DARK SOULS™: Prepare To Die Edition

DARK SOULS™: Prepare To Die Edition

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Dark Souls - Grinding: Where, Why, and How?
By Steels12
I go into detail on the best spots to get items, souls, and titanite in the most efficient way I know.
First and foremost, let me thank you for checking out this guide. With the pleasentries out of the way let's get down to business, you came here to grind, no? Well I'm here to help with that with the BEST grind spots (in my opinion) for certain items, souls, or player levels. Without further ado, let's begin.
Important Items
Covetous Silver Serpent Ring

Wiki Link [darksouls.wikidot.com]

The Covetous Silver Serpent Ring is one of my personal favorites, It boosts the amount of souls dropped by enemies and bosses by a WHOPPING 20%. This is THE item you're gonna want if you need levels, trust me.

Covetous Gold Serpent Ring

Wiki Link [darksouls.wikidot.com]

The Covetous Gold Serpent RIng is an amazing item to have when you need to find items as it increases the item drop rate and can save you a LOT of time when you seriously need some items badly.

Symbol of Avarice

Wiki Link [darksouls.wikidot.com]
This item is a rare drop from a Mimic. It gives both a boost to item discovery rate and the amount of souls enemies drop
Note: does not stack with the covetous gold serpent ring, but DOES stack with the covetous silver serpent ring
Note 2: The item drop rate of this item DOES stack with humanity, just not the gold serpent ring.
WARNING: The Symbol of Averice will slowly damage you at a rate of 5hp/sec (although not listed in the wiki, it seems to drain faster if you're running and even faster still if you're sprinting) so be sure not to keep it equipped at all times.


Wiki Link [darksouls.wikidot.com]
This spell can save you MUCH time and grief if you're willing to level your faith high enough to get it. Luckily for me the need for a higher faith level for this spell happened to coincide with the needed faith level for the Greatsword of Artorias. This spell is sold by both Petrus of Thoroland and Rhea of Thoroland and does one simple thing, teleports you to the last bonfire you've rested at. It's literally a single, regenerating homeward bone.

Optional (or at least MORE optional)

1. A fast weapon with a wide attack
These items are vital for grinding as being able to one-hit an enemy or enemies can save you MUCH time, especially when it comes to soul grinding at higher levels.

Two of my favorite items include:
Quelaag's Furysword

Wiki Link [darksouls.wikidot.com]
This sword is great for grinding as it is a small, fast sword with fairly good reach (about at much as your standard Katana). Although this weapon can be rendered mediocre nearing the end-game, at most, if not all the good grind spots, it is still effective due to it's speed.

Greatsword of Artorias (cursed or uncursed, your call)

Wiki Link (Uncursed) [darksouls.wikidot.com]
Wiki Link (Cursed) [darksouls.wikidot.com]
This sword is one of my all-time favorite. It has high perameter bonuses for all four stats meaning it levels with you VERY fast. It has a wide, strong attack and can cleave through a variety of defences without any sword of problem.

Note: These items do not represent the best items possible, but instead the items I personally have found to be very useful. Use whatever weapon you see fit as long as it gets the job done to the point where you are satisfied.

2. A light to medium-light set of armor
Moving around is not only helpful for dodging, but for those times when you have to hoof it from bonfire to bonfire, having a light armor can really help. I'm not going to recommend any sets as you can honestly just adapt your own set to be lighter by removing or swapping around certain pieces. just as long as you keep your equip weight below 50% you wont fat roll. In this guide my character is equipped with the Paladin Armor set (which is somewhat of a set inbetween the Black Iron and the Elite Knight in both weight and effectiveness).
Undead Burg (Souls) (VERY low level)
Entering Undead Burg you will soon happen upon a bonfire tucked away into a little tower that, later on, is a shortcut up to the Hellkite Dragon.

This spot is great for getting some easy souls when you're quite early on in the game. The best path in my opinion (best being most souls for minimal risk) is to:

- go out from here
- go down into the courtyard
- go over the bridge to the Undead Merchant's building
- continue past the camping hollow
- go up the ladder past the four naked hollows
- jump off the roof (drop kill the firebomb hollow)
- take out the three remaining hollows in that section
- return to the bonfire
- repeat if needed
Undead Burg (Souls) (Low Level) (Time Consuming)
Starting from the bonfire in Undead Burg, head up the ladder and onto the bridge that the Hellkite Dragon is, don't worry, he's not hard to miss. This grind spot is a simple but time-consuming way to obtain 555 souls every minute or two. Although not an effective way to grind at a point, it can help if you're desperate for levels.
The grind spot here simply involves you trotting onto the bridge, then ducking back down the stairs while the Hellkite Dragon kills the armored hallows on the bridge with its fire breath. Then just go down, rest at the bonfire, and go back up for some more souls. Simple as that!

Undead Parish (Titanite Shard)
Using the bonfire in Andre of Astora's building as a checkpoint you can quickly go back and forth over the bridge, killing the three armored hollows outside the church and the four hollow balder knights in just a few minutes time. Balder knights seem to have a fairly high rate of dropping titanite shards which can be good for lower level characters, not to mention that without the Lordvessel you can't warp between bonfires, so being so close to a blacksmith is helpful.

Darkroot Basin (Souls) (After First Bell)
Head out to the Darkroot Basin after meeting Andre of Astora. First and foremost you'll see a locked door which can be opened by buying the key from Andre for 20,000 souls (or use the back way). The more important part here is that there is an illusory wall leading to a crucial bonfire right beside this door.

Now onto business, head past the door and down the small forest path. Essentially the trick to this grind spot is to MURDER EVERYTHING THAT LIVES!
The enemies that enhabit this area are the giant stone guardians (which are easy to fight once you learn their attack style, and drop a whopping 600 souls EACH), living trees, tree lizards (which can poison you if you're not careful), and odd frog... things. The biggest soul givers are the Guardians and the Trees. This tactic can rake in about 5,000 - 6,000 souls in about 5 minutes time (with a small boost of souls if you go and kill the Moonlight Butterfly)

Note: Once you reach the opening in the forest, where all the guardians and such are, there will be a big tree to your right that is slightly... squirming. It's apparently a living organism and can be killed (which subsequently leads to more guardians, the frog creatures, and the Wolf Ring which boosts Poise by a lot).
Darkroot Garden (Souls) (After First Bell) (High-Cost) (High-Risk)
Starting from the Bonfire behind the illusory wall in the Darkroot Garden (see prior point if you need to find it), head on in through the locked door. If you need the key then you can buy it from Andre for 20,000 souls (which is worth it as this is not only a nice grind spot but also leads to a boss you will need to kill later in the game.). The rest of this grind spot is up to you, the area ahead is riddled with enemies (whom will not be hostile if you join their covenant) that drop anywhere from 1,000 - 4,000 souls each. Be wary that some of these enemies (most of the spectral enemies to be specific) will not respawn, not to mention these enemies vary in skills and powers, going anywhere from an armor-clas warrior to a cheap-shot, homing-missle mage.

Blighttown Swamp (Large Titanite Shard) (Green Titanite Shard)
Once you finally make the trek down to the bottom of blighttown (without a doubt the WORST place in the game) you can head to the left (towards the big♥♥♥♥♥tree, it's quite hard to miss). You'll soon happen upon a plethera of slug/leech things. These creatures are ripe for farming Large Titanite Shards and Green Titanite Shards (which drop 5 at a time). If you head up into the giant tree you'll happen upon a dead guy. Ignore him and his crappy item and roll through the illusory wall to the left of him. Once you collect the humanity from the chest, roll through the SECOND illusory wall behind the chest. once you trot into the Great Hollow the first thing you should happen upon is a bonfire which can be used as a place to cause the leeches to respawn. Happy hunting!

Ash Lake (Twinkling Titanite)
I personally recommend that you save grinding here for when you've obtained the Lordvessel, or else you'll have to hoof it through blighttown swamp AND the great hallow, not to mention survive the return trip. Ash Lake is a place with only four notable enemies: a big 'ol Black Hydra, and three gigantic clams. The Hydra is a lot less menacing then it seems and doesn't respawn. The clams however are RIPE with twinkling titanite, if you equip the covetous gold serpent ring or the symbol of avarice (the effects don't stack) you can easily farm both Twinkling Titanite and Purging Stones.

Painted World of Ariamis (Souls) (Amazing Spot)
The Painted World of Ariamis can be a dangerous and harsh place if you're not cautious, it can also be (in my opinion) the BEST place in the game to farm for souls. Using the Covetous SIlver Ring and the Symbol of Avarice, you can get around 10,000+ souls in about 30 - 60 seconds.
Once you've run through the Painted World you should have noticed the Phalanx surrounding the statue in the courtyard, that's your target. These guys are slow, don't hit too hard, and have low health, not to mention they drop 500 souls EACH. If you have a nice reaching sword then you can usually kill 6 or 7 of them at a time (be mindful of their shields). Taking only a few seconds to run back to the bonfire and then running back will hinder you little.

Painted World of Ariamis (Souvenir of Reprisal) (High Risk)
Head on over to the Painted World and across the small courtyard. Ignore the Phalanx (unless you want some quick souls) and continue into the base of the tower. From here head on up the stairs to your right until you're at the top of the bridge. Keep heading up one last flight of stairs and you'll soon be able to see you can enter the tower once more via a doorway on your left.

The fall from here on out can and likely WILL kill you, be careful as Crow Demons have very camera-unfriendly jump attacks. I recommend you agro them OUT of the tower and deal with them between the top of the bridge and the tower where there's more open space so you can avoid falling to your death, and also, the Crow Demons usually fall OFF the stairs when killed on them, so you can also avoid having to hoof it down to the base of the tower for your loot.

From what I've read it has been confirmed that the Symbol of Averice almost guarentees at least one souvenir from one of these runs, so have fun and don't let your health get eaten away!

New Londo Ruins - Lower (Titanite Chunk) (Titanite Slab [VERY rare])
Once you've managed to drain the New Londo Ruins you'll notice this place is riddled with ghosts and Darkwraiths (one of the reasons I love the Cursed Greatsword of Artorias, bonus damage to darkwraiths and it can kill ghosts). Essentially all you'll want to do here is go from beginning to end, killing ALL the darkwraiths you can as they all have the chance to drop not only titanite chunks, but the uber rare titanite SLABS.

Note: A quick way down to the midst of the lower ruins is to start at the small courtyard right off the two wooden bridges at the beginning of New Londo Ruins. Then from there head to the right of the courtyard (close to the stairs) and hop off the ledge, you'll land in a larger courtyard with a darkwraith roaming around, it's about at the halfway point of Lower New Londo Ruins.

Crystal Cave (Twinkling Titanite)
Although closer to the end-game content, the Crystal Cave IS home to a small batch of Clams. If you want to get Twinkling Titanite without dealing with the entirety of the Duke's Archives then just stick with the Ash Lake farm spot. If, however, you're up for going through the Archives, Caves, and Seath himself, then read on.

The best way to farm from here is AFTER you've killed Seath the Scaleless as his death leads to the creation of a bonfire originally intended to let you OUT of the Crystal Caves, we're going to use it as our gateway IN to the Crystal Caves.

Warp over to the Crystal Caves and just step a few feet from Seath's chamber and you should immediately have a clam or two agro'd on you. Be wary of getting swarmed and don't forget your Humanity and Items to rake in as much Twinkling Titanite as possible!

Lost Izalith / Demon Ruins (Demon Titanite) (HIGH risk)
Starting from Quelaag's Domain, head down through the Demon Ruins until you happen upon the door to the Demon Firesage (the fatter, redder version of the Asylum Demon). I recommend killing him as a shortcut back to the second bell and a bonfire lie in the room behind him.

Daughter of Chaos way
If you happen to be in the Daughter of Chaos covenant and have given Quelaan 30 Humanity then you can use the shortcut off to the side of the Demon Firesage's room. It cuts right into the heart of Lost Izalith (roughly skipping the most troubling half of the Demon Ruins) and subsequently lets you save Solaire if you choose to do so. Keep heading straight until you happen upon a bridge!

Normal Way
Head on through that fat demon's lair and kick his♥♥♥♥♥ Keep going and you should happen upon ANOTHER boss fight, this time with the Centipede Demon. Once you've dealed with that head on up to Lost Izalith (this involves crossing a lava lake full of severed dragon...♥♥♥♥♥. Keep going through Lost Izalith until you reach the Chaos Eater (the wierd squid thing with lots of eyes). Kill him and head through the tiny little room thing and you should happen upon 3 paths. One leads up stairs and towards the Bed of Chaos, the other leads to mediocre treasure. The real place you want to go is down the branch into the courtyard of Demonic Statues. Head through the lot of them and you should happen upon a bridge!

This bridge (as rediculously difficult as it can be to reach it) houses the ONE Titanite Demon in the ENTIRE game that respawns. If you didn't follow the Duaghter of Chaos way, I recommend you rush past him, open the door, and use the bonfire past the Firesage Demon's room. That's pretty much all there is to it. It helps if you don't kill Quelaan for her Firekeeper Soul (like I did) as her bonfire in Quelaag's Domain is the only warpable bonfire in all of Lost Izalith / The Demon Ruins, that way you can use her bonfire as a quicker way to get down to farm Demon TItanite (although the Titanite Demon drops 2 Demon Titanite every time, so you wont need to kill him THAT many times)

The End
Once again, thank you all for reading this over and I hope this helps. Please, feel free to suggest any grind spots you've found on your own, if I happened to miss something worth grinding for, or if you'd like to see a different kind of guide from me.

Feedback is always appreciated, and I can only ask that you rate this guide if you like it, don't just do it for my own personal motivation, do it so others can see this guide when they need help! Happy Hunting and praise the sun!

-Steels12, Warrior, Zombie slayer, Sunbro!
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EmperorZombie13 Feb 4 @ 8:15am 
Nice Guide! Also, you may want to add, that at the very beginning at Firelink, a series of suicide runs to the Graveyard, Blight Town, Undead Burg, Valley of Drakes, and New Londo, can net about 20,000 worth of consumable souls items. Plus Co-Opping with the Gargoyles fight can get easy souls and Jolly Cooperation!
Nameless Knight Nov 24, 2017 @ 7:05pm 
Or... you could be a lazy cheater and just dupe boss and firekeeper souls, but defintely a worthwhile guide for those above such time saving practices.
CrossChop114 Nov 3, 2017 @ 4:45pm 
I feel like the Duke's Archive prison is worth mentioning since it is the best place to farm humanities.
Toto Aug 8, 2017 @ 3:57pm 
For farmig humanity i go to the place just before gravelord nito boss room, where there is the small skeletons poping all the time
after dispatching with the pinwheel clones you just jump down with your drop and souls boosts, here you can destroy mini-skeleton as long as you got estus, they are quite slow and weak but their hitbox is small, a vertical moveset weapon is ideal
in this place you have almost unlimited souls (but i'd advice putting on qymbol of avarice to get maximum souls and then you have a 20 estus time limit) AND humanity, since the small skeleton drop them
be quick to pick them up, cause repoping skeletons sometimes make loot disappear
Sir SmartAss Nov 22, 2016 @ 12:10pm 
for humanity i farm the snake-squid things in the priosn part of the dukes arives. the're easy to kill, plentaful, and have a great drop rate, 10 humanity and gold serpent you'll be gatting a lot
Steels12  [author] Nov 19, 2016 @ 12:41pm 
Rats drop humanity pretty consistantly and I believe the humanity ghosts in the DLC can as well
panvich Nov 19, 2016 @ 4:15am 
what about farming humanity?
Shnerbalerb Aug 5, 2016 @ 7:45am 
If you go deeper into Darkroot Basin, past the cat creature that gives you a covanant, then go to your right, you can find two large mushroom men, and they drop gold pine resin
Boreal Dancer Jun 28, 2016 @ 9:59am 
For the phalanx I just WoG that shit. Its the most satisfying thing to kill every one of them in a single attack.
AyleidRuin Jun 8, 2016 @ 1:00am 
Thank you for the Guide Steels12:OpenTreasureChest: