Dark Souls 3

Dark Souls 3

Dark Souls 3

THE HUD

The HUD displays useful information at all times, so you never have to look far to check your status. Your character stays in the center of the screen and you have control of the camera to look around. Up top you have bars for your health (in red), your FPs (in blue), and your Stamina (in green). These fills or deplete depending on the actions you take, and that lets you track whether you can keep fighting, decide back off to rest, heal, or if it’s simply time to flee. If your character’s health gets too low, you’re in great danger. Use the Estus Flask to heal, or retreat from combat entirely if that isn’t an option. If your FPs bottom out, use the Ashen Estus Flask to restore them, or resort to basic attacks that don’t rely on them to get the job done. Be careful about using the restoration from Flasks in combat, you are vulnerable while drinking. Try to disengage and take a drink away from hostiles and out of combat. Stamina is the easiest to restore. Back off and lower your shield to restore your Stamina more quickly. It only takes a few seconds, and then you’re ready to re-engage.

In the bottom-right is your Souls counter, the currency of the world of Dark Souls. The higher the number, the more you have to spend. If you accumulate a large number of souls, you should take a break from exploring to invest them in character growth. If you don’t, you could lose them. The bottom-left displays readied gear and spells. The items in your hands are on the left and right. The Tools you have readied are on the bottom. The top slot is for your spells. Use directional buttons to swap around these items with others in the same slots that you have prepared in the Equipment menu. Or, you can go into the Equipment Screen to swap these items around ahead of time.

MOVEMENT

The left stick controls your character’s movement. Normally you turn and move in whatever direction you push. However, it’s possible to lock onto enemy targets by pressing the right stick. When you’re locked onto an enemy your character faces them at all times, so moving left or right causes you to sidestep and moving down backs your character away from the target. It’s useful to switch between lock on and regular movement frequently. It’s easier to run away and get distance from your enemies when you aren’t locked on. Do this to get to safety, to earn time for Stamina to regenerate or to look for a place to hide and use your Estus Flask. When you’re on the attack it’s easier to line up attack combos when you’re locked on. Move normally when you’re exploring, lock on to tackle most foes but press the right stick again if you need to drop your lock on and get away from an enemy that is gaining the upper hand. When facing packs of smaller enemies you may want to avoid locking on and instead use the manual camera control along with quick dodges ?to avoid being surrounded.

THE MENU

Although you can’t pause the game, there is a menu that you can bring up with the Options button. Try this to see what’s available! This is how you get to several important screens: Equipment, Inventory, Status, Message, and System. The System Menu has a number of options to explore. Take your time working with these options until you find the control scheme that is ideal for your playstyle. Be especially focused on Camera Speed, Brightness, and Camera Axis. All of these influence the game considerably, so it is a good idea to find a setup that you enjoy most. The Status Screen lets you look at your character and their stats. Inventory allows you to use some of your Tools and to read descriptions for all of the items that you find. Check out the Equipment Screen to set up your hotbars, change Armor, choose Weapons, etc

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