Anyone Can Beat Dark Souls – A Beginner’s Guide

To this day, From Software’s iconic games are heavily discussed in many video gaming circles. This started with their first breakout title, Dark Souls. A game so insipring that it has kickstarted an entire subgenre of video games (aptly titled “souls-likes”). Much of the game’s discourse revolves around it being an incredibly difficult game. This can put off people who want to enjoy the game. Thankfully, much of the conversation around Dark Souls depicts it as harder than it actually is. This game is still quite challenging, but anyone can experience the iconic, impactful, and deceivingly simple game. Here are some tips to get you into the game without pulling your hair out.

Be Cautious!

Every enemy in Dark Souls is a threat, even the smallest ones. This game will punish you for rushing through carelessly. Always be on guard, you never know when enemies will be hiding, trying to get the jump on you. Every enemy has a pattern and a weakness, it’s up to you to find a way to exploit them. It’s okay to walk around slowly, holding up your shield. There is no rush, and being aware of your surroundings is key to navigating Dark Souls.

Play Dark Souls Online

Although this concept might be scary at first, playing online helps so much more than it hurts. Playing online will allow you to read the messages that other players leave behind. these messages are often left by veteran players who wish to help people. Reading these messages can help you find secret items, checkpoints, or even entire areas. People will often say that this game does not hold your hand, which is technically true. However, there are an overwhelming amount of players ready to help you as well.


Arguable the toughest part of Dark Souls, the bosses are often, big, intimidating, and have a tendency to crush you with little remorse. For many, these are the dealbreaker for a Dark Souls playthrough. Thankfully, players can help with (most) bosses! If you’re stuck at a boss fight, consume a humanity at a bonfire to reverse hollowing (this all makes sense within the game). This will allow you to see summon signs outside fo the boss area that let you summon players who want to help you defeat the boss!

Being Human – The Downside

Although there are some small buffs for being human in Dark Souls, it helps as a new player to save your humanity until you want to fight a boss. The main reason for this is for two main reasons: First, humanity is rare, it’s always better to try and conserve it as it is tough to come by until later in the game. Second, This game also has online PvP, and you can’t opt out of it. A player can invade your game and will aim to kill you. Like the allies you summon, they are also likely veteran players, and worth trying to avoid for a first-time player. By conserving humanity, you minimize the chances of getting invaded, while maximizing the chances you have to summon some help for a particularly hard boss.

Take Breaks

If you’re having a hard time in a particular area, you can take a break. This game is not going anywhere and actively rewards your patience. If you do not wish to stop playing entirely, try exploring an area you haven’t been to yet! Dark Souls is fairly open-ended in nature, which allows you to come back to areas whenever you feel like. The game will also reward the player for exploring and finding new paths throughout the game.

If Nothing Else Works – Look It Up!

Despite what it may look like on the outside, the Dark Souls community has extensive resources to help you play the game however you want to play. People have completed this game in every way possible, so there is almost always a resource to help you get past a roadblock. One of the most helpful places to start is the Dark Souls Wiki, this site has in-depth information on everything regarding Dark Souls.

Final Thoughts

Dark Souls is a challenging, yet truly unique experience that I believe anybody should try. Hopefully this beginner’s guide can help whoever wants to play, but has been put-off by the game’s intimidating demeanor. Thanks for reading!

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