Dark Souls 3 Best Daggers
Dark Souls 3 Best Daggers

Top 13 Dark Souls 3 Best Daggers

The Dark Souls series has always been held much higher regard than other mainstream RPG games. The fact that it has its very own game tag on steam called “Souls-like” really speaks volumes; having experienced it, it doesn’t surprise me that it continues to inspire more games, from both small and large companies to this day. Moreover, its journey to transcend the RPG genre was relatively smooth due to the right game design choices that FromSoftware made and stuck to from the very get-go. From the beginning, Dark Souls 1 breathed new life into the RPG genre as it introduced fresh ideas and creative concepts rarely seen in mainstream RPGs. Amongst these bright ideas was the idea of having a rich and diverse class of weaponry.

With every game’s sequel, this idea has been more diversified and has finally peaked in Dark Souls 3. Dark Souls 3, much like its predecessors, offers a range of weapon classes, each having multitudes of weapons. These weapon classes range from the conventional straight sword, greatsword, halberds to the lesser-known whips, reapers, and daggers. These weapons themselves go quite in-depth as far as stats and upgradability are concerned, making the process of discerning the best from the best, not a very easy process. FromSoftware has implemented a stat system in this game, much like its prequels, where every weapon “scales” with some stats to a certain degree. This means that, e.g., if a weapon has an S scaling with Strength, increasing your Strength stat will boost the stats of said weapon!

This element of complexity forces their player base to think much beyond the weapon in front of them. Determining, for instance, the best dagger in Dark Souls 3 is not as simple as comparing base stats but also involves taking their stat scaling into account. While conducting that analysis for all weapon classes is too much for the scope of one article, I will be going over just the best daggers in Dark Souls 3.

What is Critical Damage?

In Dark Souls 3, a critical attack can generally be performed on a target once put in a vulnerable state. Upon successfully initiating a critical, the player and target are placed in an uninterruptible animation where both parties cannot take damage from outside sources, and the target takes the critical damage. Both parties will only perform additional actions once the critical animation is complete. Keep in mind that damage inflicted by the critical can be increased if the player has equipped the Hornet Ring. Regardless, there are two kinds of critical attacks:

Riposte

A riposte can be performed on a target that has had an attack parried or has been guard broken due to stamina being completely depleted while guarding with a shield. In the case of certain large enemies and bosses, a critical can be taken once enough damage has been inflicted to a vital part of their body or if enough damage has been inflicted in general.

Dark Souls 3 Riposte
Doesn’t get more painful than getting riposted by a dagger!

Backstab

A backstab can be performed on the target if they are attacked from behind. When the player is behind the target and performs a weak attack, they will begin an animation where they pull their weapon back to perform the critical. If the target is still within range of the player once the backstab animation completes, the critical attack will take place.

What are Daggers in Dark Souls 3?

A dagger is a knife with a very sharp point and usually two sharp edges, typically designed or capable of being used as a thrusting or stabbing weapon. A dagger is a weapon meant for close-proximity combat or confrontations. They are lightweight, small, and have fast attack speed. What sets them apart from other weapon classes is their Critical damage, which allows them to inflict incredible damage on backstabs and ripostes. Daggers also have a fast attack, as previously mentioned, and when buffed with a status effect like Bleed or a Pine Resin, they can get off massive damage in a short time.

However, Daggers do have problems of their own and are, by no means, perfect. Daggers have a very short range, often requiring the user to get close to the opponent to inflict damage. Furthermore, they cannot trade with heavier weapons like Greatswords, Ultra Greathammers, and Ultra Greatswords due to their low poise damage and damage without buffs, so Dagger users will have to be extremely cautious when going up against these weapons.

Dark Souls 3 Best Daggers
Did you know there are 13 total daggers in Dark Souls 3?

Best Daggers in Dark Souls 3

While daggers have pros and cons, they can still be very lethal thanks to their undefeated riposte and backstab damage multipliers. If you’re one of those players who love to parry enemies and are proficient in doing so, then you most certainly should carry a dagger on you! Furthermore, if you’re a professional at getting behind your enemy by rolling and misdirecting their attention, then you can maximize your backstab damage by carrying a dagger. As far as which dagger you should have, here are all the daggers in Dark Souls 3 ranked:

Scholar’s Candlestick

Characteristics

The Scholar’s Candlestick offers unimpressive base physical damage (63) and has a high Faith requirement to wield despite not scaling with that stat; as such, it is generally considered an inferior weapon regardless of circumstances. However, whilst being ranked the lowest on Dark Souls 3 Best Daggers, its main characteristic is that while wielded, it increases the damage dealt by any offensive Sorceries by 10% (not boosted by reinforcement). This is regardless of whether they deal with Magic or Dark damage and whether the player meets the welding requirements. It stacks with other spell-boosting equipment such as Bellowing Dragoncrest Ring, Crown of Dusk, Young Dragon Ring, Magic/Dark Clutch Ring; it is considered a staple off-hand tool for any dedicated Sorcerer build.

Upgrade

The Scholar’s Candlestick comes with a stat requirement of 7 strength and 16 faith. Moreover, it comes with a natural scaling of E in Strength and C in dexterity. As far as upgradability is concerned, It can only be reinforced with titanite, being devoid of any buff or infusion capabilities. Regular reinforcement, even uptil +10 only significantly increases its physical damage, from 63 to 126 – its scalings and damage reduction properties stay exactly the same.

Dark Souls 3 Scholar’s Candlestick
Scholars in the Grand Archives

Weapon Art

The Scholar’s Candlestick comes with the Guiding Light weapon art, which can only provide a temporary source of light, similar to a torch, which reveals additional guidance for 60 seconds. Do keep in mind that, despite acting like a torch, lighting the candles does cure/destroy the bleed-inducing maggots inflicted by Reanimated Corpse, Infested Corpse, and Writhing Rotten Flesh.

Location

Dropped from Scholars wielding this weapon in the Grand Archives. It can also be bought from Shrine Handmaid (if you give her Greirat’s Ashes after doing the requirements below), or it can be bought from Greirat of the Undead Settlement (if he survives his 2nd expedition through Irithyll) for 3500 souls.

Tailbone Short Sword

Characteristics

The Tailbone Short Sword was crafted from a feeble tailbone and seen as a sign of the dragons. Their screams are often heard inside the dungeon as they naively mutilate their unworthy flesh. Despite being called a Short Sword, it technically falls under the Dagger category due to its same moveset, such as horizontal slashes, quick thrust attacks, and downward stabs, among other things. It has a motion value of 330 on backstabs and 396 on riposte and 65+385 on a riposte with Hornet Ring equipped. Furthermore, it has a range of about 15 sp, a standard measure of distance where sp stands for Shield Poke – this puts it above more than half of the daggers on this list of Dark Souls 3 Best Daggers in terms of range.

Upgrade

The Tailbone Short Sword requires 8 strength and 14 dexterity to properly wield. Moreover, it comes with a natural scaling of E in both Strength and dexterity. As far as upgradability is concerned, it cannot be infused or buffed, only reinforced with Titanite Scales (which reinforce upto +5). Moreover, at +5 reinforcement, it experiences a physical damage increase from 106 to a whopping 194 – its dexterity scaling also improves from E-tier to D-tier in this process. This makes it most viable on either a pure dexterity build or a quality build.

Dark Souls 3 Tailbone Short Sword
The Tailbone Short Sword has the best weapon design out of all daggers in my opinion!

Weapon Art

The Tailbone Short Sword possesses the very unique weapon art called Unleash Dragon, where you thrust the dagger to unleash the Strength of the dragons, similar to the Tailbone Spear, only with its power tragically faded. The outputted shockwave that travels on the ground with slight tracking is quite efficient at knocking people off of ledges – it can also hit twice as the dagger has its own hitbox, let’s not forget!

Location

Dropped by the Wretches in Irithyll Dungeon that wield this weapon. Wretches appear to be a large, sickly pale amalgamation of different creatures. Their bodily composition features a large, gaunt, quadrupedal body with a humanoid head, webbed digits, and undeveloped wings – you’d be able to recognize it immediately!

Handmaid’s Dagger

Characteristics

The Handmaid Dagger is a dagger used by handmaids of the Profaned Capital – it is said that these women took pleasure in wounding others. It comes with a motion value of 330 on backstab and 396 on riposte, as well as 65+385 on ripostes with Hornet Ring. What makes this weapon stand out from the rest of the daggers is its innate ability to replenish 1 FP per hit, regardless of whether or not it successfully hits or gets blocked. On that note, when  in the offhand, the moveset of the primary attack changes to a stab, which has a guaranteed two-hit combo -that’s 2 FP restored!

Upgrade

The Handmaid Dagger comes with a requirement of 4 strength and 8 dexterity to wield properly. Moreover, it comes with a natural scaling of E in both Strength and dexterity. As far as upgradability is concerned, it can be reinforced with Titanite (which reinforce upto +10). Moreover, at +10 reinforcement, both its dexterity and Strength scaling improve to a whopping D-tier – it also experiences a physical damage increase from 83 to 170. On the other hand, however, it can not be buffed or infused, restricting its build potential – while you can fit it onto a quality build given its affinity with both Strength and dexterity, I would recommend a caster build. You should rely on its unique innate ability to restore FP and use it as a passive source of Ashen Estus.

Dark Souls 3 Handmaid’s Dagger
The Handmaid’s Dagger in all its glory!

Weapon Art

The Handmaid Dagger comes with the Blind Spot weapon art, which is often used against shielded foes to break through their guard by attacking from the side. Do bear in mind that the stamina drained upon impact is not as significant as Stance skill guard breaks. Thus, I would recommend that the skill be used when the opponent has already exhausted part of their stamina, to ensure their guard is broken. To capitalize on Blind Spot, there is a true combo with the two-handed right light/heavy attack.

Location

Dropped by Jailer Handmaids in the Profaned Capital. These enemies look a lot of white Jailers, except that they rely heavily on pyromancy and knife attacks. An easy way to kill them is through backstabs – they can be easily backstabbed due to long windup and recovery on their attacks. Don’t forget to farm them at the “Yhorm the Giant” bonfire though.

Rotten Ghru Dagger

Characteristics

The Rotten Ghru dagger manifests the synergy between daggers and auxiliary effects – due to their fast attack speed, daggers are one of the best weapons for inflicting auxiliary effects. Moreover, it is one of the best daggers in dark souls 3 to build up poison on said build since the dagger has a stun lock of three hits before someone can parry, and even then, they aren’t very likely to get the parry off if they’re using a slower parry tool. This means that you can spam away and rack up poison build-up relatively quickly. This is very effective in PvE, where enemies can not cure poison, and even in PvP, where you will be adding an extra layer of pressure and intimidation.

Upgrade

The Rotten Ghru Dagger comes with a requirement of 10 strength and 8 dexterity to properly wield. Moreover, it comes with a natural scaling of E in Strength and C in dexterity. As far as upgradability is concerned, it can be reinforced with Titanite (which reinforce upto +10). Moreover, at +10 reinforcement, its physical damage exactly doubles, from 64 to 128 – its dexterity scaling also improves from C-tier to B-tier. On the other hand, it can also be buffed and infused. Due to its versatility, it can be fit onto a variety of builds, though I’d recommend a pure dexterity build – with a sharp infusion, this bad boy can achieve an S scaling in Dexterity, which, paired with a rotten pine resin, can make it deadly!

Dark Souls 3 Rotten Ghru Dagger
You can tell this reeks of poison just by looking at it…

Weapon Art

The Rotten Ghru Dagger comes with Quickstep weapon art. It causes your player to “dash” instead of roll, allowing for fast motions, that place the character behind enemies with ease. As long as you have FP you have invulnerability frames during this attack. Do bear in mind that quickstepping uses slightly less stamina than a normal role and remains fully functional while between 70 and 100% equipment load, where you otherwise have a fat roll. Going above 100% equipment load will cause quickstep to not work.

Location

Dropped by Ghru in Farron Keep swamp wielding this weapon. Ghru’s come with three variations: Leaper (unclothed and unarmed), Duelist (unclothed wielding a dagger) and Spearman (clothed using a spear and shield). The variation that drops this weapon is the Duelist one, which is fast and aggressive, albeit easily blocked. Remember that you can farm them from the Keep Ruins bonfire!

Murky Hand Scythe

Characteristics

The Murky Hand Scythe is a short-shafted hand scythe wielded by the murkmen who rise from the depths. Even though it shares movesets similar to most daggers, it has the unique trait of inflicting Slash damage instead of thrusting. Given this, you may have guessed that this grants it the unique ability to stagger enemies, similar to another well-known class of Slash-type weapons, i.e., Katanas. Moreover, enveloped by black dampness, the Murky Hand Scythe is naturally imbued with dark damage (22 base damage), which makes it very viable for dark magic builds or even dark builds in general, particularly when paired with the Dark Blade. This puts it above a few other daggers on this list of Dark Souls 3 Best Daggers.

Upgrade

The Murky Hand Scythe comes with a heavy stat requirement of 6 strength, 11 dexterity, 11 intelligence and 11 faith. Moreover, it possesses a natural scaling of D in both Strength and dexterity, and E in both intelligence and faith. This makes it very viable in terms of build-fitting – apart from the obvious +10 titanite reinforcement, you can infuse it in several different ways. As far as scaling is concerned, you can achieve an A scaling in Strength with a heavy infusion (via heavy gem), in dexterity with a sharp infusion (via sharp gem), in intelligence via a crystal or simple infusion, and in faith with a lightning or blessed infusion. The options are multitudinous in number so explore to see which suits you better!

Dark Souls 3 Murky Hand Scythe
Haters will say it’s just an undersized scythe….

Weapon Art

The Murky Hand Scythe comes with Quickstep weapon art. It causes your player to “dash” instead of roll, allowing for fast motions, that place the character behind enemies with ease. As long as you have FP you have invulnerability frames during this attack. Do bear in mind that quickstepping uses slightly less stamina than a normal role and remains fully functional while between 70 and 100% equipment load, where you otherwise have a fat roll. Going above 100% equipment load will cause quickstep to not work.

Location

Found in the Dreg Heap. After dropping through the glass ceiling, a set of stairs to the left will lead over a bookcase. A corpse will be holding the Murky Hand Scythe.

Parrying Dagger

Characteristics

The Parrying Dagger is one of a kind, made especially for parrying, usually equipped in one’s left hand in place of a shield. As the name and descriptions suggest, this weapon is used almost exclusively for parrying. It is not recommended to use this as a primary weapon as its base damage and scaling is incredibly poor, ranking it lower than other daggers on my list of Dark Souls 3 Best Daggers. Even then, its window for parries is equal to that of a medium shield, requiring you to adjust if you are used to most other parry tools. This is because, technically, this weapon has, on parry, six startup frames and a total of four active frames!

Upgrade

The Parrying Dagger requires 5 strength and 14 dexterity to properly wield. It comes with a natural scaling of E in Strength and C in dexterity. Furthermore, it can be reinforced with titanite upto +10, as well as buffed and infused with a variety of items. Its scalings can be improved with certain infusions e.g it achieves an A scaling in Strength with a heavy infusion (via heavy gem), and a S scaling in dexterity with a sharp infusion (via sharp gem). It can also achieve an A scaling in faith and intelligence, though generally, I would recommend against optimizing this weapon damage-wise. The Parrying Dagger is only viable for parrying generally, so I would recommend to infuse it with a Blessed Gem or Simple Gem to gain passive HP or FP regen.

Dark Souls 3 Parrying Dagger
Parrying has never been easier with the Parrying Dagger!

Weapon Art

The Parrying Dagger, as you may have guessed, comes with the weapon art, Parry. Parry is a Skill in Dark Souls 3 that allows you to deflect most melee attacks if timed properly, leaving your opponent in a vulnerable state and allowing you to follow up with a Ripo’ste for incredible damage. The exact timing varies depending on the parrying tool being used and the opponent’s weapon, but in general, you want to initiate a Parry just before the opponent’s attack would hit you.

Location

Sold by Unbreakable Patches for 2000 souls after you have recruited him at Firelink Shrine’s tower. I get that he may have been a bother to deal with in previous Dark Souls games, but don’t kill him atleast before getting the Parrying Dagger.

Mail Breaker

Characteristics

The Mail Breaker is a small sword made for thrusting attacks, as its description goes. However, please do not confuse it for a short sword, for this hard, edgeless sword is a dagger that can pierce through tough armor and boasts a deadly critical attack. It stands out in my list of the best daggers in Dark Souls 3 by being the only dagger that comes with a heavy thrusting attack (while the rest have a horizontal slash). Moreover, it has a range of 14.7 sp, ranking in one of the upper echelons of ranged daggers, and starts with a neat base damage of 89. Having decent damage, solid range, a good moveset, and a better riposte at low levels than a bunch of other daggers, the Mail Break is an excellent early game dagger that you should consider trying out!

Upgrade

The Mail Breaker comes with a stat requirement of 7 strength and 12 dexterity. It comes with a natural scaling of E in Strength and D in dexterity, which, unfortunately, can’t be improved that significantly. Despite being capable of undergoing buffs and infusions, the Mail Breaker can only reach a C scaling in dexterity with a sharp infusion (via sharp gem) and a D scaling in Strength with a heavy infusion (via heavy gem). Therefore, apart from +10 titanite reinforcement, I would suggest carrying out a sharp infusion, as you would want to focus on bumping up its critical damage as much as you can. Don’t forget that critical damage is where this weapon excels so exploit your enemy’s tardiness!

Dark Souls 3 Mail Breaker
The Mail Breaker has been viable since Dark Souls 1 – only OGs will remember!

Weapon Art

The Mail Breaker comes with the Shield Splitter weapon art, which is perfect for ripostes as it focuses primarily on breaking your enemy’s guard, leaving them in a vulnerable state. Your player will aim carefully and attack in a large forward lunge to pierce through the enemy shield and inflict direct damage. On Mail Breaker, particularly, this weapon art is slightly varied, having the fasted startup as well as the ability to combo into itself!

Location

The Mail Breaker is the starting equipment for the Sorcerer class. It can also be looted from corpse in High Wall of Lothric, This corpse is at the bottom floor of the dungeon directly below the Tower on the Wall bonfire. Just on the way to Greirat. Other than that, a Blessed Mail Breaker can be given to the player by Sirris of the Sunless Realms in Firelink Shrine after being summoned into her world and fighting Creighton the Wanderer in Irithyll of the Boreal Valley

Corvian Greatknife

Characteristics

As its lore goes, the Corvian Greatknife is a rather large dagger with a powerful attack, but this transparent attempt to intimidate foes reveals much about its owner’s face. Although it has a poor stat scaling, the Corvian Greatknife excels at countering defensive opponents, making it one of the best daggers in Dark Souls 3. Unlike other daggers, this one has a unique weapon skill that allows it to bypass altogether an opponent’s shield (be it any shield) and inflict a sizable amount of damage as a result, similar to the Shield Splitter skill, but with much more potency. This weapon art cannot be parried either, might I add! Moreover, despite being quite heavy for a dagger (sitting at 2.5 units), its critical attacks inflict considerably more damage than standard weapons.

Upgrade

The Corvian Greatknife requires 12 strength and 16 dexterity to wield properly. Moreover, it comes with a natural scaling of E in both Strength and dexterity, which, unfortunately, can’t be improved that significantly. Despite being capable of undergoing buffs and infusions, the Corvian Greatknife can only reach a D scaling in dexterity with a sharp infusion (via sharp gem) and a D scaling in Strength with a heavy infusion (via heavy gem). Therefore, apart from +10 titanite reinforcement, I would suggest going for either a quality build or a pure strength/dexterity build, since, ultimately, you would want to be focusing on critical hits instead of using it as a standalone weapon.

Dark Souls 3 Corvian Greatknife
Dagger of the unwanted, those guided by heretical storytellers.

Weapon Art

The Corvian Greatknife comes with the Blind Spot weapon art, which is often used against shielded foes to break through their guard by attacking from the side. Do bear in mind that the stamina drained upon impact is not as significant as Stance skill guard breaks. Thus, I would recommend that the skill be used when the opponent has already exhausted part of their stamina, to ensure their guard is broken. To capitalize on Blind Spot, there is a true combo with the two-handed right light/heavy attack.

Location

Drops from Corvians in Road of Sacrifices, Farron Keep, Painted World of Ariandel and Untended Graves. Corvians have two variants – one that carry the Corvian Greatknife (and drop it) and one that carry the Great Corvian Scythe (and drop it). You can farm them at either the Hallway Fortress bonfire or the Ariandel Chapel bonfire if you have the Ashes of Ariandel DLC.

Aquamarine Dagger

Characteristics

The Aquamarine Dagger is a special dagger that is engraved with a prayer in the old tongue to ward off the incident. Perhaps, as its lores, it was a parting gift given to one sent off on great travels. Despite being one of the most complex weapons in the game, it is one of the best daggers in Dark Souls 3, thanks to its diverse moveset that packs a lot of power in a deceptively small package. The Aquamarine Dagger handles much like a standard Dagger in its base state. It has a standard dagger moveset and scales with Dexterity and Intelligence but lacks a high critical modifier. However, it becomes an entirely different beast when its weapon art, Crystal Blade, is activated. Regardless, proper use of the Aquamarine Dagger requires immense skill and quick reflexes however mastering this weapon will allow its wielder to bring an onslaught of unpredictable attacks against any enemies.

Upgrade

The Aquamarine Dagger requires 5 strength, 14 dexterity and 18 faith to properly wield. Additionally, it comes with a natural scaling of E in Strength and D in both dexterity and intelligence. It is also one of the few daggers on this list that can be reinforced upto +5 only with Twinkling Titanite. Other than that, it lacks the capability to be buffed or infused and can only achieve a max scaling of C in both dexterity and intelligence upon maximum reinforcement (Strength remains at E). Therefore, you’re better off fitting it onto either a dexterity build or a dexterity-intelligence hybrid build.

Dark Souls 3 Aquamarine Dagger
The Aquamarine Dagger is one of the most elegant and beautiful daggers on this list.

Weapon Art

The true Strength of this dagger arguably lies in its skill, Crystal Blade. When activated, the weapon forms a thin blade of crystal around the main blade of the dagger, granting it the reach of a straight sword. As well, activation of the skill is context-sensitive, being able to perform running attacks, rolling attacks and even transform attacks depending on the action performed prior to using the skill. In its transformed state, it is capable of performing attack chains with consecutive weak or strong attacks, much like a normal weapon.

Location

Found in The Dreg Heap. After the initial drop-down from the Stone-humped Hag’s perch, there is a path right that leads further down, and a path left that leads to an elevated battlement guarded by a Harald Legion Knight. The item can be found in an area up the stairs behind the Harald Knight.

Dagger

Characteristics

The OG dagger, while underwhelming, is the perfect example of why you should not underestimate a seemingly “basic” weapon. This dagger specializes in a quick and consecutive hit registry, on top of being quite capable of dealing extreme damage on critical attacks because it holds the crown for having the highest critical modifier in the entire game. Pairing the Hornet Ring with a properly infused dagger can kill an opponent with a single riposte! This, alone, puts it in my top five picks for the best daggers in Dark Souls 3 and the best hornet dagger for criticals and ripostes. What’s more, this is further supplemented by its weapon art which makes you agile enough to weave your way around enemies for lethal backstabs.

Upgrade

The Dagger comes with the light requirements of 5 strength and 9 dexterity. Moreover, it comes with a natural scaling of E in Strength and C in dexterity, already giving it a very good start. Apart from being reinforceable with titanite, this bad boy can fit onto various different builds due to its affinity with most gems. With a sharp infusion (via sharp gem), it achieves an amazing scaling of S-tier in dexterity, as well as an A-tier in its strength scaling if put through a heavy infusion (via heavy gem). Let’s not forget that it can also achieve an S scaling in intelligence with a simple infusion (via simple gem) and in faith with a blessed infusion (via blessed gem), making it the best dagger in Dark Souls 3 for a mage build. Lastly, if you’re looking to maximize its critical damage, a Dark infusion (via Dark gem) would serve you well!

Dark Souls 3 Dagger
Ordinary, yet overpowered!

Weapon Art

The Dagger comes with Quickstep weapon art. It causes your player to “dash” instead of roll, allowing for fast motions, that place the character behind enemies with ease. As long as you have FP you have invulnerability frames during this attack. Do bear in mind that quickstepping uses slightly less stamina than a normal role and remains fully functional while between 70 and 100% equipment load, where you otherwise have a fat roll. Going above 100% equipment load will cause quickstep to not work.

Location

Can be bought for 300 souls from Shrine Handmaid (making it the best dagger purchased from handmaiden in Dark Souls 3). Other than that, it is dropped by the Hollow Assassins wielding a Dagger using Throwing Knifes at the High Wall of Lothric. These are fast enemies, ready to dodge or block, whilst being able to come from behind at any time. However, their time to kill is conveniently low due to their poor defense.

Bandit’s Knife

Characteristics

Similar to the Rotten Ghru Dagger, The Bandit’s Knife manifests the synergy between daggers and auxiliary effects – due to their fast attack speed, daggers are one of the best weapons for inflicting auxiliary effects. It sacrifices some of the daggers’ great critical damage explicitly to provide bleed build-up. This makes it an excellent choice to buff with Carthus Rouge or infuse with a Blood Gem, ranking it much higher than other daggers on my list of Dark Souls 3 best daggers. As with its previous incarnations, the rapid cuts can quickly bleed opponents out with little risk to the wielder. The weapon’s skill further augments this, Quickstep, which allows the wielder to go in and out of hitting range or outright dodging attacks that can be difficult to roll through to build up status against opponents that are too aggressive be combo’d typically.

Upgrade

The Bandit’s Knife requires 6 strength and 12 dexterity to wield properly. It comes with a natural scaling of D in both Strength and dexterity, as well a natural auxiliary bleed of 30 points. What’s more is that it can be both reinforced and infused/buffed, a dual property that won’t be seen that often on this list of Dark Souls 3 Best Daggers. Firstly, at +10 reinforcement, it achieves a physical damage of 158, which can be further increased based on what build you fit it on – the options in that regard are quite versatile. It achieves a B scaling in Strength with a heavy infusion (via heavy gem), and a B scaling in dexterity with a sharp infusion (via sharp gem). Thus, you can easily fit it onto a pure physical or quality build. Otherwise, if you’re interested in capitalizing off its spicy auxiliary bleed, a Blood infusion would work great!

Dark Souls 3 Bandit's Knife
A wide single-edged shortsword.

Weapon Art

The Bandit’s Knife comes with Quickstep weapon art. It causes your player to “dash” instead of roll, allowing for fast motions, that place the character behind enemies with ease. As long as you have FP you have invulnerability frames during this attack. Do bear in mind that quickstepping uses slightly less stamina than a normal role and remains fully functional while between 70 and 100% equipment load, where you otherwise have a fat roll. Going above 100% equipment load will cause quickstep to not work.

Location

The Bandit’s Knife is the starting equipment for the Thief Class. It is also sold by Greirat of the Undead Settlment or by Shrine Handmaid after giving Greirat’s Ashes for 1,500 souls.

Harpe

Characteristics

The Harpe is one of the best daggers in Dark Souls 3 – it has a sizeable sickle-shaped body that serves as a worker’s tool in the Undead Settlement, that is, for dismembering corpses. The sharp edge is on the inside of the weapon, itself designed for cutting and pulling, thus allowing for good damage against shielded foes. Despite having the average dagger moveset such as horizontal slashes, quick thrust attacks, and downward stabs, among other things, the Harpe, much like katanas, can stun with its lunging right light attack. This represents R1 on Playstation and RT on Xbox, by the way. Moreover, what’s unique about Quickstep in the case of this weapon is that it can be mainly used to lessen recovery frames of any attack!

Upgrade

The Harpe requires 8 strength and 10 dexterity to properly wield. Moreover, it comes with a natural scaling of E in Strength and C in dexterity, both of which can be significantly improved with the help of certain infusions. Apart from +10 titanite reinforcement, you can fit it onto your run-of-the-mill physical or quality build as it achieves an A scaling in Strength with a heavy infusion (via heavy gem) and a whopping S scaling in dexterity with a sharp infusion (via sharp gem). However, if you’re looking for something apart from high damage, values, this weapon is quite versatile. It achieves 52 auxiliary bleed with a blood infusion via blood gem (making it easier to penetrate shields and armor) and 58 auxilliary poison with a poison infusion via posion gem!

Dark Souls 3 Harpe
The Harpe in full action!

Weapon Art

The Harpe comes with Quickstep weapon art. It causes your player to “dash” instead of roll, allowing for fast motions, that place the character behind enemies with ease. As long as you have FP you have invulnerability frames during this attack. Do bear in mind that quickstepping uses slightly less stamina than a normal role and remains fully functional while between 70 and 100% equipment load, where you otherwise have a fat roll. Going above 100% equipment load will cause quickstep to not work.

Location

Dropped by Red Eyed Peasant Hollow at Undead Settlement (most easily farmed from the Dilapidated Bridge bonfire, either by backtracking all the way up the stairs past the Evangelist, or inside the shack past the white birch tree). If you are fast enough, a single rusted coin will last just long enough to kill both Peasant Hollows near the Dilapidated Bridge bonfire. It is recommended to start with the one inside the aforementioned shack, as you must kill the peasant guarding the door first.

Brigand Twindaggers

Characteristics

Now we come to what is communally agreed upon to be the best of the best daggers in Dark Souls 3 – the Brigand Twindaggers, being the only dual-wielding dagger weapon in the game. These paired daggers are the preferred weapons of the brigands of a distant land, and for a good reason! Its insanely fast light attacks from the main hand can be followed up with either its Quickstep weapon art for incredibly efficient hit and run tactics or with an off-hand light attack that creates a true combo for some excellent extra damage. Given its strong moveset and high affinity with the dexterity stat in terms of scaling, it’s safe to say that these daggers are most ideal when fitted on a build centered around both mobility and damage output. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also slap a bleed or poison buff on it, and it’ll do an excellent job at taking out shielded or heavy armored foes!

Upgrade

Given how strong these paired daggers are, it is quite reasonable for it to have a stat requirement of 10 strength and 18 dexterity. Moreover, it comes with a stat requirement of D in both Strength and dexterity. Apart from your regular titanite reinforcement, this weapon is also capable of undergoing buffs and infusions, though its options are quite limited in that regard. While you could fit it onto a strength/quality build, or even a blood/poison build, my recommendation would be to fit onto a pure dexterity build. It achieves an A scaling in dexterity with sharp infusion (via sharp gem), putting its +10 base damage at a whopping 120, making it the best dagger for PvP.

Dark Souls 3 Brigand Twindaggers
Brigand Twindaggers – daggers aren’t viable in this game they said…

Weapon Art

The Brigand Twindaggers comes with Quickstep weapon art. It causes your player to “dash” instead of roll, allowing for fast motions, that place the character behind enemies with ease. As long as you have FP you have invulnerability frames during this attack. Do bear in mind that quickstepping uses slightly less stamina than a normal role and remains fully functional while between 70 and 100% equipment load, where you otherwise have a fat roll. Going above 100% equipment load will cause quickstep to not work.

Location

Found in the Road of Sacrifices, on a corpse behind where the madwoman spawns. You can also find the Brigand Set on this corpse, perfect for a full cosplay!

FAQs about Daggers In Dark Souls 3

What is the best dagger for riposte and backstab executions?

Riposte and Backstab executions are what we call “critical attacks” where your weapon’s critical stat modifier plays a role. A riposte can be performed on a target that has had an attack parried, or has been guard broken due to stamina being completely depleted while guarding with a shield. On the other hand, backstabs are relatively easy to land and can be performed on the target if they are attacked from behind. The best dagger for maximizing such damage has to be the standard Dagger, which carries the highest critical modifier stat in the game. Pop it in your right hand with a Hornet Ring and you’ll be one-shotting enemies on ripostes!

Why is Chaos Dagger the Best Dagger in Dark Souls 3?

The Dagger has the highest critical modifier stat in Dark Souls 3, making it an absolute menace when it comes to damage dealt from backstabs and ripostes. It is argued to be the best dagger in Dark Souls 3 because of its potential to one-shot most enemies with a single riposte (if optimized towards that outcome). One of the most common ways of achieving this overpowered capability is through a Chaos infusion via a Chaos gem, which significantly increases its critical modifier stat. Coupled with the Hornet Ring, the Chaos Dagger is one of the best daggers for criticals and ripostes in Dark Souls 3.

Why does no one use the Parry Dagger?

The Parry Dagger excels in exactly what its name implies: parrying. Other than that, as far as damage output and other stats are concerned, it pales in the comparison of most daggers. Therefore, it is not as frequently used by players in both PvP and PvE as it is simply not that viable in close-combat – only those who are familiar in the arts of parrying can appreciate it.

How do you equip a dagger in Dark Souls 3?

Press the start button and it will bring up five options – Equipment, Inventory, States, Message and System. Make your way to the Equipment menu and this is where you’ll see several different slots. Navigate to the two rows on the top-right – the first row indicates three slots for right-handed weapons while the second row indicates three slots for left-handed weapons. Daggers can be equipped in either hand, so simply go into any one of the six slots, select the dagger of your choice and you’re good to go!

Where to get Parry Dagger in Dark Souls 3?

Unbreakable Patches sell the Parry Dagger for 2000 souls after you have recruited him at Firelink Shrine’s tower.

What is the Best Dagger in Dark Souls 3?

While “best” is a relatively broad term which is subjective for each player, depending on their playstyle and overall objective. However, all things considered, the Brigand Twindaggers have to be the best of the best daggers in Dark Souls 3. They come with a frightening moveset that can easily overwhelm your enemies, partially due to their insane light attack speed. Moreover, any flurry of attacks can be followed up with either its Quickstep weapon art, for incredibly efficient hit and run tactics, or with an off-hand light attack that creates a true combo for some nice extra damage.

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