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Dark Souls 3 Multiplayer Guide: How To Survive An Invasion And Succeed As An Invader

Our Dark Souls 3 Multiplayer Invasion Guide will help guide you through one of the game’s most unique gameplay experiences.

Direct PvP gameplay in Dark Souls 3 can be initiated a number of different ways. You can choose to help players, request help from another player, or invade another player and challenge them to a duel. These duels can be easily planned and organised or be completely random. Knowing how best to prepare yourself to invade or to deal with an invasion is a fairly important thing if you’re playing Dark Souls 3 online.

The Basics

A player can invade another player’s game world by having one of a Red Sign Soapstone, A Red Eye Orb, or a Cracked Red Eye Orb.

Red Sign SoapstoneA Red Sign Soapstone places a sign and invites anyone who is willing to battle.Travel to the Cathedral of the Deep. Inside the cathedral you'll cross a bridge that leads into the chamber of Rosaria. Slay the filthy Man-grub to earn the Red Sign Soapstone.
Red Eye OrbA Red Eye Orb is used to invade targets who have a Strength of Fire. Killing the host will earn the invade the Strength Of Fire.You can earn a Red Eye Orb via the NPC Leonhard. Fight the Darkwraith and recieve the Orb.
Cracked Red Eye OrbSame as a Red Sign Orb, however only one-use.

The really interesting thing about this system is that a player can’t be invaded if they don’t have the Strength of Fire. That means that a player could avoid being invaded by simply not carrying that item (or playing offline), but that would mean a loss of a 30% health bonus, so while most players are open to the idea of a health boost, less experienced players are inadvertently opening themselves up to invasion. Further to this, when you invade you’ll basically be invisible to enemies in your target’s game world, meaning you’ll be able to easily run away through hoards monsters.


While in another player’s game world, you’re considered a “Phantom”. If you’re invading, you’re a Red Phantom. White, Blue and Gold Phantoms are in the game world to assist the player.

When you kill another player character while in someone else’s game world, the Souls you earn depends on the target’s Soul Level, and the role both you and they are playing in the world. Generally, the rate of experience earned is between 1% and 5%.

The table below shows how much each target is worth based on the role, with “Player Role” being your role, and “Target Value” show the percentage of their Soul Level you’ll earn in experience for taking out the listed Phantom.

Player RoleTarget Value
Red PhantomAll Targets 1%
Blue PhantomRed Phantoms 5%
White PhantomRed Phantoms 5%
Gold PhantomRed Phantoms 5%
HostRed Phantoms 2%
Map GuardianHost, all Phantoms except Red 4%

Surviving An Invasion

  1. Firstly, be cautious of emotes. Some players may say it’s good “etiquette”, kind of like a handshake to exchange before a boxing match, but every third or fourth invader will use them as a distraction, expecting you to respond as a product of said “etiquette” before pouncing and attacking, knowing you have your guard down.
  2. Move away from areas you haven’t explored, or areas that are filled with lots of monsters. Red Phantoms can easily escape through hoards of enemies, knowing they won’t be seen but that you’ll be held up by other enemies in pursuit.
  3. If time is getting on and your invader is nowhere to be seen, they’re probably hiding amongst monsters. At this point, use a Seed of a Giant Tree (if you have one) so that monsters attack them.
  4. Find a good vantage point, with no way for another to approach you from behind.
  5. If you have an Estus Flasks, get your health up to full.
  6. Prepare yourself for battle: all the spells and tools you’ll need for the forthcoming battle.
  7. Ready any necessary Rings you may have that will give you the upper edge in a PvP battle.
  8. Turn the tide against the invader: they’ve attacked, and might hide and wait for you to stroll by before attacking. Instead, you should do exactly the same thing: they have invaded you, so they’re the one seeking a battle, so make them come and find it. This gives you the edge.

Succeeding As An Invader

  1. Are you up for an old-fashioned duel, or do you want to attack and be as brutal as possible? Perhaps you have the patience to wait it out and ambush them at the perfect moment? Decide what type of invasion you want this to be before you actually invade.
  2. You can only take this so far, but try shaping a character that has a more powerful loadout than what their level would suggest. Matchmaking will pit you against someone on even level footing, so generally the duels are even, but you can “cheat” the system by using high-end weapons and armour that fit just within your Soul range. Be careful, though, because matchmaking factors in weapon reinforcement, so you need to be careful not to tip over into another level and put yourself in range of players you can’t compete with.
  3. As with the emote warning for those being invading, be wary of open spaces, even if you want a respectable duel. Most of the time moving into an open space would signal to the player that you want to shake hands and then duel it out, but some players will use this opportunity to attack you with long-range weapons. Prepare yourself for this just in case they aren’t prepared for a classic duel.
  4. Don’t rely on etiquette alone to win this battle. It’s expected among the Dark Souls community that the host doesn’t use Flasks to heal health, but like emotes and long-range weapons, always prepare for the worst. It’s one thing to expect your opponent to play by the rules, but another to prepare just in case they don’t.

Check out more DARK SOULS 3 Game Guides

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