Dark Souls Remastered: What’s Different and What’s Not
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Dark Souls Remastered: What’s Different and What’s Not

Today we get to reveal some more information about Dark Souls Remastered that you most likely haven’t heard yet, unless you awoke very early this morning. There have been some changes to some unexpected aspects, things that players might have been hoping for, and some that maybe they weren’t.

This is not an impressions article, we’ll be doing that later. We gave you a refresher of some oldschool mechanics a few days back, so without further ado, let’s take a look at just what has changed.

Dark Souls Remastered: What’s Different and What’s Not

We’ll skip the graphical section for now, and put it at the bottom, because this is not fresh news, and odds are you’ve heard it already. Let’s instead focus on the core mechanic changes of Dark Souls Remastered and how they stack up to the original. Brace yourself because some might be kind of a shock.

Damn Anor Londo sure looks good here…

Major Mechanics Changes – Dark Souls 3 ish

Please keep in mind there *may* be more of these – but nobody has been allowed to progress past a specific point so there may be a few surprises waiting for you somewhere. Some smaller quality-of-life changes include adding a bonfire by Blacksmith Vamos and giving players the ability to re-map the jump button.


Probably the 2 most notable changes to the game, and ones that will really impact returning veterans, are the changing of Covenants at Bonfires and the addition of dedicated servers. Yep, you heard that right, you can now change Covenants at bonfires. This is a real shame in my opinion and is something that really set Dark Souls apart from the later installments of the franchise. However, I understand why they did it, and I’m sure some people will appreciate it. It would seem you still get sin from betrayals, so watch out and don’t randomly hit those NPCs!

Dedicated Servers

With the introduction of dedicated servers players will have a much smoother online experience and what they had previously, which was P2P or player-to-player. This should drastically reduce the amount of lagstabs and other exploits that tend to ruin the fantastic PvP of the game. The servers are not the only change to PvP though, and there’s bound to be a mix of emotions about them.

Don’t forget to shoot the tail!

Online, Co Op and PvP

Firstly there can now be 6 players online in a game, but in order to have that many you will be required to use the Dried Finger, just like Dark Souls 3. Because this is such an integral part of the game, the Finger has been moved to the Undead Burg merchant from the Painted World, in order to give players access to it much earlier in the game.

Whilst we haven’t been able to test the following, and the preview build is disclaimed as a “work in progress”, it would appear players will no longer be able to use healing items such as Divine Blessing or Humanity while invaded OR invading. Healing is limited to Estus only in a PvP scenario and just like Dark Souls 3, these are cut in half for friendly and invading phantoms, but not the host. We do not know if friendly phantoms will actually be able to use their Estus (like they could in Dark Souls 3), or if it will remain the same and only the host can heal phantoms with their own Estus. Players seem also unable to summon consecutive phantoms when invaded to prevent a never ending invasion.

Something to surely be popular is that players can now utilize password matching, just as they could in Dark Souls 3, and players can use this to summon players outside of the normal limits of summoning ranges. Players who are above the host’s level will be adjusted down to compensate, again like Dark Souls 3.

The Arena will now feature 3v3 and 6 player deathmatch game modes, to go along with the 1v1, 2v2 and 4 player deathmatch modes that were already in place. Arena can also utilize password matching for play with friends or tournaments and respawn points will now be random.

I hope that’s a holy bolt, otherwise…

Graphics and Enhancements

Xbox One X, PS4 Pro and PC will display Dark Souls Remasterd in 4k resolution with 60 frames per second. PS4 Pro and Xbox One X will upscale this from 1080p, while PC will feature native 4k resolution. PS4 Pro and Xbox One will play at 1080p with 60 frames per second and Nintendo Switch will have 1080p at 30 frames per second (when docked), with 720p at 30FPS when portable. The Remastered version of the game does feature enhanced lighting as we had originally reported, however the textures and effects look largely the same.

The framerate performance (and the dreaded input lag of Blighttown) remains to be tested in detail – but we are hopeful that the game will prove superior to the original in this regard.

I have lost count the number of times these dudes have killed me…

If you want more Dark Souls, you will probably want to check out fan-made Dark Souls in Unreal Engine 4, or have some fun exploring Dark Souls Comedy. Alternatively, there’s a fantastic article on Humanity and the Soul that could bring you back to the origins of souls lore, or our pieces on Dark Souls Architecture and Dark Souls Armor design from history.

Stay tuned for announcements regarding the upcoming Dark Souls Remastered Network Test!

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19 responses to “Dark Souls Remastered: What’s Different and What’s Not”

  1. >

    This is my concern as well. Are they improving graphics for the newer console releases? If not, then I’ll just play it on my PS3. It’d be a waste of money.

  2. So visually, what’s a bigger improvement, DS fix version compared to the original PC
    release, or the remaster compared to DS Fix? I worry that, like with Skyrim, the remaster won’t look significantly better than the original modded version, but unlike with Skyrim, the PC remaster won’t be a free update.

  3. >
    Oh, I have plenty of ideas I’ve been brewing up for the DkS1 meta that are more ingenious than Giant Dad, sure, but this is for the memes. I don’t really want to get people to quit; I do, however, want to add to the difficulty and frustrations of new players’ first playthrough. A lot.

  4. >

    The single time I ran into a Giant Dad on a random invasion I was playing a minimum prereq chaos blade ninja cosplay, SL20 at most perhaps. I did an emote and then seppuku’d off a cliff. Guy pings me “???”, I replied, “What chance did I have? The Legend never dies.”

  5. >

    Given that the recent information strongly leans towards level and weapon parameter matching, I will redirect you to this post of the speculative impact.


    If your goal is to stomp on new players fresh on their journey, the strongest un-upgraded low-req weapons may be the Gravelord Sword, or Obsidian Greatsword.

    The SL99 Giant Dad build puts you towards the end of the game.

    If you really want to make people quit, you play a gravity build at Sen’s Fortress. In times past, I had a great deal of fun with an SL2 Cleric, Force, Dragon Covenant. FYI, Dragon Torso Shout has 100% guard/poise break. No. Don’t kill them with gravity. Just push them off of non-lethal ledges and make them claw their way back, and repeat. The raaaaage from cheat-god-mode togglers was intense. SL2 due to unlimited upward invasion range, which will likely no longer be the case, adjust accordingly :)

  6. >

    HahahaHorrific! I still remember the day I was able to barely solo a giant dad in the Enchanted woods with +15 DMB buffed Falchion at SL100. Still might be my greatest souls achievement to date. I will probably run a min req. Giant Dad as well. but also a low level +5 ascended Pyromancy with Blade of fury build around SL16 i think…whatever min. req’s for Fury blade demands….Actually, that depends on the match making system using weapon upgrade as parameter or not.

  7. I’m going to start a Giant Dad build, day 1… for old time’s sake. Also, I just want the new players to feel the terror that is fighting a Giant Dad invader. Especially a Giant Dad invader who is actually decent at PvP. My goal is to make someone return their copy of the game ASAP.

  8. >
    I’ve heard somewhere that that’s a sign you’re having a stroke… you might want to get that checked out.

  9. >

    i have been trying to get invaded on ds3 i usually need to use the dried finger but then invaders start ganking me, now without the ability to summon phantoms using a dried finger is suicide specially if they decide to allow invader to use half estus which depending on how it work could mean a invader can get 10 estus(20 halved) before the gargoyles while wearing the most broken pvp gear

  10. damn freaking passwords will once again turn this into a gank fest.
    SO BE IT!

    let’s be EVIL with those noobs!

  11. Dedicated Servers – Choose your words more carefully….

    Dedicated Server refers to only the matching server.

    What gets fixed
    More sign activity.
    Faster search for arena / invasion / blueberries / etc.
    Original P2P system had long search times to discover other players for online interaction.

    What does not get fixed / What is not reality
    There is no intermediary server hosting the game state. Not like quake, overwatch, mmos, etc. It is still P2P between players clients.
    Lagstabs. You can still be paired with someone on McDonalds wi-fi and enjoy lagstabs.
    Exploits. Any player can still cheat the game state on their local client, and send problematic data to your client. Better mitigations are probably in place like DS3. Again, this is due to there not actually being a dedicated server hosting the game state.

    Maybe improvement.
    Global matchmaking toggle. DS2/3/BB basically had Japan / f&*k-the-rest-of-you-Global switch. Thanks Miyazaki. We’ll see if we get proper continental filtering. Technically it’s quite possible and simple by binning IP blocks assigned to countries. This would be one of the best improvements we could see for improving lag.



    The change is good, as it will encourage more active participation in various online focused covenants overall. One will not be so concerned with preserving current state of Chaos Covenant or some such PvE covenant.

    No mention of Gravelord not being restricted to NG+. :(


    Online rules

    Pretty much all I wanted. DS1/DeS healing stacks were cancerous, and promoted 1 or 2 shot builds. The damper on summoning consecutive summons fixes my main gripe with DS3. I can deal with multiple allies, but the roll spam summoning is trying…

    Since the dried finger is available early… I wonder if the phantom spawn point on the dragon bridge is still… right there.

    It looks like high level casters summoned down in level via password will still be a problem. Only noted syncing down level, so the spell arsenal will still be at hand. take note…

    One point makes note of adjusting guest phantom weapon level, so I’m going to assume they’re baking weapon level into the parameter range for matching, as I suspected months ago.


    With that last point, I’m now pretty sure I need to continue writing a Base Level / Weapon Clear & Phantom Build Guide, as I did with DS3. I’ll try and record it.

  12. Disabling humanity and divine blessing use during invasions…wow, I didn’t think they would actually make those sort of changes to pvp. But that’s a good thing. Definitely a good thing. I was hoping for a return to the system where hosts were responsible for healing their phantoms using their own estus but it sounds like this is going to be more or less handled like the like the third game.

    Sounds like people who disliked the multiplayer changes made for Dark Souls 3 are going to have misgivings about some of this, but personally I’m just happy that I won’t have to contend with humanity poppers/blessing dupers again. I enjoyed invading the most in the third game and in my opinion COOP was the best in the first game, so it seems like a win/win for people like me. I’ll have to wait to see it action though.

  13. ign had noted some other changes as well.
    Granted their article was click baity with “everything that’s different” when that’s impossible for them to state because no one was allowed beyond a certain point.
    And I doubt IGN would have had the time or information to report on bug fixes or not.

    Either way i’m genuinely surprised to see them altering this much on the MP front.
    I don’t think people will be happy with it being similar to DS3. but i’m curious to see how it pans out.
    main thing for me really is just seeing if pvp “tech” is still in or if it’s been patched out.

  14. >

    Didn’t they add that in, though? Or was it a different armor set that had the plume?

  15. if they hadn’t changed anything i would have simply bought it but after reading about these changes i will wait until after release

    its sad to lose the launch activity but after ds3 i’m never preordering a game again

    honestly im leaning towards not buying it, i mean the changes they made will likely result pvp sucking and pvp is the only reason to buy the remaster

  16. Vaati discovered that the DS3 quick switch to first item slot has been added and that omni rolling while locked on unfortunately wasn’t. Dried finger added to Burg’s merchant is interesting. I saw that in Sunlight Blades video and had a WTF moment…wonder if its the only item that has a new home. The crystal golem that you get the DLC pendant from was always random as hell to me, maybe it will have a more significant host/resting place.

  17. those changes to healing and phantom numbers smell like dks3. smells kind of like half burnt toast.

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