Co-op is a big component of the Online interaction available in Dark Souls. Other human players and a few specific NPCs can be summoned for cooperative play. A host can summon a maximum of two friendly phantoms from either white or gold summon signs. These signs are placed by other players using a white sign soapstone.
If summoned phantoms succeed in helping a host defeat the area boss, the phantoms are rewarded with souls, one humanity and perhaps a sunlight medal if one of the phantom(s) is a member of the Warrior of Sunlight Covenant.
Due to the co-op level matching schemes, it is necessary to choose areas in which to co-op based on your character's level. Leveling up too high or staying too low for certain areas can result in less frequent summons. If you enjoy co-op, you may choose to spend your souls upgrading equipment and buying consumables instead of leveling up, in order to continue helping other players through the earlier bosses.
Be warned that the conditions for allowing co-op also allow a host to be invaded by another player.
For PC players, turning off firewalls and Windows Firewall service is highly recommended.
- The host must be in human form, which is achieved when the player uses the option to reverse-hollow at a bonfire.
- The area boss must still be alive for the host. The summoned phantoms do not need the boss in their game to still be alive.
- The phantoms must cast their sign using the white sign soapstone. They do not need to be in human form to cast their summon sign.
- The players must be within a certain level range of each other.
Special Area Requirements
A few specific areas require progression past a certain point before co-op is possible:
- In New Londo Ruins, the water must be drained (meaning you have access to Key to the Seal)
- In The Duke's Archives, the player must have escaped beyond the prison area
- In the Demon Ruins (before Demon Firesage), the yellow fog gate needs to be cleared (you have obtained the Lordvessel)
- In the Tomb of the Giants, the yellow fog gate also needs to be cleared
Matchmaking Level Ranges
Level Range Calculator - Input any level to find out the level ranges of all multiplayer items.
The level range for co-op is:
- The Phantom's Level, + / - (10 + 10% of the Phantom's Level)
For example: If a level 50 player uses the white sign soapstone, they can be matched with players between the levels of 35 - 65, because the math works out as follows:
- 10% of 50 = 5
- 10 + 5 = 15
- 50 +/- 15 = 35 - 65
This range can only be calculated by the player using the white sign soapstone (the phantom). If a host wishes to find out if a certain player is within their range, the other player should instead do the calculation to see if the host is found within their range. There is a slightly different level range for players who are hosts and players who are phantoms at the same level, but it's not a significant difference.
In instances where a decimal place is created by the 10% portion of the formula, the numbers always round down to whole number and never round up. For example, a level 15 player comes up with the numbers 10 + 1.5 (10%) to find out their range. The 1.5 rounds down to 1 before the rest of the formula is completed, meaning they add and subtract the number 11 to find out their range.
Recommended Levels for Different Bosses
Consistent level bosses
The level at which people fight these bosses typically does not vary much.
|Boss||Area||Common Summoning Location(s)||Level Range (Phantom)|
|Taurus Demon||Undead Burg||just outside the burg bonfire||1 - 15|
|bell-gargoyles||Undead Parish||entrance to church nearest the blacksmith, before the boar||10 - 20|
|Capra Demon||Lower Undead Burg||right in front of the boss fog||15 - 25|
|Gaping Dragon||Depths||by the bonfire||25 - 40|
|Chaos Witch Quelaag||Blighttown||by the swamp bonfire||25 - 45|
|Iron Golem||Sen's Fortress||outside of boss fog, first room with the 2 serpent soldiers||25 - 45|
|Ornstein & Smough||Anor Londo||by the bonfire in the castle, bridge with the 1st gargoyle||45 - 65|
|Gwyn, Lord of Cinder||Kiln of The First Flame||on the landing at the level entrance||70 - 120|
Inconsistent level bosses
The levels at which people fight these bosses varies greatly due to people encountering them at different parts of their play-through.
|Boss||Area||Common Summoning Location(s)||Level Range (Phantom)|
|Pinwheel||Catacombs||by the first bonfire|
|Great Grey Wolf Sif||Darkroot Garden||by the bottom of the steps, outside the boss room|
|Crossbreed Priscilla||Painted World of Ariamis||by the bonfire|
|Dark Sun Gwyndolin||Anor Londo||by the darkmoon tomb bonfire|
|Ceaseless Discharge||Demon Ruins||by the fog gate|
|Demon Firesage||Demon Ruins||by the bonfire near the capra demons|
|Centipede Demon||Demon Ruins||by the fog gate|
|Gravelord Nito||Tomb of the Giants||by the second bonfire||60 - 120|
|Seath the Scaleless||Crystal Cave||by the bonfire on the balcony||60 - 120|
|The Bed of Chaos||Lost Izalith||by the bonfire behind the illusory wall||60 - 120|
|The Four Kings||New Londo Ruins||by the doorway near the first bridge, before boss fog gate||60 - 120|
|Stray Demon||Undead Asylum||n/a (offline location, co-op not possible)||n/a|
|Sanctuary Guardian||Sanctuary Garden||by the bonfire||60 - 120|
|Knight Artorias||Royal Wood||by the stairs to Artorias's fog gate||60 - 120|
|Black Dragon Kalameet||Royal Wood||by the path to Kalameet's valley||60 - 120|
|Manus, Father of the Abyss||Chasm of the Abyss||by the bonfire, by the elevator||60 - 120|
Increase in Boss HP
Boss HP is increased when phantoms are summoned. It is increased by 50% with one phantom summoned, and doubled with two phantoms summoned. The increase to boss HP is typically negligible, as having other players to help will make most bosses easier. However, there are a few notable exceptions:
- It is sometimes recommended to attempt the Four Kings boss fight solo. Unless the summoned group has efficient DPS output (damage per-second), the extra health can make it take longer to kill each boss, sometimes causing the player to get swarmed by more kings as they spawn. This is especially the case when summoning the NPC Witch Beatrice, whose presence typically only makes the fight harder.
- NPC Solaire is typically unhelpful in the Gaping Dragon boss fight. Summoning him can be considered as a negative for potentially adding to the amount of HP you will have to remove from the boss on your own. Both he and Lautrec add minimal DPS to the fight and don't survive very well at all on top of adding to the dragon's HP.