20 Best PvE Weapons in Dark Souls 3 (And How To Get Them)

This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).

As you might imagine, there’s a lot of enemies in the world of Dark Souls.

And you’ll need something to murder them all with!

But when faced with the frankly overwhelming amount of choice, it’s easy to get in a spin about which blunt or sharp object to use.

That’s where this list comes in.

I’ve looked at them all, played with them all, and now I’m going to rank them all: the best weapons for slaughtering your AI opponents!


20. Demon’s Greataxe

Demon’s Greataxe in Dark Souls 3

The demon’s greataxe is a very popular choice among hybrid builders thanks to its scaling, and its fiery moveset aesthetically favors pyromancers!

Especially the buff ones – weighing in with a beautiful B-scaling in strength!

It’s sitting at the worst of the best because of this, however- it’s not very versatile.

But what it lacks in versatility it makes up for in spades in satisfaction – with its heavy moveset and nuclear weapon skill, it’s a blast to use!

How to get: Transposition with the soul of a demon.


19. Dark Hand

Dark Hand from Dark Souls 3

If you get early-game invaded nowadays, chances are you’ll see this.

The dark hand is a fist, similar to the caestus, that has absolutely no requirements, scales with every stat, and has an interesting bug(?) in which it can utterly and indefinitely stun low level opponents.

But this isn’t about PvP – and in PvE it’s just as effective!

It deals insane damage early-game, costs next to no stamina to swing, and can even be used to kill the dancer on your first visit to the high wall!

It’s cheesy, gimmicky, and broken in so many ways.

How to get: Sold by Yuria.


18. Zweihander

Zweihander Dark Souls 3

The zweihander isn’t quite the be-all end-all powerhouse it was in DS1, but still takes a slot in our list!

It’s extremely versatile – hitting A-scaling on literally any stat you want, dealing huge damage and stun-locking all but the highest poise of enemies.

It’s only so low because it’s an ultra greatsword, and they tend to be very slow, with lots of recovery.

You might get run down by faster foes, but with a bit of practice this weapon can carry you!

How to get: Sold by Greirat after he scavenges the undead settlement.


17. Black Knight Sword

Black Knight Sword in DS3

Known for its PvP prowess, the black knight sword is also a formidable PvE contender!

It has decent scaling with fantastic base damage, which is buffed further by its innate passive of dealing 20% more damage to demonic enemies!

It is a niche effect, however. And its ‘perseverance’ skill may be utterly broken in PvP, but in PvE where enemies can hit incredibly hard and fast, there are some attacks you simply cannot tank.

How to get: Found in the lower parts of the Smouldering Lake.


16. Lothric Knight Greatsword

Lothric Knight Greatsword Dark Souls 3

This poise-packing death machine is only of the only weapons in the game to deal elemental damage and retain the ability to be buffed.

Its innate lightning damage is especially strong in PvE where most enemies are weak to it, and it can be bolstered further with lightning buffs or infusions!

On the correct build, it can make mincemeat out of most enemies, but it is also an UGS, meaning missed swings could cost you dearly…

How to get: Dropped by Lothric knights wielding it.


15. Irithyll Straight Sword

Irithyll Straight Sword in DS3

Similar to lightning damage, many enemies within DS3 are weak to frostbite – a rare but powerful effect that deals a chunk of max HP as bonus damage and increases incoming damage by 7%!

The ISS is great for applying just that, and thanks to its availability early-game it’s many players choice weapon!

While its scaling isn’t as strong as other straight swords it still holds its own, and the frostbite often makes up the difference.

Plus, it looks badass. And that’s the true end-game.

How to get: Dropped by the outrider knight in the undead settlement.


14. Demon’s Scar

Demon’s Scar from Dark Souls 3

For the pyromancy players, the demon’s scar is a surprisingly powerful weapon that combines curved sword with pyro catalyst!

Similar to other weapon/catalyst hybrids, it sacrifices its heavy attack for a spell cast, but its spammable swings more than make up for it.

It’s extremely light and deals entirely fire damage, making it amazing against most foes thanks to the on-fire stunlock!

It’s pushed further up the list thanks to its access to incredible pyromancies such as chaos bed vestiges, which utterly obliterate most enemies you’ll encounter!

How to get: Transposition with the soul of the demon prince.


13. Astora Greatsword

Astora Greatsword Dark Souls 3

Similar to the zweihander, the Astora greatsword is a hard-hitting, versatile, and extremely powerful ultra greatsword.

Interestingly, it favors dex builds – achieving an S-scaling with a sharp infusion, but can comfortably fit the role of main weapon for any build that comes its way!

And the cherry on top – it weighs hardly anything – beating most greatswords!

It possesses the characteristic faults, however – slow swing speed and high recovery, which does prevent it from shining as the best weapon out there.

How to get: Looted from a corpse in the graveyard near the cleansing chapel.


12. Broadsword

Broadsword from Dark Souls 3

The humble and unassuming broadsword.

While let down by its short range, it boasts the highest damage of all straight swords, and can easily get you through the game from start to finish.

It fits on any build and deals huge damage in the process – so long as you can get in your opponent’s face!

It may not win any awards for flashy moves or sparkly particles. But it’s tried and tested, and a reliable weapon.

How to get: Looted from a corpse on the high wall, behind the first spear Lothric knight.


11. Bandit Knife

Bandit Knife Dark Souls 3

What’s this butterknife doing in the top 20?

Bleed damage.

Similar to lightning, many foes are susceptible to bleed, even the final boss!

Thanks to that, the damage this weapon can deal to some enemies is pretty unrivalled.

It even hits great damage when put on a pure dex build, making for an extremely fast (albeit close-range) weapon that can shred through most foes!

Better still – it can be blood infused, almost doubling the innate bleed!

How to get: Starting equipment for the thief, or sold by Greirat.


10. Warden Twinblades

Warden Twinblades in DS3

These brutal paired blades look at the bandit knife and say;

“Call that a knife?”

Also famous for their bleed build-up, the warden twinblades are the bandit knife on steroids, thanks to their multi-hit swings that can fill a bleed meter in the blink of an eye.

Further, when infused with blood, they hit some of the highest bleed auxiliary in the game!

Throw these on and rend your foes dry – you’ll make mincemeat of anyone who isn’t immune!

How to get: Dropped by cathedral grave wardens.


9. Long Sword

Long Sword from Dark Souls 3

Yep, baby’s first sword is up here in the big leagues.

This should be no surprise if you factor in how utterly broken the straight sword weapon class is.

With low stamina consumption and incredibly fast swings that output as much damage as the strongest greatsword, it’s surprising this never got nerfed.

It’s a very versatile weapon that can be used just about anywhere, on anyone, but its scalings fall just shy of that beautiful S.

Though it sports more base damage to make up for it, and is thus a stronger early-game pick!

How to get: Starting equipment for the knight, sold by Greirat.


8. Wolf Knight’s Greatsword

Wolf Knight’s Greatsword in DS3

I’m not a huge fan of this weapon, but maybe I’m just a hipster.

The wolf knight has that lovely greatsword moveset which is the perfect blend of speed and poise, whilst sporting C/C scaling in strength/dex and a passive of 20% more damage vs abyssal enemies!

Its weapon skill is pretty great for PvE, too – a stance with an arcing AoE multi-hit swing, or a powerful flattening front flip!

It’s a shame it can’t be buffed or infused, but for a simple quality build this is one of the big guns.

How to get: Transposition with the abyss watchers soul.


7. Gotthard Twinswords

Gotthard Twinswords Dark Souls 3

Another dual-wielder, the Gotthard’s are a spam-heavy HP shredder.

When two-handed, its L1 attacks swing both swords, hitting twice! This makes it perfect for persistent attack buffs such as the Pontiff rings or Carthus beacon, and gets the most damage possible out of weapon buffs.

And it’s an easy thing to buff, too! Like many of these entries, it’s an extremely flexible weapon that hits A-scaling in anything you infuse it with.

Use it on any build and spam your foes to death!

How to get: Found on Gotthard’s corpse outside of the grand archives.


6. Dragonslayer’s Axe

Dragonslayer’s Axe Dark Souls 3

Similar to the Lothric knight greatsword, the dragonslayer’s axe possesses innate lightning damage – an element that many foes are susceptible to.

But, unlike the LKGS, this weapon swings incredibly fast, has low recovery, and possesses the ‘warcry’ weapon skill, which boosts attack further!

And it can still be infused any buffed any way you want!

The sheer DPS this thing dishes out is incredible.

Its scalings aren’t fantastic – capping out at C on infusions, but it’s insane chunk of lightning damage will more than make up for it in most cases.

How to get: Kill the NPC invader Creighton outside of the church of Yorshka.


5. Claymore

Claymore from Dark Souls 3

The claymore is the jack-of-all-trades weapon.

It’s not just how it responds well to every infusion and deals fantastic damage – it’s the moveset.

It has it all – pokes, horizontal swings, vertical swings, upwards slashes – you name it!

Gone are the days of banging your weapon against the walls of a particularly tight corridor!

And as if it weren’t already good enough, it sports the greatsword-standard hyperarmor on a good handful of its attacks!

The claymore is seriously fantastic. It not only fits into every build, but every environment, and it’ll become the most trustworthy blade in your arsenal.

How to get: Found on the plateau where the fire breathing dragon rests on the high wall of Lothric.


4. Lothric Knight Sword

Lothric Knight Sword in DS3

Here we go again…

You all know the LKS at this point. It’s on every list about DS3’s top weapons. It’s simply the best straight sword in the game.

S-scaling on nearly every infusion, the second highest range of all the straight swords, insane damage, early game availability, and increased crit damage?

All those things add up to create a true monster.

Get it on the high wall, throw it on any character, any build, buff it, infuse it – whatever you do with it, it’ll faceroll the game.

How to get: Dropped by Lothric knights wielding it.


3. Hollowslayer Greatsword

Hollowslayer Greatsword Dark Souls 3

The hollowslayer is a criminally underrated greatsword that is incredible, especially considering how early you can get it.

The scaling peters out to a fairly weak D/C, but it has a nice chunk of base damage and a crazy passive of +20% damage to hollow enemies- of which there are many.

It also has the trusty greatsword moveset and a ton of poise on its attacks!

Sure you can’t buff it, can’t infuse it, and it may not be the flashiest.

But for a quality 40/40 build and a newer player, it’s likely the best weapon you can get your hands on.

How to get: Transposition with the soul of the rotted greatwood.


2. Exile Greatsword

Exile Greatsword from Dark Souls 3

The best curved greatsword for damage – but the worst for range.

The exile is an absolute damage-dealing enemy-staggering machine, known well for its ability to carry a run.

Its limited reach does mean you need to get in a foes face, but that’s of little concern when you kill them in one or two hits anyway!

Throw this on a strength build, a quality build or even a hybrid – it reaches A-scaling in strength with a heavy infusion or B/B with a refined.

How to get: Dropped by one of the exiles outside of Farron keep.


1. Sellsword Twinblades

Sellsword Twinblades Dark Souls 3

If spamming is the name of the game, the sellsword’s are the top dog.

Why faff about with dodging, blocking, or parrying when you can simply stunlock and shred your foes before they can even react?

These dual blades are great on any build, but especially dex pures or dex hybrids, where their great A-scaling in dex and a weapon buff will completely vaporize any enemy dumb enough to stand in your way!

Simply press L1 to win the game.

Give yourself some persistent attacking buffs and you’re basically cheating with the levels of DPS you’ll be reaching.

How to get: Starting equipment for the mercenary, or found behind the black knight in the road of sacrifices.

Browse: Video Games

Tom ‘Cyresto’ Humphries

A game animator by trade, Tom’s insight into the game development world gives him a strong appreciation for the art form that is video games. Kicking off at the age of 3 with Spyro: Year of the Dragon on the PS1, Tom’s tastes in games has hardened over the 19 years he’s spent playing them. He now lives for the challenge that titles such as Monster Hunter, Dark Souls, Dead Cells, and many more offer him. Enjoying nothing more than a session of number-crunching game data and another platinum trophy on his PlayStation account, Tom is dedicated to leaving no stone unturned in even the most brutal of gaming content.