The Estus Flask is a critical component to all Dark Souls games, Dark Souls 3 being no exception. Its use affords the Unkindled some allowance for mistakes in a game that infamously punishes mistakes severely. Throughout your quest to reseat the Lords and rekindle the fire, you will no doubt become well acquainted with your Flask. However, you’ll soon find the three uses you start with are nowhere near enough to keep you from repeated death.
Thankfully, you can upgrade your trusty Estus Flask up to a comfortable fifteen uses, provided you don’t abandon the Ashen Estus Flask in the Cemetary of Ash. To make your upgrades, you must first find the eleven Estus Shard locations dotted about the world, then bring them back to Andre at Firelink Shrine to increase your Flask’s charges. He can also allot your Estus Flask uses, allowing you to focus more on HP or FP recovery or strike a balance of the two.
In this article, I will guide you to each of the Estus Shard locations with minimal spoilers. Some will be unavoidable, however, to give proper context. I will be going roughly in the order you reach each area possessing an Estus Shard, despite the Shard possibly being inaccessible by the time you arrive.
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Firelink Shrine: Estus Shard location 1
The first Estus Shard location is found in Firelink Shrine, specifically in the area accessed by taking the right-side staircase out behind the Shrine where the Giant Seed tree is. The intended way to reach this Shard is to buy the Tower Key from the Shrine Handmaiden, costing you 20,000 souls.
By saving the souls you earn from the Cemetary of Ash, Iudex Gundyr, and the various soul items, you will have enough to make the purchase. With the key in hand, open the tower past the Giant Seed tree, climb to the top, then drop down to the orange-roofed building. There is a kickable ladder immediately to your left. When ready, drop to the second orange-roofed building, then follow that around until you see a stairway on your right. Near the nest is the Estus Shard.
There is a way to reach the Shard without using the Tower Key, however. Next to the lower orange-roofed building is a small tree. You can run up its trunk and jump onto the roof, though it is a pain to do. Getting it right will net you a free Shard, though you’ll miss out on some other items that require you to climb the tower. This video is a good example of what to do, as well as what not to do.
High Wall of Lothric: Estus Shard location 2
The second of the Estus Shard locations is found in the first main area of the game – the High Wall of Lothric. Starting at the Tower on the Wall bonfire, head down into the room with the knight and thief, then head down another flight of stairs. Exit the tower through the doorway to the next area. Pass by the hollows on the roof and slide down the ladder. Enter the building occupied by the knight with a spear. Pass by him and follow the route to the lower level. In the kitchen area, your Estus Shard is sat atop the Anvil roughly in the middle of the room. There are a few enemies both in this kitchen and along the way, so you should probably deal with the enemies if you don’t want to die after obtaining the Shard.
Undead Settlement: Estus Shard location 3
Next up is the Shard found in the Undead Settlement. Starting at the Undead Settlement bonfire, head through the house on the path forward and follow it through to the outside. In front of a big tree is a bonfire with a bunch of enemies huddled nearby, including an Evangelist. Next to that tree is the Estus Shard.
Road of Sacrifices: Estus Shard location 4
The fourth of the Estus Shard locations is hidden along the Road of Sacrifices. Starting at the Crucifixion Woods bonfire, head in the direction of the stone building that leads to the Crystal Sage boss. Don’t go inside, instead keep to the right of the building, with the drop into the water on your right. There will be an opening between the two halves of the building, with an archway at the far end. There, at the campfire, will be two of the cross-bearing enemies, ready to attack. To the left of the fire is your fourth Estus Shard.
Farron Keep: Estus Shard location 5
Admittedly, the order of Estus Shard locations does split here, depending on exactly which route you take first. If you continue on from the Crystal Sage, you will end up at the Cathedral of the Deep, changing your order from mine. For the purpose of this guide, I will be going in the order I took after this crossroads.
Back to the Estus quest. Once at the starting bonfire of Farron Keep, head out the door and look forward. In the swamp, there will be a fallen bridge portion with an arch big enough to walk through. From your position, you should be able to see the Shard next to a fallen tower. Run through the arch and claim your treasure, though do be aware it is guarded by some slugs.
Cathedral of the Deep: Estus Shard location 6
Back onto the main path, your next Shard will take you to the Cathedral of the Deep. Once you arrive, having dealt with the suicidal firebomb hollows, continue on into the chapel before you and light the Cleansing Chapel bonfire. From there, go back outside the chapel and head toward the large gravestone surrounded by praying hollows. At the foot of the gravestone is your Shard.
Smouldering Lake: Estus Shard location 7
The next of the Estus Shard locations is found in the Smouldering Lake. Not only is the Shard easy to miss, but the entire area can escape your notice without you ever even knowing. I’ll give a bit more detail on this one, including how to reach the area, so you may want to revisit this section after you’ve cleared the Catacombs of Carthus to avoid spoilers.
Alright, now to find the Smouldering Lake. Leading up to the hall in which High Lord Wolnir’s goblet rests is a bridge. After crossing, strike the posts to make the bridge fall. You can now climb down your DIY ladder into the Smouldering Lake. Explore the area until you reach the bottom of the lake. You’ll know you’re in the right place once a ballista starts bombarding you. From there, head over to the fog wall and hang a right into a ruin. Inside is the Old King’s Antechamber bonfire.
Starting from that bonfire, head to the back of the chamber. At the leftmost end of that wall is an illusory wall. It’s fairly obvious, as it is quite distinct from its surroundings. Pass through and hang a left. At the end of that tunnel and on the left is the Estus Shard. The tunnel roof is packed with fiery blobs, so try not to get engulfed.
Irithyll Dungeon: Estus Shard location 8
Our quest for the Estus is entering its final stages now, with Irithyll Dungeon being home to the eighth of the Estus Shard locations. Starting at the Irithyll Dungeon bonfire, proceed through the cell blocks as normal. You will reach an exit that shows a glorious view of the sad remains of the Profaned Capital. Follow the path to a door guarded by two enemies, with a third sitting behind a pillar on your right. Kill them, then continue through to the door they guarded. On your right is a mimic. Killing him will earn you your Estus Shard, alongside the possible drop of the Symbol of Avarice.
Anor Londo: Estus Shard location 9
Anor Londo is home to a pretty easy Shard, especially so if you’ve opened up the main door. Starting at the Anor Londo bonfire, head up the stairs and through the huge door at the top. Keep to the left of the room, heading in the direction of the fog wall. There will be a chest with your Estus Shard inside.
If you haven’t already opened the main door, climb the stairs and turn left. There will be a tower which you can climb, with the body of a giant at its base, holding a coal. Once at the top, it opens up into the main portion of the Cathedral. Take the stairs down, open the main door, and go back for your treasure.
Consumed King’s Garden: Estus Shard location 10
The penultimate Estus Shard location is found in the Consumed King’s Garden. Starting at the Dancer of the Boreal valley’s bonfire, climb up the ladder and take the path to your left. Follow that route to a tower guarded by a knight. Kill him or evade him, then take the elevator in that tower down. You’ll need to drop out early, jumping off at the sight of the first ledge. To your right is the Estus Shard, at the end of the stairs.
Lothric Castle: Estus Shard location 11
This is it, the last of the Estus Shard locations. Thankfully, the final Estus Shard isn’t difficult to obtain, showing you some truly breathtaking views along the way. You’ll need to work through the Grand Archives though, which may present a challenge.
Once you’ve made it through, be sure to activate all the elevator shortcuts. Starting at the Grand Archives bonfire, take the first elevator on your right. Once at the top, head out and face the large flight of stairs leading to the boss. Immediately turn around instead of climbing them. There will be a flight of stairs leading up to a small tower on which sits three winged knights. There is an outer ring of roof before that tower, which is what you’ll want to stay on for now. Taking the first staircase you see will trigger the knights, which will be a problem. Follow that ring round and take the last staircase. Turn right again, then pass through the first opening you see on your right. It should open up into a sort-of roofy courtyard. At the far side of it is your final Estus Shard.
If you haven’t been doing so already, take your Estus Shards back to Andre the Blacksmith to upgrade your Estus Flask, unlocking an achievement in the process. With that, your Estus quest is now complete, and you are now in a good position to complete your duty of linking the fire. Farewell, Ashen One.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How Many Bosses Are In Dark Souls 3?
Hideous, hair-raising, rage-quit-inspiring bosses are sort of Dark Souls’ thing, so the folks over at FromSoftware didn’t hold back when populating the third installment of the series with dreadful big bads!
In total, there are a whopping 19 bosses lurking in the grim, grayscale depths of Dark Souls 3, each one more terrifying than the last, so brace yourself for some utterly hellish battles. Thankfully, some of them are optional opponents, so if you need to take a time out and catch your breath every now and again, you absolutely can.
In the most likely order of appearance, here are the horrors that lie before you when you enter the Kingdom of Lothric:
- Ludex Gundyr
- Vordt of the Boreal Valley
- Curse-Rotted Greatwood (Optional)
- Crystal Sage
- Abyss Watchers
- Deacons of the Deep
- High Lord Wolnir
- Old Demon King (Optional)
- Pontiff Sulyvahn
- Yhorm the Giant
- Aldrich, Devourer of Gods
- Dancer of the Boreal Valley
- Dragonslayer Armour
- Oceiros, the Consumed King (Optional)
- Champion Gundyr (Optional)
- Lothric, Younger Prince
- Ancient Wyvern (Optional)
- Nameless King (Optional)
- Soul of Cinder
What Is The Best Class For Beginners In Dark Souls 3?
If you’re a first-time player who is just starting Dark Souls 3 for the first time, we would recommend going with the Knight class, to begin with.
In terms of the spread of attributes that you’ll get, the knight is the most balanced overall and will allow your play style to develop as you continue to play the game, without locking out any options for you at character creation.
While you are obviously free to start with any class that you want, the knight class does start out with the best armor at the start of the game, able to reduce any physical attack that is successfully blocked to nothing, a big bonus for people who are just learning the ropes.
Plus, the knight class gives you a high starting vigor, which is great for boosting your health and defense, without needing to spend too many extra points early on.