Dark Souls 2 Bosses Ranked by Difficulty

It’s kind of crazy to think about just how many bosses are in Dark Souls 2. A lot of them I don’t even remember fighting because they were just so incredibly easy to beat. There were also those bosses that I spent a lot of time learning their moves because they were very difficult to master. Many times throughout the game I actually thought about quitting, as certain bosses were so annoying.

Many of the bosses in Dark Souls 2 are memorable because they had a certain attack or body movement that was different from all the others. Out of all the Dark Souls games, this one takes the cake for being the hardest for me because of all the bosses you fight in it.

Don’t let the sheer amount of bosses stop you from playing Dark Souls 2. Everyone who plays any of the other Dark Souls games should play through this game at least once. If you are having trouble with Dark Souls 2, check out this guide I found on Amazon here.

Related: DS2 Beginner’s Guide

Here are all of the Dark Souls 2 bosses ranked by difficulty:

40. Skeleton Lords

Source: Fandom Wiki

When I walked into their boss arena for the first time, I thought to myself that it would be a very hard fight. As I fought them, I realized just how easy they were to defeat. Basically all you really have to do is defeat every skeleton in the room and the boss fight is over. I did not expect it to be that easy to achieve victory.

Interesting Fact – The Old Iron King commanded the capture of all Undead, and led his best men on Undead hunts. The captured Undead were thrown into cells built in the forest that would become known as Huntsman’s Copse. These unfortunate souls were tortured and killed mercilessly and eventually reduced to skeletons. Those charged with the task of rounding up the Undead were overcome by the Curse themselves, and the march of time has eroded any difference between the captors and the captives.

39. The Last Giant

Source: Fandom Wiki

The Last Giant was another one of those bosses you would think to be hard, but once you understand how he moves, you can defeat him easily. What makes the boss fight especially creepy is how he rips his own arm off to use it as a weapon against the player. He only has a few attacks and all of them can be avoided with a basic roll.

Interesting Fact – The Last Giant is the sole surviving Giant of the Cardinal Tower siege. He is the beaten, broken remains of the Giant Lord who had once brought wrath and ruin to the entire kingdom of Drangleic.

38. Dragonrider

Source: Fandom Wiki

The Dragonrider is a fairly easy boss if you decide to make his boss arena wider. Before you fight him, there are secret levers that the only way to activate them is to kill his guards. There are a total of 3 levers for you to pull to finally make his boss arena easy to fight him in. If you rush to the boss, then you will only have a small platform to fight him on.

Interesting Fact – The Dragonriders were King Vendrick’s royal guard. Together with the king, they helped found Drangleic by crushing its former inhabitants and erecting the kingdom upon their graves.

37. Flexile Sentry

Source: Fandom Wiki

The Flexile Sentry is a very weird boss to fight because of his appearance and his boss arena. His arena is at the bottom of a ship with some water on the floor, and he looks like 2 people attached to each other. It has a weapon in each hand and is very slow to attack. Altogether, this boss is very easy to beat.

Interesting Fact – The Flexile Sentry is a merciless creature whose purpose is purportedly to punish the Undead. By the descriptions of its deeds, it seemed to fill the role of an executioner or one that would eradicate the Undead. It did this by cramming inmates of the overflowing Lost Bastille onto a rickety ship and casting them out to the open sea.

36. Skorpioness Najka

Source: Fandom Wiki

She is probably one of the weirdest bosses in all of Dark Souls 2 because she is literally a giant scorpion woman. She constantly jumps at you and digs under the sand where the arena takes place. Skorpioness is not a hard boss, but it is definitely a memorable one.

Interesting Fact – Najka was born of the misdeeds of an ancient being. She and Manscorpion Tark once had a master who created them both long, long ago, so long ago that nobody now remembers when they were born or where their master has gone.

35. The Pursuer

Source: Fandom Wiki

The Pursuer is a boss that is harder than you make him out to be. Once you walk through that fog gate, you firstly see a giant floating knight with glowing eyes holding a giant sword. What I did not realize is if you get him in the right spot, you can kill him with the ballista in his boss arena.

Interesting Fact – The Pursuer can levitate. He is not able to fly, because one of the Pursuer’s uses an eagle to be carried from area to area.

34. Prowling Magus and Congregation

Source: Fandom Wiki

This boss is a really weird boss because he is just a leader of a small congregation of dead people. I died a few times by this boss, but in all honesty, I really should have one-shotted him. The only thing that made me die was the number of enemies in the room during the fight.

Interesting Fact – This congregation is the tattered remnants of the Tseldora Cove survivors, that the priests healed and cared for them and that the Prowling Magus led these vulnerable people, perhaps seeking or draining their souls, or perhaps trying to find redemption in helping them.

33. Mytha, the Baneful Queen

Source: Fandom Wiki

Mytha, the Baneful Queen is only hard for 1 reason and 1 reason only. She is hard because of the poison that covers the floor in her boss arena. The way you get rid of the poison is to burn the windmill near the bonfire and it will drain the poison right out of the arena.

Interesting Fact – Mytha became obsessed with regaining her King’s love through her own beauty. She sought any means to achieve this, even poisoning herself.

32. Ruin Sentinels

Source: Fandom Wiki

When fighting these guys, you have to watch out because if all of them jump onto the platform, they can all combo you to death. In my opinion, the Ruin Sentinels are not that hard, but others may disagree. When fighting them, use a weapon that attacks fast because you are going to have to kill them fast.

Interesting Fact – The Ruin Sentinels are creations of the jailer. They have no tangible form and are only an empty soul that haunts the armor.

31. Royal Rat Vanguard

Source: Fandom Wiki

This boss starts out almost like you are not even fighting a boss at all. You walk into a room and then a bunch of rats starts attacking you. After you defeat a few of them, the boss finally comes out. It is actually just as easy as the other rats, but with the other rats attacking at the same time can make it a challenge. Rats are a very annoying enemy in the Dark Souls series, but this boss fight isn’t anything compared to a boss later on in the game.

Interesting Fact – The Royal Rat Vanguard looks very similar to his corpse-hunting Rat brethren, except his eyes are yellow, his mohawk fur is more pronounced, and his ears are bigger.

30. Giant Lord

Source: Fandom Wiki

The Giant Lord is basically the same fight as the Last Giant with the exception of not using his arm to beat you down. I will not spoil anything, but where you fight him is a very cool area and part of the main story of the game. Just don’t stay in the area for long afterward. Don’t let his massive size fool you because in these types of games, the bigger the enemy, the easier they will be to defeat.

Interesting Fact – The Giant Lord was felled by an unknown warrior. His beaten and broken remains were then dragged beneath the Great Fort stronghold, where he was bound and sealed away in chains.

29. Covetous Demon

Source: Fandom Wiki

The covetous demon is a fat, ugly beast that basically uses his body to attack you. His worst attack is when he rolls over on top of you and does massive damage because he is soo big. Once you memorize his attacks, he is not a hard boss at all. Try to kill him quickly because his attacks are very fast and can easily one-shot you if you make a wrong move.

Interesting Fact – The fate of the man who became the Covetous Demon is not unique. We also find a white-colored Covetous Demon in the Lower Garrison of Eleum Loyce.

28. Lost Sinner

Source: Fandom Wiki

The Lost Sinner is the easiest out of all the 4 primal bonfire bosses and it is a really fun fight too. She has a wide variety of moves that differ from slashes to jumps. Once defeated, you get a special soul that will give you even more souls for upgrading purposes and you also get to light the primal bonfire.

Interesting Fact – The Lost Sinner committed what some would believe to be the ultimate sin; attempting to light the First Flame. It was then when she was imprisoned and kept in chains.

27. Guardian Dragon

Source: Fandom Wiki

The Guardian Dragon is a very fun boss fight because it is the first dragon boss in Dark Souls 2. What makes the fight cool, its arena is in a giant cage where the dragon is kept. He is not that hard of a boss but can be a challenge when certain weapons like magic weapons are used. In all seriousness though, this boss was kind of difficult.

Interesting Fact – When defeated, it drops the Guardian Dragon Soul. This can be traded to Ornifex for either the Spitfire Spear or the Drakewing Ultra Greatsword.

26. Demon of Song

Source: Fandom Wiki

This happens to be the weirdest boss in all of Dark Souls for me because of how ugly and odd it is. His attacks are very different and you can only attack him when he opens up his flap on his face. He reminds me of a giant frog because he hops around the boss arena. Sometimes you might be prone to be greedy with attacks, but the best thing to do is be patient.

Interesting Fact – When the Demon of Song developed a taste for human flesh, it was contained within the Shrine of Amana. A line of priestesses was put in place to look after the Shrine and appease the demon by sacred rituals, but they have since died off or gone hollow and over time the tradition was lost and the Demon set free.

25. The Rotten

Source: Fandom Wiki

The Rotten is where I had a lot of my trouble. His attacks seem to damage me even if he did not hit me and his movements feel a little bit clunky. He also does major damage if you get hit with a special attack, not to mention the lava pools all around the arena you fight him in. His body is made up of dead bodies that were merged together to make a giant beast and holds a giant cleaver.

Interesting Fact – The Rotten appears to have begun with an Undead trapped in one of the numerous iron cages found throughout Drangleic and is held together with chains.

24. Royal Rat Authority

Source: Fandom Wiki

This boss is a boss that made me very angry when I first went up against it. What makes the boss fight hard is the 4 little rats that fight along with the massive rat, and what makes it worse is that the little rats make toxic build upon the player. If you don’t kill the four rats before the fight begins, then you are in a pickle. Once the first rat hits you, you are basically done for.

Interesting Fact – Those who choose to serve the Rat King must have the courage to face the Royal Rat Authority in combat. If one defeats the Royal Rat Authority, they will gain a Rat Tail and therefore the right to serve under the Rat King.

23. Elana, the Squalid Queen

Source: Fandom Wiki

She is the first DLC boss on my list, and I am glad it is higher on my list. She is not that hard of a boss because her attacks are slow, but they dish out a butt-load of damage if hit by one. To be honest, I do not remember much from the boss fight just because it was really easy for me to defeat her. She still poses a major threat to everyone though.

Interesting Fact – How Elana came to be the Queen is unclear, but it is likely that in a similar way to the other shards of Manus, she took form and came to the Sunken King.

22. Old Iron King

Source: Fandom Wiki

Another one of the primal bonfire bosses is the Old Iron King. I was actually pretty disappointed by this fight because it was soo darn easy to beat. The only threat is a pit of lava that you could be hit into and if you are thrown in, you will be one-shotted. All you really have to do to beat him is to wait for him to smash the ground and then attack his hands.

Interesting Fact – This living fire that Eygil had created began to breed. The fire charred the king’s flesh and possessed his soul. Fire spouted from the earth and the King’s body became a vessel that bred ichorous earth, the blood of the earth (lava).

21. Executioner’s Chariot

Source: Fandom Wiki

This boss fight is one of those fights that are more annoying than fun. What you basically do is run through a hallway and defeat a bunch of skeletons. Then you have to fight the horses that pull the chariot. It is a pretty hard fight if you don’t know when to run to the next hall because if you get hit by the chariot, you are basically dead.

Interesting Fact – The Executioner was created only to torment and inflict merciless agony with utter impunity upon the Undead by the Old Iron King or one of his subjects.

20. Belfry Gargoyles

Source: Fandom Wiki

I really like this boss because it is the same boss as the Dark Souls version. You go onto the roof and fight a gargoyle as normal, then after like 30 seconds, a second one appears. You have to make sure you defeat the first gargoyle before the second one comes out or you will be in trouble. It brings about deja vu when fighting them because of your first encounter in the previous game.

Interesting Fact – Gargoyles were sentries created by the ancient gods of Anor Londo. It is interesting to note that some of the gargoyle statues can be found in the King’s treasury at Drangleic Castle in the same room as the Dragonrider duo.

19. Velstadt, the Royal Aegis

Source: Fandom Wiki

Veldstadt is the guard who defends King Vendrick while he is in his Hallowed state. He is a massive knight with a huge hammer that has the ability to make copies of himself to fight the player. This is the first boss that I really had difficulty trying to beat just because of the sheer hardness of the fight. His attacks hurt you a lot and he is pretty quick for a guy in some heavy armor.

Interesting Fact – Velstadt is an especially interesting character because of his clerical qualities. His armor is imbued with the power of miracles while his weapon carries a powerful blessing and is described as sacred.

18. Old Dragonslayer

Source: Fandom Wiki

The Old Dragonslayer, the armor set that Dragonslayer Ornstein was wearing in Dark Souls, is a very fun fight. His moves are exactly like his predecessor’s and he is as agile as Ornstein as well. Some people think that he is actually Dragonslayer Ornstein, but that has been proven false through many researchers.

Interesting Fact – The Dragonslayer guards a cathedral like Ornstein. This speaks of thematic similarities as opposed to the same man just doing the same thing for his entire existence.

17. Duke’s Dear Freja

Source: Fandom Wiki

This boss fight has the most annoying run to it than any other boss in the game besides the Rotten. You literally have to run through a giant room with tons of spiders, and also go through a huge spider web room with toms of enemies in it. The boss fight itself is also really annoying because you can only damage the huge spider from the front and back. It also shoots lasers at you.

Interesting Fact – The Duke’s Dear Freja is a giant parasitic spider with two heads on opposite ends of its body. Freja was also a pet of Duke Tseldora after being created by him.

16. Sir Alonne

Source: Fandom Wiki

Sir Alonne is another one of those fights that you need to fight another person in a suit of armor. There is not much to say about this boss other than his attacks are very fast and he is a very hard boss. It is possible to clear out the rooms before the boss if you kill all the enemies 12 times. It makes it easier to get to the boss arena without losing any health or Estus Flasks.

Interesting Fact – Sir Alonne came from an eastern land and chose to serve a little-known and unestablished lord. He became the lord’s most trusted knight and helped him become the Old Iron King.

15. Darklurker

Source: Fandom Wiki

This boss was modeled after the Four Kings from Dark Souls and is easily a difficult boss to defeat. With the right weapons and miracles, he can be defeated easily, but for many, it is a challenge. It starts out in a dark room and one spawns. after a little bit, another one spawns, and so on. It basically recreates the Four Kings boss fight in basically every way.

Interesting Fact – The Darklurker is capable of wielding various forms of magic, teleportation and cloning of itself. It can hurl projectiles of pure dark, creating Dark Greatswords, become invisible and summon forth orbs of fire that will track the Player.

14. Looking Glass Knight

Source: Fandom Wiki

In my opinion, this boss if my favorite boss in Dark Souls 2 because they implemented something that no other boss in the Dark Souls series, except one in Dark Souls 3, has. It has the ability to summon other players as phantoms to help fight against you. The fight is balanced and it is very enjoyable. Not saying he isn’t hard, but the hard bosses are always the most fun to fight.

Interesting Fact – King Vendrick’s lieutenant, charged with testing the prowess of those who seek to serve in Drangleic’s order of royal knights. Ever dedicated to his duty, he continues to await challengers long after Vendrick’s disappearance and the kingdom’s subsequent collapse.

13. Ancient Dragon

Source: Fandom Wiki

The Ancient Dragon is one I struggled with for a very long time because I did not know how to go about it. The running up to the Dragon is very easy if you take out all the Drakekeepers because the Dragon Knights won’t even touch you. The boss fight is very hard because it has the biggest health bar than any other boss in the Dark Souls series. Once you get the strategy down to defeat him, he is a piece of cake.

Interesting Fact – The Ancient Dragon was created, and it is likely because dragons were seen as a possible cure to the Curse.

12. Afflicted Graverobber, Ancient Soldier Varg, and Cerah the Old Explorer

Source: Fandom Wiki

Now we are getting to the really difficult bosses. These 3 NPCs that you have to beat to actually get credit for the boss is very hard. One easy way to defeat them is to go into the water and split them up to make it easier to fight them. They can all be poisoned and take bleed damage so take advantage of that for the fight as well.

Interesting Fact – There are no item descriptions or dialogue regarding these three warriors. From their worn items and armor we can guess that they were all grave robbers come to the Sunken Kingdom in search of treasure.

11. Smelter Demon

Source: Fandom Wiki

Ugg, this boss is really annoying. He constantly hits you with his flame sword, and always boosts his damage. Not to mention his minuscule boss arena that only takes 1 roll to get to the opposite side. Also, just trying to get to him through Iron Keep can be a nightmare. When you get to this boss, make sure you kick him in the butt for me.

Interesting Fact – The Smelter Demon is a mass of iron that has been given a soul. When the Old Iron King acquired the power to grant life to heaps of iron, he molded a great array of metallic automatons.

10. Smelter Demon (Iron Passage)

Source: Fandom Wiki

The Demon in the Iron Passage is the exact same thing as the regular Smelter Demon, but the color is blue. He can jump into the air and do an AoE attack that can damage you immensely. Thankfully, the boss arena is a little bit bigger, but that does not make it an easier fight. Be thankful that you can get hits in when you can. Make sure you try to get your timing perfect.

Interesting Fact – Since the Old Iron Crown DLC does not seem to be set prior to the main events of Dark Souls 2, it is more likely that the two Smelter Demons are contemporaries.

9. Aava, the King’s Pet

Source: Fandom Wiki

Finally, a DLC boss that actually lives up to its name. This boss is a very difficult one because it is a snow tiger that has magic. It shoots icicles at the player and the boss arena is covered in snow. The best thing for a player to do is to get a good shield because it will attack fast and it is good to have some good defense.

Interesting Fact – Aava appears to be a saber-tooth tiger. It was one of the seven beasts who served the Ivory King. It was the guardianship of the King’s beloved child of Dark.

8. Sinh, the Slumbering Dragon

Source: Fandom Wiki

This is another very hard dragon fight that is very hard, but not for the same reasons as the others. What makes him hard is that he destroys any weapon that you try to hit him with. The best weapon to defeat him with is the Santier’s Spear because it basically has no durability at all and can last a very long time. He also has poison breathe that can easily drop your health bar if stuck in the cloud. When you beat him you get 1 of 3 crowns

Interesting Fact – As the Player approaches the city, Sinh is disturbed once more from his slumber and returns to his sanctum, where he awaits his next challenger.

7. Aldia, Scholar of the First Sin

Source: Fandom Wiki

He is a very interesting boss because he only stays in one place. What makes him hard is how you can get about 1-2 hits in before he spawns lava around him. It is actually very beneficial to use Pyromancy or bows to get extra damage when dodging attacks. Keep in mind that the only way to fight him is to talk to him three times at the primal bonfires and at the Dragon Shrine bonfire.

Interesting Fact – Lord Aldia is King Vendrick’s elder brother. He aided his brother in founding the kingdom of Drangleic, but he then secluded himself in his manor, searching for the secrets of life, eventually turning himself into a giant blob of flesh and fire.

6. Lud, the King’s Pet and Zallen, the King’s Pet

Source: Fandom Wiki

This boss fight is the same as Avaa’s fight, but instead of fighting 1 tiger, you fight 2 at the same time. They both use magic to deal damage to the player and are both very agile creatures. The strategy to beat them is to wait for them to be done a magic attack, and then get a few hits in. Watch out for the other one as you go after a single one. Try to keep both in the line of sight.

Interesting Fact – Lud and Zallen are two of the seven beasts who served the Ivory King. They were tasked with the mercy killing of exiles.

5. Vendrick

Source: Fandom Wiki

Vendrick is entirely optional if you want to beat him. The first time you try to beat him, you will realize how little damage you actually do to him. When you die, you think to yourself how you are even going to beat him. Well, it is simple. All you have to do is collect 5 Souls of a Giant, and it will bring his defenses down to where a normal boss’s defense will be. Even then, it is still a difficult fight.

Interesting Fact – By the time the player finds him, Vendrick has gone completely hollow. He still wears the King’s Crown, though, and carries the Ruler’s Sword.

4. Throne Watcher and Defender

Source: Fandom Wiki

These two were my downfall when it came to almost beating the game. I can’t tell you how many times I fought these two and each time I learned something about them. The more I fought them, the less I felt like I was going to die. I finally killed them and congratulated myself for my victory, until I found out that these two were the first boss fight of 3 in-a-row.

Interesting Fact – The Defender and Watcher are both said to be waiting for something. From their roles and positions, it seems most likely that they are awaiting someone who is strong enough to take the Throne of Want, and they have stood beside this Throne for ages.

3. Nashandra

Source: Fandom Wiki

Nashandra was my least favorite boss from the main game just because of those darn cursed fountains. I could never understand how to keep myself from dying from them. Every time I tried destroying them, I would just die. Not to mention the giant skeleton lady trying to kill you in the process. Let’s just say, once I finally beat her, my chair was destroyed.

Interesting Fact – Nashandra was born of the Dark with an insatiable lust for strength. She was tiniest of the shards of Manus. Precisely due to its size, this piece was the first to restore its form.

2. Burnt Ivory King

Source: Fandom Wiki

Here come the two hardest bosses in all of Dark Souls 2. The Burnt Ivory King is very difficult because of the sword attacks he does. He does this spinning attack that when he hits the floor, crystals emerge from the ground and damage you. Some people might say his moves were almost the same as Knight Artorious from Dark Souls. When you beat him, you get the 2nd crown.

Interesting Fact – The Ivory King was once the highest-ranking knight from the land of Forossa. He had a reputation for being proud, ever-merciful and for being the first to swing his sword in times of need.

1. Fume Knight

Source: Fandom Wiki

The Fume Knight is considered one of the hardest bosses in all of Dark Souls history because of his broad moveset. He uses weapons like a giant sword, to throwing out dark magic at the player. The best thing to do is to have good dark resistance and to also have good defense because he will drain your health. When you beat him, you get the 3rd crown.

Interesting Fact – After his defeat at the hands of Velstadt, Raime came to Brume Tower in search of greater strength. He found it there, but it didn’t come from a regal father figure like King Vendrick, but from a newfound mother, like Nashandra.

Conclusion

All the bosses in Dark Souls 2 have their own stories to tell in the lore of the Dark Souls franchise. Even though Dark Souls 2 was my least favorite game in the series, I still have an appreciation for its worlds and bosses. In Dark Souls 2, there are easy bosses and hard bosses. Some may be harder for certain people, but that should not stop you from playing through it. What are you waiting for?

Caleb Simmons

I first started playing video games on my Nintendo Gameboy Advance, and I have not stopped playing ever since. My goal is to help others with questions about their favorite video games.

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