This guide offers a walkthrough of the Catacombs of Carthus in Dark Souls 3. This area is filled with various skeleton enemies that may revive themselves after being downed one time. If you explore the area in full you’ll find a Carthus Pyromancy Tome, Carthus Milkring, Undead Bone Shard, Ember, Carthus Bloodring,Black Blade, Old Sage’s Blindfold, a Witch’s Ring, the Grave Warden Pyromancy Tome and more! In addition there’s another Balrog demon in this area to test your might against.
Catacombs of Carthus
Once you’re in the catacombs head to the far left to find a corpse that holds two Carthus Rouge items. Along the way there’s a Skeleton enemy you must face. Like some of the skeletons you faced earlier in the game, there are some enemies here that will come back to life after you kill them once, so be ready to take them out twice before you move on. You can tell if an enemy will come back to life because you won’t get any souls when you down it the first time. If you get souls for killing an enemy here, it won’t be coming back to life again.
Continue down the path to the right, just before the item corpse. Once you get about halfway down the path the Skeleton Swordsman at the end will move forward. If you want more room to attack, head back to the large entry area. You only have to kill this enemy one time, but it uses a semi-invisible charging attack that you can block or dodge, so be ready for it.
As you approach the end of the long bridge two more Skeletons attack from the next room and a third may appear on the balcony to the left (using a bow). Once again, if you don’t want to fight these enemies along the bridge you can run back to the large entryway. It’s best to use ranged attacks to take out the Skeleton on the balcony, otherwise you’ll have to deal with it in the next room as well.
When you move into the next room skill the Skeleton on the stairs straight ahead, then look to the far right to see two more Skeleton Swordsmen in the lower area. There are stairs going up in the far left corner and stairs heading down in the far right corner, but before you take either it’s best to use ranged attacks to draw the Skeleton Swordsmen up to your level one at a time.
Once you’ve cleared the two enemies, head up the stairs in the far left corner. Two more Skeletons attack once you reach the top of the stairs. Take them down, then head around the corner to the right to engage two more Skeletons. Kill the enemies and pick up the Soul of a Nameless Soldier at the end of the path.
Turn around follow the path in the opposite direction, past the stairs you just came up and around the next corner. If you didn’t take down the ranged Skeleton from before, it will be waiting here for you. Continue around the corner and watch out for the trap in the middle of the path. If you step on the stone sticking out, several flaming arrows fly from the wall ahead.
Climb down the ladder at the end of the hall and collect the Soul of a Nameless Soldier at the bottom. Continue down the path and around the corner to find another Skeleton Swordsman. This one attacks from a distance with darts and is a bit more agile than the others you’ve been fighting. It will dodge you attacks, but stay close and it won’t be able to dodge for long.
As soon as you move out of the hallway and into the slightly wider area, look to the right to see an archway. If you attack the wall here it will reveal a shortcut to the other side of the area. There’s also a Skeleton ahead, so use a ranged attack to draw it in, then take it down. More through the hidden path and kill the ranged Skeleton to the left before you collect the Carthus Pyromancy Tome to the right.
Go back to the previous room and continue to the right to find an item corpse near an opening on the right. If you didn’t kill the ranged Skeleton through the hidden path, it will attack from the far side of the opening, so be careful here. Collect the Sharp Gem from the corpse and continue to the far end of the room.
This next room is the lower area where the two Skeleton Swordsmen were patrolling. If you didn’t kill them before you will need to take them out now. Head up the stairs on the left side of the next room to engage two more Skeletons. Take them down, then drop down to the right of the stairs to find an item corpse in the corner that holds two Titanite Shards.
At this point there’s a doorway near the stairs, and a second doorway across the room from the stairs. Go through the doorway right next to the stairs first. Four Skeletons attack once you move through the hallway. If you don’t want to engage them all at once you can inch through the hallway and watch the bones on the ground on the far side. As soon as one set of bones awakens, back up and fight it in the previous room. Repeat this process until you’ve defeated all four Skeletons.
Go down the stairs at the end of the room to find Anri at the bottom. Speak with her to continue her story line, then head out through the doorway to the right to find a Crystal Lizard on the left and an item corpse to the right. There’s also an archer Skeleton that will shoot arrows at you from the far left. Kill the Crystal Lizard to obtain a Twinkling Titanite, then collect the three Bloodred Moss Clumps from the corpse and use ranged attacks to kill the archer.
It’s best to use ranged attacks to kill the Skeleton patrolling the stairs, then second archer on the lower balcony to the left, and the Skeleton at the bottom of the long staircase because you’ll need to move down the stairs rather quickly in a moment. Once all of the enemies have been cleared head back into the room with the stairs and continue through the other doorway and down the long staircase beyond. As soon as you move down the stairs, a ball of skeletons falls from behind you and moves down the stairs. Run down and move to the side when you reach the platform at the end.
Collect the Ember on the item corpse on the way down the stairs, then take down the Skeletons in the hallway to the left. Be careful not to break the pots in this area as some contain dark magic that will attack you. Around the corner there’s another Skeleton, with a ton of pots to the right. Behind these pots is an item corpse that holds a Carthus Milkring. If you wish to obtain the item, attack the pots to break them (do not roll through them) so you have time to avoid the dark magic that may attack. Just in front of the item there’s a trap switch on the ground that fires multiple sets of arrows, so be careful to avoid that as you break the pots.
Continue down the corridor, watching for more trap switches in the middle of the path. At the end of the corridor there are three Skeleton Swordsmen and two Skeletons to the right. Use ranged attacks to draw out the Skeleton Swordsmen individually, and slowly approach the bones on the ground to engage the Skeletons.
Once all of the enemies are down collect the Large Soul of an Unknown Traveler near a trap switch halfway down the next corridor, and the Ember at the end. Be careful approaching the Ember as there’s a large hole directly in front of it. Pick up the items and head down the next hallway near the Ember item corpse. At the end of the hallway another ball of skeletons appears and rolls down the next hallway. Wait until it rolls by, then collect the Large Titanite Shard from the corpse to the left.
Wait for the corpse again, then head right to find another hallway to the left with a bonfire at the end. Light the Catacombs of Carthus bonfire, then you can head back to the area where the first ball of skeletons stopped, there’s an Undead Bone Shard waiting for you (which can be seen through the bars just beyond the bonfire).
From the bonfire, wait for the ball of skeletons to pass again and continue to the end of the hallway and down the stairs. In the area below there are several Hound-rats, but you can trick many of them into dying to the ball of skeletons if you wish. To the right there’s a Large Hound-rat as well as four Skeleton Wheels around the next corner. You’ll also find six Writhing Rotten Flesh stuck to the ceiling which you can shoot down with firebombs or arrows to avoid being attacked from above.
Kill the enemies, then loot the item corpse on the left side of the hallway to find two Titanite Shards. There are three more Writhing Rotten Flesh on the ceiling near the end of the hallway and several more on the ceiling near the item corpse around the corner. Kill the enemies and collect the Carthus Bloodring from the corpse, then head back around to where the ball of skeletons ends.
There’s a small corridor on the right side of the hallway (near where the Large Hound-rat was waiting. If you move down this hallway you will be invaded by the Dark Spirit Knight Slayer Tsorig. This enemy uses a greatsword that inflicts significant damage if you let him. Dodge his two and three-hit combos, then attack from behind. If you continue down the stairs ahead you’ll find an item corpse holding an Ember.
Head back up to the previous corridor and take down the Skeleton Swordsman at the end. Collect the two Titanite Shards on the corpse in the middle, then head up the stairs to the right of the item corpse. In the area above there are three Skeleton Swordsmen and one Skeleton. You can take them out individually from the stairs, leaving only the patrolling Skeleton Swordsmen on the side of the area.
With most of the enemies down head to the far side of the upper area and move around the corner to the right to find an item corpse near another trap switch. Collect the three Carthus Rouges on the corpse, then head to the other side of the upper area to kill the remaining Skeleton Swordsman and collect a Large Titanite Shard and Grave Warden’s Ashes on the item corpses near the far end.
Head back down to the item corpse in the lower area near the stairs you just came up. The corpse is in the middle of the shallow stream, but if you strike the wall to the right of the item corpse it reveals a hidden staircase that leads to the far side of the upper area you were just at.
Taking the lower area, continue down to the far end of the corridor and around the corner to the right. Slay the Crystal Lizard ahead to obtain a Fire Gem. Take down the Skeleton Swordsman in the next area then pick up the three Yellow Bug Pellets on the item corpse to the left. Continue through the archway to the right to find a room with two item corpses holding a Large Soul of a Nameless Soldier and two Black Bug Pellets. There are also two Skeletons between the items that will attack when you approach.
Before you head across the nearby bridge, follow the path up the hill to the right of the bridge to find Anri again. She’s still looking for Horace, but speaking to her will further the story line. Remember her location because there’s a narrow path to the left that you may need to use later. For now head across the bridge, then immediately attack the ropes to drop the bridge and create a ladder. A horde of Skeletons rushes across the bridge, so if you don’t cut the bridge immediately you will be overrun with enemies. With the bridge out you will need to take the narrow path near Anri to reach the far side if you’re coming from the Catacombs of Carthus bonfire.
Defeat the Balrog Demon
Climb down the newly made ladder and follow the path into the lower section of the catacombs to find another Balrog demon. You can take the easy way out and fight the Balrog at the top of the stairs, running toward the ladder whenever it gets close. This causes the Balrog to reset and walk back down to the lower area, giving you plenty of time to attack. If you fight at close range, be mindful of the Skeletons that spawn. While they will attack the Balrog, they can also hit you so be careful.
Defeat the Balrog to earn the Soul of a Demon, then circle around the top of the area to find a chest on the far side. Unfortunately this is a Mimic, so attack it instead of trying to open it. Defeat the Mimic to obtain a Black Blade, then take the stairs in the corner down the bottom of the area.
There are quite a few Skeletons down here that all seem to have second lives, so be careful not to run in and spawn all of them at once. Clear the enemies, then collect the Large Titanite Shard and a Large Soul of a Nameless Soldier on the corpses in the area.
Head down the next flight of stairs to find a bonfire to the right and an item corpse at the end of the corridor that holds an Old Sage’s Blindfold and a Witch’s Ring. Collect the items and light the Abandoned Tomb bonfire. If you continue past the bonfire you will end up in Smouldering Lake. For now, head back up the ladder by the former bridge and follow the path into the next room. Touch the goblet just before the stairs ahead to head into the boss battle against High Lord Wolnir.