The Four Kings boss from Dark Souls.

Dark Souls: Four Kings Guide

Four Kings, Five Kings—their numbers won't matter to the Chosen Undead.

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Rhett Roxl is a professional writer who has been gaming for as long as he can remember. He merged both passions together to become a writer in the game industry in 2020.

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Reyadh is a writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction who loves to play video games full of monsters and magic. When he's not scribing unique and unrelenting speculative fiction or slaying demons in virtual worlds, he is writing strategy guides to help others reach their gaming goals.

Key Takeaway

You’ll need to equip the Covenant of Artorias ring before entering the arena and keep it on during the entire boss fight. Here are a couple of tips on how to deal with this encounter.

  • Defeat a king as soon as it appears, as fast as you can. Ideally, you want to eliminate a king before the next one appears. You have a 45-second window for this.
  • Stay as close to a king as possible. This will allow you to avoid his attacks much easier.

The Four Kings are bosses you’ll have to face in Dark Souls. They are one of the four bosses in the game that hold a Lord Soul, making it a requirement to kill them to beat the game. You’ll find these enemies at the end of New Londo Ruins.

Table Of Contents

    Dark Souls Four Kings Boss Guide Video

    How to Get to the Four Kings

    You’ll need two important items before you can make it to the Four Kings’ boss area. The first one is the Key to the Seal. You get this item from Ingward. You’ll find him on the roof of the ghost and banshee-infested structure that’s before the lever that opens the floodgates in New Londo Ruins.

    The Chosen Undead meeting Ingward in New Londo Ruins.

    You can get to the roof by reaching the center and the bottom floor of this building where a banshee is lingering. There’s a ladder in the fireplace in this area, leading you up to the roof.

    Simply speak to Ingward and he’ll give you the key. With this, you’ll be able to open the door to the lever that opens the floodgates, unlocking the lower levels of New Londo Ruins.

    The second item you’ll need is the Covenant of Artorias ring. You receive this after defeating Great Grey Wolf Sif in Darkroot Garden.

    The Chosen Undead facing Great Grey Wolf Sif in Dark Souls.

    You’ll have to equip this ring before you jump down to the Four Kings’ boss arena. You’ll also have to keep the ring equipped during the duration of the fight. If you don’t, you’ll fall through the darkness and to your death.

    Tips on Defeating the Four Kings

    When you enter the boss arena, only one king will appear to fight you. You have about 45 seconds before the next king joins the fight. The same amount of time passes before the next king shows up.

    The name of these enemies, the Four Kings, is actually quite misleading. There are actually five kings that will appear in the arena in total if their collective HP still isn’t down to zero.

    That being said, the best way to handle this encounter is to kill a king as soon as it appears. This will prevent you from being eventually outnumbered.

    The Chosen Undead fighting a solo king.

    As soon as the first king appears, immediately run towards them. Dodge any attacks it may send your way. Strafe towards the king’s side or back and keep attacking him from there. Wield a powerful weapon to deal as much damage to the king as you can. Remember, you want to eliminate this king before the next one shows up.

    Each king has a separate health bar above them. A king will die once its small HP bar is depleted. However, all of them have a collective HP as well (the big one at the bottom of your screen). The encounter as a whole ends when the collective HP bar drops to zero. If your weapon’s damage is high enough, you can end this fight before the fourth or fifth king appears.

    To better deal with the Four Kings, you’ll want to memorize their attacks. Here’s every attack the Four Kings do for the duration of this encounter.

    Melee Attacks

    A king will attack you with its sword by either horizontal slashes, vertical slashes, or it will perform a stab attack with it. The kings’ swords primarily deal magic damage.

    Equip an armor set or a shield that has a high magic damage reduction.

    The Four Kings’ melee attacks also deal more damage to you the farther away you are from them. This is why it is always recommended to stay as close to a king as possible. This will also allow you to dodge or strafe away from their attacks more easily.

    The Chosen Undead getting hit by a melee attack from a king.

    Do your best to dodge an attack instead of blocking it to save stamina. Dodge towards a king’s side or back and land attacks of your own from there.

    Alternatively, if you have a lot of HP and decent armor, you can tank through the melee attacks if you’re close enough to avoid taking full damage.

    Grab Attack

    A king preparing for a grab attack in Dark Souls.

    The Four Kings have an unblockable grab attack. A telltale sign that a king is about to do this attack is when he does a 360-degree spin while raising an arm.

    The best way to avoid this attack is to walk or run towards the king that’s performing their attack. If you’re close enough to him, his grab will simply go over your head. You can then land attacks of your own from here.

    Another way of avoiding the grab attack is to dodge backward twice or run away. This is not as optimal as the aforementioned method for melee builds, but is a more viable tactic for ranged and magic ones.

    Area of Effect Explosion

    A king preparing for an explosion attack in Dark Souls.

    The kings will occasionally cast a magic explosion that deals a ton of damage. Like the previous attack, a king will prepare for this attack by doing a 360-degree spin first.

    However, it will instead cross its arms instead of raising one of them. Its body will also be surrounded by a purple-colored smoke-like effect. When this happens, run away from the casting king as fast as you can.

    Homing Magic Attack

    A king throwing a homing magic projectile at the Chosen Undead in Dark Souls.

    If you stay far away from the Four Kings, it casts a magic attack that follows you around for about 15 seconds. Dodging this attack can be very tough. You can instead block it with a shield that has a high magic defense. Otherwise, stay close to the kings and you’ll never see them cast this attack.

    Once you finally defeat the Four Kings, you’ll receive the following:

    • Bequeathed Lord Soul Shard
    • 4 Humanities
    • 60,000 Souls

    The Four Kings in Dark Souls aren’t easy enemies. They’re especially tough once they get the chance to outnumber you. Be sure to deal with them as quickly as you can! Defeating them swiftly after having gone through the horrifying level that is New Londo Ruins is video game therapy at its finest.

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