Physical Defense

Type Defense

Physical Defense in Dark Souls 3 defines the protection your character has against physical damage. It does not protect the character from damage recieved by Magic, Fire, Lightning, and Dark attacks. Physical defense is further subdivided into 4 different types: [ Standard | Strike | Slash | Thrust ]. Many weapons infused with [ Heavy Gem | Sharp Gem | Refined Gem | Raw Gem ] generally deal physical damage and thus Physical defense protects the character from such infused weapons.

Physical Defense is increased strongly by leveling Vitality, which also increases the character's Equip Load. This also allows the character to wear heavy armor which grants additional protection by granting high damage absorption values (which is a separate statistic). Physical defense can also be increased moderately by leveling Strength, although this is less efficient than Vitality  (75%). All other attributes also grant Physical defense when leveling up, although at a strongly reduced efficiency when compared to Vitality  (33%).




Attunement  ♦  Bleed  ♦  Curse  ♦  Dark Defense  ♦  Dexterity  ♦  Endurance  ♦  Equipment Load  ♦  Faith  ♦  Fire Defense  ♦  FP  ♦  Frostbite  ♦  Intelligence  ♦  Item Discovery  ♦  Lightning Defense  ♦  Luck  ♦  Magic Defense  ♦  Poise  ♦  Poison  ♦  Strength  ♦  Vigor  ♦  Vitality


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    • Anonymous

      I played the game not thinking vitality and vigor. I beleived if you just get 'gud' then thats it. Recently dumped all my stats into only vigor, and vitality. With 24 butchers knife strength, but 16 works. The results are:

      Dark Souls 3 enemy ai is just overly aggressive.'s.. not a good thing.
      I steamrolled through all the bosses that are NOT DLC. Steam rolled and took plenty of 'peck' hits. It seems vitality doesn't show it's love until about 35-40. Goal hit is 150 DEF. It actually makes it possible, to walk into boss rooms unprepared, and kill them on the first go. Alderich died first try. That guy no matter what build just forces me to fight him over and over, get lucky.

      If you really want to be convinced the ai is WAY TOO AGGRESSIVE , 1 example is the subboss in lothric barracks, down by the 4 mimic chests. I never actually spent the time to notice his attack behavior until this build. I stood there and just looked at him nonstop wacking me.

      What Ds3 is... is Enemies always attack, no breaks. So to hit them , your opportunity to attack enemies in Ds3 is when they are 'missing' their attack on you. You hit them as they are missing you.

      Which if this is true, then sheilds are pointless by themselves (no buff).
      Which if this is true, and I only stack defense and EXPECT to get hit as I hit THEM.. it should kill them faster.
      Which is true. I'd rather hit the enemy for less but constantly hit them and take hits, and have 0 retries.. win first time? Like really?

      First time this build. I prefer non defense builds like magic or dex.

      So if you want to try this out. Go Warrior. Get Butchers knife and cestus pretty early. Blessed Cestus, and focus ALL points into vigor, vitality. All RINGS into it. The warrior has 16 strength at the get-go. Your 3rd stat to boost is strength. It's second priority of the other two. You boost strength = more defense (LOL) not as much as vitality.

      Just do it, and watch the game go quick. The sellswords was something was curious about but thats 60 pts not being put into defense. Strength contiinues to bump defense up.

      • Anonymous

        Casul scrub babies boost phisical defense but it wont help against pkcs, best weapon gaming history. because pkcs lightning fast attack and cold damage and frostbite buildup destroys them. pkcs weapon art and pro pkcs user top level skill mean noob “tanks” get pooped on and cry and delete the game because they got owned so hard by pkcs.

        • I like both Silver Knight and Black Knight. While the VS stats are better on silver, the physical stat on black is better. Does that mean Black Knight is better or worse than Silver?

          • Anonymous

            What does this mean when my DEFENSE (not absorption) reaches above 100 (160). Or is defense not calculated as a % like absorption?

            • Quick calculator (based on the formula in the comment below). Press CTRL + SHIFT + I in your browser, copy/paste the code below and press ENTER. Then write calc(DEF, ATK) to see the damage you will be dealing ( for example: calc(150, 560) ). let calc = (DEF, ATK) => { let result; if (DEF > 8 * ATK) result = 0.10 * ATK else if (DEF > ATK) result = (19.2 / 49 * (ATK / DEF - 0.125) ** 2 + 0.1) * ATK else if (DEF > 0.4 * ATK) result = (-0.4 / 3 * (ATK / DEF - 2.5) ** 2 + 0.7) * ATK else if (DEF > 0.125 * ATK) result = (-0.8 / 121 * (ATK / DEF - 8) ** 2 + 0.9) * ATK else result = 0.90 * ATK return result; }

              • Anonymous

                Please help me I have a clerical build I would like to find a helmet a bodice of gsmbali and gloves that weigh 27 in total. This armor, however, I wish it had so much physical defense only that interests me.

                • Anonymous

                  Please help me I have a clerical build I would like to find a helmet a bodice of gsmbali and gloves that weigh 27 in total. This armor, however, I wish it had so much physical defense only that interests me.

                  • I really need to understand this. If I have 5 Physical Defense and 2 Slash defense, and recieve a hit from a Murakumo "Slash Damage" How does each one of those defenses reduce the damage? Do they add to get 7 defense? or only Slash Defense is considered? or what?

                    • Anonymous

                      For those of you wondering what the fuck is going on, the "defense" numbers to the left of "absorption" in your character's status page are flat defense numbers. You increase them by leveling up stats and from wearing armor - any piece of armor imparts the same flat defense, so wearing a cloth hood or Havel helmet will give you the same flat defense. If you wear no armor at all on a body part you lose a decent chunk of flat defense immediately. So, don't do it.

                      Defense is compared to the attacking enemy's attack rating based on a set of formulas, and the damage you receive *before* absorption is calculated from that. Here are the formulas, but I guarantee they're just going to piss you off:

                      - If DEF >8x ATK, deal damage equal to 0.10 * ATK
                      - If DEF >ATK, deal damage equal to (19.2/49 * (ATK/DEF-0.125)^ 2 +0.1) * ATK
                      - If DEF >0.4x ATK, deal damage equal to (-0.4/3 * (ATK/DEF-2.5)^ 2 +0.7) * ATK
                      - If DEF >0.125x ATK, deal damage equal to (-0.8/121 * (ATK/DEF-8)^ 2 +0.9) * ATK
                      - If DEF <0.125x ATK, deal damage equal to 0.90 * ATK

                      After the damage is calculated from all that, then absorption removes a percentage of what's left. 25.0 absorption removes 25.0% of the remaining damage. That part is easy, the getting there part is classic Dark Souls wtf.

                      This is all taken from this thread:

                      I'm sure this broke-ass comment section destroyed the parsing of my post, so apologies in advance.

                      • Anonymous


                        • Anonymous

                          Physical Defense defines the protection your character has against basic attacks such as [ Strike | Slash | Thrust ] and weapons infused with [ Heavy Gem | Sharp Gem | Refined Gem | Raw Gem ]. This statistic does not effect the damage you recieve from Magic, Fire, Lightning, and Dark.

                          Physical Defense is increased with 'Vitality' attribute and the Character level.

                          Vitality increases physical defense by 1.2 points per level until softcap threshold 40 and with 0.7 points per level until hardcap threshold 99.

                          Level affects physical defense in the following manner:

                          LVL 0 - 140 0.40 points
                          LVL 140 - 450 0.10 points
                          LVL 450 - 802 0.03 points

                          • So something I still dont quite understand is the " Absorption" numbers. Does it mean it removes that flat amount of damage? So say I have 40 strike Absorption, does that mean when someone hits me with a strike attack, it removes 40 damage from the hit?

                            • Anonymous

                              So I've had a hypothesis for how armor works for awhile (specifically the diminishing returns), but I was too lazy to test it until now. My thought was that it may be that you gain the percentage remaining between your current rating and 100% of the value of each new piece you add. For example (because I'm sure those words made almost no sense), with no body armor I have 9.779% physical absorption. 100%-9.779%=90.221%. That percentage of, say, the Dancer's armor's 10.5% defense is 9.473%. 9.779%+9.473%=19.252%, which is exactly what I have after equipping the armor. Testing this with a variety of armor and rings (both offering positive and negative values of absorption) has been accurate to all three displayed decimal places, even when testing extremes like putting the calamity ring onto full Havel's.

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