While the Estus Flask is by far the more important healing item in Dark Souls 3, Undead Bone Shards are a must to unlock its full potential. While a little more challenging to find than Estus Shards, each Undead Bone Shard burned at the Firelink Shrine bonfire will considerably boost your health recovery.
This will make each sip of your Estus Flask go further, making the hunt for each shard worth your while. Though your fighting ability is certainly more important, finding every Undead Bone Shard will make your time in Dark Souls 3 significantly easier.
There are a total of ten Undead Bone Shards in Dark Souls 3, and I’ll help you find each one.
What are Undead Bone Shards?
Undead Bone Shards are a very item that can increase the amount of health your Estus Flasks restore. There is a grand total of ten to be found, each tucked away in a unique area. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, a few can be quite easy to miss, making your playthrough that bit harder. The good news is that once you’ve found one, it stays with your character throughout the rest of the game, including across NG+. Once you’ve burned all ten, you won’t be able to improve the Estus Flask any further.
Undead Settlement: Undead Bone Shard 1
The Undead Settlement is home to the first Undead Bone Shard in Dark Souls 3. It’s around halfway through the area, tucked away in the grove near the Dilapidated Bridge bonfire. Starting from there, head through the arch and into the area with the white birch trees. Once inside the area, you will be able to see a corpse with an item on a floating shard of paved ground. Head over to the floating shards, then run and jump onto the shard. Stroll up and claim your first Undead Bone Shard.
You’ll likely notice that the graveyard has a curious weather pattern, one with arrows raining from the sky. If you’d like an easier time collecting your shard, you can politely ask the dutiful archer to stop shooting you, though it will take a detour. You’ll need to head over to the Cathedral nearby the knight guarding the failed firekeeper.
You can reach it by crossing the bridge near the entrance to the sewer, which is in the opposite direction to the Curse Rotted Greatwood boss room. Head inside, then take the elevator up. You’ll need to trigger the first one, then hop off immediately as the elevator you want will descend. Ride it to the top and speak to the archer. He’ll help you out in the future, so it’s definitely worth doing.
Cathedral of the Deep: Undead Bone Shard 2
If you went to the Cathedral of the Deep first, before Farron Keep, then this will be the second Undead Bone Shard of your quest. Starting from the Cleansing Chapel bonfire, head past the praying hollows and up the stairs, then follow the graveyard around until you reach a bridge. Cross it and make your way up the next set of stairs, then turn right into a graveyard with a tree in the middle. There will be a sarcophagus hanging off the edge, on it is your prize.
Farron Keep: Undead Bone Shard 3
Next up, assuming you didn’t go here first, is Farron Keep, hiding your third Undead Bone Shard. You might want to invest in some poison resistance gear and purple moss clumps, as spending time in the swamp will quickly apply the status effect to you. Unfortunately, no Dark Souls game is without one. Starting from the Keep Ruins bonfire, head down the fallen bridge section that leads to the main gate. Once you touch the swamp, immediately turn right. There will be a tower infested with slugs. In the middle of that tower is your Undead Bone Shard.
Also Read: Where to Find Every Prayer Bead in Sekiro
Catacombs of Carthus: Undead Bone Shard 4
The fourth Undead Bone Shard is found in the Catacombs of Carthus, the area just after the Farron Keep boss. Starting from that bonfire, move into the Catacombs and keep to the right. Going left will take you the long way around, forcing you to fight your way through a good deal of skeletons. To your right is a series of platforms to drop down, leading you to the bottom of the main flight of stairs. You’d best start running here, as a ball of bones will start racing down those very stairs, dealing a bunch of damage if it hits you.
The ball itself is impervious to damage, though easy enough to kill. Once inside the hallway at the foot of the stairs, there is a skeleton with a hat immediately to your right. He is the one responsible for the ball. Kill him quickly, as he will attempt to flee once you get close. Upon his death, the bone ball will shatter the next time it hits the grate at the end of the hall. In the debris is your fourth Undead Bone Shard.
Smouldering Lake: Undead Bone Shard 5&6
The Smouldering Lake is a notable location for two reasons. One, it is the only area that houses two Undead Bone Shards. Two, the area is entirely and easily missed. To reach the Smouldering Lake, cross the bridge leading to High Lord Wolnir, then cut the supports. Once it collapses, you will have fashioned yourself a makeshift bridge down into the Lake. Follow the route through to the Old King’s Antechamber bonfire, which will be your starting point for the hunt for the Undead Bone Shards.
From that bonfire, continue down into the main part of the Lake. You’ll know you’re there once you start being pestered by a ballista, though you’ll be pleased to know that it can be disabled. Check out the below YouTube video if you want to know how.
The first Undead Bone Shard is found to your left, but there is a catch, and it’s a big one. As you make your way to the left-hand side, you will notice a giant sandworm, one which is none too pleased about your presence. Sadly for him, he has your Bone Shard and is a hard target to miss. This is where the ballista can work for you.
If you don’t mind a bit of cheese, simply go around the sandworm and hide in a small hole. You will be close enough to the sandworm to keep it from burrowing again, but safe from its attacks. Likewise, with the ballista, it will continue to shoot at you, though be unable to hit you, and instead, wear down the sandworm. After a short while, the sandworm will be dead, and you will be awarded your fifth Bone Shard for your heroic efforts.
The next Undead Bone Shard is found nearby the Demon Ruins bonfire, which is found deeper in the Smouldering Lake. From there, head forward into the large two-story chamber. There are a fair few enemies in here, the most annoying of which are the rat pyromancers, but you can just run past them if you don’t mind dying for the shard. Head down the stairs on the right and into the ground floor, then head to the far left side. At the end of the chamber, there is a big demon corpse with your sixth Undead Bone Shard. Plus a fire blob above it.
Irithyll of the Boreal Valley: Undead Bone Shard 7
This one is found fairly late in the area, close to the Church of Yorshka bonfire, which will be our starting point. If you don’t know where this is, it’s the big church on the left, a little before the gate shortcut to the boss. Inside the Church of Yorshka, head down the stairs that lead outside to a cliff. Once there, hang a right and follow the path around to a large tombstone. Behind it is the Undead Bone Shard.
Also Read: Where to Find Every Gourd Seed in Sekiro
Profaned Capital: Undead Bone Shard 8
This one is pretty much a freebie, marking the home stretch of your fetch quest for kindling. Simply head to the Profaned Capital bonfire after you pass through Irithyll Dungeon, then pick up your Shard from the corpse next to the bonfire.
Lothric Castle: Undead Bone Shard 9
The penultimate Undead Bone Shard in Dark Souls 3 can be a bit of a gauntlet run, depending on whether you target it as soon as you can. Starting at the Dragon Barracks bonfire, head up the stairs and across the bridge. Just before the end, hop-off and onto the ledge. Under the bridge is the Undead Bone Shard.
This can be done when the two dragons are there, though of course, it will make things much more difficult. To get rid of them, charge across the bridge and into the building on the right. Fight your way up to the top floor and attack the dragon’s tail. Getting rid of one will put the other down too. While not necessary, it will make acquiring the Bone Shard much easier.
Grand Archives: Undead Bone Shard 10
The Grand Archives is home to the final Undead Bone Shard in Dark Souls 3, marking the end of your quest. Starting at the bonfire, make your way to the highest floor of the Archives. If you’ve unlocked the elevator shortcuts, go through the main entrance and take the one on the right. Head left and up the stairs into a room full of bookshelves. Rush across the room, skipping the wax enemies, and up the stairs leading to the roof. You’ll then need to fight your way through a few gargoyles, eventually reaching a window back inside the Archives. Near that window is a corpse on a chair and with him, the final Undead Bone Shard.
Take your newly acquired kindling back to the Firelink Shrine bonfire and burn it. With all ten burned, you’ll have a much more potent Estus Flask, alongside an achievement as well. The upgraded Estus Flask will make the game much easier, but its utility is limited without enough charges to properly benefit from it. If you’re having trouble finding all the Estus Shards, check out our guide on each of the Estus Shard Locations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Dark Souls And Elden Ring Connected?
With a lore as rich as Dead Souls, there were bound to be a million fan theories positing connections between the infamous FromSoftware trio and the developer’s latest foray into the RPG genre, Elden Ring. Yet, despite some plausible arguments coming from particularly imaginative DS diehards, there is nothing that links the narratives of these fan favorite titles.
How do we know? Well, none other than the head honcho of FromSoftware himself, Hidetaka Miyazaki, told us during a 2019 interview with IGN, confirming the company’s previous statements that the stories of these games are not interwoven in any way.
Which isn’t to say Dark Souls nuts won’t enjoy and find value in Elden Ring, as it has most of the hallmarks of a DS classic, with a bit of wiggle room in the world design department. Furthermore, even if these games aren’t linked canonically, doesn’t mean we can’t have fun theorizing!
Is Dark Souls 3 Good For Beginners?
If you can stomach the messed up chronology, Dark Souls 3 is widely considered the best title in the series for beginners to cut their teeth on, as the gameplay is slightly more forgiving, allowing more time to come to terms with game mechanics than its predecessors.
As the latest addition in the series, it also has a little bit of modern sheen to it, which can be more of an incentive to play, yet it’s still suffused with the signature gray dread of the first two installments, so you still get a good dose of unadulterated Dead Souls doom!
That’s not to say that certain Dead Souls diehards won’t try to encourage you to tackle the games in sequence, but if they really want to nurture and share the love of the franchise, guiding you to the most accessible game first seems like a solid move. And, that, my friend, is undoubtedly Dark Souls 3!
Is Sekiro Like Dark Souls?
Sekiro comes from Dark Souls developers FromSoftware, so there are some significant stylistic and gameplay overlaps, such as a lack of vivid color, insanely difficult bosses, and an emphasis on “treasure hunting” for things that will help you progress. Yet, the two titles have a decidedly different feel.
Set in a fictional, post-feudal Japan, Sekiro is more grounded, granting the game a grittiness absent from the entirely fantastical Kingdom of Lothric in Dead Souls. Stripped of some of the classic elements of traditional RPGs, Sekiro gameplay is also more stealth-based and action-heavy than the Dead Souls adventure.
What’s more, there are those that would argue that Sekiro is even more difficult than Dead Souls, as split-second timing, mind-bending button combos, and razor-sharp strategy is even more essential to defeating bosses — Genichiro Ashina still haunts our nightmares!
But perhaps the biggest distinguishing factor between these two phenomenal titles is the feeling of motion. In Sekiro, your motion is swift, fluid, and smooth, while in Dead Souls, motion can feel a little stilted and inarticulate. However, the lore of Dead Souls is unparalleled!