Dark Souls 3 isn’t a very story heavy game. There’s definitely a plot of some sort, and you’re given an overall goal right at the beginning of the game, but it sort of boils down to “go grab these things, k thx bye.” Those things are the Souls of the four lost Lords of Cinder. There are actually five Lords of Cinder in the world of Dark Souls 3, but one of them is already right there in front of you, namely Ludleth of Courland. He sits atop his throne in the Firelink Shrine, as the others are supposed to do as the first light fades. In order to finish the game, you need to go get those Souls, but the game does very little to direct you after giving you this task. Therefore, we have put together this guide on how to beat Dark Souls 3.
First, a few notes, this is not meant to be a comprehensive walkthrough of the game, or even the individual boss fights that lead you to the finale. Check out some of our other guides for stuff like that, though the late game stuff will be added in as we get to it. Instead, this guide on how to beat Dark Souls 3 is more of a loose rundown of the things that are necessary to finish the game. We’ll point you in the right direction, and the rest is up to you. With that out of the way, let’s get to the actual how to beat Dark Souls 3 bit.
So, as I said, you need the fours Lords of Cinder souls. These are, by name: Abyss Watchers, Yhorm the Giant, Aldrich Devourer of Gods, and Lothric Younger Prince. This is also the most likely order for you to come across these bosses, if you play through the entirety of Dark Souls 3 without making some very odd choices. So, where do you encounter these guys?
Abyss Watchers – Luckily, we do have a full guide on how to beat the Abyss Watchers in Dark Souls 3. Check it out for tips on how to defeat this very tough enemy. They can be found in Farron Keep, which is underneath the Road of Sacrifices. You will face off against them after igniting all three towers in the Farron Keep area. They can be found near the Farron Keep Perimeter bonfire. Beat the Abyss Watchers and you will gain a “Cinders of a Lord”. This is the first of four that you will need to acquire and place on the thrones in Firelink Shrine.
Yhorm the Giant – Long after your fight with the Abyss Watchers you will come to the Profaned Capital, a desolate land full of broken down castles, and lots of monsters. The biggest of these is definitely Yhorm the Giant, the second Lord of Cinder that you’ll have to take out to beat Dark Souls 3. He’s found in the lower portion of the Profaned Capital, so just keep heading downward and you should find him soon enough. We’ll whip up a standalone guide on how to beat him soon enough, but in the meantime, just know that you need to have the Storm Ruler weapon in order to defeat him. Luckily, it’s found right near his throne, so grab it quickly. Once you kill him you’ll gain your second set of Cinders of a Lord.
Aldrich, Devourer of Gods – Right after finishing off Yhorm the Giant you will head into Anor Londo, the home of Aldrich, Devourer of Gods, and the third Lord of Cinder. She is found inside the giant cathedral, up a long set of stairs, so not too tough to locate really. The fight itself isn’t the toughest you’ll find in Dark Souls 3, though there are some things that make it especially troublesome in some ways. Aldrich is a heavy magic user, and avoiding or surviving her attack spells is the real key to victory. Finish her off and claim your penultimate set of Cinders of a Lord.
Younger Prince Lothric – You get some respite before taking on this fourth and final Lord of Cinder, the Young Prince Lothric. Found in Lothric Castle off the Grand Archives, Lothric fights alongside his older brother Lorian, both of whom you will have to defeat. Actually, you’ll fight the older brother first, and will have to fight him again as his younger brother resurrects him and fights from his back. Take out Lothric, Younger Prince and you’ll claim your fourth and final set of Cinders of a Lord.
Once you have the four Cinders of a Lord you are all set to beat Dark Souls 3. There are some optional areas, and a whole lot of quests that you likely skipped over, but whenever you are ready, you can head into the endgame. To trigger this just take the Cinders of a Lord and place them on all of the thrones in the Firelink Shrine. Once you do Ludleth will die, giving you that final Soul necessary to trigger the end. Go and speak with the Fire Keeper then kneel by the bonfire and you will be sent to the Flameless Shrine. Light this, then head outside to light the Kiln of the First Flame bonfire.
Get ready, this is the big concluding battle of Dark Souls 3. Head up toward the field at the top of the nearby hill. This is the site of the final battle of Dark Souls 3, so hopefully you are fully prepared. If not, you can always go back and farm some Souls.
This final battle is with the The Soul of Cinder, a very tough enemy who uses lots of magic, though mainly dealing out fire and physical damage. We won’t go into specifics here, but just utilize everything you’ve learned up to this point in Dark Souls 3 and you should make it out alive…eventually.
Once you do, you have a couple of choices that determine what ending you get. Be sure to check out our Dark Souls 3 ending guide to figure out what you might have missed, and how to see every ending.