Poise

icon res poise

Poise is a Stat in Dark Souls.

It's an in-game statistic that increases your resistance to being staggered or stun-locked as an effect of taking hits from opponents. 

  • Staggered: an enemy's attack interrupts your action. High poise will allow you to perform an action to completion despite being hit by enemies in their course (example: swinging a slow weapon, or casting spells).
  • Stun-locked: an enemy's attacks causes you to temporarily be paralyzed, leaving you vulnerable to consecutive hits. Poise will allow you to soak up heavier hits and increase the number of consecutive hits you can take before getting stun-locked.

 

How it works

  • Poise is a passive trait that is raised by wearing armor that gives you poise, equiping the Wolf Ring, casting Iron Flesh and/or using the Havel's Greatshield stoneskin buff. Note, however, that both Iron Flesh and the stoneskin buff are personal buffs and cannot be used concurrently.
  • Poise works, in essence, as the maximum value of an invisible "poise bar". Whenever you're hit by an attack, that attack/weapon has an invisible "poise damage" value, which decreases your poise bar by that amount. Consecutively receiving attacks will continue to decrease the bar further. When it hits 0, your character will stagger.

Where to view Poise

  • You can view your Poise on the Character Stats screen, and is located on the far right.
  • Also viewing the stats of armor by pressing Square(PS), or X(Xbox) will show how much Poise that specific item will give you.

Poise in PvE and PvP

Poise in PvP

  • In PvP, poise is important to engage in trades without being ripped out of the offensive by the stun animation. This applies to trading with attacks or trading an opponent's attack with a backstab. 
  • The most important breakpoints are 32 to take all the quickest attacks, 53 or 56 to take one of all the most dangerous attacks (except for Black Flame) and 61 to take 2x an attack which deals 30 poise Damage.
  • Optimal Breakpoints are highly dependent on what build one is fighting. As an example, there is no immediate reason to use 61 poise against a Quality build (Strength and Dexterity), which may use a Murakumo or a Claymore, 53 poise would take a single two-handed light attack of each. However those builds are capable of swapping to a Katana, Spear or Curved Sword, against which 61 poise would give a significant advantage, and having invested into getting 53 instead of 32 poise will instead be a disadvantage.

Poise in PvE

  • In PvE, poise is also important against tank enemies that hit hard. Which usually wear heavy equipment and move slow.  

 

Staggered

  • Becoming staggered is a very serious situation, and can become very difficult when surrounded by numerous enemies.
  • Being staggered means that you will not be able to control your character after taking a heavy blow from an opponent.
  • It should also be important to remember that two handing a single weapon increases the poise break damage and can be used to stagger opponents unexpectable.
  • Note that some attacks cause instant staggering, and is not dependent on your Poise count.


Poise Break Points
It has been found that certain weapon classes will stun people at very specific poise amounts. For example Ultra Greatswords , when used 2 handed, will stun anyone at 75 poise or less. So a poise of 76 will prevent you being stunlocked by a hit from an UGS. However these values will only save you from 1 hit. If you are hit again before your "poise bar" empties completely you will be stunned.
Each time a hit is taken, poise will reduce and remain briefly frozen at the latest value (it does not regenerate steadily like stamina). This means that if a player with 53 poise gets hit by an attack that drains 20 poise, the player will then have exactly 33 poise for the next few seconds. A hidden timer is triggered with each hit that is taken, and if it completes before another hit is taken, poise will instantly refill back to 100%.

The amount of poise needed to resist an R1/RB attack:

Weapons 1-handed 2-handed Other
Ultra Greatswords 51 76  
Great Hammers 51 76  
Great Axes 51 76 2h Black knight great axe: 61, 1h: 41
Greatswords 36 53 1h running attack: 41, 2h: 56
Claymore 1h R2: 42
Curved Greatswords 36 53  
Hammers/Axes 36 53  
Straight swords 21 31  
Curved Swords 21 31  
Katanas 21 31 1h running attack: 22, 2h: 32
Spears 21 31  
Halberds 21 31 2h Black knight halberd 46, 1h: 31
Whips 21 31  
Fist weapons 21 -  
Piercing swords 6 8  
Daggers 6 8  
Bolts/Arrows 21    
Spells:      
Great Fireball 81    
Black Flame 61    
Great Combustion 41    
Wrath of the Gods 21   (Needs Confirmation)
Always stuns, less than 21 poise gets you knocked down
Sunlight Spear  

(Needs Confirmation)




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    • Anonymous

      halberds 31 poise damage?, then why i get stunlocked with great scythe from the first blow?, i have full elite armour

      • Anonymous

        Being naked with your **** out in Ds1 still gives you better poise than ds3 equipping the heaviest set in the game.

        • Anonymous

          Ah, the good old days, back when armor hadn't yet been nerfed into uselessness and tank builds were actually viable in late-game PvE, because the games weren't designed solely and entirely around "memorize when to press the dodge roll button."

          • Anonymous

            Hot take but if Dark Souls ever gets remade, I'd love poise to be nerfed a bit. Still passive, but the numbers on each armor set should be dialed down a bit. It's just too OP otherwise

            • Anonymous

              Okay let me correct you. 68 poise will allow you to take at most 1, 2h ultra greatsword swing and roll away. I know this from actual in game experience. I fight a lot of cheap Havel monsters using zweihanders. They get frustrated when they aren’t able stun lock an almost naked man with giants gauntlets and a wolf ring.

              • One of the most amazing mechanics in this game. More Poise usually means more armor, more armor means more weight.
                PVP wise, I'd say you should definitely have some Poise, you should kind of learn by heart the poise breaks for each weapon and attacks, and how much you can withstand (and learn to roughly calculate, your rivals poise); probably to begin with you should try around 27, 30, 32 Poise, no more than that until you become a little better. The problem with Poise in PVP is that having a lot prevents you from learning Toggle Escape (you just poise through attack without ever really needing to use the Toggle). In any case the objective shouldn't be "not poise at all" (because you need some poise to deal with gankers and certain weapons, and you can't get into stun every time someone slash you with a dagger) but kind of low, lets say 20 (lets you resist an attack and practice a lot of Toggle), when you are comfortable with 20 poise then you can do anything.
                In any case you should always have a Wolf ring ready for a hard swap (and even pieces of armor)

                • Anonymous

                  Here are the Poise points you should always build around.

                  8: Bare bones minimum or you'll be staggered by thorn rolls and stunlocked by fast weapons like Daggers. Only glass cannons should even consider this.

                  33-36: Lowest Poise a melee character can survive well with. Very serviceable for ranged builds and heavy casters.

                  53-56: fantastic Poise for melee and casters alike. Always try to get at least this if you can.

                  61-62: Ideal Poise for melee. Protects well against the worst of dangers.

                  77+: Protects against almost everything at least once. Ultimate choice for tank builds, but you normally don't need that much.

                  • Anonymous

                    I don't see it here, but I noticed, that increasing your Poise decreases the ammount of Stamina it takes to block an attack. With sufficient Poise, I was able to block Crystal Archer's arrows without ANY Stamina cost.

                    • Anonymous

                      I know meta heads love it but I think it’s so sad that the developers designed the entire poise system then let toggle escape exist. It originated in demons souls when there was no poise so there’s no way it was unintentional for dark souls. It’s like they made the rules but were too afraid to follow through with it so rather than have a player be stunlocked when they fail to avoid a super slow ultra weapon they can just escape anyway with no poise rules needed. It’s a sorry excuse of a mechanic and it cheats their own system in the game, even when I use it myself it feels out of place. Keep in mind I’m not blaming players ... you should absolutely use what’s available in game to your advantage if you wish. I just believe it’s the most pathetic thing from implemented and you may not agree with this but the fact that it comes across as a glitch is, to me, just proof that they tried to hide it in shame after putting in the work needed to design the poise system.

                      • Anonymous

                        Paladin set, but giants gauntlets. The perfect 61 poise. Add claymore and Grass crest with FAP and hornet on a pure quality build and you have. Exceptional SL 125 pvp build

                        • Anonymous

                          Is there any relation between poise and hitting through a wall instead that the weapon will bounce off? If not is there a list that show which weapon slice through walls and which not?

                          • Anonymous

                            Someone told me once that if your poise was high enough in Dark Souls 1 only, you could negate the ability for you to be parried.

                            I don't see anything listed here saying that.

                            So is it true, or is the guy a dip?

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