Highlights

  • Dark Souls
    set a new standard for challenging AAA games, spawning a genre and attracting hardcore gamers seeking a tough experience.
  • PC players can enhance their
    Dark Souls
    experience with mods, improving visuals, controls, and even adding new content to the game.
  • While first playthroughs should aim for a vanilla experience, subsequent ones can be freshened up with mods tailored to different preferences.



Dark Souls is easily one of the most important video games released in the modern era. The game single-handedly proved a solid and decisive point that most gaming studios at the time were failing to understand — that there was definitely a viable market for hardcore AAA video games that wouldn’t hold a player’s hand at every step of the way. Dark Souls was — and still is — a raging phenomenon that has birthed a genre in itself while simultaneously becoming a common comparison when it comes to analyzing difficulty in video games.

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While its release on the PC was marred with controversy — and a ton of optimization issues — patches have somewhat improved the overall experience. However, to really make the most of playing Dark Souls on the PC, many players recommend downloading a host of useful mods that do a great job of augmenting the experience. Regardless of what a person’s impression may be regarding the use of fan-made content, there’s no denying that the modders for Dark Souls are extremely talented and do a great job of enhancing the experience of playing this game in their own unique ways.


Updated on March 29, 2024, by Ritwik Mitra: Dark Souls is one of the greatest video games ever made, ushering in a new age of action RPGs that didn’t hold a player’s hand and trusted them to get through a game that rewarded player skill without making things too unfair. The sheer number of times players have gone through Dark Souls and witnessed its brilliance over and over again can’t be stated enough, with the addition of New Game+ ensuring that players will always face a hefty challenge in this game in these repeated playthroughs. However, there’s no denying that some people may find the vanilla experience to be a bit too repetitive for their liking. For these players, the best course of action to take is to download mods on PC that help improve and freshen up the experience in a myriad of ways.


How To Install Mods For Dark Souls

Dark Souls

The process for installing Dark Souls mods is pretty similar to most other games on PC. Players need to ensure that they read the instructions of every mod before opting for a download, otherwise, the installation process can seem more cumbersome than required. Modding might seem like a complicated process, but all it involves is ensuring that the files are placed in the proper location.

Most mods require players to overwrite certain files, with texture mods being a great example of the same. In this case, players should definitely create a backup of the files they’re planning to overwrite. It might seem like fairly obvious advice, but there are many players who end up overwriting files incorrectly, leading to everything from incorrect visual artifacts to the dreaded crashes on startup.


The most important thing a player should keep in mind while downloading mods is researching what they alter or overhaul and wondering if such mods are even required in their playthrough. A player’s mileage can vary for almost every mod, and not all the fan content available for the game (regardless of its quality and popularity) will fit in with the player’s definition of fun.

  • In the case of a first playthrough, a player’s experience should be as true to a vanilla experience as possible. In this situation, taking QoL mods and fan patches is the best course of action to take. Other gameplay tweaks and modifiers can be taken, but players should do their research and ideally avoid any situations where the core gameplay loop isn’t affected too much.
  • If players have already gone through the game once and want a significantly different experience, then the Dark Souls community has them covered! Everything from total conversion mods to major gameplay overhauls is available for the game, and do a great job of changing the game to make it feel like a fresh playthrough once again!



24 Dark Souls Easy Mod PTDE

Downloads: 2,155

Short Bow in Dark Souls 3

There’s no denying that the difficulty of Dark Souls is well-balanced, letting players slowly come to grips with how the game works before challenging their expertise with some tricky encounters and tough bosses. However, after a point, some players may want an easier time going through the game instead of being forced to struggle over and over again.

To accommodate this, there are many mods that activate an easy mode for Dark Souls in some form or the other. In this mod’s case, the starting classes in the game are enhanced considerably. Each armor set is of the +10 variety and the weapons & spells players have access to are also improved considerably.


23 PS4 Button Interface

Downloads: 3,360

PS4 Button Interface mod for Dark Souls

The PC port of Dark Souls has its fair share of problems, and the fact that it doesn’t auto-detect a player’s controller to add context-sensitive buttons for the same feels downright amateurish. Thankfully, players can easily make up for this with a simple mod that adds the interface of the PS4 buttons to the game without any issues.

It’s a simple mod, but players who are used to PlayStation controllers would appreciate the ease with which they can get into the game if they’re not too busy struggling with the Xbox prompts. In a game where split-second decisions are the difference between life and death, the smallest things help.


22 Mouse And Keyboard Prompts For DSCI

Downloads: 3,428

Knight and their companion attacking a large monster

Playing Dark Souls with a mouse and keyboard can lead to some serious problems if players want to survive against the hordes of enemies that will whoop them silly if they make even the slightest mistake. While using a controller is recommended in almost every instance, players who are too comfortable with a mouse and keyboard would want their playthrough to be as smooth as possible.

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With this mod, keyboard and mouse prompts are added to the game to make things way easier. It’s a simple change but something that people who abstain from using a controller will find to be invaluable to their enjoyment of the game.


21 Age Of Sunlight

Downloads: 5,463

Gwyndolin of Dark Souls 1

Gameplay overhauls are pretty abundant in Dark Souls, but Age of Sunlight has the distinction of being a mod that was released quite recently but is already turning some heads. Boasting a total of over 12,000 (!) changes to the game, Age of Sunlight is an ambitious attempt at overhauling the gameplay of Dark Souls in order to streamline and improve the overall experience of playing this brilliant game.

Players who want to enjoy something fresh and engaging in a title that they’ve scoured to death will find Age of Sunlight to be right up their alley. The sheer number of rebalances coupled with the introduction of new mechanics is something Dark Souls fans will love, showing just how much effort was put into making this mod as unique and interesting as possible.


20 Optimized Lava Eyesore Fix

Downloads: 20,358

Lava Eyesore Fix mod for Dark Souls

Dark Souls might be an excellent title, but the experience does end up wavering a bit over the latter half of the game. A huge offender in this regard is the lava areas, which look ugly, feature uninspired encounters, and house the worst boss in the entire series.

While there’s not a ton that can be done for the last two points, players can at least make the lava look better with this mod. It’s a small change, but anything that makes the lava areas of Dark Souls bearable is a must-have. Now, players can go through the latter stages of Dark Souls without feeling like their eyes will burn at the sight of these annoying levels.


19 Roguelike Souls – The Binding Of Lordran

Downloads: 27,401

Dark Souls Firelink Shrine main hub area

There’s a reason why so many Soulslike games incorporate roguelike elements because of how well these genres merge together. So, it’s only a given that a mod exists that turns the experience of playing Dark Souls into an engaging roguelike.

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The world of Lordran is divided into numerous sections, with players having a total of five chances to tackle each section. Failure to do so will lead to progress being reset for that particular run, which adds even more pressure to a game that is already pretty hard as is.


18 Thanks Obama

Downloads: 42,408

Thanks Obama mod in Dark Souls

The first mod that we should give due props to is a hilarious running gag in the Dark Souls fandom that has become quite legendary in its own right.

With this mod, one thing is guaranteed — regardless of the frustrating manner in which a person may die in the game, the player will definitely chuckle once the words “THANKS OBAMA” pop up on the screen.

17 Ascended Mod (RPG)

Downloads: 63,020

Ascended Mod in Dark Souls


There’s no denying that Dark Souls is one of the toughest video games ever made, but there are some players who actively enjoy being punished. For these psychopaths, the Ascended Mod is a perfect addition.

Not only does it make the game’s usual RPG mechanics, like leveling and upgrading, more important than ever before, but it also changes the game in meaningful ways. Featuring new boss OSTs, more explorable areas, and enhanced armor, it’s easy to see why the Ascended Mod is considered to be so underrated by many.

16 Prepare To Die Again — Of Ash And Dust

Downloads: 73,757

Dark Souls Offered an easy final boss fight after hours of torture.

A lore-friendly mod that attempts to restore the cut content of the game and expand upon certain areas to bring a fresh yet familiar experience to players, Prepare To Die Again — Of Ash And Dust is one of the best Dark Souls 1 mods that no fan of the game should miss out on.


This mod can be the perfect way to play through Dark Souls another time to experience the game with what is essentially a fresh coat of paint.

15 HD Player Messages

Downloads: 94,747

HD Player Messages mod for Dark Souls

Player messages are a huge part of what made Dark Souls such a breakthrough hit, with players loving the small moments of levity brought about by other Chosen Undead who posted the most hilarious messages possible. It helped that these messages were pretty useful sometimes, allowing players to find hidden places and be aware of tough enemies that could take them out at a moment’s notice.


7:02

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Players who want these messages to pop out in the game world can check out the HD Player Messages mod, which states exactly what it does in the title itself. It improves the texture of these messages and makes them pop out in the game world, with many players appreciating the high-quality textures, even if their impact isn’t all that massive.

14 Dark Souls Item Randomizer

Downloads: 105,522

manticore tail in the form of a whipe held by the player in firelink shrine of dark souls

For players who want their playthrough of Dark Souls to be more unique, the Dark Souls Item Randomizer mod will definitely prove to be quite valuable in that regard.

This Dark Souls mod ends up shuffling treasures all over the world, making the act of opening each and every chest a gamble. It’s highly customizable, allowing players to tweak a whole host of settings that can either make the game easier, or even more punishing.


13 Modern Keyboard Interface Icons

Downloads: 102,809

Modern Keyboard Interface Icons mod for Dark Souls

Any Dark Souls veteran will attest to the fact that playing this game with a keyboard is simply not the way to go. The game requires precise input and timing, with the experience being so tailor-made for controllers that the keyboard is nothing more than an afterthought, which is a shame.

The simple act of having legible keyboard icons is a struggle, and this mod helps make the act of playing with a keyboard and mouse all the more easier. It’s a much-needed fix that lets players know which key does what — a bare minimum fix that is somehow impossible to enjoy in this game without fan tweaks!


12 Anor Londo Better Distance Textures

Downloads: 111,157

Dark Souls Anor Londo with Character

Anor Londo is one of the most iconic areas in Dark Souls. Players love the nod to this legendary area in Dark Souls 3, with this amazing area featuring some of the toughest bosses and enemy encounters in the original game. The Chosen Undead can see this location far off in the distance, but the textures haven’t really aged all that well in modern times.

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With this mod, the view of Anor Londo in the distance becomes a bit easier to digest, which makes for a simple yet welcome fix. After all, there are players who want all aspects of Dark Souls to be as perfect as possible, and this Dark Souls mod certainly helps out in this regard!


11 Improved Normal Arrows

Downloads: 116,212

Improved Normal Arrows mod for Dark Souls

For the most part, players would stick to the melee combat of Dark Souls, which feels like the most approachable and least complex way to dish out some serious damage against the game’s many enemies. However, in doing so, some people fail to realize the viability of some of the other playstyles that players can explore in the game.

One really useful way to attack enemies without putting the Chosen Undead in harm’s way is by using ranged attacks. A bow is pretty helpful in this regard, even though it might not be the most exciting way to approach combat in this game. Regardless, it’s a viable strategy that players can pursue if they’re struggling with this game.


So, it can be rather underwhelming to see just how lackluster the arrows look in the game when they’re shot toward enemies. It’s a minor complaint, but players who want to address it can do so with the Improved Normal Arrows mod. It’s a simple Dark Souls mod that actually adds textures for arrows of different kinds in the game, which makes for a small yet welcome change for fans who want their ranged build to be a bit more visually exciting as well.

10 Dark Souls Enemy Randomizer

Downloads: 124,317

Dark Souls' Gaping Dragon

While the item randomizer is a great mod in its own right, Dark Souls truly becomes a wildly unpredictable game when players end up integrating an enemy randomizer into the mix as well.


All of a sudden, everything from normal enemies to full-blown bosses is completely randomized, making for a completely new experience that can be tailored somewhat according to a player’s specifications as well!

9 Highly Visible Health Bars

Downloads: 142,428

Sen's Fortress in Dark Souls

While the health bars in Dark Souls are visible for the most part, there are times when guarding an enemy’s health can get somewhat hard due to the dark environments.

With this mod on, players can easily see the damage they’ve done, regardless of how dimly lit the surroundings may be. Another great function in this Dark Souls mod is the fact that it has support for colorblind people — something that would definitely be welcome in a time when accessibility options in modern games are pretty much expected.


8 Andres Cranial Ember

Downloads: 155,970

Andres Cranial Ember mod for Dark Souls

One has to admit that the faces of Dark Souls aren’t exactly all that great to look at. They’re not necessarily an eyesore, but the plastic look feels a bit jarring to behold at times.

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Thankfully, the Andres Cranial Ember mod provides a convenient solution to this by updating the heads in the game. Even the texture of the hollows is updated, which is a great addition as well.

7 Daughters Of Ash

Downloads: 201,127

Daughters Of Ash mod for Dark Souls


Of Ash and Dust might be a lore-friendly experience, but the same can’t be said for Daughters of Ash. However, the sheer amount of ambition put into this mod makes it one of Dark Souls‘ best mods for the game by a country mile.

Featuring new enemies, locations, items, characters, weapons, and even bosses — Daughters of Ash is an expansion that any fan of the vanilla Dark Souls experience should definitely try out.

6 DSR 2020 Textures

Downloads: 299,979

DSR 2020 Textures mod for Dark Souls

The visual design of Dark Souls is in a class of its own. A huge reason why so many people weren’t happy with Dark Souls Remastered was how it squandered the atmosphere of the original game for the sake of high-fidelity visuals.


With this mod, players can enhance the visuals of the game to new heights without worrying about any changes that go against the spirit of the developer. Dark Souls is certainly a dated title from a visual standpoint, but most fans won’t even realize this once they download the DSR 2020 Textures mod and see how crisp the graphics become after installing it!

5 Dark Souls Flora Overhaul

Downloads: 278,786

Dark Souls Firelink Shrine Undead Parish Shortcut

Dark Souls might be a brilliant game, but one has to admit that its graphics have definitely aged a bit. This can be seen in the flora of the game, which doesn’t really show the sort of quality one might expect from a modern title.


Thankfully, with the Dark Souls Flora Overhaul mod, these particular swaths of greenery can be improved when it comes to their overall quality, allowing players to enjoy a game with greater visual fidelity.

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