We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

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

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

A Dark Souls bonfire with a chosen undead resting there

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 leveling. 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 whom have anger issues and can’t wait to poke you with pointy things. Not to worry, for we have a Dark Souls bosses (featuring the likes of Dark Souls Quelaag) guide that not only offers helpful tips on how to defeat them (including the best Dark Souls rings), 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 serve as checkpoints as you return to the last one you sat at when you perish. Each area has multiple bonfires available (though some are well hidden), and 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?

Other than sitting down to create a checkpoint and replenish your health, there are plenty of other reasons to take a load off and rest your feet. Bonfires are where you can improve your attributes, repair your gear, and more.


Just by sitting at a bonfire, your Estus flask recovers all its uses, as do your spells, and trust us when we say that you need to replenish frequently. 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, and in the later game, it doesn’t take long to go through the minimal uses.

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 pleasant surprise if you rest at a bonfire before returning.


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. To bolster your bonfire, you need to defeat Pinwheel and get the rite of kindling, which then allows you to use humanities to feed the bonfires; each time you do this, it increases the maximum flasks you get from that bonfire to a maximum of plus 20.

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. Those pesky Blades of the Darkmoon have no choice but to leave you alone.

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, and should you die before cashing them in, you lose your souls. Luckily, if you get back to the spot where you died, you can get them back, assuming you don’t die again before reaching them. If you do, those souls are gone for good.

Oh, and one more thing, there are soft caps and hard caps on the stats when reaching certain levels within the attribute, which is something to bear in mind when you reach the later stages of the game.

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.

Armor reinforcement

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

Repair equipment

No weapon or armor 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. However, with a repair box you can fix your own gear at a bonfire without the need to go and speak to a blacksmith.

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.


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 want to learn more about some of the characters in this world, check out our Dark Souls Nito, Dark Souls Manus, Dark Souls Gwyn, Dark Souls Gwyndolin, and Dark Souls Sif guides.

Alternatively, 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. Or, if it’s character guides that you’re after, our Mortal Kombat Mileena and The Witcher 3 Triss articles are a great read.