Covenants are "factions" within Dark Souls and Dark Souls Remastered. To join a covenant the player must make oaths to specific NPCs. With each covenant there are rewards for following the guidelines set by your "leader" and there are penalties for breaking them. Covenants may also have an effect on the player's online interactions. There are nine covenants total.
Most covenants have a unique multiplayer item useable only by members of that covenant, and even the ones that do not will have items or spells that can affect other players in some way, and as such what covenant the player has joined will have an effect on the player's online experience. Generally speaking, each covenant will focus on either cooperation (summoning/being summoned) or competition (invading/being invaded), but even then how the player chooses to play the game is still their choice. As an example, a player in the Warriors of Sunlight covenant (which emphasizes co-op pve) could be in the covenant purely for the ability to cast the Sunlight Spear miracle, and use Cracked Red Eye Orbs (an invasion item available to all players regardless of covenant) so that they may invade other players and use the miracle on them!
"The setup for the various covenants affects multiplayer situations in many different ways, especially the parameters of versus play, expanding the scope well beyond Demon's Souls. The game is designed to introduce multiplayer events as an extension of each character's role-playing in these covenants." 
Note: for the achievements you don't need to join them, once you get the dialogue that let you choose whether you want to join, the achievement will pop up.
Covenants of Dark Souls
Warrior of Sunlight
Way of White
Mechanics Common to all Covenants
There are nine covenants in the game, each with different goals and different means of achieving those goals, all through multiplayer interaction. While most of the covenants have at least one exclusive multiplayer item for use to this end, there are certain multiplayer items that can be used regardless of covenant: the White Sign Soapstone, the Red Sign Soapstone, Cracked Red Eye Orbs, and the Dried Finger. In this way, any player regardless of covenant can be summoned by another player or invade them, or even if they are in no covenant at all. However, these items will only ever award humanity, and only two out of the nine covenants accept humanity as offerings.
Most of the covenants allow progression within the covenant in the form of ranks, starting at base (referred to as +0), and maxing at +3.. Raising your rank in a covenant will typically give bonuses related to the equipment or spells associated with that covenant, for example a high-ranking member of the Dark Moon covenant will have a more powerful Darkmoon Blade spell, while a high-ranking Darkwraith might be able to steal up to 10 humanity with a single use of their Dark Hand. New ranks are attained at:
- Base/+0: 0 offerings
- Covenant rank +1: 10 total offerings
- Covenant rank +2: 20 more offerings, for 30 total
- Covenant rank +3: 50 more offerings, for 80 total
In addition, it is possible to donate a maximum of 100 offerings to a covenant, but no further benefits are accrued after 80. The exception to this is the Chaos Servant covenant, in which it is possible to donate up to 60,000 humanity. However, this gives no special bonuses to your character and will only affect your standing in the Chaos Roster.
Breaking/Abandoning a Covenant
It is possible to leave or abandon a covenant by joining another covenant. However, abandoning a covenant in this manner will count as a sin, which will make the player the target of Dark Moon invasions unless they absolve their sins via Oswald of Carim, for a fee equal to their level times 500. If the player wants to abandon their covenant without this occurring, they must do so by speaking to Oswald.
Furthermore, some covenants have rules or restrictions that, if disobeyed, will "break" the covenant. If this happens, the covenant is immediately abandoned, and the player must absolve their sins through Oswald or else risk the wrath of the Dark Moon covenant.
Regardless of how the player leaves their covenant, half of the offerings given to that covenant are lost and their rank is adjusted accordingly. For example, if the player had given 40 offerings and were at rank +2 before they abandoned their covenant, if they return later their rank will be +1 and they will need to offer 10 more to get back to rank +2. Covenant offerings and rank cannot go below zero in this way.
Dark Souls Remastered: You may abandon a covenant through the bonfire menu. This does not add Sin.
If a player has been invaded and is killed, that player may indict the invader. Doing so will add the invader's name to the book of the guilty, after which they will be subject to invasions by Darkmoon covenant members. The book of the guilty only records the number of times any player has been indicted, and does not count broken covenant vows. Indictments cannot be absolved by Oswald. Oswald will also sell a Book of the Guilty to the player, and by using it the player can see how many times they have been indicted as well as every other indicted player.
It is possible to indict players who have invaded through:
It is not possible to indict a player who has invaded with:
- A Gravelord Sign (to invade the offending Gravelord Servant)
add Havel covenant called "rocks" that ranks up by blocking and bonking
i was in the church to fight with the gargoyle and i find 7 humanities and pingent how????
60.000 umanità????? cè perforza un trofeo per qesto
Anyone have a rundown of what covenants are viable without the servers?
Will update page to help future players not waste their time trying to become dragons..
All online features for DS1 on X360 (back. compatible), were turned off?
I really hope that for a bit more future proofing they make it so you can still use the covenants to do SOMETHING in offline... Particularly for the ones where it is currently impossible to rank up or just insanely difficult/tedious offline. Darkwrathe and Chaos Servant are the only ones that are fine as they are offline, and even those are kind of meh without the multiplayer...
I think the best idea would be to at very least try to re-enable the basic ghost, message, bloodstain, etc. parts of online, and then add in something that lets you invade/summon npcs with the loadouts and stats that players you are connected to have while you send your own npc to their world, and then second to that would be to just have semi-randomly generated npc's for you to invade, and then for the coop covenants... idk. It would feel pretty hollow to "help out" NPCs fighting their way through an area.
Gave 30 humanities to the fair lady (Chaos daughter) and left for Blade of the Darkmoon covenant. Upon joining I wasn't even rank 1. I gave a token of reprisal in case something needs to reset but still nothing.
Tested out with switching over from Chaos servant to Gravelord servant and the same problem occurred.
What is the very end MAXIMUM covenant rank factor value?
I mean like offers and PvP victories in Forest Hunters - above Rank+3 80 value.
Over 2 and a half years later and I can’t recall a single time I made good use of the new bonfire covenant changing system in the remastered version. It meshes poorly with the covenants as they have abandon penalties if you’ve already ranked up etc. I wish they had put that time into improving the UI instead so I wouldn’t have to scroll through so much to find one thing. Improve the existing design, don’t add new stuff that doesn’t work as well with this game as it did in the others
Honestly the covenants in this game are the best in the series. The betrayal penalty is well designed and gives you a bigger commitment to a particular covenant of choice once you rank up. I understand this is not convenient but I love Dark Souls for actually taking the idea of being loyal to something seriously. I die a little inside every time I switch “covenants” in DS3 in the blink of an eye with no penalty because it feels so less personal and of course, more appealing to a mainstream audience. They shouldn’t have been called covenants in either of the sequels.
Does joining a covenant even matter if you're playing Offline mode?
Is there no covenant that helps with Sorcery? I see Miracle and Pyromancy buffs, but nothing for Sorceries
I put 6 medals and abandoned the covenant. If i join back will it reset or not?
Which Covenants give you a gift (Spell or Miracle) ? And what should i gave them for ?
Is there any covenant that interferes with each other? Like bloodborne's cainhurst covenant, so that I cannot take all in 1 run?
When I'm a chaos servant with say ~200 humanity given and leave that covenant via Oswald, to join the other covenants for completion-trophy, there is no "cap" of humanity I can loose? The amount always stays 50%? For example if i quit covenant with 200 humanity will cost me 100, quitting with 300 will cost me 150,...
Well, I killed one covenant(the fat one from the beginning) so if I atone for my sins I can join the covenants or because I didnt kill him as a covenant I can join without getting a pardon?????
Does anything happen if I say "no" when asked to join a covenant? Would I be able to join after?
The plural of bonus is not "boni", you dumb*****.
In DS Remastered if i join a covenant and get to max rank ( let's say darkwraiths ) but then switch to a different covenant via the bonfire do i stay at max rank with the wraiths? Also can i still use things such as sunlight spear if i use the same method?
I can't see how a player can discover all covenants in his/her first playthrough, really.
If I used the Chaos covenant to open the shortcut to save Sun Bro Solair, but haven’t gotten there yet and move from Covenant to Covenant will that shortcut still open to me or will I have wasted 30 humanity and need to do it again? If it’s the second option, when do I do it?
Can I join and abandon convents without facing any problems if I play the whole game offline?
Does entering a new game+ reset all rankings of any covenant you reached before?
If i obtain the buff to Darkmoon Blade by getting Rank 3 and then exiting the covenant and join back, will it still have the upgrade?
Where is the best place to see your covenant rank?
Where does one check their covenant rank?
the leveling up covenant animation is unnecessarily slow
The Darkmoon Blade Covenant is pointless to join anymore because nearly all sinners that you could possibly invade are intact hackers with no health gage, stamina, or limit on what they can use; this includes their spells, miracles, and even their weight capacity. For example I encountered a player wearing Ornstien's armor, and greatsword, great shield, and still had enough to use the dark oak ring to roll after me and repeatedly backstab me while spamming wraith of the gods and an unknown spell that i have never witnessed in my years of playing. So unless you want to fight speedy miracle havels and other pointless battles then i suggest avoiding this covenant all together. Good luck to all of you and i pray you don't go hollow.
-A Fellow Undead