Taking on Dark Souls bosses ranks pretty highly on the scale of testing your gaming mettle, and if you're not prepared then it's likely you'll be squished into paste within seconds of stepping into the combat arena. Many of these fights might seem impossible to the uninitiated, but if you know what you're looking for then every Dark Souls boss has their weakness that can be exploited to defeat them. If you're having trouble laying the smack down on some of these imposing foes then don't get stressed, as we've worked our way through the toughest Dark Souls Remastered bosses to produce these handy tips to help you secure victory in battle.
- Dark Souls Remastered walkthrough guide (opens in new tab): every area, boss, and secret
- Dark Souls Remastered explained: combat tips, humanity, and summoning (opens in new tab)
- Dark Souls Remastered tips for farming Souls and Humanity (opens in new tab)
- Dark Souls Remastered Covenant guide (opens in new tab)
Dark Souls Remastered bosses general tips
Observation is key. We know, this seems obvious—but when you get killed by a boss for the eighth time, remember to be patient. Learn its attacks, know when to dodge, when to block, and when to strike. One mistake can easily mean death. There’s no shame in dying as long as you’re learning something from the death.
Choose your stats carefully. When it comes to leveling up, consider what you're pumping points into. Vitality and Endurance are critical early on, as health and stamina are your two most important resources. Depending on what kind of character you're building, some attributes are only useful for meeting equipment requirements.
Circle strafe. Many of the game's melee monsters aren't as scary as they seem once you get up close. Unless you're fighting a monster that can grab you, try hugging their bodies as you strafe in a counter-clockwise circle around them. Most enemies will miss you entirely if you're constantly circling them, giving you ample time to land a backstab. You can usually roll between the big guys’ legs as well if you time it right.
Cut off the tail! Fighting a monster or boss that has a tail? Try cutting it off. Chances are you can get a sweet weapon as a result. Seriously, give it a shot.
Dark Souls Remastered Bosses
We've posted the guides for each of Dark Souls' bosses in alphabetical order, as progression can differ from player to player. These videos are primarily for learning and understanding how to avoid the bosses attacks, where possible. Many bosses simply amount to “kill it until it's dead", but knowing when to clear out when an AoE attack is on the way is important.
Dark Souls Remastered boss: Bed of Chaos
One of the Lord Demons, Bed of Chaos is a pretty straightforward fight. There are two glowing orbs in his chamber, one on each side of the room. Pick one and sprint over it, hugging the wall as much as possible to help avoid the sweeping attack, break through the branches, and attack the core. Dealing with one, or both side orbs persists through death so you don't have to worry about doing everything in one go at least. It's also a worthwhile tactic to use a Homeward Bone or the Homeward Miracle to warp out of the room, or even quite and reload so that once you return, you’ll only have to make half the journey to the other side of the bed.
The second root will be harder as the floor crumbles, preventing you from hugging the wall as easily, and there's a new scythe attack. Use sprints into the inside circles after the sweep attack and you should be able to avoid taking damage.
When it center is reachable drop into the room, go straight and wait for the swipe attacks, before running forward and onto the root right in front of the boss, in the hole which is created once close enough. Keep going into the middle of the monster and the red thing.
Dark Souls Remastered boss: Bell Gargoyles
Essentially Maneaters 2.0, this fight is ripped straight from Demon's Souls. Dodge the Gargoyles’ swipes and aerial attacks, and focus on the first one as much as you can. A second will appear when he's at half health but stay on the original - the quicker you can kill the first one, the less time you have to worry about dealing with both at once. Pyromancy or Firebombs are good here, or Gold Pine Resin for lightning damage
If you manage to destroy the tail of either gargoyle, you will earn a Gargoyle Tail Axe. It's not that powerful - not even half as powerful as the Drake Sword - but it is rare.
Dark Souls Remastered boss: Capra Demon
First, kill the two dogs that attack with the Capra Demon - head left as soon as you're through the fog door and up the stairs to deal with them before the demon reaches you. If you can, drop back down and wait for the Capra Demon to follow before heading back up the stairs for a quick drop attack. If you're taking him head on then know that you can block everything he has bar the overhead swing, which is also an insta kill so maybe dodge that one. Ranged attacks like Fireball are also good here.
Dark Souls Remastered boss: Ceaseless Discharge
This is one of the most unpleasant boss encounters in the game but the Ceaseless Discharge boss has an exploit to make life easier. The first time through the fog door you'll be safe until you grab the Gold-Hemmed Armor or attack, but after that he's hostile for good.
The easy (!) way to defeat him is to run around to the right until you head up some stairs. You should still be able to see him through a narrow gap at the top where he can slam a tentacle your way. That's easy to avoid and then attack.
If you want to fight him honourably (you fool) then stay close to the ledge near his body, or he'll ceaselessly discharge fire all over the place. Sprint from side to side along the ledge to avoid his tentacle slams, and then get a few hits in. Rinse and repeat.
Dark Souls Remastered boss: Centipede Demon
Worth noting that this boss is immune to fire, what with living in lava and all that. This monster's pretty straightforward. You only have a narrow ledge to fight on, so the first step is luring him onto your platform. He'll try to punch you with his Stretch Armstrong fists, but you can avoid his attacks by sprinting the length of the platform. Once he's in your turf, get under him, swing a few times, and back off. The goal is to stay underneath the demon and attack. When it leaps into the air, pull out your shield and block. It’s as simple as that!
We don't recommend locking on to him, as the camera can be sporadic when under his body. When he launches in the air, get away from him until he lands to avoid getting smashed. Finally, when he only has about one-third of his health left, he'll start dropping bombs from the ceiling when he jumps. Wait till those blow up before you rush in to attack.
Dark Souls Remastered boss: Chaos Witch Quelaag
Half spider, half sexy lady, Chaos Witch Quelaag will quickly end you if you stare for too long at those spider legs. Actually, the fight is fairly simple. Don't stand in fire and roll dodge her sword attacks - Quelaag’s firesword is extremely deadly, so we suggest you read her swings and attempt to roll away from them as opposed to blocking them. The most damaging firesword attacks are her stabs, which are slow and telegraphed. Stabs come at the end of a three-hit combo or as a singular attack. Rolling to either side at the very last moment (her stabs track) will keep you out of harms way. The biggest thing you'll want to watch out for is her brutal AoE ability - when the human portion of her body bows down, that's your signal to move.
The goal is to get around the side or rear of Quelaag an attack using your weapon. If you summon Maneater Mildred let Quelaag go after her so you can get behind her and hack away. When she pets her spider’s head, that means lava vomit is coming, but it also means you have plenty of time to maneuver around back. If you stay too close for too long, Quelaag will release a deadly wide-radius attack. When you see her human form bend down and her spider form curl up, back away!
If you run too far from Quelaag, she’ll perform a leaping attack and hurl lava at you. This is hard to avoid (usually rolling forward underneath her as she flies towards you works) so we don’t suggest you stray too far.
Dark Souls Remastered boss: Crossbreed Priscilla
Priscilla is not immediately hostile. In fact, if you talk to her, she offers to take you back to Anor Londo.
Attacking her begins the fight. She’ll immediately turn invisible so watch for Priscilla's footprints in the snow—that will give away her location. Be sure to keep that shield up in case you lose track of her. Get a few attacks in, then roll away. This fight isn't hard - she moves slowly, but has long range thanks to her scythe and does heavy damage. Using Pyromancy force her to reveal herself but the main thing is to stay close and circle around her back to strike.
If you can try and cut off her small tail because it's the only way to obtain a rare and powerful weapons called Priscilla’s Dagger which does a lot of bleed damage.
Dark Souls Remastered boss: Demon Firesage
The Demon Firesage bears a striking resemblance to the Asylum Demon from the tutorial area, but he has a few more attacks. The two most annoying abilities in his arsenal are some fire spells. When he plants his spear in the ground, run. This signifies that he's about to use a rather powerful AoE explosion. He does another fire attack that does damage in a frontal cone. Dodging this attack is rather difficult.
When he does a leaping axe attack, roll toward his body and get some hits in. Occasionally he'll fly up into the air and body slam the ground. Use this opportunity to score some free attacks. Get close and stay close, preferably behind to finish the battle quickly. The Firesage Demon does tend to move away from you more often, so keep him on a short leash.
Dark Souls Remastered boss: Dragon Slayer Ornstein and Executioner Smough
This is the first boss encounter where Dark Souls proudly presents its giant middle finger. Two bosses at once, both of which are powerful. Yay! Dragon Slayer Ornstein is agile and does both lightning and physical damage. Executioner Smough, on the other hand, is a bit slower, easy to dodge/outrun but hits super hard. There's no real easy way to approach this fight but it is imperative that you pick one boss and focus on killing him first - once one dies, the other gains full health as well as enhanced abilities:
Killing Ornstein first adds lightning damage to all of Smough's attacks.
Killing Smough first means Ornstein grows bigger in size and strength.
So choose your pain. Either way, expect to get your skull caved in a time or two. Take advantage of the pillars to line of sight attacks. Chip away when the opportunity arises, but expect a lengthy fight.
If you’ve got some humanity to spare, you can summon Solaire of Astora to come help you if you’re alive. His summon symbol is at the top of the short staircase beside the entrance to the boss area. He makes this fight much much easier as he will essentially tank one of the bosses, allowing you to focus on the other. If you prefer real players to AI bots, this is a great fight to try summoning some help from other players.
Dark Souls Remastered boss: Four Kings
You must have the Covenant of Artorias ring equipped to access the Abyss, which is where these bosses are housed and the key to this fight is to wear your strongest armor, use your most damaging weapon, and end things as quickly as possible. We recommend equipping your most defensive armor (probably the Havel's set from Anor Londo), as the Four Kings don't hit terribly hard. At the beginning of the fight, only one of the kings will be active. Eventually, all four will be out at once, and they share a health pool.
Their magic abilities are what hurt the most, and they typically only cast them if you're at a distance - so stay up close, attack a king until it dies, then move onto the next. They respawn a little while after being killed, but managing one or two at a time is far easier than all four. The best way to take down an individual king is to put a weapon in both hands, hack away and continue circling as your stamina charges up. Don’t worry about getting hit - as long as you're wearing your best armor, the Kings’ physical attacks won’t do much damage. And if you stay close, they'll just swing wildly, rarely using magic or a grab attack which is obviously telegraphed - that will easily strip half your health if it's lands so don't let your life bar get too low.
Occasionally, one will charge up a spell (usually the one you're attacking) which you can spot from the purple aura in the process. Get your shield up fast as the AoE will hurt far less while blocking. The kings can also use a grab attack.
Dark Souls Remastered boss: Gaping Dragon
The easiest way to take on the Gaping Dragon is to try and stick close to the right side of his body, between his two legs. This location allows you to easily dodge his side swipes, and gives you ample time to avoid his stomps. When he flies into the air, move away as to not get crushed. Be prepared to turn and run, as he occasionally vomits a large pool of acid.
If you don’t have the Drake Sword, Gold Pine Resin will add lightning damage to your weapon and help immensely. Whatever you do it's important to attack the tail and cut it off to get the Dragon King Greataxe which increases your Magic and Fire defense, and has devastating area of effect damage. As you try and cut off the tail, watch out for the tail swipe attack, which is largely telegraphed. As well as the weapons, once the tail is gone, the battle becomes extremely easy.
Once you have the tail, run far away from the dragon, far enough that it stops walking. It will slam its front end down, which signals that its about to charge. At this point, run around to its rear end. The dragon will eventually charge, but if you are running to the side, he won’t be able to track you. Once the charge stops, put your weapon in both hands and have at his tail stump. When he leaps in the air to turn around, run far away and repeat this process until the boss is defeated. If you summon Solaire to draw the dragon’s attacks this can makes things a lot easier.
Dark Souls Remastered boss: Gravelord Nito
You should go into this fight with medium armor for a medium speed roll and Nito is vulnerable to fire, so Pyromancy is a great tool here. This is a pretty brutal fight overall - one of Nito's main abilities is to spew death from his mouth, and within his chamber are several skeletons, some of which are the big brutes that knocked us off ledges in the Tomb of Giants a billion times. Plus Nito is a necromancer, so the trio of skeletons he has with him will revive unless you kill them with a divine weapon.
As soon as you drop into the arena, heal if you've not got anything to negate the fall damage. At the start lure Nito toward the entrance which should let you avoid having to deal with the giant skeletons, though you'll still have to put up with a few of the small fries. Try rolling around until he reaches you, as his magic sword attack can reach you from anywhere in his room, popping up through the floor. It's given away by a scream though so listen out.
Nito himself is fairly easy. He has a few standard sword attacks that hit pretty hard, but aren't difficult to avoid. The problem is that while you're trying to damage him, you'll be taking hits from the skeletons nearby. Oh, and you can get poisoned during the encounter. Get a few hits on Nito and eventually he'll spray death all over, temporarily destroying the skeletons. Quickly get some more hits in before they respawn and heal up whenever the opportunity arises, and he'll be dead in no time.
A good strategy is to use a divine weapon to deal with the trio of skeletons that rushed you, then dance around Nito chucking Pyromancy spells. Just try to stay out of the aggro range of the giant skeletons in the back of the arena. From medium range, all of Nito’s attacks are telegraphed and easily avoidable. If he starts to charge up, however, run far away, for his area of damage attack is massive. Also, if his fist glows, that means he’s going for a grab attack, which has surprising range and tracking and also deals lots of damage.
Another option is to use a strong weapon, equip very heavy armor, apply iron flesh and just rush Nito to hack away. Don't worry to much about blocking with this approach but sill be wary of any area attack.
Dark Souls Remastered boss: Great Grey Wolf Sif
Sif's attacks are strong and are sometimes tricky to dodge. You'll want to play it safe. Wait till he finishes a set of attacks, sprint under his body, get a few attacks in, and get out. Don’t worry too much about speed here though, wear enough armor so that you can still do a medium speed roll. Learn to read Sif’s attacks, remain a good distance from him and roll away just as he is about to strike. He has a few hits and combos that can be easily read and avoided if you are familiar with them.
You'll especially want to look out for his two-part spin attack. Even if you block the first swing in the attack, it will drain most of your stamina. The second strike is sure to knock out at least half of your health. You can tell he’s about to do this when he switches his grip on the sword in his mouth, even if you can’t avoid it entirely, taking one hit is way better than taking two.
The trick is to roll under Sif’s attacks and attack from underneath. Of course, you can always use spells and Pyromancy from a distance, just be ready for when he leaps at you from far away. A simple combination of rolling and Pyromancy can end this fight very quickly. Another tactic is that once Sif appears, run back to the puddle left of the door through which you entered. If you stay in this corner, there is a good chance Sif will get semi-stuck on the uneven terrain, allowing you to slash at his underside.
This fight is all about patience. Once Sif is below 25% health you’ll notice he starts limping.
Dark Souls Remastered boss: Gwyn
Here it is—the final battle. Gwyn is tough. He attacks fast. He hits hard. You'll have to roll to avoid many of his attacks although he is ironically, vulnerable to fire, so Pyromancers should have no problem. Equip some flame resistant armor and a flame resistant shield.
Once the battle begins, Gwyn will always perform a leaping attack. Dodge this, then stay close to him. We found the easiest way to approach him is to constantly be walking backwards with your shield raised. Equip any stamina regeneration gear you might have, because you'll be rolling and blocking a lot. Whenever Gwyn tries to kick or grab you, use that opportunity to get a few hits in, then start backing away. Don't get greedy—trying to land too many hits too soon can easily result in death. When you need to heal up, try and line of sight him around one of the pillars in the cavern.
There are other methods that work, too. Staying close is actually better than backpedaling, as you can read when he’s about to use his grab attack - roll out of the way and use this opportunity to either heal or hit him hard. You can also parry nearly all of Gwyn’s attacks and use a powerful one handed weapon for ripostes. It takes skill, but using smaller shields increase your parry window however a mistimed parry can be disastrous.
Dark Souls Remastered boss: Iron Golem
The Iron Golem isn't all that hard, especially if you have spells or Pyromancy - simply get close enough to coax a swing out of the golem, then pelt it with ranged attacks. Alternatively, roll underneath it when it attacks and get in a few melee blows before retreating and repeating.
You can fall off of the platform you're fighting on, so try to keep the boss in the center of the tower. Circle strafe to avoid most of his attacks, and back away when he tries to pick you up. Also, be wary of his stomp attacks. Even if you block his attacks, you’ll slide back quite a ways, so make keep checking you’re not blocking near the edge of the platform. After he takes a bit of damage, he'll be stunned for a while so attack hard then.
Dark Souls Remastered boss: Moonlight Butterfly
This fight can be a pain early on. If you don't have access to any spells, we recommend snagging the Longbow from the area between the Darkroot Forest and the Valley of Drakes. Chip away at the creature's health while it's airborne, but pay attention to its magic attacks. It's best to roll dodge its magic when possible, as blocking does little to nullify the damage. At times, the Moonlight Butterfly will land on the ledge. Start slashing away until it charges up a magic spell—when you see it start to glow, get away.
If you’re alive, you can summon an AI companion witch whose long distance spells can be extremely helpful here, especially if you’re a melee character. Her summon symbol is hidden in some grass at the bottom of the tower leading up to the boss’s room.
Dark Souls Remastered boss: Pinwheel
Pinwheel throws spells at you while creating mirror images of himself. He's not terribly difficult, just rather annoying. Rush the original Pinwheel and roll under any magic projectiles, then attack with a two handed weapon to max the damage. There’s not much else to add, just... kill him really and make sure to look for one of the three masks he drops on death - you won't get it automatically.
Dark Souls Remastered boss: Seath the Scaleless
The trick to this battle is to get to the rear of Seath's room and destroy his magical crystal thing, otherwise, he regenerates his health. Once that's down, bait him into using his crystal laser beams, then run up close and hit him in the dragon jewels. Be careful, though, as he does have one crystal AoE that can quickly destroy you. When he bows down and starts groaning, run.
Equip the Blood Shield if you have it as it will reduces curse build-up and use light armor so that you can move fast. The main tactic here is to run to one end of the room and coax out his breath attack, then running to his left side and attacking two handed weapon in both hands, or using spells/Pyromancy. Once you get in a few good swings or spells, run away to the other side of the room to avoid his extremely deadly ground-slap attacks
If you can cut off his tail you'll get the Moonlight Greatsword. It’s difficult to reach it after he does his breath attack and before he turns around, so wear light armor and aim for the very tip of the tail. Since he turns quickly, the easiest time to attack is while he's still in stun-lock after destroying the crystal. Lure him to there, and when he's close, either hit the crystal or have him destroy it himself with his breath attack. This should give you the time to get to his tail.
Dark Souls Remastered boss: Taurus Demon
The Taurus Demon is pretty simple. Once he jumps down from his tower, immediately run back behind you to reach the ramparts and a ladder next to a door. Climb up and do a plunging attack on the boss. Lure him away from the ladder, dodge his attacks, then run back up the ladder and repeat. You can also avoid virtually all his attacks by simply rolling between his legs every time he winds up to swing at you. Also use Fireball, Firebombs, or Black Firebombs as the Taurus Demon is very weak to fire.