Let’s be honest, Dark Souls 2 is a pretty tough game and you’re going to need all the help you can get. We’ve decided to construct a guide for all you single players out there to help make your time in Drangleic a little bit easier. This week, it’s time to gear up and pick up a weapon. Here’s what you need to know.
Pick The Right Weapon
Weapons in Dark Souls 2 come in all formats. They vary in size, speed, weight and damage so it’s important to pick a weapon to suit your play style, as well as suiting the stats you know you’re going to invest into. I always recommend looking at the weapon scaling before deciding on what you’re going to commit to as your “primary weapon”. If you’re a strength focused player, aim for a weapon that scales B or better in strength. These are usually hammers, clubs or greatswords. If you’re the dexterity type, look out for weapons that scale B or better with dexterity. Picking curved swords like a scimitar or falchion is the right way to go. Experimentation is key, and the earlier levels certainly let you do just that.
Picking equipment and weapons is all about figuring out how you want to play and then tailoring the equipment you find to that play style. It’s as simple as that.
Once you find a weapon you like, it’s time to find a blacksmith who will help you improve it. Blacksmiths are undoubtedly the most useful characters in the game and have gone through a few changes compared to Dark Souls 1. You can now just trade boss souls with a certain blacksmith to gain the boss’s weapon and you infuse your weapons with elemental damages like fire, lightning etc. However, the first blacksmith Leningrast upgrades your weapons to +10. You can follow this guide to find titanite for basic weapons.
Try Weapon Infusion
Weapon infusion adds different effects to your weapons and gives them new effects and stats. Just give a Dull Ember — found in Iron Keep — to the blacksmith in Lost Bastille and you can infuse your weapons.
Here’s a list of the effects that infusion has, courtesy of Dark Souls 2’s wiki:
Magic – reduces physical damage as well as strength and dexterity scaling, but improves magic scaling and adds magic damage.
Fire – reduces physical damage as well as strength and dexterity scaling, but improves fire scaling and adds fire damage.
Lightning – reduces physical damage as well as strength and dexterity scaling, but improves lightning scaling and adds lightning damage.
Dark – reduces physical damage as well as strength and dexterity scaling, but improves dark scaling and adds dark damage.
Poison – reduces base damage and scaling, but adds a poison effect. Most effective on weapons that either already have a poison effect as this infusion will enhance the effect, or on weapons with fast attack speed so that poison can be quickly built up.
Bleed – reduces base damage and scaling, but adds a bleed effect. Most effective on weapons that either already have a bleed effect as this infusion will enhance the effect, or on weapons with fast attack speed so that bleed can be quickly built up.
Raw – upgrades weapon physical base power, decreases stat scaling and weapon can be enchanted with temporary weapon effects. Best used on weapons that have very low scaling to begin with as weapons that rely on their scaling for damage will most likely lose damage by choosing this infusion. It can also be effective when a player knows that they won’t be getting their stats high enough for the weapon’s scaling to truly shine.
Enchanted – Reduces stat scaling. Physical attack now scales with INT. (No added magic damage)
Mundane – Upgrades weapon to scale by the player’s lowest stat, but decreases weapon base damage by about 50% and decreases the original stat scaling. Useful for builds that have near equal stats using fast attack weapons. With a lowest stat at 30 across the board (SL 217), the weapon gets +200 bonus damage. If the player continues to level up, a mundane weapon does not gain damage until all nine stat attributes are leveled once equally.
Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Basket
Basically, weapons will come and go. What you may love unquestioningly one day will be left gathering dust and cobwebs the next, so you should really try not to spend all your titanite and all your souls on just one weapon. You might find an even stronger weapon as you progress throughout the game so there’s no point in spending hundreds of souls on a beginner’s straight sword. If you don’t know what weapon to pick straight away, Heide Knight weapons are great starter weapons as they have a good lightning bonus. You can spot one in the Forest of Fallen Giants — he’s the tall white knight sitting by a tree — but be prepared for a tough fight.
Have Fun And Get Creative
Once you start getting bored with a weapon, it’s always a good idea to switch it up. You can try using two handed attacks instead of one, try rolling attacks or even find a completely different weapon to play around with. I used a Bastard Sword for the majority of my playthrough before deciding I liked the look of a Greatsword and traded a boss soul to get the Pursuer’s Great Sword. I’m still getting used to how it plays, but it’s a lot of fun. For something fun, you could try going unarmed, use punch attacks, or maybe even use two shields as a weapon. Remember that it’s still a game at the end of the day so make sure you’re having fun.