You’d think that in a game series called “Dark Souls,” they’d at least tell you what to you with all the souls you’re collecting, but it isn’t made obvious. Since Dark Souls 3 was the first game I played in the series, it took me a few minutes to figure out exactly what they are used for.
What do you do with souls in Dark Souls 3? You use them to level up your character by talking to the Firekeeper in the Firelink Shrine or to buy items from merchants. Souls are the main currency of Dark Souls 3.
These are the core ways to spend souls, but there are many ways to get and use them. Boss Souls, I’ll explain everything you need to know about spending souls in Dark Souls 3.
Recollecting dropped souls
You’ve probably noticed by now that you drop all your souls when you die. You can collect them from the ground if it’s only your first death. After dying a second time, any souls lying on the ground will be lost forever.
The souls will be a green spot on the ground, making them pretty easy to spot. Touching your bloodstain will grant you back your lost souls, so you can even do this during boss fights.
Several times I repeatedly died on a boss, so the souls kept building up. Collecting many souls right before fighting a boss is a nice bonus.
Falling off a cliff will cause the souls to spawn near its edge, so you don’t have to worry about them permanently disappearing on your first death. Remember to touch your bloodstain, or you may lose some hard-earned souls.
In Dark Souls 3, you can level up your character by spending a certain amount of souls. Each time you level up, the number of souls you need increases. Fortunately, enemies drop more souls the further you progress in the game, so farming isn’t necessary.
Of course, you’re welcome to spend time farming, but you get enough souls from enemies in bosses that you’ll progress quickly enough. You can collect souls from chests and enemies that will be placed into your inventory.
To turn these into spendable souls, find them in your inventory and click “Use.” I only recommend doing this if you are planning on leveling up soon, as there’s a high probability you’ll lose them.
You never know when you’ll get ambushed or invaded by another player. If you’re worried about getting invaded, check out this post on preventing invasions.
Because of this, I recommend spending souls as soon as you get enough for your next level. Bosses will drop quite a bit of soul, so you should level up after beating one. The actual Boss Soul, however, can be turned into a cool weapon or consumed by many souls.
I recommend saving your Boss Souls until you’re 100% sure you don’t want the weapon it gives you because consuming it forces you to wait until NG+ to get it again.
How do you level up?
You can’t do anything with your souls until you’ve defeated the first boss of the game, Iudex Gundyr. This is the tutorial, boss, so it really shouldn’t take you long at all.
After beating Iudex Gundyr, you can proceed through the doors leading to the Firelink Shrine. To level up, speak to the woman standing by the bonfire, who’s known as the Firekeeper.
Now that you can level up your character, you need to understand that there are many directions you can go with your character. You can level up many attributes, each of them providing a boost to one of your character’s stats.
Here are all the attribute points in the game:
- Vigor – Increases HP
- Attunement – Increases FP (Focus Points)
- Endurance – Increases Stamina
- Vitality – Increases Equip Load and Physical Defense
- Strength – Increases ability to use heavier weapons
- Dexterity – Increases ability to use advanced (often very fast) weapons
- Intelligence – Increases ability to use Sorceries and Pyromancies
- Faith – Increases ability to cast Miracles and Pyromancies
- Luck – Increases item discovery (item drop rates)
As you can see, you can spend your skill points in many different ways, so you should be familiar with different types of builds. Although most gamers know what a build is, I’ll define it for those who don’t. A build is a player configuration combining attributes and gear to provide the best benefits.
One example of a build in Dark Souls 3 is a Dexterity build. In my first full playthrough, I used the Sellsword Twinblades, a set of very fast and damaging swords. These swords are best when paired with more Dexterity, which greatly increases this weapon’s damage.
I could still use the swords with low Dexterity, but I wouldn’t get the massive damage boost the extra points provide. When you find a weapon, weapon type, or magic item you like, start leveling up the points most beneficial to your gear.
For almost every attribute in the game, you shouldn’t level it more than level 40. Vigor is an exception, as 50 is the soft cap. Luck can also vary, but you shouldn’t put that many points into Luck anyway.
A soft cap is a level at which the attribute increases or diminishes. After 40, most levels will barely increase the given stat anymore. It’s called a soft cap because there are still increases, but they are minuscule compared to the normal benefits.
Besides the leveling aspect of the game, souls are a currency you can buy items with. The Firelink Shrine is full of merchants selling various items, and you’ll acquire more as you meet them worldwide.
One notable item you can get fairly early on is the Tower Key, a 20,000 soul item that unlocks the roof of the Firelink Shrine. The first time I saw that, I thought it was a ridiculous price to pay for a random key, but then I realized it was quite easy to get more souls.
There really aren’t many weapons worth buying, but many items will make your journey easier. Buying Homeward Bones will allow you to teleport back to a bonfire without losing your souls, and buying Embers will allow you to gain more health for boss fights.
You can always sell unused gear for a few extra souls when you lack sufficient souls. Depending on the weapon, you can fetch a nice price for it.
The Shrine Handmaid in the Firelink Shrine is my favorite place to sell items. You’ll find her sitting in a chair in the hallway leading to Blacksmith Andre, probably the most convenient merchant to sell to.
Don’t buy things overboard; you’ll lack the necessary souls to level your character. Always consider if you need the item because you’ll be upset if you needlessly waste your hard-earned soul.
Speaking of Blacksmith Andre, you can speak to him to upgrade your weapons. You’ll need to give him a few souls and a piece of upgrade material, such as a Titanite Shard, to do this. Speaking to him will show you the amounts of each material and soul you need, so all you need to do is go farm for a few items.
You must upgrade them, as enemies become harder to kill the further you progress. When it gets to the point where it seems like you’re only tickling a boss with your halberd, it’s probably time to upgrade.
Souls are probably one of the most important aspects of the game, so you must understand how they work. The sooner you know how to use them, the sooner you’ll be able to take on some bosses.