Absorption is the numbers listed below "Absorption" on the right of the second page of the equipment menu. The numbers are a percent reduction applied to their respective damage type (Physical Absorption reduced Standard damage, all other Absorption types correspond with the damage type) after the effects of your Defense. Absorption can be obtained through Armor, Rings, Weapons, and Weapon Skills. Additional sources of Absorption suffer diminishing returns, which can be calculated with the formula below.

Final Absorption = current absorption - [(current absorption × new absorption) ÷ 100] + new absorption 


An example is shown below with these circumstances: The player is currently wearing Havel's chest piece (+18.5), they then equip Havel's helm (+6.7).

Final Absorption = 18.5 - [(18.5 × 6.7) ÷ 100] + 6.7

With these circumstances the final result is 23.9605, Dark Souls round the 5 down and your final result in game is 23.960. 

Having Negative absorption will increase damage take by the listed value, if your absorption is -15 you will take 15% more damage from that damage type. Negative absorption is calculated the same way as normal absorption.

Bosses and mobs also have absorption values which function identically to that of the player. The only difference is they are hidden and, with the exception of the NPC bosses Champion Gravetender and Halflight, Spear of the Church, are not a combination of stats from armour pieces and rings but singular, sometimes negative values.


  • The absorption stats (and the player menu as a whole) are unable to visually update while the "Cannot change equipment at this time" message is on screen.



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    • Anonymous

      So i can either drag myself through the dirt of all lothric to get the most defensive armor in the game and gain 30% ish absorption, lots of weight and lots of points wasted in vitality just to mid roll with my weapon of choice... or i could go naked, equip a mace, strike a pose and get 50% absorption for long enough to use my weapon of choice anyway.

      • Anonymous

        So basically it makes everything OP not that OP, because if we take Crystal Soul Spear that can deal 2300+ raw damage, enemy who has 20% magic absorption will take 2300 - 20%= only 1840 damage.

        • Anonymous

          So it's better to have one ridiculous piece of armor and then a bunch of*****ty helms, leggings, and gauntlets until you reach your equip load. That's a lame incentive. It's like they hate fashion souls.

          • Anonymous

            The diminishing returns of absorption only apply to getting an additional point of absorption. In terms of keeping you alive, it actually has INCREASING returns. Example: two items that both have 50 absorption. Stacking them will give you 50 +50 - 50*50/100 = 75. However, both of these items correspond to a damage reduction of 50%. While the formula doesn't look like it, it's actually just two sources of damage reduction multiplying together. Hence, we can rewrite it using the above example as: 100*[1 - (1 - newabsorb/100)*(1 - oldabsorb/100)] 50 raw absorb will double your effective health after defenses regardless of your current absorption. 75 absorption corresponds to 4x your effective health, and another instance of 50 absorption would yield 87.5, which is 8x effective health. Additional points of absorption cause your effective health to grow exponentially. Whether that is a good dump of resources in a build or not is outside of the scope of the question.

            • Anonymous

              I still don't get what the difference between the physical absorption vs the other damage types. Someone hits me with a slash attack. How does the Physical absorption come into it, and how does the slash absorption come into it.

              • Anonymous

                What about negative absorption values? do they increase damage taken? for example while wearing carthus bloodring.

                • Anonymous

                  This page should be ashamed of itself. There are no diminishing returns on absorption, every piece is applied multiplicatively. So for provided Havel pieces, you get your final value by: 100 - (1 - 0.185) * (1 - 0.067) * 100

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