IGN has the tips and tricks, and strategies you need to succeed in Demon’s Souls and the Demon’s Souls Remake for the PS5.
This page will cover tips, tricks, and tactics every player should know when playing Demon’s Souls – from the most basic concepts for those new to From Software games, to more advanced ways to play and tips on how Demon’s Souls differs from Dark Souls games.
- Get Good: Probably the most uttered statement between fans of the series – it may sound silly and unhelpful, but there’s truth to the words. Those new to the series must learn – Demon’s Souls, like those that came after it, is not a game that can be brute-forced. Blindly running into situations, or getting flustered and spamming the attack button will not win every fight.
- How to Get Good:They key to all of combat in Dark Souls is learning the encounter, learning the enemy moveset, find the weakness, and capitalize on it. Take your time, advance slowly, explore every area, and look for ways around problems. If there are none, figure out why it is a problem, and what you can do to solve it. Maybe you’ll need a different weapon, or more levels. or maybe its something that needs to be left alone. Be patient, and the thrill of victory will be more than enough of a reward.
- Before You Get Good – Be Bad: Demon Souls doesn’t exactly rush you into things. Even after the tutorial, you can only visit one region and boss before the rest of the worlds open up. You also can’t level up until the first real boss is dead, which means you don’t have a lot to lose. Consider Boletarian Palace the perfect place to really experiment, learn how to fight, how to dodge, how to parry, and so on. Die as many times as you want, so that you’ll be more experienced when you finally kill the boss and begin exploring the different worlds in earnest.
- Exploit the Weakness of Your Enemies: Every enemy in this game has a weakness, and its your job to find it. Are they wielding a large weapon? Dodge past their slow swings and get a backstab off from behind. Do they constantly shield themselves? Kick the shield to stagger them, and follow up with a critical attack. Do they constantly shower you with ranged spell? Get in close and press the attack to keep them from casting. If you find yourself dealing minimal damage to new enemies, try different weapons – like using piercing attacks on the monsters in Stonefang Tunnel.
- The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Archstone: After you defeat the first boss of the Boletarian Palace, you’ll find that you can now use the other Archstones in the Nexus to go to other worlds, or continue through the first world. The thing is, depending on your build and interests, there isn’t always one definitive path to take. Melee-focused characters may have an easier time in certain areas earlier in the game, and vice-versa for casters. If a certain area or boss is giving you trouble, try going to another world and seeing if your chances improve.
- Learn to Parry – Or Don’t: When you have a shield equipped, you can press L2 to perform a parry move. Using this at the right time can not only completely deflect your opponents attack – but stun them long enough so that you can perform a frontal critical attack for massive damage. The downside is the window for this parry is extremely short, and very hard to pull off – more-so if you aren’t aware of how the enemy behaves. If you want to master parrying, you’ll need a lot of practice, and find out how long it takes an enemy to land a blow. Since some enemies – and especially humanoid bosses – may change up their attack speed, the timing can vary wildly, and if you aren’t adept at this, you’ll spend a lot of time missing and taking too much damage, when you could have just blocked or dodged the blow outright.
- Make Use of Your Shield, or Put it Away: One thing you should steer clear of doing is having your shield sit on your arm like a trophy. In combat, you should be making the most of your shield to block unwanted blows, and have enough stamina left over to retaliate. If you are going up against a boss and getting aggressive, and rarely raising your shield, then you’re missing out on more damage you could be doing with your weapon in two (or both) hands. Different enemies will vary your tactics, so make the best of what you have, and don’t waste time carrying around a shield you aren’t using, or staying on the defensive with a two-handed weapon.
- Secrets Are Everywhere: Certain areas in the game are teeming with secret paths, and some may present themselves as illusory walls – ones that must be struck to reveal passages. Some of these passages are harder to spot than others, but many of them appear under walls with archways built into them. Be sure to swing at any wall you feel might be hiding secrets – just don’t break your weapon in the process!
- Don’t Feel Locked into a Build: Classes may seem like very obvious archetypes, but starting classes are just that – things to start with. You are in now way forced to keep your Knight melee-only, or your Priest only using miracles. As you level up, you should feel free to experiment by allocating points around, there’s really no wrong way to level – though being a jack-of-all-trades can indeed make you a master-of-none. If you aren’t sure what you want to specialize in, the Royalty starting class begins at Soul Level 1, and has plenty of room to branch out in any direction.
- Feel the Feedback: The PS5’s Dualsense controller features incredible haptic feedback, and it’s more than just a neat vibration. The feedback can often warn you of incoming danger – from beating dragon wings to falling rocks or even a vibration when an enemy is throwing fire bombs at you. Use the Dualsense as a sixth-sense to warn you incoming danger and be ready to dodge the second you feel a strange vibration that’s not coming from your character.
Even if you’re a veteran of the Dark Souls series, you may not be prepared for some things Demon’s Souls does differently:
- Instead of reusable health potions like the Estus Flask, Demon’s Souls relies exclusively on finite consumable health items like Moon Grass. Different types will heal different amounts, and can be farmed by killing enemies – but you can run out if you use too many too quickly.
- Your actions over the course of the game can cause certain things to change. This mechanic is called World Tendency, and it can shift to White or Black, which can make the game easier or hard in certain situations. Things like getting killed while in human form, helping out NPCs, and other things can shift the balance one way or the other. In a pure black tendency, new harder enemies may appear, but also with greater rewards. However, having a pure white tendency can bolster your character with better vitality.
- Upgrading your weapons can a bit more tricky than Dark Souls, as weapon upgrades require specific types of ore dependent on the weapon type. Even if you can’t use the ore you find on any weapon you have at the time, store it away, as you may need it later when you find a weapon that does require that ore.
- Unlike Dark Souls’ interconnected worlds, Demon’s Souls is fragmented by the major archstones into 5 distinct worlds. Remember this if you decide to leave, as checkpoints are far more limited, as are secret shortcuts.
- Unfortunately, players in Demon’s Souls don’t have the ability to perform plunging attacks by jumping off ledges and pressing R1 when falling, so you can forget the idea of screaming the word “tactics!” while trying to get the literal drop on enemies.
- Most players in Dark Souls games never reached an inventory limit as its very high, but your limit to how many items you can carry in Demon’s Souls is very low by comparison – seen by your Item Burden. If you reach this limit while exploring, you won’t be able to pick up the item and use it. However in Demon Soul’s Remake, you’ll be alerted to your inability to hold it, and it will allow you to transport it directly to storage.
- Magic has slightly different properties in Demon’s Souls – most notably that all spells fall under only two categories – Magic, and Miracles. This means that everything from Soul Arrows to Fireballs are all under one stat, and players focusing on magic can become incredibly deadly by mastering several types of spells.
- Archstones are both like and unlike Bonfires. You can travel between them, but not much else. You won’t be able to attune spells or organize your storage here, and simply interacting will not reset and area or heal you. For that, you’ll need to select your current Archstone as a travel target.