Our second part of our Dark Souls guide will explain one of the essential elements in perfectly balancing your Dark Souls character. Arrows, knives and firebombs will only take down so many enemies. You’ll need something else to help you with tougher foes in Dark Souls (especially for boss battles).

How do I cast  magic in Dark Souls?

First, you need to understand one thing. You do not need to wear a cloak to cast magic. A Knight, Warrior and even a Wanderer can cast magic. You just need the dedication and souls in order to do. Oh, you’ll also need to know where two friendly NPC characters are, as well as possess the will power to not smash EVERY object you see!

dark souls characters

You don't need to start the game wearing a cloak, in order to cast magic. Dark Souls allows all players to use and level-up magical abilities

Casting sorcery magic

By now, you should know of a certain bridge that can easily bring death to those who are unprepared. A bridge that attracts a huge red dragon, who will remain perched on top of the rooftops and appear to guard the castle entrance. Opposite the end where Drake the dragon is perched, (where you’ll first set eyes on the bridge) will be a locked door. This is the basement door, where you need to go in order to free a friendly sorcerer who will sell you what you need to train in the arts of sorcery magic.

Items you’ll need in your inventory:

Residence Key: Remember the first bonfire at the undead burg? This is the bonfire that has damaged (unusable) stone stairs to its left and a ladder to its right, (this may or may not be fully extended, depending on your progress) with an archway in the middle. From here, go out through the archway and take a right down the stairs and then your first left. You should now see two undead soldiers. After you’ve taken them out, smash the boxes to reveal stairs leading to the undead merchant. You simply purchase the Residence Key from him for 1000 souls.

dark souls undead soldiers

Two of these undead soldiers will guard the stairway to the undead merchant. Having trouble with them? Remember your kick! Essential for breaking through shield defences

Basement Key – This sits within the castle that huge red dragon is guarding. You’ll need to leg-it half way across the bridge and pretty much roll down the stairs (to avoid the dragons flame). Once down here, progress until you encounter what looks like an armoured rhino. Behind the gate this beast is guarding, lies a dead body with the Basement Key. But you can’t open the gate yet. You’ll have to take the stairs that go beneath the castle (in front of where the armoured rhino is) in order to work your way to the other side of that gate.

Enemy Note: Drake (the red dragon) will fly away if you manage to run under his legs and to the bonfire, directly through the gate (we still recommend the stairs). However, be careful when coming back across the bridge as he WILL come back…just how he introduced himself!

OK. Lets use that Basement Key which will take us into the Lower Undead Burg. After climbing down a long ladder, keep heading down until you see a well to your left. Behind this well lies the room where our sorcerer has been captured. You’ll know what one it is as he’ll start calling out for help as soon as you’re close.

Use the Residence Key to unlock his cell and talk to him. He’ll introduce himself as Griggs of Vinheim. After thanking you for your assistance, he’ll wish to rest there for a while. CAREFULLY smash the barrels around him for sorcery armour and a sorcery catalyst staff (so you won’t have to buy these from Griggs). Be careful not to hit Griggs! If you do, he’ll turn hostile and your sorcery days could be over before they’ve even started!

Once you’ve got the items, leave Griggs in the cell. Don’t worry, he’ll appear on your next visit to the Fire Link Shrine (where you were carried to after defeating the very first boss).

dark souls knight

We were able to suitably balance a Knight. Use the tips below to create the ultimate hero!

Special notes for casting sorcery magic:

Casting all forms of magic in Dark Souls will require you to have a magic casting weapon (i.e. the Catalyst staff you picked up) and a spell to actually cast (you equip this using the “Attune Magic” option at a bonfire). You’ll need to do the following in order to cast sorcery magic effectively:

Attunement: Level-up in your character stats to equip magic spells. Once this is high enough (around 11-12) you’ll see Attunement Slots activate at the lower right of the character stat screen. It will then read “1” next to it. This works out around 2 level-ups per additional magic slot.

Intelligence: Level-up in your character stats to give your sorcery spells more power

Sorcery Catalyst – You’ll need this staff equipped in one of your hands in order to cast magic. You can even quick-switch between this staff and a close combat weapon, to deal-out all forms of close and ranged attacks (recommended).

Now we have that out of the way, head back to the Firelink Shrine and start purchasing spells from Griggs. Head to the bonfire to equip them (Attune Magic) and switch to your staff to cast your first spell!

Enjoy balancing your Dark Souls character. We’ll also bring you a guide to Pyromancy spells, very soon (another essential ability).