Dark Souls – Recommended Levels for Areas and Bosses

Dark Souls Recommend Levels

Being the correct level for each area is extremely important in order to find other players summoning and being summoned for coop play as phantoms. Dark Souls will only match players that are +/- 10% in levels, so this can be very restrictive. See the Daydull article for tips on how to maximize your chances to make the summoning signs work in another article.

With the non-linear layout of the game, it is sometimes very tough to know what area to visit next, so this will also ensure you aren’t too outmatched by the enemies in the area.

Dark Souls Recommended Soul Level for Areas and Bosses:

Undead Burg ( 5 – 10 ) – BOSS: Taurus Demon
Undead Parish ( 10 – 20 ) – – BOSS: Belfry Gargoyls
Lower Undead Burg ( 20 – 30 ) – BOSS: Capra Demon
The Depths ( 20 – 30 ) – BOSS: Gaping Dragon
Blighttown ( 30 – 40 )
Quelaag’s Domain ( 35+ ) – BOSS: Chaos Witch Quelaag
(Second bell of awakening generally rung around lvl 35)

The Catacombs ( 30 – 50 )
The Great Hollow ( 45-55 )
Ash Lake ( 45-55 )
Darkroot Garden ( 35-50 ) – BOSS: Sif
Darkroot Basin ( 35-50 ) – BOSS: Hydra / Moonlight Butterfly
Valley of Drakes ( 40 – 60 )
Undead Asylum Revisited ( 30 – 40 )

Sen’s Fortress ( 35-45 ) – BOSS: Iron Golem
Anor Londo ( 45-60 ) – BOSS: Ornstein & Smough
Painted World of Ariamis ( 60+ )
New Londo Ruins ( 60+ )

The Abyss ( 50 – 70 ) – BOSS: The Four Kings

The Duke’s Archives ( 50-70 )
Crystal Cave ( 55-75 ) – BOSS: Seath the Scaleless
Tomb of the Giants ( 55-75 ) – BOSS: Gravelord Nito
Demon Ruins ( 60-75 )
Lost Izalith ( 65-80 ) – BOSS: The Bed of Chaos
Kiln of the First Flame ( 70 – 100 + ) – BOSS: Gwyn
(Due to PvP and titanite chunk farming, the kiln usually has higher than normal summoning activity)

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54 Responses

  1. Micah Williamson says:

    Level 20-30 at lower undead burg? 30-40 at blighttown? That is ridiculously high.

  2. Chris says:

    I was level 27 when I entered Lower Undead Burg for the first time. That was with no farming. :s

  3. dollargeek says:

    Probably a lot lower than that. There are lots of exploits (darkgarden farming), early and late-game weapons (drake sword, lightning spear), etc that you can get early. I’m SL 25 and more than halfway through all the areas. Not trying to game the system, just making life a little easier through the nasty bosses.

  4. Chris says:

    I think you misunderstood, dollargeek. They arent recommended levels for the areas. They’re recommended levels for getting summoned/finding people to summon,

  5. 37yen says:

    I don’t think you can summon in Valley of Drakes, since there’s no area boss.

  6. james says:

    well since i’m a level 299 can I still be summoned at anor londo

  7. Albright says:

    in all likelihood it is people in new game plus (or ++ etc) summoning you.

    the list above is for the first play through :)
    (and of course is dependent on individual playstyle / amount of farming)

  8. J-Rock City says:

    i still feel like that’s not very accurate. i was level 65-70 when i killed off smough and ornstein, granted i had been farming a bit, but i wasn’t able to kill them at a lower level, i would assume everyone else is roughly the same level as well. And the dark root garden? again, i was like, level 70-75 at that point when i killed Sif, which i hadn’t been farming at all after anor londo

  9. Albright says:

    70-75 for Sif / Darkroot Garden is very very high. Lots of people will have different experiences and different order of doing things, but I believe most people are getting near end game at that level.

    I agree that it was too low before at its previous 20+. I’m not sure what my thought process for that was. I may have been thinking only of the Moonlight Butterfly, but technically that boss seems to be classified as located in the Darkroot Basin.

    I may also have been thinking that Darkroot Garden is one of the easiest ways to farm a bunch of souls quickly, by fighting the humans of the forest covenant (or leading them off the cliff) in the area past the locked door that requires the Crest of Artorias. It makes sense to get there early if thats your agenda. I’ve raised the recommended level for Darkroot Garden to lvl 35+.

    J-Rock, the list is intended for people who are not getting many extra summoner levels through farming in their game, and is intended for people who are looking for, or placing, summon signs for coop play.

  10. LowTrektheGillTee says:

    dude i’m sl 60 and i get invaded all the time in the catacombs(where i’m at right now)

  11. Terbarius says:

    Why is everyone citing personal experience for this list? It changes from person to person depending on play style, and what build you’re going with.

  12. Sift says:

    I’m level 32 and I should be able to find plenty of help for Sif. Its dead empty.

  13. ShadowWolf1985 says:

    I’ve made it all the way to the for kings with lordvessel as a lvl 18 and had no problems playing ones i got to The Duke’s Archives I’ve increased my lvl by 10 or 15 and I was summoned and I’ve summoned in all areas of the game

  14. smough says:

    SL 51 in catacombs and no summon signs and no summoning happening. Just keep getting invaded haha. Used to be lvl 50 was perfect for catacombs. Oh well. Oh and for anyone complaining they need a higher.level for certain bosses. Its because you suck. Try a lvl 1 pyromancer playthrough. Its damn hard but its possible made it to NG++++ with my HAJI. But cant get any further. But i just got back into the game after a year of not playing so we shall see what happens

  15. smough says:

    SL 51 in catacombs and no summon signs and no summoning happening. Just keep getting invaded haha. Used to be lvl 50 was perfect for catacombs. Oh well. Oh and for anyone complaining they need a higher.level for certain bosses. Its because you suck. Try a lvl 1 pyromancer playthrough. Its damn hard but its possible made it to NG++++ with my HAJI. But cant get any further. But i just got back into the game after 2 year of not playing so we shall see what happens

  16. Name says:

    It’s kind of sad how many comments are actually people just bloating that they arrived at some point of the game at level N… really people, nobody cares.

  17. Comlectus Nox says:

    Well Mr. Name, im SL25 and only have to beat the 4 Kings and Bed of Chaos (not counting the last battle) to NG+. I care as do all of the people posting here because we are PLAYING A GAME.
    That said bed of chaos is a breeze, I’m sweating the 4 Kings just because I know that I wont be able to summon any help besides Beatrice.
    Protip: Item level>soul level
    PSN: Complectus Nox


  18. Raeven says:

    Two things that are wrong:

    1. Caring to the extend you gotta show off to random people on the internet is just odd. Yes it is odd to care this much, don’t kid yourself otherwise. It is a game and caring so much about entertainment software is not normal – there should be more important things in your life to care about.

    2. The whole point of the original post was to show people good level ranges for CO-OP play. Yes you can beat the game at sl1, that was never the point of this post to begin with. It was all about where MOST people are at any given point in the game, not about how large your e-peen is. In short, it was a guide and not a challenge.

  19. Dan says:

    I was a 30 when I beat Sif on my irate game but when I started a new build I didn’t manage to beat Sif until 60 something it’s about how much you farm and how much you spend leveling your weapon(s). And different builds will get through at different paces. I’m having difficulty getting summoned to fight the Chaos Witch because I’m too high a level for NG. This list is very useful. Thank you to the author.

  20. Lizard says:

    Listen to these losers. “Those levels are too high, because I’m so awesome I beat the entire game at level 5”. Get a life. This isn’t reality.

  21. Senel says:

    This guide is ridiculous…..i just beaten the four king at lvl 1. This game isnt a matter of lvl but a matter of skill. It depend on what u using to play and with who u play. I know this guide is for noobies but still none of the lvl requiremen on this list goes real. At lvl 25 u can already do Anor Londo.

  22. achtpuntzes says:

    after a year, i played this game again, only goal was co-op. i stayed very long at certain levels, and i’ve played 300 hours, slaugthering 250 bosses with hosts.

    i stayed very long on level 35, helping people slain all the bosses up to smough & ornstein. i got summoned most of the times within seconds, especially in painted world.

    so, 35 is a good level for the bosses up to Smough & Ornstein.

    when i got tired of those bosses, i leveled up to level 60, and stayed there and help slain hosts with there bosses after Smough & Ornstein… i had to wait a bit longer for the summoning (mostly within 5 minutes, but is painted world often still within seconds)

    so around level 60 is a good level for being summoned after Smough& Ornstein (and the painted world, the level with the widest summoning range)


    i’m not gonna share at what level i can beat the game :p people who are annoying anough to do that are numerous, so…

  23. achtpuntzes says:

    also, a good weapon at level 35 will help you get summoned, while alot of people will look at the weapon for the people they will summon, i ignored Quelaags Furysword, did Painted world at 35, made the Lifehunt Scythe, upgraded it fully, and the summonig (still level 35) went faster then ever…

  24. achtpuntzes says:

    by the way, the lifehunt scythe is a great weapon.on the first playtrough, ive never met a host with a weapon doing more points per hit then me, or points per second. some levels and bosses are ment to be for this weapon (painted world, 4 kings), and its a great weapon for pvp, especialy wielded two-handed.

  25. achtpuntzes says:


    u have to be a dexterity guy for the Lifehunt Scythe, dexterity around 20 level 35, and 30 level 60.

    i wish u all a jolly co-op :)

    praise the sun!

  26. achtpuntzes says:


    if u played this game before, and play again for co-op, dont look weird if u end up soon in the game with 50+ held humanity, and millions of souls with no use at all, because all the gear u want is already upgraded, and you’re not intrested in leveling up, so all those millions of souls are not usable. if only u could give them to other players.



    why should keep walking the same walk in the park, if u can co-op interesting bossfights with hosts?

  27. achtpuntzes says:

    the most fun in co-op is when u get summoned by someone who is clearly new in the level/boss, he manages to pick up your tactical advise, and help him across the level and slay the boss.

    and here is my last tip for co-op:


    if a host definatly sucks, i do hardly any work, and let them die! i don't need the souls anyway…

    this IS dark souls, isn't it?

  28. nickhartwell123 says:

    too newcomers: if you think dark souls consists of only douchbags and trolls, you’re wrong. over the past two years ive met incredible players. on my first playthrough, some guy armin246 gave me a FULLY upgraded set of havels armour, i wasnt even out of undead burg yet! that armour carried me through two new game ++’s.
    just saying. dont be scared of co-op.youll never know who will lend you the greatest hand in gaming.

  29. Black Iron Tarkus Bitch says:

    @nickhartwell123 Havel’s armor cant be upgraded. lol

  30. leviticus says:

    I’ve beaten Dark Souls probably a dozen times or so and my levels varied widely on each runthrough (tending downward, of course). My first few games I spent a lot of time grinding levels in the gardens, but I didn’t really summon anything other than NPC’s for bosses so it didn’t really affect me. As I became more skilled, I tended to forgo the farming because it seemed unnecessary. Most of the people who brag about their low levels are just griefers… that’s their bag and it’s ok, the game obviously sought to give them a role.

    In my experience there are a few factors that affect people’s tendencies to push higher levels or seek lower levels:

    If you like to PVP you probably prefer lower levels. This allows you to invade newer players and score more kills. They’re essentially Dark Souls bullies… they like to pick on the weak kids because they don’t like to lose.

    Strength builds tend to require the most levels, followed by intelligence and dexterity builds. Everyone needs vitality and endurance, but if you’re engaged in close combat, you need more. Sorcerers keep their distance, dex builds rely on rolling more than blocking. Strength builds can be very powerful, but need high vitality, endurance AND strength, so they tend to be higher levels. (on a side note, at high levels the int builds make the game easiest, followed by dex and str). It seems like most of the skilled and experienced players go for dex builds because int is too easy and str is too hard.

    Newer players tend to farm levels more than experienced players who know what they need and consider the rest overkill. It’s not arrogance, it’s simply being efficient. If you’re wearing the ring of favor and protection, you really don’t need more than 20-25 vitality. If you’re good enough to evade rather than tank, 20-25 endurance is sufficient, even without wearing Havel’s ring. Pick a focus and load all of your levels on that skill (int, dex or str). Healing is nice, but not necessary, so you don’t need faith. Your “off skills”, those that aren’t your focus should only be leveled for a specific weapon like an uchigatana.

    Avoiding farming levels makes the game easier, ironically. That’s because most of the areas can be completed at low levels and the boss fights are easier if you have a larger pool of players who can join your game. And don’t shy away from summoning the guy still wearing his initial gear like the Wanderer’s garb… those people are often the most skilled players in the game.

  31. Mitchell says:

    Can everyone stop complaining about how this is wrong or how you beat some boss at an early level. Honestly the article was wrotten to help so if you could get over the fact that everyone plays the game differently and this is how the average player does it that would be awesome!

  32. Drakon says:

    I was level 50-60 when i fought hydra and it took me less then 5 min and i was lvl 65 when i killed sif on my first try. ;3

  33. James says:

    I beat the game before reaching level 5 you all suck.

  34. Acer639 says:

    I was farming humanities in the depths one time, and I put my sign down as a joke because I was a stupid high level for the area, somewhere in the 40-60 range, and I got sommoned relatively quick. I’m not saying this is a usual trend, but I thought it was interesting so I decided to share :P

    Praise the Sun!

  35. Mixy says:

    Yea this is very inaccurate i was level 60 in the catafombs and i have never been below level 80 on S&O in anor londo right now im new game plus with 30 hours played level 184 in the dlc content

  36. Mixy says:

    And james u say we suck cuz u can beat.the game at level 5 first off iether you are lying or you had 2 people summoned at every waking moment in the game.

  37. Link says:

    I’d say this is somewhat accurate. I just wish more people would be in different areas for levels. I’m underleveled and taking on Lost Izalith with no summons -Solaire who is going to turn hollow and no invaders -Kirk.

  38. futureblues says:

    Wow, the amount of trolling and senseless bragging in this comment section is ridiculous. If you beat the game at SL 1, good for you, but it does no good to tell all of us. How does that information help or enrich anyone else’s Dark Souls experience? Just admit that if you are posting “But, I beat X boss at SL N,” what you are really saying is, “I need validation. Will you guys suck my dick/clit? I need people to tell me how awesome I am.”

  39. hobiecat102 says:

    One time I summoned someone and we killed the gaping dragon, then he found my sign and summoned me so I dropped him 10 twin humanities. Right now I’m chilling in the depths a t level 44 with no summons, and I need the souls to get 30 faith for the great lightning spear.

  40. Brett says:

    I’m starting plus and at lvl 55 so that it is easier to summon people in, is this recommended or should I just level up normally

  41. New game plus says:

    I’m lvl 50 and intending not to level up at all so that I can summon people easier in the plus games, is this recommended or should I just level up normally

  42. Thean Watcher says:

    I can testify that 45-60 isn’t all that bad of a level range for O&S, I was level 50 and being summoned all the time there. And I agree that phantoms can be the coolest people ever, one guy dropped me Lifehunt Scythe and the complete Darkwraith set in the Undead Burg. My advice would be to help people as often as you can because even if this is Dark Souls, more people will play the game if there are people to help them at every corner to make things more fun and less complete gank-the-host 24/7

  43. ff says:

    Ornstein & Smough cant beat at 65+ lvl even close

  44. Languish says:

    Who fights Sif that late in the game, I solo at like lvl 20 and that is like the only boss there is ever any help not that you need it. It only takes a few tries to get decently lucky and just stay under and behind his front legs, and it’s like I just did it one time I do it everytime right after gargoyles and a little soul farming (for the crest).

  45. Mr Katcham says:

    I didn’t see any signs at Sen’s fortress and Anor Londo till i was about level 65-70, there wasn’t a single person there but as soon as i hit those levels there was about 8-9 people at all times, even more were in Anor Londo

  46. Tbh most players can’t prove that they beat bosses in the demon souls/dark souls series at low level….solo them with live streaming and I’ll believe you. Using summons on a boss is the ultimate shame. In dark souls 3 you have to be level 120 for good pvp duels. I was level 187 when I beat dark souls 2 with no farming, defeating every normal boss. The series is overrated with it’s crap lock on and horrid camera angles. The story is nonexistent, dark souls 2 is non-canon, and dark souls 3 is a copy and paste of ds 1. I play it because I is one of the few arpgs for Xbox One. Ds 3 is worthless if you use hidden body+hidden weapon. In most of the games, sorcerer is the best for bosses and worst for pvp. People dodge right through all spells. Faith builds are beyond worthless, and the only redeeming factor of the series is it’s a great game for hard-core elitist gamers. I learn from players all the time on pvp. Also, the op should no level limit on the forest, as that is the pvp beast arena. I ain’t the best, but I’m constantly learning! My comedy and boss vids for ds are on Beat Da Boss-Videos on YT, you will see how worthless summons are, as they mow down bosses in 2+3! Follow me @BPLovecraft on Twitter! Peace.

  47. alias says:

    Psn-FlamePiercer…. since sunbroin is fun.. I created my own bro stuff…. A pyrobro….. sl15 you can get summoned in the undead burg…. sl 25 gargoyles and moonlight maybe capra…. gaping dragon sl 35… sl 40/45 blighttown….? sl 55 sens fortress maybe 50 at sens….. 60 or 65 anor londo……. and i cant any summons after anor londo tbh except for kiln of the first flame sl 75-90….. well you cann add me i can pyrobro you if you want…… right now im lvl 15 helping undead burg new players….its super great takes atleast 5-10 mins before getting summoned sometimes seconds……

  48. bob says:

    lol i farmed so much that i was soul level 80 at sens fortress in my first play through lol no wonder the bosses were so easy

  49. Giant Dad says:

    I’m level 21 and im in Quelaag domain and literally getting fucked so should i go to the undead Burg

  50. Bobbity says:

    Wow feels like I’ve missed a lot of early areas this play through

  51. Late to the Party says:

    Thanks for the multiplayer lvl tips! It only feels fair I leave a couple tips for newbies in return.

    If damage output feels like a problem, the Gravelord’s Greatsword can be grabbed immediately and used all game. It is great for pressuring invaders as it causes poison buildup as well. Using it, I was able to beat the 4 kings at lvl 15 with Havel’s Armor. This gives you much more access to act as a summon, or invade. This weapon also scales fairly poorly so investing into stats beyond the minimum to equip it is not necessary.

    A Pyromancy Hand does not require any stat investment and can make you a great asset in co-op while also providing great defense from invaders due to the variety of buffs , debuffs, and offensive spells it has access to.

    Always remember that upgrading a weapon will lead to higher damage faster than leveling up in most cases. Weapons that use special upgrade materials (such as Dragon Scales or Demon/Twinkling Titanite) can be fully upgraded immediately, without needing to get an ember for the blacksmith, as long as you have the necessary materials and souls.

    Using these methods, you might have better luck staying within desired levels to participate in co-op, or I guess you could be evil and stay as low a level as possible to invade.

    Hope this helps someone.

  1. October 25, 2011

    […] match people +/- 10% levels. At level 20, this is only +/- 2 levels, so can be very restrictive. See the article HERE for the recommended summoner level for each […]

  2. January 20, 2013

    […] […]

  3. May 16, 2022

    […] Dark Souls – Recommended Levels for Areas and Bosses […]

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