What are the best Dark Souls mods?
Dark Souls is one of the most iconic and punishing games ever made, and the red lettering of “YOU DIED” will forever haunt our dreams.
However, there’s no denying that this game is incredibly addicting, even though it’s over a decade old now.
Fortunately, the modding community hasn’t left this game behind, and today we’re looking at the best mods ever created for Dark Souls!
The 10 Best Dark Souls Mods
There are over 1000 mods for Dark Souls on Nexus, but only a few of them provide some truly impressive changes.
While creating this list, we looked at the top-rated mods and selected the ones that had the most significant impact on gameplay.
So, before you die once more, take a breather and choose a mod from our list of the 10 best Dark Souls Mods:
10. Andres Cranial Ember
Kicking off our list, we have a mod that seeks to make your Chosen Undead look less like a melting wax figurine.
Like the best Skyrim character mods, Andres Cranial Ember replaces the heads for male and female characters with more realistic alternatives.
Both genders now use custom diffuse and specular maps, as well as custom eye textures that boast realistic shadows and a glossier sheen.
What we like about this mod is that it’s subtle but effective and fits into the style of the game without feeling like it was shoehorned in place.
This is a great mod for players looking to improve the appearance of their characters, and it is definitely a must-have in our book!
9. Highly Visible Health Bars
The world of Dark Souls is, well, dark, and this means that seeing things on your HUD can sometimes be difficult.
This can be particularly frustrating when it’s the enemy’s health bar that you’re having trouble seeing, and trying to look too hard can end up getting you killed.
Fortunately, modder AJane has created this mod that makes enemy health bars much more readable against the game’s dark backgrounds.
With this mod, the health an enemy has will be represented in green, while just-inflicted damage will show up as red.
There is also a colorblind version where the health is yellow, and the damage you inflict is represented by blue.
For us, both of these options are a big improvement from the vanilla version, and it makes it so much easier to see how much health an enemy has left!
8. Dark Souls Item Randomizer
When you play any of the best games like Dark Souls long enough, you start to learn where everything is, which can be pretty boring.
With Dark Souls being over a decade old, chances are you’re probably eager for a way to bring back a little of its original challenge.
The Dark Souls Item Randomizer does just that by shuffling vendor inventory, NPC drop tables, chest contents, and more!
Making things even better is the fact that there are also several difficulty and customization options with this mod that can help you tailor it to your playstyle.
Difficulty is determined by “fairness,” and the more unfair you make the mod, the more it will try to hide the most desirable items.
Although almost all item locations are randomized, keys are handled by a separate algorithm to prevent softlocks.
For example, the Peculiar Doll can’t be located in the Painted World, as it’s what gives you the ability to enter that area in the first place.
If you’re someone who has played Dark Souls to death and wants to experience something different on your next playthrough, this mod is a must-have!
7. Dark Souls Flora Overhaul
Given how old Dark Souls is, it’s safe to say that its graphics have fallen behind and are now really showing their age.
This mod aims to do something about that by retexturing the flora found around the world with replacements 2-4x the resolution of the original textures.
With this mod installed, the trees you find will now have actual leaves instead of random green amorphous blobs meant to be leaves!
Everything from the bushes to the grass has gotten an overhaul, and the results are extremely pretty.
Dark Souls may be dim and dreary, but that doesn’t mean it can’t have foliage that is nice to look at as we die repeatedly!
Although we have another texture mod to cover further down, this one is still recommended, and it works perfectly with the Dark Souls HD Texture Pack.
6. Age Of Sunlight
Age of Sunlight is an overhaul mod that was designed to change almost every aspect of the game.
To put into perspective just how large this mod is, it makes a total of 12,000 changes to the original Dark Souls, with the goal of providing a unique experience.
While we can’t cover everything this mod changes, for obvious reasons, we can highlight some of its most significant changes.
With this mod, general combat has been improved with fixed hitboxes and reduced stun locks, as well as a perfect guard mechanic.
Every weapon in the game has been rebalanced, and new movesets have been added to make combat more dynamic.
All weapons, aside from shields, can also now be ascended through any upgrade path, and ascensions have been made much more useful.
Moreover, bosses have new attacks and second phases, making them even more deadly than their original counterparts.
So now, when you’re taking on some of the toughest video game bosses Dark Souls has to offer, you’ll really have to stay on your toes!
This is, without a doubt, one of the best overhaul mods, and when paired with the Item Randomizer, it’s like playing the game for the first time!
5. Dark Souls HD Texture Pack
While nothing can make Dark Souls look like one of the best single-player PS5 games, this mod certainly gives it a much-needed upgrade!
This HD texture pack is designed to make the game look a lot better, and all of the textures were custom-made by modder Toology86.
Every texture is 2-4x the resolution of the originals, and they were designed to be lore-friendly so they wouldn’t stand out.
Honestly, aside from making the game look much better, the new textures are incredibly close to the vanilla ones, only much cleaner and more defined.
When combined with the Dark Souls Flora Overhaul mod, the results are extremely impressive without being heavy-handed.
Moreover, we would also recommend getting Toology86’s SweetFX mod, which adds six different presets to give the world a more dynamic appearance.
All of these combined turn Dark Souls into an absolutely gorgeous game that is leagues better than even the official Remaster.
4. Prepare To Die Again
This mod has a very appropriate name because it really does provide a fresh take on Dark Souls that will indeed cause you to die very often!
Prepare To Die Again is a huge expansion that is lore-friendly, and it makes thousands of changes to the game.
With this mod, there are new enemy positions and new enemies, as well as new bonfire positions and new spells.
The NPCs have also been shuffled around to new locations, and while looking for them, you can run into new events.
You may even discover new armor sets, rings, and weapons while trying to get your bearings, though expect to die a lot!
Additionally, like Age of Sunlight, the bosses have been upgraded to be even more dangerous than before.
This mod even includes restored cut content that adds extra questlines that provide players with new experiences while fleshing out the game.
While this mod will get you killed many times, it truly provides an incredible experience that any Dark Souls fan will love.
3. Dark Souls Enemy Randomizer
While we covered the item randomizer above, now it’s time to mix up the enemies that spawn around the world!
One thing that can make the game easier is knowing what enemies are where so that you can prepare yourself before taking them on.
Well, this mod wants to make sure that you taste true fear once more by placing enemies at random, so you’ll never know what’s coming up next!
In a way, it sort of turns Dark Souls into one of the best horror games because you’ll be creeping around every corner terrified.
This mod also allows you to customize what it does, so you can configure what enemies are randomized or disabled entirely.
For example, you can get really crazy and disable all enemy types except one, causing only that type to spawn everywhere.
So, if you want to replace literally every enemy in the game with Gwyn, the Lord of Cinder, you absolutely can! (
This mod certainly makes things a lot more interesting, and when combined with a few of the other mods on our list, you can create a truly unique playthrough!
2. Daughters Of Ash
Dark Souls has no shortage of overhauls, but Daughters of Ash is one of the best you can find!
This mod is a complete re-imagining of Dark Souls, so much so that it’s almost like a whole new game built on the bones of the original.
Daughters of Ash features a lot of new things, including bosses, enemies, NPCs, weapons, items, and gameplay mechanics.
What really makes this mod stand out, though, are its new world-changing events and storylines that will take you down wholly unexpected paths.
When you start a new game with this mod installed, the progression will be completely different than what you’re used to, and there is no shortage of secrets to uncover.
Making things even more impressive is the fact that this mod has more content than the original game, and it is much more complex and dynamic.
There are numerous branching paths to take throughout the game that will provide a completely new experience for even die-hard Dark Souls fans.
Honestly, we couldn’t recommend this mod more highly if we tried, and it really is something you have to play for yourself at least once!
Taking our number one spot is a mod that’s been downloaded over 2 million times, and it is a must-have for players modding the game.
What this mod does is interrupt the game’s interaction with the DirectX 9 API to allow a higher internal rendering resolution.
If you’re new to modding and that sounds like some crazy advanced technical mumbo-jumbo, don’t worry; we’ll break it down for you.
Essentially, the main thing the DSfix does is improve the overall visual quality of Dark Souls so that it looks a lot better.
It does this by fixing a lot of the graphical errors that were caused by porting, namely that the original game won’t render anything higher than 1040×720.
DSfix does away with these limits and also improves the framerate so that it is no longer stuck at 30 FPS.
Moreover, this mod allows you to scale the UI so that it suits high-resolution monitors, and it is necessary for many mods that improve textures.
This mod is essential, in our opinion, and unless you want to get technical, all you’ll need to do is install it and start playing!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of the 10 best Dark Souls mods and have found some that you can’t wait to try out!
The original Dark Souls is an amazing game, and these mods have all helped it remain replayable, even a decade after its release.
Daughters of Ash, especially, provides so much new content that you will really feel like you’re experiencing the game for the very first time!
Here’s a quick recap of the 10 best Dark Souls mods:
- Daughters Of Ash
- Dark Souls Enemy Randomizer
- Prepare To Die Again
- Dark Souls HD Texture Pack
- Age Of Sunlight
- Dark Souls Flora Overhaul
- Dark Souls Item Randomizer
- Highly Visible Health Bars
- Andres Cranial Ember
How many times have you managed to complete Dark Souls? Leave a comment below.
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