Demon’s Souls Beginner’s Guide


Demon’s Souls is such a modern classic that it jumpstarted a specific genre that caters to the most hardcore of the gaming community. "Souls-like"is a term thrown around at games that vaguely resemble a high level difficulty, even though they are nowhere near the action-RPG genre that the Souls games helped revolutionize. In a bizarre twist of fate, providing a challenge is now considered a feature in video games.

Demon’s Souls is a third-person action RPG that was released as a PlayStation 3 exclusive. It was developed by From Software in collaboration with Sony Japan Studio. This game is viewed as the spiritual successor of the King’s Field series and the spiritual predecessor of the Dark Souls series.

This guide will help beginners in traversing the game since Souls titles are known to leave the players on their own accord without explaining anything at all. This mostly leads to frustration that may make beginners quit and not be able to experience these masterpieces.

This spoiler-free guide will help you in getting familiar with the Demon’s Souls.

Demon’s Souls Remake Versus The Original Demon’s Souls

In 2009, Demon’s Souls was released on PlayStation 3. Although it was not met with commercial success mostly expected from console exclusives, the game was loved by anyone who played it, despite its horrible performance.

Last year, Demon’s Souls Remake was released exclusively on the PlayStation 5. The difference between the remake and the original are as follows:

  1. Trophies are different from the original.
  2. A number of items are renamed.
  3. Locations inside the Archstones are now given individual names.
  4. Players can choose between performance mode and cinematic mode. In performance mode, the game runs at 4K resolution with 60 fps. In cinematic mode, the game runs at 4K resolution with 30 fps.
  5. Reworked models and re-recorded soundtrack with an orchestra.
  6. New weapons, items, and armor not found in the original. Drop rates of some items have also been adjusted.
  7. Enhanced online experience.
  8. The encumbrance systems made it harder to force players to bring a limited amount of consumables and supplies.
  9. Faster loading times.
  10. Haptic feedback from the DualSense controller.
  11. New Photo Mode.
  12. The camera collision angle has been fixed. The option for the original camera mode is still available for the players still.
  13. Introduction of omnidirectional rolling. In the original, the player can only roll in four directions. The remake improves the game by allowing the player to roll in eight directions.
  14. The inclusion of the Fracture Mode where in this mode the world is mirrored and reversing the map.

Control Scheme

Timing blocking with your shield is essential in this game. Learn it.

Below is the default controller scheme of Demon's Souls.

Button Action (General) Action (Magic / Bow) Note
Left Stick Move
Right Stick Camera
Right D-pad Switch Right-Hand Weapon
Down D-pad Switch Item Zoom Out (for Bow)
Left D-pad Switch Left-Hand Weapon
Up D-pad Switch Magic Switch Magic / Zoom In
Circle Evade / Hold button to Sprint
Cross Interact Hold button to skip cutscenes
Square Use Item
Triangle Two-Hand Weapon One-Hand Weapon
L1 Guard (Using Shield) Cast Magic / Precision AIm
L2 Parry / Bash (Shield) Attack / Precision Aim
R1 Attack Cast Magic / Switch Arrow
R2 Strong Attack Attack / Shoot
Option Submenu
Touch Pad Toolbelt. You can customize the Touch Pad and assign two different functions to it; one for the left half, one for the right half. This can also be used in accessing Photo Mode and Gestures. This will pause the game.*

* There was once some controversy regarding the lack of a Pause option in Souls games as it needlessly adds difficulty to an already difficult game. Souls Games are known to not to allow pausing in the game. However, you can essentially pause the game by accessing Photo Mode. Just press the menu button on your controller and choose Photo Mode.

Photo Mode is essentially a Pause button

How To Create Your Character

Body Type

In creating your character, the Body Type will dictate the gender of your character. If you want to create female characters, you must choose Type A. If you want to create male characters, you must choose Type B.

Remember, each type will have certain armor sets that can only be equipped by them. The body type may seem like an innocent choice but it has its significance later down the road.

Class Table

Class Definition Default Arsenal Soul Level Vitality Intelligence Endurance Strength Dexterity Magic Faith Luck
Soldier A low-class soldier that always stands at the frontline of battlegrounds. With high vitality and durable armor, equipped for encroaching dangers. Broadsword, Short Spear, Plate Helm, Coat of Plates, Solider's Shield, Plate Gauntlets, Plate Greaves, Bolt x20, Crescent Moon Grass x10, Soldier's Lotus x4 6 14 9 12 12 11 8 10 10
Knight A knight class of a rather advanced area of southern Boletaria. Fitted with sturdy armor and adept at close combat, ready for ensuing situations. Long Sword, Mail Breaker, Fluted Helm, Fluted Armor, Kite Shield, Fluted Gauntlets, Fluted Greaves, Crescent Moon Grass x6, Half Moon Grass x4, Noble's Lotus 4 10 11 11 14 10 10 11 7
Hunter A specialist at outdoor activities. Wields an axe and bow, well versed to deal with both manners of danger. Battle Axe, Long Bow, Leather Cap, Leather Armor, Leather Shield, Leather Gloves, Leather Boots, Arrow x50, Crescent Moon Grass x10, Augite of Guidance x10 6 12 10 13 11 12 8 8 12
Priest A soldier of the church that believes in the God of this world. Adept at close combat and can draw upon a restorative miracle. Mace, Talisman of God, Mail Coif, Chain Mail, Heater Shield, Chain Gloves, Hard Leather Boots, Crescent Moon Grass x3, Heal 6 13 11 12 13 8 8 13 8
Magician A commoner that officially learned spells. Skillfully commands magic spells with high intelligence to deal with combat afar. Short Sword, Wooden Catalyst, Wizard's Clothes, Leather Shield, Wizard's Gloves, Wizard's Shoes, Crescent Moon Grass x6, Fresh Spice x6, Flame Toss, Water Veil 6 9 15 10 9 11 15 6 11
Wanderer A lightly equipped soldier that continues an aimless journey. Wields a falchion and a dagger to handle situations requiring quick wits and fast reactions. Falchion, Dagger, Leather Armor, Wooden Shield, Hard Leather Boots, Crescent Moon Grass x8, Ed's Sharpening Stone 6 10 10 11 11 15 9 7 13
Barbarian A person from a primitive civilization. Though lacking in gear, pure strength matched with high health wielding a powerful club. Club x2, Barbarian Clothes, Wooden Shield, Barbarian Armbands, Barbarian Leggings, Crescent Moon Grass x5, Soul Remains x3 9 15 7 13 15 9 11 8 11
Thief Thieves are hired by royalty and engage in dirty jobs. Specializes in crafty and indirect tactics over conventional methods. Dagger, Short Bow, Assassin's Mask, Black Leather Garb, Buckler, Black Gloves, Black Boots, Arrow x20, Crescent Moon Grass x8, Throwing Knife x10 9 10 13 10 9 14 10 8 15
Temple Knight A special knight that protects the temple of God. Heavily clad and equipped for crowd control who draws upon a restorative miracle. Halberd, Talisman of God, Mirdan Helm, Mirdan Scale Armor, Heater Shield, Mirdan Gauntlets, Mirdan Greaves, Crescent Moon Grass x3, Heal 4 11 8 13 14 12 6 13 7
Royalty A person of royal descent who has officially learned spells. Commands the spell Soul Arrow with the benefits of a rare ring. Rapier, Silver Catalyst, Silver Coronet, Wizard's Clothes, Buckler, Wizard's Gloves, Wizard's Shoes, Fragrant Ring, Half Moon Grass, Noble's Lotus, Soul Arrow 1 8 12 8 9 12 13 12 7

Starting Gift

The Royalty class is our recommendation, especially if you are new to this genre. Choosing the Royalty class will at least lessen the brutality of the game since the MP-regenerating ring helps a lot. You can fight more enemies from a distance with your spells without burning through your items to recover MP.

MORE:  How to Get the Dragon Bone Smasher in Demon's Souls

Custom Assassin Build Guide

An assassin Type B Royal using magic.

Demon’s Souls, as well as other Soulsborne games, are known to keep the difficulty brutal at every point of the game. No matter how high your level is, you will definitely die if you are not cautious.

This build is optimized for the maximum damage output possible. Because of this, expect this character to cut corners in vitality and endurance. Survivability will be compromised. As mentioned, due to low endurance, this particular build cannot wear heavy armor for Type B (Male) bodies. This build relies on Clever Rat’s Ring, a special item that boosts both physical and magical damage when your HP drops below 30% from full. Vitality is basically ignored with this build since it will not be effective due to the reliance on the Clever Rat’s Ring.

This build uses almost exclusively ranged attacks and spells. Enemies closing the gap should spell death to this build. Therefore, keeping the distance and being extremely cautious. This class can only fight in close range if they are the ones ambushing. The reason that the Type A (Female) Royal is used as the base character for this build is that at level 1, the stats are in a way mirror the final build.

Keeping a distance is only a precautionary measure. Enemies will close the gap soon and this build relies on the reflex of the player.  You have to learn how to block and dodge well for this build to be effective. This build may look like it is not built for beginners but this suits them perfectly. It will force players to learn blocking and dodging right out of the gate. The players using this build will have to learn early and quickly the mechanics of the game and how to control their character.

Stats allocation

Vitality

Start: 8

It will be a common occurrence that the HP for this build is at 79 or below. This is where the Clever Rat’s Ring shines. When you are at critical condition, keep your distance and dish damage. You should kill your enemies quickly before they can retaliate.

You can change up this particular stat to around 30 and 40. Some people just like playing a melee build. While this assassin build is primarily for ranged attacking, this is also flexible enough that you can use this with a melee playstyle. You will lose the high damage but in return, you will be tougher to bring down.

Endurance

Start: 8

The mechanics of this game dictate that you need to keep your "equip weight" less than 50% of the total equip weight in order for you to perform a roll. Since you have low endurance, you are not going to wear any of the medium or heavy armors.

If you go the melee route, you have to increase this stat so that you can wear heavy armor and carry heavier weapons. Take note that increasing Endurance when you have 160 in Stamina is useless. This should also be your limit since this build is calling for ultimate proficiency in stat distribution. Increase this stat accordingly with the Armor or Weapon requirements.

Will

Start: 12

Increase this stat until you hit 200 MP. The Silver Coronet will have you aim for 167 MP instead. If you like to wear the Monk’s Head Collar, then you will have to pump up Will more. The reason for targeting 200 MOP is that it allows you to cast Rage of God twice as it costs 100 MO to cast.

Strength

Start: 9

Your target is 22. You only need to increase your Strength to allow you to wield the Purple Flame Shield.

Dex

Start: 12

Increase this stat until you hit 30. There is +6 Damage for every Dex point. However, once you hit 30 Dex, the damage bonus is decreased to +2 damage. It is not just worth it to put more points in Dex upon reaching 30.

Magic

Start: 13

You can increase this stat depending on your needs and not worry about a limit.

Faith

Start: 12

Like the Magic stat, increase Faith as you need to and not worry about hitting a limit where it loses its effectiveness.

Luck

Start: 7

Increase this stat to 8 and do not bother getting it further unless you will have to engage in advance exploits. Just like the original Demon’s Souls, the luck stat allows players to increase drop rates of common items and as a result, the forging materials became rarer. Since enemies were always dropping common items, players with high luck will have more common items dropping for them in place of the better items. What Luck changes in the original game is the drop rate of items as a whole and not the higher chance of good loot dropping. This was fixed in the remake with another exploit as a consequence, however, it is not advisable for beginners to go on exploiting the game without learning the basics.

General Tips

The Nexus is your safe hub

Demon’s Souls Consumption

There are two types of Souls in the game: the consumable Souls that can be found anywhere, and the Demon’s Souls dropped by the bosses. Do not consume the Demon’s Souls. They can be used to trade later on, or used for another reason more important than increasing your Soul Count. There are only three of these Demon’s Souls that can be taken. Since this is spoiler-free, it is much better for you to consume none of the Demon’s Souls you obtain.

World Tendency

A separate exhaustive guide is fit for explaining the World Tendency. In order to cater to our beginner audience though, we just have to narrow this down to the simplest term. As a beginner, you will have to aim for a Pure White World Tendency in every world. Thus, you must make sure that you do not die while in human form while traversing these worlds.

Explore each world while in soul form, and when you are in human form, just use the outermost stairs in the Nexus to climb up two flights. Kill yourself by throwing yourself off the ledge. Pick up your lost souls, then return exploring. The reason for keeping the world in Pure White Tendency is that the enemies are weakest in this state.

Bloodstains

You leave a Bloodstain when you die. A Bloodstain contains all the Souls you have collected for that moment. You can recollect them once you visit the Bloodstain. Be careful in retrieving your Souls because when you die the second time without recollecting the Souls, that Bloodstain will vanish and the new Bloodstain of your current status will appear instead.

Corpses Versus Remains

The difference between a Corpse and Remains is that the items you get from the former is always predetermined and is located in a specific area. On the other hand, Remains always hold the items that are dropped by the enemy when they are killed. These items vary per enemy and will not be the same every time they drop some loot. Luck changes the drop rates of these Remains and the quality and quantity drops at random.

Weapons

The game rates the weapons S – A – B – C – D – E from strongest to weakest in that order in terms of modifiers. These letters will represent Str/Dex/Magic/Faith. You will see weapons with /A/A/-/-. This means Strength and Dex are at A rating while the blanks will just mean that Magic and Faith will not have effects on the modifier.

The modifier ratings can be roughly estimated as follows:

  • S - +200% +/- ? of base stats
  • A - +100% +/- ? of base stats
  • B - +80% +/- ? of base stats
  • C - +60% +/- ? of base stats
  • D - +40% +/- ? of base stats
  • E - +20% +/- ? of base stats
Jasper Nikki De La Cruz
JN is a video game enthusiast and has written for various gaming outlets for a decade. Check out his gaming blog .