Dark Souls bonfire – sit down, relax, and die again later

A Dark Souls bonfire is one your greatest allies when exploring Lordrann, these checkpoints allow you to rest, allocate magic, level up, and repair your gear

A Dark Souls bonfire with a chosen undead resting there

Many dangers are lurking in Lordran, from standard enemies, to angry bosses, and ledges – the latter might be the most dangerous if we’re being honest. With all these things that put your life in peril, it’s important to have a safe place, and that’s where a Dark Souls bonfire comes in handy. These rest points are great and vital to surviving in such desolate lands.

In our Dark Souls bonfire guide, we explain what they are, and why they’re so important – besides being able to stop and rest your poor undead feet. There’s a surprising amount of things you can do while at a bonfire, including levelling. We also list where each bonfire is, don’t worry, each area has several of them. Funnily enough, there’s normally one near a fog gate – we can’t imagine why.

Speaking of fog gates, you know what’s normally behind them? Bosses, most of which have anger issues, and can’t wait to poke you with pointy things. Not to worry, for we have a Dark Souls bosses guide that not only offers helpful tips on how to defeat them, but also a brief history lesson on how they came to be. We also have a Dark Souls divine weapon guide, should your faith be guiding you through Lordran.

What is a Dark Souls bonfire?

Dark Souls bonfires essentially serve as checkpoints, with you returning to the last one you happened to rest at upon death. Each area has multiple bonfires available, the majority have one pretty close to the beginning of the location, with others being spread out. More often than not, you’ll come across them without problems, but there are some sneaky ones hidden behind illusionary walls.

The chosen undead with a phantom facing an invader

What can you do at a Dark Souls bonfire?

There are many reasons to sit at a Dark Souls bonfire, and not just to recover your health and supplies.

Rest

Just by sitting at a bonfire, your Estus flask recovers all its uses, as does your spells. However, do bear in mind that if you don’t bolster a bonfire, it can only recover up to five uses of the Estus flask.

Furthermore, resting at any Dark Souls bonfire respawns every enemy in the area. So if you just got through a tricky spot, missed an item, but thought you’d head back when it’s clear, well, you’re in for a less than present surprise if you rest at a bonfire before returning.

Kindle

If you’re after more than just five Estus – and you should be – this is where kindling a bonfire comes in. By using one piece of humanity, you can kindle the bonfire you’re resting at, and the more you do it, the more Estus you can recover.

However, it’s important to note that when kindling a bonfire, that’s the only one where it takes effect. You must kindle each one individually. It might be a good idea to leave kindling for the areas you truly struggle with at first. Every bit of Estus helps when tackling the more demanding challenges Lordran has to offer.

Reverse hollowing

Upon death, you become hollow, preventing you from summoning other players or phantoms to help you out. It’s also impossible to kindle a bonfire while hollow. On the flip side, if PvP isn’t your thing, and the idea of being invaded fills you with dread, invasions aren’t possible when you’re not human.

Level up

A quintessential part of the Dark Souls experience is leveling up. Is a certain boss or area giving you trouble? The solution is simple, go out there, farm some souls, and spend them on your attributes, thus making you stronger.

Each time you level up, the number of souls you need increases. Fortunately, every enemy in the game drops souls at death, with late-game foes dropping considerably more. You can also find soul packs out in the world, and get a substantial amount each time you slay a Dark Souls boss.

Do be aware that you can only level up upon reaching Firelink Shrine.

Weapon reinforcement

Who doesn’t want a stronger weapon? If you purchase a weapon smithbox, you can reinforce your gear at a bonfire. However, this only works with normal upgrades. If you’re looking to ascend your weapon, you need to visit a blacksmith.

Armour reinforcement

The stronger your armour, the more damage you can withstand. Much like with weapons, you can reinforce your attire at a bonfire if you purchase an armour smithbox.

Repair equipment

Unfortunately, no weapon, or armour, is immune to wear and tear. Over time, the state of your equipment worsens, and it can break, causing your damage output, or protection, to worsen. Not to worry, with a repairbox, you can fix your gear yourself at a bonfire.

Attune magic

The most important thing about being a sorcerer, pyromancer, or miracle user is the spells, and bonfires are where you can select which ones you use. Of course, you need to purchase, or find, the spells before they become available to you.

Warp

After defeating Ornstein and Smough in Anor Londo, you can speak with Gwynevere just beyond their boss room. She rewards you with the lordvessel, an item that allows you to warp between bonfires – no more running around like a chump.

However, there are still some limitations, given you can’t warp to every bonfire, though you can to the ones listed below.

  • Firelink Shrine
  • Sunlight altar
  • Anor Londo’s first bonfire
  • Chamber of the Princess
  • Darkmoon tomb
  • Tomb of the Gravelord
  • Daughter of chaos
  • Stone dragon
  • Abyss
  • Depths
  • Catacombs
  • Tomb of the Giants’ first bonfire
  • The Duke’s Archives’ final bonfire before Seath the Scaleless
  • Crystal Cave
  • Painted World of Ariamis
  • Undead Parish above Andre
  • Sanctuary Garden
  • Oolacile Sanctuary
  • Oolacile Township
  • Oolacile Township dungeon
  • Chasm of the Abyss

And there you have it, everything you need to know about Dark Souls bonfires. If you need a break from the never-ending cycle of death, you can check out our picks for the best Switch RPGs or best Switch platformers here.

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