Dark Souls 3 – Recommended Beginner’s Build

Starting Class

Level: 9
Vigor: 12
Attunement: 10
Endurance: 11
Vitality: 15
Strength: 13
Dexterity: 12
Intelligence: 9
Faith: 9
Luck: 7

Which starting gift you choose is up to you. I chose the Sovereignless Soul to get a few extra levels early on. The Life Ring is another good choice.

Stat Allocation
  • 1. Prioritize Vigor and Strength. Vigor will provide you a large health pool to survive bad situations. Meanwhile, Strength will be your primary damage attribute that boosts your damage output.
  • 2. Place points in Endurance to increase Stamina as you need it. If you find yourself Stamina starved when blocking, rolling, and combo-ing, Endurance is going to help alleviate the stress by expanding your pool of Stamina.
  • 3. Place points in Vitality to be able to carry heavier weight armors and weapons. The most powerful weapons and armors in the game require you to carry lots of weight, which will hinder your rolling effectiveness if you hit 70% encumbrance. Increase Vitality to remedy this.
  • 4. [OPTIONAL] Place points in Dexterity if you prefer Dexterity-based weapons. Although Strength is preferable, everyone has their own weapon tastes. You will want to focus your damage-oriented points in Dexterity if you have interest in carrying Dexterity-based weapons. Alternatively, you an use a gem to infuse a weapon, altering its bonus properties in the process.
  • 5. [OPTIONAL] Place points in Faith to support your melee with clerical powers. Magic isn’t particularly effective unless you place many points into a stat, but Faith can be a nice secondary stat if you like using holy powers.
Stat Goals
Although I encourage you to place points as you see fit, the following goals are what worked best for me.

Level 30

Vigor: 20
Attunement: 10
Endurance: 15
Vitality: 15
Strength: 22
Dexterity: 12
Intelligence: 9
Faith: 9
Luck: 7

Level 50

Vigor: 28
Attunement: 10
Endurance: 18
Vitality: 16
Strength: 30
Dexterity: 12
Intelligence: 9
Faith: 9
Luck: 7

An Explanation
The Knight comes equipped with a reliable weapon, shield, and armor from the get-go. This makes a huge difference against Dark Souls 3’s toughest enemies, which leave little room for error. In addition to this, the Knight begins with great starting stats that waste no points in unnecessary attributes.

The Knight can be very flexible, relying on either rolling or blocks to avoid damage. Various enemies in the game are more easily defeated by either of these two types of damage avoidance, so this flexibility is paramount to as simple of an experience as possible. Following a proper roll or block, you can follow up with quick strikes from the Long Sword or another fast-hitting weapon of your choice. In the event that you make a mistake and take a hit, and it will happen, you’ll be happy that you’re wearing the heavy armor of the Knight.

As you build up your Vigor and Strength you will be able to sustain damage even from the hardest bosses, and dish damage consistently. Regularly increasing Endurance will allow you to keep your shield up, roll, and strike more often without having to rest while your Stamina regenerates.

Note that you can place some points in Vitality to allow yourself to carry heavier armor or weapons, or refocus your Strength points into Dexterity to use a Dexterity-based weapon.

Weapon Choices

The Knight’s Long Sword is a very effective weapon early in the adventure. It has reliable and fast attack patterns, but quickly becomes outclassed by weapons with higher damage potential.

I recommend picking up a Broadsword[darksouls3.wiki.fextralife.com] once you reach High Wall of Lothric. It functions identically to the Long Sword, but has higher base damage.

From here, you can decide to upgrade the Broadsword and infuse it with property of your choice, or transition to the Irithyll Straight Sword[darksouls3.wiki.fextralife.com] once you reach the later part of Undead Settlement. This weapon is identical to the Long Sword and Broadsword in terms of attack patterns, but has a natural Frostbite property allowing it to cripple the stamina of enemies. This weapon is what I used to defeat the final bosses of the game as it’s very powerful despite the quickness of its attacks. Note that it requires Twinkling Titanite to upgrade, which is a hassle to collect, and can’t receive the benefits of bonus damage from items such as Gold Pine Resin.

Since this build focuses on Strength, you will have plenty of opportunities to transition to a greatsword, such as the popular Claymore[darksouls3.wiki.fextralife.com], or an ultra greatsword, such as the Profaned Greatsword[darksouls3http]. These weapons tend to be more difficult to weild due to their longer-duration animations, but many players prefer two-handed style of play.

In the event that you would prefer to use a Dexterity-based weapon, you can safely focus points on Dexterity instead of Strength. Alternatively, you can infuse a Dexterity-based weapon with an item such as Heavy Gem to alter its bonuses.

Armor Choices

You may be surprised to hear that the starting armor for the Knight can last you for the entirety of the game. Knight Armor outclasses most sets in terms of damage mitigation, and anything with higher defense requires a lot more weight (Vitality). Additionally, the Knight’s Shield has 100% damage mitigation on block and great stats, allowing you to carry it through the game without much competition.

That said, once you are on the hunt for better armors, there are several available including theCathedral Knight set[darksouls3.wiki.fextralife.com], which is what I personally used during late-game, the purchaseable [http://darksouls3.wiki.fextralife.com/Exile+Armor+Set]Exile Armor[/url], and Gundyr’s Set[darksouls3.wiki.fextralife.com], which requires that you defeat an optional boss.

But before you encounter the sets mentioned above, I recommend and personally used the [http://darksouls3.wiki.fextralife.com/Lothric+Knight+Set]Lothric Knight Set[/url], which can be farmed from Lothric Knights (be sure to bring some Rusted Coins with you to increase item discovery) just a couple hours into the game. Not only is it a very useful set, but it visually looks better than most of the rarest armors.

As far as your shield go, the Knight Shield’s is very potent throughout the game. The first major upgrade with similar attributes isn’t earned until the last hours of the game, and it’s called the Golden Wing Crest Shield[darksouls3.wiki.fextralife.com]. If you are a fan of making your shield a major part of your offense, you may want to look at the game’s large number of greatshields[darksouls3.wiki.fextralife.com], some of which allow you to perform weapon skills while they’re equipped.

A Note On Magic
Magic in Dark Souls 3 doesn’t scale well for the lower levels. Many players have found that you need to place around 45 to 50 points into Intelligence or Faith before your powers become reliable for progression. Because of this, the Strength Knight build mentioned above doesn’t mesh well with magic attunement, as you’d need to place way too many points into a magic-based attribute to make it worth it.

Knowing this, you are welcome to place a few points into Intelligence, or preferably Faith, and carry around a spell or two to augment your offensive style.

Final Word
I was able to complete the entire game in 23 hours during my first run through using this build. I had a lot of luck with bosses, defeating more than 50% of them within two tries. I also beat the final boss on my fifth try. In other words, this build is battle tested, proven to work in every facet of the game.

You can see footage of my battle with the final boss using this build in the video below:


Good luck in your adventures, and feel free to leave any questions in the comment section below.

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