Information for BeginnersEdit
In Dark Souls you play an undead. Most undead are hollow or insane and all are stigmatized by the unseen society of the Dark Souls world. You can reverse your hollowing process by spending humanity at bonfires, making you appear human. Being human increases the drop rate for random items and allows you to summon help and be invaded.
Your beginning class is only a configuration of statistics, soul level (SL) and items. It has no effect on gameplay. If unsure of what class to pick, starting as a Wanderer is a good choice. At the same Soul Level as other classes they will have as many or more points in their statistics and can quickly obtain magic.
Melee combat is required, but magic and ranged combat are highly recommended, especially if you want to tackle high-powered foes early to level faster. Magic is mostly learned from trainers. Miracles are taught by Petrus, sorceries by Griggs and pyromancies by Laurentius. Petrus is first met at the Firelink Shrine, the game's hub, while Griggs is rescued from Lower Undead Burg and Laurentius from The Depths. Later more advanced trainers will appear. A catalyst and the soul arrow sorcery can be purchased immediately after arriving in Firelink from the blacksmith in the New Londo Ruins.
Bows are rarely useful in combat, but are good for stationary foes and pulling enemies. A Short Bow can be purchased early from the Undead Merchant in Undead Burg. Purchasing this bow and about one hundred arrows allows the Drake Sword, an incredibly powerful sword, to be obtained early. Crossbows are less useful because they can not be manually aimed.
Unlike Demon's Souls items are used to write and rate comments, create a summoning sign or invade. The Orange Guidance Soapstone is purchased from the Undead Merchant in Undead Burg, the White Sign Soapstone is given by Solaire of Astora if you agree to assist him and Cracked Red Eye Orbs are available throughout the world. If you see a helpful comment be sure to rate it; positive ratings give humanity and encourage more helpful tips!
Dark Souls is nonlinear and there are many effective ways to play and options for where to go. Experimenting with different weapons, spells, and techniques will help you decide what you like. There is no single best weapon or Covenant.
Be careful about trusting unconfirmed myths. The strength and dexterity statistics, for example, have been reported as affecting swing and roll speed, respectively. This does not appear to be true. Swing speed is dependent only on the weapon used, and roll speed is affected by the relative weight of items and one ring only. Strength and dexterity are only used to determine if weapons can be used effectively and when calculating weapon damage. Different weapons have different bonuses for strength and dexterity. Intelligence and faith are also required for some weapons and will add to their damage.