Dark Souls 3 serves as the final installment of the Souls trilogy, and much like its predecessors, it certainly does not disappoint when it comes to its rich and diverse class of weaponry. If you’ve played any of its prequels, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Dark Souls 3 offers all sorts of weapons, ranging from conventional straight swords, greatswords, spears to the more unorthodox whips, reapers, and crossbows.
On top of that, FromSoftware complements these weapons by establishing a stat system prevailed by different stats, such as strength, agility, endurance which when invested in to improve the performance of complementary weapons in many ways. This element of complexity forces their player base to think much beyond the weapon in front of them. Determining, for instance, the best straight swords 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 Straight Swords in Dark Souls 3.
What are Straight Swords?
Straight Swords, as the name suggests, are swords that are shaped straight devoid of any curves (important to note as there is a separate class of weapons known as Curved Swords). While they are considered to the most basic type of weapons in the game (or any RPG game for that matter), one should not underestimate them as they are statistically the most used class of weapons in the entire franchise. They consume little stamina per strike and are very fast, which in a game like Dark Souls 3, where enemies are nimble and openings against boss fights are frustratingly short, Straight Swords prevail.
Best Straight Swords In Dark Souls 3
You can legitimately react to every single move in the game with a straight sword while slower, more pack-a-punch weapons rely on trading which itself does not always guarantee a clean hit. Their fast attack speed, solid range, dangerous damage output and versatile movesets as well as Weapon Arts make them the ideal choice for beginners and the popular go-to for returning soulsborne veterens. Below are some of the best Straight Swords in Dark Souls 3.
Ringed Knight Straight Sword
The Ringed Knight Straight Sword has one of the flashiest Weapon Arts in the entire game, which admittedly earned it some quick and easy popularity points back when the Ringed City DLC was released. However, it is much more than that – Ember, its Weapon Art puts your character into a stance where he/she two-hands the weapon, imbuing it in hot flames which doubles the range as well as buffs its 20 fire damage. From here, you can either use the light attack, which can easily connect upto four consecutive hits without the enemy escaping, or the heavy attack, which will initiate a charging poke attack. It should also be noted that the doubled range makes it incredibly doable to hit multiple enemies simultaneously, making the Weapon Art great for crowd control.
Given that the Weapon Art is very effective, I highly recommend you invest into your Attunement stat as using this weapon with a small FP bar is doing injustice to it. While the Weapon Art itself may seal the deal for many players, the real game changer here is the additional buff which increases the Ringed Knight Straight Sword’s 20 fire damage by a flat 90. With 210 physical damage and 110 fire damage, this monster is capable of nothing less than evisceration as it effortlessly scotches and burns anyone who gets in its wielder’s way.
However, the base weapon itself, while pretty good, does pale in comparison to its buffed variant – it cannot be infused, albeit at +5 reinforcement it attains a B-tier scalingwith strength. Other than that, its heavy attack is a thrusting attack (complemented by the weapon’s already long range), which is very ideal for cautious playstyles that tend not to get too close or too far from their foes, be it in PvP or PvE.
Location: On a ruined building in the swamps of the ringed city, near the bonfire.
Lothric Knight Straight Sword
If you’ve delved even a little into the invasions scene on this game, you must’ve seen this weapon unusually more than others, and chances are that when you did, more than half the time 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.
It competes fiercely with other straight swords in terms of range, is renowned for having the highest possible damage output that can be achieved on any straight sword and has one of the best critical damage stats on backstabs and reposts. Moreover, it is very beginner friendly, being one of the easiest weapons to roll catch enemies with, and possesses a moveset that very much rewards “R1 spamming” as the Dark Souls community likes to call it.
As a cherry on top, it also has Hyper armor, meaning you can activate its Weapon Art without worrying about getting staggered mid-way. Its Weapon Art Stance, albeit, has your player assume a two-handed stance where he/she uses a normal attack to break guard followed by a strong upward slash.
On the more technical side of things, one of the best ways to upgrade the Lothric Knight Straight Sword is infusing it with a Sharp Gem, which while reduces base damage, adds to the significant scaling with Dexterity, making it S-tier which is arguably much better overall. Damage output itself can easily be boosted with buffs (lightning blade is highly recommended) and reinforcement anyways.
Location: Dropped by Lothric Knights, which can be easily farmed down the stairs from the Tower on the Wall bonfire. Also sold by Greirat for 4000 souls, after pillaging Irithyll Valley.
Irithyll Straight Sword
The Irithyll Straight Sword is one of the best Straight Sword in Dark Souls 3, which, similar to the Lothric Knight Straight Sword, can be obtained much early in the game. It is one of three weapons in the game that naturally inflict the frost bite status, which, by the way, can not be manually imbued using items (as is the case with most imbued buffs).
The dangerous aspect of this weapon is frost bite. Frost bite is a new status condition that was introduced in Dark Souls 3. It functions similar to the bleed and poison status conditions, in a sense that it builds up the more hits you land with your weapon (in this case being the Irithyll Straight Sword). The real fun begins when the build up bar caps and frostbite gets inflicted – the most immediate effect is that it inflicts upon the enemy damage equivalent to 11% of their max HP plus an additional 85 flat damage.
Thus, for instance, if you inflict frostbite on an unembered player with 40 vigor (equivalent to 1213 max HP), they will be dealt with 133 + 85 = 218 damage. Moreover, the effected target experiences a loss of 15 stamina regeneration points and for the next 28 seconds, any damage done to them will be 7% more.
What’s important to distinguish here is the role of frost bite in PvP and PvE. In PvE, frostbite is no joke and is much more effective on bosses as they have a larger health pool and can be inflicted with frostbite multiple times. Conversely, in PvP, frostbite simply adds more to the pressure of the duel as opponents will have to observe extra caution against frostbite and its multiple effects. This is supplemented with the weapon’s conveniently long range as well as Stance Weapon Art which furthers the potential of frostbite build-up even more.
Generally, the Irithyll Straight Sword has become much more viable and adjustable in certain builds due to the introduction of frostbite related spells such as Snap Freeze in the Ashes of Ariandel DLC. Frostbite has never been easier to inflict and is definitely a force to be reckoned with. If you’re looking for a straight sword strong in both PvP and PvE, then Irithyll Straight Sword is one of your best choices!
Location: Dropped by Outrider Knight in the Undead Settlement zone, located at the bottom of the elevator shaft that hosts Siegward of Catarina just before the Road of Sacrifices.
Soulsborne veterans will recognize this weapon wherever they go. Introduced back in Dark Soul 1, the Dark Sword was wielded by the dreaded Darkwraiths who hunted down humans, seeking to steal their humanity and make it their own. It has always been one of the best straight sword in Dark Souls 3, rather across the franchise.
What stands out about this weapon is its moveset and Weapon art. Its moveset is mainly geared towards slashing attacks, where its heavy attack is actually a sweep attack (good for roll catching enemies who roll towards you) instead of a thrust attack which is rather unorthodox for straight swords. The Dark Sword, however, can still perform a thrust attack which is its rolling attack – surprisingly versatile, isn’t it?
What’s even more unorthodox is its Weapon Art Stomp, which, if you’ve guessed it right, is something that’s usually found in Greatswords. When Stomp is activated, your player will lunge forward in a low stance with increased poise and follow it up with a strong slash – given the hyper armor, you can tank incoming hits and commit to some nasty exchange of blows.
As far as upgrading this weapon is concerned, the ideal upgrade path that we have found is giving it a Heavy infusion with a Heavy gem, which while reduces base damage, adds to its strength scaling, making it A-tier which is ultimately better in the long run. This, along with full reinforcement as well as powerful buffs like Dark Blade enables it to achieve frighteningly high heights of damage output.
Location: Dropped by Darkwraiths in High Wall of Lothric (tower on the wall bonfire) and Farron Keep located just before Abyss Watchers boss fight.
No list of Best Dark Souls 3 Straight Swords is complete without a quirky weapon. The Gotthard Twinswords are the only dual wielding straight swords in Dark Souls 3, which alone is very intriguing and as you may have guessed, complement a very aggressive playstyle.
Given their aggressive nature, it comes to no surprise that these twinswords reign supreme in comparison to most straight swords in terms of DPS (Damage Per Second). On the other hand, however, it lacks defensive capability as you can not hold a shield or equip a catalyst for spell-casting in your off hand once you’re dual wielding – high risk, high reward, as they say. Another aspect of the weapon that adds even further to the diehard mindset is its Spin Slash Weapon Art which deals immense damage as your character unleashes a large spinning slash followed by a double-bladed thrust.
The thrust attacks on the Gotthard Twinsword are particularly effective thanks to its amazing range which competes with the best of the best. While its damage falls behind the Lothric Knight Straight Sword by just a little, the extra range arguably outweighs that as connecting hits at optimal distances is just as important.
In case you’re still concerned about the high risks that come with wielding these bad boys, I’ll let you in on a broken combo which is guaranteed to land three consecutive hits, depleting half of your opponent’s HP under normal circumstance. It goes like this: left light attack followed by a left heavy attack capped off by a right heavy attack. Furthermore, if you spam the right heavy attack immediately afterwards, it will connect if your opponent rolls away, which is the normal 99.9% reaction judging by personal experience.
Lastly, the recommended upgrade for this weapon is a refined infusion with a Refined gem as it adds more to both dexterity and strength scaling. This is particularly effective for the Gotthard Twinswords as they scale equally with both stats.
Location: Can be found on Black Hand Gotthard’s corpse just outside the Grand Archives. You must have defeated Aldrich, Yhorm, and the Abyss Watchers or this sword will not be there.
In summary, while the Lothric Knight Straight Sword is arguably the best Straight Sword in the game, there are several other Straight Swords that genuinely come close to competing with it. The thrill of Dark Souls 3 is the fact that you can experience the game in different ways with different builds. So instead of taking the same route of centering your build around an overpowered weapon, you can diversify your experience with other straight swords that compete quite well such as the Dark Sword, the Ringed Knight Straight Sword, the Irithyll Straight Sword and the Gotthard Twinswords.