Dark Souls Remastered is a very different game and can be challenging for someone who has just started it. When I first played Dark Souls, I was very confused about where to go and what to do, but I did not give up and kept pushing through.
One major thing I didn’t know about on my first playthrough was that beating Gwyn, Lord of Cinder automatically takes you into NG+. I was shocked when I found myself at the beginning of the game again in the Undead Asylum, knowing that I had to complete the game again to do certain things.
Here are the things you should do before entering NG+:
- Buy out the merchants
- Trade with Snuggly
- Kill the Firekeepers
- Play the Artorias of the Abyss DLC
- Farm for rare weapons and armor
- Collect all Titanite slabs
- Help out other players
- Get a good divine weapon
- Kindle as many bonfires as you can
Related: Why do enemies respawn in DSR?
Buy out the merchants
Many NPCs in Dark Souls Remastered have valuable items for you to purchase. Some of those items help cure poison, while others break your curses. It does not matter what the item is specifically, as long as it helps you reach your destination.
When you activate NG+ by killing Gwyn, you lose access to all the NPC shops later in the game. So the best thing to do is to farm those souls and stock up on everything you possibly can so you are ready for your next playthrough.
Trade with Snuggly
Many people probably do not even know there is a bird’s nest that you can trade with. If you ever go back to the Undead Asylum through the crow’s nest above the Firelink Shrine, and you make your way down the snowy slope, to your left down a pathway is a small nest.
As you get closer, a bird named Snuggly starts speaking to you. It does not seem like you can do much there, but it is quite the opposite. When you place a specific item in the nest, return to the menu, and then return to your game, you will find a different item in the nest.
Items like Twinkling Titanite and special rings can be obtained through this trading process, but the only downside is that you can only trade for a specific item once. But in the end, it is worth the time because of all the good materials and valuables you get from it.
Kill the Firekeepers
I know it sounds harsh, but killing the different Firekeepers for their souls, hugely benefits you. During the game, you will encounter 3 Firekeepers: Anastacia of Astora in the Firelink Shrine, Quelaag’s sister in Quelaag’s Domain, and Darkmoon Knightress in Anor Londo.
If all are killed, they will each drop a Firekeeper soul, of which you can upgrade your Estus flask level to get more health from each flask. Remember that when you kill them, you cannot sit at their corresponding bonfire or warp away from them.
The maximum level you can attain from them is estus flask +7, which is 7 Firekeeper souls. There are only 7 Firekeeper souls in each playthrough, but most likely, you will use one to revive Anastacia once Knight Lautrec kills her.
Play the Artorias of the Abyss DLC
One huge mistake that I made when I played Dark Souls Remastered was beating Gwyn before I played the DLC. The Artorias of the Abyss probably has some of the best bosses in the entire game and is definitely worth the play.
The way to start the DLC is to go to the Darkroot Basin and kill the hydra that is in the large body of water. After you beat it, go to the Duke’s Archives bonfire and kill the ice golem near the entrance. You will receive a broken pendant, in which a golden golem will spawn in a cave near where you killed the hydra.
Once you kill the golden golem, the Dusk of Oolacile will appear and talk to you. Now return to the cave, and a small portal will appear to take you to the DLC.
Farm for rare weapons and armor
You will probably want to get many items, but you have to farm enemies to do it. If you ever try to farm for anything, do it in NG+ because it will be the easiest NG to do it on.
It does not matter if you are looking for a Black Knight Halberd or an Enchanted Falchion Blade; the easiest time to farm is during your first playthrough. The more items you have, the easier time you will have when you find out that a specific weapon or armor is really good.
Sometimes it can be frustrating to farm for certain things, but it is best to do it when the enemies are the easiest, so you have a better time doing it. Farming early will certainly pay off when you want to try a new weapon or build.
Collect all Titanite slabs
Titanite slabs are probably the rarest upgrade material in the game because there are only a few you can find in the game world. A Titanite slab allows a player to upgrade a standard weapon to +15, a lightning weapon to +5, and a standard armor to +10.
Some locations include killing the Stray Demon in Northern Undead Asylum, killing a crystal lizard in the Great Hollow, and completing Siegmeyer of Catarina’s questline. They are also a very rare drop from the Darkwraith Knights.
If you want to put in the time and effort to farm or find any Titanite slab, it will pay off in the end with the extra defense or damage to your gear, depending on what you use it for. The more of these you get in your first playthrough, the easier time you will have in NG+.
Helping out other players
The best way to have fun in Dark Souls Remastered is to join someone’s world and help them if they need it. All you have to do is get a white sign soapstone and use it in an open area where another player can easily see it in their world.
When they see the summon sign, they have two options: summon you into their world so you can help them get through and beat the boss, or just walk away and do nothing. There were many times when I put a sign down and did not get summoned because there was no one to activate it.
Some people are not good at the game and need help, or they could be doing an easy playthrough with summoning. What they are doing does not matter if you help them with whatever they need. If you are going to do this, do it before NG+.
Get a good divine weapon
Divine weapons are most useful when treading through the catacombs because it kills skeletons, even if the wardens are still alive. Skeletons are probably the most annoying enemy in the game because once you kill them, they revive themselves using the help of the wardens.
You can find a divine weapon from killing enemies, or you can make one by finding a divine ember and giving it to Andre the Blacksmith in the Undead Parish. Even if you only use the divine weapon in the catacombs, it will make your life so much easier when fighting those skeletons.
Kindle as many bonfires as you can
Kindling a bonfire is very useful, but it can be very costly for your humanity. When you kindle a bonfire, you use up one humanity to add on five Estus flasks whenever you spawn at that specific bonfire.
You can kindle a bonfire a total of 3 times in return, giving you 20 estus flasks when you rest at that specific bonfire. Your character has to have his/her humanity actually to kindle a bonfire, so you use a total of 4 humanity for kindling a bonfire to the max.
Be warned that the bonfire you are kindling is the only one you kindle at that specific time. So you use 3 for each bonfire in the game if you are human. If you kindle a bonfire, it goes over into your next NG playthrough.
I like how FromSoftware implemented the NG system into their games. But in Dark Souls Remastered, you must make sure that whatever you do, you must do it before you fight Gwyn, Lord of Cinder, or else you will be brought straight into NG+. If you are a huge fan of the series like I am, consider looking at this guide on Amazon for Dark Souls: Remastered here.
Everything I have discussed is a huge tool to prepare you for your next playthrough, maybe excluding helping people, but when you beat Gwyn, you will be ready for an even better adventure. NG+ is more challenging than NG, but if you are ready, you will not have any issues getting through it.