Dark Souls: 10 Best Consumables To Use (& Their Effects)

Elden Ring has propelled FromSoftware’s challenging Souls-like RPGs to new heights this year, but the Dark Souls trilogy is still a landmark series for the developer. The evolution of the formula and the challenges it poses could be seen from game to game, but each also comes with sets of items to help players manage their tense journeys.

These games have never been ones to hold players’ hands, so it’s all the more important that they familiarize themselves with the series’ most useful consumables that could turn the tide of an enemy encounter or boss fight. From the obvious choice of the Estus Flask to more tucked away items like Homeward Bones, there are plenty of items to keep an eye out for.

Estus Flask

Perhaps the most consistent series staple when it comes to items, the Estus Flask is something no player should do without. From Dark Souls to Dark Souls III, the Estus Flask will be the most important healing item to use and learn to efficiently manage from Lordran to Lothric.

Though it’s arguably only a “consumable” by technicality, as the shard itself won’t be lost and the healing charges can be regained, players need to know when is the best time to use a heal (in addition to avoiding getting hit) since charges can only be replenished by resting at Bonfires that, by extension, respawn all enemies.

Humanity/Ember

Split image of a group of Humanity phantoms in Dark Souls and an Ember in III.

It’s no secret that FromSoft’s Souls-likes are some of the hardest modern games to beat, and Dark Souls and Dark Souls III‘s Humanity and Ember items, respectively, are crucial for players to consider if the going gets particularly tough. In the former game, Humanities are integral to the game’s story and lore as well as a host of gameplay benefits like increasing Estus Flask uses, fully restoring health, and enabling multiplayer functionalities.

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Meanwhile, Embers in DSIII are mainly used for the former two benefits. It’s a bit of a give-and-take since it makes players vulnerable to Invasions, but it’s an excellent emergency healing item in a boss fight.

Titanite

Split image of Titanite Shard and Chunk icons in Dark Souls.

Titanite is consistent throughout the Dark Souls trilogy as players’ go-to equipment upgrade consumables. These fragments can upgrade weapons and armor to be the most effective in combat, which is something every player is going to need to tackle Dark Souls‘ most grueling boss fights.

These materials can eventually be found in higher-tier forms, such as Titanite Chunks, Slabs, and Scales. Those will become the new requirement to upgrade certain equipment once they’ve outgrown the use of more standard versions like the entry-level Titanite Shard.

Homeward Bone

A Homeward Bone in the Dark Souls inventory menu.

Especially in the first Dark Souls when the concept of fast traveling came at a premium, the Homeward Bone is an incredibly useful consumable for players to have in their back pocket for a strategic retreat. As the name would suggest, the Homeward Bone teleports players to a Bonfire.

Specifically, it teleports players to the last Bonfire they visited, so it would be wise to keep mental tabs on how close the last is. Most importantly, the Homeward Bone takes players back to the last Bonfire without sacrificing Souls — or Humanity in the first game.

Fire Keeper Souls/Sublime Bone Dust/Undead Bone Shard

The Chosen Undead using a Fire Keeper Soul in Dark Souls.

Simply having a set amount of uses of the Estus Flash and knowing when to use them is one thing, but another part of the management behind healing in the Dark Souls series is enhancing its effects. One such way is by using Fire Keeper Souls, Sublime Bone Dust, and Undead Bone Shards (for Dark Souls, DSII, and DSIII, respectively).

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These consumables found throughout the game worlds let players enhance the potency of each use of the Estus Flask. There’s a limit in each game, but using these items to upgrade the amount of health replenished by the Flask to its fullest potential is a must — unless players decide on doing a punishing challenge run through the games.

Human Effigy

The player receives a Human Effigy from an old Firekeeper in Dark Souls II.

A unique item to Dark Souls II, the Human Effigy is mostly the equivalent to Humanity in the first game and Ember in the trilogy finale. It similarly reverses the effects of going Hollow like in Dark Souls, but it has some different effects as well as missing one altogether. Human Effigies limit the level of multiplayer components for the next 30 minutes as a way to ease the threat of Invasions.

Of course, that also means that the cooperative online effects will also be limited. DSII is still a widely acclaimed game in FromSoftware’s Souls-like catalog, but it did have a particularly unforgiving mechanic of reducing the player’s maximum HP after death, and Human Effigies reverse that penalty — but it doesn’t restore any HP like Humanities or Embers.

Divine Blessing

A bottle of the Divine Blessing in Dark Souls.

Another healing item, Divine Blessings are rare consumables that players need to make sure they have available for some of the Dark Souls games’ most treacherous environments and enemies. Several levels within the games contain hazards that inflict dangerous status ailments, like Bleed or Poison, and a Divine Blessing will cure those conditions plus Toxin and fully restore HP.

It even goes as far as fully restoring health and removing any negative ailment in Dark Souls II. In the third game, Divine Blessings will also cure the buildup of Poison, Bleed, Toxic, and Frostbite before they take full effect.

Estus Flask Shard/Estus Shard

Dark Souls 3: Estus Flask and Shard

Humanity in the original Dark Souls covers the second and final way to upgrade Estus Flask’s healing properties. But in Dark Souls II and III, Estus Flask Shards and Estus Shards are the consumables used to increase the number of charges drawn from the flask itself. These can be given to the Emerald Herald in Majula in the former game, and the blacksmith in Firelink Shrine in the latter.

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As with anything surrounding the Dark Souls series’ primary healing method, this is vital to keep in mind from beginning to end. Estus Shards also increase the charges for the Ashen Estus Flask, which governs things like magic.

Resins

Split image of Gold Pine Resin and the player applying lightning to their weapon.

Just as enemies and environments can hit players with various afflictions, players also have consumable items at their disposal to do the same. Resins have been present throughout the Dark Souls trilogy, and they’re an item used to apply a buff on players’ weapons to capitalize on a given enemy’s weaknesses.

As anyone might hope and expect, there are a variety of different Resins ranging from Gold Pine (lightning damage) to Charcoal (fire damage) and more. These boons can prove to be the necessary added edge to overcome a difficult boss.

Purple/Poison Moss

Split image of Purple and Blooming Purple Moss Clumps in Dark Souls.

It’s become something of a meme since the release of the first game, but game director Hidetaka Miyazaki and the rest of FromSoftware seem to have an affinity toward poisonous/swamp zones. They’re practically a “Soulsborne” trope even now, with Elden Ring continuing the trend.

That naturally means having poison-healing items on hand is a necessity at some point in these games, and Divine Blessings can’t be relied on given how rare they are. Depending on the game, Purple or Poison Moss Clumps and their higher-tier variants are incredibly useful for stopping the buildup of or outright curing Poison and Toxic afflictions.

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