Dark Souls is most effectively beaten as follows:
- Level up your Strength to 16.
- Level up your Dexterity to 10.
- Acquire the ZWEIHANDER, which can be found near the beginning of the game in Firelink Shrine, in front of one of the large gravestones leading to the Catacombs.
- Equip the ZWEIHANDER in your main weapon slot, and wield it with 2 hands.
- Any time an enemy gets within 5-10 metres of you, point the Left Control Stick towards them and mash the Light Attack Button until they are dead.
From there, you can follow a simple flow chart:
A. If you cannot kill an average enemy in 1-3 swings of the ZWEIHANDER: Level up Strength, or, invest in upgrades to the ZWEIHANDER itself at Andre the Blacksmith. The latter is especially effective as upgrading weapons in Dark Souls increases the weapon’s damage scaling effect, meaning each point in Strength gives you more damage, along with upgrading the weapon just increasing its damage directly.
B. If you can trade blows with enemies effectively but they tend to kill you faster than you can kill them: Level up Vitality to increase your max health. See also, A.
I can hit enemies before they hit me but if they stagger or stun me I always die: Level up Endurance and seek out heavier armor, particularly ones with a high value in Poise, which will increase your ability to suffer damage without being staggered or stunned.
There are enemies that I can’t stunlock: Lock on to them and use the ZWEIHANDER’s Heavy Attack. That will solve that particular problem.
I can’t play Dark Souls without a shield: No problem! Level up your Strength to 24 so that you can wield the ZWEIHANDER effectively with 1 hand.