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 super obvious right away. Since Dark Souls 3 was the first game I played in the series, it took me a couple of 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 a lot of ways to get them 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. If it’s only your first death, you can go and collect them from the ground. After dying a second time, any souls laying 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 own bloodstain will grant you back your lost souls, so you can even do this during boss fights.
There have been several times I repeatedly died on a boss, so the souls just kept building up. It’s a nice bonus if you are able to collect a large number of souls right before fighting a boss.
Falling off a cliff will cause the souls to spawn near the edge of the cliff, so you don’t have to worry about them permanently disappearing on your first death. Just always remember to touch your bloodstain, or else you may end up losing some hard-earned souls.
In Dark Souls 3, you’re able to 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 really 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 into 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’re gonna get ambushed or invaded by another player. If you’re worried about getting invaded, check out this post I wrote on how to prevent 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 souls, so you should definitely level up after beating one. The actual Boss Soul, however, can be either turned into a cool weapon or consumed for a large number of 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’ll be able to proceed through the doors, which will lead you 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. There are many attributes you can level up, each of them providing you with 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, there are a lot of different ways you can spend your skill points, so you should be familiar with different types of builds. Although most gamers know what a build is, I’ll define it for the few people who don’t. A build is a player configuration that combines both attributes and gear to provide the best benefits.
One example of a build in Dark Souls 3 is a Dexterity build. 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, since that that greatly increases the damage of this particular weapon.
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 really like, start leveling up the points that will be most beneficial to your gear.
For pretty much 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 be putting that many points into Luck anyway.
A soft-cap is the level that the attribute increases start to diminish. 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 basically a currency that you can buy items with. The Firelink Shrine is full of merchants that sell various items, and you’ll acquire more as you meet them in the world.
One notable item that 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 an absolutely ridiculous price to pay for a random key, but then I realized it was quite easy to get more souls.
There really aren’t a ton of weapons that are 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 give you the ability to gain more health for boss fights.
When you find yourself lacking sufficient souls, you can always sell your unused gear for a few extra souls. Depending on the weapon, you’ll be able to fetch a nice price for it.
My favorite place to sell items is the Shrine Handmaid in the Firelink Shrine. You’ll find her sitting in a chair in the hallway that leads to Blacksmith Andre, and is probably the most convenient merchant to sell to.
Be careful not to go overboard with buying things, or else you’ll lack the necessary souls to level up your character. Always consider if you actually need the item, because you’ll be upset if you needlessly waste your hard-earned souls.
Speaking of Blacksmith Andre, you can speak to him to upgrade your weapons. To do this you’ll need to give him a few souls along with a piece of upgrade material such as a Titanite Shard. 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.
It’s absolutely crucial that you do 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 it’s important that you understand how they work. The sooner you know how to use them, the sooner you’ll be able to take on some bosses.