Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.
Though it's possible to get into Dark Souls III's multiplayer content without learning the first thing about Covenants, it's not recommended. If you're connected to a server the Covenants are going to intrude on your game whether you want them to or not, and many of your normal activities will be bolstered by belonging to a Covenant.
This guide will teach you about Dark Soul III's nine Covenants. Each is a little different from the others, and they are designed to cater to various playstyles. The chances are good that you'll find a Covenant here that will appeal to your gaming personality.
Important note: You must equip the Covenant item you receive before you become active in the Covenant. You can do this via the Equipment menu, using the slot beside your armor and your rings.
Way of Blue
The friendliest Covenant for new players, the Way of Blue is a defensive pact that will help you get through levels filled with Invaders. Summoning aid whenever an enemy is near, the Way of Blue can keep you alive when someone nasty wants you dead.
Players with the Way of Blue Covenant item equipped will automatically summon in a player from the Blue Sentinels or the Blades of the Darkmoon to guard against invasions. These aides will leave once the invading player has been killed... or you yourself bite the dust. Reaching a boss fog gate will cause the summoned players to be unsummoned, and they won't help you with the fight.
The Way of Blue will not summon in bodyguards to help you against the Watchdogs of Farron or the Aldrich Faithful in their respective areas. If either of these enemies shows up to attack you you're on your own.
Players in the Way of Blue Covenant will not gain special items upon completion of a mission. This Covenant is strictly defensive.
Joining the Covenant
The Way of Blue item is in the hands of Emma, the old woman who sits in Lothric Castle's entrance hall. You'll need to speak to her to leave the High Wall of Lothric; speak to her a second time and she'll hand over the Way of Blue. Equip the item whenever you're in need of some assistance.
The Way of Blue does not have a Covenant Altar.
Warrior of Sunlight
One of the most famous - and popular - among the Covenants, Warrior of Sunlight is a group dedicated to helping others. Warriors of Sunlight are characterized by their golden phantoms when summoned, and can be identified by their golden soul signs. It's pretty common to see an even mixture of normal and golden soul signs when looking for players to help with an area.
Warriors of Sunlight are meant to help other players in multiplayer combat. Throw down your soul sign with the Covenant item equipped and you will, in time, be called in by another player to help them through an area. (Warriors of Sunlight seem to get called to help a little more often than those who put down white signs; whether this is a mechanical difference or just that the golden sign seems more welcoming is unknown.)
Warriors of Sunlight who successfully help a player defeat a boss will earn a Sunlight Medal. Sunlight Medals can be taken to the Covenant Altar and turned in for the following rewards:
- 10 Medals: Sacred Oath Miracle
- 30 Medals: Great Lightning Spear Miracle
Joining the Covenant
Gaining the item for becoming a Warrior of Sunlight is relatively easy. Head to the Undead Settlement and proceed through the area until you reach the second large building, just past the burning tree surrounded by Hollows and a single Evangelist. Stick to the right side of the building and you'll find a room with two Hollow Slaves watching over a hole. Kill the Hollow Slaves and drop into the hole. Turn around in this hallway and go up the first stairs you see. You'll enter a room full of suspended corpses. Check the floor on your right for another hole. This drops down into a small room with the Warrior of Sunlight item.
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Though you can enter the Warrior of Sunlight Covenant early, you'll need to wait most of the game before you can spend your Sunlight Medals. The Covenant Altar is located in Lothric Castle, a short jaunt from the Dragonslayer Armor boss fight. Look near the fog door, around the corner of the castle, that will lead you onto the roof and back into the castle. Follow this path, across a covered bridge guarded by a Lothric Knight, to find the Altar. The door near it leads back to the fog gate for easier access.
The second half of the Way of Blue Covenant, the Blue Sentinels are a defensive group whose job it is to protect vulnerable players from invasion. Your goal is to keep Way of Blue players alive while they're being attack by deadly Invaders, and to safekeep them from any other enemies that may be assaulting your party.
When you have the Blue Sentinels item equipped you'll be called in to help other players in your level range whose worlds have been invaded. If your charge is killed you will fail in your duty and be sent home; otherwise you will gain a Proof of a Concord Kept for either defeating the invader or safely escorting the player to the next fog door. If there are multiple invaders you'll gain a Proof of a Concord Kept for each invader killed.
Blue Sentinels and Blades of the Darkmoon are two sides of the same coin, and turning Proofs of a Concord Kept need to be turned into the Darkmoon leader to earn your reward. Both Covenants draw from the same item pool:
- 10 Proofs: Darkmoon Ring
- 30 Proofs: Darkmoon Blade Miracle
Despite these being different Covenants their respective rewards count towards the same goals, you cannot get more than one of these items.
Joining the Covenant
Make your way through the Road of Sacrifices until you reach the Halfway Fortress bonfire. The first time you come here you'll see Anri of Astora and his/her companion, Horace the Hushed. 'Speak' to Horace and he'll give you the Blue Sentinels item.
The Blue Sentinels turn in their Proofs of a Concord Kept to Company Captain Yorshka in Anor Londo. To reach her you'll need to proceed to the Anor Londo bonfire, then backtrack to the corkscrew elevator that brought you up to the main keep. Go down the stairs without moving the elevator until you reach the bottom. You'll see a tower ahead and on your right, and a lot of empty space in-between. There is an invisible path between the elevator and the tower that you can traverse. Drop down onto the tower to speak to Yorshka, who is sitting out here.
Blades of the Darkmoon
Though the name and the look of the two Covenants are different, the Blades of the Darkmoon and the Blue Sentinels are functionally identical. Both are called in to protect against Invaders looking to kill Way of Blue players. Which Covenant you choose is probably up to which colour of soul you prefer.
Blades of the Darkmoon are the same as the Blue Sentinels in virtually all respects save for the superficial and one important technical distinction: Blades can earn Proofs of a Concord Well Kept, while Blue Sentinels cannot. Proofs of a Concord Well Kept count for two points towards a Covenant reward rather than one.
Joining the Covenant
Joining the Blades of the Darkmoon requires speaking to Company Captain Yorshka, as outlined in the Blue Sentinels description. To join her Covenant, however, you must first learn the Darkmoon Loyalty Gesture from Sirris of the Sunless Realms. Head to the Watchdogs of Farron bonfire in Farron Keep and look around the edges of the tower the bonfire is in for an illusory wall. There are Dreamchaser's Ashes behind the wall. Give these to the Shrine Handmaid, then speak to Sirris nearby to learn the Gesture.
As with the Blue Sentinels, you can turn in your Proofs of a Concord Kept to Yorshka in Anor Londo.
Watchdogs of Farron
One of three area-specific Covenants in Dark Souls III, the Watchdogs of Farron dedicate themselves to watching over Farron Keep. Appearing in either of the swampy areas - and occasionally elsewhere - the Watchdogs are tasked with eliminating all intruders.
Watchdogs of Farron are summons specific to the sizeable Farron Keep area. When you have the Watchdogs of Farron item equipped you can be called into defeat players who have entered Farron Keep, typically in the clean or poisonous swamps that dominate the area. (The clean swamp is technically on the Road of Sacrifices, but it still counts as Farron territory.) Watchdogs of Farron can appear alongside other Invaders if the host player is particularly unlucky. Though you can attack red phantoms, it's best to help them in chasing down and eliminating the host.
Watchdogs of Farron who successfully defeat intruders will be rewarded with Wolf's Blood Swordgrass. Earning enough Swordgrass and gifting it to the Covenant Altar will earn the player the following rewards:
- 10 Swordgrass: Old Wolf Curved Sword
- 30 Swordgrass: Wolf's Knight Greatshield and Wolf Ring
Though the Watchdogs of Farron are specific to Farron Keep, you do not need to be in the Farron Keep area to be summoned. That said, players entering the Keep will be at a relatively low soul level (around 20 or 30), and if you want to be summoned to fight them you'll want to be at a low soul level yourself.
Joining the Covenant
The Watchdogs of Farron item is fairly easy to come by. Proceed through the poisonous bog of Farron Keep until you find the Keep Ruins bonfire. Behind it are the huge double doors leading to the end of Farron Keep. Take a right into the bog from the bonfire and you'll soon see a huge tower with three Rotten Slugs at its base, guarding a ladder. Kill the Slugs and climb the ladder. The Old Wolf of Farron is at the top. Interact with it for the Watchdogs of Farron Covenant item.
The Old Wolf of Farron is the Covenant Altar for the Watchdogs. Activate the bonfire near it to quickly jump back here.
The representatives of the red phantoms that plague every Dark Souls III player, Rosaria's Fingers are a violent Covenant dedicated to defeating hosts. Friends to none but their own, Rosaria's Fingers are never a welcome sight if you're just trying to get through an area - though being one yourself has some major aesthetic advantages.
Members of Rosaria's Fingers are Invaders who enter other worlds to try and kill host players. You can Invade other worlds via Red Eye Orbs or the Red Sign Soapstone. Killing the host will earn you a Pale Tongue. Killing any Blue Sentinels or Blades of the Darkmoon called in to help the host will earn the Invader a Forked Pale Tongue, which counts as double for Covenant rewards.
Pale Tongues can be turned into the Covenant Altar for the following rewards:
- 10 Tongues: Obscuring Ring
- 30 Tongues: Man-Grub's Staff
Alongside these rewards, you can also submit Pale Tongues to Rosaria to change your character's physical appearance or, much more importantly, to reallocate your stats. You do not need to belong to the Covenant to use these services.
Be warned that if you offer Rosaria even a single Pale Tongue you will close of the quest line of Sirris of the Sunless Realm. This can also block off admittance to both the Mound-Makers and the Blades of the Darkmoon Covenants.
Joining the Covenant
To join Rosaria's Fingers you'll need to find Rosaria herself, deep within the Cathedral of the Deep. Proceed through the area until you open the final door back into the Cleansing Chapel bonfire. There's a door leading to an elevator here that will take you to the rooftops of the Cathedral. Make your way back inside and you'll be on a series of arched, stone crossbeams, high above the Cathedral's main hallway. Falling from these is lethal, so walk carefully. Cross to the left and defeat (or successfully escape) the Cathedral Knight waiting up here. There's a platform you can drop onto, at the end of one of the supports and against the far wall. Do so and follow the next set of stairs up to find a huge door guarded by Man-Grubs. Enter the door to find Rosaria, near a bonfire.
Rosaria herself is the Covenant Altar. She's not exactly chatty, but she'll provide all the normal services of an Altar, and then some.
The darker version of the Watchdogs of Farron, the Aldrich Faithful are the defenders of the Anor Londo area. Appearing most often between the Pontiff Sulyvahn boss fight and the elevator up to the Anor Londo bonfire, the Aldrich Faithful protect their master by driving out anyone who would do him harm.
Functionally similar to the Watchdogs of Farron, the Aldrich Faithful are called in to attack any players who enter the Anor Londo area. Aldrich Faithful can work alongside Invaders and monsters in Anor Londo to kill hosts. Monsters will ignore Aldrich Faithful.
Aldrich Faithful who successfully defeat a host player will earn Human Dregs for their efforts. Human Dregs can be turned into the Covenant Altar for the following rewards:
- 10 Dregs: Great Deep Soul Sorcery
- 30 Dregs: Archdeacon's Great Staff
Joining the Covenant
Joining the Aldrich Faithful is nasty business. Head to the Pontiff Sulyvahn bonfire and head out on the path towards Anor Londo. Ahead is a long courtyard filled with dead (and two not-so-dead) giants. On the far end is a building guarded by two NPCs. Inside you'll see stairs. Ignore the stairs and smack the walls on your left to find a ladder hidden behind an illusion. Go down the ladder and you'll find a large, open area guarded by two Sulyvahn's Beasts. Kill them both - luring them one-at-a-time is best, if you can manage it - and check the corpse in the corner of the room for the Aldrich Faithful item.
Despite the name, you can defeat Aldrich in your own game and still function as a member of this Covenant.
The corpse that gave you the Covenant item belongs to Archdeacon McDonnell. You can use the corpse as the Covenant Altar. The nearby Water Reserve bonfire will give you easy transport back here.
Spears of the Church
Added via the Ringed City DLC, the Spears of the Church Covenant builds on a gameplay feature tested in previous FromSoftware games: Becoming a boss yourself. Be prepared for a nasty time if you decide to fight another player while making your way through the Ringed City.
Spears of the Church are stand-ins for Halflight, Spear of the Church, a boss partway through the Ringed City. Whenever the Covenant member is summoned they become Halflight, and must fight the host player. In addition, players who have resorted to another method of being summoned in the Ringed City may turn up as defenders, and will help you kill the host.
Spears of the Church who successfully repel PCs will receive a Filianore's Spear Ornament. Turning these Ornaments in at the Covenant Altar will earn you the following items:
- 10 Ornaments: Young Grass Dew
- 30 Ornaments: Divine Spear Fragment (used when summoned as a Spear of the Church)
Joining the Covenant
To receive the Spears of the Church Covenant item you must first defeat Darkeater Midir, an optional - and very difficult - dragon boss. Jump to the Inner Ring Wall bonfire and enter the final shortcut gate. Go down the lift and partway down you'll see a gap in the wall. Enter it to find a room of statues. Smack the statue without the sword to find the path to Midir.
Just outside the church where the Halflight boss fight takes place is a stone monument covered in candles. This is the Divine Spear Monument, and you can use it to turn in your Ornaments.
Normal summon spirits are helpful; Invaders are nasty; and those belonging to the Mound-Makers are... somewhere in-between. You'll never know what a Mound-Maker is going to do, making their summons a risky venture no matter what. (Though the uncertainty is fun, right?)
Mound-Makers are 'mad' phantoms who can attack anything when summoned into a world. Appearing via deep purple soul signs or invading on their own via Red Eye Orbs, mad phantoms can both assist their host (though not if invading) and attack at their pleasure. There's no telling what a mad phantom will do, and one can stab you in the back shortly after helping you through an entire level.
Mound-Makers can earn Vertebra Shackles either by defeating host players or defeating other phantoms. Players in general can also earn Vertebra Shackles by defeating Mound-Makers. Taking vertebra Shackles to the Covenant Altar will earn you the following rewards:
- 10 Shackles: Bloodlust
- 30 Shackles: Warmth Pyromancy
Joining the Covenant
There are two ways to join the Mound-Makers, and it's possible to miss out on both opportunities. The first way is to join them in the Undead Settlement, before fighting the Curse-Rotted Greatwood. Make your way through the Settlement until you reach a large area with a burning tree in the middle, surrounded by Hollows. Take a right here to find another building guarded by more Hollows. Rather than enter, skirt around the right side of the building to find rooftops patrolled by Hollow Slaves. Make your way along the rooftops as far as you can until you find a Hollow Manservant with a cage on his back. This is the only Hollow Manservant who won't attack you on sight, and you can interact with his cage. Do so and you'll jump to the pit beneath the Curse-Rotted Greatwood's arena. The Mound-Maker Holy Knight Hodrick is here, and he'll give you the Mound-Makers item after some dialogue.
Hodrick will die once the Curse-Rotted Greatwood falls through the floor, at which point you'll need this second method to join the Mound-Makers:
- Proceed through the game until Sirris of the Sunless Realms appears in Firelink Shrine.
- Earn her trust via the Dreamchaser's Ashes, as noted above under the Blades of the Darkmoon Covenant.
- Kill / avoid the massive Sulyvahn's Beast on the bridge leading into Irithyll of the Boreal Valley. Reload the area to find Sirris' soul sign on the bridge. Summon her to join a battle against Creighton the Wanderer. You may need to reset your game completely for the sign to appear.
- Speak to Sirris again at Firelink to earn some rewards. Proceed through the game until you reach, and defeat, Aldrich in Anor Londo.
- Head back to the Undead Settlement. Sirris' sign is just outside the Curse-Rotted Greatwood's boss arena. Use it to access a battle against Holy Knight Hodrick. Defeating him will get you the Mound-Makers item.
The Covenant Altar of the Mound-Makers is located in the Pit of Hollows, where you end your battle against the Curse-Rotted Greatwood. Jump here via the bonfire and you'll find the Altar near Hodrick's body, amid a heap of skulls.
Occasionally while playing Dark Souls III's multiplayer you may get summoned into a group of players, usually in a variety of colors, standing around peacefully. These are informally known as Fight Clubs, and they feature players going one-on-one against each other while others watch. Though not an official mechanic in Dark Souls III, Fight Clubs are common enough that you'll almost certainly see one when playing on a server. This is doubly true if you are part of a Covenant that gets summoned in automatically when a world is invaded.
Fight Clubs can be fun, but their adherence to rules - and the skill levels of their players - aren't for everybody. If you get summoned into a Fight Club and want out, simply use your Black Separation Crystal to leave.