15 Best Weapons in Dark Souls 3This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Aside from the most hardcore players, equipment choice will greatly affect your Dark Souls 3 experience.
Fortunately the game gives us lots of gear to mix and match according to our preferences.
These choices ultimately combine with stat distribution, infusions, buffs, and weapon upgrades to form what we like to call “builds”. Many players will opt into a melee playstyle to defeat their enemies by wielding swords, spears, axes, and more.
While you can reasonably use any number of weapons to complete the game, there are some picks that just stand a cut above the rest.
In this article I’ll focus on what I think are the best choices for players who want to get down and dirty in melee.
The weapons considered here will generally perform well in one or more of the following areas: solo/cooperative play against AI and bosses (PvE), player versus player combat (PvP), or a combination of both.
Now here’s my list of the best weapons you’ll want to “git gud” playing Dark Souls 3.
NOTE: Some of the listed weapons require Soul Transposition, which you access through Ludleth at Firelink Shrine. To get this option you’ll need to acquire the Transposing Kiln by defeating the Curse-Rotted Greatwood optional boss in the Undead Settlement.
15. Farron Greatsword
How to get: Craft via Soul Transposition with the Soul of the Blood of the Wolf, which you get after defeating the Abyss Watchers.
This unique ultra greatsword comes in the form of a dagger and greatsword pair.
It has one of the most aesthetically pleasing movesets with combos that let you flip and twirl between swings.
The Farron Greatsword works best with quality builds(which allocate 40 points in both Strength and Dexterity), though it performs well enough with pure Dexterity builds too.
For PvE its exaggerated sweeping attacks let you take on multiple enemies with ease.
However, the moveset often leaves you vulnerable to parries in PvP, making it a comparatively lackluster option.
14. Dark Sword
How to get: Dropped by Darkwraiths which you can easily find at High Wall of Lothric and Farron Keep.
Next up we have a straight sword that swings and hits like a greatsword.
This weapon was notoriously overpowered at the game’s release but has since received adjustments.
Even with these changes, the Dark Sword is still potent in both PvE and PvP. It works best with a Heavy infusion for Strength builds but also performs well with a Refined infusion for quality builds.
13. Black Knight Greataxe
How to get: Dropped by Black Knights wielding a Greataxe.
A fantastic choice for PvE, the Black Knight Greataxe features high damage, wide range, and a varied moveset.
It works best with a Refined infusion on quality builds due to its Strength and Dexterity scalings.
On top of that, its Weapon Art (Warcry) gives you another 10% damage boost for even more hurt! Like other Black Knight weapons, it also deals a bonus 20% damage to demons which is pretty nice.
How to get: Characters that start as the Assassin class automatically get the Estoc. Others can purchase it for 3,000 souls from Greirat in Firelink Shrine after releasing him from his cell in High Wall of Lothric.
A great choice for sword-and-board—that is, fighting with a sword and shield.
Of all the straight swords, the Estoc boasts the best thrusting attacks and high damage output.
In PvP its fast moveset combines with deceptively long range to make you a truly terrifying opponent.
For the best results, infuse with either a Sharp or Refined gem, for a Dexterity or quality build respectively.
11. Moonlight Greatsword
How to get: Crafted via Soul Transposition using the Soul of Consumed Oceiros and 10,000 souls. You’ll need to defeat Oceiros, the Consumed King first.
A greatsword for Intelligence builds.
Characters should have enough Strength to comfortably wield it, but for best results make sure to pump up that Intelligence.
The Moonlight Greatsword cannot be infused or buffed, though this weapon already does split physical and magic damage.
With enough practice you can even weave its Weapon Art skill with normal swings to spike your damage output.
10. Long Sword
How to get: Characters that start as the Knight class automatically get this weapon. Others can get it as a drop from Hollow Soldiers at High Wall of Lothric, or you can purchase it from Greirat in for 1,000 souls.
From start to finish, the Long Sword can last you through most any PvE and PvP situations.
Best used with a shield, it has good attack range and a quick moveset that lets you dodge and weave between hits.
The Long Sword’s versatility lets it work well with many builds, though a Refined infusion would make the most of its base stats.
I personally start my characters with a Long Sword when I can. And I only ever switch it out in favor of one other weapon for sword-and-board.
9. Fume Ultra Greatsword
How to get: Dropped by Knight Slayer Tsorig, located under the Smoldering Lake.
Slow and steady wins the race.
That’s the story of this weapon which has the honor of being the heaviest ultra greatsword in the game.
Each swing boasts massive power and range, and it has a thrust attack that doubles as a knockdown for smaller enemies.
It even lets you block to passable results even without a shield.
Unsurprisingly the Fume Ultra Greatsword works best with a pure Strength build (though it cannot be infused).
8. Yhorm’s Great Machete
How to get: Crafted through Soul Transposition using the Soul of Yhorm the Giant, acquired after defeating Yhorm the Giant.
The big daddy of big daddy weapons!
Yhorm’s Great Machete has the highest damage of all great hammers and greataxes.
What makes it so great compared to other heavy weapons is that it has an obscenely large hitbox on top of a relatively quick swing speed despite its size.
Yhorm’s Great Machete makes for a monstrous choice in both PvP and PvE. It’s practically a must-have for any Strength-focused build.
7. Sellsword Twinblades
How to get: The Mercenary class gets the Sellsword Twinblades as a starting weapon. For everyone else, head over to the Halfway Fortress bonfire in the Road of Sacrifices; the Twinblades will be in a hallway past the Black Knight near the entrance to the keep.
These blades combine quick strikes with a fluid moveset, making them one of the best weapons for a pure Dexterity build.
Make sure to infuse it with Sharp for the best results so you can just slice and dice your way through any PvE content.
The short range may prove disadvantageous in PvP, but you can still shred opponents with a thorough understanding of your hitbox and timing your dodges precisely.
6. Profaned Greatsword
How to get: After defeating Pontiff Sulyvahn, crafted via Soul Transposition using the Soul of Pontiff Sulyvahn and 3,000 souls.
The Profaned Greatsword is a personal favorite of mine for both PvE and PvP.
It hits super hard and has a moveset that combos very nicely with dodge rolls and thrust attacks.
Unfortunately you can’t buff or infuse this weapon, but its Weapon Art Profaned Flame offsets that by giving it a significant fire damage buff for about a minute or so.
The Profaned Greatsword reaches peak damage levels with a quality build, though it can still perform fine with pure Strength builds too.
5. Ringed Knight Paired Greatswords
How to get: In The Ringed City DLC, defeat the Ringed Knight near the cathedral.
What’s better than one greatsword?
The Ringed Knight Paired Greatswords are notoriously effective in PvP, especially against anyone who lacks experience with the pair’s moveset.
Potential users are highly encouraged to stack enough poise to keep stagger chains going, though many non-greatsword matchups will already be in your favor.
Understanding hit range and windows for opponents to dodge your attacks will be crucial to using these swords effectively.
How to get: Found at High Wall of Lothric, on the plateau with the perched fire-breathing dragon. Also dropped by enemies wielding claymores in Irithyll of the Boreal Valley.
The Claymore is a versatile weapon that works with Strength, Dexterity, and quality builds—just make sure to infuse it with the right gem.
Out of all the greatswords I’d say it arguably gives the most balanced mix of range, damage, and speed, along with a great moveset.
In PvP its thrust attacks make it potent for wearing down a foe and dodging.
The Claymore also swings quickly enough for a greatsword while potentially staggering enemies, making it a great choice for most PvE content.
3. Astora Greatsword
How to get: Loot it off a corpse in the graveyard near the Cleansing Chapel in the Cathedral of the Deep area.
The Astora Greatsword holds the title of lightest ultra greatsword in the game, which inherently gives its users more flexibility in allocating attributes and equipment choice.
In combat, expect lower stamina consumption compared to other ultra greatswords while benefitting from similarly long reach.
It works best with a Sharp infusion for Dexterity builds, although quality build players can still get a lot of mileage from infusing this weapon with Refined.
In PvP its charge Weapon Art can be a source of devastating damage so make use of it when you can.
2. Hollowslayer Greatsword
How to get: After defeating the Curse-Rotted Greatwood, crafted via Soul Transposition with the Soul of the Rotted Greatwood and 1,000 souls.
The Hollowslayer is a personal favorite in the greatsword category.
It deals an additional 20% damage against hollowed enemies, which makes it particularly fantastic in PvE since most creatures in the game are, in fact, hollow.
This weapon works marvelously with quality builds and is arguably the best greatsword for it.
However, pure Strength and Dexterity builds would have better options earlier in this list(like the weapon right above this one).
Due to its surprisingly quick moveset, players can comfortably wield it 1-handed with a shield for some extra defense, or just go 2-handed for maximum damage; the former setup can be very potent in PvP.
1. Lothric Knight Sword
How to get: Dropped by Lothric Knights found in the High Wall of Lothric, the Grand Archives, and Lothric Castle.
This is my weapon of choice for most of my Dark Souls 3 experience (and my go-to replacement for the Long Sword).
The Lothric Knight Sword has been a reliable pick since the game first released, and for good reason.
It has great scaling for Sharp, Refined, and even Blessed infusions, though it marginally performs best with pure Dexterity builds.
In combat, the Lothric Knight Sword’s thrust attacks give it a longer reach compared to other weapons in the category.
Sword-and-board is the typical loadout for it, though you’ll have some choice here. The moveset encourages a fast attacking, calculated playstyle of wearing down opponents. Though some may go with the option of getting a bit more reckless while wielding it two-handed.
The icing on the cake: it even has an above-average critical modifier.
Overall the Lothric Knight Sword is a fast, powerful, and versatile sword that will serve anyone well in both PvE and PvP.