Dark Souls II Strategy Guide

Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Bandai Namco Entertainment
  • Platforms
    Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
  • Genre
    Action Role-playing
  • Guide Release
    5 May 2014
  • Last Updated
    21 March 2018
  • Guide Author
    Andrew Mills

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Starting Gifts

We reckon you should either pick the Healing Wares, the Bonfire Ascetic or the Seed of a Tree of Giants. The rest can be found easily enough in-game.

Just like in Dark Souls 1, you can start your adventure with a free gift. Each gift, generally, has a specific purpose and some are definitely better than others when it comes to benefits offered. So let’s take a closer look at each one and see if it’s worth picking or not.

  • **Nothing:** Start without any freebies ( *pointless* ).
  • **Life Ring:** Slightly raises your max HP (pointless *as you'll find this easily in the main game* ).
  • **Human Effigy:** A single Effigy to return to human form ( *not worth it as there's a good amount in-game to be found* ).
  • **Healing Wares:** Start with numerous Lifegems and some Poison Moss ( *great pick for those just starting out in the game* ).
  • **Homeward Bone:** Crush it to return to the last bonfire you touched ( *more than enough of these can be found in-game - so don't pick it* ).
  • **Seed of a Tree of Giants:** Turns any AI-controlled creatures into enemies if you're invaded ( *very, very rare in-game but only useful if you like to PvP a lot* ).
  • **Bonfire Ascetic:** Burning this at a bonfire will make enemies in that area **much** harder to beat (so it treats an area as if you've finished the game and come back). Perfect for seasoned players and speedrunners as it also unlocks a lot of New Game + content early - otherwise it's masochism for anyone else.
  • **Petrified Something:** Drop it in the bird's nest in *Things Betwixt* and greatly increase your odds of receiving a much better item back in return (compared to a small smooth and silky stone for example) - but it's still complete luck what you ultimately end up with. Can be found in-game so difficult to recommend.