Dark Souls 3 offers a great variety when it comes to weapons. From ultra greatswords to great bows, Dark Souls 3 has it all. One such weapon type is the greatsword, greatswords are excellent weapons that usually scale with Strength, Dexterity or both, making them great for strength, dex and quality builds. Greatswords, due to their versatility, unique movesets and high damage outputs are one of the greatest and most fun weapons for melee players in Dark Souls 3.
Greatswords also range from basic greatswords to unique or boss soul greatsw0rds that are both very aesthetic and often come equipped with unique attacks that have very cool effects and damage elemental damage. Greatswords are also very reliable and almost every greatsword in Dark Souls 3, barring a few, is beginner-friendly. This guide covers what we consider to be the best greatswords in Dark Souls 3. We hope you find this guide useful, for more Dark Souls 3 guides, check out Best Dark Souls 2 Weapons and Dark Souls 3 Katana Builds.
Best Dark Souls 3 Greatswords
What separates greatswords from their high strength counterparts, ultra greatswords is their relatively high hitting time and ease of use. Greatswords are also good entry level strength weapons for players looking to go for a strength build in Dark Souls 3. When people transition into a strength build, they often plan on running a build with massive strength weapons along the lines of ultra greatsword or a greathammer. Such weapons often have a high learning curve and require some acquaintance with the strength stat.
This is where Greatswords shine, their versatility makes them exceptional learning weapons for people transitioning to a strength or quality weapon and can help such people into easing into such builds.
Greatswords in Dark Souls 3, due to their relatively quick hitting times are also good for all sorts of encounters in the game. From tough bosses like midir to a 1V1 PvP encounter, greatswords shine everywhere. While every greatsword is different from the next, almost all of them make for great PvP and PvE weapons. Most Greatswords also have unique L2 attacks that are pleasing to look at and often dish out insane amounts of damage. They also offer a lot of range, which, combined with their damage, makes them very powerful weapons in Dark Souls 3.
The Claymore is arguably one of the greatest and most beginner friendly weapons in Dark Souls 3. When it comes to Dark Souls 3 Greatswords, the claymore has a lot to offer. Claymore, thanks to its high damage output, strength and dex scaling and its excellent moveset is an exceptional weapon in Dark Souls 3. This Greatsword is good for beginners choosing to go the quality route, although it can be infused and turned into a weapon suitable for almost any sort of build, some of our favourite uses of the claymore are using it with a pyro melee or a melee mage (check out our mage builds guide) build.
You can acquire the claymore in Irithyll valley, it is dropped by enemies that wield this weapon. Claymore requires a strength level of 16 and a dexterity level of 13 and has a D scaling for both. It can be infused and buffed. We recommend a strength and dexterity level of at least 35-50 in order to maximize claymore’s damage. While it is an early game weapon, this Dark Souls 3 Greatsword can easily take you through multiple playthroughs of the game. It is reinforced using titanate.
The claymore excels both in PvE and PvP. Its high damage output, relatively low stamina consumption and moveset make it an excellent all rounding greatsword in Dark Souls 3. From hoards of ads to an invasion by two people, the claymore has you covered. The range, coupled with its ability to be infused are added bonuses. The Claymore is also great both single handed and dual wielded. All in all, the claymore is an excellent weapon in Dark Souls 3 that excels in almost all sorts of encounters.
As seen in our Best Boss Soul Weapons In Dark Souls 3 list, the hollowslayer greatsword is a weapon worth of all the praise it receives. This greatsword in Dark Souls 3 is a very powerful weapon, its high damage output and unique moveset make it a fine weapon. On top of that, it also has a lot of range and a great unique L2 move. Hollowslayer greatsword is a Dexterity greatsword, making it an excellent choice for Pure Dexterity builds
You can acquire the hollowlslayer greatsword by transposing the soul of the Curse rotted greatsword. Hollowslayer greatsword requires a strength level of 13 and a dexterity level of 18, making it a Dexterity weapon as mentioned previously. We recommend a dexterity level of at least 35-40 to maximise the output of the hollowlsayer greatsword. Hollowslayer greatsword can be biuffed or infused, and it can be upgraded using Titanite Scale. While not one of the hardest hitting Greatswords n Dark Souls 3, it is relatively much quicker and offers a lot more versatility than the average greatsword. Its quickness, combined with its high damage output make it one of the finest weapons for Dexterity builds in dark Souls 3. While the hollowslayer greatsword does have a slight learning curve, it is worth it for all who get through it.
The hollowslayer greatsword is a great choice for both PvE and PvP, but PvP is where it shines. Its quickness, damage output and versatility make it an excellent PvP weapon in Dark Souls 3. Much like all other greatswords in this list, the hollowslayer greatsword can get you through all sorts of encounters in Dark Souls 3. When it comes to duelling,
The Hollowslayer greatsword is one of the fines greatswords in Dark Souls 3. It is a greatsword that can challenge the quickest of PvP weapons. Its damage more than makes up for the speed other PvP weapons offers. It is exceptional both single and dual-wielded. Dual wilding makes it much quicker and can get through most encounters in mere seconds. All in all, the hollowslayer greatsword is an exceptional weapon and one of the finest PvP weapons in Dark Souls 3.
A weapon for fashion souls and a must have for every pyro melee build (check out our pyromancer builds guide), the Onyx blade is one of the flashiest and best greatswords in Dark Souls 3. Onyx blade is a Pyro greatsword that comes equipped with a slick design, insane moveset, great range and some of the coolest and best weapon arts among all Dark Souls 3 greatswords. It also has a weapon art buff that lasts very long and consumes little FP, relatively speaking.
Since the Onyx Blade is a DLC weapon, you need access to the painted world of Ariandel DLC. There you will come across an NPC enemy, Sir Vilhelm, who wield the Onyx bade, beating him will give you access to this greatsword. It requires a strength level of at least 14, a dexterity level of at least 12 and faith and intelligence levels of 15 each. It has strength, dexterity, faith and intelligence scaling of E, E, D, D consecutively. Since this weapon causes Physical, Fire and Dark damage, we recommend this for melee Pyromancers with intelligence and faith of at least 40 each.
The moveset on the Onyx blade is similar to that of Gael’s greatsword, meaning it deals a lot of damage relatively quickly. The weapon art on the Onyx Blade weapon art is especially strong. The weapon art, Elfriede’s Blackflame, triggers a powerful animation, that can serve as an attack, that adds fire damage to the weapon for 45 seconds by consuming some FP.
Onyx blade is similar to the Dark Claymore in many aspects but offers more range and higher damage when buffed. The weapon art, combined with the moveset means the Onyx blade will crush whatever foe comes before it.
Due to its powerful moveset and almost overpowered buff, the Onyx blade is an exceptional all rounding greatsword in Dark Souls 3. Its ability to inflict tons of damage relatively quick makes it a great choice for every encounter. Its range means it will be great for PvP duels and invasions, helping out out manouever your foes, getting in and out of confrontation easily. The range and the buff means that in PvE, you will be getting through all kinds of encounters, from bosses to mini bosses to hoards with relative ease. All in all, if you are a pure pyromancer or a pyro melee build, look no further than the Onyx Blade.
Probably the most underrated greatsword in Dark Sous 3, the executioner’s greatsword is an excellent greatsword for quality players. This strike focused greatsword often gets overlooked, perhaps because people believe its alternatives to be better. The Executioners greatsword focuses on strike damage which easily staggers enemies, meaning this greatsword is gonna be very effective against most encounters in Dark Souls 3. It also comes with a unique L2, stomp, that can lead to strong weapon arts.
You can acquire the Executioners greatsword in the cathedral of the deep, from a corpse in the graveyard. It requires a strength level of 19 and a dexterity level of 13, making it a great choice for strength builds. We recommend running the Executioner’s greatsword with a strength build with a strength level of at least 35. Its double handed moveset deals out a ton of damage. While it can not be infused, it can be buffed. It is reinforced using Titanite.
The Executioners greatsword is a fine PvE weapon. While it can also get by with PvP encounters, we do not recommend it purely due to better alternatives (such as Gael’s greatsword). Its high damage strike attacks, long range and stomp combos mean this weapon will be very good in PvE. Executioner’s Greatsword will get you by comfortably through all sorts of encounters, from large bosses to multiple small enemies. On top of all this, the Executioners is also one of the most fun to use weapons in the game. All in all, the Executioners greatswords is one of the best Dark Souls 3 greatswords.
Black Knight Sword
When it comes to the best Dark Souls 3 greatswords, the Black Knight Sword is my personal favourite and a weapon that helped me get through the game more than once. The dual wielded Black Knight Greatsword is one of the most fun greatswords in Dark Souls 3. Not only does the Black Knight Sword hit quick and consume less endurance, it also comes with an L2 called perseverance, that greatly boosts poise and reduces damage for a few seconds, essentially making you a tank for a bit. The Black Knight greatsword hits almost like a normal straight sword while outputting far greater amounts of damage.
You can pick the Black Knight greatsword up from a corpse in the smouldering lake. You will require a strength level of 20 and a dexterity level of 18 to be able to use this greatsword, making it a quality build. Since the black knight greatsword cannot be buffed or infused, we recommend a quality build with 40-50 strength and dexterity to maximise the damage output of the black knight greatsword. You can reinforce this greatsword using twinkling titanite.
While a great PvE weapon, PvP is where the Black Knight greatsword shines. Its quick moveset and perseverance make this an excellent duelling option in Dark Souls 3. Triggering perseverance means your opponent will do the bare minimum of damage while not being able to stagger you at all, giving you time to interrupt their attack and stagger them instead.
Black Knight Greatswords quick attacks also mean it uses relatively less endurance, which is always a plus. While perseverance will not be as viable in PvE, the high damage output and moveset of the Black Knight greatsword still mean it makes for a great option for PvE in Dark Souls 3.
Gael’s greatsword is one the best Dark Souls 3 greatsword, not at all due to its menacing looks. This greatsword justifies the immensely tough battle you have to go through to get your hands on it. Not only is Gael’s greatsword one of the finest looking Dark Souls 3 greatswords, it also comes with an exceptional moveset, insane damage output and a very unique and powerful L2 and R2 attack. Gael’s greatsword also has a very unique combo and offers tons of versatility, second only to the Claymore.
You can acquire Gael’s greatsword by transposing the soul of slave knight Gael, a contender for the toughest fight in the game. It cannot be infused or buffed. Gael’s greatsword requires a strength scaling of 19 and a dexterity level of at least 13 and has a C strength scaling, making it a strength weapon. It has a unique R1 L2 R1. Many unique combos can be created with L2 and R1/R2 thanks to this greatsword’s unique attack, blade of peril. It is reinforced using titanite scale. Its basic combo consists of strikes and thrusts.
What makes Gael’s Greatsword such a good greatsword in Dark Souls 3 is how much it has to offer. It is a relatively light greatsword, which means it hits quickly. Couple that with its high damage and devastating combos and weapon arts, you get a weapon that can breeze through all kinds of encounters in Dark Souls 3.
While Gael’s Greatsword is an exceptional weapon for both PvP and PvE gameplay, it does lack a bit against large number of easier enemies/ads. Its high hitting speed and weapon arts make it a crushing PvP weapon. The L2 is hard to get out of once hit with, meaning Gael’s greatsword will provide multiple opportunities for tricking your enemy and getting them into a barrage of combos. All in all, this is a phenomenal greatsword.
What is the best Dark Souls 3 greatsword?
All the greatswords in this list are solid contenders for being the best Dark Souls 3 greatsword. The best, however, comes down to your preferences and the greatsword you have the most fun playing with. For example, I think the Black Knight Sword is the greatest for it was my main Dark Souls 3 weapon for a very long time. Someone else, however, might prefer the Onyx Blade for they might be running a Pyromancer Build.
What is the best Strength Greatsword?
Our picks for the best Strength great words are Gael’s greatsword and Executiner’s greatsword, which are both, lore wise, the same weapons. Gael’s is more focused towards PvP and PvE while executioners is more of a PvE weapon. We also recommend checking out our list for the Best Strength Weapons In Dark Souls 3 and the best Dark Souls 3 Strength Builds.
Can only strength, dexterity and quality builds use greatswords?
While on the surface it may seem most greatswords are built for strength, dex and quality builds, no, almost all builds can utilize a greatsword. Most greatswords can be infused (check out our infusion guide), allowing them to add scaling depending upon their build, while others, like the Onyx blade, are geared for caster builds. All in all, greatswords in Dark Souls 3 are a solid choice for all kinds of builds as long as you require a melee weapon in that build.
What is the difference between Ultra greatswords and greatswords in Dark Souls 3?
Ultra greatswords in Dark Souls 3 are heavier, more powerful greatswords in Dark Souls 3. They hit a lot slower than standard greatswords but have a steep learning curve and offer some of the highest hit damage in the game. Greatswords are a great way to transition into ultra greatswords. ultra greatswords in Dark Sous 3 often require a lot of strength too, sometimes as high as 40 and 50.