Dark Souls 3 Weapons Reinforcement, Infusions and Equipment Upgrades is a big part of the combat and character development. Your weapon and stats essentially define your playstyle in the game, and for that reason it’s important to understand how one can upgrade equipment in the game.
Dark Souls 3 Weapons Reinforcement, Infusions and Equipment Upgrades
In Dark Souls 3, there is only one blacksmith who handles both weapon reinforcement (upgrade) and infusions. He is Andre, found in Firelink Shrine. Reinforcement and Infusions require both souls (albeit small amounts) as well as upgrade materials, such as Titanite stones and Gemstones.
Dark Souls 3 Weapons Reinforcement and Equipment Upgrades
Unlike previous games in the series, you cannot upgrade armor in Dark Souls 3. This is actually a convenience, since it offers additional balance to PvP and also does not get you to waste precious Titanite stones on anything other than your weaponry.
There are over a hundred different weapons in Dark Souls 3, and most of them are scattered across the massive world in the game. Others are rare or common drops from enemies, while the fewest are found through soul transposing of Boss Souls when you defeat a boss.
Because of the massive variety of weapons, not every sword or spear you find will have the same upgrading system as the one you already may have in your inventory. It’s thus important to understand the different upgrade requirements of the weapons.
The largest part of the weapons you find in Dark Souls 3 will be upgradable all the way up till +10. These weapons use your standard set of Titanite stones to upgrade.
The first 3 upgrades will require Titanite Shards, then from +4 to +6 you’ll need Large Titanite Shards. From +7 to +9, you will need Titanite Chunks. Finally, to push the weapon to its maximum potential of +10, you’ll need a Titanite Slab.
Once a weapon is upgraded to +10, it cannot be further upgraded. A weapon at +10 will have the highest possible base damage as well as the highest scaling for that specific weapon.
Certain weapons in the game cannot be upgraded to +10, and instead are limited to +5. These weapons however do not use standard Titanite stones. Instead, they use Twinkling Titanites – rare upgrade materials that are found in mid to late game.
Often, these include weapons found on mini-bosses. An example of such a weapon is the Black Knight’s Sword, or a Dragonslayer Greatbow.
Note though that these weapons still need a Titanite Slab to be pushed from +4 to +5. Titanite Slab is universally the ultimate upgrade material in the game, irrespective of weapon type.
Boss Weapons are special weapons acquired by transposing souls of defeated Bosses. Whenever you defeat a boss, you will obtain its soul.
Once you have acquired the Transposing Kiln from the Curse-Rotted Greatwood, you can give it to Ludleht of Courland at Firelink Shrine, and he will transpose souls to create boss weapons or spells (depending on the boss).
To reach to +4, Boss Weapons need to be upgraded with Titanite Scale, which is dropped by the Giant Crystal Lizards that are hostile. As with every other weapon, a Titanite Slab is required for the ultimate upgrade from +4 to +5.
Dark Souls 3 Weapons Infusion
Weapon Infusion is fairly different in Dark Souls 3. There’s a lot more variety than in Dark Souls 1 and 2, and it’s certainly not as tedious as it was in the first game of the series. Still, Infusion can be fairly confusing, especially since it has a lot to do with Weapon Scaling grades, and those themselves are fairly obscure.
Firstly, it’s important to know that not all weapons can be infused. A weapon needs to have a specific set of attributes in order to be infused. These attributes are not hinted by the game, and it’s usually up to the user to figure it out.
Here are the types of weapons that cannot be infused in the game:
- Almost all weapons that are upgraded with Twinkling Titanite
- All Boss Weapons
- All weapons that receive a natural buff through Weapon Arts, such as Butcher’s Knife and Sunlight Straight Sword
- All weapons that deal some kind of elemental damage
Apart from these, all other weapons can be infused in the game.
Infusion Gemstones and Coals
Infusion is done by finding special Infusion Gemstones that allow you to infuse them. However, having all types of gemstones in the game does not automatically mean you’ll be able to infuse a weapon.
In addition to finding gemstones, you also need to find special coals in order to infuse your weapons in a specific manner. Basic modifications are already available to Andre the Blacksmith, but you need to bring him special coal to unlock more unique, specialized infusions.
There are four coals in the game that can be found and given to Andre:
- Farron Coal – Use gems of Heavy, Sharp, and Poison infusions
- Sage’s Coal – Use gems of Crystal, Blessed, and Deep infusions
- Giant’s Coal – Use gems of Lightning, Simple, and Chaos infusions
- Profaned Coal – Use gems of Dark, Blood, and Hollow infusions
Even with these coals given to Andre, you’ll need to acquire Gemstones to infuse the weapons. There are multiple types of gemstones, each associated with its own type of infusion, and sharing the same name as the infusion (except with ‘gem’ added to the end). Gemstones are scattered all across the world, and many are found by killing crystal lizards and even Giant Crystal Lizards.
Influence of Infusion on Scaling
The larger purpose of Infusions is to influence the scaling on a weapon. Of course, it’s not all positives – every infusion that increases one attribute of your weapon will also decrease another.
Basically, there are positives and negatives to infusions, and it’s up to you do decide which ones are best suited to your playstyle. All infusions that increase the scaling of one attribute will also decrease the base damage of that weapon.
Improves Str scaling, and completely removes Dex scaling.
Greatly increases Dex scaling, and decreases Str scaling.
Balances Str and Dex Scaling, increasing one and decreasing the other.
Improves base damage, and completely removes any scaling.
Improves Int scaling, adds magic damage. Reduces Str and Dex scaling.
Improves Int scaling, regenerates FP slowly. Greatly lowers Str and Dex scaling, and has weaker Int scaling than Crystal.
Adds fire damage. Completely removes any scaling.
Improves Int and Faith scaling, adds fire damage. Lowers Str and Dex scaling.
Raises Faith scaling, adds lightning damage. Lowers Str and Dex scaling.
Raises Faith scaling, deals 20% bonus damage to Reanimated foes, regens HP slowly. Greatly lowers Str and Dex scaling.
Adds dark damage. Completely removes and scaling.
Raises Int and Faith scaling and adds dark damage. Greatly lowers Str and Dex scaling.
Increases bleeding. Lowers Str and Dex scaling.
Increases poison. Lowers Str and Dex scaling.
Adds Luck scaling, and lowers Str scaling.
Removes Infusion, does not affect Reinforcement level.
Effects of Stats on Infusions
Of course, the above is just a generic description of the influence of infusions on scaling. The real determining factor in whether or not an infusion improves your weapon’s overall damage output depends on your stats.
Scaling in the game is a bit shady. Each scaling grade has three levels. This means that an A scaling for one weapon may not be the same for the other. Because of this, it’s impossible to tell whether your weapon’s overall damage will improve or not from the scaling grade alone.
Your stats will better determine any improvement. If you’re not quick with math, keep a calculator and look at the numbers to the right of the Weapon Infusion menu when scrolling through the different infusions.
If your stats are evenly distributed in Str and Dex, it’s likely that you’ll be benefit from ‘Refined’ infusion. If you’re a Str-heavy character with a Dex weapon, chances are you’ll want a Heavy infusion. Of course, these are not hard-and-fast, and vary from player to player due to the type of stat distribution.
Keep an eye out on both the overall weapon damage as well as the scaling grade that is being changed. You want to get the best of both worlds.