Best Early Game Weapons in Dark Souls 2 (And How To Get Them)

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Ah, to be a fledgling again…

Nothing beats the feeling of purchasing a game, launching it, and pressing the “New Game” button for the first time.

And that’d be fine and all, if this wasn’t a Souls game we were talking about.

These games are only known for three things: death, pain, and even more death.

Generally, my advice for anyone playing a Dark Souls game for the first time, is to avoid any spoilers, not follow any guides, and just enjoy the ride.

But if you were to look up anything online, it should be simple stuff that simply points you towards the right direction (like this list!)

This collection is made for newbies starting a new game, but also for the veterans who might have missed a couple things in their travels. I’m not going to mention any cheesy strats which rush things (look forward to this in the future), just some usual common weapons you can pick up early.


6. Club

Club from Dark Souls 2 screenshot

Before we start talking about the weapons themselves, I want to make a small interlude and explain how physical damage works in Dark Souls.

In this game, physical damage is divided into three categories:

Slash, strike, and thrust.

Strike is effective against armoured or skeletal enemies, slash against unarmored enemies, and thrust against larger and/or scaled enemies (like dragons.

The opposite also holds true when addressing ineffectiveness (a sword does little to heavy armor, and a rapier can’t exactly pierce a skeleton).

So with that out of the way, let’s introduce our first candidate: the club!

As stated above, strike damage works very well against armored enemies. And you’ll find quite a few in the early parts of the game.

It has a nice base damage of 105, and a superb scaling, which won’t do much in the beginning – but this makes it a weapon you can keep using if you go down the strength route.

Two alternatives that you can swap to after you reach the Lost Bastille are the Barbed Club and the Craftsman’s Hammer.

The first adds some bleed damage and a dexterity scaling (better for quality builds), and the second one has higher base damage in exchange for worse scaling.

How to get(Club): Sold by Merchant Hag Melentia, dropped by Rogues at Huntsman’s Copse.

How to get(Barbed Club): Trade the Flexile Sentry Soul to Straid of Olaphis.

How to get(Craftsman’s Hammer): Lost Bastille, in a chest under Steady hand McDuff. To move him you have to light all the fires in his room.


5. Bastard Sword

Bastard Sword from Dark Souls 2 screenshot

If a weapon could have the “trusty old friend” title, this is the one that deserves it the most.

The Bastard Sword is one of the most iconic simple weapons in the franchise.

This is (and the Claymore) usually the first greatsword a newcomer will come across.

And if they like how it handles, they usually stick with it for a loooong time.

It’s got great reach and damage for an early weapon, dispatching most foes with a relatively breeze, with the potential to be used in the end game if you choose to upgrade it enough.

How to get: After you defeat the first boss (The last giant), you’ll receive a soldier key which unlocks various doors throughout the area. One of the doors opens up to a dark hallway, which leads to a small optional area guarded with enemies. The Bastard Sword will be on the roof of the first building that you come across here.

Alternatively, you can buy one from Steady Hand McDuff, or get one to drop from the Hollow Soldiers.


4. Rapier

Rapier from Dark Souls 2 screenshot

The Rapier is everyone’s introductory course on what it means to be a dexterity weapon.

It’s incredible damage, paired with its lightning fast moves, will make quick work of everything in your path.

Leveling your dexterity and upgrading this weapon is also a very valid strategy for the end-game of DS2, since the rapier’s qualities and damage never seem to drop off.

How to get: Sold by Blacksmith Lenigrast (the one in Majula).


3. Fire Longsword

Fire Longsword from Dark Souls 2 screenshot

OK this might not exactly be on the same level as the cheese that was the all-powerful Drake Sword from the original game – but it’s got very similar vibes.

The reason this weapon is great for the early-game is the astonishingly high base damage it possesses (156 to be exact), which will kill mostly everything in a couple of hits.

The Fire Longsword is also a fine choice for caster-heavy builds that don’t particularly want to invest a lot in strength or dexterity.

But unlike the previous items on our list, I’d advise against using this for too long, else you’ll be having lots of trouble against fire-resistant enemies (which DS2 has no shortage of).

How to get: From the Cardinal Tower bonfire, walk back the way you came from. Down and in front of you should be a big open courtyard. Carefully make your way down to the cave entrance. Wait for the salamander to spit its fireball (it’s on the same timer every time), and quickly run down and to the left to open the door. Inside the room is a chest with the Fire Longsword!


2. Short Bow

Short Bow from Dark Souls 2 screenshot

Our semifinalist has us taking a small detour from the world of melee weapons – and instead we’re taking a small step into the world of a ranger.

Dark Souls 2 isn’t exactly fair to newcomers.

Some areas will require you to go through a lot of trial and error to get through them.

Having the right tools for the situation is a good idea – and a ranged weapon will more often than not be that right tool.

Even an un-upgraded bow is excellent and has many uses, such as picking enemies from afar, or using poison arrows to whittle down any large health bar.

I’ve opted to go with the Short Bow here, since it’s the earliest one you can get. And it has pretty good stats too!

So do yourself a favor and get a bow before it’s too late.

How to get: Starting gear of the Bandit, and treasure inside Lenigrast’s house in Majula, and sometimes dropped by bow-wielding enemies.


1. Mace

Mace from Dark Souls 2 screenshot

It needs to be said again and again:

Strike damage is king.

There’s just a ton of armored enemies in this game that’ll make your life hell if your sidearm of choice is flimsy and bounces off of their plates.

Even against other enemies, the Mace’s damage does not suffer as much, making the disadvantage negligible.

So the Mace is an amazing weapon that’ll carry you on its back throughout the better part of the game.

All you have to do is believe, and BONK your foes on their head as hard as you can.

How to get: Starting gear of the Cleric, and sold by Blacksmith Lenigrast.

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