Dark Souls 3's maps are a confusing, intriguing mass of overlapping spaghetti. But with this guide, you'll be able to find your place — as well as every enemy and item — on every map. You'll also find links to every part of Polygon's full walkthrough, so you can find your way to where you need to be.
Table of contents
The Cemetery of Ash is the first area in Dark Souls 3. It's where you wake up and climb out of your grave. There are a lot of cannon fodder enemies to hone your skills on as you make your way through. This area's boss is Iudex Gundyr, who guards the door to Firelink Shrine.
From the Cemetery of Ash, you gain access to Firelink Shrine. There are two areas: the exterior (left below) and the interior (right below).
Up on the roof (that you get access to after you get the Tower Key from the Shrine Handmaid) you can find the nest of Pickle Pee, Pump-a-Rum the crow. There is no boss to fight, but you can find the Sword Master, the first hostile NPC (who has a great drop — the uchigatana samurai sword).
You'll be returning here often. Firelink Shrine’s interior is where you'll come to level up, improve your weapons and interact with non-playable characters for quests and to purchase items. This is also where you'll deposit the Cinders of a Lord you receive for defeating certain bosses. After your first visit to Firelink, you'll be sent to the High Wall of Lothric. There's only the Firelink Shrine bonfire in this area.
High Wall of Lothric is a sprawling area that, unsurprisingly, takes place mostly on top of walls and ramparts. There's a lot going on here, including a fire-breathing wyvern. There are many items to find throughout and some of them, like the binoculars, are indispensable.
There are two NPCs in the High Walls of Lothric: Greirat the Thief and Emma, the High Priestess of Lothric. When you free Greirat from his cell, he'll head to Firelink. There's one hostile NPC to fight — the darkwraith — who you'll fight after following Leonhard's quests. Vordt of the Boreal Valley is the boss at the end of area. (Later, you'll come back here to fight the Dancer of the Boreal Valley.)
After defeating Vordt, you'll head down to the Undead Settlement. When you come back to fight the Dancer, you'll gain access to Lothric Castle.
Undead Settlement is another large area where you'll encounter a lot of new enemies (including the infuriating thralls). The dangers are offset by the treasures you'll find and the NPCs you'll encounter.
Yoel of Londor, Cornyx the Pyromancer, Eygon and Irina of Carim, a Giant Slave (who will help) and the incomparable (and sleepy) Siegward of Catarina are all found here. You can also join your first covenants — the Warrior of Sunlight (praise the sun) and the Mound-Maker covenants can be found in this area. There are two hostile NPCs — a Stray Demon that is part of Seigward's storyline and the Boreal Outrider Knight who guards the exit to the Road of Sacrifices. This area's boss is the Curse-Rotted Greatwood. After defeating it, you'll find the Transposing Kiln that you can take back to Ludleth of Courland in Firelink Shirne.
Road of Sacrifices is a swampy area surrounded by ruins and filled with new and exciting enemies. You'll find four rings here as well as your first coal — an item that you can take back to Blacksmith Andre in Firelink Shrine to improve your weapon upgrades. NPCs Anri of Astoria, Horace the Hushed and Orbeck of Vinheim are all here, too. There also are several unnamed hostile NPCs who drop impressive weapons. This area's boss is the Crystal Sage, who is guarding the exit toward the Cathedral of the Deep. Road of Sacrifices is also where you access Farron Keep — but since the Cathedral of the Deep is a dead end, it makes sense to go there first.
Cathedral of the Deep has an interesting level design. There is one main bonfire and your exploration with keep opening shortcuts from inside the titular cathedral back to it. You'll once again meet Seigward of Catarina as well as Unbreakable Patches. The closest thing to hostile NPCs you'll encounter are the two giants inside the cathedral and the Deep Accursed. This area's boss(es) is(/are) the Deacons of the Deep. You can access the Ashes of Ariandel DLC from here.
Farron Keep is a poisonous and dangerous swamp where the environment is actively out to get you — the water here is toxic. You'll encounter several new and dangerous enemies as well as some old favorites. There are no NPCs to talk to, but you will find the Old Wolf of Farron and be able to join be able to join his covenant. There's another Stray Demon to fight high on the bridge above the swamp but no other hostile NPCs. The Abyss Watchers and this area's boss and guard the exit to the Catacombs of Carthus.
- Farron Keep (which we also listed in the Road of Sacrifices)
- Keep Ruins
- Farron Keep Perimeter
- Old Wolf of Farron
- Abyss Watchers
As the name suggests, the Catacombs of Carthus are full of skeletons. You'll find Anri of Astoria who is looking for Horace, but no other NPCs to interact with. There's another Stray Demon, but no other hostile NPCs. Like the Road of Sacrifices, you can access two areas from here: Smouldering Lake (which is a dead end) and Irithyll of the Boreal Valley. The exit to Irithyll is guarded by this area's boss, High Lord Wolnir.
The majority of the action and exploring in Smouldering Lake takes place underground, but there's plenty of fun to find in and around the lake, too. Horace the Hushed is here (and murderous), but he is the only NPC. Knight Slayer Tsorig makes an appearance as a hostile NPC (instead of an invading phantom), and the Carthus Worm guards the entrance to the boss fight. The boss of this area is the the Old Demon King.
Irithyll of the Boreal Valley is a large city area. There are a lot of new enemies here — a nasty one greets you as soon as you show up — and it's a good place for farming souls. You'll once again encounter Siegward and meet Anri of Astoria again. There are also a couple new covenants to join. This area's boss is Pontiff Sulyvahn. Defeating him gives you access to the rest of the area, where you can find your way to Anor Londo. That's a dead end, so after visiting there, you can work your way back to the Irithyll Dungeon.
- Irithyll of the Boreal Valley
- Central Irithyll
- Distant Manor
- Church of Yorksha
- Pontiff Sulyvahn
- Water Reserve
- Prison Tower
The three floors that make up Irithyll Dungeon are full of new enemies and plenty of useful items — including two Ashes and some Coal, both of which expand your purchasing options back in Firelink Shrine. As you work your way down to the ground floor, you'll only encounter one NPC, Karla, who you will have to free from her cell before she'll appear in Firelink Shrine. There is no boss in this area.
From here, you can get to two of the remaining areas of the game, the Profaned Capital and Archdragon Peak. There is also only the one bonfire, the Irithyll Dungeon bonfire.
Profaned Capital is a set of ruins featuring another toxic swamp. You'll be fighting several headless gargoyles, a new version of the jailers from Irithyll dungeon and several Monstrosities of Sin (or, as we called them, creepy handbabies). There are no friendly NPCs and only one hostile magic-wielding NPC. The boss of the area is a Lord of Cinder named Yhorm the Giant. The only connections to other areas lead back to Irithyll Dungeon.
You may recognize Anor Londo from original Dark Souls. In Dark Souls 3, it's a small area, but it's densely packed with tough enemies and worthwhile loot. The area's only NPC is Leonhard Ringfinger, who you'll find after defeating the boss, Aldritch, Devourer of gods. The area doesn't link to anywhere else, so you'll have to return to Irithyll after visiting.
By this point, you will have fought the Dancer of the Boreal Valley in the High Walls of Lothric and have access to the ladder that leads to Lothric Castle.
Lothric Castle is a densely packed area that is full of familiar enemies and a couple of wyverns. Once again, there are no NPCs to interact with, but there is (finally) an Altar of Sunlight. At the beginning of the level, you will find an elevator to take you down to the Consumed King's Garden, the next area you'll explore. After defeating the boss, Dragonslayer Armour, you will gain access to the Grand Archives which is another dead end area.
Consumed King's Garden is another toxic swamp. It is a relatively straightforward area that leads more or less straight to the boss, Oceiros, the Consumed King. There are no NPCs and only the Oceiros, the Consumed King bonfire. After the boss fight, you'll gain access to the Untended Graves.
How to read the map
Grand Archives might be the most complex area in Dark Souls 3, which makes turning it into a useful map somewhat challenging. To understand its twists, turns and half-floors visually, all you need to do is read Polygon's map clockwise. Starting in the upper right corner, you'll see numbers on the Grand Archives map. You begin at 1, moving on from 2-6 in turn.
The Grand Archives area consists of multiple floors (and a roof), inside and outside of a single, huge building. The building's layout makes getting all of the items and loot difficult, but as you push toward the end of the game, the titanite you'll walk away with will be useful to upgrade any other weapons you need for the final fight. The Grand Archives are another dead end. The boss(es) of this area are the Twin Princes, Lorian and Lothric.
- Like the Cathedral of the Deep before, there is a single main bonfire, the Grand Archives, that you keep looping back to as you explore.
- There’s also another bonfire, Twin Princes, at the boss fight.
Archdragon Peak is another large area. There are, as you'd expect from the name, a couple of fire-breathing, flying reptiles (though they are wyverns, not dragons) and you'll meet a new enemy, Man-serpents. The area is full of loot, but there are no NPCs. The boss is the Nameless King.
The landscape of Dark Souls 3's first DLC, Ashes of Ariandel, is a snowy world with powerful new enemies and very challenging bosses. There are lots of generally useful items and lots of new armor, weapons and spells to pick up. You will meet two new NPCs here, Lady Friede and The Painter. There are also two hostile NPCs: Sir Vilhelm and Livid Pyromancer Dunnel. There are two boss fights as well, one with the Champion's Gravetender and her wolves and one with Sister and Father Friede. This area doesn't connect to anywhere else.