Dark Souls II Survival Guide

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Dark Souls II Survival Guide

Dark Souls II

Dark Souls II continues a long tradition of games that will challenge even the most veteran of gamers. You’ll explore, experiment, and die many times throughout your quest. While it would be against From Software’s design philosophy to give you a detailed map of the world and a full explanation of the game’s story, we did want to give you a few pointers before you go beyond death come March 11th on PS3.

A few basic changes exist within Dark Souls II that even the Souls veterans might want to know before venturing into the land of Drangleic:

  • Fast Travel: Bonfire’s serve as the “checkpoints” in Dark Souls II. As soon as you light a new Bonfire, you’re able to travel between that fire and any other Bonfire that you’ve lit.
  • Leveling: Spending hard-earned souls to level up can only happen with the Emerald Herald, a specific NPC you’ll need to return to each time you wish to seek more power.
  • Welcome to Majula: Soaked in eerie sunlight, you’ll be roaming around the hub town of Majula early on in your quest. Majula houses the Emerald Herald, vendors, merchants, and other persons of interest that will help you piece together the many stories of Drangleic.
  • Death Hurts: Every time you die, you’ll lose a tiny piece of your maximum health as your body decays. You can restore your humanity and stave off the Curse by consuming a Human Effigy. Use these wisely.

Know Your Stats

Dark Souls II continues to put an emphasis on player choice. Whether you want a tattooed spellcaster, a 7′ tall pyromancer who also fancies a greatbow, or a stocky crusader who wields a hammer and uses holy magic to smite his foes, the choice is yours.

Many character statistics and their properties have carried over from Dark Souls, but there are some new additions. On the Player Status screen you can press Select and navigate the menu for more a more detailed explanation. One new addition to Dark Souls II is Adaptability. Adaptability affects your character’s Movement Speed, Resistances, and more. Another addendum to the Dark Souls II mechanics is Attunement, granting increased casting speed for Spells, Miracles, and Hexes.

Dark Souls IIDark Souls II

Any character build in Dark Souls II can be “good,” but an understanding of the different statistics and their effects will help you decide where that next point goes.

Two Swords Are Better Than One?

Dual-wielding is now possible with your Dark Souls II characters. You can wield a weapon in either hand, or in both. This provides you with even more options to choose from while cutting through the Undead. Will you give up that sturdy shield for even more offense? Be sure to experiment with different weapon combinations to learn the new attack patterns and animations.

Durability and You

Your equipment will wear over time, slowly losing durability as you take hits and inflict wounds. One thing to be careful of is scraping your blade against hard surfaces. If you’re continually banging on the walls with your Falchion, the durability will drain much faster. Resting at a Bonfire will restore your equipment’s durability, but if an item has broken completely, you’ll need to visit a Blacksmith for a solution.

Dark Souls IIDark Souls II

Left or Right?

Dark Souls II was built with player freedom in mind. This game is not linear. If you find yourself struggling with a certain enemy or area, explore other paths. There is no “right way” to progress through the game. Each player will find his or her own path. If you truly get stuck, try exploring past areas — you may find that things have changed since you left.


Dark Souls II has been designed to integrate a single and multiplayer experience. Covenants exist to allow players to role-play within Drangleic. Many NPCs throughout the game will offer membership with their respective Covenant. Whether you prefer a hardcore single-player experience, challenging other players to PvP battle, helping fellow comrades through tough areas, or defending against other players, there’s a Covenant for you. Special rewards wait for those who choose to champion their Covenants dutifully.

Weapons, Armor, Spells, Covenants, and Character Stats will let you play Dark Souls II however you choose. Countless character builds, boss strategies, and PvP tactics will blossom once the game launches next week. We look forward to seeing how you go beyond death.

Comments are closed.


  • Hell yes!

  • That’s all great! It won’t stop you from dying a lot though.

    But the big question is: Where is Dark Souls II for the PS4?


  • oh god I cannot wait

  • Man, I can’t wait for next Tuesday night. Get the kids in bed, pop in Dark Souls 2, and probably never see my bed that night. :)

  • Cannot wait for next week. Everything else gets pushed aside for DS2.

  • How to beat Dark Souls 2.

    Step 1: Never play it.
    Step 2: That’s it! You win!

  • I hope it’s more harder then the beta, because I was able to everything I can/ fight bosses without dying once.

  • NO TIPS!!! Just let people die trying! lol

  • God Eater 2, can I have it please? I was a good little consumer and took the gun held to my head and bought Graces: F – terrible game, but we were told we needed it ‘if’ Namco would consider bringing the other Tales games over. I bought that, Xillia, DS 2 (pre-ordered). Even Knight’s Contract, which I rather enjoyed the punishing unfairness of. Almost everything Namco has made in the last few years that is fantasy/ action. So, community manager, GE2. What’s the deal? If there’s some horrid or fantastic game you need to twist my arm into purchasing to get GE2, please say, and the money is as good as yours.

  • @ 2 With the way the PS4 is selling and the ease and popularity of up-ports (Tomb Raider, GT 5 is coming), you know we’ll get a PS4 DS 2 port. Probably in the fall, I imagine. They want you to double-dip though, which many of us will.

  • Most highly anticipated game for this year. Pre-ordered the CE and am scared about how hard this will be.

  • It sounds just like previous Souls… I would buy if it was on Vita, though.

  • The Sony Entertainment Network webstore is still broken for many of us. The add to cart button disappears. All browsers (firefox, ie, chrome), clearing cache, reboots, different tablets/computers don’t fix the issue. It has been a month, Sony. Stop sandbagging and address this issue. We haven’t received a single official statement on the matter. Does sony even read their own support forums? Twitter accounts?

  • Ah yes! Dark Souls II finally here, just in time for spring break. Guess I won’t be going out much (or not at all). :p Been itching for more since Dark Souls.

  • @Christian399

    One of the few titles I will actually double-dip on. I will end up replaying this game many times.

  • Let the whining begin, i can see it now the developers made this too difficult. Can they patch it to tone it down. Shut your heineken & man up or stay away from the game lol.

  • I love this game!!

  • I can’t wait!

  • YES. GOTY all years.

    My CE can’t come soon enough. And thanks to international shipping, it won’t come soon at all. :(

  • i couldn’t care less about Dark Souls but i’m wondering why you guys at Namco are making the upcoming Dynasty Warriors Gundam Reborn digital only in NA? I can only guess its because you aren’t going to dub it, but why not? The first 3 games were so why be lazy for the new one?

    I’m just really tired of you and Koei making these subtitled digital only games (One Piece PW 1 and 2) and still charging full price for them, despite putting less effort into localizing them. :(

  • I’ve been holding off checking out pretty much ANY info for this game. I want to go in as blind as possible. Can’t wait!

  • I don’t own a PS3 so I will wait for the release of Dark Souls 2 on PS4.

    HOPE and… BEYOND.

  • @Ryumoau You couldn’t care less about Dark Souls (1st mistake), so you decided to come check out and comment on the “Dark Souls II Survival Guide” blog post? C’mon now….

  • Praise the sun!

  • Some advice I can give anyone playing a “Souls” game:
    1. Be patient and observe everything around you. Take things slow and steady. If your in an area you don’t know, keep your shield raised when walking. Be vigilant.
    2. If you fail, and you will, try to understand WHY. Think about how you can approach the situation differently, I see many players dying again and again using the same tactics that just got them killed. Think. Act. React.
    3. Try to pick a playstyle and spend your points upgrading your character accordingly. Being a “jack of all trades” in DS means you probably wasted a lot points.
    4. Pay attention to NPC’s. They often give you VERY subtle clues relating to the story, area, or something more specific. The same advise applies to item, and their descriptions.
    5. Don’t be afraid to call for help. You can call other PC’s into your game, if you really can’t handle a boss or area, this may help you avoid frustration.
    6. Praise the sun.

  • I hope the developer holds off on any next gen or PC development until the game is running smooth and the network code/servers work well.

    I have it preordered, just did a trial of Amazon Prime to get it free shipping next Tuesday or Wednesday. Very excited, I don’t even think of buying more than one or two games a year new.

  • “Dark Souls II Survival Guide” is an oxymoron. Prepare to die… over… and over and over again if you buy this game. As for me, I have too little time to waste on stressful and aggravating games like this, regardless of how much I might love the subject matter or setting. Hey Namco, can you convince FROM to make Enchanted Arms II for the REST of us? Loved that game.

  • The appeal of gaming masochism is beyond me.

  • Darks Souls is like the Ninja Gaiden Version of RPG’s lol, with Dark Souls 2 oh i cannot wait. so everyone have you guys figure out whats your starting class will be? Knight all the way ^_^

  • Probably starting with Knight or Warrior, going to do a STR build first. I loved the Zweihander in the network test.
    I hope there’s a stat reset NPC this time around.

    @ElektroDragon: there’s no masochism involved. Dark Souls will punish you for your mistakes, but it’s only very difficult when you don’t know what you’re doing. The game will not hold your hand through it. It’s a learning experience, and one can go quite deep in it. Dying is just an inevitable part of the process; the real joy is figuring everything out for yourself and discovering and experiencing this rich universe for the first time. It’s an amazing feeling that not many modern games are capable of bringing out.

  • Can’t wait! Day one for me. Thanks for the tips.

  • Now that Dark Souls II is coming out you should give away Dark Souls next month as part of PS Plus.

  • Demon’s Souls veterans should feel right at home.

  • Oh I am so excited I feel just like a little girl. Been waiting and awfully long time for Tuesday night. Too bad I have to work Wednesday and I can’t take it off. Argghhhh! Time to die again…

  • I cry every night I don’t have this game.

  • I’ll wait for the inevitable PS4 version. There’s no way I’m double dipping despite the fact that I still use my PS3 even more than my PS4 – this game should have been a PS4 release and I’ll wait another year if I must.

  • Is there some kind of a reword for having played or platinumed demon’s souls/Dark souls ? Also, dose anyone have a time machine i can use for just a sec to get to the 15th ?

  • Man I am so excited for this game, can’t wait. I just hope that there aren’t any framerate issues like Blighttown.

  • Wiping drool off my keyboard. . .

  • “You’re able to travel between that fire and ANY OTHER BONFIRE that you’ve lit.”

    Are you sure that’s correct? any bonfire, not just the one at the start of an area? Sounds too convenient….

  • Cannot wait till the 14th!

  • i played a royal in demon souls i think i’m going wizard this time

  • Nice…I gotta say this game looks good….I liked Demon’s Souls but I never cared about Dark Souls until you guys released the announcement CGI for Dark Souls 2 and that gameplay for IGN,now I pretty much watch all the gameplay for Dark Souls 2.And I’ll buy both Dark Souls and Dark Souls 2…for real good job making me interested in a game I didn’t even cared for.

  • Just a few days more… Damn! cant wati to go beyond the death! :3 it’s of exciting knowing that you gonna play an extreme difficult game… yikes! XD

  • PS4 version please!?

  • Do you get the pre-order bonuses if you pre-order the game on PSN?

  • Praise the sun!

    I’m too excited to get this, the first DS was amazing, and i’m sure this will be even better… and harder.

    Love my PS4, but my PS3 is next to it and will be because of great games like Dark Souls 2.

  • @21, Ryu- ‘I couldn’t care less about Dark Souls…’

    I stopped reading then as I’m sure J. or any Namco rep has too.

    Not a mature way to seek an inquiry.

  • WaveLightning777

    Tales series avatars? Please? Every other region has them…

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