Beginner's Guide To Dark Souls for PC

How to Prepare to Die

Although Dark Souls is a relatively old game and Dark Souls 2 is out, many gamers still find themselves stumbling upon this old gem. There are many gamers out there who played the sequel before they've even touched the original and there are many out there who have yet to touch upon either. 

To get the most out of Dark Souls there are a few things to make your first experience with the game a lot easier and much smoother.

This is intended as a technical guide to help those who are trying to get into Dark Souls on PC and make the game-play experience as smooth as possible.

Fixing the Resolution

Dark Souls is a 4-year-old game and though it was ported to the PC in 2012, From Software didn't actually do a very good port so the resolution that the game rendered to was not up to the standards of most PC gamers. The game renders at 1024x720, but most would like the game to run at 1920x1080.

                       1024x720                                             1920x1080

To fix the resolution of the game, a modder by the name of Durante released a mod called DSfix. DSfix is a .dll file that you put into the game's folder and it allows the game to render at a higher resolution.

Anyone can download the mod here.

Once you download the mod, you need to follow these directions:

  1. Delete earlier versions of the mod if you have any
  2. Place the contents of the .zip into the game's binary directory. (The place where DARKSOULS.exe is)
    • (this may be something like C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Dark Souls Prepare to Die Edition\DATA)
  3. Adjust the settings in DSfix.ini as desired
  4. Adjust the key bindings in DSfixKeys.ini as desired
  5. Turn OFF the in-game AA option to avoid graphical issues

Controls and Controller

Though most PC players would prefer to use a keyboard and mouse to play their games, Dark Souls is one of those games where you really need a controller to play effectively.

There are three easy options when it comes to playing Dark Souls on PC:

  • Getting a Wired Xbox 360 controller.
  • Getting a PS3 controller.
  • Fixing the keyboard and mouse controls.

Getting a Wired Xbox 360 controller is the easiest solution of the three, but if you don't own a wired controller you will probably be shelling out some more cash. After plugging the controller into your PC, the drivers will automatically install and the controller will work without much fuss.

Getting a PS3 controller or any other type of controller will need a bit more work (and money if you don't already own one) since it will not work automatically. You will need to download and install the Motion Joy drivers and then install Better DS3. After installing the drivers and the program you will need to connect your controller to the PC via cord.

More detailed instructions can be found here.

Fixing the keyboard and mouse will need you to download another mod. The mod can be found here. The mod will not work without the DSfix mod. After downloading the mod you will need to: 

  1. In DSfix.ini, find this line: dinput8dllWrapper none
  2. Make it look like this line: dinput8dllWrapper dsmfix.dll
  3. Then, unzip dsmfix08.zip; place all dsmfix* files in the DATA directory (~Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\Dark Souls Prepare to Die Edition\DATA).
  4. Finally, open dsmfixgui.exe and make the desired adjustments (mouse over an option for relevant tooltips); or, edit dsmfix.ini by hand.

Though the mod does make keyboard and mouse controls bearable, it is highly recommended that players use a controller.

Final Words

This is only intended to be a technical guide for those that are just getting started on the PC version of Dark Souls since the true experience of the game comes from exploring and from learning from your mistakes. This guide is merely meant to make the game playing experience a lot smoother.

Contributor

Gigantic nerd studying Speech/Journalism who shows an interest in the gaming industry.

Games Dark Souls Genres ActionRPG Platforms PC
Published Sep. 1st 2017

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