DARK SOULS™ II

DARK SOULS™ II

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Soul Memory Ranges for Co-op and PvP
By Calculated. | eSports
Explains how Soul Memory affects matchmaking, and how to know who you can play with.

Updated 2015-02-09 with new information from the SotFS patch.

Updated 2015-01-17 with information on the upcoming Scholar of the First Sin patch.

Updated 2014-07-24 with new numbers for the latest patch.
 
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Introduction
As you may be aware, the matchmaking system in Dark Souls 2 is completely different to that of Dark Souls 1. In Dark Souls 1, your Soul Level determined who you could summon and invade, whereas in Dark Souls 2 it is based entirely on your Soul Memory, which is the total number of souls you have collected with that character. They also differ in another important way: the Soul Level range was based on percentages (specifically +/- [10 + 10%] of your own), but Soul Memory is instead divided up into many tiers, and then the range is a certain number of tiers above or below your own.

This has the implication that there is no reason to stop levelling, as you will continue to go up in tiers anyway and get matched with tougher opponents in PvP or challenges in Co-op. However, some community members like to stop at Soul Level 120 or 150 as it promotes using builds rather than being able to do everything with one character, thus making PvP more interesting. This of course means they will have to organise specific events or fight through higher level opponents in order to face other players who also capped their level. On the other hand, there is no shortage of end-game PvP for players who want to continue levelling up.

Another downside to this system is that it is no longer possible to design a character for jolly co-operation at a particular boss, because eventually the souls gained by beating the boss as a phantom will push your character out of the typical Soul Memory tiers of players facing that boss.

While some view the new system as negative progress, presumably the intent was to prevent the prevalence of "twinks" from Dark Souls 1, where players could play through the whole game at a low level and get end-game equipment and upgrades to weapons then return to early areas and completely outclass new players they invade.

Anyway, the rest of this guide will detail the tiers and how each multiplayer item uses them.
Tiers
Tier #
Lower Bound
Upper Bound
1
0
9,999
2
10,000
19,999
3
20,000
29,999
4
30,000
39,999
5
40,000
49,999
6
50,000
69,999
7
70,000
89,999
8
90,000
109,999
9
110,000
129,999
10
130,000
149,999
11
150,000
179,999
12
180,000
209,999
13
210,000
239,999
14
240,000
269,999
15
270,000
299,999
16
300,000
349,999
17
350,000
399,999
18
400,000
449,999
19
450,000
499,999
20
500,000
599,999
21
600,000
699,999
22
700,000
799,999
23
800,000
899,999
24
900,000
999,999
25
1,000,000
1,099,999
26
1,100,000
1,199,999
27
1,200,000
1,299,999
28
1,300,000
1,399,999
29
1,400,000
1,499,999
30
1,500,000
1,749,999
31
1,750,000
1,999,999
32
2,000,000
2,249,999
33
2,250,000
2,499,999
34
2,500,000
2,749,999
35
2,750,000
2,999,999
36
3,000,000
4,999,999
37
5,000,000
6,999,999
38
7,000,000
8,999,999
39
9,000,000
11,999,999
40
12,000,000
14,999,999
41
15,000,000
19,999,999
42
20,000,000
29,999,999
43
30,000,000
44,999,999
44
45,000,000
359,999,999
45
360,000,000
999,999,999
Items
Item
Tiers Below
Tiers Above
White Sign Soapstone
-3
+1
White Sign Soapstone with Name-Engraved Ring
-6
+4
Small White Sign Soapstone
-4
+2
Small White Sign Soapstone with Name-Engraved Ring
-7
+5
Red Sign Soapstone
-5
+2
Dragon Eye
-5
+5
Cracked Red Eye Orb
none
+4
Cracked Blue Eye Orb
-3
+3
Crest of the Rat
-1
+3
Bell Keeper's Seal
-1
+3
Guardian's Seal
-5
+4

Ranges for the Guardian's Seal and Crest of the Rat haven't been retested for the latest patch yet. The new range is likely slightly larger than what is currently listed.
Step by Step
  1. Find your Soul Memory. This is the number in the top right of the Player Status screen.
  2. Find which tier you are in. Look at the table above and find the row where your Soul Memory fits between the lower and upper bounds.
  3. Find the range for which item you are using.
  4. Go down and up the tiers based on the range of the item. The lower bound of the lowest tier and the upper bound of the highest tier are the full range of players available to you.

An example:

  1. My soul memory is 680,000.
  2. I'm in tier 21 (600,000-699,999).
  3. I'm using the White Sign Soapstone, which goes down 2 tiers and up 1.
  4. The range is then from tier 19 (450,000-499,999) to 22 (700,000-799,999), so the full range of players who can summon me is 450,000-799,999.
More Information
  • In general, you can't connect between NG and NG+ at all. However, NG+, NG++, and so on can connect to each other. Since the SotFS patch, there are no restrictions based on playthrough.
  • You can only see White Sign Soapstone summon signs when human and there is still a boss alive in the area you are in. Small White Sign Soapstone summon signs will show up even after the boss is dead.
  • Being in the Heirs of the Sun Covenant doesn't increase the SM range, it simply makes your phantom/shade and sign appear golden. Whether it increases the chance of your sign appearing is unconfirmed.
  • The Name-Engraved Ring only seems to expand the SM range for co-op summons, but the filtering effect works with the Red Sign Soapstone and Dragon Eye too.
  • You can't summon or invade in Grave of Saints and Doors of Pharros, these areas are exclusively for Rat King Covenant PvP.
  • You can only summon one phantom or shade in Belfry Luna and Belfry Sol, presumably to prevent you ganking with 3v2 fights.
  • The Blue Sentinels arena has no restriction on Soul Memory.
  • Whether the Brotherhood of Blood arena has restrictions is currently unknown.
  • Abyss invasions are unconfirmed, but you can assume they work the same as regular Cracked Red Eye Orbs for now.
  • Mirror Squire invasions (coming out of the Looking Glass Knight's shield in NG+ and above) seem to ignore the NG/NG+ divide, although this is unconfirmed. Otherwise you can assume they work the same as the regular Red Sign Soapstone.

Also check out the relevant wiki pages for further information on matchmaking.

illusorywall's blog[illusorywall.tumblr.com] is also handy to follow.
Scholar of the First Sin
So Bandai Namco have posted some patch notes[bandainamcous.tumblr.com] for the changes in the upcoming Scholar of the First Sin patch early. There is quite a bit relevant to matchmaking, so I'll list the important points here. Note that these aren't guaranteed to be accurate and could change before release (February 4th-ish).

  • Players will gain access to a new item: The Agape Ring. When players equip the new Agape Ring, souls collected from kills during online play will be absorbed by the ring rather than the player. This allows players to control their online matchmaking experience by limiting their total souls collected. The Agape Ring absorbs the souls earned by the player, thus avoiding Soul Memory from increasing at the cost of a ring slot. Like the Name-Engraved Ring, this will likely be available from Sweet Shalquoir for a modest price at the very start of the game. This is most likely aimed at co-op, letting you stay at a particular SM and help players at a particular boss indefinitely. Unfortunately it doesn't quite seem to fix invasions and arena duels as orbs cost souls to buy.
  • The bonfire warp selection screen will now highlight the top three areas where players will have the best change to connect with other players online.
  • White phantoms will remain in other players’ worlds for longer periods of time. It was possible for some areas to cause the White Phantom to fulfil their duty before they reached the boss, such as No-man's Wharf; this is likely a bandaid solution for that. Presumably White Shades are not affected.
  • White phantoms will no longer return to their world if time runs out during a boss battle.
  • Players on their first play through can now match with players on their 2nd or further play through. i.e. removed the divide between NG and NG+, which means more possible matches.
  • Made it easier for players to match online in general.
  • Made it so that invading players cannot use items which invite more enemies. I'm assuming this means baiting an army of enemies to the host with Alluring Skulls.
  • Players may now choose to cancel out the effect of the Human Effigy at bonfires. New players would accidentally burn a Human Effigy instead of using it, having the opposite effect to that intended. Now that can be undone instantly instead of having to wait it off.
  • When a player cannot take part in online play due to the effect of the Human Effigy, made it so that the player can still write signs. (They still cannot summon during this period.) Burning Human Effigies now just prevents summoning and being invaded, but still allows helping others.
  • To prevent invasion after defeating area bosses, made the Human Effigy effect function in this situation automatically. No more invasions after the bosses in an area are killed. :(

There are also numerous adjustments to rewards for PvP, see the patch notes for details. In particular, Blue Sentinels and Brotherhood of Blood invaders gain more points towards their covenant ranks for successful kills, and Bell Keeper fights can reward a Twinkling Titanite, Petrified Dragon Bone or Titanite Slab instead of a Titanite Chunk.
Tools
Dark Souls 2 Soul Memory Visualiser[jakebarnes.com.au] by DuBistKomisch (me, shameless plug I know) - visualise the ranges for each item for any soul memory amount
Dark Souls 2 SM Calculator[jpdesign.pcriot.com] by PySnow - gives the ranges for your soul memory, and can use another player's to check which items will work (seems like the website has gone down permanently)
Credit
This information is only known because of the hard work of illusorywall and their testing partners: optic_niko, hellkite_drake, ein death, hiroki sugihara, greensvadhisthana, and eur0pa.
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86 Comments
FirAvain Jun 12 @ 7:46pm 
what does phantom's soul memory mean?
Newb's Here Dec 23, 2016 @ 11:35pm 
hi guys, need a little help here, me and my bro are playing DS2 SOFTS and we wanna play coop, both of us are having name engrave ring and 1 tier different in soul memory, but i can summon my bro easily without a problem but my bro cant summon me...anyone knows what is happening here? My soul memory is 85k and my bro is 64k...this thing really annoys me right now, i can summon my bro but my bro cant summon me, before that my tier was lower than my bro but still i can summon him, and now my tier is higher then my bro and i still can summon him. but no matter how i tried, my bro cant summon me
Cartman Plz Nov 11, 2015 @ 2:00am 
what tier is everyone, im in tier 37
예산이 낮습니다. Oct 4, 2015 @ 8:18am 
I am able to "connect"/get summoned (that the loading screen appears) , but the moment the loading screen appears , Dark souls 2 just goes to "standby-mode and does nothing(freezes/turns off). (i am able to get succesfully summoned by other players and I am able to summon my friend and other players, but i can't be summoned by my friend i want to play with). Please help us , that we can play together again ( again , because we already played together but for about 5days we are trying it but we still aren't able to play together )
Barbeque J. Sep 27, 2015 @ 10:09pm 
The Agape ring can now only be aquired by Straid in lost bastille. I have no idea why this was done.
Trusty Peaches Sep 21, 2015 @ 1:25am 
Thank you for all your hard work mate! And for the name engraved ring "BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!!!"

Soul Memory Rant below:

I understand the intent behind soul memory but the effect could easily be achieved by adding some kind of modify to weapons so the game could detect a lvl 15 player with an average lvl 50 wepon preventing unfair gameplay. Soul memory is quite simply a poorly thought out system. What's more the agape ring pretty much defeats the purpose of soul memory allowing people to farm for items and better gear while holding their memoy in place. I really wish they would just bring back soul level and admit they made a mistake.
Liquide Jul 30, 2015 @ 8:38am 
Doesn't the last point just mean the effect get's instantly activated after defeating a boss? If you return to the area later, you can just deactivate the effect as per usual
Caramel Frappe Feb 27, 2015 @ 1:00pm 
Useful Guide my friend. Well done entirely!
Calculated. | eSports  [author] Jan 21, 2015 @ 8:32pm 
@Zarseilles I don't think there is a general one, but large communities tend to have a particular god they use: for example, /r/darksouls2 uses Kremmel. I think most people just go without the ring though.
Zarse Jan 21, 2015 @ 7:36pm 
What god do people tend to use the most? Tears or Love? Obviously if I'm with a friend I'll use a particular one but what do people tend to use in general?