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How Does Dark Souls 3 Multiplayer Work?

How Does Dark Souls 3 Multiplayer Work?

Whether you’re looking to be a helpful bright yellow Warrior of Sunlight or a Red Phantom of the Rosaria’s Fingers our guide to how Dark Souls 3’s Multiplayer works will help you achieve your Dark Souls 3 online goals.

The Dark Souls franchise is notorious for its obtuse game design and difficult-to-understand mechanics. So we don’t blame anyone, veteran or beginner, for seeking out some much-needed explanation for how to get these various systems to work.

In order to utilize the Co-operative feature of Dark Souls 3 you will need the White Sign Soapstone. This allows you to place your sign at areas where it is likely to be seen, so that you may be summoned as a helpful phantom in the world of another player.

If you wish to invite others into your world you must be in Enkindled form and should not have defeated the area boss.

Moreover, if you’re looking to duel another player then you will need the Red Sign Soap stone and place a sign to be called for a duel in another player’s world.

If you wish to invade another player’s world you must have a Cracked Red eye orb or the Red Eye Orb. This item will allow you to enter a Host players world as an invader with the objective of killing them.

Finally, if you simply wish to duel with other players in a test of skill via PvP then there are also specific areas called Hollow Arena and Undead Match. These can be accessed if you own the DLCs for Dark Souls 3, Ashes of Ariandel and The Ringed City respectively.

With that said we will be diving deep into the various mechanics and gameplay features of Dark Souls 3, so that you can, without confusion or a worry, begin your adventure through Lothric with your friends and strangers.

Related: Complete Guide to Covenants in Dark Souls 3

How to begin playing Dark Souls 3 Multiplayer?

Before you can even consider fetching Multiplayer items in game and putting down your summon signs you will have to make sure that you are Logged into the Dark Souls servers and have your settings set to allow Online play as well as Matchmaking.

For many PC players this will be as simple as booting into the game and selecting the option to Launch the game through Online Mode. However, if you’re a console player there might be some other things that you will have to consider such as whether or not you have a subscription to your console’s online game servers.

For PlayStation players they will be required to have a currently active subscription to PS+ and for Xbox players this means having a currently active Xbox Live subscription. Both of these features are essential because without them Dark Souls 3 will simply run in Offline mode and all Multiplayer options will be disabled.

How to play Co-op in Dark Souls 3?

Dark Souls 3: How to Activate Invasion and Co-Op - GameSpot

Although only the White Sign Soapstone is needed to begin playing Co-op in Dark Souls 3 there are a few more items that are essential for you to have for various multiplayer needs. These items include the following:

  • Ember
  • Black Separation Crystal
  • Dried Finger

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How to obtain the White Sign Soap Stone?

The White Sign Soapstone is perhaps the easiest multiplayer item to obtain within Dark Souls 3. After you’ve started a new game you must proceed through the Cemetery of Ash and defeat the first boss of the game Iudex Gundyr.

Once Gundyr is defeated you can proceed to the next zone which includes the entire area of Fire Link Shrine. After entering Fire Link Shrine you can go through the central hallway. In the middle you will find an old lady on a chair to your right. This is the Shrine Handmaid and will have the White Sign Soapstone available to purchase for 500 Souls.

If you reached this area right after defeating Iudex Gundyr then you should have at least 500 souls that you can immediately spend to obtain this incredibly useful item.

What is the White Sign Soapstone used for?

Dark Souls 3: How To Play Co-op & Leave Summon Signs

The White Sign Soapstone is used for two important Co-op functions. The first is that the item can be used to cast a soul sign. This soul sign will be visible in the worlds of other players contingent on the fact that you have not defeated the area boss of the zone where you had cast the sign.

Players from other worlds that can see your sign may choose to use it in order to summon you to their world, allowing you to play with them in their world with the objective of defeating an invader or defeating the area boss.

The second use of the item is that it allows you to summon other players to your world via their own soul sign visible in your own world. However, in order to summon another player into your world you must have the power of a Lord of Cinder. This power can be accessed when you consume the item called Ember. This is also known as the Enkindled mode.

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What are Embers and how to obtain them?

Embrace the Flame achievement in DS3

Embers are consumable multiplayer items that can be found whilst exploring the lands of Dark Souls 3. These items are equivalent to their counterparts found in other Souls games such as Humanity and the Human Effigy, in Dark Souls 1 and Dark Souls 2 respectively.

An Ember is a precious item as it allows players to obtain the power of a Lord of Cinder thus allowing them to engage in Co-operative play by being able to summon phantoms from other worlds. Moreover, Embers have several other beneficial buffs when they are consumed. These include:

  • Max HP Boosted by 30%
  • Able to be invaded
  • Able to summon Co-op phantoms
  • Restores player character to full HP
  • Covenant Icon next to status bars change.

The first place players will be able to access Embers will be by buying it from the Shrine Handmaid. Who sells a total of 3 Embers, at the start of the game, each for 2,500 Souls. They also rarely drop from Black Knights and Lothric Knights. And can be found in several locations within the game.

The most infinite method of obtaining Embers is by completing successful Invasions and Co-operative Summons.

Where to obtain the Black Separation Crystal?

Dark Souls 3 - the complete guide to summoning and playing co-op | VG247

This is a multiplayer item that has infinite uses. Its primary function is to either return you to your home world from the world of a Host of Embers, or to return a player you summoned back to their own world. It can be extremely useful for players only wishing to help or be aided in a specific region of the zone and who do not want to engage with the area boss with or as a phantom.

When the payer begins a new game the Black Separation Crystal is a part of their inventory. This item cannot be dropped nor can it be destroyed.

Where to obtain the Dried Finger?

Dark Souls 3 Multiplayer Guide - Kill Ping

The Dried Finger is another important Multiplayer item in Dark Souls 3. Its primary function is to reset the users invasion timer. This means players that enjoy being invaded can use this item to reset their invasion timer and allow players to invade them from other worlds once again.

The second function of the Dried Finger is that by using this item you will be allowed to summon a 3rd Co-op Phantom. However, using the item in this way will also cause you to be invaded by twice as many people.

The Dried Finger is an item that can be obtained much like the White Sign Soapstone. This means that it can be purchased from the Shrine Handmaid for 2,000 Souls as soon as you gain access to Fire Link Shrine.

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How to invade others in Dark Souls 3?

How to Invade Other Players in Dark Souls 3 | Shacknews

There are two items that players can use in order to engage in Invasions. These items are used to begin searching for a world that is viable to be invaded as a red phantom. The objective of a red phantom is to halt the progress of the Host of Embers by killing them. The two items needed are as follows:

  • Cracked Red Eye Orb
  • Red Eye Orb

How to obtain the Cracked Red Eye Orb?

Kahretsin metro Gökyüzü ds1 cracked red eye orb - suitessansbastian.com

The Cracked Red Eye Orb is a consumable multiplayer item in Dark Souls 3 that can be used to invade as a red phantom into the worlds of other players. There are a few rules that need to be followed, however, when this occurs. These include the following:

  • The Cracked Red Eye Orb is a consumable item which means that once the player is sent to another world for their invasion the item will be used up.
  • The Host whose world will be invaded must be Enkindled or in Embered Form.
  • Worlds with Host of Embers that have summoned helpful White Phantoms will be prioritized for invasion.
  • Two players can invade a single world, but have the ability to attack each other and cannot heal one another except through the use of Warmth pyromancy.

The Cracked Red Eye Orb can be obtained in a variety of ways. The first is that when starting a new game you can select 4 Cracked Red Eye Orbs as your Burial gift. Thus they will be a part of your inventory when you begin the game.

The second method to obtain Cracked Red Eye Orbs is by talking to Leonhard at Fire Link Shrine. He is leaning against the Throne of Prince Lothric.

Finally, Cracked Red Eye Orbs are also a rare drop when you kill the enemy Darkwraiths found in Farron Keep Perimeter.

Related: This is the Best Burial Gift in Dark Souls III

How to obtain the Red Eye Orb

Dark Souls 3: How to Get the Red Eye Orb for PvP | USgamer

The Red Eye Orb is a multiplayer item in Dark Souls 3 and is super useful for anyone who wishes to be able to do unlimited invasions. The primary function of this item is that it can be used over and over again without being consumed or used up.

However even so there are some rules you have to follow whilst using it such as you must be Enkindled or Embered before you use this item to search for a world to invade.

Follow the steps below to obtain this item:

  • Talk to Leonhard who is leaning against Lothric’s Throne in Fire Link Shrine.
  • Leonhard will give you 5 Cracked Red Eye Orbs and will disappear.
  • You now must obtain a Pale Tongue by winning an invasion.
  • You must also defeat the Curse Rotted Greatwood.
  • Return to Fire Link Shrine and speak to Leonhard
  • Obtain the Lift Chamber Key from Leonhard
  • There will be a Locked Door close to the Tower on the Wall Bonfire
  • Make your way to the Locked Door and open it using the Key
  • Use the elevator to go down
  • Defeat the Darkwraith standing in the center of the Room
  • Upon defeat the Darkwraith will drop the Red Eye Orb.

For a more visual aid and for specific pathways to Pale Tongues use the Youtube guide below by Prodoz:

How to Duel in Dark Souls 3?

If you’re anything like me then you probably love the combat mechanics of Dark Souls 3. Each swing, dodge roll and spell-cast is intentional and requires commitment on the side of the player. This type of system is perfect for duels against other players, so we can demonstrate our might and mastery over the game mechanics.

It’s for this reason that From Software made sure to add a litany of mechanics that were aimed specifically at allowing players to duel and compete against each other for supremacy. These include the following:

  • Use of the Red Sign Soapstone
  • Hollow Arena

Red Sign Soapstone

Dark Souls III Red Sign Soapstone - YouTube

The Red Sign Soapstone is a multiplayer item that a lot of payers might miss their first time around in the game. This is because of how obtuse and out of the way the item is to the players intended progression path.

Nonetheless, this is a wondrous item that can be of great benefit to anyone looking to duel with others. This is because the Red Sign Soapstone allows players to place their soul sign on the ground and project it to other worlds. When interacted with the players will be summoned as Red Phantoms in the world of another player and can engage that Host player in some jolly PvP action.

You can find this item close to the Rosaria’s Bed Chamber Bonfire. As you exit that room and take you will encounter a White Worm that is not hostile towards you. Once you slay this NPC you will obtain the Red Sign Soapstone.

You can watch Fighter. PL’s video on the quickest route to this NPC for aid:

Hollow Arena/ Undead Match

Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel guide: PvP in the Hollow Arena - Polygon

Hollow Arena or Undead Match is a special location that can be exclusively found in Dark Souls 3 by those players that have bought the Season Pass DLC.

There are two essential modes in Hollow Arena or Undead Match, these are the Duel Mode and Brawl Mode.

  • In Duel Mode, it is a simple 1v1 Match to the death between two players. The player who is able to kill the other player first is declared the victor. After one of the players is dead the match is immediately called to an end. This is a timed event. No Estus flasks are provided but 5 Ashen Estus Flasks are provided for players with heavy consumption.
  • In Brawl Mode, players fight and die against each other over and over again in a fixed amount of time. At the end of the time of the Brawl the player who has the most amount of kills is declared the winner. Both players are provided 1 Estus Flask and 1 Ashen Estus Flask that replenishes each time the players obtain a kill or when they respawn. Brawls have different formats which can be 2v2, 3v3, 4v4, or even 6 player fee for all.

Features of Hollow Arena or Undead Match

Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel guide: PvP in the Hollow Arena - Polygon

There are also many important features of the Hollow Arena or Undead Match that players must know. These include the weapon and level restriction.

That is to say that players will only be matched with other players that are within 10 levels of their own plus 10% of your own total level count. This means a player of SL 100 can be matched with a player of SL 120.

Moreover, players can use multiplayer passwords as a means to restrict or access specific duels. This is especially helpful for groups of friends that wish to compete with each other and do not want to be paired up with random players.

The matchmaking when using passwords is far more lenient allowing for a 20 SL pus 20% Soul level difference. However, outside of this range the higher SL player will have their stats reduced to match the opponent.

Furthermore, players compete against each other in order to obtain Badges of Honor these signify how accomplished the player is in PvP and is a declaration of their skill and recognition of the abilities.

Related: Is the Dark Souls 3 DLC Worth it?

Badge system in Hollow Arena or Undead Match

The following are Badge rankings from lowest to highest:

iron Iron Honor Duel Badge 

bronze Bronze Honor Duel Badge 

silver Silver Honor Duel Badge 

gold Gold Honor Duel Badge 

Available Maps within Hollow Arena

Finally, there are four gorgeous maps upon which battle takes place in the Hollow Arena or Undead Match. These include the Kiln of the First Flame, Grand Roof, Dragon Ruins and Round Plaza.


We hope that through this guide we’ve given you all the necessary information you need in order to begin your journey into Dark Souls 3 PvP. We realize that there are many items you need to obtain and several systems, but we believe that all of the effort is deeply rewarding.

The combat, the ease of connection and the community is simply spectacular. Hope to see you in the battleground, Ashen One, though be careful. I wouldn’t want to see my work squandered.