How to defeat the Abyss Watchers boss in Dark Souls 3

Dark Souls III's Abyss Watchers can overwhelm even the greatest of players, but a few sidesteps and you have them right where you want them.

The kingdom of Lothric can be as beautiful as it is deadly. The landscape is littered with traumatic experiences that will leave gamers shaking in their leggings. From the Mimic Chests to the countless knights, it seems as if everything is trying to kill you in Dark Souls III. All of this and we haven’t even touched on the boss fights yet. Well, get ready because I am going to guide you through one of the hardest boss fights in the game. This guide will teach even the most novice of Souls players how to take down the Abyss Watchers. Technically, the Abyss Watchers are just one guy but they eventually form into multiple knights with a long sword and dagger combo that can be deadly. One hit from this boss and it can be all over. Let’s jump right into what makes the Abyss Watchers so dangerous.

Getting to know the Abyss Watchers

The first stage of the fight is actually pretty status quo. By that, I mean that it is just like fighting any other over powered knight throughout your journey. However, after a few slashes to the Abyss Watchers’ health bar, you will be greeted by an unpleasant surprise. There are multiple Abyss Watchers and they will spawn into the battle and attack you. This can be an overwhelming part of the battle and can be challenging if you are simply trying to tank through this fight. There will also be friendly Abyss Watchers that attempt to take down the ones trying to kill you. Keep this in mind for later in the guide.

Once you have defeated the Abyss Watchers, the only thing to do is move on, right? WRONG! After defeating the first stage, the second stage will kick in and the Abyss Watchers will come together to form one big bad boss with the same sword and dagger, only this time they have added fire damage and an array of new attacks to their arsenal. With the right balance of keeping your distance and storming in close, you can defeat this big bad boss with a few helpful hints to keep in mind.

Tip #1 Use the helpful Abyss Watcher to your advantage

Remember how I said there would be a friendly Abyss Watcher that will help you out? Well, my first tip is to let the friendly Abyss Watcher help you out. I know, right? Not exactly rocket science and you should be grateful that this poor guy is fighting…well, himself. While this friendly is busy taking on the real Abyss Watcher or the clone, you should be going to town on the other one who is not pre-occupied. If you are lucky, the friendly Abyss Watcher will even kill the main one for you. That is pretty much it for the tips for the first stage. The second stage is a little trickier.

Tip #2 Use consumables that help against fire damage and equip your best fire defense armor

This tip may save your life in the second stage because the Abyss Watcher will rise again after you have killed him and this time he will have added fire damage to his blade. Without anything to combat the fire damage, one wrong move could get you killed in this stage because the fire damage is so overwhelming and the attacks come one after the other. Using a consumable such as the Red Bug Pellet will increase your fire damage absorption and could save your life.

Tip #3 Look for the downward sword/line of fire attack

 I know, this probably could have been described a little better, but once you see this attack then you will know exactly what I am talking about here. This is a weird attack of the Abyss Watchers in the second stage because he points his sword down and then lunges forward a great distance towards you, creating a line of fire where his sword was.

Inexplicably, the boss tends to pause for a few moments to admire his work and this is where you strike. One sidestep or roll to the right and you can then go to town on the boss, getting in 3 to 4 good strikes. There will be other times to strike but this offers your best window to do the most damage. I would also advise to keep your distance. Getting caught close to the Abyss Watchers can allow for some heavy damage inflicted but can also easily get you killed. Your best bet is to stay away and strike strategically. Never more than 3 or 4 slashes at a time because greed will get you killed quicker than you can say 'git gud'.


There aren't many things to keep in mind when battling this challenging boss. The right weapon and a few successful dodge attempts will have you making short work of the Abyss Watchers. To recap what you should keep in mind when in this boss fight:

  • Let the friendly Abyss Watcher help you during the fight
  • Use strong fire absorption armor/consumables such as red bug pellet
  • Target the line of fire/downward sword attack and retaliate
  • Keep your distance and strike strategically

These tips will keep you alive but in the end, your skill will be what gets you through this boss fight. The bosses leading up to this one were pretty lackluster and this can be considered the first true challenge of the game. Good luck in your fight and don’t forget to praise the sun. Dark Souls III is out now for PS4, Xbox One and PC.

Featured Contributor

When I am not out being Batman, I am here on my computer writing about video games. When I am not out being Batman or writing about video games, I am playing video games. When I am not doing any of the three, call an ambulance I may not be breathing.

Published Apr. 18th 2016
  • AwesumPawsum
    I just beat these kids last night.

    The funny thing is I did 2 of the 3 tips you pointed out. When there were just 2 watchers, I tried to keep 1 between me and the other. Once the 3rd spawned, 2 of them started fighting and I went to town on the third.

    As far as the second phase- rolling was my best friend. Even though I could block some attacks in the first phase, I think you have to dodge a lot in the second phase because of the fire.

    Also, you have to be careful not to hit the friendly watcher. It's tempting to just go after all of them, but once you do he'll turn hostile and just attack everything.
  • Autumn Fish
    Featured Correspondent
    This is a lovely Abyss Watcher's guide. I definitely had trouble with him the first time through.

    However, the Abyss Watchers fight is weird during the first phase. There are not any friendly Abyss Watchers so much as there are Abyss Watchers trying to kill anything and everything, including each other.

    When a new Abyss Watcher wakes up, they choose who to agro: you, your summons, or one of the other Abyss Watchers lurking around. If they aggro onto you, you can cheekily get the Abyss Watchers to hit each other and forget about you.

    I was stuck on this boss for many more hours than I'd like to admit. After seeing the bosses that came after, though.. damn. Abyss Watchers is like a cake walk compared to them.
  • Eric Adams
    Featured Contributor
    Yea 'friendly' might not be the right word haha but one of them specifically seeks out the main Abyss Watcher and tries to kill him but usually gets ganged up on by at least two other Abyss Watchers. That one that tries to kill the main one actually killed him for me believe it or not.
  • Autumn Fish
    Featured Correspondent
    Oh totally. :) I've had one of them kill the main guy once. The main one was literally at like half health and he just got destroyed while I took out the other Abyss Watchers that spawned. Pretty hilarious
  • Seth Zulinski
    "Oh, it's just a Dude With Sword fight? Okay. Artorias this guy ain't. This is actually pretty eas-ohgodwhat'skillingme."

    - Everyone's first Abyss Watchers fight.
  • Eric Adams
    Featured Contributor
    I beat the first phase on the first try, got really excited and then got annihilated by the second stage. Long story short, don't celebrate too early lol
  • AwesumPawsum
    That was me too- beat the first phase, then got fried the second.

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