Best Weapon Skills To Try in Dark Souls 3This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Weapon skills are an awesome system unique to the third installment of the Dark Souls series, and they serve to make each and every weapon in the game so much more diverse and intricate.
Whilst there are generic weapon skills for each weapon type – such as ‘charge’ for spears, there are an incredible amount of unique skills tailor-made for individual weapons!
These are some of the most flashy, show-stopping moves you can have at your disposal, but which ones are coolest?
We’ve got to kick it off with a classic.
The moonlight greatsword has been a staple in every single Soulsborne game, and a fan favorite across the board.
It saw a much more souped-up treatment in Bloodborne, and that same design has made it to DS3!
It has an absolutely fantastic moveset, but the star of the show ‘moonlight vortex’ is far and away the flashiest of the bunch, and deals incredible damage on intelligence builds.
Specifically, the ‘hold’ skill on the frayed blade, not those other boring katanas.
Typically, hold is a stance that all katanas possess, and can be used for either a heavy slash or a parry.
But on the frayed blade they’ve stepped it up a notch, providing an incredibly fast series of bleed-inducing slashes, or a long-range trail of black flame!
This skill is the reason the frayed blade is one of the most popular dex weapons out there. It’s incredibly cool and worth building around, if you can beat the hardest boss in the game to get it…
The built-in skill of Morne’s great hammer, Morne’s rage is a 2-in-1 deal, combining the effects of perseverance and wrath of the gods!
The resultant skill is an impossible-to-interrupt and incredibly high-damaging shockwave capable of 1-shotting lower-level players with ease!
What’s more, the damage of the shockwave scales with AR, meaning the damage gets higher and higher when stacked with effects such as red tearstone ring and morion blade!
Stance of Judgement
The often-overlooked greatsword of judgement has a neat trick up its sleeve!
The stance of judgement is similar to the generic stance skill that many swords possess, except this one can launch a magical shockwave similar to the moonlight greatsword, and buff your weapon with magic damage for a short period!
The buff looks like darkmoon blade too, and you know how I love my sparkly weapons.
The greatsword of judgement is honestly pretty great for intelligence builds, and I don’t know why people ignore it so much.
Unleash dragon is the unique skill for both the tailbone spear and short sword, though both weapons have quite different effects.
The sword unleashes a travelling shockwave of damage and force, whilst the spear releases a long-range lingering cone that sends foes flying!
Whichever one you choose, they’re surprisingly effective, though the weapons low scaling makes them more relevant for low-level invasions.
The pushing aspect of the skills can lead to some very easy and very entertaining environmental kills, if used right!
It may seem boring, but ‘parry’ is easily the best skill in the entire game.
Whilst not flashy or exciting like many of the other entries here, being able to parry is what separates the average from the great Dark Souls players.
It’s a high skill, high risk, and very high reward ability that provides some of the best damage possible, when timed correctly.
To this end, fist weapons such as the caestus actually have the most reliable parry skill, with earlier and longer frames to deflect attacks with.
If you don’t parry already, you really should. It might take some time to learn but you’ll find it paying off in no time!
The skill of the old king’s great hammer boss weapon, molten perseverance is an interesting choice for strength pyro builds.
Using the skill anchors the hammer into the ground, increasing poise, before slamming repeatedly to spawn pools of lava in the surrounding area.
The lava hits pretty hard, and can go through shields, providing great crowd control.
It can also sneakily be used from around a corner to fill a room with high-damaging fields! Great for invasion shenanigans.
Sticking to the pyromancy side of things, flame whip is the unique skill of the witch’s locks- one of the best pyro weapons in the entire game.
It is very hard to read, extremely hard-hitting, and easy to combo into, with surprising range that can roll-catch foes with ease!
On top of this, whips cannot be parried, which makes the weapon as a whole very safe to use in PvP.
Paired with this skill, you can begin to see why the witch’s locks are so strong.
Many players might be surprised to see this one make the list, but trust me, play a bit of PvP until you come across someone great at using quickstep, and you’ll soon get the picture.
Quickstep is an extremely spammable replacement for dodging, causing your character to dash a fair distance, all the while being completely invulnerable.
It is very frustrating to play against, yet super fun to play, allowing for easy backstabs or devastating combos once your opponent has run themselves out of stamina uselessly swinging at you!
Of similar ilk to the stance of judgement, crescent blade is a flashy skill that fires a magical projectile, found on the crescent moon sword.
It’s the fastest weapon skill projectile in the game, both in terms of velocity and actual casting speed, and deals incredible damage to top it off!
It can be hard to land, however, needing to either be combo’ed into or requiring the use of free-aim to land consistently.
Sacred Light and Flame
Why have 1 flashy weapon skill when you can have 2?
Sacred light and flame is the skill of the twin prince’s greatsword, and combines the skills ‘sacred Lothric light’ and ‘flame of Lorian’.
Specifically, heavy attacks cause a wave of intense flame to coat the ground, whilst light attacks release a quick and long-range thrust of light!
It’s up there for one of my personal favorites, but sadly the scaling of the weapon calls for quite a jack-of-all trades build, so you don’t see it very often – and it is outclassed by some meta picks.
2 weapons possess a skill called falling bolt – the dragonslayer greataxe and swordspear, both of which are fantastic.
If you’ve read our top spears list, you’ll know that this skill makes the swordspear one of the best in the game.
Using it coats the blade in orange lightning, buffing the weapon for a short period, and calling down a long-range lightning stake to smile your foes.
For the greataxe, it’s much more brutal, causing an explosive overhead swing capable of one-shotting most opponents!
Whichever you use, you’re in for a fun time. They’re both incredibly strong and a blast to use!
For the more punch-loving pyromancy player, there’s flame whirlwind.
The built-in skill of the demon’s fist, flame whirlwind causes you to spin at your foes for successive strikes, before plunging a fist downwards to crease a high-damage flame geyser that knocks hit enemies sky-high!
The multi-hits are great for activating effects such as Carthus beacon and Pontiff’s right eye, making for an interesting combo-oriented melee pyro build!
Give it a shot – release your inner street fighter!
One of the most eye-catching skills out there, crystal blade is unique to the aquamarine dagger- a great melee option for sorcery builds.
Using it has you assume a stance, extending the range of the dagger to that of a short sword, and granting a whole new moveset in the process!
It combos fantastically and you can spend hours learning how to weave the skill in and out of your attacks for maximum effectiveness.
It’s a very high-skill-ceiling ability that will reward you in spades once mastered.
Mad King’s Folly
The aptly-named skill of the crucifix of the mad king is a roll-the-dice RNG-style move which will cause one of three outcomes;
‘Roar’, dealing AoE damage and knocking foes down.
‘Blessing’, granting you a poise-boosting buff identical to that of perseverance.
And ‘vexation’ (the one you don’t want to see), spawning a dark orb that follows you for a short time before exploding.
This explosion can and will hit you for self-damage, and is nearly impossible to dodge thanks to how hard it hugs you. Your best bet here is to kamikaze into your opponents.
Truly a bizarre skill, but a bunch of fun to mess around with!
Call to Stone
Another ringed city weapon skill, call to stone is the unique skill of Ledo’s great hammer, one of my favourite strength weapons.
Using it swings the hammer around in an easy-to-combo and very hard-hitting arc, coating the hammer in stones that provide a 7.5% AR buff.
These stones can then be discharged with a fully-charged heavy attack, exploding into the ground for huge, one-shot-capable damage!
Alternatively, using a heavy attack right after the weapon skill will transition into a massive overhead slam, great for roll-catching fleeing opponents!
If you’ve not tried a strength character with Ledo’s hammer yet, go do it. It is an absolute monster in both PvP and PvE, and I simply cannot recommend it more.
Lothric War Banner
Lothric war banner is the unique skill for, unsurprisingly, the Lothric war banner.
Must’ve taken them a while to come up with that name.
What it lacks in original names, however, it makes up for in sheer power.
Using the skill provides a 15% AR boost to yourself and any nearby friendly that lasts a whopping 2 minutes!
It’s a must-have for more support-focused characters, and great in general thanks to its low stat requirements and ability to be infused.
Do bear in mind, however, that the banner must be kept equipped for the buff to persist.
Ember is the blanket-term skill for quite a few weapons, namely the Firelink greatsword and all 3 ringed knight weapons.
It’s absolutely fantastic on any of them, though has quite different effects per weapon;
For the ringed knight straight sword, ember adds a fire damage buff and extends the swords range, as well as unleashing a ton of long-range swings.
For the ringed knight spear, it adds a fire damage buff and a whole host of new, flashy attacks, ranging from huge skewering leaps to devastating upwards thrusts.
On the ringed knight paired greatswords, it adds 2 new attacks: a short-range projectile or a strong overhead leap, adding more to the weapons already insane combo potential.
And finally for the Firelink greatsword, ember is a long-range wave of flame that simultaneously buffs the weapon with 80 extra fire damage for 45 seconds.
Phew. You get all that?
One of the most badass, anime-styled skills out there, unique to Friede’s great scythe.
Using it holds a stance, which can transition into either a sweeping attack that coats the ground in exploding ice, or a terrifying series of hyper-armour-infused light attacks, each inflicting frostbite build-up.
It can be parried, but if your opponent has the stones to stand in the face of the oncoming onslaught and time it right, they probably deserve it.
And finally we have my personal favorite weapon buff skill, unique to Vilhelm’s onyx blade- one of the best hybrid build weapons in the whole game.
Using it enwreathes the sword in black fire, adding 145 fire damage for 45 seconds, and looking so cool in the process.
The skill has a true combo with a single R1 hit too, and deals absolutely insane damage- half-healthing opponents in a single exchange!
Call me edgy all you like, this skill is straight-up dope, and makes this greatsword one of my favorite weapons in the entire Dark Souls series.