Combat in Dark Souls™: Remastered is fast, brutal, bloody, and often fatal. Heed this advice to stay alive just a little longer.
Death lurks around every corner
Treat every enemy you encounter with respect. Basic monsters, bosses, invaders—they’re all capable of killing you swiftly if you drop your guard. Don’t rush, especially when you’re entering new areas.
When you encounter new enemies, slow down! Block, dodge, dance in and out of attack range, and observe your foe’s attacks. Learn their movements! Predicting the moves of your foe allows you to dodge, parry, and block more proficiently. You don’t need perfect reflexes when you know what to expect.
Pulling and baiting
Pulling is simply the act of getting a monster to chase you to a safer position with more favorable terrain. Use a ranged weapon or spell to draw their ire, retreat to a defensible position and then engage. If you must, lure them by letting them spot you and then run!
Baiting is a straightforward, but extremely important, tactic to use in direct combat. Bait your enemies by drawing out an attack and evading it, and you can retaliate decisively (sometimes with a fatal backstab by circling around while your enemy is recovering from their lunge).
In the long run, classes don’t matter
Don’t sweat your initial class decision. A starting class in Dark Souls is simply a package of preliminary attributes and equipment. If you decide you want to transition into a heavily armored tank from a robe wearing mage, you absolutely can.
On your first run through the game, if you find that your chosen starting playstyle isn’t working well, change it! You can always go for a more focused build on later characters once you have a better understanding of the options at your disposal. Playing a “jack of all trades” with your first character is a good way to learn!
Don’t relax. Ever.
Even if you’ve cleared a few rooms and have tons of space to relax, you might not be safe. The threat of invasion from another player demands that you pay attention at all times. Do not leave your game unattended. There is no pause. There is no respite. Unless you’re playing offline, you need to keep the possibility of invasion in the back of your head at all times.
If you get frustrated
Dark Souls is hard, make no mistake. But don’t despair. Dying is totally ok, the worst that can happen to you is losing some saved Souls, and they can always be replenished. Equipment you find and upgrade, shortcuts you unlock, and attributes you increase are all permanent, and most importantly, the knowledge you gain exploring and fighting improves your gameplay even as your character gains strength.
If you’re having a really rough time, take a break, cool your head, and come back refreshed. Think about what you’re having trouble with. Try a different approach, or explore a different area entirely. Use your items, use your spells, try different weapons or armor, and experiment with new tactics. Do not hoard your consumables, use them!
And, even though it isn’t necessary, remember you can always go monster hunting specifically to farm more Souls and gain levels. Sometimes a bit more HP or Stamina can tip the scales in a tough fight—opening up a new spell or weapon can improve your odds.
There is a vibrant and thriving online community around Dark Souls as well, so any time you need a bit of encouragement, seek out some fellow fans and engage in “jolly cooperation.” Just be wary of spoilers if you’re new, your first run through the game is a one-time experience!