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 avoid being stunned and end up in a stun-lock combo against other opponents with large weapon builds. To prevent this, it is necessary to have a high poise.
  • High poise is unnecessary against opponents using small weapons.

Poise in PvE

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


*Note that having a high poise also has a weakness to it. In a situation where a miracle is used such as Wrath of the Gods that causes stun with heavy damage. Low poise player will just get blown away and get a chance of standing up while high poise player will get stunned and give an opportunity to enemies for another attack.


  • 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 opponents cause instant staggering, and is not dependent on your Poise count.
  • Counter Damage also has increased poise break, This means you're easier to stagger while mid attack, or being hit from behind.
    If you're using a heavy weapon with high poise, be careful for quicker weapons as they may be able to cancel your attack with this counter damage bonus.

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.
Poise is also a recharging value, much like stamina. It is an invisible value, but will quickly recharge damage has not been taken. This means to break someone's poise, attacks don't have to directly be after one another, but due to how quickly it recharges, it is hard to take advantage of delaying before your next attack.

Poise break damage can still be taken through shields (including 100% damage resistance), although significantly reduced can still result in being stunned when stamina remains when blocking.

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    
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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    • 09 Jul 2021 19:58  

      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

        01 Apr 2021 15:04  

        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

          12 Jan 2021 15:11  

          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

            13 Oct 2020 13:58  

            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

              26 Mar 2020 04:40  

              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

                13 Oct 2019 16:17  

                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

                  17 Jun 2018 12:54  

                  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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