In Dark Souls 3, players can earn one of four possible endings. This guide will explain how to achieve each ending so that you can get the best ending for your playthrough. Each ending involves a series of specific steps. Although each ending can be done on separate playthroughs, it’s often more satisfying to earn the best ending on your first run. Follow the guidelines detailed in each section below to ensure you achieve the ending you desire.
Of course, this guide will entail some spoilers regarding characters, bosses, secret locations and the overall story. The steps to obtain some of the endings necessarily involve the questlines of specific NPCs. Character spoilers are fairly unavoidable when explaining each of the endings, so consider yourself forewarned.
#1: Basic Ending
This is the simplest ending to the game, as it only requires playing straight through each location without pursuing other story specific endeavors or activities. The basic ending involves beating the Soul of Cinder boss at the end of the game without having all eight Dark Sigils. To reach this boss, light the bonfire at the Kiln of the First Flame and prepare for battle at the top of the hill.
If you don’t have enough Dark Sigils by the late-game phase, you will most likely receive this ending, as it is the bare minimum to complete the game. However, completing any Dark Souls game is no easy task, so you should still pat yourself on the back for your fine work!
#2: The End of Fire - True Ending
The End of Fire ending involves finding a pair of Fire Keeper eyes in a hidden location late in the game. To achieve this ending, you must first reach the Untended Graves, which can be found through a secret door beyond the boss room at the end of the Consumed King’s Garden.
Defeat Oceiros, the Consumed King, and light the bonfire afterward. Continue forward beyond the boss room, open the doors and head downward. Prepare to fight a Serpent-Man near the end of the path, then loot the chest to receive a Titanite Scale. Go behind the chest and attack the back wall to reveal the hidden passage to the Untended Graves.
The Untended Graves is a darker version of the Cemetery of Ash starting area. Here you must face Champion Gundyr, a faster and more dangerous version of Iudex Gundyr. Defeat this boss in the darkened arena, and proceed through the doors leading to the dark alternative of Firelink Shrine.
The dark Firelink Shrine is similar to the hub you’re used to, making for relatively easy navigation. Head over to where Irina of Carim normally sits. To refresh your memory, Irina is usually found sitting at the end of a corridor just beyond the Pyromancer. Locate the Blacksmith, go down the staircase to the right, and continue to the end of the passage ahead. Strike the wall behind where Irina sits to reveal yet another hidden passage, as well as the Eyes of a Fire Keeper.
Collect the Eyes of a Fire Keeper, and bring them back to the Fire Keeper at your normal Firelink Shrine. Proceed to the Kiln of the First Flame to defeat the Soul of Cinder as usual. Afterward, locate a white summon sign near the bonfire in the boss area to summon the Fire Keeper, and she will direct you to the End of Fire ending.
#3: The End of Fire - Alternate Ending
Compared to the previous ending, the alternate End of Fire ending is certainly the more sinister and grim of the two. To achieve this ending, you must follow through with the True Ending to obtain the Eyes of a Fire Keeper, as we explained earlier. Defeat the Soul of Cinder in the Kiln of the First Flame as you normally would, then summon the Fire Keeper from the white summon sign nearby. Rather than completing the ritual, you will have a brief moment where you can kill the Fire Keeper instead.
Summon the Fire Keeper and continue through the cut scene. After the cut scene ends, wait for the Fire Keeper to allow the flame to die in her hands. You can regain control of your character briefly as the fire fades. Attack the Fire Keeper quickly as soon as you regain control. There is only a short amount of time where this is possible, so spam the attack button to ensure it works. Killing the Fire Keeper in this moment causes the alternate End of Fire ending to occur afterward.
#4: The Lord of Hollows Ending
The Lord of Hollows Ending, also called the Usurpation of Fire, is arguably the best ending in Dark Souls 3 due to its complexity and implications. This ending involves interactions with several important NPCs, including Yoel and Yuria of Londor, as well as Anri of Astora. Players seeking the Lord of Hollows ending must be very careful with how they pursue certain activities throughout the game, as simple mistakes can prevent this ending entirely.
Obtain Five Dark Sigils from Yoel of Londor
First, you must find Yoel of Londor amongst the pilgrims outside just before the gate to the Undead Settlement. Speak with Yoel and accept his services. This will recruit Yoel to become a merchant at Firelink Shrine, where he sells various items.
To locate Yoel in Firelink Shrine, head down the stairs to the left of the blacksmith, and proceed to the end of the corridor. Speak with Yoel and select Draw Out True Strength. Do this five times to receive five Dark Sigils, granting you five free levels in the process. Do not heal the Dark Sigils at the Fire Keeper. You need all of the Dark Sigils from Yoel to complete the Lord of Hollows ending.
The Dark Sigils cause Hollowing points to show up within your stats upon death, but don’t worry. Hollowing doesn’t come with the same negative effects as it did the previous games. For each level and Dark Sigil gained from Yoel, you will need to obtain a certain amount of hollowing in order to continue drawing your true strength each time. After gaining a Dark Sigil, proceed to die repeatedly so that you can raise your Hollowing number and obtain the next Dark Sigil from Yoel.
It is important to obtain these first five Dark Sigils from Yoel before reaching the Catacombs of Carthus. Yoel will die as soon as you enter the Catacombs, so make sure you have received all five Dark Sigils from him before proceeding to this area. The Catacombs are found down the stairwell that opens after fighting the Abyss Watchers, so make sure you’re ready before continuing.
Once you have obtained five Dark Sigils, Yoel will die. It’s ok, he has fulfilled his purpose. A woman named Yuria of Londor will take his place, and you’ll find her standing a few steps away from Yoel’s remains in Firelink Shrine.
Three More Dark Sigils and the Rite of Avowal
At this point, the goal is to obtain three more Dark Sigils and a Sword of Avowal. Hopefully you’ve taken a liking to Anri of Astora, because the two of you are to be wed. Continue on to the Road of Sacrifices to meet Anri and Horace near the Halfway Fortress Bonfire. Be sure to speak with Anri twice during this first encounter.
Proceed with your journey as usual until you discover the Cathedral of the Deep. Defeat the Deacons of the Deep, then return to Firelink Shrine to speak with Anri once more. When you encounter Anri again in the Catacombs of Carthus, don’t mention Horace’s whereabouts. You can come back later to deal with Horace after seeing Anri again in Irithyll.
Continue on to reach the Irithyll of the Boreal Valley region. Locate Anri in the Church of Yorshka near the bonfire for another chat. Be sure to exhaust all conversation options with Anri. Proceed to defeat Pontiff Sulyvahn in this region, then return to Firelink Shrine. Speak with Yuria to find out that the wedding plans are nearly complete. This may require talking to Yuria more than once.
Return to Irithyll and locate a Pilgrim on the far side of the region near the Darkmoon Tomb. The Pilgrim is found at the base of a staircase in a room leading to Anor Londo. Speak with the Pilgrim to receive the Sword of Avowal.
Make your way to the chamber at the end of the hallway from where you spoke with the Pilgrim. Perform the Rite of Avowal with Anri at the far end of the chamber, granting you three more Dark Sigils. You should now have eight Dark Sigils in total, assuming you didn’t heal any of them at the Fire Keeper.
After the avowal ritual, return to Firelink Shrine and speak with Yuria once more. Then, continue to the end of the game to defeat the Soul of Cinder at the Kiln of the First Flame. Interact with the bonfire after the final boss fight to experience the Lord of Hollows ending and earn the Usurpation of Fire achievement/trophy.