Online Mechanics


The tiers used for deciding who you can summon and invade are constrained by both Level and Reinforcement Level in Dark Souls III. As Level increases and equipment grows stronger, you will move up the tiers, restricting you to your current tier.

The flow regarding online multiplayer matching is as follows:

  • Players who can only connect on certain network types (especially NAT3) are disregarded.1
  • Players who do not match regulation versions are disregarded
  • With the host as a basis, players with characters who are outside a certain level range are disregarded.
  • Players in a different region are disregarded
  • With the host as a basis, players who have their strongest maximum upgraded weapon surpass a certain range are disregarded.
  • Only during password matchmaking can players match ignoring both character level and weapon upgrade level as long as they have matching passwords.

1. If your network type is currently NAT3 (strict), you may be able to open internet browsers but chat functions and online game connections can be limited so we recommend checking the notes below.

  • Have a global IP address outside of NAT.
  • Enabled UPnP settings.
  • If UPnP is disabled, unlocking the port is necessary.

Even if your NAT type is 1 (open) or 2 (moderate), there are times when it will be difficult to connect with other players.

2. Going to system > network settings > cross region matching and setting it to Matchmaking ON can enable matching with players from another region.


During Co-op play, matching will be easier the closer one is to the hosts' level or higher.
During PvP, either the invader and the host will be around the same level, or the invader is matched to a higher level host.

The following Soul Level ranges are used for Co-op and PvP matchmaking1:
Summons Upper Limit If Soul Level < 351 Lower Limit If Soul Level < 351
Soul Signs Soul LevelHost × 1.1 + 10 Soul LevelHost × 0.9 - 10
Way of Blue Soul LevelHost × 1.1 + 15 Soul LevelHost × 0.9 - 15
Invaders Upper Limit If Soul Level < 351 Lower Limit If Soul Level < 351
Dark Spirit Soul LevelInvader × 1.1 + 20 Soul LevelInvader × 0.9
Mound-maker Soul LevelInvader × 1.15 + 20 Soul LevelInvader × 0.9
Covenant Soul LevelHost × 1.1 Soul LevelHost × 0.8 - 20

Soul Level 351. As of Regulation 1.35 the Upper Limit is removed if you're Soul Level 351 or above - but without a password you will not be able to do matchmaking with anyone below Soul Level 351.

Weapon Reinforcement

Players who are widely separated in terms of their highest reinforcement level do not get matched with each other. Only in Password Matching do these terms not take effect.

Now, regardless of whether or not the item is in your inventory or how many of said item you currently bring, the highest level you ever upgraded a certain Weapon, Shield, or Catalyst until now will become the basis for this system to take place.

As of regulation 1.13, the adjustments are as follows, compared both ways:

Host Connects To
0 0 - 1
1 0 - 2
2 1 - 3
3 2 - 4
4 3 - 6
5 4 - 7
6 4 - 8
7 5 - 9
8 6 - 10
9 7 - 10
10 8 - 10

Unique or Boss gear are counted for double their shown amount.

Password Matching

When you use Password Matching to summon/invade somebody, tier restrictions are not enforced. However, higher leveled phantoms will be scaled down to lower leveled hosts' strength.

Player Count

By default, the maximum Player Count in a world is four (one invader and two summons/blues), including yourself. If you use the Dried Finger, this is increased to six (two invaders and three summons/blues).

Summon Signs placed by the Red Sign Soapstone can by default allow two invaders into the world, and five with Dried Finger.

Note: Crucifixion Woods of the Road of Sacrifices and the area past Pontiff Sulyvahn in Irithyll of the Boreal Valley allow one more invader and one less summon/blue into the world. This is due to these areas being auto-summon covenant zones.

Host of Embers

Summoners must be a Host of Embers to be able to summon other players.


The White Sign Soapstone may allow players to be summoned into other worlds by an embered host for Co-op as an allied phantom with the goal of defeating the area boss. Souls received from the boss will be reduced to 25% of their original value.

Note: Allied players are incapable of hurting or parrying each other, and may Buff each other or heal others with Miracles.


The Red Eye Orb (or cracked variant) and the Red Sign Soapstone may allow players to invade other worlds for PvP as an invading phantom with the goal of defeating the embered host and/or allied phantoms. As an invader in another's world, most enemies cannot be hurt or hostile to the player and vice versa, except through the host's use of a Seed of a Giant Tree.

Certain Covenants may affect invasions, or have their own auto-summoning invasion system entirely.

Undead Match

If the Champion's Bones are burned at the Firelink Shrine Bonfire, players may enter the Undead Match with the phantom color of their selected Covenant, and compete in PvP at various selected arenas to earn badges.



Other players shown through the passive methods below will almost always show a different, generalized version of their equipment based on type. E.G. all Reapers are represented by the Great Scythe, and Armors shown may not be as they seem.


Bloodstains show where another player died and replays their last actions.


Other players can be shown in the game world as non-interactive ghosts fading in and out, and by a bonfire, a more clear representation of the player may be shown. These are recorded actions of other players shown on a delay.


Players can leave Messages on the ground through the menu. Messages from other players may be rated either Good or Poor, and players restore 50% HP when their Message is rated Good. Ten Messages may be placed per character.

Note: Messages left on the ground will be visible to other players regardless of whether the player or character who left it is online, and the oldest Messages placed when the limit of 10 is surpassed will be deleted if not protected.


Developer Messages show a bell icon, while user-created Messages have various badges as an icon. Which badge is displayed will change with the number of Good ratings it has received. Appraisals are the total number of Good and Poor ratings.
Icon Rating Icon Rating
Developer_Icon.png N/A Bronze_Icon.png 201 - 300
Stone_Icon.png 0 - 100 Silver_Icon.png 301 - 500
Cobalt_Icon.png 101 - 200 Gold_Icon.png 501+
Many Developer Messages are found throughout the world:
Area Message Location
Cemetery of Ash Turn back Before the Ravenous Crystal Lizard
Firelink Shrine The bonfire will deliver thee to Lothric Above the Firelink Shrine Bonfire
High Wall of Lothric Place the basin at the statue of the beheading knight Before Emma
High Wall of Lothric Peer over the cliff, and hold up the banner Past Vordt of the Boreal Valley
Undead Settlement Arrows of a giant rain down beside the white birch Past the Dilapidated Bridge
Undead Settlement Great curse-ridden tree ahead Before Curse-rotted Greatwood
Undead Settlement A transposing kiln lies within the belly Before Curse-rotted Greatwood
Road of Sacrifices Warriors slumber ahead Within the Crucifixion Woods
Road of Sacrifices Turn back Before Farron Keep
Farron Keep Extinguish three flames, and open the door to Wolf's Blood Past Farron Keep Bonfire
Farron Keep Extinguish three flames, and open the door to Wolf's Blood By the first Farron Keep Flame
Catacombs of Carthus Suspended bridge is wearing thin Before the rope bridge
Irithyll of the Boreal Valley Bring a doll to be granted passage Before Central Irithyll
Profaned Capital Only a storm can fell a Greatwood In Yhorm's Boss room
Archdragon Peak To travel the Path of the Dragon, do not ring the great bell Before The Great Bell
Archdragon Peak Nothing will remain once the bell has tolled Before The Great Bell
Painted World of Ariandel Only the mighty may proceed By the Snowfield Bonfire
Painted World of Ariandel Before one faces the painting,
one should face the depths of Lothric Castle
By the Snowfield Bonfire
The Dreg Heap Take the plunge. By The Dreg Heap Bonfire
The Dreg Heap Take the plunge. Past the "Grand Archives"
The Dreg Heap Take the plunge. Past Overgrown Lothric Knights
The Dreg Heap Take the plunge. You won't die. Before the Earthen Peak Ruins
The Dreg Heap Take the plunge. You won't die. Past Amnesiac Lapp
The Dreg Heap Take the plunge. You won't die. Before Within Earthen Peak Ruins
The Dreg Heap Take the plunge. You won't die. Before the Demon Prince

Seek Guidance may show additional Dev Messages throughout the world.


Note Format may be changed by pressing the correct button with the menu opened, allowing Gestures to be added and/or longer Messages. Various templates may be chosen, and many more pre-selected words are available. Messages may additionally be protected, preventing their deletion and adding a small icon nearby them in the menu.


Prior to App: 1.13

Co-op play

  • Via Sign Summoning: A (Summoners level) Max: A + 10 + (A x 0.1) Min: A - 10 - (A x 0.1)
  • Way of the Blue: B (WoB hosts level) Max: B + 10 + (B x 0.1) Min: B - 10 - (B x 0.1)


  • Invading as dark spirit: C (Invaders level) Max: C +20 + (C x0.1) Min: C -(C x0.1)
  • As a Moundmaker: D (Invaders level) Max: D +20 + (D x 0.15) Min: D - (D x 0.1)
  • As a covenant invader: E (Invaders level) Max: E +(E x 0.1) such as Farran/Aldritch Min: E - 20 - (E x0.2)

Weapon Reinforcement

Lower weapon Higher weapon
0 +2
1 +3
2 +4
3 +5
4 +6
5 +8
6 +9
7 +10
8 +10
9 +10
10 +10


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