Headshot is a feature in Dark Souls exclusive to projectile attacks. Performing these is easiest with a bow because of the first-person mode that is available, but it is also possible to achieve with crossbows, spells, fireballs, and miracles by manually aiming in third-person view. A target who's been hit on their head will take additional damage and, most of the time, stagger. Mastering this can be very useful, even for certain boss fights like Quelaag.


  • Aim in first-person view using a bow.
  • Manually aim in third-person view using a crossbow or other throwing weapon.

Damage Calculation

There are three groupings of damage-boosts caused by headshots.

  • An unprotected or lightly-armored head will receive 50% more damage from a headshot.
  • Heads protected by sturdier helmets that are open-faced will receive 30% more damage from a headshot.
  • Heads protected by sturdier helmets that provide full protection receive 10% more damage from a headshot.

A video demonstration is provided here.


Manual aiming with weapons that don't allow first-person view may take some practice. Your character throws directly ahead, regardless of the direction the camera is facing. However, the camera angle does affect the vertical axis of the projectile. As such, manual aiming is a two-step process. Face your character in the direction you want to shoot or throw, then angle the camera to aim up or down.

You can also exploit the Binoculars to enter first-person mode before attacking.

Enemy specific

  • Sentinel have their vulnerable spot on their achilles heel instead on their head.
  • Quelaag's still-human body is entirely vulnerable. Every arrow will stagger her movements, which can result in a safe and easy kill.


  • The torso is considered the normal part of the body where the regular base damage occurs.
  • Arms and legs are paired as a "third" body part. Similar to the bonus damage of headshots, arms/ legs cause a 10% boost in damage.
  • Some enemies do not have a stagger animation but still take extra damage from a headshot.
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