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Dark Soul’s humanity is valuable. Whether you’re kindling bonfires, summoning help, or healing, humanity is extremely useful and painfully scarce. Despite its usual connotation, the best means to acquire humanity is through evil means. Ironically, the more humanity you have in Dark Souls, the worse of a person you are.
In this Dark Souls Humanity Guide, I’ll review the various methods to acquire this rare resource and its hidden benefits. As a bonus, I’ll detail weapon builds that scale off humanity’s use. I advise caution before trying these powerful but perishable humanity playstyles, however. Humanity perishes on death, and for death-prone players, that’s most of us, our build will end in tears.
Bottom Line Up Front: Gather humanity from exploring, invading, and bosses to kindle bonfires and restore your health in a pinch. For a reliable source of humanity, farm the blue tentacled Pisca in the Prison of the Duke’s archives; you’ll receive 1-2 humanity each attempt.
Humanity: More than a Concept
Black, wispy, and ludicrously powerful, humanity plays a crucial role in our survival. In Dark Souls, Humanity represents the Dark Soul of man: strong, dark, and incredibly dangerous. While we can acquire it from several legitimate and illegitimate means, losing it can mean wasting hours of tedious progress. Use humanity at your peril.
Healing – Consuming a single humanity or more heals us to full. While this healing method is excellent for overcoming challenging boss encounters or exploration attrition, players more concerned about healing should use humanity for kindling bonfires.
Restore Humanity – Enables us to kindle bonfires and summon help for bosses. We can restore our humanity by resting at a bonfire and spending one humanity. Be warned that other players and hostile NPCs can invade your world after restoring your humanity, and dying turns you back hollow. I recommend only restoring your humanity to kindle bonfires and summon help for boss encounters.
Kindling – Increases the number of estus flasks we recover from resting at a specific bonfire. Humanity’s most practical application, kindling, is necessary for any player looking to beat a late-game boss or explore a poison swamp. Kindling requires us to spend one humanity restoring our humanity at a bonfire and another to increase the amount of estus we recover from 5 to 10. Acquiring the Rite of Kindling from Pinwheel in the catacombs enables us to kindle further and increase the max number of estus flasks from 10 to 20.
Covenants – The Chaos Servant covenant and the Darkwraith covenant grant increased benefits from donating any leftover humanity. Contributing humanity to the Chaos Servant covenant in Blighttown grants two unique pyromancies and access to the Lost Izalith shortcut we need to save Solaire. Meanwhile, donating humanity to the dark wraith covenant increases the strength of Dark Hand, enabling us to steal up to 10 humanity from NPCs and other players.
Item Discovery – The more humanity we use, the increased likelihood we have of enemies dropping loot like titanite, weapons, armor, and even more humanity. However, like souls, dying twice removes any humanity we’ve used. I recommend playing cautiously if you intend to use humanity for item discovery.
Weapon Damage – Weapons infused with the Chaos Ember, or special boss weapons, deal increased damage the more humanity you spend. While this method of damage enhancement enables dealing absurd amounts of damage, it’s also an incredibly risky playstyle that ends in tears if you lose your humanity. I recommend pursuing this playstyle only if you feel confident in your survival skills or have a massive stockpile of humanity.
Despite its scarcity, there are several means of acquiring humanity in Dark Souls.
Exploration: Most locations usually have one or two humanity present. While finding this scarce resource can be nonsensical, for example, searching in wells or looting foes stuffed inside barrels, it is an easy and expected means to acquire this valuable consumable.
Cooperation: Assisting other players with bosses is an excellent method for farming humanity. While this method only works if we succeed in helping our summoner defeat the boss, it’s infinitely repeatable and a reliable way to gain humanity. We can assist players by talking with Solaire of Astora near a fire-breathing dragon in the undead burg to acquire the white soapstone. Using this soapstone near boss doors places our summon sign down, enabling non-hollow players to summon our help.
Purchase – Possibly the worst way to acquire humanity, several merchants sell humanity at overinflated prices. These merchants, like the undead lady in the undead burg or Marvelous Chester in Oolacile sell several humanity for 4000 to 6000 souls! Don’t fund these horrible salespeople! Give your souls to the kind mushroom lady in Oolacile or Princess dusk; they deserve it!
Bosses – Most bosses drop a select amount of humanity. While most bosses drop one humanity, others like the Twin gargoyles in the undead parish or Manus in Oolacile can drop two or even ten humanity. I recommend noting however much humanity we earn after victory to keep a tab of how is in reserve.
Passive Gain – After killing enough monsters or Hollows without dying, we’ll occasionally gain 1-2 humanity. While this method of Humanity gain tends to be unpredictable, it’s an appreciated reward for staying alive and beating the odds.
Invasion – Invading and killing other players grant us humanity upon victory and any of the unfortunate player’s souls. To begin an invasion, we’ll need a cracked red eye orb or red eye orb. We can find 10 cracked red eye orbs in chests beneath firelink shrine and within New Londo. To acquire the reusable red eye orb, we’ll need to join the Darkwraith covenant and offer up ten humanity.
Creature Farming – Some creatures in Dark Souls have a higher chance of dropping humanity than others. I recommend targeting the blue, tentacled Pisaca found in the prison of the duke’s archives for a reliable source of humanity. Also, be sure to equip the golden serpent ring from Sens Fortress and use several humanity to up your item, discover chance, and save yourself hours of grinding.
Soul Devouring – One of the cruelest, most valuable strategies for gaining humanity, using the special ability of the Dark Hand enables us to steal humanity from friendly NPCs and other players. Attaining this item requires us to join the Darkwraith covenant or farm dark wraiths until they drop the item. While the Dark Hand drop rate from these creatures is rather low (1%), it’s a much faster way of acquiring the Dark Hand than joining the covenant.
Dark Wraith Covenant
Perhaps the meanest covenant in all Dark Souls, the dark wraith covenant rewards aggression, cruelty, and the outright murder of other players to gain an outrageous amount of humanity.
Joining the Darkwraith Covenant – Joining this covenant is exceptionally tricky. It forces us to fight what many consider the most demanding boss in Dark Souls right from the start. I recommend joining this covenant only if you’re willing to endure two difficult bosses early on and are deadset on invading other players’ worlds.
Step One: Bad Dog
*Note: If you intend to join the Darkwraith Covenant, ignore Frampt in Firelink Shrine. Talking to Frampt prevents us from talking to Kathe in the Abyss, who is essential for joining this humanity-loving invasion covenant.
To begin, we’ll have to head to the Darkroot Gardens and fight the great grey wolf Sif. Unfortunately, a magical door guards access to his boss arena. While we can bypass this blockade through an under path by a waterful, a hydra and several challenging foes guard this hidden path.
Instead, I recommend saving enough souls to purchase the Crest of Artorias from Andre the Blacksmith in the Undead Parish. The Crest costs 20000 souls but is far worth the time saved.
After using the Crest of Artorias on the magical door in Darkroot garden, we’ll have to run past several ghostly foes guarding Artoria’s grave. While these miscreants may be challenging, we can talk to the giant cat Alvina in the windowed ruin nearby to join her leader of the Forest Hunter covenant that gives us free access to the paths towards Artoria’s grave. I recommend joining the covenant and ditching it after we’ve defeated Sif.
Following this slight detour, we head through two massive stone doors to a giant sword stuck in the ground. Approaching the sword triggers a small cutscene of Sif entering the arena, grabbing the sword in his mouth, and growling at us menacingly.
Sif is a demanding boss. Most of his high-damage attacks can instantly kill players with no defense and break the poise of players with no endurance. I recommend investing in a shield with high poise to survive the ferocious puppy’s onslaught and applying a fire buff to your weapon for extra firepower.
After beating Sif, we gain Artoria’s ring, which enables us to enter the Abyss and join the Darkwraiths.
Step Two: The Sunken City
After acquiring Artoria’s ring, head back to Firelink Shrine and take the elevator down to reach the sunken city of New Londo. We’ll need to turn a wheel to drain the city and gain access to the Abyss.
To begin, kill the red-hooded cleric sitting atop a cathedral at the city’s end. Don’t feel bad; this devotee of Gwyn sacrificed an entire because he was scared of the dark.
After killing Ingward, we obtain the Key to the Seal, which opens the city’s pump system door. After venturing into this enclosed room, turn the wheel to trigger a small cutscene of the water rushing out.
Following this event, drop downwards and head towards the fog door near a cylindrical building. Following the staircase downwards drops us into pitch-black nothingness.
Step Three: TOTAL DARKNESS
After falling into the Abyss, we experience a short pause until a wraith-like enemy appears and approaches our location.
Fight: The Four Kings
The four kings are notoriously tricky. In spite of the title, we may end up fighting 5 or 6 of these damage-sponges in one battle. Besides that, their magic attacks are brutal to block, and defending against several of these enemies at once is a tenuous proposition. I recommend concentrating your damage on one foe at a time to ensure you fight as few enemies as possible.
After beating one of the most challenging bosses in Dark Souls, Kathe greets us at a nearby bonfire. This great serpent offers to reveal the truth behind our predicament and the state of the world. After agreeing to hear the “truth,” Kathe allows us to join the Darkwraith covenant and bring about an age of Dark.
Dark Wraith Benefits
- Dark Hand – A powerful fisted weapon that deals staggering damage and can steal humanity. While the dark damage of this weapon is fine, this weapon’s ability to soul devour humanity is a godsend for players looking to gain humanity quickly. We obtain this weapon after joining the covenant or killing dark wraiths but can increase the amount of humanity we gain through donating humanity to the covenant.
- Darksword – Deals severe physical and dark damage to foes. For those looking to play as the “bad guy” of dark souls, this is the sword for you. We receive this sword after donating 30 humanity to the covenant.
- Darkwraith Armor Set – Perhaps the edgiest armor in all of Dark Souls, the Darkwraith Armor Set is a decent set of medium armor that makes you look like an armored corpse. While this armor provides solid physical and magical protection, Havel’s armor in Anor Londo outclasses this corpse-like armor for those looking for better security. We receive the set after donating a whopping 30 humanity to the covenant.
- Red Eye Orb – A reusable orb that enables the indefinite invasion of other players’ worlds. Unlike its cracked variant, the Red Eye Orb stays in our inventory after use, allowing us to farm other players for humanity and souls. We obtain this incredible consumable after donating ten humanity to the covenant.
- The Truth – One of the better-kept secrets in Dark Souls, Kathe reveals that Gwyn’s decision to rekindle the fire was a mistake. The great serpent details how Gwyn perverted the natural state of the world, subverting the laws of nature and preventing our ancestor, the furtive pygmy, from ushering in the age of man. Kathe urges us not to link the flame and let this world fade into a frightful but natural dark.
- Chaos Weapons – Powerful weapons that can scale off the amount of humanity you’ve used; chaos weapons enable us to deal an absurd amount of damage. After acquiring the Chaos Ember from a pit of lava near the entrance to Lost Izalith and Blighttown, we can ascend +5 fire weapons to into chaos weapons. Performing this ascension requires giving the ember to Blacksmith Vamos in the Catacombs and presenting Vamos with the +5 fire weapon and a red titanite shard. I recommend applying the ascension to a dexterity-based weapon for extra DPS.
- Chaos Blade – One of the more accessible and humanity-scaling boss weapons to acquire, the Chaos Blade deals massive damage to foes with a small bleeding effect. Creating this weapon requires giving a +10 katana and the Soul of Quelaag to the Giant Blacksmith in Anor Londo. Be warned; this weapon deals a small amount of damage to you for every hit you deliver, so be prepared to take some damage if you use this weapon.
- Ring of Sacrifice – For players looking to prevent the loss of humanity on death, equipping a ring of sacrifice will safeguard your humanity at the cost of the ring. While this is a risky playstyle, there are very few Rings of Sacrifice in-game; this equipment is excellent for players that rarely die and consume a lot of humanity. I recommend using this ring against the forced death with Seath the Scaleless to take your humanity with you.
- Covetous Gold Serpent Ring – Ups our item discovery, giving us a greater chance to uncover humanity from our foes’ corpses. We can find this ring in Sen’s Fortress after pushing the switch controlling the giant rolling balls and backtracking to an opened-up room.
Question: How do I get my humanity back?
Answer: Making it back to your bloodstain will reclaim any of the humanity you’ve lost. Dying once more causes that humanity to disappear forever.
Question: How do I restore my humanity?
Answer: Spending at least one humanity, resting at a bonfire, and selecting the “restore humanity” option in the menu will restore your humanity.
Question: Where can I get humanity?
Answer: Killing bosses, assisting with bosses, and looting corpses are quick and easy ways to gain humanity. Other methods involve invading, grinding foes, or passive gain.
Question: How do I join the Darkwraith covenant?
Answer: Access the Abyss and beat the four Kings before speaking to Kingseeker Frampt. Speaking to Kathe in the Abyss after the Four Kings fight enables you to join the covenant.
Well done, you’re now equipped to find, steal, and soul devour humanity from anyone that gets in your way. While the resource’s rarity may punish players prone to dying, humanity can play an essential role in conquering difficult areas and giving you that extra boost you need to defeat Gywn. No one can stop the most human warrior in Dark Souls!
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