.

4 Pyromancer spells can be used by anyone after you free the pyromancer trainer from his barrel in the depths. Located across from the fireshrine. If you skip the dephs like a pro you will miss the trainer + the +10 weapon ember.

5 Remember to upgrade your gear! Adding pluses to your armor or pyro glove can be way more helpful then adding levels.

One that I found useful was the as stated in the video you will collect bombs anyway, however I used them against the boar mini boss from a ledge.

Best advice:
Start as a pyromancer with the master key (Pyromancers have the easiest first few levels)

As soon as you reach Firelink Shrine take the lift down to New Londo, turn right once you're down there to the other stone structure, it has a locked door that can be opened with the master key.

Once you open this door you come out into the Valley of the Drakes, walk out over the wooden plank bridge you'll see and just run along down the cliffside. Over another bridge you'll come to a scary looking dead dragon, it WILL kill you after you approach it, but you have enough time to loot some very nice items.
1) Dragon Crest Shield. Possibly the best shield you'll find earlygame.
2) Astora's sword. Comparable to Drake sword, but deals magic damage and requires faith. This sword is great if you want to make an early run into the catacombs as skeletons there killed by it will not be resurrected by their necromancer.

The easiest type of character build is a high Str, high End and moderate Dex character who uses a Black Knight Great weapon, I prefer the axe, but the sword and halberd are fine choices too.

The Asylum Demon hammer is crappy, by the time you have 46 strength you should have far better weapons. (Black Knight Great Axe is stronger with only 36 strength required and also scales with your stats)

Edit: Try and keep your equip load <50% at all times, rolling/cartwheeling(if you get the best ring in the game lol) is too strong.

godofallu:
My Top 5

1 Starting Class is important if you're a perfectionist. The pyro and Wanderer start with the highest base stat points. Never pick the sorcerer.

Sorry dude, pyro starts at level one, giving you the LEAST base stat points. I will agree sorcerer is effectively hard-mode version of the pyromancer though.

I guess I should post some tips too.

1 Explore everything. while sometimes the things you find won't necessarily help you, more often then not the rewards are worth the effort.

2 Learn to 2-hand ASAP. With certain builds the damage increase is monstrous, as well as giving most weapons a superior attack animation. This is in concert with developing your ability to roll well, something that is all too easy to fail to do.

3 Plot your build. Try to figure out which weapon and armor your going to use early, as they will be what define your target stats (I say this because I level to 135, the estimated 'standard' pvp level). Additionally don't splurge on stats just to use a weapon.

4 Kill every crystal lizard you find. A fully upgraded special set of armor takes a whopping 44 twinkling titanites. While you can farm them from man-eater clams, the drop rate is dismal, making it so that without major time investment you generally only have access to 25 or so chunks (lizards can drop two).

5 Have fun, its an amazing game.

Tyras612:
The Asylum Demon hammer is crappy, by the time you have 46 strength you should have far better weapons. (Black Knight Great Axe is stronger with only 36 strength required and also scales with your stats)

Uhh, the Asylum Demon hammer has the highest base damage in the game for a standard weapon, as well solid scaling. While I can't compare the RATE of scaling atm, saying the axe is inherently stronger is misleading. Also, black knight weapons can't be enchanted, giving them a major disadvantage.

That being said the axe is awesome due to its excellent attacks, not for its damage.

Edit: Trimmed the quote.

MrLumber:

Uhh, the Asylum Demon hammer has the highest base damage in the game for a standard weapon, as well solid scaling. While I can't compare the RATE of scaling atm, saying the axe is inherently stronger is misleading. Also, black knight weapons can't be enchanted, giving them a major disadvantage.

The axe has ~80 higher base damage, roughly the same strength scaling along with moderate dex scaling. The bonus damage from enchanting would only be relevant against bosses, however against most endgame bosses I feel even with an enchantment the Axe still has higher dps due to it's attack speed and faster hit points.
Using the Great Axe upgraded to +5 two-handed led to me killing most end-game bosses in 4-12 attacks (lol Painted World)

Edit: By hit points I mean the duration between starting the swing and actually hitting. Damage point may be a more correct term.

MrLumber:

godofallu:
My Top 5

1 Starting Class is important if you're a perfectionist. The pyro and Wanderer start with the highest base stat points. Never pick the sorcerer.

Sorry dude, pyro starts at level one, giving you the LEAST base stat points. I will agree sorcerer is effectively hard-mode version of the pyromancer though.

I guess I should post some tips too.

1 Explore everything. while sometimes the things you find won't necessarily help you, more often then not the rewards are worth the effort.

2 Learn to 2-hand ASAP. With certain builds the damage increase is monstrous, as well as giving most weapons a superior attack animation. This is in concert with developing your ability to roll well, something that is all too easy to fail to do.

3 Plot your build. Try to figure out which weapon and armor your going to use early, as they will be what define your target stats (I say this because I level to 135, the estimated 'standard' pvp level). Additionally don't splurge on stats just to use a weapon.

4 Kill every crystal lizard you find. A fully upgraded special set of armor takes a whopping 44 twinkling titanites. While you can farm them from man-eater clams, the drop rate is dismal, making it so that without major time investment you generally only have access to 25 or so chunks (lizards can drop two).

5 Have fun, its an amazing game.

Yeah no Pyro has the same starting stats + is level 1 which is a HUGE ADVANTAGE. You want to keep your level as low as possibly for a set stat build. Pyro allows you to generally be 2-3 levels lower then almost every other build with the same stats. Aside from the occasional wanderer/dex build.

Tyras612:

MrLumber:
snip.

The axe has ~80 higher base damage, roughly the same strength scaling along with moderate dex scaling.

I guess its what you consider base damage, personally I only consider fully upgraded weapons, seeing as how relevant upgrades are. Asylum Hammer at +15 has 345 damage with B scaling (372 at +5 crystal, although that's very risky), where as the BKA has 319 damage at +5, also with B scaling. Enchantment is extremely relevant for pvp. Additionally you can be a meta wank and make it into a lightning or fire weapon which gives it a total damage of 772, although that's rather deceptive due to how defense works.

Also E dex scaling doesn't really count as moderate, and is fairly irrelevant on str builds to begin with.

godofallu:

Yeah no Pyro has the same starting stats + is level 1 which is a HUGE ADVANTAGE. You want to keep your level as low as possibly for a set stat build. Pyro allows you to generally be 2-3 levels lower then almost every other build with the same stats. Aside from the occasional wanderer/dex build.

Huh that's odd, I kinda hope they patch that because it really limits your starting options for an optimal build, although the difference in level/stats is quite minimal (as far as I can tell within 1 point with most others). :(

Tyras612:

The easiest type of character build is a high Str, high End and moderate Dex character who uses a Black Knight Great weapon, I prefer the axe, but the sword and halberd are fine choices too.

The Black Knight Sword seems to do 205 damage, same as the Black Knight Greatsword and I assume it's faster. Does the Greatsword upgrade better or something?

Fagotto:

Tyras612:

The easiest type of character build is a high Str, high End and moderate Dex character who uses a Black Knight Great weapon, I prefer the axe, but the sword and halberd are fine choices too.

The Black Knight Sword seems to do 205 damage, same as the Black Knight Greatsword and I assume it's faster. Does the Greatsword upgrade better or something?

I'm not sure what the upgrade comparison is, but the Greatsword counts as the largest class of sword, making it slower by a good margin. Its advantages come in superior scaling and a very wide hitbox. It can also knock people down quite easily.

MrLumber:

Fagotto:

Tyras612:

The easiest type of character build is a high Str, high End and moderate Dex character who uses a Black Knight Great weapon, I prefer the axe, but the sword and halberd are fine choices too.

The Black Knight Sword seems to do 205 damage, same as the Black Knight Greatsword and I assume it's faster. Does the Greatsword upgrade better or something?

I'm not sure what the upgrade comparison is, but the Greatsword counts as the largest class of sword, making it slower by a good margin. Its advantages come in superior scaling and a very wide hitbox. It can also knock people down quite easily.

Ah I wasn't sure. I tried playing as a sorceror for a bit and found the Greatsword, but stopped with that character before I could even consider whether the strength needed was worth it, or before I could even upgrade it. Then on the character I decided to stick with I got the other sword as a pyromancer and I'm loving it. It kills things rather quickly.

Honestly, circle-strafing around Havel and backstabbing him was far easier than this method. You don't even have to level up much (if at all) to block his attacks.

The best advice I can think of would be:

1. If you plan to have a low level character make a lightning, fire or chaos weapon. I suggest a katana, or a long sword. (Personally the Dark Sword is my favorite weapon in the game.)

2. Don't go straight into Lost Izalith join the chaos covenant offer 30 humanity and use the shortcut, it will save you hours of frustration.

3. If you plan to play a NG+ get the master key.

4. Don't go into the Tomb of the Giants without Cast Light or a Sunlight maggot, falling in the dark and having to trek through the catacombs is not fun.

5. The Kiln of the First Flame is a pvp hotbed have fun there before fighting the last boss.

On weapon choice I would say get a katana (Iaito, Uchigatana, Washing pole) , or Quelaag's Furysword as soon as possible. Also high damage large weapons are usually heavy and attack slowly not a good choice for a low level character (SL below 120-135).

I'm too lazy to read everything so:

1. Gift: master key, if you want to play the game proper you won't have much use for it, but it's extremely helpful in NG+ to skip some areas you have no reason to go to.

2.
A. Flying Drake Sword: This. This is the crescent falchion. This is the weapon that removes all rage for the first fourth of the game and makes it a cake walk, allowing proper time to get your character to a satisfyingly strong point, and find a weapon you actually care about.
-Note, if I remember correctly, this requires 16 strength and 14 dexterity, or something of that nature.

B. In Sen's fortress, at the bottom of a long stairwell hallway is a mimic. Kill this mimic and you'll get a lightening spear. This will carry you through Anor Londo.

3. Look around(always, there's very few wasted areas...in fact I can only think of ONE area that has no purpose). In the first level you can find black fire bombs. These rape the minotaur, bait his attack, throw them at him when he recovers. Oh, and don't forget to use the ladder on the immediate right to perform a plunge attack.

4. If you go for havel. Just strip down and STRAFE. He'll miss, back stab him. Roll for extra safety when he lifts his weapon above his head.

5. For your first playhthrough, unless you know exactly what build you want to make, then upgrading a weapon to lightening, fire, or chaos is the best option. The damage on these weapons doesn't scale with stats, but is relatively high and can carry you through the first game.
weapon +10-> lightening from Blacksmith in Anor Londo
Weapon +5-> Fire or chaos, blacksmith in catacombs.

Figure out the rest on you're own. You should be fine. Check the wiki if you're at a loss.

Oh, MILD SPOILER: There's a guy in the church, if you kill this man he will drop humanity and the ring you will be married to for the rest of your DS carreer. It increases health, stamina, and equipment load. You can get it later if you miss him.

Funcakes:

Oh, MILD SPOILER: There's a guy in the church, if you kill this man he will drop humanity and the ring you will be married to for the rest of your DS carreer. It increases health, stamina, and equipment load. You can get it later if you miss him.

Alternatively you can let him live, and while this does mean the bonfire at Firelink will be gone for quite some time, you can fight him later for some decent armour and a a powerful catalyst

Other tips:
If you are either in the forest, the Great Hollow, or Ash Lake, avoid the mushroom men. They can be stunned easily, but the high health and powerful strength is an issue, plus the fact that they give out barely any souls makes them pretty useless to fight.

Try to cut off the tail of any dragon (except the drakes in Valley of the Drakes) you encounter (including the Crossbreed), you'll get powerful weapons out of it. You'll be fighting them anyways, so you might as well, and the only one who you don't have to actually fight (Stone Dragon in Ash Lake) doesn't care if you cut off his tail.

Use the traps in Sen's Fortress to your advantage, as the enemies will often walk into them, saving you having to kill them and providing you a shield to the traps.

It may seem tempting, but don't try to fight groups of Basilisks. They may be stunned easily, drop alot of souls, have low health, and one by themself posses little threat, but if you fight a group of them be prepared to go through New Londo (thinks of the ghosts *shudders*)

Check in wikis early on to see which souls you wish to save for Ascension and which ones you wish to use for buying/leveling, it can provide a necessary boost.

If you find you're having trouble with a particular boss, try finding some Humanity and reverse the hollowing, as you'll be able to summon special Phantoms to help you out.

If you find you're wasting the durability on your weapons fast, try joining the Path of the Draon Covenant in Ash Lake, even if you leave you'll gain a useful item that can deal damage with unlimited use (and incidently turns you into a dragon)

Just want to point out with that #3... I didn't even know you could drop down. Instead, I take it up a little ways and when the wall opens up, you can hop out. You should land above where those chests are, and you'll be able to see that there is in fact more loot way up above. No idea how to get at it quite yet, my best guess is that it takes a hell of a well aimed jump - if you go to the right (facing away from the elevators) you'll get onto a grassy spot and can kinda sorta aim a jump at one of the supports heading towards the crumbled tower. I think it must be possible to make it but I have had no luck doing it yet.

If anyone knows the proper way to get up there (there's a treasure on top!) let me know. :D

I agree, the drake sword is convienent untill you get the uchigatana and you can put an element on it (preferable the lightning one, though I heard it's getting rebalanced in a patch soon.) The rest falls under the "IF you die obtaining it, it's very good to use."

Wolfram01:
Just want to point out with that #3... I didn't even know you could drop down. Instead, I take it up a little ways and when the wall opens up, you can hop out. You should land above where those chests are, and you'll be able to see that there is in fact more loot way up above. No idea how to get at it quite yet, my best guess is that it takes a hell of a well aimed jump - if you go to the right (facing away from the elevators) you'll get onto a grassy spot and can kinda sorta aim a jump at one of the supports heading towards the crumbled tower. I think it must be possible to make it but I have had no luck doing it yet.

If anyone knows the proper way to get up there (there's a treasure on top!) let me know. :D

Might spoil the game for some people. So if you don't like spoilers, don't click it.

Eternal_Lament:

Check in wikis early on to see which souls you wish to save for Ascension and which ones you wish to use for buying/leveling, it can provide a necessary boost.

If you find you're wasting the durability on your weapons fast, try joining the Path of the Draon Covenant in Ash Lake, even if you leave you'll gain a useful item that can deal damage with unlimited use (and incidently turns you into a dragon)

Well I prefer to keep the souls as I am going for achievements and you kinda need said souls. Plus some souls only offer you 1200 =/ and that is a boss soul. Any of the regular souls I just use for leveling up.

And to get to the dragon... Oh hell the one doing that for the first time is in for a ride :P

Thanks for this video. When I get the game I will surely go through the archives to find this video. Good tips and very useful. Will the Escpaist staff make more of these videos? Or maybe there could be a series of videos that gives tips on a newly released game or something. Just an idea.

Justin, I really like the content of your videos! I enjoyed the demon hunter video as well. I love tips and tricks.

But.. your intonation in the videos just gets on my nerves. You emphasize words way too much x.x

Sorry, bit off topic, but I just had to mention it.

Getting my Dark Souls today(hopefully the mailman hasn't stolen it), so the tips will probably help out a bit. :)

The start of this video shows how you get up there.

Please for the love of all the imaginary slave masters of mankind, MAKE MORE OF THESE VIDS for dark soul! This game needs it. In fact make a series of it. Top5 just doesn't cut it, at least make it top10.

I have a couple of tips:

1. To kill the dragon on the bridge first get past it and just before the iron pig thingie go up to the top of the tower and defeat the black knight, then with a bow equipped aim at the dragons neck and fire, it should insta-kill it and you will gain 10k souls as well as a new bonfire and some items. (I think this is a bug)

2. When going up the lift to the church in undead burg run out onto the first ledge on your way up, here you will then want to run onto the grass and do a running jump onto the pillar thingie connected to the broken tower, you can then go up the stairs of the tower; first you'll want to jump onto the roof with the item on it, take that, and then repeat the first bit but this time go to the top and then at the top stand on the nest and click the button when prompted, wait a minute and an awesome surprise is in-store for you. (Be warned, there are two very powerful Black Knights here and another slightly less awesome surprise, but i'll let you find that one out)

ExtraDebit:
Please for the love of all the imaginary slave masters of mankind, MAKE MORE OF THESE VIDS for dark soul! This game needs it. In fact make a series of it. Top5 just doesn't cut it, at least make it top10.

It's called the Darksoul Wiki on Wikidot ;)
Lots of info there if you really want to make the game a cakewalk.

I really do not reccommend it though. I avoided it unless I had to find a very specific item.
Makes the game waaaay to easy.

F*ck you and the ads you let creep in escapist.

Thank you Ruwrak! you da man!

Pretty cool video. Gives out some useful tips without ruining the core feature of the game (it's difficulty).

I want this game :(
can... can someone buy me a PS3?

 

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