Abyss Watchers

abyss watcher enemies dark souls 3 wiki guide
General Info
hp souls Location
1548 18,000 Farron Keep
Drops Soul of the Blood of the Wolf
Cinders of a Lord
Weak Resistant Immune
icon lightningbonus Lightning icon darkbonus Dark
icon wp bleed Bleed
icon poisonres.pngPoison & Toxic

Abyss Watchers is a Boss in Dark Souls 3. This Dark Souls 3 Abyss Watchers Guide features locations, strategies and videos on how to defeat the Abyss Watchers easily, as well as tips, weaknesses, trivia and lore notes for the Abyss Watchers boss.

The Abyss Watchers are tall humanoids clad in leather armor, wielding a greatsword in their right hand and a dagger in their left hand. Players will find the Abyss Watchers seemingly fighting amongst themselves when they encounter them. After being brought down to a certain health threshold, the main boss' greatsword is infused with Fire, boosting their attacks. The Abyss Watchers, their soul, passing from one body to the next, forever warring, is one of the Lords of Cinder, and is the first of 5 the player will encounter.

This boss is relatively straightforward to deal with, with no particularly dangerous move to watch out for. In the first phase of the fight, players will be able to fight alongside one of the Abyss Watchers. Besides them, there are 4 NPCs that can be summoned to aid you in combat:

This boss is not optional and must be defeated to access the Catacombs of Carthus.

Bosses are unique and challenging Enemies that drop Boss Souls capable of being transformed into powerful Weapons, Spells, and Items for the player.


Dark Souls 3 Abyss Watchers Location

Where to find the Abyss Watchers in Dark Souls 3?

  • Farron Keep at the very end through the big stone door with the three sconces for fire.


Abyss Watchers Drops

What do you get from defeating the Abyss Watchers in Dark Souls 3?


Abyss Watchers Notes & Tips

What should you know about fighting the Abyss Watchers in Dark Souls 3?

  • Uses the Farron Greatsword.
  • This boss can be backstabbed and Parried/Riposted. Also staggers easily.
  • During phase one, an additional Watcher will spawn every 20 seconds, to a maximum of two.
  • The first additional Watcher will be hostile to the player. If a second additional Watcher is allowed to spawn, it will have glowing red eyes, and will target the boss as first priority; however, it also appears to target the player if they are closer.
  • Play defensively when the second watcher spawns, as watchers will target whoever hit them most recently.
  • Fire Resistant Armor and Shield recommended.


Abyss Watchers Stats

 Playthrough NG NG + NG ++ NG +3 NG +4 NG +5 NG +6 NG +7
Health ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ??
Defense ??
 Damage Type Standard Strike Slash Thrust Magic Fire Lightning Dark
Absorptions  ??% ??%  ??% ??%  ??%  ??% ??%  ??%


Dark Souls 3 Abyss Watchers Boss Guide & Strategies

DS3 Abyss Watchers Video Strategies


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How to Fight and Beat the Abyss Watchers

Strategy 1 (Melee)

The boss is pretty standard as bosses go during the first phase. Straight forward regular sword attacks followed by dash attacks. Your main goal is to get a few hits in while dodging and waiting for the their openings after each attack/combo. During the fight, two corpses will rise up and join the battle. The first corpse, which looks just like the boss, is a foe who will resurrect shortly after being felled, so don't worry too much about him. The second corpse, however, has glowing red eyes and will attack the Boss and the other corpse, though he can still hurt you with his attacks. He is very useful for drawing aggro from one or both of the opposing Abyss Watchers and will also resurrect shortly after dying. Take advantage of his distraction and focus your attacks on the primary boss.

  • Backstabs: Since the boss's "cooldown" after attacks is long, if he misses you there's a chance you can perform a backstab by approaching him as he recovers.
  • Heavy weapon user: Attack after rolling/dodging, using the "cooldown".

In the second phase the boss will ignite his sword on fire in a small cutscene and the other two watchers will die. His attacks are far more powerful, more violent and have extra range. Play safe and wait for the end of his combos, most of his attacks are easily avoided if you aren't standing right next to him. Distance is viable. No corpses will rise from the floor during this phase.

  • Backstabs: Opportunity arises after 3-hit combos. Boss either does dash slash+slash+jumping smash or slash+slash+jumping smash. Learn to identify the second move, barely outrange it and then simply walk left and behind the boss while he does the jumping smash. Then you can backstab him easily. Dodge everything else.
  • Heavy weapon user: Roll out of his attacks and wait for the 3-hit combo as above.


Strategy 2 (Magic)

For casters you want to have around 20 int and your casting weapon upgraded to +4. 

The main strategy on this boss is running. Instead of rolling like any other boss here you need to be running. While you're in extremely close quarters rolling is needed, but outside of that keep running away from the boss at all times, as your key to winning is being out of range at all times.

In the first phase you can kite the boss until the adds spawn. Once the first add spawns, the one without the red eyes, keep running around and only cast when there are perfect opportunities, those come up once in a while as the main boss will start being more defensive after the first add spawns. Once the second add spawns either the boss or the first add, or both will drop aggro and attack the red eye add, and he will attack them. Note, if you're the closest to the second add when it spawns it might attack you instead. The adds will respawn after dying depending on when they died, does not matter in which order they died. While the boss is focused on the red add, try to get your highest hitting spell/weapon attack on him, possibly backstab if you have a good weapon. With the help of the red eyes add phase one should be fairly easy.

Phase two gets tricky, remember how you are supposed to run away during the first phase? Now you really have to run away. With the fire the boss's attacks have more range. There's no more adds so all the aggro is always on you. In this phase, your only hope as ranged is to run and run and run. Especially on his charges and combos, if you try to roll from those he will catch you and possibly combo you, so just run out of range. Running in a big circle to the left helps avoid most of his attacks.


Strategy 3 (Specific Sorceries) 

NG: Use Great Heavy Soul Arrow in the first phase, use Great Soul Arrow in second phase. On NG+: use Crystal Soul Spear all the way - Sage Ring or Dex 40 is a must for both. When you enter the room, target lock and fire immediately. The boss will either glide towards you with sword extended, run towards you and attack or stay where he is. Once you see his reaction, roll to the side. Most attacks in the first phase are best evaded by rolling to the side. When the 2nd watcher arises from the ground stay locked on the main boss but only attack him if you see where the other guy is. Once the 3rd watcher comes out you can pretty much ignore the 2nd one and focus on the boss.

What ever you do, be sure that you are near the entrance when the boss dies for the first time. This is crucial because he will respawn near the end of the hall and walk slowly towards you, leaving you plenty of time to heal up and restore your FP. Don't be shy to attack him with a Great Heavy Soul Arrow while he's still walking towards you. When he breaks his walk and begins to swing it's best to switch to the Great Soul Arrow because it casts faster. In the 2nd phase it's best to roll backwards away from the boss, some attacks need two rolls in a row. Be sure to have about 20 END and therefore enough stamina to roll twice (or trice) and cast. Kite him while walking/rolling backwards through the room and attack whenever there's an opening.

On NG+ this is a very short fight for dedicated Sorcerers with Crystal Soul Spear at INT 60 and all magic buff equip you can get your hands on. Same tactics as on NG but way faster, see video above.


Strategy 4 (Pyromancy)

This boss will be tough as a pyromancer. Try to upgrade your flame as much as possible. The boss will pursue you rather relentlessly, making getting casts off difficult, especially during the first phase when there are multiple Watchers. Take your chance to get in as much damage as possible before the other Watchers spawn. Once they do, try to bait them into fighting each other. Trying to kill the main Watcher with one or two others chasing you at the same time is extremely difficult. If all three begin fighting, you've hit the jackpot, and can essentially just stand there are free cast. 

During phase two, keep as much distance as possible. The boss is quite fast and can close big distances quickly. Attack after one of his slides or slams, which have longer recovery, and during his combo, provided you are far enough that you are at no risk of being hit. If you simply run away from the boss, he won't be able to catch up with you, and you'll be able to take the chance to counter attack after his slide misses.

Dark Souls 3 Abyss Watchers Attacks

Phase I (Multiple Enemies)
Attack Name Attack Description
Stab The Boss lunges at the player with his sword. Range varies depending on distance away from the boss.
Dash Slash The Boss dashes forward a great distance and does an almost 360 degree slash.
Uppercut The Boss swings his sword upwarda followed by a large dust cloud. Can knock the player down. 
Jump slam The Boss jumps towards the player and slams his sword into the ground upon landing.
Phase II (One Watcher)
Attack Name Attack Description
Dash Burn A Wild Flaming Dash Slash at the player where the boss swings his sword, except now a fire trail soon follows the boss's path and burns everything in the way, slight delay for the trail to start. Woe to any who stick to his back too long once the trail of flame starts to move. The boss may combo these, and alert rolls and moving around is recommended.
Fire Sword The Boss attempts to hit the player with his flaming sword using various swings. This includes a gap closer where a delayed blaze of fire burns you if you dodge roll into the space behind the enemy. This delayed fire effect is similar to the explosive laser beam attack used by lesser amygdala in Bloodborne, with the exception that only the explosion, and not the laser itself, did damage.


Abyss Watchers Lore Theories

  • The Abyss Watchers are the heads of the Undead Legion. They are enemies of the Abyss, and will destroy kingdoms if they even show the slightest sign of exposure.
  • Two Darkwraiths can be seen fighting their way to the boss room. It could be interpreted that they have come to defeat the Watchers as well.
  • They look up to the Wolf Blood Master (heavily implied to be Artorias), and they all shared the blood. However, it seems as if this binded their souls into one, and left it constantly going between bodies of the Watchers, hence why they are fighting.
    • The only Watchers that attack the others are the ones with glowing red eyes. Similar to other creatures in the world, red eyes indicate that they are affected by the abyss, which the Watchers must eliminate, regardless of the target and circumstance.
  • The Abyss Watchers are entirely based on the legend of Artorias the Abysswalker, who braved the abyss and saved the city of Oolacile, as told in stories.
    • In reality, however, the Chosen Undead was the one who did this during the first Age of Fire, through a distortion in time, while Artorias was consumed by the abyss. But, as promised by Elizabeth the mushroom, their identiy is left out of the legend.
  • It's speculated the Abyss Watchers' souls became one shortly after linking the flame. It's likely the fire could only ever be linked by one person at a time but since the Abyss Watchers themselves were linked by the blood of the wolf, they were able to link the fire at the price of their individuality, their souls becoming one in the process.


Abyss Watchers Trivia

  • During the second phase, all the sword attacks are enhanced, and most have a secondary fire explosion in addition to his actual swing, the hitbox on the explosion is usually different from the arc of the swing.
  • Hawkwood is a former member of the Undead Legion, possible former Abyss Watcher. His armor matchers theirs except his helm, which is possibly symbolic of his leaving them. He also knows a good deal about them, though his weapon and combat style is different. He also rewards you with the Farron ring, which could had been worn by the Abyss watchers.
  • However Hawkwood doesnt seem to have the shared bit of the Wolf Blood Soul. He isn't possessed like how these bodies seem to be possessed. He certainly was undead legion. His rank may have been lower than the watchers, or he may have left them before everything went to hell and was spared the misfortune that befell them.
  • The attire of the watchers, the blood healing that takes place during the cutscene of the second phase, and the chalice that reveals the way to the dungeon, are all perhaps a reference to Bloodborne.
  • Yoel of Londor dies after this fight. If you intend to free level up and go hollow, make use of him before you beat this boss.



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    • Anonymous

      Some say they edgy some say they are awesome me I think they are both and love their lore and character for it

      • Anonymous

        First run: oh god help why are they so fast oh my god let me heal why are there three of them what is this chaos WHY IS THERE A SECOND PHASE

        Fifth run: I have killed champion gundyr and Gael and have a +11 weapon now shoo

        • Anonymous

          did anybody know the watchers are weak to magic? im using magic weapon to beat them, and it does about as much damage as lightning resin!

          • Anonymous

            I heard someone say the abyss watchers are chosen undead followers which i get but due to the connection to artorias the real one it indicates he's the wolf bloods master so they still follow artorias by right of the wolfs blood if I'm getting this right

            • Anonymous

              I like this boss fight, but I would love it if first phase was longer or didn't completly change in second. What I mean is, the 2 on 2 fight is pretty unique (ignoring summoning phantoms of course) and exhilarating. Unfortunatly it's too short - main Abyss Watcher has little health and allied one does so much damage you can basically only dodge and still win pretty quickly. Second phase is OK, but not as interesting - more damage, more health, fire traces, I don't even remember if he gets any new moves.But second phase is supposed to be "main event" and first only appetizer, so changing it might make whole thing too long, I don't know.
              Great soundtrack tho.

              • Anonymous

                What a stupid boss.

                Attacks that are impossible to avoid. Hit boxes that came straight out of 1999. Damage output that's incredibly ridiculous. You do 150hp he does 4/5 of your HP in one hit.

                Incredible job devs.

                • Anonymous

                  This fight could've just start with the abyss watcher killing the last other abyss watcher then the fight is just the phase two but longer

                  • Anonymous

                    How did this boss curse me, when he hit me in the second phase i got a small amount of curse, is this some sort of bug?

                    • Anonymous

                      fighting the abysswatchers with their armour and sword equipped is a amazing and risky battle at times you actually feel like one of the npc watchers during the fight fighting the main watchers

                      • Anonymous

                        Yoel doesn't die after this fight, he dies once you enter the catacombs. If you beat abyss watchers and use the bonfire to immediately return to firelink, Yoel will still be there. But as soon as you trigger the area text for catacombs he dies.

                        • Anonymous

                          i got 3 random guys i summoned to cosplay them with me one time. probably my most memorable experience in the series tbh.

                          in the end we decided to commit ritual suicide via seppuku

                          • Anonymous

                            anyone notice that he abyss watchers are taller than the average person is that because of their wolf blood?

                            • Anonymous

                              I dont know my Ds lore why exactly are the abyss watchers lords of cinder. they seem like they fit in the same role pontiff sulyvhan fits into

                              • Anonymous

                                I absolutely love this boss fight. The intense music, the unexpected third party help, and overwhelmingly awesome moves. My only problem is that the fight ends to quickly. I really wish that it was longer.

                                • Anonymous

                                  Now that I think about it, I think the Abyss Watchers stemmed from the destroyed country of Mirrah.

                                  1) Mirrah is a land associated with many highly skilled honorable swordsmans and constantly at war, only using magic for tactical reasons: Farron Spells
                                  2) Hodrick (strongly associated with the undead legion bears a Mirrah shield, with the sunless realms likely being Mirrah, a country "without rest" of war)
                                  3) Lucatiel of Mirrah's storyline is strongly associated with two things "The Undead Curse" and "Family". Both things are associated with Hodricks storyline, and the brotherly shared blood of the Abyss Watchers. All of these storylines end tragically.
                                  4) The Mirrah greatsword is a possible reward for the boss above Hodrick. All of these things are encountered before you get to the Abyss Watchers, besides Hodricks Storyline.

                                  My theory is that after Mirrah faded away, the countless warriors formed the Undead Legion getting inspiration from Artorias, constantly fighting just as they did in their homeland towards an honorable goal. They also got pointy hats like the mirrah hats.

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