Dark Souls 2 is the black sheep of this series of incredibly hard games. You either hate it or love it. But one thing that we can all say for sure is that FromSoft didn’t skimp out when designing its bosses. There are some bosses in Dark Souls 2 which you can easily breeze through, while others will test every ounce of your skill.
Dark Souls 2 has tons of memorable bosses. They vary greatly in terms of difficulty from what we are generally accustomed to from these games. This article will rank all 40 bosses in Dark Souls 2 from easiest to hardest.
40. Skeleton Lords
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 how easy they were to defeat. All you 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.
It is very much recommended to have some summons for this fight, at least one, to assist you with the lesser skeletons. Having a Blunt weapon will help in dealing with the mob skeletons.
To fight this boss more effectively, kill only one of the Lords at a time while moving around the arena. After destroying one of the Lords, the smaller skeletons spawn in bunches. Thus, kill a Lord, then kill the skeletons they spawn, and repeat the process for the other two.
39. The Last Giant
The Last Giant was another one of those bosses you would consider 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, all of which can be avoided with a basic roll.
If you are going for a magic caster build, summoning Pate for this fight will divert the attention of this huge freak while you pummel him with your sorcery.
His attacks are highly telegraphed and can be exploited. Stay close to him, when he uses his arms to attack you then move in near his legs quickly and use the window to unload punishment.
The Dragonrider is a fairly easy boss if you make his boss’s arena wider. Before you fight him, there are secret levers that the only way to activate 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, you will only have a small platform to fight him on.
You can exploit this boss by firing arrows at him from the bridge you pull the first lever. You can fade away his health using this, and once you enter the arena, he will only have a small health remaining.
Having a 100% melee damage reduction shield and especially if you know how to parry then this fight will become quite trivial. His backside is very vulnerable hence it is recommended that you try to move behind him and allow his butt to meet your sharp friend.
37. Flexile Sentry
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.
Facing him head-on is a bit tricky if you’re not extremely agile, as his rapid stunning attacks can make quick work of you. If you intend to use melee, poke him to attack from only one side. The opposite side will not attack you while the other is stuck in its combo animations, allowing you to land a few rapid blows to the dormant side.
Summoning Lucatiel will even the fight as it will become a tag team match.
36. Scorpioness Najka
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. Skorpion is not a hard boss, but it is a memorable one.
This boss is rather simple, albeit unpredictable. Her melee attacks are simple to avoid and leave her vulnerable, except for her tail whip, which packs quite a punch, moves quickly, and knocks you down (her tails can be cut to make the fight easier).
Fortunately, you’ll have time to regain stamina and guzzle an Estus after almost any of her attacks.
35. The Pursuer
The Pursuer is a boss that is harder than you make him out to be. Once you walk through that fog gate, you first 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.
This boss is weak to Lightning and Strike-type weapons, so bring these to the arena. You can also exploit him using poison, however, you will need a lot of this item if you are going for consumables. You can also buy the Gavlan for poisoning from No Mans Wharf.
34. Prowling Magus and Congregation
This boss is weird because he is just a leader of a small congregation of dead people. I died a few times by this boss, but honestly, I should have one-shotted him. The only thing that made me die was the number of enemies in the room during the fight.
Having Benhart of Jugo by your side will help divert the tons of mobs that plague this boss fight. As you enter the arena, prioritize the white mages or Magus himself. The white mages will continue to heal and throw lightning projectiles at you and, thus must be dispatched promptly. Try to ignore the lowly minions.
33. Mytha, the Baneful Queen
Mytha, the Baneful Queen, is only hard for 1 reason and 1 reason. She is hard because of the poison that covers the floor in her boss’s 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. The fight will drastically change if you remove the poison from the arena, so better get to burning the windmill.
As soon as she throws her head while attacking, quickly moves in to dish out some pain when she is retrieving her noggin. Summoning Jester Thomas by your side will ensure she gets burned by his fire attacks, which is her weakness.
Stand your ground, do not stay on the sides if you wish to not be poisoned.
32. Ruin Sentinels
When fighting these guys, you have to watch out because if they all jump onto the platform, they can use 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 will have to kill them fast.
Crystal sorcery is your best friend in this fight. You can annihilate their health bars with a well-placed hit of this magic. The summon right before this fight casts crystal sorcery, although her defenses are relatively low and can easily die if left to fend for herself.
31. Royal Rat Vanguard
This boss starts almost like you are not even fighting a boss. You walk into a room, and then a bunch of rats start attacking you. After you defeat a few of them, the boss finally comes out. It is just as easy as the other rats, but the other rats attacking simultaneously 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 in the game.
Staying back and using a heavy crossbow to shoot the main boss can easily turn the tide of the battle in your favor. You just have to manage the pesky rats that flood the arena.
Having poison-curing items on you will negate the negative effect that these vermins inflict. The only challenge here is to identify the actual boss from the bunch and focus all your attention on the mohawk menace.
30. Giant Lord
The Giant Lord is the same fight as the Last Giant, except he does not use 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 game’s main story. Just don’t stay in the area for long afterward. Don’t let his massive size fool you because in these games, the bigger the enemy, the easier they will be to defeat.
This ginormous boss is weak to Fire, Magic, Lightning, and Dark. Utilize the best respective gear in your inventory to deal the most damage.
You can summon Benhart of Jugo or Captain Drummond for this fight however, the soul reward will be lowered after summoning. But you shouldn’t care and concentrate on eradicating this monumental man.
29. Covetous Demon
The covetous demon is a fat, ugly beast that uses his body to attack you. His worst attack is when he rolls over on you and does massive damage because he is soo big. Once you memorize his attacks, he is not a hard boss. Try to kill him quickly because his attacks are very fast and can easily one-shot you if you make a wrong move.
If the first roll didn’t hit you, he would roll again so be patient and wait for the rolling to stop to retaliate. Be extra vigilant when he licks his lips. This indicates a swallow attack that will ruin your equipped gear and even unequip them.
Destroy the pots above the arena to drop undead onto the floor. The boss will turn his attention toward the fallen prey and ignore you, use this window to unleash hell on the fat freak. Magic, Fire, and Thrust are the way to salvation here.
28. Lost Sinner
The Lost Sinner is the easiest out of all the four primal bonfire bosses, and it is a fun fight. 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.
She will turn off the arena’s lights as you begin the fight, making you blind as a bat. You can counter it by turning up your brightness or lighting the lanterns near the arena.
Get your shield ready and stay close to her. Keep strafing throughout the fight and try to move behind her. If you do it right, her back is ready to receive some ravaging. Summoning can also be useful for baiting or just general damage dealing.
27. Guardian Dragon
The Guardian Dragon is a 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 challenging when weapons like magic weapons are used. In all seriousness, though, this boss was kind of difficult.
His health is lower than most bosses, and his weakness in lightning will make this fight a breeze. This dragon also takes his sweet time attacking you, so if you imbue your weapons with lightning at the very start and put your finger on the trigger to fire some magic, this fight will be done before it could even begin. You need to be extremely swift if you are going for this strategy.
26. Demon of Song
This is the weirdest boss in all of Dark Souls for me because of how ugly and odd it is. His attacks are very different; you can only attack him when he opens up the 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.
He remains motionless for a long time at the start of the fight giving you ample time to deal damage. The arena is drenched with water hence lightning attacks will shock it to hell.
His frog state is prone to lesser damage so wait for him to reveal his ugly mug to maul this amphibian.
25. The Rotten
The Rotten is where I had a lot of my trouble. His attacks seem to damage me even if they did not hit me, and his movements feel slightly clunky. He also does major damage if you get hit with a special attack, not to mention the lava pools around the arena you fight him in. His body is made up of dead bodies merged to make a giant beast and hold a giant cleaver.
This boss is very slow, so any build that could deal range damage will easily come out on top. You just have to be extra careful of the many lava pools in the arena. His attacks, even if perfectly blocked, will send you flying for the pools and that could reduce you to ashes in a jiffy.
24. Royal Rat Authority
This boss is a boss that made me very angry when I first went up against him. What makes the boss fight hard is the four little rats that fight along with the massive rat, and what makes it worse is that the little rats constantly are building up poison on you. You are in a pickle if you don’t kill the four rats before the fight begins. Once the first rat hits you, you are done.
Fire is crucial, do not go in without it. Rush in to take out the poison-dealing smaller rats and you will save yourself from a lot of potential grief. Range attacks are also quite useful here but you will have to stay agile and dodge any attacks from the rats and the boss as well.
23. Elana, the Squalid Queen
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. Honestly, I do not remember much from the boss fight just because I easily defeated her. She still poses a major threat to everyone, though.
The two NPC summons available for this fight are very useless and shouldn’t be relied upon. If you really want some help with this boss, try to bring in actual players to help you out. Having some sort of backup will assist in dealing with the minions she spawns during the fight.
The Dark Transgressor’s Leather Shield’s Dark damage reduction will negate much of her damage.
22. Old Iron King
Another one of the primal bonfire bosses is the Old Iron King. I was pretty disappointed by this fight because it was so hard 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 have to do to beat him is to wait for him to smash the ground and then attack his hands.
Do not stay locked on to the boss, this will allow you to be more aware of the arena especially those stupid pits that will instantly kill you if you fall in them.
The only magic that works against this boss is the Soul Geyser and Lighning is effective too. Make sure you do not come in this fight with Fire and Dark-based builds as he is resistant to these damage types.
21. Executioner’s Chariot
This boss fight is one of those more annoying than fun fights. You 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 you are dead if you get hit by the chariot.
If finding the necromancers is an issue, throw an alluring skull in the middle of the corridor whilst the Executioner’s Chariot is still charging. It will kill them and the skeletons with it.
A 100% melee shield will protect you from the many skeletons around each corner. Try to use the charging chariot to dispose of his lesser boney bros.
20. Belfry Gargoyles
I like this boss because it is the same 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 must make sure you defeat the first gargoyle before the second one, or you will be in trouble. When fighting them, it brings about deja vu because of your first encounter in the previous game.
Having a partner with you will help break the team of gargoyles and let you hone in on just one. AOE spells and sweeping attacks will deal damage to both of the bosses as they tend to stay close to each other. Lightning is the most effective tool against them and must be utilized at all costs.
19. Velstadt, the Royal Aegis
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 can make copies of himself to fight the player. This is the first boss I had difficulty trying to beat just because of the sheer hardness of the fight. His attacks impair you, and he is pretty quick for a guy in some heavy armor.
Any items, consumables, or spells which reduce dark damage will be extremely helpful. While rare, a 70%+ dark protection shield significantly simplifies the second phase, allowing the player to block the projectiles with little consequence simply.
18. Old Dragonslayer
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. Some people think that he is Dragonslayer Ornstein, but that has been proven false by many researchers.
A single summon is useful for this fight; one can hold the boss’ attention relatively easily and protect their partner while healing. The boss himself is not remarkably durable and can be easily stunned, but is fond of disengaging from close combat using a retreating swipe while jumping backward.
Timing your strafing and using openings in his attacks will give you ample opportunity to obliterate this Ornstein imitator.
17. Duke’s Dear Freja
This boss fight has a more annoying running gimmick than any other boss in the game. You have to run through a giant room with tons of spiders and a huge spider web room with tons of enemies in it. The boss fight is also annoying because you can only damage the huge spider from the front and back. It also shoots lasers at you.
Having a backup summon will help deal with the stupid small spiders. Taking out the spiders alone will give you a window to whale on this boss.
The best opportunity to damage her comes during and after her wide-sweeping laser attack. Trigger the laser by maintaining a fair distance, and Freja will generally fire it.
16. Sir Alonne
Sir Alonne is another one of those fights where 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 getting to the boss arena easier without losing any health or Estus Flasks.
He has insane resistance to all non-physical attacks, so he approaches the fight accordingly. He tends to wind up an attack but will only follow through with it a half to a full second later. This will severely punish players who dodge when the animation begins rather than when the hit lands. He is aggressive, and only a few of his attacks will allow you time to heal.
This boss was modeled after the Four Kings from Dark Souls and is difficult to defeat. He can be defeated easily with the right weapons and miracles, but it is a challenge for many. It starts in a dark room, and one spawns. after a little bit, another one spawns, and so on. It recreates the Four Kings boss fight in basically every way.
He is majorly weak to pyromancy and lightning, so it is recommended that you have a maxed pyro flame and several pyro spells equipped. Using lightning and fire buffs on your weapon also works.
The Darklurker has very well-telegraphed attacks. Be sure to memorize them and know how to defend against each type of attack, as this will make it easier to fight two of them once the first splits.
14. Looking Glass Knight
This boss is 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 can summon other players as phantoms to help fight against you. The fight is balanced, and it is delightful. Not saying he isn’t hard, but the hard bosses are always the most fun to fight.
Do not be lured by the appeal of summoning Benhart into this fight. The NPC is not well-optimized for this fight and will die rather quickly. Summon other players if you need help in this fight.
His weaknesses include; Dark, Strike, and Poison or Toxic. Blunt and crushing weapons like maces and clubs will have a major impact while fighting him.
13. Ancient Dragon
The Ancient Dragon is one I struggled with for a very long time because I did not know how to go about it. Running up to the Dragon is easy if you take out all the Drakekeepers because the Dragon Knights won’t even touch you. The boss fight is tough 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.
The best way to avoid his devastating flame attacks is to have a light or no armor and run to the furthest edge of the arena, but be prepared to run past him or you won’t have enough time. You can easily see when he does this by looking carefully at his wings during the whole fight, so if they start to flap you should start running immediately.
12. Afflicted Graverobber, Ancient Soldier Varg, and Cerah the Old Explorer
Now we are getting to the really difficult bosses. These 3 NPCs you must beat to get credit for the boss are 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.
11. Smelter Demon
Ugg, this boss is annoying. He constantly hits you with his flame sword and always boosts your damage. Not to mention his minuscule boss arena that only takes one 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, kick him in the butt for me.
Fire resistance gear of some sort is almost completely necessary, as even ranged players and casters will be taking continuous fire damage. Flash Sweat is a good choice for casters, while the Alonne Knight armor set can be useful for melee players.
Fire resistance rings and consumables are also adequate, as are any other buffs. The Gyrm Greatshield, in particular, is helpful, as it offers 100% physical and fire resistance and thus offers immunity to all of the Smelter Demon’s attacks
10. Smelter Demon (Iron Passage)
The Demon in the Iron Passage is the same as the regular Smelter Demon, but the color is blue. He can jump into the air and make an AoE attack that can damage you immensely. Thankfully, the boss arena is a little 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.
This guy is the same as his earlier mentioned fire-infused brother; however, he deals magic damage. So having gear that helps counter magic damage will favor your survivability.
9. Aava, the King’s Pet
Finally, a DLC boss lives up to its name. This boss is very difficult because it is a snow tiger with magic. It shoots icicles at the player, and the boss arena is covered in snow. The best thing for a player is to get a good shield because it will attack fast, and it is good to have some good defense.
Without a specific item called the “Eye of the Priestess”, in possession, Aava will remain invisible through the fight. Fire and Dark are the most damaging elements in his case.
8. Sinh, the Slumbering Dragon
This is another 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 you try to hit him with. One of the best weapons in Dark Souls 2 to defeat him is the Santier’s Spear because it has no durability and can last a very long time.
He also has poison breath that can easily drop your health bar if stuck in the cloud. When you beat him, you get 1 of 3 crowns.
The Rebel’s Greatshield or Gyrm Greatshield are excellent for this fight regarding negating any fire damage. The Rebel’s shield can also greatly reduce Toxic build-up.
Going for the Black Dragon phantom will be the better choice for the two summons available for this fight. This guy will heal himself and deal decent damage.
7. Aldia, Scholar of the First Sin
He is a very interesting boss because he only stays in one place. How you can get about 1-2 hits before he spawns lava around him makes him hard. It is very beneficial to use Pyromancy or bows to get extra damage when dodging attacks. Remember that the only way to fight him is to talk to him three times at the primal bonfires and the Dragon Shrine bonfire.
His fire-based damage demands you to bring the Gyrm Greatshield which can effortlessly block most of his attacks.
6. Lud, the King’s Pet, and Zallen, the King’s Pet
This boss fight is the same as Avaa’s, but you fight two simultaneously instead of fighting one tiger. They both use magic to damage the player and are very agile creatures. The strategy to beat them is to wait for them to be done with 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.
This boss is designed not to be played alone. As soon as the first cat gets to 33% health, get ready to pulverize the initial kitty otherwise his feline friend will finish you off for good.
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 do to him. When you die, you think about how you will even 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.
Make sure you have at least 4 Giant Souls to do any decent damage to him. Use a fast weapon, as Ultra Greatswords and the like, may not give you a chance to get out of the way in time. Strafe him on his non-weapon side and you should be able to avoid all his attacks, as his swings only hit the side he is holding his weapon.
4. Throne Watcher and Defender
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 learned something about them each time. The more I fought them, the less I felt like I would die. I finally killed them and congratulated myself on my victory until I discovered that these two were the first boss fight of 3 in-a-row.
The fight is straightforward. Just keep an eye on both at all times, as Throne Watcher has both a projectile attack and an AOE burst, though both are rarely used.
Your best bet is to attack The Watcher first since he is the fastest of the two. You should keep their health bars relatively close to one another. Once one is taken down, just kill the other as quickly as possible. Should one be revived during the fight, focus on the one with more health so they are back to the same health level.
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. Let’s say, once I finally beat her, my chair was destroyed.
The boss itself is fairly easy, albeit extremely hard-hitting. Attacks are well-telegraphed so you won’t have much trouble there. The fountains he conjures up, curse you and drain your health considerably if you’re anywhere near them. The Cursebite Ring and armor with high Curse resistance are recommended. It’s best to have at least one summon for this fight.
2. Burnt Ivory King
Here come the two hardest bosses in all of Dark Souls 2. The Burnt Ivory King is tough because of the sword attacks he does. He does this spinning attack where crystals emerge from the ground and damage you when he hits the floor. Some might say his moves were almost identical to Knight Artorious from Dark Souls. When you beat him, you get the 2nd crown.
Phantoms are important here to distract the Ivory King and the Burnt Loyce knights, giving you a chance to heal.
1. Fume Knight
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 throw dark magic at the player. The best thing to do is to have good dark resistance and defense because it will drain your health. When you beat him, you get the 3rd crown.
He is arguably one of the toughest, if not the toughest, bosses in the entire game since he likes to delay some attacks to catch players off guard. His resistance to non-physical attacks makes fighting him with a melee build essential.
His attacks are well-telegraphed, although his delayed delivery of the attack will punish many unsuspecting players. He has no particular weakness while his resistances are off the chart.
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 appreciate 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 them. What are you waiting for?