Greatswords are among the most powerful weapons you can wield in Dark Souls 3. Boasting a long reach, high damage, and some powerful weapon arts these can help you slay the most challenging of bosses and postpone death just a little longer.
Which greatsword is best for your character is a combination of your preferred playstyle and the abilities of your build, but if you’re looking for a general overview of the best greatswords then these are ones you should really consider wielding.
Updated by Michael Connor Smith on March 27, 2020: Dark Souls is a series known not just for its punishing difficulty, but for its plethora of different weapon types to customize your gameplay experience to your heart's content. The greatsword class is one of the most iconic and popular choices among players, with high damage output, long range, and some striking designs.
This list was updated to include all sixteen of the greatswords found in Dark Souls 3, while the original list only included the ten best. We found it best to add every greatsword and rank them accordingly based on multiple different factors.
16 Storm Ruler
Found in Yhorm the Giant's arena, the Storm Ruler has the primary function of taking down the boss with its weapon art, but it lacks any kind of viable usage outside of the boss fight. Its damage output is pretty bad, with a base 143 damage output and a D in both dexterity and strength.
Even though it doesn't require any initial stats to wield, not being able to infuse or buff it leaves it as easily the worst greatsword in the game. Although it looks cool, it won't be taking you very far.
15 Bastard Sword
This classic greatsword has been a staple in Dark Souls since the very first game and made sure not to skip out on the third installment. This sword is all about the basics, all the way from its simple design to its bare-bones moveset and weapon art.
While this weapon has a decent damage output, with a D in both strength and dexterity, it's about as middle of the road as it gets with weapons in Dark Souls 3. This is also a greatsword with one of the shorter ranges in the game, making it hard to land hits with and doesn't outclass any of its brethren.
14 Firelink Greatsword
After defeating the final boss of the main story of Dark Souls 3, his soul can be used to create the Firelink Greatsword. You may recognize this sword, as it's embedded into every single bonfire that you come across. While this legendary blade has a lot to live up to, it sadly doesn't make the cut due to its lackluster damage output.
This weapon has a D in both strength and dexterity, cannot be infused or buffed normally and has its unique skill, Ember. This sword is flashy, fun, and a powerhouse in PvE, but its mediocre base 128 damage and 89 fire damage.
This is another weapon that has seen iterations in every title in the series and has remained as one of the most unique swords of its class. With a D in both strength and dexterity, a base damage of 158, and a standard greatsword moveset, it's a pretty average choice for a big sword.
However, the Flamberge is best known for its bleed quality, just as it is in real life incarnations of the weapon. Out of all other bleed-focused weapons in Dark Souls 3, this has one of the higher damage outputs, but its slow and predictable nature keeps it from being truly dangerous.
12 Moonlight Greatsword
This sword is crafted from the soul of Oceiros the Consumed King and makes for a strong weapon with interesting capabilities. It’s standard use as a melee weapon deals 69 base damage, but it also possesses a limited range attack that casts Moonlight Vortex in front of the player for 130 base magic damage.
What’s unusual for the Moonlight Greatsword is that it requires a high intelligence skill to wield which many greatsword strength-based builds typically don’t have. It’s alright for strength/caster builds, but there are much better options.
11 Onyx Blade
This weapon is one of the most visually striking weapons in all of Dark Souls 3, but it's a shame that it doesn't hold up as well as it should into the late game. This is the longest greatsword in the game, and has scaling in every different area. The requirements for this blade are fairly high, and building it will take a lot of time and resources.
It actually has some fairly good damage output, with a lot of it being dark damage. Its weapon art, Elfriede's Blackflame, buffs its damage output with fire damage, and it's a contender for the coolest looking weapon art in the game. It isn't a bad weapon by any means, but its damage is simply outclassed by a lot of others on this list.
10 Wolf Knight’s Greatsword
The Wolf Knight’s Greatsword was crafted to help slay the denizens of the abyss and it serves this task well. The sword has a 139 base damage and gets a 20% bonus to damage against Abyssal enemies which includes a number of bosses such as Aldrich, Devourer of Gods. You’ll need to craft it with the soul of the Blood of the Wolf.
It ranks low because it’s skill Wolf Sword is a simple slow-spinning slash or a forward slashing somersault. The spin move is particularly weak as it can be parried by opponents. It has uses against Abyssal creatures, but for the rest of the game you really need something else.
9 Wolnir’s Holy Sword
This weapon is built using the soul of High Lord Wolnir. It deals a base damage of 151 which is very respectable. Its special skill is Wrath of the Gods which emits a shockwave around the player when the weapon is thrust into the ground, this is useful for giving yourself some breathing room when fighting crowds.
It’s a good weapon that can deal a fair amount of damage with each strike and has a handy ability for crowd control or punishing opponents that sneak up behind you.
8 Greatsword of Judgment
This is essentially a stronger version of the Moonlight Greatsword and a good weapon to use for caster/strength builds. The Greatsword of Judgement is crafted using the soul of Pontiff Sulyvahn, It deals 110 base damage and it’s special skill Stance of Judgement is a side sweeping wave that deals 86 magical damage.
The reason it’s better than the Moonlight greatsword is that the base damage of standard swings is stronger, has lesser stat requirements meaning it can be equipped sooner, and it doesn’t degrade nearly as fast thanks to a better durability.
7 Twin Princes’ Greatsword
Twin Princes’ Greatsword is a strong weapon thanks to its two skills. Its base damage is 126 and it can deal 83 fire damage when using Sacred Lothric Light or Flame Of Lorian. Sacred Lothric Light is cast when performing a normal attack in stance and Flame of Lorian is performed using a strong attack while in stance.
This versatility is nice and makes it a strong sword, but it doesn’t stack up against others damage wise. It also ranks lower because it’s only acquired in New Game + as the player must defeat Lothric twice and use the souls to craft Lothric’s Holy Sword and Lorians Greatsword and then fuse them together to form this sword.
6 Gael’s Greatsword
A weapon with a bit of dark lore behind it, it’s the executioner’s sword for Slave Knight Gael that has seen so much use it’s now permanently bloodied and chipped. To acquire it you’ll need to travel to the Ringed City in the DLC and use Slave Knight Gael’s soul to craft it.
It deals a healthy 147 base damage with decent weight and not too strict of stat requirements. The reason it doesn’t rank higher is that the skill Blade of Peril, while damaging is very dangerous to perform as it leaves the player incredibly exposed.
5 Executioner’s Greatsword
The Executioner’s Greatsword is a powerful weapon in the hands of anyone who intends to use magic as it regenerates six Focus Points with each kill. It’s found on a corpse in Cathedral of the Deep near the graveyard by the Cleasning Chapel, making it a great early game weapon dealing 131 base damage.
Its skill Stomp is also very effective as it deals great damage and increases the player’s poise that can be comboed into a spinning slash. When looking to execute a large number of opponents and put down tough bosses, you want something that was built for executions.
4 Drakeblood Greatsword
This greatsword is likely the most unique and versatile greatsword in the entire game for a few reasons. This sword has a D in both strength and dexterity and deals physical, magical and lightning damage. It won't be doing too much damage by itself, but taking the time to build it can create a monster.
It shares a moveset with the Hollowslayer Greatsword, which already has one of the best greatsword movesets. This sword works well with both a magic build or a faith build, or also works well with resins if you don't want to invest tons of time into building it.
3 Hollowslayer Greatsword
The world of Dark Souls 3 is littered with hollow enemies and hollow bosses which makes the Hollowslayer Greatsword a powerful weapon to have on hand. It deals 145 base damage and receives a 20% bonus to damage when facing hollow enemies, which are everywhere. It’s crafted using the Soul of the Rotted Greatwood.
It also has great range and its skill Stance is very useful in a variety of circumstances. Odds are you’ll be carrying this weapon for quite some time as it makes the game easier when fighting hollows.
2 Black Knight Sword
This is a great sword for killing demons, or anything else really. Obtained from a corpse in Smouldering Lake, the Black Knight Sword deals 173 base damage with a 20% against demons. The damage rivals with Ultra Greatswords and it has a great reach, fast swing speed, and it’s light enough that stamina consumption isn’t too awful.
Its skill Perseverance raises poise and reduces damage when activated. All around it’s a fantastic sword that helps in the fights against the handful of demons in the game and holds it’s own in every other fight. Honestly, this could be your choice of sword long into New Game +.
1 The Claymore
By far the best greatsword in Dark Souls 3 is The Claymore. This humble weapon is obtained early in the game by dropping from enemies that use it in Irithyll of the Boreal Valley. It deals 138 base damage has a low weight to minimize stamina consumption and has the incredibly useful Stance skill.
While some builds might benefit more from the Black Knight Sword, a lot of builds benefit from the Claymore which is why it’s number one. This is a greatsword you can get early on, invest the time and resources into upgrading and never regret that decision. Unless you have a very specific or quirky build this is your sword.
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