Just bought Dark Souls. Got any tips?

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I have another tip.

There isn't a pause function as entering item screens does not stop gameplay, but you do have some options to 'pause.'

1. Exit/save. You will keep your place and monsters will stay dead. Will require a reload though, so not generally favored.

You have a few other options:

If undead, just make sure you have no enemy agro and stop. There are very few enemies that do any active searching, so most likely you'll be safe. You might want to avoid this if you've attracted the attention of the blue phantoms though (dark Anor Lando), as those players can still go after you.

If you're alive, the above could still get you killed due to player invasions. I believe you're safe from invasion if you're next to a bonfire though.

Or you could play offline, but where is the fun in that ;)?

Best tip is take your time and pay attention to what is around you - running in without a care is the biggest mistake you can make. Using a shield is really good for his since you can proceed with it raised in case of danger and can observe boss movesets cautiously before going on the attack.

And if you like your story look at item descriptions (especially boss souls and NPC items) and exhaust NPC dialogue to progress their "questline"

Other than that I'd say don't use the drake sword if you've been told about it - it's so strong for when you get it and you won't need to learn game mechanics to progress, this will gimp you in the long run. Sure the early game will be harder but you'll have learned how to play properly by the point in the game where it levels off.

Keep your shield up. Learn when to dodge and when to block. Don't be greedy with your attacks. You have all the time in the world - usually - take your time and play defensively.

I think the master key is fine. The game is not so hard that you can't explore a little. If you find yourself dying it really is not going to cost you that much time. Most bonfires are within like 2 minutes of each other. Take it, you'll want it later. Spend your souls before you go exploring and dying will literally cost you nothing. It's always best to have options.

I played the game blind and it was definitely a learning experience. A very fun one at that. Basically my #1 tip is be patient. Also, observe and learn from your mistakes as quickly as possible. The game thrives off of trial and error. You will die. A lot. But don't let that discourage you. That's how the game was designed. The class you start with doesn't really matter. You can form your character however you like if you have the attributes for it. Good luck!

When you get to the archers in Anor Londo you WILL die.

Don't worry about it, just accept it.

Tip 1: Do not hit NPCs. They will fight back, and remain hostile until you manage to get through your first major boss test to talk to the NPC who can put them back on good terms for you, and doing so becomes increasingly expensive as you gain levels. Also, do not attack that NPC, because then you won't be able to make up with ANYONE you piss off.

Addendum to Tip 1: Do not hit breakable objects with your weapon--learn to roll through them instead.

Tip 2: Playstyle is more important than stats. There are many weapons that are powerful in this game, but far more important than the damage you can inflict with a weapon is your comfort level when handling it. By all means, upgrade a weapon you like, but test its moveset, learn its strengths and weaknesses, and decide whether or not you want to stick with it or jump to something that handles better, rather than saying "Oh this deals more damage so I guess I should upgrade."

Addendum to Tip 2: Weight has a major influence on playstyle. Do you want to be swift and agile, or poised and tanky? The three major weight brackets in relation to your equipment burden are "below 25%" (known as fast roll territory), "26-50%", and 50%+ (also known as fat roll territory). For beginners, the middle ground is usually best for general purpose. If you find you like dodge rolling frequently, you may want to consider lowering your equipment load so you can roll faster and dodge more.

Tip 3: Resistance is futile useless. Do not invest stats in it unless you have absolutely nothing else worth ranking (ie. all other stats capped).

Tip 4: Environmental cues are all around you. All items you find that are not drops from enemies will always be around a corpse of some kind. Ask yourself how that corpse got there before rushing in and grabbing it, and you may find yourself living longer. Furthermore, pay close attention as you wander into new areas. Environmental traps and ambushes can be detected if you just look (and listen) before you leap. Also, you can use various parts of your environment to your advantage.

Tip 5: Always be prepared for a boss fight if you walk through a fog door. Not all fog doors have a boss behind them, but every boss you will face is behind a fog door. This will save you some grief because some bosses will be on you the minute you enter their domain, with no chance for getting your bearings.

Tip 6: Study enemy attack patterns, learn what can or cannot be punished, and how to punish it. You'll be tempted to backstab everything you fight early on, but knowing when to block, kick, parry, and roll can be just as important to your progression. Also learning what can be baited and how will open up more opportunities to punish.

Tip 7: Death is always around you. You will die eventually. Sometimes, that death will be at an inconvenient time in a very inconvenient place. You can lessen the inconveniences if you have better control over where and how you die. If Estus is getting low, stay along paths that are easier to get to in anticipation of a return trip from the bonfire, rather than in the middle of a field of enemies. Keep boss fights within range of the fog door if you can help it, so that soul retrieval is easier to manage when you get back.

Tip 8: Anything goes. Snipe that annoying S.O.B. with poison arrows. Run past enemies if you don't feel like fighting them. Lure that one idiot over a cliff (hell, KICK him over the cliff if it helps). Cast spells, fling fire bombs, use resins, run naked. Whatever gets the job done. If it can be done in-game and it's not a hack, it's fair game.

Tip 9: If it's a boss and it has a tail, you can usually cut the tail, especially if said boss is draconic. Several bosses will give you nifty items for mangling their tail. Some of these are good, many of these are crap. But, if you're a completionist, it's always a good idea to pay attention to a boss with a long tail. Not all tailed bosses can have their tails cut, and a boss or two might not give an item even if their tail is able to be cut. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to try for the nth time to cut Kalameet's tail while not having fast roll.

I'm sure others will strongly disagree with most of my advice here, but I stand by it.

- Deprived is the best class to start with. It let's you experiment the most before deciding on a specific play style, it's also more lore friendly since you start off truly naked like the other undead.

- Many tough enemies can be killed using cliffs, you can kick them, or let them chase you over dangerous terrain until they fall by accident. Even dragons and other flying creatures can often be killed this way.

- Don't be afraid to check online guides, trust me there's nothing they can tell you that will make the game simple or easy and they'll tell you things you might never figure out on your own.

- If an area is too hard, just try another, the game has lots of simultaneous paths some of which are too hard

- You can and should kill merchants and NPCs since they're usually pretty weak and drop good items, just wait until you've bought everything important from them first.

- Weapon stats can tell you a lot, but not everything. Things like speed and range are important and can only be determined by actually using them.

- Resistance is a waste of time, there's only a couple parts of the game where it helps at all and you can easily get past those parts without it.

When in doubt, try rolling through it.

Upgrading equipment is more important than stats, though try not to neglect the other.

anthony87:
When you get to the archers in Anor Londo you WILL die.

Don't worry about it, just accept it.

It's not THAT bad! Just keep shield up and run!

No one else has mentioned it,

but: Kill the dogs first. You'll understand when you get there.

Resistance is a completely useless stat: Don't ever level it.

Weapons and armor matter more than stat leveling. Focus on the former more than the latter.

Slow and steady wins the race. Barging through areas is never a good idea. Except when it is, but whatever.

I'd recommend not getting the Master Key, solely because it will give you a more...wholesome(?) experience. Maybe I'm in the minority, but I think it will come down to preference. I really do recommend it for first play-throughs.

I'll come up and edit more in when I can think of them.

But really: Fuck those dogs.

First completely disregard anyone who says to go into it blind. The biggest problem that the Souls series has is not explaining mechanics to the players. Dark Souls was my first game and even though I got about half way through it, going in blind was a giant cluster fuck. My build was terrible, I murdered NPCs left and right, I consumed items that I didn't know had uses in the future, and I wandered into zones which were meant for later in the game and I got instantly slaughtered.

I haven't seen anyone else post this advice, but if you really really want to get into the souls series start with 2. Two puts you more on a linear path for the first chunk of the game, it is hard to waste points, and it eases you into the world, also deaths are very forgiving. I quit DS1 out of frustration, yet I cannot get enough of 2, it is hands down the better starting point for new players.

DS2 easing me into the world made me go out and buy Demon Souls because now that I have an understanding of how this series works I'm going to go back and finish/play DS1 and Demon Souls.

crimsonshrouds:
Just bought Darks Souls and I was wondering if i could get some tips or resources before i start playing it.

curious as to how many options there are to summon, not the second (third?) game is out. some of the bosses are a bitch solo.

i also second oing in blind, i would say a bow is good to drawer out single enemies, as mobs can quickly overwhelm

Having got a few months ago and playing up to the first dragon I can say don't fuck with the guy at the start he gives a few useful tips also if you attack him prepare for a long fight and dieing allot. I found that with the taurus demon you should climb up the ladder and do one drop down attack then climb back up and fight it on top of the tower you gain allot more space and can attack him easier. Also the Taurus demon is a mini boss and you will fight two at the same time later on. Just figured I'd give you a heads up on that.

Talk to every NPC you can find, at every opportunity. Especially the Crestfallen Warrior. They give you the direction that everybody seems to think doesn't exist.

Learn to DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOODGE! Blocking is nice, even great, but learning to dodge will vastly extend your life expectency.

Learn that weapons are different and that raw damage is not the end all be all. Strategy and getting familiar with how your weapon is used is key to survival.

Keep an eye on the environment. It's both beautiful and deadly. Don't forget deadly.

Don't have negative thoughts. Remember your mantra.

Well people have already posted a lot of super awesome, detailed mechanical advise, so I'm just gonna drop some tips from my personal experience. In no particular order:

1. After the first non-tutorial boss (Tarturus Demon) you can find a blacksmith who can upgrade your weapons. Upgrade whatever you are using a few times as the titanite shards that early upgrades use is dirt common and having a upgraded weapons makes the next few bosses much easier.

2. The Balder knights in the cathedral drop the balder shield which is IMO the best general use medium shield in the game, and the Balder Side Sword which is a simple but extremely strong weapon.

3. Super heavy armor generally isn't worth it, its much better to keep at least a mid roll and avoid damage entirely.

4. IMO avoid the drake sword, its a trap weapon that is super good very early on, but all it does is make you lazy and allow you to breeze through a few areas and when it falls off like a rock as you progress in the game you will regret not having experience or a well upgraded weapon you are comfortable with.

5. Master key is the only good starting gift. if you really care, you can obtain the Old Witch's ring during gameplay IIRC

6. low level areas are troll city. If you get invaded they will most likely delete you from existance with a singe attack. Don't let it get you down, just stay hollow in the burg and parish.

7. don't be afraid of suicide runs. As long as you don't have many souls on you death is largely painless and you can get some awesome items within minuets of starting the game by sprinting madly into places you aren't suppose to go until later and picking up as much stuff as you can before you die. The graveyard near Firelink is a prime example of a good place to do this.

8. Working some form of ranged attack into your setup will make your life so much easier. STR builds can use pyromancy because it doesn't scale with stats, DEX builds can use bows effectivly, and INT builds are obviously going to be using magic.

9. Don't feel guilty using a guide to find the "embers" that allow new kinds of elemental upgrade. They are damn near essential to get good damage, especially for mages, but are stupidly well hidden.

10. Divine weapons can keep skeletons dead. You will only use that tidbit in two areas , but you will thank me for it then.

11. Gravity can kill Havel better than you can (gotta keep that one a little cryptic).

12. If someone seems untrustworthy, they may just be untrustworthy (that one too).

That's all I got off the top of my head. feel free to send me a PM if are stuck on something specific and want more tips or want some info without digging through the wiki.

major_chaos:

11. Gravity can kill Havel better than you can (gotta keep that one a little cryptic).

I just wanted to point this tip out because I found it funny.

You realize you don't know his name until you kill him and get his drop right? That makes this entire tip kind of meaningless for someone on their first play through (and also it can be argued that it's not even Havel you're fighting).

Dirty Hipsters:

I just wanted to point this tip out because I found it funny.

You realize you don't know his name until you kill him and get his drop right? That makes this entire tip kind of meaningless for someone on their first play through

That's the point. The tactic I'm suggesting is horrendously cheesy, I didn't want my post to turn into "unambiguous tips for how to be a total munchkin on your first playthrough", so I kept it super vague. Also there are other ways to know his name, like finding his armor in Anor Londo or seeing him on the wiki.

Go in blind

major_chaos:

Dirty Hipsters:

I just wanted to point this tip out because I found it funny.

You realize you don't know his name until you kill him and get his drop right? That makes this entire tip kind of meaningless for someone on their first play through

That's the point. The tactic I'm suggesting is horrendously cheesy, I didn't want my post to turn into "unambiguous tips for how to be a total munchkin on your first playthrough", so I kept it super vague. Also there are other ways to know his name, like finding his armor in Anor Londo or seeing him on the wiki.

Does anyone actually go to anor londo before darkroot garden though? And if you're trying to be vague then what's the point of even putting his name? Either the person will know what you're talking about or they won't, so keeping it purposefully vague is pretty pointless.

michael87cn:
Keep your shield up. Learn when to dodge and when to block. Don't be greedy with your attacks. You have all the time in the world - usually - take your time and play defensively.

This is important. Dark Souls WILL punish you if you are impatient. I died so many times in the game trying to get out that last hit faster instead of waiting for another opening. Always assume that the enimies are faster than you.

Also pay attention to what your enemies are doing. You can always see or hear what they are going to do next and react to it.

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