Dark Souls vs Skyrim Comparison – Which is Best?

Dark Souls vs Skyrim Comparison – Which is Best?

At this moment, you might be thinking of what the similarities in Dark Souls and Skyrim could be, but you don’t need to look far, they have a lot of characteristics that make them more similar than you would imagine.

The game creators, From Software and Bethesda, developed the games to depict their edition of a medieval fantasy with a lighter chic to one. You are ushered into a world of magic, dragons, undead, and medieval weapons like spears, bows, and swords as you charge through the ruins and woods.

However, there still exist plenty of differences in the games.

Main Differences between Dark Souls vs Skyrim

The main differences between Dark Souls vs Skyrim are:

  • Dark Souls you do the same gameplay repeatedly, whereas Skyrim you have more freedom to undertake all you wish to do since you travel around.
  • Dark Souls is for the hardcore gamer, whereas Skyrim is suitable for lovers of casual games.
  • Dark Souls is solely dependent on timing and equipment building, whereas Skyrim portrays more of adventure in its RPG style with spells and skills charge-ups.
  • Dark Souls falls under the JRPG category, whereas Skyrim is under the WRPG category.

Skyrim Overview


Skyrim was launched in 2011 and had a lead ranking as an open-world RPG adventure up till 2018. Currently, the game looks like it isn’t taking a break as it produced versions for VR, Switch, PS4, and Xbox One despite the earlier PC, PS3, and 360 versions.

The game has bagged numerous awards and although the graphics aren’t as desirable as some newer games, you still find players returning to some game locations like Solitude or Winterhold just to finish an abandoned quest or begin a new session.

Dark Souls Overview

Aside from other earlier games made by From Software, their 2011 launch of the original Dark Souls caught the attention of a lot of players. The Dark Soul series continued with two extra Souls games and is well-loved across the PS3, 360, and PC.

They also made versions for the PS4, Xbox One, and Switch which drew more players. However, the original version made in 2011 stands as a better attraction for the game lovers.

Several players became fans of some characters like Siegmeyer of Catarina and Solaire of Astora as they journeyed into a world of memes and merchandise and despite the release of the new episodes of the Dark Soul series, the game masters weren’t ready to give up yet on the original episode.

Open-world vs Linear

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If you are to choose, you should pick Skyrim to stand as your open-world RPG. It is not only one, but the top-rated of open-world games. Your mind should automatically go to an extensive open world that offers you unlimited freedom when you hear the name Skyrim. You might not see the graphics as perfect but the chic still stands out. Views of mountains, snow hills, and other topography add to its marvels.

It has a very large map that seems like the entire world and you know that feeling when you cannot travel fast from place to place. At times, you might need a horse to arrive at objectives just as you would in real life, and just as a true open-world game, your quests are numerous.

You would be sought by nearly all inhabitants in the town as you; the Dragonborn is capable of resolving their troubles. Your quests are tough; require long journeys, cave explorations, and retrieval of certain items from all over the map. As an RPG lover, these objectives shouldn’t be a surprise and this is the basis on which Skyrim has high rates of returning players.

Dark Souls

You wouldn’t notice the size of Dark Souls’ world to be far from massive, as the gameplay gives no hint. This is due to the inability to explore every corner of the game at your leisure. An attempt to turn into a corner could be disastrous because you don’t know what is waiting there for you. It could be a trap or an enemy lying in wait.

Arguments could arise to justify Dark Souls as a partial open world game but the linear gameplay says it all. You could explore locations at varying moments though it isn’t constant and not a good decision.

As a player, you are presented with a specific area where you battle predetermines foes and compulsory evil bosses. This idea of having a target or goal is a good advantage for linear games.

Unlike games like Elder Scroll V: Skyrim where enemies could defeat your avatar when you have not attained a particular strength level, linear games prepare and make you capable of attempting the level you undertake.

Linear games mostly encompass strong storylines and have several cut-scenes which make them entertaining during gameplay. You would find in Dark Souls, that these trivialities don’t bother From Soft as the few available NPCs nudge you onto the right track.

Races vs Classes



You choose from ten different races in Skyrim with each of them, possessing various attributes like higher skills for picking locks or resisting magic. The most recognizable builds are the Khajii, while the Argonian is not very appealing.

You also receive special abilities aside from the attributes and could conjure up some spells. There is enough time for you to upgrade your character’s deficient skills and even resist some magic attacks.

Dark Souls

Dark Souls lets you choose your class in a more strategic manner. The way you wish to appear is your choice but how you begin is the game’s choice. The class you chose gives you certain stats which you must improve to survive. As a Sorcerer or Cleric, you can perform spells or miracles while the Warriors are known for strength and heavy weapon handling.

In Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the game assigns the various races strengths/weaknesses but Dark Souls prefer you start at a normal level and upgrade at certain prices. Choose weapons related to your class so that you can have a plus over your enemies instead of a disadvantage.

Story-driven vs Gameplay-driven

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Skyrim may seem game play-driven when you are out there exploring the wide stretch of the map but the storyline says you should as the Dragonborn, aid the Imperials/Stormcloaks, join the Companions, help the College and other tasks. Following the story is an essential factor in enjoying the game.

Instead of launching the players to embark on just any quest continually, you seep into the unique NPC’s lives and problems. Your task goes beyond just journeying to retrieve an object from a house.

You get to break in and steal it too. Courtesy of the Thieves Guild missions! Unfortunately, your victims of theft show up again in a different quest and will surely remember your face.

Dark Souls

Dark Souls has no well-known storyline. At each game’s beginning, you will watch a breathtaking cut-scene which gives you the target of the game. You jump into the gameplay and along the way; you also receive several but few cut-scenes.

To acquire knowledge and a back-story on Dark Souls’ characters, then you will have to interact with every one of them (ensuring you complete their questlines), study every item description, and discover all. From Soft lets their players to choose between being ill or full of information on the game history.

Despite the knowledge you gain of the game, Dark Souls’ obsessive game-play remains their selling point. This keeps players returning to take on new challenges and complete unfinished tasks.

Manual Saves vs Checkpoints

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Just like other new games, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim lets players save games manually, automatically, or under the quick save option. Just like I would apt the idea of saving after I take on every new challenge, it lets me return to the save point if I die along the way.

Dark Souls

However, Dark Souls retains the game-play save where it deals with bonfires similar to the archaic checkpoints. With this in mind, you have to fight to ensure you make the next bonfire, or else, the number of souls you have collected before you die goes to trash. It’s Dark Souls and it’s either your soul or theirs.

The idea of the bonfires or checkpoints may seem frustrating as you tire when you lose your souls. You want to give up at times but I see that as a better challenge. It makes me develop a better approach to battling and arriving at the next bonfire.

Difficulty vs Simplicity



Difficulty is not a word to associate with Elder Scroll V: Skyrim. You can choose from 6 various difficulty levels:  Novice (very easy), Apprentice (easy), Adept (normal), Expert (hard), Master (very hard), and Legendary (pro).

It is simple arithmetic. The higher the difficulty level, the tougher the game, and the more receptive you are to damages. You could need 10 stabs for an enemy in the Legendary level you could kill with just 3 stabs in the Novice level and the enemy could defeat you easier with fewer hits too.

To experience the finest game-play, the Adept level is preferable and will let you enjoy your tour in the expanse of the map just as a regular game.

For the experience, just play at the Adept difficulty. There is so much to see and do in Skyrim that you won’t want to be burdened with taking 10 minutes to defeat basic enemies.

Dark Souls 

Dark Souls series are a difficult game and you can’t doubt that. Despite its difficulty, I would say the feeling I get at the end of the game is relishing. You feel like you got a reward.

At a point, I thought I wouldn’t finish it and tried some levels several. It was after I put in more dedication and defeated the final boss, the credits smiled at me and I felt the relief I haven’t felt with many games.

On the review board, several players tag it as “hard,” and that is the wrong description. It may seem so because it guides you on how to go about the game but does not play the game for you.

Dark Souls leaves you to garner useful information from the enigmatic dialog of NPC’s, and you charge blindly into the game-play. Death is evident. But you will recover and still die more times than you will note down. However, every death is an experience and tells of your mistake. As a good player, it is up to you never to make the mistake again throughout the game-play. You’ll find alternative routes to bypass some areas if you check out the options the game gives you.

Alas, you meet the boss and you talk it over with him or die. It’s either his soul or yours but one soul must get darker eventually.

Casual vs Hardcore

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Skyrim is a great game for the casual player and has had various players of all ages. Some people have played the original version and some, the Skyrim mod alternatives. However, no matter your category, you are sure to return to play the game at any point you had stopped. No matter where you leave the game and return, no one penalizes you.

Sometimes, you could just charge through the forests, stroll through the snow, or just build a house for fun. You can purchase property too, go and steal stuff or embark on enemy fights. It’s very relaxing and freewill and this is the reason why several people receive it well. Bethesda made Skyrim for casual players and did a good job at it.

Dark Souls

If you’re a player that loves a hardcore game, do not attempt to take on games like Skyrim. You’ll easily become bored and the challenges do not push you to improve at gameplay or implement stronger weapons or even level up. Where you will find all these is in the Dark Souls game. You will strategize, and re-strategize to get what you want and that is Dark Souls series for you.

Immediately you achieve the perfect strategy and get past that area, you notice your improvement and take on the next challenge with a new strategy. That is the difference between those who want to struggle and those who wish to be casual.

FAQs About Dark Souls vs Skyrim

Is Dark Souls better than Skyrim?

Well, it depends on your choice. Skyrim is easier than Dark Souls and choices make a role playing game up. However, Skyrim provides you with more options than Dark Souls and could be said to be better too.

Should I get Skyrim or Dark Souls?

While Dark Souls game mainly focuses on their combat system, Skyrim is tremendously addictive and suitable for anyone who loves a good role playing game. You get to focus more on the story, characters, and the world in Skyrim as you explore the magnificence.

What is good about Skyrim?

Skyrim lets you do anything you wish and that is its major selling point.

Is Dark Souls 3 an open-world game?

Dark Souls is no open-world game. It is more of a dungeon crawler than an open-world ARPG.

Is Skyrim the greatest game ever?

When you say a game is, best, it is because of what the players have said. Skyrim isn’t the best game ever since newer games emerge yearly. However, the players of Skyrim accept it as their best because of the who play it have made it what it is today, because of the innumerable hours of satisfaction and nonstop possibilities, the game offers. It grants you all your imaginations of reality on just a platform.

What is the Skyrim Special Edition?

The Skyrim SE or Skyrim Special Edition includes brand new and updated features such as remastered effects, volumetric god rays, dynamic depth of field, screen-space reflections, and more. The Skyrim SE also enables the use of a Skyrim mod to PC’s, PS4, and Xbox One.


There isn’t a lot to dispute when you wish to compare Skyrim to Dark Souls. It all depends on the kind of gamer you are. Do you wish to struggle and experience tough game-play or are you interested in the free world and adventures of a massive map?

Dark Souls offer hardcore and Skyrim is more of an open-world adventure with its strong storyline. It’s easy, choose whichever you have more urge for and turn on the heat. Still, several players enjoy both kinds of games and could participate in both games; hence, it still hangs on choices.

I love both games and take them on whenever I deem fit. They’re both unique in their ways and that’s why you should give one or both a try.

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One thought on “Dark Souls vs Skyrim Comparison – Which is Best?

  1. Dark Souls III didn’t meet my expectation, even though the Dark Souls Remastered was okay. I was expecting a Comparison to Dark Souls II or Maybe even Demon’s Souls. I definitely like Skyrim more..

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