Dark Souls 3: A Complete Guide To Infusions

Dark Souls 3 is notorious for its difficult bosses and lack of hand-holding. Beating a game like this will require mastery of all of its systems, ranging from combat to upgrade paths. Fortunately, there are only two upgrades you’ll need to worry about in this game: reinforcing your items and infusions.

Infusions are the more dynamic of the duo, granting your item unique properties based on the gem you use. This system allows you to modify your weapon’s scaling, damage types, or grant passive boons such as health regeneration. If you’re stuck on a certain boss or zone, there’s a good chance you need to upgrade your gear. Let’s go over everything there is to know about infusions.

What Are Infusions?

Item infusion is a mechanic that allows you to alter the damage and defensive profiles of your weapons and shields. You can use this system to enhance a weapon’s Strength scaling, allow it to deal fire damage, or remove all of its scaling for a big boost to the weapon’s base damage. Creating the strongest builds in Dark Souls 3 will require you to infuse your items.

What Can I Infuse?

You can infuse all weapons and shields excluding the following:

  • Bows
  • Crossbows
  • Chimes
  • Talismans
  • Staves
  • Pyromancy Flames
  • Greatbows
  • Boss Weapons
  • Items that require Twinkling Titanite to upgrade (unique weapons)

You cannot infuse armor or rings under any circumstances. This system applies strictly to weapons and shields.

Do Infusions Come With Downsides?

Yes. Most infusions will either decrease your weapon’s scaling or base damage, based on what the infusion does. It’s typically the inverse of what you’re buffing. For example, a Sharp Gem increases your Dexterity scaling in exchange for reduced base damage. On the other hand, a Raw Gem grants a massive base damage boost but removes scaling entirely.

Elemental infusions split the types of damage you deal. This can be detrimental if you’re fighting an enemy type that’s resistant to a certain damage type, including bosses and invaders. The community refers to this as “split damage.”

Most importantly, elemental infusions disallow weapon buffs. Resins and spells can no longer affect the weapon if it has an elemental infusion.

Can I Change An Item’s Infusion?

Yes. Simply speak to Andre at Firelink Shrine to apply a new infusion type to your item. You will not be refunded your previous infusion gem, so choose your infusions carefully.

How To Infuse Your Items

To infuse any item in Dark Souls 3, you’re going to need two items:

  1. Any gem
  2. The respective coal (if applicable)

Certain gems cannot be used until you retrieve a certain type of coal found in the world.

The process of infusing an item is incredibly simple.

  1. Speak to Andre the Blacksmith in Firelink Shrine.
  2. Select the “Infuse Weapon” option.
  3. Select the weapon or shield you wish to infuse.
  4. Choose which gem you want to use.
  5. Confirm your selection.

That’s it! If a gem requires a certain coal type, you won’t be able to use that gem in infusion until you give Andre that coal. You’ll be able to give coals to Andre whenever you talk to him while you have a coal type in your inventory. Once he has the coal, you can use that coal’s respective infusions as many times as you like, provided you have the correct gems. Upgrading your item doesn’t remove its infusion, so infuse your gear as soon as you see fit.

Every Coal Location

There are four unique coals in Dark Souls 3. Each coal unlocks three new infusion types, meaning that you’ll have 15 unique infusions once you find every coal (16 if you count the Shriving Stone). Let’s go over where you can find each coal.

Farron Coal

  • Location: Road of Sacrifices
  • Bonfire: Halfway Fortress
  • Unlocks: Heavy, Poison, and Sharp infusions

Travel to the Halfway Fortress bonfire in the Road of Sacrifices. You’ll want to run down the main path, staying as far right as you can. You’ll eventually enter an abandoned building that forces you to run down a hall to your left. The end of the path has the coal on a corpse, guarded by a Black Knight. You can lure the Black Knight to the other end of the building to give yourself a chance to grab the coal.

Sage’s Coal

  • Location: Road of Sacrifices
  • Bonfire: Farron Keep
  • Unlocks: Blessed, Crystal, and Deep infusions

When you reach this bonfire, you’ll want to stick to the left part of the swamp. Use the fires as a guide. Follow them until you find a Darkwraith on a small plot of land. Defeat the Darkwraith, then enter the tower behind it to find the Sage Coal on a corpse.

Profaned Coal

  • Location: Irithyll Dungeon
  • Bonfire: Irithyll Dungeon
  • Unlocks: Blood, Dark, and Hollow infusions

This coal is found deep within the Irithyll Dungeon. After you pass the giant and deal with multiple rats, you’ll enter a room filled with jailors and multiple jail cells. You’ll want to enter the jail cell directly in front of you on the other side of the room. A corpse will have the coal, accompanied by multiple wretches (quadrupeds with human faces).

Giant’s Coal

  • Location: Irithyll of the Boreal Valley
  • Bonfire: Anor Londo
  • Unlocks: Chaos, Lightning, and Simple infusions

Run up the stairs that lead to the castle, defeating any Silver Knights in your path. Instead of running inside, head to your left to reach a side entrance. Grab the coal off of the dead giant, a reference to the Giant Blacksmith found in this exact spot in the first Dark Souls.

Every Infusion Type

There are 16 types of gems in Dark Souls 3 that tie to the infusion system, altering your items’ scaling and damage profile. Let’s go over what each gem can do.

Blessed Gem

  • Effect (Damage): Reduces base damage
  • Effect (Scaling): Reduced Strength and Dexterity scaling; adds Faith scaling
  • Effect (Misc.):  Items passively heal you for +3HP per tick; undead enemies take 20% more
  • Required Coal: Sage’s Coal

The heal tick is dependent on your item’s level. A standard item heals every 4 seconds, while a +10 item heals every 1.5 seconds. The Faith scaling is less extreme than what a Lightning Gem provides.

Blood Gem

  • Effect (Damage): Reduces base damage
  • Effect (Scaling): Reduced Strength and Dexterity scaling
  • Effect (Misc.): Adds bleed buildup
  • Required Coal: Profaned Coal

Each weapon gets a unique bleed buildup multiplier, making the effectiveness of this gem vary greatly. Rapid-hitting weapons benefit from bleed the most.

Chaos Gem

  • Effect (Damage): Reduces base damage; adds fire damage
  • Effect (Scaling): Reduced Strength and Dexterity scaling; adds Faith and Intelligence scaling
  • Required Coal: Giant’s Coal

Fire damage scales equally with Faith and Intelligence, similar to pyromancies. Invest in both stats to get the most out of this infusion.

Crystal Gem

  • Effect (Damage): Reduces base damage; adds magic damage
  • Effect (Scaling): Reduced Strength and Dexterity scaling; adds Intelligence scaling
  • Required Coal: Sage’s Coal

Dark Gem

  • Effect (Damage): Reduces base damage; adds dark damage
  • Effect (Scaling): Reduced Strength and Dexterity scaling; adds Faith and Intelligence scaling
  • Required Coal: Profaned Coal

Dark damage scales on your Faith and Intelligence equally, meaning you’ll need to scale both to get the most out of this infusion.

Deep Gem

  • Effect (Damage): Reduces base damage; adds dark damage
  • Effect (Scaling): Removes scaling
  • Required Coal: Sage’s Coal

Fire Gem

  • Effect (Damage): Reduces base damage; adds fire damage
  • Effect (Scaling): Removes scaling
  • Required Coal: None

Heavy Gem

  • Effect (Damage): Reduces base damage
  • Effect (Scaling): Adds Strength scaling
  • Required Coal: Farron Coal

Hollow Gem

  • Effect (Damage): Reduces base damage
  • Effect (Scaling): Reduces Strength and Dexterity scaling; adds Luck scaling
  • Effect (Misc.): Grants +5 Luck while you’re Hollow
  • Required Coal: Profaned Coal

Hollow is a unique character state that can be obtained by speaking to Yoel of Londor and drawing out your true strength. For more information on Hollowing, check out our comprehensive guide on how Hollowing works.

Lightning Gem

  • Effect (Damage): Reduces base damage; adds lightning damage
  • Effect (Scaling): Reduces Strength and Dexterity scaling; adds Faith scaling
  • Required Coal: Giant’s Coal

Poison Gem

  • Effect (Damage): Reduces base damage
  • Effect (Scaling): Reduced Strength and Dexterity scaling
  • Effect (Misc.): Adds poison buildup
  • Required Coal: Farron Coal

Raw Gem

  • Effect (Damage): Increases base damage
  • Effect (Scaling): Removes scaling
  • Required Coal: None

This gem is best used in the early game when scaling doesn’t provide much extra damage.

Refined Gem

  • Effect (Damage): Reduces base damage
  • Effect (Scaling): Adds Strength and Dexterity scaling
  • Required Coal: None

The scaling bonus is less than Heavy or Sharp Gems, although its effect on two stats makes it excellent for quality builds.

Sharp Gem

  • Effect (Damage): Reduces base damage
  • Effect (Scaling): Adds Dexterity scaling
  • Required Coal: Farron Coal

Shriving Stone

  • Effect (Misc.): Removes an item’s current infusion
  • Required Coal: None

Technically, the Shriving Stone isn’t an infusion. This item removes any infusions your item has, making the item a blank slate. Shriving Stones don’t remove reinforcement upgrades from an item; it only removes infusions.

Simple Gem

  • Effect (Damage): Reduces base damage; adds magic damage
  • Effect (Scaling): Reduced Strength and Dexterity scaling; adds Intelligence scaling
  • Effect (Misc.): Items passively regenerate +1FP per tick
  • Required Coal: Giant’s Coal

The FP regeneration tick is based on your item’s rank. A standard item regenerates +1FP every 5 seconds, while +10 items regenerate +1FP every 2.85 seconds. This makes Simple Gems great for most spellcasters that have an off-hand item.

Next: Dark Souls 3: The 10 Most Unique Weapons In The Game, Ranked

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Charles Burgar is an expert on all things tech and gaming. Graduating from Pikes Peak Community College in 2018 with an Associate of Science, Charles has spent his time dissecting popular video games, movies, and technology. With an understanding of games for as long as he can remember, Charles has a large interest in understanding what makes things fun. He is currently a Freelance writer for TheGamer and Game Rant.

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