There are tons of Dark Souls III secrets you probably missed. Here are 10 things I wish I knew my first playthrough!

Did You Know These 10 Dark Souls III Secrets?

There are tons of Dark Souls III secrets you probably missed. Here are 10 things I wish I knew my first playthrough!
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While I discovered a few Dark Souls III secrets during my first playthrough, there were a LOT of things I missed. One reason why people play these games again and again is discovering new things every time you play.

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But if you’re like me, you don’t want to look up everything your first go-around. Where’s the fun in that? I essentially see that as cheating yourself, because learning things that way removes the atmosphere and “ah ha!” moments you get by playing on your own.

*steps down from soapbox*

Here are a few fun little things I missed my first time, but hopefully it will help you have a little more fun — whether it’s your first playthrough or fifth. 

Tip #1: How to Get Havel’s Armor

Havel was an iconic character in Dark Souls. Many players got flattened to pancakes several times before they perfected the backstab technique to beat him. 

Well… he returns in this game. But getting his armor is a little tricky. You first have to defeat him in Archdragon Peak. When you kill him, you get his club and shield.

Then go to Farron Keep, and climb up to the bridge where you fight the stone Stray Demon. You’ll find his armor on a corpse. 

Tip #2: How to Enter Lothric Castle Early

One way to give yourself a leg up on Dark Souls III’s mid-game content is to enter Lothric Castle early in the game. It’s not easy, but some of the weapons and miracles there will help your journey through most of Lothric go a little smoother.

The trick is to kill Emma the first time you meet her. This activates Dancer, which is normally a boss you don’t fight until much later in the game. She’s tough to beat as a low-level character, but once you do you’re on your way into the castle. 

 Emma is found in the High Wall of Lothric. She’s at the top of the steps in a cathedral opposite of the boss fight, Vordt of the Boreal Valley.

Tip #3: How to Get that Fancy Purple Summon Sign

The Mound Makers covenant was one I (kinda) knew about, but I didn’t know how to join it. The mistake I made was killing every mean-looking thing I saw in the Undead Settlement.

…which in most games makes sense, but you’d think I would’ve learned better for the Dark Souls series. 

Here’s a short video showing you where to find it in the Undead Settlement.

This covenant is unique because it lets you help the host by fighting enemies, BUT your ultimate goal is to kill the host. I don’t know how many people actually like summoning purple phantoms, but you can always give it a whirl and see. 

Tip #4: Hail to the Fire Keeper!

The Fire Keeper in Firelink shrine is probably your best friend in Lothric. I mean, even if you kill her she will resurrect and still help you!

That’s a bro. But a female version. 

Maybe you didn’t know that, but that’s not the secret. The Dark Souls III secret about the Fire Keeper is that if you do an emote in front of her, she responds! For example, if you toast her, she does a little spin for you. 

Obviously this isn’t a particularly useful piece of knowledge, but it helps warm up the dark world of Lothric a bit. 

Tip #5: Let Fire be Your Homeboy

Those maggot monsters in Cathedral of the Deep were nasty. If I didn’t have a bunch of Estus flasks and healing spells, I’d have struggled through it.

…mainly because I was too much of an idiot to realize that just pulling out your torch removes the maggots!

But did you know that fire incapacitates some enemies? Yup- you can even just hit some things (including the big maggot monsters) with your torch to send them writing in agony on the ground. 

A fire weapon has the same effect, but since just about everyone has a torch, it’s the universal solution. 

Tip #6: How to Get the Black Bow of Pharis

The Black Bow of Pharis is one of the best ranged weapons in Dark Souls III. Unfortunately, it’s hidden inside the belly of a giant tree monster thing. 

I hated Farron Keep. It wasn’t necessarily hard, but slogging through the swamp without knowing where to go was just frustrating. It was like Blighttown from Dark Souls, except much less linear.

Well, if you follow the left wall from the Farron Keep bonfire, you’ll find a few of those big monsters in the back of the swamp. The third one- the one in the very back- has this bow. 

Me? I missed it because when I realized it was basically a dead-end, I turned around and said “Screw that guy. I’m going home.” 

Tip #7: Quick Access to Your Estus Flask 

I usually don’t keep many items slotted for quick use, but I tend to have 3-4 most of the time. Cycling through them could be annoying sometimes though — especially when you’re at 5% health and have a giant undead creature charging you. 

The good news is FromSoftware gave you an ability to quickly switch to the item you have in your first slot. By just holding down on the directional pad, you quickly switch to the first item slotted. For the vast majority of players, that will be your Estus flask. 

Fun note: you can do the same with spells — if you like that sorta thing. 

Tip #8: Infusion Fun

Here’s a Dark Souls III secret that some Sorcery users probably knew, but most others glanced over.

The Simple infusion gives a weapon the ability to slowly regenerate Focus. While it’s very slow, this can be useful for weapon arts! Using some weapon arts (like buffs) only use 1 point of Focus, so you’ll be able to use it again and again if you have the Simple infusion going on.

Another interesting infusion is Hollow. It scales off the Luck stat, making a Luck build a little more viable.

Tip #9: Getting the Most from Your Ring of Sacrifice

I’m one of those RPG players that ends a game with 95% of the consumables I found. I always say “I better not use this right now — what if I need it later?”

Then I beat the game and have a million potions/bombs/traps/buffs/whatever left over. 

The same happened in Dark Souls III. I didn’t use a single Ring of Sacrifice… but mainly because I didn’t know this trick. 

If you die and have a huge stack of souls to retrieve, throw on a Ring of Sacrifice. Even if you die again before the stack is retrieved, the souls will stay there! This gives you one more shot (or more if you have more RoS to use) to get the souls back. 

Tip #10: How to Leave Gestures in Messages

In Bloodborne, players could leave a gesture in a message. That feature returns in this game, but using it isn’t intuitive.

When you go to create a message, you’re first presented with just two options — Template and Words. But you can expand the options by hitting Triangle/Y. This lets you craft a more thorough message, including a gesture the reader will see. 

…And no, I don’t what it is on PC. You “Master Race” nerds can figure it out, though. 

There you have it! I hope these Dark Souls III tips help you get more out of the game. And props go to VaatiVadya, Memorable, Jobsquad Media and all of the other great YouTubers out there helping us die a little less. 

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I've probably put more hours into video games than my kid has been alive. Call of Duty, MOBAs and Skyrim are to blame!