Dark is one of four damage types in Dark Souls III, inflicted by certain enemies, items, weapons, and spells. While this element is generally ineffective against enemies that normally dwell in the dark, such as Hollows, Skeletons, and affiliates of Aldrich, it is a common weakness among foes of the elite, such as Silver Knights, Pontiff Knights, and Winged Knights.
To lower Dark damage received, it is necessary to raise the Dark defense stat.
While leveling up any stat early on will grant Dark defense to some extent, Faith will increase it most efficiently.
- The Black Bug Pellet provides a temporary increase in Dark defense when consumed.
- Equipping the Dark Stoneplate Ring and, to a lesser extent, the Speckled Stoneplate Ring will boost Dark defense significantly.
- The Crest Shield offers the highest Dark damage reduction of the standard shields at 86 Dark defense.
- Havel's Greatshield and the Cathedral Knight Greatshield tie in having the highest Dark damage reduction of the greatshields, and any shield, at 87 Dark defense.
- Armor sets with reasonably high Dark defense are usually the light armor sets like the Cleric and Sorcerer Set, with the Pyromancer Set offering the highest of the starting sets. Others such as the Archdeacon Set and Court Sorcerer Set are good choices as well.
- While medium sets are generally not as efficient at defending against Dark damage, the Black Set and the Sunless Set are quite adequate choices.
- Lorian's Set, Smough's Set, the Catarina Set, and the Winged Knight Set are fine choices among the heavy armor sets, with the Winged Knight Set offering 33.7 Dark absorption, the highest of any full set.
- Weapons that are not elementally infused can deal Dark damage with the augmentation of a Human Pine Resin.
- Infusing a weapon with a Deep Gem will imbue it with Dark damage, at the expense of all stat scaling effects.
- Weapons infused with a Dark Gem inflict Dark damage while scaling with the player's Faith and Intelligence.
- The Dark Hand is the only weapon in the base game that can deal inherent Dark damage. However, it cannot be infused or upgraded.
- A Deep Battle Axe can be obtained from the Mimic located in High Wall of Lothric.
- With the addition of the Ashes of Ariandel DLC, one can slay Sir Vilhelm to obtain the Onyx Blade, the first upgradable weapon that deals inherent Dark damage.
- The Dark Clutch Ring increases one's Dark attack by 15% at the cost of 10 physical defense.