Bandit is one of Dark Souls Remastered’s Strength-focused starting classes. So, if you’re not here for big axes and heavy attacks, you might want to look at playing as a Wanderer instead.
If you are all about hitting slow and hard, this is one of DSR’s best classes. It comes with an initial boost into your Strength, as well as your Vitality and Endurance. This is one of the best initial stat distributions in the entire game.
The increased Endurance is perfect for dealing with the high stamina consuming heavy weapons we’ll be using, and having more health in the form of Vitality at the start of the game is always nice.
This distribution also gives you the option of building a quality character, leveling up your Strength and Dexterity in equal measure. It’s one of only two classes in the entire game that can be used to build a PvP viable quality build at Soul Level 120, making it great for both PvP and PvE players alike.
Bandit is a strange class in Dark Souls Remasted as it’s both beginner-friendly and not so beginner-friendly. The Vit, End, Str stat distribution is great for helping new players find their feet, but Strength-based combat is not recommended for players new to the series.
You’re going to be moving slower, albeit hitting harder with a Bandit build, so consider whether that’s a trade-off you want before you start your new playthrough.
Alternatively, you could go for a pure quality build, giving you access to most of the weapons in the game, which is excellent for new players. Ultimately, how you play a Bandit will all depend on what you’re looking to get out of your run.
Regardless of whether you’re an experienced Dark Souls player looking to start a new run, or a newbie getting into the series for the first time, we’ve got everything you need to know in this ultimate guide to Bandit in Dark Souls Remastered.
How to Get Bandit in Dark Souls Remastered
The Bandit class is one of Dark Souls Remastered’s ten starting classes. You get access to it straight from the start of the game, with no additional requirements needed to use it.
Given that you’re starting with extra Endurance and Vitality, Bandit is a great early game option for beginner players looking to get the most bang for their buck from their first playthrough.
Early game combat will be much more forgiving thanks to your increased health and stamina, and having an increase in Strength will allow you to level it comfortably side by side with Dexterity. This will give you access to most of the game’s weapons, so if you’re unsure of what you like using, this is a great way to test multiple playstyles with one character.
The only thing you have to worry about at the start of the game with Bandit is your armor. While armor doesn’t matter in Dark Souls so long as you’re not getting slow rolls, the Bandit’s starting armor isn’t all that. This shouldn’t matter too much, but it will cost you in combat if you’re reckless.
You also start with a Battle Axe, a weapon that can be pretty punishing for players new to Dark Souls mechanics. So it would help if you balanced that out with the beginner-friendly stat distribution that the class affords.
Effective Bandit Combat
Effective Bandit combat is effective Dark Souls combat. It doesn’t call for anything fancy or technical like a Sorcery build. Instead, you hit things in the face and avoid getting hit in the face. Whether you decide to go for a quality build or a pure strength build, that goes for you.
For the early game, though, you’re not going to have much success using Dex-scaling weapons because you haven’t leveled up the stat yet. Instead, you’re going to want to be taking advantage of your naturally high Strength.
This means using Strength weapons that are slow and bulky more often than not. This means that you’ll be punished for attacking recklessly in combat. Instead, you’ll be locked into your animations longer and have less stamina to evade if the need arises.
This is where learning the Bandit class can be particularly tricky. It doesn’t give you much room for error, but once you get used to using slow weapons, you’ll notice that combat becomes a lot easier, especially when you’re outputting high damage.
If you decide to stick with a pure Strength build later on in the game, you’ll notice a fairly substantial damage difference than with a quality build, at least until you hit your max Soul Level of choice.
You don’t have to worry about leveling two stats side by side, so you can power all your points into Strength and watch those damage numbers fly.
Once you feel comfortable in your build, combat will slow down. You need to be dictating the pace of your fights to make the most of your available stamina. You don’t need to hit something a bunch of times to deal good damage. You only need to connect once, so play around with that. Then, look for opportunities and openings in your enemy’s attack patterns and exploit them.
This goes for both PvP and PvE. Focus on punishing opponents rather than being needlessly aggressive when you can help it. Unless you’re playing against a Sorcerer or ranged enemy, then you’re going to have to take the initiative, but recognizing those situations comes with experience.
- Focus on Endurance and Strength. It cannot be overstated how vital your Endurance stat is to this build, with some players even investing in it up to level 60. Heavy weapons and shields will slow down your roll speed which can be a death sentence for new and veteran players. Having 60 Dex will allow you to keep a fast roll while still using all of those big chunky greatswords.
- Consider investing in Dexterity up to level 18. This opens up the number of heavy weapons you’re able to use. Know what you want to use in advance as you’re leveling and invest your points around that; make sure you don’t have more Dexterity points than you need unless you’re going for a quality build.
- You’ll want to have a quicker weapon in your second slot. This adds an extra utility layer to your build in both PvE and PvP. Given that your primary weapon will swing slow, being able to swap to something with speed will throw player enemies off the pace and come in handy in certain PvE encounters.
There isn’t much in the way of essential steps for Bandits for classes like Sorcerers. There are no particular quests you need to finish. Instead, your attention and efforts need to go towards making sure that you’re leveling up properly.
If you ignore Endurance until the late game, for example, you’re going to struggle to navigate combat even if you’re dealing incredible damage. Playing Bandit is a juggling act, so make sure you’re consciously distributing your stat points as you level.
Best Bandit Builds
Pure Strength Bandit
- END – 60. We’ve stressed how important having high Endurance is for a pure Strength build already, but we’ll beat you over the head with the point if that’s what it takes. If you’ve ever played a Dark Souls game before, then you know how important it is to stay under 25% equip load. You get more invincibility frames and roll faster, making it much easier to dodge attacks. You’re not going to be able to stay under that limit with a Strength build unless you’re pumping points into Endurance.
- STR – 45. Having high Strength on a Strength build is a bit obvious, but there’s a reason we’re stopping specifically at 45. At this point, you’re going to hit a soft cap with your Str scaling. Every point invested into the stat past 45 will have diminishing returns on how much extra damage it gives you, essentially wasting points that could be spent better elsewhere.
- VIT – 45. Bandits already have high starting Vitality, so we might as well take full advantage of that and pump VIT up to 45. Having extra health is nice regardless of what build you’re using, making 45 Vitality a staple in most Dark Souls Remastered builds.
Going for a pure Strength build will limit the range of weapons you can use. It’ll also require you to put a handful of points into Dexterity so that you can use some of the more muscular Strength scaling weapons.
This means that planning is essential for Strength. Know what weapons you want to use in the mid to late game, and level up to around that goal. Take your time, and don’t neglect your Endurance and Vitality. Do that, and you’ll end up with a compelling build by the time you hit the end-game.
- Man Serpent Greatsword.
- Black Knight Greatsword.
The Man Serpent Greatsword is one of the fastest swinging greatswords in Dark Souls Remastered. For both PvP and PvE, this is incredibly impactful. It means a higher DPS because you’re putting out more attacks, as well as being safer as your enemies have less of a window to punish you.
It’s also got a strong moveset, making it a great main Strength weapon for new and experienced Bandit players alike.
The Black Knight Greatsword is a good alternative to the Man Serpent Greatsword if you’re not a fan of that weapon. It doesn’t swing as fast, but it does hit like a truck, especially in PvP.
While these are the two greatswords that we’re fans of, don’t feel pressured into using them. As long as your stat points are properly distributed, you can make pretty much any Strength scaling weapon work with this build.
You might think we’re crazy for talking about Sorceries when it comes to a Strength build, and you would be right. Mostly.
While you’re not going to be doing much in PvE using Sorceries with a Strength build, there is an argument to be made for it in PvP.
Specifically, we recommend using Black Flame to add an extra bit of flavor to your toolkit. This can take other players off guard and make for some easy damage, especially when you’re just trying to clean up a weak opponent.
If you have no plans on playing PvP as a Bandit, then disregard this completely. You’ll only be tickling enemy bosses with it.
- END – 40. With a quality build, we’re forced to spec into both Strength and Dexterity. This doesn’t leave enough room for us to power Endurance up to 60, but given that we have access to Dex weapons, it isn’t as important. While you might have to deal with mid-rolls with your Str weapons, you do have the option of running fast rolls with a Dexterity weapon if you find yourself getting caught coming in or out of your invincibility frames.
- DEX – 40. Having a 40/40 split of Dex and Str for a quality build is a staple of more or less every single SoulsBorne game. This lets you get the softcap damage of both weapon types while also giving you access to 90% of the weapons in the game. If you’re new to DSR and don’t have a favorite weapon or weapon type, this is a great way to try different things out.
- STR – 40. Like Dexterity, we need to have 40 Strength for this to qualify as a solid quality build. Once again, this gives us good damage on our Str scaling weapons and opens up a plethora of melee weapon options.
- VIT – 45. Lastly, you’re going to want to get your Vitality up to 45. While Vitality softcaps at 50, this build is designed for Soul Level 120, which is a common point that PvP players compete at. If you’re strictly playing PvE, feel free to push this up to 50, but going above that will give you diminishing returns.
Quality builds forgo specialization in one particular weapon type for the sake of versatility. It gives you access to more weapons, and the stat distribution for all of those weapons to hit for good damage.
The trade-off is not having as many points to play around with for your non-weapon-related stats. Your Vitality and Endurance are going to suffer for the sake of focusing on two weapon types instead of one.
If you’ve already played through Dark Souls Remastered and your plan with a Bandit run is to use a heavy weapon, this isn’t the build for you. If you’re new and looking to get the most experience out of your first playthrough, though, then you can’t go wrong with a quality build.
Equipment and Armor
- Any non-Intelligence or Faith weapons.
Yes, that’s a cop-out, but we really mean that. The whole point of using a quality build is that you have access to almost all of the weapons in the entire game. As long as there are no Intelligence or Faith requirements, feel free to use it.
Proper stat distribution and upgrading will make almost any Dex or Str weapon viable for you to use.
In fact, you could even pull some points off of your Strength stat to spec into Intelligence or Faith if you do want access to those weapons. Plenty of PvP players do this to get access to Pyromancies. We’re avoiding that ourselves, but that doesn’t mean that you have to.
So when you’re picking your equipment for your quality Bandit build in Dark Souls Remastered, go nuts! Experiment and try as many weapons as you want. Once you’ve found one that you like, learn its moveset and focus on upgrading it.
Unlike with our pure Strength build, we’re not keen on putting points into your Sorcery casting stats.
With an Str build, you have room to play around with some stats. With a quality build, however, you’re already stretched thin by having to invest in two opposing weapon stats.
If you’re adamant about having some sort of spellcasting ability, though, then you can pull some points out of Strength and put them into Intelligence to gain access to the Black Flame Pyromancy.
You only need around 30 Strength to gain access to all of the Str weapons in the game, and the same can be said for maximizing your two-handed Strength attacks. You’ll see very little damage increase in 2H swings from 30 Strength to 40. However, if you plan on using your Strength weapon one-handed, you’ll need 40. Otherwise, you’ll struggle with your damage.