Dark Souls 3’s Poise Stat Isn’t Broken — It’s Just Different

Dark Souls 3
Dark Souls 3
’s poise system works differently than in the previous games. In the first Dark Souls, raising your poise rating meant that there was a chance you wouldn’t get staggered when you got hit. It didn’t matter if you were moving, mid-attack, or simply standing still. There was a chance the blow would simply glance off your armor. Wearing heavy armor would be the best way to raise the stat.

In the sequel, Dark Souls 2, poise was changed slightly so that players would be “half-staggered” if they were simply standing still or moving and have their movement speed reduced. If they were attacked mid-swing, there would be a chance for their attack to simply carry through without interruption.

Poise doesn’t work like it used to in Dark Souls 3, causing many players to speculate that the stat was simply broken or disabled by the developers on accident. From Software has since stated that the stat is working as intended, leading players to do even more digging.

Here’s what they said:

“The poise stat is working as intended and is not ‘turned off’ as some fans have theorized. The stat works differently than in past games and is more situational, which seems to be the reason for the confusion.”

A redditor named r/Back_like_Flint has put together a theory of how poise is thought to work in Dark Souls 3.

  • When you roll, the animation takes a certain number of frames to complete. Some of these frames are “vFrames”, during which you are vulnerable to damage, and some are iFrames, during which you are invulnerable.
  • Whenever you take damage, including during the vFrames of rolls, the number of iFrames available during subsequent rolls is reduced. Your available iFrames gradually recover over time if you don’t take damage.
  • The higher your poise stat, the lower the number of iFrames you lose after taking damage.
  • The higher your poise stat, the faster you will recover your lost iFrames.

It seems plausible, but players aren’t happy about its odd implementation.

From Software is working on a PlayStation VR game following the announcement by From Software president Hidetaka Miyazaki that they’re moving away from the Dark Souls franchise for the immediate future. Two DLCs are planned for Dark Souls 3, however, with the first launching this autumn and the second in 2017.

For more on Dark Souls 3, check out our dedicated game tag.