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Equipment are objects that are found throughout Dark Souls. Equipment can include weapons, armor, consumable items, and more, for the Chosen Undead to use. Equipment can be bought from merchants, dropped from enemies, or found as loot on corpses or in chests. Equipment can be fed to Kingseeker Frampt after ringing both Bells of Awakening, which allow players to acquire souls.
Armor are items that can be equipped on the head, chest, hands, and legs to reduce damage received and to protect against negative status effects, such as Bleed or Curse. Similar to weapons, most armor can be upgraded with titanite to increase their effectiveness.
Key items are items like keys or Smithboxes which can be used to perform useful tasks such as opening doors or maintaining equipment without the need of a smith. The key items known as embers can be given to specific blacksmiths to allow them to ascend weapons. All key items, except the Master Key and Bottomless Box, are lost upon completion of the game and any embers given to blacksmiths must be reacquired upon entering NG+.
Magic includes sorceries, pyromancies, and miracles, and they are cast with catalysts, pyromancy flames, and talismans respectively. In order to use magic, they first need to be attuned at a bonfire. Casts are replenished by resting at a bonfire and multiple copies of the same spell can be attuned to get extra casts.
Rings are ornamental jewelry that are worn on fingers. They generally grant players a passive bonus, usually relating to damage reduction/amplification or movement. A maximum of two can be equipped at any time.
Shields are categorized as weapons in-game and are defensive equipment, usually held in the left hand. Although shields can be used offensively, they are best suited to their primary purpose: blocking and parrying attacks. Shields reduce damage by percentage, the maximum being 100% of damage, and with each attack absorbed, Stamina is depleted. Upgrading a shield will increase its attack rating and in most cases will also increase stability, reducing the amount of Stamina depleted when blocking. Upgrading will usually not improve its damage reduction; the exception being when a shield is ascended down the elemental oriented upgrade paths.
Upgrade Materials include titanite and Dragon Scales. They can be used at blacksmiths, or with the Armor/Weapon Smithbox at bonfires, to increase the defense value of armor, the attack rating and stability of most shields, and the damage of weapons.
Weapons are equipment that are used primarily to deal damage to enemies. They can attack in either hand, but with a very limited moveset while wielded in the off-hand, and, depending on the weapon type, can also parry or block when in the off-hand. Although with considerably lower damage reduction when compared to shields, blocking can also be achieved when wielding a weapon with two-hands. Most weapons can be upgraded with materials to increase their damage output. Standard weapons can be ascended down various upgrade paths which can alter their base damage, parameter bonus, and in some cases add an elemental damage type and/or auxiliary effect.