A covenant is a faction that a player may join in Dark Souls III. Being part of a covenant grants various benefits, though it also imposes certain rules on the player. Breaking said rules can lead to negative effects. Covenants may also have an effect on the player's online interactions.
Covenants are a staple in the Dark Souls franchise and online gameplay. Joining a covenant may change the parameters with which players connect to each other. The covenant the player is a part of will show with their nameplate to others and may cosmetically change the appearance of their phantom.
Each covenant has a specific function and goal the player must fulfill, and upon fulfilling that goal they are rewarded with a token specific to that covenant. All covenants have a character or altar where they may trade their tokens for certain prizes. One prize will be received after trading 10 tokens, another after trading 30 tokens. Participating in a covenant is all but required to obtain some weapons, spells, rings, etc.
Players may only join one covenant at a time. Unlike past games, however, the player can simply change covenants (after gaining entry into the covenants) in the equipment menu.