Dark Souls: The 10 Best Greatsword Dark Souls 1, Dark Souls: The 10 Best Swords For Pve, Ranked

Ranked: 15 Most Powerful Weapons In Dark Souls Dark Souls is one of the most difficult games around. Players need the best weapons in order to succeed.

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left: moonlight greatsword. center: black knight greatsword. right: demon's greataxe.
Dark Souls is easily one of the best games of last gen. An action RPG that offered a punishing but still fair difficulty curve, Demon’s Souls set the foundation that Dark Souls would build upon. Where stages were linear and segmented, the world was now interconnected. Where bosses often favored spectacle and gimmicks, Dark Souls’ bosses emphasized mechanical variety.

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That’s really where Dark Souls edges out its sister game. There are so many more weapon options available for the player to use. For PvE in particular, just about any weapon can get the job done while being reasonably fun to use, but there’s something special about using the strongest weapons in a game.

Updated on December 27th, 2020, by Reyadh Rahaman: What constitutes a weapon as being strong is the amount of damage it can do to adversaries. There are certainly ways to abuse mechanics in the game for ridiculous single-hit damage on certain enemies and bosses, although this is borderline cheating and takes away quite a lot of the fun, challenging aspects that everyone has come to love from the Dark Souls games.

Cleaving peons with huge blades and smashing others into the acrid soil by the grace of a monstrous mace are but two ways one can decimate foes in the most satisfying of manners. Depending on the Chosen Undead”s build and playstyle, there are different weapons that can become the strongest. For none are mighty on their own; it is the wielder that holds the true strength. However, some tools are better for the job of accompanying one to their battles than others for their unique traits, huge stats, and ease of use.

15 Smough”s Hammer

art of smough holding his hammer from dark souls
Forged from a +10 hammer or great hammer, 5,000 souls, and, most importantly, the Soul of Smough, the gluttonous grand executioner of Anor Londo. Most remember this titanic mallet from their battles with the executioner and the dragon-slaying knight Ornstein. In the hands of the player, it can be equally mighty.

Due to its massive weight of 28 and the highest Strength requirement in the game at 58, this armament will take some time to prepare for. For those seeking to unleash huge base damage, it is an ideal weapon. Smashing foes into oblivion is very easy with this great hammer, especially with its rolling attack, which has a larger hitbox than others and can catch even the wiliest of foes. On top of this, it heals the wielder for 10 HP per attack that lands; nominal, but can be handy in a pinch.

14 Dragon King Greataxe

player wielding a huge black greataxe while underground in dark souls
Those familiar with dragons in the first Dark Souls game are likely well aware of tail-cut weapons: arms that can be harvested by doing enough damage to a draconic foe”s tail for it to be destroyed. The Dragon King Greataxe is arguably the most powerful, at least in terms of single-hit damage potential. It can be obtained from the Gaping Dragon.

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Like all dragon weapons, this huge axe grants one increased resistance to fire and magic damage and comes with a unique two-handed strong attack, one that sends out a savage shockwave from the player in a devastating AOE attack. However, uncharacteristic for a dragon weapon, it can be upgraded, further increasing the sheer amount of raw damage that can be used to bifurcate any obstacle.

13 Demon”s Spear

Wielded, and possibly dropped, by the batwing demons of fleshy gargoyle-like nature that fly about Anor Londo, this wicked spear was created from the bones of their kin and holds shocking strength. As one of the longest spears in the game, it can keep a great number of foes at bay, though there are greater reasons to consider this as one”s weapon of choice.

This piercing pole deals both thrust and lightning damage; two of the best offensive damaging types in the game, particularly on bosses and tougher foes. It also scales moderately well with both Strength and Dexterity, making it an able companion for many builds.

12 Dragon Tooth

The last thing most new players see as they descend that fated, curved stairway leading to where a warrior in Havel”s set awaits. A single swing from the colossal club, Dragon Tooth, has been the end of countless players. There are few other weapons that deal more poise damage than this massive fang hewn from the mouth of an everlasting dragon.

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As with other weapons born from the death of a drake, this one grants its wielder greater defense against fire and magic damage. Strange for this class of combat equipment, it can be upgraded to enhance its already deadly potential. Blows from this behemoth cannot be parried, or blocked efficiently, making it an eternal offensive threat for all enemies.

11 Demon”s Greataxe

This weapon is one that can be missed pretty easily, as it is an uncommon item that drops after beating the mighty Taurus Demon. Demonic weapons, like their former masters, and known for great potency of flame and fury; powerful allies for one seeking to smite adversaries with a flurry of annihilating assaults.

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This greataxe may have short-range but is swung surprisingly fast for its size and weight. The most notable feature, however, is the potential to be the strongest weapon in the game for high-level Strength builds. It can be upgraded to +15 and gains S-class damage scaling from one”s Strength stat, making its damage output insane.

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10 Black Knight Greataxe

Black Knight weapons are incredibly rare drops, but one of them is bound to drop sooner rather than later. The Black Knight Greataxe may not be the best of the bunch, but it more than pulls its weight in a fight. While slow, the Black Knight Greataxe hits incredibly hard and has surprisingly good reach. 

With the right timing, tearing down enemies with the Black Knight Greataxe is no problem. It’s an especially useful weapon for bosses with larger health pools. Of course, its speed is a bit of a problem, but that’s really the only major point against the Black Knight Greataxe. 

9 Great Scythe

The Great Scythe is an easy weapon to underestimate. It’s so non-traditional that it almost feels like it’s bound to make a mess in Dark Souls. It even clips through the ground in movement. At the same time, the Great Scythe has a wickedly fun playstyle that keeps players moving and attacking almost rhythmically. 

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It’s an incredibly fun weapon to learn how to play, but it’s no slouch in a fight either. It can tackle most of the main game with no major roadblocks. The fact that the weapon has such a unique control scheme really is the main reason to use it, though. Few weapons are as fun. 

8 Balder Side Sword

The Balder Side Sword only has a 1% drop rate from Balder Knights, but it’s worth the effort to grind out as early as the Undead Parish. The Balder Side Sword is a fast, reasonably hard-hitting weapon with an insanely reliable moveset that makes mincemeat out of most enemies. It’s a great weapon to take to the end of the game and beyond. 

Of course, grinding for it will be the biggest challenge. That 1% drop rate is particularly cruel and might ensure that most players won’t ever stumble upon the sword on any of their playthroughs. Its thrust attacks are also notoriously difficult to parry, making them fairly useful for PvP. 

7 Black Knight Greatsword

The Black Knight Greatsword is one of the slower greatswords in the game, making it difficult to unleash a frenzy of swings like a mad man, but it’s nonetheless a powerful weapon that some lucky few will end up getting as early as the Undead Parish. It hits hard, can smash down shields, and has pretty good range all around. 

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Its moveset is pretty smooth for a greatsword as well. It’s heavy, but not particularly cumbersome. Of course, it’s worth noting that there are better greatsword options in the game so the Black Knight Greatsword might seem redundant, but being outclassed doesn’t make it any less impressive. 

6 Estoc

The Estoc is going to end up a beast for everyone should a player decide to take the time to experiment with it. As a thrusting weapon, players can use the Estoc while keeping their shield up. With the right timing, it’s possible to skewer enemies to death while behind the safety of a shield. 

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Looking for a more involved playstyle? Just ditch the shield and get into the rhythm of methodically poking the opposition. As the longest ranged thrusting weapon in the game, the Estoc can reach surprisingly far, allowing for fluid movement within combat. Just keep in mind that timing is key. 

5 Moonlight Greatsword

The Moonlight Greatsword is basically the definitive weapon of INT builds. It’s not nearly as slow as other greatswords, has magical properties, has a fluid move set, and scales really well with its main stats. The only real downside to the weapon is its range and the fact that it can’t be found until very late in the game. 

On top of that, players need to cut off Seath’s tail before killing him to get the weapon— a task that’s frankly easier said than done. It can be tedious trying to get the Moonlight Greatsword, but it does only need to happen once, and getting the weapon is a matter of skill more than anything else. 

4 Black Knight Sword

The Black Knight Sword is one of the most reliable weapons in the game, especially when two-handed. Not only does two-handing make the Black Knight Sword stronger, its swings become significantly faster, making the weapon incredibly punishing. Like with all the Black Knight weapons, it has a fun move set to learn how to play. 

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Surprisingly, the Black Knight Sword doesn’t have range problems. It’s not as long-ranged as it perhaps could be, but it has enough range to almost always be useful, especially when two-handed. It doesn’t have the best availability in the game, but it’s an easy enough weapon to farm in the Kiln. 

3 Zweihander

It’s almost unfair how ridiculously useful the Zweihander winds up with little to no effort. It’s fast, has amazing range, hits incredibly hard, and can efficiently stunlock. It’s a weapon that can be found as soon as players step foot outside the Asylum. Better yet, the Zweihander never falls off in terms of usability. 

Most of its upgrade paths are worth putting some effort into, but the weapon itself is strong enough even on its own. Like with most weapons, the Zweihander becomes particularly dangerous when two-handed. It’s arguably the best greatsword in the game, if not the most broken, but there is one sword that gives it a run for its money. 

2 Claymore

At first glance, the Claymore might not seem worth the effort. It’s less glamorous than the Zweihander, doesn’t have as good a range, and isn’t nearly as flashy. But it’s a more cohesive and understandable weapon. It lacks the chaotic energy of the Zweihander but offers a more sensible playstyle in return. 

It’s overall a much smoother weapon in terms of feel, which makes using the Claymore more worthwhile than the Zweihander in many respects. It’s also a strong enough weapon in its own right without being cheap. The Claymore doesn’t need wonky balancing to be a good greatsword. 

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