Feature Article

5 Hardest Bosses in Dark Souls 3

Below are videos of the hardest bosses we fought in Dark Souls III.

Dark Souls III is packed with an assortment of difficult bosses to defeat. But of these bosses, there are five that stood out to us personally as the hardest. Below we've compiled footage of the boss fights that we had the most difficult time beating.

If you don't want to be spoiled, we highly recommend that you don't scroll any further. The bosses we highlight in this article are guaranteed to spoil later sections of Dark Souls III's story. Otherwise, for more on Dark Souls III, check out our other guides, features, and news for the game in the list below.

5. Abyss Watchers

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Dark Souls III - Abyss Watchers - Boss Fight

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The Abyss Watchers can be tough when you don't understand the battle's flow. During the beginning, you only have to deal with one, but as the fight progresses, two more will spawn in. This is confusing at first since while one tries to attack you, the other focuses its attention on the other Abyss Watchers. You have an ally in this rogue Abyss Watcher, but don't be deceived, its attacks can still hurt you. We learned that the hard way.

4. Pontiff Sulyvahn

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Dark Souls III - Pontiff Sulyvahn - Boss Fight

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Pontiff Sulyvahn is a difficult boss that forces you to implement tricky roll maneuvers to dodge his wide sweeping attacks. And once you think you've wrapped your head around his attack patterns, his second phase has him summoning a clone of himself, doubling the number of attacks you need to worry about.

3. Lothric, Younger Prince

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Dark Souls III - Lothric, Younger Prince - Boss Fight

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Lothric and Lorian are a tough duo to defeat, mostly because of how Lorian uses teleportation attacks, which can be difficult to dodge. What's worse is when the brothers start attacking you together in the battle's second phase, forcing you to worry about not only melee attacks but magical spells as well. Also, if you kill Lorian before Lothric, he'll revive his brother with half HP.

2. Soul of Cinder

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Dark Souls III - Soul of Cinder - Boss Fight

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Soul of Cinder isn't the most difficult boss, however, he has a larger variety of attacks than any other boss in the game, sporting an arsenal of powerful weapons that each have their own unique attack patterns. He also has two life bars worth of health; let that sink in for moment.

1. Nameless King

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Dark Souls III - Nameless King - Boss Fight

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Nameless King is incredibly difficult because of his speed and attack variety. The dragon he rides isn't hard to take down, but once he gets off of it, you're in for a challenge. His attack animations are deceiving in terms of timing, so you often tend to dodge too early or too late. In addition, a couple of his attacks surge electricity on to the floor, causing even more damage. There's a reason why the bonfire near the Nameless King is so close by; this guy is a handful.

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Matt Espineli

Matt Espineli is an Editor at GameSpot. He loves MGS, film noir, and westerns, but he very much loves YOU too.
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njs72

Hey guys. The only boss on this list that gave me big problems was Abyss Watchers. Took me 20-30 attemps to beat this one. I was very lucky with Pontiff. On 3rd or 4th attempt he just stayed at range and was able to just spam soul spear at him and he went down. The hardest boss in the entire game for me was Audrich. As pure caster i found this boss imposible. I had to respec to malee build just to beat it. Not tried nameless king yet but im too scared to try.

Avatar image for deactivated-5a0b0bf0c8fa5

Only bosses that gave me shit was those twins and the Dragon Slayer armor, rest were a cake walk.

Avatar image for RSM-HQ
RSM-HQ

@repulsive44552: Seems everyone has a different poison because I never died to either of those bosses and for the Armor used one Estus. I personally thought both had generous openings, they hit hard but rolling back x3 gives you enough distance to regroup.

I don't know why but other than Nameless King it was the Abyss Watchers that gave me a lot of trouble. Everytime I thought I was safe to heal they attacked before I could even take a sip Dx

Avatar image for deactivated-5a0b0bf0c8fa5

@RSM-HQ: Beat The Nameless King on my second try and the Abyss Watchers on my third attempt, The Twins and Armor killed me probably about a combined amount of 90 times lol.

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RSM-HQ

@repulsive44552: Armor fought a lot like The Pursuer from DkSII. So it was imprinted muscle memory on my end. Not to mention you fight two of them in II at one point so it was a piece of cake for my playstyle.

The Twins, I dunno, had a really good strategy on this first phase as if you stay close he only does single hit attacks, roll to the right and get a free swing or two. Next stage was a bit more tricky with the projectiles but overall the strategy still worked you just times the roll x3.

Nameless Kings main issue with me is he's a sponge, the fight drags on and I get impatient/ greedy. First time I beat him it was a 33 minute fight.

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KaoGen

With the quality of the people i saw fighting him, im surprised the Dragonslayer Armor boss wasnt on here.

I mean, ffs, short of some of his two handed attacks if youre distracted or staggered, hes super easy to dodge and gives you like 3 seconds to hit him afterward. yet i saw death after death after death.

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5eNintendan

I found Abyss Watchers to be shockingly simple. Beat him on my 2nd try. The adds really help, because they'll attack the main boss too. The hardest bosses I think is Pontiff and The Twins. If you don't kill the mage brother early during the 2nd phase, the battle can really drag on. Nameless King was an epic battle that did take me more tries than I would like to admit, but I really only ever died to a bad roll and not the boss face rushing me like Twins, so I found him to be a little easier. Long story short, **** the twins, only boss I had to summon someone to help with.

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KaoGen

@5enintendan: Yeah, anyone who has trouble with Abyss watchers is going to have a real shit time from that point onward. I had issues until i suddenly had an epiphany and realized how easy it is to just stagger him after each of his combos, rather than trying to be fancy.

Pontiff i found to be relatively simple (though certainly not easy, by any words) once you utilize parrying on his more telegraphed attacks, and simply staying out of range of his other attacks. (even his shadowform helps, because you can see whether to dodge closer to do a parry or dodge away to avoid entirely, based on what the shadow does)

At the moment i still havent beaten the Nameless king, but its simply because i decided to move elsewhere for the time being, before coming back. I can get through is dragon easily enough, but i usually cant get his second form past 2/3rds of his health left.

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Sherak

Looking at the comments looks like the hardest game ever isn't actually hard, in fact it's simples! :) you bunch of ledgends.... I'm currently trying to kill the cursed tree, its piss! I've only died 25+ times... will do it next go I promise! ;-)

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RSM-HQ

@Sherak: I don't know how people are calling this the hardest game ever, when it's possibly the easiest game FROM SOFTWARE has made in a decade.

That's not a bad thing however, as some difficulty spikes from the past games felt thrown in to make the game seem longer.

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KaoGen

@RSM-HQ: I dont know why people keep acting like this is super easy compared to previous titles. Its not super hard either, thats for sure, but i found Dark Souls 1 far easier than this.

Not THAT much easier, sure, but certainly easier.

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RSM-HQ

@KaoGen: I don't think it's "super easy" but has less cheap shots than the other FROM games it has little things to make the game easier, like Estus refilling for defeating certain enemies throughout the game, & the local soup.

It's certainly not an easy game, but I would rank it far easier than DkS/ DkSII/ & BB.

If you found the first game easier I tip my hat to you, the DLC kicked my ass far more than I should be willing to admit lol.

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Scorch_22

Old Demon King was frustrating for me, died quite a few times with him. I did the typical Dark Souls technique of slashing his crotch to pieces, but all those flashes of fire and him moving around was painful to my eyes. And targeting him just does not work

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KaoGen

@Scorch_22: Yeah, i managed it by getting him to his second form and then just staying at range with spells/arrows and cheesing him.

Surprisingly easy after that.

Avatar image for Scorch_22
Scorch_22

@KaoGen: I really need to utilize the bow more often, I found his second form strangely easier to handle, even up close (slow fireball attacks were easy to manage) but it was still grueling with him spinning my character around every time I would clip onto his tail, or smashing at my shield over and over.

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RSM-HQ

Abyss Watchers and Nameless King are the only ones worthy of this list.

Seems to me the rest was added because you just like the boss battles, they're not 'harder' than Abyss. Unless you over level early.

SoC for example (GS 2nd) has generous openings in a pretty straight forward one on one conflict. I enjoyed most the bosses in DkS3 but some of these are not worthy of licking Abyss boots, let alone being over NKs shoulders :P

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KaoGen

@RSM-HQ: Abyss isnt even hard though (from a mechanics standpoint). He is easily dodgeable, and can be tricked into repeating certain telegraphed attacks you can easily stagger him after (he has like zero poise, a katana staggers him). It took me a while to realise this, yes, but once i did i killed him with ease. Didn't even take damage during the second phase (not gloating here, i know im not that great)

If anything, the Dancer deserves to be on here. She has far FAR fewer chances to retaliate from once she enters the second phase, and (while she can be bled) unlike the easily parry-able pontiff and the predictable Abyss Watchers, if RNG decides to bone you, she can go really really spammy and be a pain in the ass you cant do much about.

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RSM-HQ

@KaoGen: Everyone has a certain bane in these games and the Watchers was certainly my first wall. I didn't follow any guide to them on my first try, and was ganked to oblivion and found the tracking to be pretty unfair in my playthroughs during the Cinder stage. I don't know what level you faced them but I was surprisingly low because I wanted to beat the game quickly. Ended up dying to them 8 times :S

I didn't think much of the Dancer because other than her grab she is very much standard large boss in Souls, roll twice, get to the back, and smack that backside once or twice. Repeat till win. It works.

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StOoGiEmEiStEr

Did nameless king on 2nd try, with a barbed short sword..... the best cutscene and hardest for me was abyss watchers. Everything else died first try. Thats prolly because i had 15 mitigation and light leather armor.

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YummyMango

I have to agree that Nameless King was the hardest, took me quite a few attempts but got him down finally. I have to say the design of Nameless king fight is absolutely best probably any boss I have ever played. Oh man, boss flying on dragon, fight in clouds, absolutely beautiful. great fight all in all.

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KaoGen

@YummyMango: I thought it was a badly designed boss until i realise i just had to NOT lock on. When youre locked on the screen is just filled with a giant clusterf**k of everything at once, and you lose the sense of positioning relative to him. Saying that, im still yet to take out his second form, but the first is pretty easy now.

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Sir_Meowcat_Esq

Only had a mild problem with Pontiff (7 deaths). Rest were disappointingly easy (but entertaining nonetheless). Nameless King really let me down though... expected more of a secret boss, but I easily took him down on my second attempt. That makes him harder than Bloodborne's Moon Presence... but easier than the tutorial boss. :-P

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Jako998

Everyone has Different struggles in Dark souls 3. Some bosses will be harder for you while the same boss might be easier for others. Besides the Nameless King( never fought him yet) The only boss notable on here who is tough is Pontiff Sulyvahn. That boss took me 5+ tries till I killed him. other bosses I found tough was the Old Demon King, Champion Gundyr, Alrditch The Devour of Gods ( I forgot how to spell the name) Was Pure Cancer I hated that fight and I guess, Yhorm the Profain giant

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Haanabi89

Excellent game so far. Even after playing DS1 & DS2 some bosses still beat the living crap out of me more than 5 times, namely the rotten oak, nameless king and aldrich. The hardest boss for me though was the uchigatana wielder just outside the firelink shrine. That a hole beat me good and proper around 15 times I think. Something about him just threw me off!

Avatar image for StOoGiEmEiStEr
StOoGiEmEiStEr

@haanabi89: i agrod him then ignored him went to firelink shrine, came out one day and picked up his stuff, must off jumped off a cliff.

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-Unreal-

Champion Gundyr is harder than almost all of those. I haven't fought Nameless King as I've only just found out I missed him. But I'd put him at maybe #2. But you can parry him and it's apparently easy to do. I never tried though. But you do a lot of damage to him when you parry him.

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RSM-HQ

@-Unreal-: I didn't think much of Champion Gundyr, as long as you're not fooled to think it's the tutorial boss all over again it's fairly easy.

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darksouls

I would rank them in difficulty by: DS>DS2>DS1>DS3>Bloodborne.

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darksouls

The Abyss Watchers were incredibly easy for me. They literally only have you do half the fight since that third guy comes it to help...I definitely agree that the Nameless King is number one but I think two and three should switch five with Dragonslayer Armour (although he was still easy just less easy than the Abyss Watchers). Overall this game is much easier compared to previous Souls games. I only died four times on the Nameless King and every other boss in the game I killed either my first or second try.

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Infaredj

So theres only 5 bosses in DS3?

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GregoryBastards

Strange ....abyss watchers was the easiest one for me....just like lady maria fight in bloodborne....the hardest fight for me was Aldrich.

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naomha1

The first time I attempted the Abyss Watchers I was totally unprepared for that 2nd phase. After killing him I was like "cool". Then the blood lifted and floated to him again. He's not that hard to be honest, but if you go in without anything to temper his flame blade you will get cooked. Literally. When going for him, just make sure to top off something that helps with endurance replenishment and flame resistance and you'll own him quick.

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Fia1

@walidras: he's pretty easy, if you go to the end of the room you can find the storm bringer sword, all you need to do is charge the stormbringer and use the special move on yhorm, you can kill him in like a minute or two, one of the easiest with crystal sage, honestly

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Fia1

soul of cinder wasn't that hard, but it's a really awesome boss honestly... nameless king oh man, that guy is the hardest boss of the game...

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darksouls

@Fia1: For sure. Cinder is probably my favorite boss fight in any of the games!

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texasgoldrush

@Fia1: Pontiff was worse.

He needs to be toned down, he is unfair. He basically bludgeons the player.

Nameless King was more fair.

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Fia1

@texasgoldrush: pontiff was awesome, but to be honest here, i was able to solo pontiff, for nameles king i had the help of a friend.... im not that good in this kind of games, or maybe because i was using the dual katanas and hiting the wyvern legs, need to hit the head, but second phase i'd say iuts way easier than pontiff for sure.... also i think dragon slayer armor is harder than watchers....

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Kyrylo

I haven't met 3 of those, but Abyss Watchers were very easy. Took me 3 attempts. So far biggest pain was Sullivan

Avatar image for Lord_Sesshy
Lord_Sesshy

Also I find the difficulty in this game to be much more about luck than it is skill. It seems this game is more about throwing mobs of enemies at you instead of the difficult one on one fights the previous games did.

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Haanabi89

@Lord_Sesshy: i disagree. There are quite a few normal enemies scattered around that can bring the pain.

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catsimboy

@Lord_Sesshy: Yeah most of the difficulty is just maneuvering to avoid aggroing more enemies and avoiding cheap deaths.

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Lord_Sesshy

I found the Old Demon King to be harder then some of these. Mainly because I found the boss fight to be kind of broken.

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Schlongoloid333

I just beat the Abyss Watchers and didn't find it too hard, only took 3 tries

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berserker66666

@schlongoloid333: It's all about the dodge timing with AW. But the fight itself is SOO awsm.

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Lord_Sesshy

@schlongoloid333: Same

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FCT-Steve-O

I thought Lothric, Younger Prince was easy...I'd replace him with Dancer or someone else. But everyone has their own struggles/play styles.