Dark Souls 3 Character Builds Guide – PvP Builds and PvE Builds

Dark Souls 3 character builds guide to help you build your character for maximum damage output for PvP battles and PvE campaign.

One of the best and most frustrating things about Dark Souls 3 is freedom granted to players right off the bat. Whether it be locations you should visit first or Dark Souls 3 character builds, the sense of openness can sometimes leave you overwhelmed.

Aside from joining Rosaria’s Fingers Covenant, there is no way of reversing a character build which is why you should double-check your choices before confirming them.

For more help on Dark Souls 3, make sure to read out our Dark Souls 3 Combat Tips Guide, Dark Souls 3 Key Items Locations Guide, and Dark Souls 3 PC Errors and Crashes.

Dark Souls 3 Character Builds Guide

The sheer number of spells, weapons, and stats in Dark Souls 3 allow for numerous builds that you can come up with. For new players, do note that your class is not your build and is something you formulate your build around.

Your starting class should be selected on the basis of early stats that you want in your character. Your character build, on the other hand, is dictated by your stat allocation, equipment choice, and upgrades.

In this guide, we have provided some sample Dark Souls 3 character builds to help you start the game. These Dark Souls 3 character builds, however, are not set in stone and you can always modify them up a bit to come up with a unique build that you prefer.

Dark Souls 3 Character Builds #1 – The All-Rounder

For this build, you need to add some points in multiple stats. You should be able to wield a weapon, carry some armor, and cast spells at the same time.

By doing so, while you will have less HP, Faith, Intelligence, and Stamina than a character fully invested in these stats, you will be able to use almost everything at your disposal – ranging from magic to all sorts of weapons.

You should also not expect to take advantage of scaling effects on various upgraded weapons, should you choose to play with this build.

Weapons and Armor
For the weapons, you are free to play with anything as long as you are comfortable playing with it. However, when going for weapon upgrades, don’t look for scaling effects, but only overall damage output.

Aside from physical damage-dealing weapons, have some magic and elemental damage as well to counter enemies that are weak against such things – this thing also holds true for ranged weapons.

Coming to armor, you need to find a shield with 100% damage absorption rate and armor that will not exceed 70% load limit. Other than this, you can play with different pieces of equipment which will complement your overall build.

Dark Souls 3 Character Builds #2 – Ser Jamie Lannister

For this build, your starting character needs to be a Knight as he has decent stats, weapon, and gear. You can also accept the Sovereignless Soul or the Life Ring to increase your overall HP or level up a bit early in the game.

When it comes to point allocation, you need to start with Vigor and Strength to have a large HP pool and increased damage. Moreover, some points must be allocated into Endurance to increase Stamina for blocking, dodging, combos, and more.

Aside from this, you should also consider adding some points in Vitality to be able to carry heavy Weapons and Armor and still have your weight under 70% which is the most effective. Lastly, into Dexterity or any other stat you feel like.

Weapons and Armor
When it comes to weapons, you should consider opting for a Broadsword or the Irithyll Straight Sword, both of which has increased base damage and are very useful during mid-game. The Knight’s Long Sword is a good early weapon.

Since we have quite a few points in Strength, you can also choose a Greatsword or an Ultra Greatsword, but practice getting used to their attack animation.

Coming to Armor, while you can do good with the default set, you should consider the Cathedral Knight Set or Gundyr’s Set. Another notable mention here is Lothric Knight Set.

Lastly, coming to shields, your default shield should serve you well, but there are a number of Greatshields that you should look into – just make sure that it has 100% absorption rate.

Dark Souls 3 Character Builds #3 – The Mountain that Walks

For this build, you need add your points into Strength, Endurance, and sometimes into Vitality. There is absolutely no need to select Attunement, Intelligence, Faith, and Luck.

When it comes to your starting class, you are free to select anything as long as it has stats mentioned earlier. All in all, this build is not too hard to follow, scales up well into late game, and is well-suited for newcomers.

Weapons and Armor
When it comes to weapons, you need to select Hammers and Great Hammers. If you are not comfortable with Hammers, choose a Greatsword or an Ultra Greatsword with a Heavy Gem to get increased Strength scaling.

For the sake of armor, find the heaviest armor, a shield with 100% physical damage absorption, and something which will net you high stability. Aside from this, you can also choose rings to acquire increased defensive stats and damage mitigation.

If you are unable to carry heavy armor early in the game – because of less Vitality – tone it down a notch with medium armor and a shield with decent stats until your Vitality increases.

Dark Souls 3 Character Builds #4 – Stannis Baratheon

With this build, our primary focus is to effectively use high Dexterity weapons, bows, and have elemental damage. Since there is a huge focus on speed, you need to have the weight limit in check and rely on dodge, rolling, backstabs, etc.

When it comes to point distribution, you need to focus on Vigor, Endurance, and of course, Dexterity – without touching Vitality. You can transfer the points from Vitality to something such as Intelligence or Faith for spells.

Lastly, you can also try putting some points in Luck which goes a long way as there are weapons which are influenced by it.

Weapons and Armor
When it comes to weapons for this build, you can select Thrusting Swords, Curved Swords, Katanas, or Daggers. One important thing that you need to look up for is critical value of +100 and added status effects.

In addition to this, you should also consider the Sharp Gem for increased Dexterity scaling as well as Blood or Poison Gem for extra status ailments. Lastly, with the exception of Twin Axes and Hammers, any dual-wield weapon should do fine.

As for armor, you need something light with a light shield. As long as your weight does not exceed 50%, you are good to play this build. When choosing your shield, parry is something that you need to look for the most.

In case you still don’t know how to parry, backstabbing should be your best bet which can vastly be increased with various rings that provide increased critical damage effects.

Dark Souls 3 Character Builds #5 – Pyromaniac

Pyromancy is a popular part of Dark Souls, and has a distinct importance because of its unique applications. You’ll want to take the Pyromancer class as a start, and focus majority of your starting points in Intelligence, with a good amount in Attunement as well to increase your FP and also unlock additional slots.

Make sure you rescue Cornyx in order to upgrade your Pyromancy Flame. Stats heavily invested in Intelligence at the start, followed by more or less equal investment in Faith will grant you the best pyromancy.

However, mid to late game, Pyromancy tends to become a bit ineffective, especially against bosses, as many of the later bosses have heavy resistant or out-right immunity against fire. This is the perfect time to utilize your Intelligence/Faith-heavy build with other sorceries and miracles.

Weapons and Armor
You’ll also want to pump in a bit of Strength to wield a decent melee weapon, such as an axe or even a straight sword. Using a shield isn’t necessary, but you should be able to switch between your Pyromancy Flame in your left hand and an auxiliary shield whenever required.

Use light armor and weapons, as you’ll need to move around quite a bit to cast different pyromancy spells effectively. For your weapon, try a Heavy or Raw infusions. The latter is especially useful if you have not been investing much in Strength.

For rings, use Dragon Crest Rings to cast spells more quickly. Combine them with rings that give you bonus attunement slots as well as anything that helps in FP recovery.

Dark Souls 3 Character Builds #6 – Guardian Angel

I’ll be straightforward when I say Sorcery and Miracles are not viable early game like Pyromancy. In fact, they are only viable in late game. For early game, I highly recommend running a conventional quality build or any other melee-based build, and only re-alotting your stats at Rosaria’s Chamber (in Cathedral of the Deep) after you’ve reached level 50.

Once you reach a higher level, consider pumping heavily in Faith, while boosting Strength and Dexterity till at least 16 and 22 respectively. The rest of the stat points should go in Attunement for higher FP and additional slots. The reason for heavy Strength and Dexterity investment is explained by the weapons you’ll be using.

Weapons and Armor
The two best weapons for a Faith-based build are the Sunlight Straight Sword and the Dragonslayer Swordspear. The latter is obtained by transposing The Nameless King’s soul, and is one of the best (if not the best) boss weapons in the game.

Unfortunately, both these weapons are late-game, but this makes sense as magic-based builds are only really viable in late-game scenarios.

An alternative is to ‘break’ the game sequence by fighting Dancer of the Boreal Valley first by killing Emma, which will give you earlier access to areas featuring the Sunlight Straight Sword and The Nameless King boss.

We will add more Dark Souls 3 character builds to the guide in days to come. In the meanwhile, don’t forget to share your own character builds with us in the comments section below!

Haider is a freelance contributor, who loves video games, playing guitar, and aviation. He is a competitive FPS player and also enjoys exotic RPG games like Diablo and Xenogears (his favorite game of all time) ...