What is Dark Souls known for? Giant intimidating beasts? Dilapidated and detailed worlds? Brutal and unforgiving gameplay? Well, yes. But most importantly, swords. Lots of them. Like, a lot. Out of the countless weapons shown within the Dark Souls trilogy, there's nothing cooler than an old-fashioned blade.

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Be it PvP or PvE, swords are some of the strongest weapons around for their mix of speed, range, and power - they're extremely well-balanced weapons and are held near and dear by fans. Which swords throughout the series have solidified themselves as the king of the crop?

Updated October 1, 2021, by Jerrad Wyche: The Dark Souls trilogy from FromSoftware influenced the modern gaming landscape in a way that few other game series have. From the world design to interconnected levels, and the fluid and tight combat - it all stands in a league of its own. Fans love debating character builds and weapon loadouts, but it's hard to deny which swords in the series stand above the rest. Here are the best swords in Dark Souls.

12 Balder Side Sword

balder side sword dark souls best

Now, the Balder Side Sword is an incredible weapon to wield, but it takes a bit of luck or resilience to actually obtain. It has a one percent drop rate in Dark Souls Remastered and is dropped by the Balder Knight's in either the Undead Parish or Sen's Fortress.

It's the perfect weapon for dexterity builds as it scales at a grade A with that attribute, which is aided by the fact that the sword itself is surprisingly light. It handles well in various situations, so its usefulness gives it a leg up.

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11 Chaos Blade

chaos blade dark souls best sword

Dark Souls players who enjoy spending time in the realm of Player vs. Player or PVP for short should know the Chaos Blade quite well. It's rather easy to acquire, as players only need to upgrade any katana with the Soul of Quelaag.

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Each time a hit is landed with the Chaos Blade, it cuts 20 health points from the user, but the trade-off of having the B-tier weapon scaling, quick swing recovery, and bleed effectiveness makes it worth it. Just make sure to keep an eye on your health bar.

10 Washing Pole

dark souls trilogy best swords washing pole

Come on, just look at this thing. It's difficult to call this thing "one-handed" with a straight face, but that's exactly what it is. Outranging even some greatswords, the Washing Pole mixes speed with sheer range to make it very difficult for opponents to counteract.

In player vs player battles, the Washing Pole does exceptionally well at catching rolls and overly aggressive players. The comically large blade is its biggest strength, as it's a pretty average weapon on its own.

9 Black Knight Sword

dark souls trilogy best swords black night sword

Dropped from the obviously named Black Knights, this sword is a great balance of power and weight. It is a great choice in the original Dark Souls, as you can get lucky enough to obtain one within the first major area of the game.

In Dark Souls 3, however, the weapon skill for this blade turns the user into an impenetrable force, skyrocketing your poise stat. This weapon makes it difficult for opponents to stagger you as you tank through hits and combos to deal back a hefty blow of sheer damage.

8 Gold & Dark Silver Tracers

dark souls trilogy best swords dark silver tracer

Besides looking absolutely radical, these weapons are extremely potent dexterity-focused blades. They have a few differences in terms of stats, but ultimately serve the same similar functions of having lightning-fast attacks, one of the flashiest movesets in the game, and insane damage potential.

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The Gold Tracer, in particular, is going to be your main source of damage as it boasts critical bonuses as well as great bleed build-up, which are both excellent choices in PvP. When used in conjunction, the flashiness and trails left by these weapons will have you looking like the deadliest dancer in all of Lordran.

7 Quelaag's Fury Sword

dark souls trilogy best swords quelaags fury sword

Obtained from defeating the less than appealing Quelaag, her sword is one of the most unique-looking ones in the entire game, with some great stats as well. This is a fire-based sword, with a +5 Fury Sword having a base 255 fire damage, which is certainly nothing to scoff at.

Since you obtain this weapon in this first half of the game, it is an exceptionally great choice to use for the rest of your adventure as an all-around solid damaging sword. It looks cool as well, and we all know that Fashion Souls is the most important aspect of the series.

6 Moonlight Greatsword

dark souls trilogy best swords moonlight greatsword

The Moonlight Greatsword is From Software's most recurring weapon in any of their franchises, and Dark Souls is no different. This sword is unique in the fact that it is a purely magic-centered weapon, having an "S" rating in intelligence.

For mage builds, the Moonlight Greatsword is possibly the best melee weapon to have available, as it'll deal some massive damage with a projectile beam to wield as well. This thing looks extremely neat, as most weapons in the series stick to basic metallic colors, this weapon glows a greenish-blue and exemplifies its magical prowess.

5 Gael's Greatsword

dark souls trilogy best swords gael greatsword

If Gael wasn't a cool enough boss in his own right, his weapon will make you feel just as powerful as the Slave Knight himself. Gael's Greatsword turns Dark Souls into Devil May Cry, as its moveset will have you jumping around the battlefield and swinging your blade in circles like there's no tomorrow.

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Aside from an extremely unique and downright fun moveset, this weapon is particularly dangerous to fight against. Its moves are hard to dodge with most conventional builds, and getting hit by it will definitely leave you hurting.

4 King's Ultra Greatsword

kings ultra greatsword dark souls best sword

If there's one thing that the Dark Souls trilogy excels at, it's having tons of colossal swords. This is the poster boy of strength builds, as it requires monstrously high stats to even wield properly. But, after enough grinding to be able to hold it upright, the damage output from this thing is ridiculous.

As one of, if not the most damaging weapons in the whole game, any enemy on the receiving end of this oddly shaped sword won't be in great condition, to say the least. While it's obviously a slow and cumbersome commitment, taking the time to allocate your stats will allow you to take out most of your foes in a single hit or two.

3 Zweihander

dark souls trilogy best swords zweilhander

There are two words to accurately describe this weapon, and they are "raw power". Obtainable within literal minutes in the original Dark Souls, The Zweihander requires surprisingly low stats to wield and has an incredibly high damage output for the price.

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When fully enhanced at the blacksmith, this weapon will undoubtedly be one of the strongest in the entire game, quite literally flattening enemies with its weight. If you're willing to sacrifice your mobility to turn enemies into bloody pancakes, then this weapon is perfect.

2 Estoc

dark souls trilogy best swords estoc

Thrusting swords are oftentimes left behind for cooler-looking and more damaging swords, but the Estoc is a prime example of the potential that these blades possess. As one of the fastest attacking weapon types, thrusting swords excel in breaking your opponent's defenses and quickly draining their HP.

The Estoc has incredible damage when infused, and its sheer speed and staggering potential make it one of the most deadly choices in PvP combat. It might be one of the easier weapons to use as well, as spamming a light attack is as simple as mashing a single button.

1 Lothric Knight Sword

dark souls trilogy best swords lothric knight sword

Speaking of spamming light attacks, this sword is the pinnacle of that. The Lothric Knight Sword has just about everything. Great speed, super solid damage output, and it's able to take advantage of faith infusion to be a great option for a faith build. As a beginner weapon, this is the prime choice.

Most early-game weapons are decent at best, but the Lothric Knight Sword can be obtained in the first major area in the game and will easily last you until the very last boss fight. It may not be the flashiest or biggest weapon you can wield, but it sure is the most reliable in both PvP and PvE.

NEXT: The Best Strength Weapons In Dark Souls 3

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