One of the most used weapon types in Dark Souls 3 is the group known as Straight Swords. They usually offer fast attack speed, decent range, a versatile moveset, and ideal scaling with certain upgrade paths. These noble blades can make parts of the normally challenging single-player game trivial and turn Dark Souls veterans into dangerous threats in PVP.
However, it should still be mentioned that a weapon’s true strength is in granting potential to the wielder, making its effectiveness reliant on a player’s personal preferences, reflexes, and knowledgeability. There are a few that stand above the rest, in this regard, due to their unique traits that grant unexpected, yet very much welcome, advantages.
Despite its short reach and initially low base damage, the Shortsword can be an excellent early-game weapon that has seen most players through much of the game due to its low stat requirements and easiness to attain from the Shrine Handmaiden. The Shortsword functions much like the legendary Lothric Knight Sword in that it has a very similar moveset that combines slashes and thrusts while also possessing higher critical hit damage for deadlier backstabs and riposte attacks.
The Shortsword also has multiple upgrade paths that can be viable. The most obvious being Refined infusion, which grants the Swortsword unexpectedly high potential as a quality build weapon for its B-tier scaling in Strength and Dexterity. Even more unforeseen is this blade’s excellent capabilities as a Faith-build weapon due to it gaining an impressive S-tier scaling with Faith when infused with Lightning.
Found in the same room at the High Wall of Lothric where Greirat’s cell key is located, the Broadsword can be obtained fairly early in the game. This lends it to a lot of use from players who are looking for a weapon that deals primarily slashing damage. It sacrifices the thrusting attacks common for this weapon type in favor of sweeping strikes that are ideal for open areas and against multiple weak foes, much like the location it is found in.
This stellar slasher can be infused and upgraded in a variety of viable ways, as most paths will lead it to at least gaining A-tier scaling in one, or more, stats. It can be especially handy as a side-arm for pyromancers and users of dark sorceries, for both the Chaos and Dark infusions will offer up A-tier scaling for Intelligence and Faith simultaneously.
8 Sunlight Straight Sword
There is no better weapon for jolly cooperation or praising the sun. On the surface, the Sunlight Straight Sword seems just like the generic Longsword, though this is far from the truth. It cannot be infused, though upgrading it to +5 yields 196 base physical damage and B-tier scaling with Faith.
The strongest trait of this Straight Sword, however, is its weapon skill: Oath of Sunlight. Using this skill grants virtually the same effect as casting the Sacred Oath miracle, which boosts the wielder’s attack along with that of nearby allies as well as increasing the damage reduction for friendly individuals against all damage types.
7 Dark Sword
Wielded initially by the dreaded darkwraiths who hunt down individuals for their humanity, the Dark Sword has an understandably fearful reputation. Much like the Broadsword, it possesses a moveset geared towards slashing attacks, though its rolling attack performs a thurst for some surprising versatility.
The ideal upgrade path for this heftier than average Straight Sword is appropriately Heavy, which leads it to an A-tier scaling and 203 base physical damage when fully upgraded. An awesome feature of this blade is its Stomp skill, a weapon art usually only found on Greatswords and Ultra Greatswords, which grants the wielder temporary Hyper Armor invulnerability as they unleash a devastating upward slash.
6 Gotthard Twinswords
As is common among paired weapons, the Gotthard Twinswords are capable of high damage-per-second. Also much like its brethren paired weapons, it lacks defensive capabilities due to the inability to hold a shield or even a spell-casting catalyst.
Forcing its wielder to focus on offense is not necessarily a bad thing, as these twin swords can unleash a deadly flurry of slashes with its Spin Slash skill. It has even scaling between Strength and Dexterity, making it an ideal weapon for quality builds, especially at +10 Refined infusion, for it gains B-tier scaling in both of these physically-oriented stats.
5 Lothric Knight Sword
This king among weapons needs no introduction. Fast attack speed, combined with one of the longest reaches of any Straight Sword, high relative damage, and bonus critical attack impact results in one of the most powerful weapons in Dark Souls 3.
The diverse moveset consisting of slashing and thrust attacks makes it useful in any environment, especially when given a Sharp infusion and upgraded to +10 for 190 base physical damage combined with a significant S-tier scaling with the Dexterity stat.
As a weapon that can only be obtained in the Ashes of Ariandel DLC, Valorheart is mostly considered to be an endgame weapon. Wielded by the Champion Gravetender, players get a first-hand chance to experience this unique paired weapon’s potential against human foes. It cannot be infused and has a moderate damage output when compared to other Straight Swords, though its true power is in its moveset.
Unlike other paired weapons that utilize two offensive armaments, Valorheart comes with a medium-sized shield that completely removes the defensive drawbacks that are usually associated with such arms. The unique moveset covers many of one’s attacks with the shield for much less damage taken, which results in many net-positive damage trades in PVP. The ability to do shield pokes and possessing thrust-type attacks also lets its wielder strike from safety while being able to land punishing counter attack hits.
3 Anri’s Straight Sword
Although this variant of Astora-originated swords cannot be infused, it still gains great potential when upgraded with certain builds. Rare among weapons, Anri’s Straight Sword inherently scales with the user’s Luck stat. This trait makes it great for Hollow builds, especially since it slowly restores its wielder’s HP over time.
Much like Hollow infused weapons, it deals bonus damage against hollowed enemies and bosses and can also prevent skeletal enemies from reforming after they’ve been shattered. Its lightweight and the typically versatile moveset that is given to many Straight Swords means that Anri’s Straight Sword is one of the best blades if one has a build-plan in mind.
2 Irithyll Straight Sword
Held in the frigid grasps of the savage outrider knights, the Irithyll Straight Sword is always intimidating to go up against, regardless if it is during PVE or PVP. It cannot be infused, though at +5 gains 216 physical base damage for sufficiently dangerous hits.
With lackluster scaling in Strength and Dexterity, this weapon clearly breaks the mold when it comes to close-ranged combat, for its frost build-up is its deadliest aspect. Given a very similar moveset to the generic Longsword allows players to unleash many easy to use attacks on foes who have no way of avoiding frostbite unless they continuously roll away. This allows the wielder of this frosty fiend to control the flow of battle with the threat of decreasing the foe’s Stamina regeneration along with out-spacing that results from the Irithyll Straight Sword’s excellent reach.
1 Ringed Knight Straight Sword
As arguably the most powerful Straight Sword in the game, it makes sense that the aptly named Ringed Knight Straight Sword can only be found in The Ringed City DLC. With the longest reach out of all Straight Swords, it is ideal for out-spacing foes. The Ringed Knight Straight Sword cannot be infused, though at +5 it gets a solid B-tier scaling with Strength as well as minimal scaling with Dexterity, Intelligence, and Faith that make it even more potent at higher levels.
However, the Ringed Knight Straight Sword’s unique skill, Ember, is what places it above other weapons in this class. This skill extends the already long reach of this blade much more while simultaneously buffing it with Fire damage. Players can unleash weak and strong attacks while this burning effect is active for combos that result in nothing less than obliteration for most adversaries.