The question is simple, but the answer could take you days to figure out.
Luckily for you, we have done all the research so that you don’t have to! We will tell you exactly how hard dark souls is and what makes it so difficult. This guide will also help you decide if this game is right for your skill level or not. You can read our full review of dark souls here!
Is Dark Souls supposed to be hard?
Well, that depends on who you ask?
Let’s first establish a working definition of what we mean by “hard.” I’m not talking about an obtuse control scheme, nor would I describe the Souls series as being extremely difficult or unbeatable. Instead, as a general rule, playing Dark Souls should push you to the brink of quitting.
Whether it’s because you’re constantly dying and want to scream in frustration, or the game is wearing down your patience and you’re on the verge of throwing your controller (or keyboard) across the room; Dark Souls is supposed to make you feel some type of way.
The harder a game is, the more difficult it becomes for the player to play it, and subsequently share their thoughts on the experience. In order to do so they must be in a certain mindset—a state of mind which makes them more critical of what they’re experiencing.
If a game is too easy then the player becomes disengaged from the experience because they feel that there’s no point in assessing it. It’s not hard to see why this would be the case; if you’re able to breeze through a game without effort then what motivation do you have to think critically about what you just played?
Similarly, if the game is too difficult it has the same effect of making players less receptive to criticism because they had such a negative experience.
This is why I think Dark Souls is so brilliant; it’s hard enough that you become critical of what you’re experiencing, but it’s not so difficult that you give up on the game.
Games like Metal Gear Solid 4 and Final Fantasy XIII are good examples of titles which took themselves too seriously, making them feel more like work than play. All three of the aforementioned games are well-made, but they’re basically about watching cutscenes rather than playing.
The Souls series isn’t like that; it’s more akin to classic Resident Evil (at least in terms of atmosphere and design) which has the same type of effect on players—challenging them without becoming frustrating or overbearing. Watching someone play through a Souls game can be incredibly entertaining and genuinely funny, which is something that isn’t seen too often with many modern games.
The vitriol for this series is well-documented—the Internet hates it, and I don’t blame them because Dark Souls does such a good job of making people feel miserable. This I think is incredibly important, because the Souls series forces people to take themselves seriously; always thinking about their decisions and how they affect their current situation.
When you’re playing The Legend of Zelda or any other modern adventure game you’re basically running around doing whatever the hell you want without regard for consequences. That’s fine, but it’s not conducive to creating difficult but fair gameplay scenarios.
The Souls games are some of the only titles I can think of that somehow strike a perfect balance between player choice and guidance. You’re given just enough information for you to formulate an idea of what you should be doing, but there’s still some sense of mystery about your current objective(s) which is usually revealed through exploration.
Why is Dark Souls so hard?
It’s hard because it forces you to take yourself seriously. You can’t just be a casual player expecting to have fun; you have to be able to adapt to the difficult combat scenarios. It’s fair without being too easy, and it doesn’t insult your intelligence by holding your hand through every step of the adventure.
This is the type of experience which will make you feel like a boss after beating it, and give you the urge to brag to your friends that you’re still better than them.
Honestly, I think that’s reason enough for anyone who calls themselves a gamer to play this game (or any Souls title); there’s really nothing else like it on the market today.
It’s challenging without being frustrating, cryptic without being stupid—it’s the very definition of a great game.
How do you play dark souls?
You go out and buy it real quick. You can get a boxed version for pretty cheap on Amazon these days, so there’s really no excuse not to play it.
Don’t be an idiot—if you call yourself a gamer then you have to experience this game at least once in your life. It’s the only way that you’ll be able to understand why so many people worship it.
Once you begin to learn the mechanics you’ll also realize that this is one of the most fair games ever made—there’s really nothing else like it.
Is it worth playing if I find it too difficult?
If you’re not a masochist then no, it’s probably not worth playing. It’s basically just a really good action-RPG that some people worship as some sort of god among men because they’re deranged sadists.
So yeah, if you’re unable to play through difficult games and actually enjoy them without feeling miserable and drained afterwards then you should just stop being a video game player and renounce your faith in the church of Miyazaki.
Seriously though, I think everyone who calls themselves a gamer should play this series at least once to get an idea of how difficult games can be while still staying fair. Once you experience that aspect for yourself you’ll never want to go back to playing easy games that insult your intelligence.
How to cope with the difficulty of Dark Souls and other games
I’m not an expert on that subject or anything, but I can’t imagine it’s too hard to deal with. You just have to accept the fact that some games will be more challenging than others and embrace the moments of triumph when you beat them.
If you’re having a difficult time then there’s no shame in taking a break until you’re ready to try again.
Personally I had a hard time with Demon’s Souls because I was used to playing games that were pretty simple, but once I’d gotten over that initial hump then the rest of the game wasn’t so bad. It actually became one of my favorite games of all time—I just love how fair it is while still making the player feel like they’re actually accomplishing something.
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows of course, but that’s what makes it fun for me—it’s a real challenge that I’m never sure if I’ll be able to beat.
Then again that’s just my opinion, but I think it perfectly encapsulates why so many people love this game. I also think it’s what makes this game so interesting to talk about with other gamers.
So yeah, you should definitely play Dark Souls if you haven’t yet. If you’re not sure if you can handle such a difficult game then check out the Demon’s Souls instead; that one is more or less just as hard as Dark Souls but has a more forgiving difficulty curve.
Also you can play Dark Souls II if you want, but it’s definitely not as good in my opinion (it’s still pretty fun though).
I really hope that everyone gets a chance to play this game at least once in their life—it’ll make you rethink what it means to be a gamer.
Tips and tricks on how to beat a boss in Dark Souls or any game
Well if you’ve played through the game once then I’d say that the most important thing is to save your self-healing items like estus flasks, lifegems, and maybe humanity for when you really need them.
You should also make good use of lock-on with ranged weapons—items like poison throwing knives can be very effective since they do a ton of damage over time.
You should also be on the lookout for secret areas which you can access by rolling onto certain walls or by staying far away from them and using magic/arrows to open up hidden doors.
There are also some weapons that are really helpful if you get them early-ish in the game. If you can get your hands on firebombs or poison throwing knives then you should do so since they’re both extremely useful when trying to take down bosses.
On top of all that I’d say it’s very important to focus on defense rather than offense in this game—it takes a lot more work, but it’ll make things less difficult in the long run.
You should also carry a lot of moss/ruined coins with you so that you can use them to heal or play dead when necessary.
As for which characters are the easiest, I’d say it’s pretty balanced in terms of difficulty between all four classes—it just has to do with how well-suited they are for different situations.
When you’re in a group, the ranged characters are probably the best since they can attack from a distance while still defending themselves.
I’d say that melee characters require more skill to play effectively since they have to make risky attacks in order for their damage to really add up.
If you can learn how to effectively power-stance (with axes/great-swords) then that’ll be extremely helpful for dealing damage.
If you’ve played through the game before and are unsure if you can handle playing through it again, I’d definitely recommend starting with a ranged character or someone who uses magic—it will make things much easier (I’m looking at you pyromancer).
As for which boss is the easiest, I’d say it’s actually pretty balanced between each boss for how hard they are.
There are a couple bosses that I think might be a little harder than others (namely Ornstein & Smough and Quelaag), but even those aren’t so bad if you’ve got some firebombs.
FAQ about Is Dark Souls Hard
1. Is Dark Souls the hardest game ever?
No, but it’s definitely a challenge for most gamers.
2. What makes Dark Souls so hard?
It’s a combination of the high difficulty and the lack of any real hand-holding.
3. Is Dark Souls easy to understand?
After you’ve played the game once it won’t be so hard to understand.
4. Why do bosses seem impossible?
It’s probably because you haven’t tried using tactics to defeat them. Try using ranged weapons or magic to take them down.
5. Why does my weapon barely do any damage?
It might be because you’re not paying attention to the enviornment—you should try using walls and other objects as cover.
6. Why do people compare hard games to Dark Souls?
Well they’re playing other games, but those games don’t require as much skill and frustrate people more than Dark Souls does.
7. Why doesn’t the game tell me where to go?
It’s probably because it wants you to explore and figure things out for yourself—it actually makes the game more immersive that way.
8. Why am I always dying?
It’s probably because you’re not paying attention to the environment and getting hit from behind—always be on guard.
9. Why do people exaggerate about the difficulty?
Because Dark Souls does have a lot of depth and makes gamers think a lot more than most games do.
Dark Souls is not hard. It’s challenging, yes, but it isn’t hard to complete the game if you are persistent and have a little patience for figuring out the rules of the world. There are no cheat codes or cheats in this game that can make your life easier – what makes Dark Souls difficult is how much thought goes into each move you make. For me, that’s part of what I love about playing games like these!