First of all, Dark Souls is currently 19.90 at Amazon.com. So, if for some reason you haven’t bought it yet (or know someone who hasn’t) then now is the time!
More importantly, I wanted to collect some hints for successful multiplayer gaming in the PC version of Dark Souls. Many people seem to have problems with this, and there is a lot of misinformation online, while some good hints are hard to find. Since I played the game for probably 80 hours or so in co-op, killed lots of people who defiled the forest and have tracked down dozens of the guilty, I feel like I should share what I learned:
- Enable UPNP on your router, and open these ports:
TCP ports 80 and 443
UDP and TCP ports 53, 88 and 3074
More details here.
- Don’t expect to play multiplayer during the first 5-15 minutes after you started the game and loaded your save. Spend this time doing something different. It may be a good idea, if you want to play MP later, to start the game early, load your save, and let the game idle a bit (in a safe zone of course). Alt-tabbing out is fine!
- Make sure you are at a good level range for the area you are in.
- If you want to summon someone specific, and need to get their summoning sign to appear, try to run away and back to the spot a few times.
- Replacing your sign is generally not a good idea, even if it is often suggested online. Only replace your sign if your coop partner absolutely couldn’t make it appear for 10 minutes or so.
- Once you have connected to someone for the first time, during the rest of the session any summoning attempts will succeed immediately. Also, signs will appear much more rapidly. Clearly, it’s a good idea to play long sessions with the same people.
- This applies to Forest defenders and Blades of the darkmoon.
- Again, there is some “startup delay” here. Equip the ring and go do something else (e.g. farming). I thought when I first joined the Forest defenders that the ring wasn’t working, but I only kept it equipped for a short time. Once you get summoned for the first time, it will continue to happen every few minutes!
- Obviously, try not to overlevel.
- Kill the guilty.
Hope this helps!
Taking all this into account, it usually doesn’t take us more than 10 minutes to get a multiplayer session going.