Highlights Dark Souls’ combat system, with its variety of weapons, is a major reason for the game’s success and popularity. Players can easily find and wield the best PvE weapons in Dark Souls without much experimentation, thanks to the extensive knowledge of the community. The article provides information on various powerful weapons in Dark Souls, including their base damage and special abilities.
There are truly very few games that nail the visceral feel of melee combat as well as Dark Souls. This landmark title was released by FromSoftware in 2011 and has gone on to become one of the greatest video games ever, with modern titles still trying to emulate the core aspects of what made Dark Souls such an iconic and beloved title. The fact that Elden Ring smashed sales records and became one of the most popular open-world games of all time is a testament to how beloved the FromSoftware formula really is.
The combat of Dark Souls is one of the major reasons why this title witnessed success across the board. This was mainly due to the sheer variety of weapons that people can find in the games, allowing players to utilize diverse and tailor-made moves that suit their build. That being said, the massive size of the Dark Souls community means that people have dissected all these weapons thoroughly, allowing them to find out the best ones of the lot that can decimate most enemies with ease. As a result, one can easily find and wield the best PvE weapons in Dark Souls without having to experiment too much.
Updated August 21, 2023 by Ritwik Mitra: Dark Souls is one of the most important video games ever released. The success of this title prompted FromSoftware to focus all their resources on making titles that built up on this game’s combat system and allowed players to enjoy a sense of great satisfaction as they slowly became powerful enough to take out immensely powerful creatures.
To make the most of the combat system, players need to use the best weapons around to dominate their opposition in no time at all, especially if their main goal is to take out the many tough enemies who can demolish a player in no time flat.Weapon Upgrade Paths 101 Regular Upgrade: The most basic upgrade path… and the most recommended one as well. Raw Upgrade: Great for dealing damage in the short run at the cost of sacrificing longevity. Crystal Upgrade: Increases weapon scaling at the cost of reduced durability and irreparable weapons. Magic Upgrade: Increases magic damage and intelligence scaling but reduces normal scaling. Divine Upgrade: Same as the Magic Upgrade path but with faith scaling instead of intelligence and Divine effects. Enchanted Upgrade: Increases magic damage at a greater scale but with bigger penalties to normal scaling. Lightning Upgrade: Increases lightning damage but removes all stat scaling. Fire Upgrade: Increases fire damage but removes all stat scaling. Occult Upgrade: Same as the Magic Upgrade path but with faith scaling instead of intelligence and Occult effects. Chaos Upgrade: Deals fire damage that scales only with Humanity. Unique Upgrade: Used to increase base damage substantially. 18 Dragonslayer Greatbow Base Damage: 90 Weight: 10.0
As the name suggests, this bow is one that was designed to take down dragons. The Dragonslayer Greatbow can be found in Anor Londo, just outside of a broken window above the grand doors that are initially locked until the player takes the long way around to open them from within.
In melee combat, it is far too slow to be useful, however, its spear-like projectiles can travel further than any arrow in the game. They also do huge damage to anything they hit, making this behemoth of a bow the ideal tool to snipe tough foes from a distance.17 Club Base Damage: 87 Weight: 3.0
Although basic in appearance, to dismiss the Club is to avoid one of the best-starting weapons in the game. Given to those who start as the Deprived Class, players have learned over the years that this simple wooden implement can trivialize much of the early game.
The Club is one of the few weapons that have a one-handed light attack that can stagger and stun most unarmored foes. It can also easily break the guard of enemies bearing shields, making it difficult for most PvE enemies to counter. In addition, the Club’s excellent Strength scaling and the fact that it can be upgraded to +15 make it a great option for almost any build.16 Dragon King Greataxe Base Damage: 380 Weight: 24.0
Dragon weapons in Dark Souls hold many advantages. They grant their wielder increased damage reduction against fire and magic attacks when held, though it is the offensive traits that make them shine. The Dragon King Greataxe, obtained as a tail-cut weapon from the Gaping Dragon, has one of the highest base damage stats in the game, which alone makes it a worthy weapon.
However, its unique two-handed strong attack is its most defining trait and makes it stand out from other greataxes with high base damage. When used, it unleashes an AOE shockwave that can devastate those standing too close. Not only can this move be useful against individual foes, but it can also clear out groups of enemies that are surrounding the player.15 Avelyn Base Damage: 37 Weight: 6.0
This unique crossbow can be found within a chest in The Duke’s Archives close to a channeler enemy. This is a tool worth picking up during every playthrough for its deadly potential as a mid-range weapon. As opposed to other crossbows in the game, Avelyn launches three bolts in quick succession which equates to much more damage per second than any of its kind.
Since it can be wielded with the offhand, players can use this as an easy option for ranged damage against certain foes where one’s melee attacks are insufficient. With short reload times, the ability to be upgraded to +15, and low stat requirements, it is highly recommended to try this crossbow out at some point.14 Drake Sword Base Damage: 200 Weight: 6.0
Like its draconic kin, the Drake Sword boosts one’s resistance to fire and magic damage when held and also has a unique two-handed strong attack. This special technique unleashes a wave of energy in a line before the wielder which deals huge health or stamina damage to anything it hits.
Since this blade has a moveset similar to many other straight swords, it is highly versatile for a great number of builds. With higher base damage than any other early-game weapon, it stands above more common swords in terms of foe-slaying capabilities. It can also be found very early, and acquired very easily, by shooting off the tail of the Hellkite Wyvern in the Undead Parish.13 Estoc Base Damage: 75 Weight: 3.0
A piercing sword that is pretty easy to use for beginners, the Estoc may not blow anyone’s mind with its moveset or power… but it makes up for these deficiencies by letting players strike while keeping their guard up, which is incredibly useful in a game where a shield is downright necessary to survive the damage that can be incurred from certain attacks and combos.
The Estoc also boasts a high reach and can deal way more damage when two-handed, although some players would love the added security brought about by wielding a shield at all times. Whatever playstyle fans may love, they can rest assured that the Estoc will have all their bases covered.12 Black Knight Sword Base Damage: 220 Weight: 8.0
The Black Knights are some of the toughest enemies in the game, and it’s only a given that their blades are going to be quite hard-hitting in their own right too. The Black Knight Sword hits like a truck and can whittle down an enemy’s health bar in no time flat, especially if players are competent when it comes to two-handing this weapon and unleashing a string of effective combos.
While some people find it to be weaker than the other Black Knight weapons that can be wielded in the game, players shouldn’t sleep on the effectiveness of this blade at all. Before players decide on the weapon that can carry them to the end of the game, there’s nothing wrong with wielding the Black Knight Sword to decimate their enemies and flex on them until then!11 Great Scythe Base Damage: 100 Weight: 5.0
Many people rate the Great Scythe highly in the game, considering its DPS to be truly amazing against enemies who have no idea how to deal with a barrage from this weapon. The fact that this weapon isn’t nearly as effective as its counterpart in Dark Souls 3 was a source of great agony for fans who loved this weapon to bits.
The Great Scythe can be wielded in two hands to bring out its true potential, but its one-handed moveset is also pretty efficient, if somewhat unremarkable. Most enemies will be sliced and diced into ribbons with just a few hits from this weapon… as long as players use the build that’s the most efficient, of course.
One of the best Dexterity weapons in the game that can be attained early on, the Balder Side Sword is a safe choice for anyone who wishes to mow down enemies with ease.
While the drop rate of this weapon might not be all that great — leading to a rather frustrating hunt for this blade — there’s no denying that the utility of this weapon more than makes up for the time players need to invest in getting it… that is, unless they happen to get quite lucky.9 Black Knight Greatsword Base Damage: 220 Weight: 14.0
The Black Knight weapons are truly the cream of the crop when it comes to weapons in Dark Souls, and one can arguably make this entire list and litter it with just different types of weapons wielded by the formidable armored warriors.
With that in mind, the Black Knight Greatsword is a great weapon that one can use in their run if they don’t want to sacrifice too much speed while maintaining a healthy offensive output regardless.8 Quelaag’s Furysword Base Damage: 60 Weight: 3.5
While Chaos weapons might have their fair share of detractors in the Dark Souls fandom, many will still find it hard to discredit Quelaag’s Furysword.
While this weapon might force players to keep a stock of 10 Humanity with them at all times, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. Quelaag’s Furysword has a diverse and reliable moveset, coupled with fire damage that can completely incinerate most enemies and bosses alike.7 Zweihander Base Damage: 130 Weight: 10.0
The Zweihander is a favorite of many a player in Dark Souls, and it’s easy to see why this is the case considering it rips through most foes & bosses with ease. A reliable moveset, the highest level of upgrades, and the early availability of this weapon make it a favorite for most veterans in the series.6 Uchigatana Base Damage: 90 Weight: 5.0
When it comes to Dexterity builds, one really can’t go wrong with the Uchigatana. While getting this weapon early on does force the player to kill off a merchant NPC, there’s no denying the Uchigatana more than makes up for this somewhat senseless death.
The high Dexterity scaling, coupled with a good moveset and surprisingly long reach, make the Uchigatana viable for both PvE and PvP.5 Moonlight Greatsword Base Damage: 132 Weight: 6.0
There’s a reason why the mystical and magical Moonlight Greatsword is a classic weapon in the Soulsborne franchise. The fact of the matter is that this weapon has immense utility, and players pursuing an Intelligence build will definitely be able to make the most of this iconic greatsword.
It certainly helps that the player looks amazing wielding such a beautiful blade… before using this weapon to absolutely decimate enemies in their path with little to no problems whatsoever.4 Murakumo Base Damage: 113 Weight: 12.0
The Murakumo boasts some of the highest damage stats possible in the endgame, making it a viable option for anyone who wants to use a heavy weapon in their playthrough.
While getting this weapon might be somewhat of a grindy affair, there’s no denying that the end result is more than worth it.3 Claymore Base Damage: 103 Weight: 6.0
The Claymore is one of the best weapons in Dark Souls by a country mile, with this longsword being the favorite of many a player who had the urge to get back to this beloved franchise. The fact that its moveset covers everything from one-on-one battles to crowd-dispersing slashes makes it one of the most versatile and useful weapons in the entire game.2 Lifehunt Scythe Base Damage: 180 Weight: 6.0
While most people might consider the Great Scythe to be superior, it must be said that the added perks of the Lifehunt Scythe make it infinitely better in the minds of many players. This is one of the only two weapons in the game that can inflict 50% Bleed Damage on enemies, meaning that most monsters will be left a writhing mess with just a few hits of this incredibly powerful weapon.
While this weapon does cause the player to bleed as well, proper equipment and resistances will be more than enough to deal with this Bleed buildup.1 Black Knight Halberd Base Damage: 245 Weight: 14.0
There’s a reason why veteran speedrunners use this weapon throughout their playthrough with no exceptions — the Black Knight Halberd is really that good.
Its attacks might be slow, but the sheer weight and power behind these attacks can spell the doom of anyone who gets caught with this insanely powerful halberd. Upgrading this weapon is not all that hard in the early game either, meaning that players will have a massive tool of destruction in their hands, along with a ton of enemies that will be at their mercy throughout the game.
Dark Souls is currently available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch.