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Because Dark Souls 3 tosses you in with little in the way of a tutorial the basics of gameplay can only be learned through the messages in the Cemetery of Ash.

Health & Death

Your character’s health is determined by your Vigor, with the red gauge at the top left of the screen indicating your overall health. When your health reaches 0 your Champion of Ash will die and return to the last bonfire you activated, dropping your Souls on the ground.

There are a few ways to regain your health:

  • Rest at a bonfire to refresh your HP, FP, etc.
  • Use an Estus Flask, which is automatically refilled each time you sit at a bonfire.
  • Cast a spell that restores your HP.
  • Use an Ember to increase your max HP pool and restore you to full HP.
    Note that death while Embered will result in becoming unkindled, losing a large portion of their max HP pool until you become human again.

Make sure to watch your health, using Estus Flasks to heal (left). You can increase the number of Flasks by finding Estus Shards and handing them to Andre (right).

Souls & Leveling Up

Souls are the form of currency in Dark Souls 3, used for purchasing everything from items at the Merchants to leveling up your character.

They are obtained by killing enemies or using items and will be stored on you until you use them or you die. If you die, your Souls will drop on the ground near the area of your death, marked by a glowing green bloodstain, so make sure to pick them up before you die a second time or you will lose them forever.

In order to level up you’ll need to hear to Firelink Shrine to speak with the Fire Keeper, who will allow you to exchange a certain amount of Souls for 1 point in any stat of your choice. Each time you exchange Souls for a stat you’ll be required to exchange more the next time, no matter which stat you are leveling, as your overall character Level determines the cost.

The Firekeeper will allow you to use your souls to increase your stats.

Saving & Loading

Dark Souls 3 uses the auto-save feature, saving periodically at random points in the game. This means that if you die you can’t simply reload the game and try again and you’ll need to fight through the area again.

The only exception to this is backing up a save file to an external device, such as a USB Flash Drive. This will allow you to beat the final boss, obtaining the ending trophies/achievements, and then overwrite the save file with your old file to complete another ending, without having to play through the whole game again.

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Guide Information
  • Publisher
    Bandai Namco Entertainment
  • Platforms,
    PC, PS4, XB One
  • Genre
    Action RPG
  • Guide Release
    24 May 2016
  • Last Updated
    7 December 2020
  • Guide Author
    Stephanie Barnes

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“Only in truth the lords will abandon their thrones and the unkindled will rise. Nameless accursed undead, unfit even to be cinder.”

You are an Unkindled, a being of ash, unworthy of becoming even a Lord of Cinder. You awaken in the Cemetery of Ash to the tolling of a bell, signalling the approaching end of the First Flame. You must seek out the embers of the First Flame and defeat the Lords of Cinder so the flame can be linked again.

“And so it is, that ash seeketh embers…”

As you journey through the treacherous realms of Lothric, our guide will be a constant companion. Inside you will find:

  • A complete walkthrough of the main areas and strategies for defeating all bosses;
  • All side areas and optional bosses discovered
  • Full details on the different endings to the game;
  • NPC Side quests and other optional content;
  • Covenant explanations;
  • A detailed trophy/achievement guide;
  • Suggested character builds to help you get through the game with ease.

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