As a founding episode of the "Souls" genre, it was clear that Demon's Souls would not be an easy game for anyone to play. For those who are new to the genre, or for those who haven't touched the license in a while, here's a series of tips that will help you get back into action.
Character Creation and Class Selection
If you are a beginner and just want some quick and simple advice, we suggest you take the Temple Knight or Knight if you want to play melee, and Royalty if you want to use spells. They are both well equipped to handle the beginning of the game and take your first steps.
For more details on classes, you can check our dedicated guide below.
Your choice of class will have a big impact on the gameplay and difficulty of your adventure in Demon's Souls. Here's a guide explaining the strengths and weaknesses of each classes.
Bosses and enemies must be handled differently, but in almost all cases, having the initiative is decisive.
Having a weapon with a good reach and striking first, in order to chain the blows, is a good way to defeat the majority of basic enemies.
Otherwise, starting with a roll to pass over their flank or even their back before attacking is also a good approach.
If you use a shield, blocking the attack is simple and effective, but beware of enemies who chain attacks.
On tougher enemies and bosses, you must manage your stamina. Don't be greedy: it's better to hit twice and retreat to regen your stamina than to try to finish the boss/enemy.
Many enemies are waiting for you in ambush, or engage in combat when you pass a certain point. Advance cautiously while observing your environment. Always try to face only one enemy at a time, using the terrain if necessary, or even retreating.
Bosses cause a lot of damage, but the bigger they are, the more predictable they become. The easiest tactic is to hit them a few times and then dodge their attack. It may also be wise to simply roll while you learnt heir patterns.
Death is part of the playing experience, and it will happen often. In this case, the priority will be to recover your souls.
Progress slowly and methodically.
Playing a Magician, especially the Royalty class — with his mana regeneration ring — is much easier than playing melee.
Retrieving your Human Form will increase your maximum life and allow you to summon players to assist you. But in return, you will also be exposed to invasions and the world tendency will darken if you die.
Spend all your souls whenever possible.
Levels and Stats
By spending your souls with the Maiden in Black, you can purchase skill points, which correspond to as many levels. You must choose carefully, since each point purchased increases the cost of the next one.
- Strength: Increases the physical damage you inflict with certain weapons. Useful if you want to play with heavy weapons and armor.
- Dexterity: Increases the physical damage you inflict with certain weapons. Useful if you want to use more refined melee weapons.
- Vitality: Increases health points and carry weight. Useful for everyone.
- Endurance: Increases the size of the stamina gauge, the weight your character can carry, and resistance to certain effects (fire, poison, bleeding).
- Magic: Increases the damage of your spells.
- Faith: Increases the power of miracles, the number of miracles you can equip, and the resistance to magic. Useful for priests and spellcasters in general.
- Intelligence: Increases the amount of mana and the number of spells you can equip. Absolutely vital for all spellcasters.
- Luck: Determines the rate at which objects appear on enemies, such as consumables or rare pieces of equipment. Also increases resistance to plague.
Check the type of stats used by your weapon if you plan to keep it or continue using similar weapons. This is the statistic you will need to invest in in order to handle higher ranked weapons and increase your damage. It'll usually be Strength, Dexterity or Magic.
Vitality and Stamina are useful for all characters. It's important to stay under the 50% load limit in order to roll as quickly as possible.
If you play an offensive spellcaster, you'll need to invest in Magic and Intelligence, or Faith and Intelligence first.
Without going into complex details, statistics do not evolve in a linear fashion. Your 50th Strength point will increase your damage less than the 30th. It's better to try to balance your points in the different characteristics that are useful to you and not in just one or two. In general, statistics points are very cost-effective up to the 30 point mark, and interesting up to the 40 point mark.
You can invest beyond that point if you really want to equip a particular piece of equipment.
Exploration and progression
The game rewards players who search every nook and cranny to find every item.
Keep talking to the NPCs until their dialogue loops. Sometimes it takes a lot of persistence to get them to entrust you with their quest or items.
The progression is not linear. You don't have to finish all the bosses of an Archstone before moving on to the next one.
It's better to do the first area of each world/stone, then the second, and so on. The order may vary depending on your class and what you are looking for.
Here's our world progression guide for a optimized order to follow.
The campaign progression of Demon's Souls isn't linear. After defeating the first boss, Phalanx, you'll have to choose where to go.
Once you're familiar with the basic mechanics of the game, you'll be able to look into the Worlds and Character Tendencies, which changes a lot of things in a somewhat subtle way.
Original content by Robin "Raiden" Bouquet.