Upgrading guide

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#1 Edited by imsh_pl (3295 posts) -

Upgrading weapons is a very important aspect of Dark Souls, and the process itself isn't as threatening as it may seem. Dak Souls veterans reading this probably already know where to get all the ore and which upgrades are best for which area, but I'm sure lots of folks here have troubles keeping up with all the divine weapon/titanite chunk shenanigans. I know that all instructions can be accessed via darksoulswiki.wikispaces.com, but I think it would be a good idea to create an easy to access thread explaining how to master the art of upgrading; more experienced players could also aid their more noobish brethren in the process.
 
To upgrade a weapon you first need titanite shards (can be bought from blacksmiths for 800 souls a pop) - blacksmiths can upgrade your weapons gradually using a certain number of them (1-3) and a small amount of souls. 
 
Important note: After upgrading your normal weapon to +5 you have to visit a blacksmith to select the next upgrade path you want to follow. For example, if you want to get a divine weapon, you have to reinforce a normal weapon to +5, then visit a blacksmith and modify it to divine +1 (You can do this only with the help of a blacksmith); The weapon will then be available in the "reinforce" option, and until the next upgrade stage (in this case from divine +5 to divine +6 or occult +1)  you will be able to reinforce it at a bonfire.

When you get your weapon to +5 you then have the access to various branching paths, as seen in this chart: 

EDIT:Props to @Immuniity for providing the updated version of the chart, thanks a lot man!

 

I hope that the chart and links will be able to at least help some of you understand the upgrading process better.
 
(Bigger size: http://media.giantbomb.com/uploads/9/97252/1973752-dark_soul_weapon_info.jpg
(Locations of various ores and upgrade specifics: http://darksoulswiki.wikispaces.com/Upgrades)
(Dark Souls wiki homepage : http://darksoulswiki.wikispaces.com/
#2 Posted by Taklulas (401 posts) -

I love you. have my babies.

#3 Edited by RandomInternetUser (6789 posts) -

This is great for the people having questions about this, sticky-ing this for a while would be a good idea.

Also, if anyone wants to tell me... feel free to let me know where I should farm Titanite Chunks. I need a few more to get my Lightning Man-serpent Greatsword to +5.

#4 Posted by Hizang (8532 posts) -

Dark Souls topics have taken over the forums.

#5 Posted by Swoxx (2999 posts) -

@Hizang said:

Dark Souls topics have taken over the forums.

I've been thinking this for weeks. Every time I check site activity I see at least 3-5 Dark Souls threads! Crazy

#6 Posted by Juno500 (429 posts) -

Since this is related to upgrading, I have a question- is there any major benefit to upgrading shields? I've put a little bit into my shield, but all I've gotten is a boost to stability, which is nice but I'd rather save those shards for my weapons unless it will lead to a big boost for my shield.

#7 Posted by RandomInternetUser (6789 posts) -

@Juno500 said:

Since this is related to upgrading, I have a question- is there any major benefit to upgrading shields? I've put a little bit into my shield, but all I've gotten is a boost to stability, which is nice but I'd rather save those shards for my weapons unless it will lead to a big boost for my shield.

As I understand it, the damage that is being upgraded on the shield also helps with how much damage you can block (and how much stamina is taken off during a block). Personally I think upgrading your weapon is more important, but shields should probably come before armor pieces.

#8 Posted by Tw1sted (48 posts) -

I got a question about upgrading from a +5 weapon to a raw one or +6. I think this is called ascension? Anyways, I saw there were three tabs, one for weapons the second for I-don't-remember, but the third had a cycle-symbol on it, and once I had 'ascended' one of my weapons, it appeared there. Does this mean I can get back the Large Ember I used to upgrade it? And will it scrap the weapon if I do?

#9 Posted by Nasar7 (2669 posts) -

@Swoxx said:

@Hizang said:

Dark Souls topics have taken over the forums.

I've been thinking this for weeks. Every time I check site activity I see at least 3-5 Dark Souls threads! Crazy

Seriously, this one being on 360 has really helped it reach critical mass round these parts.

OP: thanks for the chart, very handy. Maybe someone can now compile what stats modify the different upgrade paths, etc.

#10 Posted by RandomInternetUser (6789 posts) -

@Tw1sted said:

I got a question about upgrading from a +5 weapon to a raw one or +6. I think this is called ascension? Anyways, I saw there were three tabs, one for weapons the second for I-don't-remember, but the third had a cycle-symbol on it, and once I had 'ascended' one of my weapons, it appeared there. Does this mean I can get back the Large Ember I used to upgrade it? And will it scrap the weapon if I do?

I'm pretty sure that just reverts the weapon back to what it was before you "ascended" it. For example, if I go there with my lightning weapon, I can change it back to a normal +10 weapon (Or a +7 weapon back to a +5). I don't know if you'll get your souls and shards/chunks back though.

#11 Posted by Turambar (6784 posts) -

People should note that Magic/Enchanted can only be done at the New Londo black smith, lightning and boss souls can only be done at the Anor Londo black smith, and Fire/Chaos can only be done at the Catacombs blacksmith.  Divine and Raw should be doable by whoever you give the ember to I believe.

#12 Edited by bcjohnnie (442 posts) -

@Turambar said:

People should note that Magic/Enchanted can only be done at the New Londo black smith, lightning and boss souls can only be done at the Anor Londo black smith, and Fire/Chaos can only be done at the Catacombs blacksmith. Divine and Raw should be doable by whoever you give the ember to I believe.

That's correct except that Divine can only be done at the Undead Parish blacksmith

#13 Posted by Awolf007 (56 posts) -

So I started upgrading my claymore and have it @ +5. If I wanted to go electric, my path from here would require what types of shards (doesn't +5 to +10 require large titanite shards or is it titanite chunks?). Then, once it's +10, how do I take it to electric?

#14 Posted by Awolf007 (56 posts) -

Electric isn't mentioned in the chart above (unless it is a boss soul or falls within the magic category perhaps?). Or maybe it isn't an option on the claymore? Anyone care to enlighten my noobish query?

#15 Edited by Vigil80 (434 posts) -

@Awolf007:

It's called "thunder" on the chart. You need large titanite shards to get to +10. These can be farmed from the living poop creatures in the depths, or bought from a merchant at the top of Sen's Fortress.

To ascend to an electric weapon, you need to take titanite chunks to the Anor Londo blacksmith.

#16 Posted by Awolf007 (56 posts) -

Thanks Vigil. Another question - I already gave both embers thus far to Andrei. Is that a problem? Also, based on what you said, looks like I'll be rocking the Drake a bit longer (I'm at Iron Golem in Sen's)

#17 Posted by Grimluck343 (1149 posts) -

@imsh_pl Not only is this an amazing post, but you have the most amazing avatar on the site. Period.

#18 Edited by Immuniity (241 posts) -

Heres the version i posted on this forum about 5 days ago. You've seen to have got a hold of an earlier copy.

Edit from the other thread i posted this in -

'If you copy the URL and take out the "_super" part you can see it fine.'

#19 Posted by Psychos1s (9 posts) -

Wow! Thanks for the quick concise info. This was EXACTLY what I was looking for.

#20 Posted by heatDrive88 (2334 posts) -

@imsh_pl: I think that chart/image is inaccurate on the Sif soul swords.

The Sword of Artorias using a Broken Shortsword or a Sword Hilt is not the cursed version that can hit ghosts. The other version of the sword if you use a greatsword or whatever is the version that you want to use to hit ghosts.

Someone please correct me if I am wrong.

#21 Posted by kishinfoulux (2301 posts) -

Awesome.

#22 Posted by Awolf007 (56 posts) -

So I just visited the blacksmith in A.L. and wanted to continue my Claymore progression. As stated it's at +5 and it won't show up in my Reinforce weapon menu. I could swear I have some Large titanite shards is my inventory. Of course, I'm not playing right now so I can't look to verify, but why isn't claymore +6 an option? I have like 15K souls on me so that isn't the issue. I suppose it just means I don't have the large shards, right?

#23 Posted by imsh_pl (3295 posts) -
@Awolf007: If you have a +5 weapon and want to make it +6 you have to take it to the blacksmith and ascend it to +6, then you'll be able to upgrade it up to +10 normally at a bonfire.
#24 Posted by Awolf007 (56 posts) -

@imsh_pl - so I gave both my embers to Andrei back in UD Burg. I have to go back ther to upgrade to +6 then, huh?

#25 Posted by Tesla (1921 posts) -

What's the story on upgrading armor?

#26 Posted by Gerhabio (1977 posts) -

Oooo, this should go to the guide section so that people may find it easier.

#27 Posted by heatDrive88 (2334 posts) -

@Tesla said:

What's the story on upgrading armor?

The exact same rules apply.

#28 Posted by Tesla (1921 posts) -

Including ascension?

#29 Posted by Metal_Mills (2997 posts) -

Is it wise to upgrade normal weapons to save your ore for certain items?

#30 Posted by McQuinn (651 posts) -

Armor goes up to +5 and that's it. You can go ahead and assend to +5 or 10 if you want cus you can always buy ore for that. To assend to +6 you have to go to undeadburg black smith, he's the only one who will do it.

#31 Posted by TekZero (2672 posts) -

@xobballox: Can you revert a normal weapon back to +5 for branching? Say I take a normal weapon all the way to +15 normal, but now I want to make it a divine weapon, it needs to be back at +5.

#32 Posted by McShank (1629 posts) -

@xobballox said:

This is great for the people having questions about this, sticky-ing this for a while would be a good idea.

Also, if anyone wants to tell me... feel free to let me know where I should farm Titanite Chunks. I need a few more to get my Lightning Man-serpent Greatsword to +5.

might be late in telling you but the last 5 knights before the end boss respawn and drop a guarenteed 2 titanite chunks, 1 red chunk, 1 white chunk and 1 blue chunk

#33 Posted by RandomInternetUser (6789 posts) -

@McShank said:

@xobballox said:

This is great for the people having questions about this, sticky-ing this for a while would be a good idea.

Also, if anyone wants to tell me... feel free to let me know where I should farm Titanite Chunks. I need a few more to get my Lightning Man-serpent Greatsword to +5.

might be late in telling you but the last 5 knights before the end boss respawn and drop a guarenteed 2 titanite chunks, 1 red chunk, 1 white chunk and 1 blue chunk

Thanks, I haven't made it there yet (extremely busy with college right now - midterms). I finally found that out after a bunch of google searching.

@TekZero said:

@xobballox: Can you revert a normal weapon back to +5 for branching? Say I take a normal weapon all the way to +15 normal, but now I want to make it a divine weapon, it needs to be back at +5.

I'm pretty sure you can. I don't have a +15 weapon, but I imagine you can downgrade it back to a +10, from where I'm almost certain you can downgrade back to +5. Just go to the modify equipment section and go to the tab all the way to the right and that should be the reverting tab.

#34 Posted by bkbroiler (1625 posts) -

This is a semi-related question about upgrading, but I didn't want to start a new topic.

I've been using the Winged Spear, upgraded to +7 and pumped dex a bit for the bonus. Now I've got the Lightening Spear and have upgraded it a few times, but it no longer scales with my dex. What stats should I push? I feel like my health and endurance are descent, so I will improve them but I wonder if there is a third thing to improve. I'm a pyro so I don't really need anything else...

#35 Edited by RandomInternetUser (6789 posts) -

@bkbroiler said:

This is a semi-related question about upgrading, but I didn't want to start a new topic.

I've been using the Winged Spear, upgraded to +7 and pumped dex a bit for the bonus. Now I've got the Lightening Spear and have upgraded it a few times, but it no longer scales with my dex. What stats should I push? I feel like my health and endurance are descent, so I will improve them but I wonder if there is a third thing to improve. I'm a pyro so I don't really need anything else...

If you plan on sticking with a lightning weapon, just pump endurance and vitality. However, eventually scaling weapons will outdo lightning weapons from what I have heard, but probably not until NG+. When you hit that point, you should probably stick with more dex in addition to endurance/vitality and use dex weapons like the Winged Spear or Uchigatana or Quelaag's Furysword (my personal favorite so far, it does a lot of elemental damage and scales with your dexterity and humanity, and I believe strength but only a bit) since you said you already pumped dex a bit.

#36 Edited by bkbroiler (1625 posts) -

@xobballox said:

@bkbroiler said:

This is a semi-related question about upgrading, but I didn't want to start a new topic.

I've been using the Winged Spear, upgraded to +7 and pumped dex a bit for the bonus. Now I've got the Lightening Spear and have upgraded it a few times, but it no longer scales with my dex. What stats should I push? I feel like my health and endurance are descent, so I will improve them but I wonder if there is a third thing to improve. I'm a pyro so I don't really need anything else...

If you plan on sticking with a lightning weapon, just pump endurance and vitality. However, eventually scaling weapons will outdo lightning weapons from what I have heard, but probably not until NG+. When you hit that point, you should probably stick with more dex in addition to endurance/vitality and use dex weapons like the Winged Spear or Uchigatana or Quelaag's Furysword (my personal favorite so far, it does a lot of elemental damage and scales with your dexterity and humanity, and I believe strength but only a bit) since you said you already pumped dex a bit.

Hm, thank you for the input. Interesting. So you're saying if I upgrade the Winged Spear to +15 it'll eventually become more powerful?

I don't want to completely gimp my character for a possible NG+, but also I tend to get to that point in a game, fully intending to keep playing, and then move onto something else. I would ideally like to get the most out of whatever weapon I'm using - and make it a pretty powerful one.

I guess I'll go with end/vit along with some more attunement slots and dex along the way. That shouldn't stretch me too thin. And if I fuck everything up, oh well.

#37 Posted by Jonnyflash80 (499 posts) -

Awesome post. I found the upgrade stuff very confusing at first but that chart really helps. Thanks.

#38 Posted by Shirogane (3573 posts) -

@McQuinn said:

Armor goes up to +5 and that's it. You can go ahead and assend to +5 or 10 if you want cus you can always buy ore for that. To assend to +6 you have to go to undeadburg black smith, he's the only one who will do it.

Actually tha'ts untrue, Armors go up to 10 still. There are some armors that can't be upgraded, and the ones that use twinkling titanite only go to +5, but normal armors, whcih use titanite can go to +10, it takes a slab to go from 9 to 10 though, and slabs are pretty godamn hard to find.

#39 Posted by McQuinn (651 posts) -

@Shirogane: Yeah I know, I figured that out right after I posted it. It's just that all the armor I think is worth while is twinkling.

#40 Edited by MetalMoog (908 posts) -

Excellent! Thanks a bunch for posting this!

Edit: Do we have a higher res version of this chart available? The text in the bottom boxes is unreadable.

#41 Posted by imsh_pl (3295 posts) -
@MetalMoog: Just click the image to enlarge, it should be a bit more readable then.
#42 Posted by Shirogane (3573 posts) -

@McQuinn said:

@Shirogane: Yeah I know, I figured that out right after I posted it. It's just that all the armor I think is worth while is twinkling.

In terms of stats or looks? Cause at +10, a lot of that stuff has way better stats than the +5s, some of it doesnt though, it's a bit strange.

#43 Posted by TekZero (2672 posts) -

What's the advantage of going down the crystal upgrade path? I know crystal boosts damage, but lowers durability. Plus, you can't repair it. Sounds like if you go down that path, your favorite weapon/shield will soon be worthless.

#44 Posted by bkbroiler (1625 posts) -

Anyone got any recommendations for a good divine weapon? I have a dex/str build right now, but it doesn't really matter. I'd like to try a weapon out for the catacombs that isn't a spear.

#45 Posted by TekZero (2672 posts) -

@bkbroiler said:

Anyone got any recommendations for a good divine weapon? I have a dex/str build right now, but it doesn't really matter. I'd like to try a weapon out for the catacombs that isn't a spear.

I haven't gotten down there yet, since I'm still figuring out how I want to play. But don't blunt weapons shatter skeletons? I know the big guys near firelink shattered when I maced 'em good. So, try the morningstar, it's available at firelink in a treasure chest.

#46 Posted by bkbroiler (1625 posts) -
@TekZero I think I have one already! Thanks. That's a nice change of pace.
#47 Posted by McQuinn (651 posts) -

@bkbroiler: I personally really like the halberd. But, can you explain your dex/str build? How far are you cus it doesn't sound like it you have many options.

#48 Posted by bkbroiler (1625 posts) -

@McQuinn: I'm level 50, and I just finished Anor Londo. I have been kind of allocating my stat points into whatever I see fit... strength and dex for when I need to equip something, vitality and endurance mostly, and some attunement for my pyromancy. I could really equip anything I guess.

#49 Posted by Syndrom (361 posts) -

so to get a lighting weapon i have to modify a +5 standard weapon right? as in get a standard up to +5 and then change it into a lighting?

#50 Posted by McQuinn (651 posts) -

@Syndrom: No, it needs to be +10

@bkbroiler: Well, if you can equip zweihander, that thing is pretty nice. If you are running through the catacombs to the summoner guy instead of using a blessed weapon, I would recommend a quick damaging weapon to kill those guys fast before skeletons catchup and gang up on you.

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