If there’s one thing that FromSoftware has done right in its video games, and by that, I mean done it to absolute perfection, it has to be their combat system. I have never seen a more fluid, precise, and reactive combat system in any other game stemming from the RPG genre. The developers have always outdone themselves with every new title they introduce into the video gaming market: from Demon Souls to Dark Souls 1, up till the climax of the Souls series, that is, Dark Souls 3.
Every Dark Souls game is built upon the combat system of its prequel, adding something new to the mix. Dark Souls 3 adds a vicious new set of special moves to the formula, known as “Weapon Arts,” which measure up to the new and improved brutal world that the video game is set in. Weapon arts, or skills, are special moves for Weapons and Magic that allow the user to execute unique, harder-hitting movesets or cast buffs upon themselves that last for a certain period of time. Might I add, using skills consume Focus Points (FP), which is shown in the blue gauge on your HUD.
Such a well-established combat system naturally makes the game much more enjoyable to progress through – you don’t need to worry about glitches or clunky mechanics that may set you back in the middle of an intense boss fight. However, PvE is not the only aspect of the game that is heavily complemented by its state-of-the-art combat system; for many, it is only the appetizer, as their true excitement simmers in the face of PvP, and hence why, it leads us to Best Dark Souls 3 PvP Weapons.
PvP: How does it work?
There are several ways of experiencing Best PvP Weapons in Dark Souls 3. The first is Hollow Arena/Undead Match, an arena-like location with a PvP exclusive feature only accessible to those who own at least one of the two DLCs: Ashes of Ariandel or The Ringed City. It comes with four maps and two game modes: Duels and Brawls. In a Duel, two players simply fight to the death, or in other words, one of the two players is destined to ultimately die – Each player is given five flasks of Ashen Estus (used to regain FP) while being deprived of Estus Flasks. In a Brawl, players fight consistently for a certain period of time; with respawns enabled, you can guess that the player with the most kills at the end of the match is crowned the victor, quite literally.
Similar to the Battle of Stoicism in Dark Souls 1, a neat floating crown mechanic shows which player is in the lead. Back on track, combatants are granted a maximum of one Estus and Ashen Estus Flask, refilling every kill or death. Brawls follow different formats, such as team-based 2v2, 3v3, or 4v4 (which is anarchy itself, might I mention) and a free-for-all six-man. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? But hold your horses!
While the arena is fun and all, the real PvP traction comes from Invasions, which amass crowds of new and veteran players every day. There are two faces to this mechanic of the game – you can either invade other players, known as hosts, in their world as an Invader, or you can assist other hosts as a Phantom if they are having a not-so-good time warding off invader(s). For starters, you can invade other worlds using a Cracked Red Eye Orb, which perishes after you enter another world. As far as matchmaking is concerned, the Cracked Red Eye Orb prioritizes worlds with co-op players (i.e., a host and more than one Phantom) over solo players (i.e., just the host).
Do keep in mind that up to two invaders can invade a particular world at any given time, and they treat each other as enemies – in other worlds, friendly fire is enabled for invaders. You can obtain Cracked Red Eye Orbs from Leonhard at Firelink Shrine during the start of the game and/or can farm them from Darkwraiths in Farron Keep. If you’re not in the mood for farming, you could instead complete Leonhard’s questline to obtain a Red Eye Orb that allows for infinite invasions without perishing.
On the other hand, as far as assisting hosts as Phantoms is concerned, several covenants will automatically summon you to other people’s worlds to fight off dangerous invaders. These covenants include the Watchdogs of Farron, Blue Sentinels, Aldritch Faithful, and the Blades of the Darkmoon. Moreover, if you’re more of a duelist, you can also get summoned in other worlds or summon others to your world using a Red Sign Soapstone. A Red Sign Soapstone can be obtained from a friendly white worm outside the Rosaria’s Bedchamber bonfire in the Cathedral of the Deep.
Best PvP Weapons?
The PvP scene of Dark Souls 3 brims with fierce competition; if you go in unprepared or even poorly prepared, you will most likely get farmed – not even trolling. Therefore, it is important to know atleast some of the best PvP weapons in Dark Souls 3. Lucky for you, I have you covered as I present, in depth, four of my favorite weapons that have shredded many Ashen ones and will continue to do so.
Greatswords have always been a rather weird middle ground between Straight Swords and Ultra Greatswords since this distinction didn’t exist in previous Dark Souls games. However, if you are looking to use a good Greatsword, purely based on stats instead of fan-favorite elements such as weapon design, then the Claymore should be your number one pick, coming at you as the first entry in my list of Dark Souls 3 best PvP weapons. While it does look like your average Greatsword, its design is a mere illusion to guise its versatility and viability in PvP – strictly do not underestimate this Dark Soul 3 PvP weapon if you ever went up against it!
While the Claymore’s attack speed doesn’t measure up to that of straight swords and its hyper armor is not as insane as with your average ultra greatsword, it is still considered one of the best greatswords you can use in PvP. Why’s that? All of its shortcomings are mostly compensated with the weapon’s higher base damage and added attack range, almost as if it’s a slow straight sword that hits harder and at longer ranges. The weapon requires 16 strength and 13 dexterity to be wielded and comes with a D scaling in Strength and Dexterity, both of which can be buffed to A-tier with the appropriate infusions.
I would recommend the upgrade path to reinforce it completely with Titanite. Then, depending on what sort of a build you want to fit it onto, carry out the proper infusion; a heavy infusion with a heavy gem if you’re looking forward to playing with a Strength build, otherwise a sharp infusion with a sharp gem should work great with a Dexterity build.
Other than that, if you’re interested in a Quality build, a hybrid of both Strength and Dexterity, then a refined infusion with a refined gem should do wonders! As far as buffs are concerned, you have a wide array of options, though my recommendation would be the lightning buff imbued by a Gold Pine Resin for 60 seconds. The AR you achieve with this solidifies Claymore’s placement in the list of Dark Souls 3‘s best PvP Weapons.
As far as the moveset of the Claymore is concerned, it is relatively straightforward and arguably one of the most beginner-friendly out of all the Best PvP weapons In Dark Souls 3. It is very versatile and can easily accomplish thrusts, horizontal swings, and vertical swings because it can be both wielded in a one-handed manner and a two-handed manner. You can also perform the Stance weapon art with it, which when activated causes your player to assume a two-handed stance where they use a normal attack to break your enemy’s guard and follow it up with a strong upward slash; it also has hyper armor, did I forget to mention that?
Location: Dropped from enemies in Irithyll of the Boreal Valley that wields this PvP weapon. It is also found on the plateau where the fire-breathing Dragon rests (near the first Bonfire) in the High Wall of Lothric; it’s in the far-left corner if you look from the stairs.
Who doesn’t love Katanas? I mean, they have some of the coolest weapon concepts in any video game. The Frayed Blade is one of the most popular dexterity weapons (let alone katanas) in PvP. It has many aspects to it that set it well apart from other katanas, such as its weapon art and innate properties. This Dark Soul 3 PvP weapon was introduced in The Ringed City DLC and garnered a great deal of attention at first – however, it still stands at the top as one of the best PvP weapons in Dark Souls 3.
The Frayed Blade excels in what Katanas are supposed to do. It has a fairly long range compared to many other katanas and, on top of that, comes with an intimidating attack speed, as is the case with its brethren. Moreover, its decent damage values, especially critical hits, make it a weapon designed to send flurries of quick, calculated blows. Conversely, however, it has a very low durability stat, meaning that it can break quite easily in extended battles – that can be managed by carrying plenty of repair powder around you or just having the Repair sorcery equipped in your attunement slots. The Frayed Blade requires 11 Strength and 40 Dexterity to be wielded and comes with an E scaling in Strength and B scaling in Dexterity.
The upgrade path of this weapon is but one: simply reinforce it to the maximum using Titanite Scales and leave it at that. Titanite Scales are a rather rare commodity compared to Titanite; they are used to upgrade Boss Weapons, which the Frayed Blade is categorized under – there are several ways of obtaining and farming them. Other than that, the weapon can not be buffed or infused, so you don’t really have any choices when upgrading it.
Therefore, you are better off-centering a dexterity build around it – while it isn’t officially a dexterity weapon, having the highest dexterity stat requirement in the game speaks for itself, doesn’t it? To cement that, let me tell you that it can achieve a whopping 468 AR at 60 dexterity, besting katanas like the Chaos Blade.
Another interesting aspect of this weapon is that it passively inflicts bleed – not only that, but it has a base 34 auxiliary bleed which makes it all the more deadly. This is further complemented with its moveset and weapon art. It has the standard moveset of a katana¸, including the infamous running right light attack, a really useful and frightening poke in PvP, which is even more potent thanks to the added range.
Other than that, let’s not forget its Weapon Art, Hold, which is what skyrockets this Dark Souls 3 PvP weapon to S-tier. When activated, your player will assume a holding stance where you can do one of two things: a right light attack (R1 on Playstation, RB on Xbox) will result in an overhead strike that sends crashing a devasting magic shockwave with insane range; a right heavy attack (R2 on Playstation, RT on Xbox) will result in a series of ninja rage slashes that bleeds anybody in its path. Pretty insane, innit?
Location: Transposed with Soul of Darkeater Midi, obtained from beating Darkeater Midir. The dragon boss is found in The Ringed City after opening the final shortcut gate near the Ringed Inner Wall bonfire.
Before I begin, I just want to clarify right off the bat that this is NOT a greatsword. I repeat, this weapon is NOT a greatsword. It’s a halberd – yes, you heard that right! Its weapon description describes it as a “long-handed greatsword” while it is just a halberd at through and through. The Splitleaf Greatsword is community-wide considered the best Strength weapon anyone could use in PvP and, alone, speaks volumes. Therefore, I’ve listed it as one of the best PvP weapons in Dark Souls 3.
The Splitleaf Greatsword, being a halberd, has an amazing range which puts many other weapons in the same category to shame. While its attack speed isn’t exactly the best, owing to its class and size, its damage is quite lethal, and it is harder to parry than most weapons. The Splitleaf Greatsword plays in a way that complements a patient playstyle where you maintain solid distance from your enemy and, using the halberd’s range to your advantage, relentlessly pressure them with sweeps and pokes.
This allows you to take control of the duel and punish any attempts to close the distance with nice overhead attacks as well as its weapon art, of course. The halberd comes with a reasonable requirement of 26 strength and 16 dexterity, with a C scaling in Strength and E Scaling in Dexterity, both of which can be bumped to a much higher tier using proper infusions.
The upgrade path that I would recommend for this weapon is, number one, to invest in Titanite and reinforce it completely to +10. Then, given that it is frankly the best Strength weapon in the game, you should fit it on a Strength build; otherwise, you won’t be doing this beautiful weapon justice. You can achieve this with a heavy infusion with a heavy gem, which bumps the weapon’s Strength to a whopping S.
You can also go for a Dexterity build using a sharp infusion with a sharp gem, which, while boosts its Dexterity scaling to A-tier, is arguably not as effective at bringing out the best of the Splitleaf Greatsword. As far as the buffs are concerned, while there is a freedom of choice there, I would highly recommend rocking Blessed Weapon, a miracle that commences health regeneration and buffs your right-handed weapon’s physical damage, both lasting 45 seconds – This, even on a simple strength build, puts the Splitleaf Greatsword at a spicy 644 AR. That, alone, would convince players of why this is one of the best PvP weapons in Dark Souls 3, but there’s more…
As far as the movesets of this beast of a weapon is concerned, you could say that almost all of its moves, be it one-handed or two-handed, are valuable in certain situation. However, the best part is that it has a guaranteed combo; a guaranteed combo is exactly what it sounds like – if the first hit connects, then so do the rest, and there is simply no escaping it.
The Splitleaf Greatsword’s guaranteed true combo goes like this: a two-handed light attack, followed by the weapon art, Wind Wheel, and capped off with either another light attack or heavy attack. This combo deals massive damage and can even wombo combo players if optimized towards that goal.
Location: Can be bought from the Stone-humped Hag at The Dreg Heap Bonfire as soon as you walk into the area before dropping down for 11,000 Souls. It can also be bought from the Shrine Handmaiden for 11,000 after giving her the Old Woman’s Ashes.
Lothric Knight Straight Sword
No list of the best PvP weapons in Dark Souls 3 can be complete without the Lothric Knight Straight Sword. If you’ve delved even a little into the invasions scene on this game, you must’ve come across this weapon significantly more than any other weapon, and the chances are that when you did, you were put 6 feet under. That isn’t exactly surprising, coming from the “King of all Straight Swords.” It earns its title quite frankly because it is the perfect all-in-one package, being blessed with the best traits Dark Souls 3 has to offer.
The Lothric Knight Straight Sword, as commonly said, does not excel at one thing but is rather proficient in everything. It has a decent range that reigns supreme over the majority of the weapons in Dark Souls 3‘s Straight Sword arsenal. Moreover, it has solid damage, starting at a base 103 AR, which can be increased significantly to the point that it is renowned for having the highest possible damage output that can be achieved on any straight sword.
Speaking of damage, did I tell you that it also steals the spotlight for having one of the best critical damage stats on backstabs and reposts? The weapon comes with an easy requirement of 11 Strength and 18 Dexterity along with a D scaling in both Strength and Dexterity, both of which can be significantly bumped with the appropriate infusions.
The upgrade path I recommend for the Lothric Knight Straight Sword is, apart from +10 reinforcement, fitting it onto a Dexterity build. That means going for a sharp infusion with a sharp gem that raises its Dexterity scaling to S, which is where things really start to get serious as now you really start to peak at those high damage values. You could, conversely, also go for a strength build as a heavy infusion with a heavy gem does yield a Strength scaling of A-tier, which is not too bad either. Regardless, as far as buffs are concerned, I always run the Gold Pine Resin, but you can run other buffs – just check how much they improve the weapon stats by comparing the before and after.
The moveset that this straight sword comes with is one of the most beginner-friendly movesets in the game. Part of the reason why is that it rewards “R1/RB spamming,” where you simply spam your right light attack literally nonstop, and the next thing you know, you’ve absolutely decimated your opponent.
And if they ever try to roll away in an attempt to escape this horrifying flurry of light attacks, don’t forget that the Lothric Knight Straight Sword is one of the easiest weapons to roll catch enemies with.
Other viable techniques of this weapon include thrust poking and the infamous running slash for getting a quick hit in. As a cherry on top, its Weapon Art Stance has hyper armor, meaning you can activate it without worrying about getting staggered mid-way. This is particularly useful in quickly closing distancing with thrusts as well as breaking guards if your opponent loves to shield hug a lot.
Location: Dropped by Lothric Knights, which can be easily farmed down the stairs from the Tower on the Wall bonfire. It is also sold by Greirat for 4000 souls after pillaging Irithyll Valley.
There is much to explore and experience in the last piece of the Souls trilogy, Dark Souls 3. Even if you are a PvE preferring player generally when it comes to RPG games, I would still highly recommend you try out Dark Souls 3‘s PvP, which offers a completely different outlook towards the game. Part of the reason why the game’s replayability is often praised is not just centered around the single-player story mode, but also its highly addictive and diverse PvP system; tens of thousands of players log on every day just for PvP, did you know that?
If you’re already convinced and want to try out PvP, then you need to be aware of the best PvP weapons in Dark Souls 3. Sure, you can use any weapon you want, but unless you’re a PvP veteran with intelligent game sense, excellent weapon familiarity, and quick reaction time, you’ll have a tough time competing with meta weapons that most players are rocking.
Fight fire with fire, and by that, I mean use meta weapons such as the Claymore, the Frayed Blade, the Splitleaf Greatsword, and the Lothric Knight Straight Sword.