Catacombs of Carthus is a Location in Dark Souls 3. Bleed-inducing Skeletons and Grave Wardens of The High Lord stand in the adventurer's path to plunder these tombs, that need to be passed through to reach the fabled city of Irithyll.


General Information


Catacombs of Carthus Map

Catacombs of Carthus Map DKS3


Catacombs of Carthus Video Playthrough


NPCs in the area






Upgrade Materials

Keys & Other


Official Names

Unofficial names:


  • Weapons that inflict Strike damage (such as the Executioner's Greatsword) appear to make every single skeleton enemy completely fall apart every time they've been hit.
  • Be mindful of traps and pots in the area

Full Catacombs of Carthus Walkthrough

A full walkthrough including all the items, enemies and bosses goes here. You can add links, images. and other details. 

Click here to go to the Speedrun Walkthrough.

Click here to go to the location's Lore and Speculation page.

Finding the Carthus Pyromancy Tome

Descend down the stairs revealed after the Abyss Watchers fight in Farron Keep and head forward. Make your first left to take on a skeleton, and beyond you will find a corpse with Carthus Rouge 2x. Be mindful of the white eyed skeletons which reanimate in this area - blessed weaponry will kill these skeletons the first time. Skeletons with no or red color to their eyes will not respawn.

Cross the bridge here to encounter a red eyed enemy with a Carthus Curved Sword who is able to go somewhat invisible while rolling to attack you. Before reaching the end of the bridge, drop down to a small platform on the left, and then drop down to the next floor, being mindful of a skeleton enemy here. 

Make your way into this archway and into a next room where a skeleton will jump out at you. Dispatch it and grab the Carthus Pyromancy Tome from the grave in the wall here. Turn around from the grave and head left through the open doorway. Attack the wall at the end of this hallway to reveal an Illusory Wall.

Step through into the next area and make a left down a hallway, and follow it to its left to find a Soul of a Nameless Soldier 1x. You will find a ladder here that you can climb up into a hallway.

Be wary of the pressure plate in the middle of the hallway, which will activate flaming bolts. Ahead of you will be an arrow firing skeleton. Dispatch it and head left to dispatch two more skeletons, one of which will drop down to attack you. Follow the hallway right to take out two more skeletons. At the end of the hallway you will find a Soul of a Nameless Soldier 1x. Make your way back and take the stairs down into the central portion of this large room. 

Walk straight ahead and down the stairs to the next level and at the end drop down. To your left you will encounter a skeleton and two of the red eyed ghouls. In this corner you will find Titanite Shard 2x. Head to the right of the staircase which leads down into this room, and go through a short hallway that leads into a room with a red eyed skeleton that wields a whip. In this room to the right you will find a Sharp Gem on a corpse in an open alcove in the wall. 

Talk to Anri of Astora

Return to the room where you fought the skeleton and two red eyed ones and take the doorway to the left of the stairs which will lead down a hallway that breaks right. Continue down it to meet Anri of Astora who will ask you if you have seen Horace the Hushed. Exit this room and to the right you will find a corpse with Bloodred Moss Clump 3x. To your left will be a Crystal Lizard.

Return to the room where you fought the skeleton and two red eyed skeletons and take the doorway straight ahead of the staircase. This long staircase leading down triggers a trap whereby a boulder of bodies will come barreling down the stairs. Be ready with a shield for skeletons firing arrows, and run down the stairs and stop on the small platforms on the left side to avoid the trap. This boulder of bodies will return, rolling back up the stairs, so be vigilant. There is an Ember 1x below one small platform on the left side. Proceed down to the very bottom of the stairs and around the corner, kill the Skeleton with the hat, and wait for the boulder of bodies to break dropping Undead Bone Shard 1x.

Head down the stairs and into the hallway straight ahead, and take it left. Down this hallway you will encounter several throwing skeletons and small pots with lids that will release an Affinity like spell. Only the small pots with lids contain this spell. Behind a cluster of pots, which you must break very carefully due to the spells and pressure plate traps in the floor, you will find the Carthus Milkring on a corpse in the wall. Continue down the hallway, avoiding another pressure plate in the floor, and into the next room with a red eyed skeleton and a normal skeleton that will throw affinity pots at you. Head right in this room to head down a hallway.

On your left will be a corpse with a Large Soul of an Unknown Traveler 1x, and ahead will be two red eyed skeletons. Be mindful of the hole in the floor at the end of the hallway. If you traverse around it carefully you can loot an Ember 1x from a corpse in the wall. On the right, head down this next hallway. 

At the opening into the next room you will be immediately greeted by a rolling boulder of bodies. Let it pass and head to the left to loot Large Titanite Shard 1x. Turn around and proceed along the path of the boulder and make your next left down a hallway to discover a Bonfire

Exploring the Lower Area

From the bonfire make your way back and follow the path of the boulder down. You'll have to go fast so that you can duck to the left or right before the boulder begins making its way back up. Alternatively you can wait for the boulder to come back up on the left side of the tunnel down before the stairs, and rush down as it returns. To the right you will encounter a large rat in the corner and a couple of its smaller kin. 

If you head left from where you entered, you will find a corpse along a pillar in the center with Titanite Shard 2x. A red eye skeleton with Carthus Shotel will be here. Continue along this path and make a right.

Overhead, be wary of slime enemies as they will drop down. You can loot a corpse to the left for a Titanite Shard 2x. Watch for a group of Skeleton Wheel which roll down at you. Make a left at the end of the hallway, where a slime will drop down right before the end. A corpse at the wall here can be looted for the Carthus Bloodring

Head back down the hallway where the bonewheels were, and stay lightly left to exit through a doorway. Proceed forward to discover an Ember 1x on a corpse in the wall near the closed gate.

Head back up the stairs where (if embered) you will be invaded by the dark spirit Knight Slayer Tsorig who wields the Fume Ultra Greatsword. Defeat him, or in defeat, earn the My Thanks! Gesture and exit the door and make a right down the hallway and make your next right into an open alcove. Head up the stairs where you will be ambushed by a shotel wielding red eyed skeleton (who is easier to fight on the stairs). Beyond is a hat wearing skeleton to the right and another red eyed arrow skeleton. Beware of the pressure plate on the floor here. To the right will be a corpse with Carthus Rouge 3x.

Head back down the hallway in the opposite direction. Loot a corpse on the left for a Large Titanite Shard 1x. Further down the hallway will be another shotel wielding red eyed skeleton. Finally you can loot a corpse for the Grave Warden's Ashes.

Take the stairs in this hallway down and head right down this hallway to find a Dark Gem where the skeleton ball has broken (the skeleton with a hat has to be killed for the ball to break and the gem to be looted). From where you entered head left and exit the broken wall to head down a tunnel where you will encounter a Crystal Lizard. Overlooking a ledge here will be another red eye skeleton with a Carthus Curved Greatsword. There is a body to the left hanging over the edge with a Yellow Bug Pellet 3x.

Note: if you plan on following the Yoel of Londor/Yuria of Londor questline, this is your last chance to "draw out true strength" before he will die and the questline will fail. Yuria has a few unique items (spells, rings) that you can only purchase by following this path.

Activating the Shortcut and Hanging Bridge

Slowly head right and enter a chamber with many skeletons on the ground. If you walk the perimeter, they will not animate. You can loot corpses in this room for a Large Soul of a Nameless Soldier 1x, Black Bug Pellet 2x. As you proceed, make a right before the bridge and head up the stone hill to an edge (where you can talk to Anri of Astora a second time), which you can drop down from to a lower ledge. Head up this ledge to reach the other side of the bridge. Any spawned skeletons will make chase across the bridge - hit one of the top ropes on the bridge to cause it to collapse, dropping the skeletons to their doom. There is a fairly short delay before the bridge collapses, so be sure to step off it before it does. Climb down the collapsed bridge as if it were a ladder to access the area below, do not continue forward to the High Lord Wolnir fight if you are interested in Anri's questline.

Descend down to take on a Fire Demon in this early portion of Smouldering Lake. In this chamber there is a Mimic (drops Black Blade) up the stairs near the end of the walkway. It is possible to stand in front of the chest until the Demon starts spraying fire, then run away. With some luck, the flames will hit the chest and the mimic will attack the Fire Demon and do some good damage to it before dying! Alternatively, fighting the Demon near where you enter the room on the steps will force him to back up repeatedly (to try and bring you down); simply back up to the entrance and allow him to chase you up the steps, hit him, and repeat. On the level where the Demon King is you can loot a Large Titanite Shard 1x, but there are several skeletons that will come out here. If you exit into the next room, straight ahead you will find a corpse with Old Sage's Blindfold and Witch's Ring. Turn around and head back and make a left into another room with a Bonfire. Advance through to reach Smouldering Lake.

Anri's Questline & Area Boss

To continue Anri of Astora's questline, you must kill Horace in Smouldering Lake BEFORE killing High Lord Wolnir.

At the other side of the bridge you will come to a double door and enter a chamber with a goblet on a enter altar surrounded by many candles. Touch the goblet to trigger the boss fight with High Lord Wolnir. Move forward and right before the boss you will find the Grave Warden Pyromancy Tome

Defeat him to trigger a cutscene of his essence returning to the goblet. The double doors up the stairs open. Light the bonfire here and advance through the doors, if you have obtained the Small Doll from Cathedral of the Deep to reach Irithyll of the Boreal Valley.


Catacombs of Carthus Map

Catacombs of Carthus Map dks3


Video Walkthrough

Catacombs Of Carthus Video Walkthrough


Speed Run Walkthrough

A fast walkthrough of how to get to the end of the level the fastest, picking up only essential items goes here.

As soon as you come down the stairs from the Abyss Watchers Bonfire you come to the opening area of The Catacombs of Carthus. You'll see a bridge to your left, you want to go right, if you look carefully you'll see you can drop down from here to a platform, there will be a skeleton archer, you can then drop down again and see another skeleton archer, youll want to then drop down once more onto a bridge.

Here you will go inside the building, make sure to hug the wall because you will have a trap coming behind you. You will see a bonfire behind a gate in this hallway, youll want to get this to have easy access to the next boss. turn left and go down the hall, more skeletons will keep spawning and you can defeat them, after turning right, youll be in another long hall, there is a pressure plate that will trig arrows to come at you, steer clear of this if possible. Run all the way to the end of this and turn right, you will encount numerous enemies here defeat them and follow this hall until you see a break in the floor, to your right should be another hall.

In there is another skeleton ball trap rolling back and forth, turn right in this hallway then take your next left and you will be at the Catacombs of Carthus bonfire. Now go back to the hall with the rolling ball and go down the stairs, once in this room youll want to go left and dispatch the enemies in this area or run past them, youll make way through a cave and come up behind a larger skeleton enemy and you should see a rope bridge, youll want to go right and once in the larger cave area you should find a lever near the gated area to open, this will be a short cut from the bonfire.

Next keep following the path and cross the rope bridge, many skeletons will be after you, you can hit the bridge to knock it down stopping any chasing enemies although you should be able to ignore this. keep following the path and youll come to a room with a chalice, interact with the chalice to initiate a fight against High Lord Wolnir, once you defeat the boss a bonfire will appear in this room. If you keep going on this path you will reach Irithyll of the Boreal Valley.


    • Anonymous

      17 Aug 2019 15:37  

      This area is so easy to get lost in. Everything looks the same so you don't realise that you are going back to where you came.

      • Anonymous

        03 Jun 2019 04:23  

        Trying to get undead bone shard but our neighborhood friendly skeleton is no where to be found any suggestions?

        • Anonymous

          29 May 2019 02:22  

          Honestly this place isn't as infuriating as people make it out to be (for me at the very least.) I think the smouldering lake is way worse

          • Anonymous

            17 Feb 2019 06:54  

            Nevermind about the map! If you're having problems seeing it well, scroll down from the 1st map and you'll find the better quality version that's readable on mobile.

            • Anonymous

              13 Sep 2018 21:14  

              - get second ring from orbeck for no sound - cast invisibility - allot more mana estus - (optional) use some fancy dress i.e archdeacon set to become astral pope No need to fight just pick items and walking around to open passage and lit bonfires Souls? Levels? Farm from 3 giants ghru at keep ruins bonfire cliff, effective using crystal hail These also work to any map as long no monster can detect invis, try to get abundant souls from ariandel map

              • Anonymous

                20 Jan 2018 03:45  

                A tip for new player, get a Blessed Mace and you will destroy those skeleton back to ashes easy as a piece of cake, the normal will almost always get downed by one hit but still can be hit and the red eye will get knocked away/down. Also it prevent them from respawn

                • Anonymous

                  18 Jan 2018 15:45  

                  Protip: Skeletons take extra damage from Strike and are resistant to Slashing and Thrusting.
                  While there's no problem with this being the case for STR/Quality builds, there might be a problem here for DEX/INT/FTH builds, You can temporarily solve this by infusing it with something like a sharp gem or lightning gem depending on your build.
                  Strike damage also has the added bonus of shattering skeletons into a million billion pieces, effectively stunning them for a short moment.

                  • Anonymous

                    10 Dec 2017 22:14  

                    Something tells me that this was supposed to be like the Bloodborne chalice dungeons, with random shifting rooms each new game. But they scrapped the idea in the process.

                    • Anonymous

                      09 Nov 2017 02:00  

                      Please mention about following the Yoel of Londor/Yuria of Londor questline a bit sooner, as the 5 levels need to be taken before the Abyss Watchers.

                      • 14 Sep 2017 02:18  

                        I had a really, really weird glitch happen to me just now. I went and got the Gravewarden's Ashes and proceeded to head down the stairs left of the Ash location. Instead of opening in the doorway to the area filled with rats, there was a wall. I rolled into the wall and fell through the map, dying. Have 600hrs and have never seen this. Was just really weird, thought I'd share.

                        • 14 Aug 2017 15:12  

                          Seems like everything in the catacombs has an absolutely abysmal drop rate for me. I must have gone through here approx. 200 times without getting a single vertebrae shackle, wheel shield and carthus shield. What is going on! All while using crystal sage's rapier, gold serpent ring +3, symbol of avarice and rusted coin.

                          • Anonymous

                            27 Jun 2017 21:15  

                            In all the Dark Souls games my STR/FTH build just never let me down. In DS 2 it ended up as a hexer but still - DEUS VULT!

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