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.
- 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:
|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
|Katanas||21||31||1h running attack: 22, 2h: 32|
|Halberds||21||31||2h Black knight halberd 46, 1h: 31|
|Wrath of the Gods||21||(Needs Confirmation)
Always stuns, less than 21 poise gets you knocked down