You'd think that, considering just how vicious the bosses in Dark Souls III can be, most players would probably want to avoid fighting them. Instead, fans of the series will leap at the chance to take down another boss if given the chance - and that's probably why From Software hid so many optional bosses throughout its latest action-RPG.

This isn't just one or two optional fights against rehashed enemies, either: some entire sections of the game are hidden behind illusory walls or convoluted puzzles. It's a testament to From Software's dedication to its design philosophy: Dark Souls doesn't hold your hand, even if that means you might miss something.

So, if you've conquered everything that Lothric has to throw at you, don't worry about starting your New Game+ right away - chances are you've missed one or two of the game's hidden fights. Don't worry - this guide will teach you how to find each and every one of them.

SPOILER WARNING: if you want to do your best to find these fiends on your own, now's a good time to bookmark this guide and come back to it when you need to.

Curse-Rotted Greatwood

Location:
• Undead Settlement

Requirements to unlock:
• N/A

Transposing rewards:
• Hollowslayer Greatsword
• Arstor's Spear

Technically, the Curse-Rotted Greatwood is an optional boss. You can complete the entire game without ever having to fight it - that being said, if you skip the Greatwood fight, you won't be able to forge Boss weapons back at the Firelink Shrine.

To access the boss, you'll need to find the large courtyard near the far end of the Undead Settlement. It's not hard to find - chances are, you'll come across it just by casually exploring the area. If you happen to die, using the sewer shortcut after the second bonfire will be the quickest way to get back.

If you need any more help, you can always check out our video guide!

Old Demon King

Location:
• Smouldering Lake

Requirements to unlock:
• Destroy wooden bridge in Catacombs of Carthus

Transposing rewards:
• Demon's Greataxe
• Demon's Fist

The second optional boss fight of Dark Souls III is a bit harder to find than the first. In order to reach the Smouldering Lake in which the Old Demon King resides, you'll need to fight your way to the bonfire just before the High Lord Wolnir arena. Once you find the wooden bridge, destroy it, then climb down into the Smouldering Lake area.

You'll need to fight your way through a few more tombs and a massive underground swamp (complete with giant mutant worm) - even so, it shouldn't take all that long to find the arena. Just make sure to rest at the nearby bonfire before you take on the Old Demon King - he packs quite the fiery punch.

Oceiros, the Consumed King

Location:
• Consumed King's Garden

Requirements to unlock:
• Defeat the Dancer of the Boreal Valley

Transposing rewards:
• White Dragon Breath
• Moonlight Greatsword

When it comes to the Souls series, hidden bosses usually make for some of the toughest fights available. With Oceiros, the Consumed King, that's not really the case.

The only real trouble you'll have with Oceiros is getting to him: not only do players have to fend off the Dancer of the Boreal Valley, they'll also have to cross through the Consumed King's Garden. It's not a large area by any means, but a number of black Knights and Abyss Hollows are on constant patrol - you'll probably want to just run past them and head straight for the boss fight.

At the very least, the path to Oceiros isn't that complicated: after climbing the ladder after the fight with the Dancer, turn down the first hallway on your left. Ride the elevator, head straight through the gardens, and you'll find Oceiros in no time.

Champion Gundyr

Location:
• Untended Graves

Requirements to unlock:
• Defeat Oceiros, the Consumed King

Transposing rewards:
• Gundyr's Halberd
• Prisoner's Chain

Who knew the first boss in the game had an older brother?

After defeating Oceiros, a small path will open up at the far end of his arena. Continue through it to find a single enemy and the Path of the Dragon gesture. At first glance, it seems like a simple dead end, but if you strike the wall immediately behind the treasure chest, the illusory wall will dissipate and the path to the Untended Graves will open.

The Untended Graves should look familiar - it's a recreation of the Cemetery of Ash, only shrouded in darkness and far more difficult. All you'll have to do is fight your way to the end of the 'cemetery' and you'll find the second Gundyr waiting for you.

Ancient Wyvern

Location:
• Archdragon Peak

Requirements to unlock:
• Retrieve 'Path of the Dragon' gesture
• Pray next to Dragon statue in Irithyll Dungeon

Transposing rewards:
• N/A (Dragon Head Stone is rewarded upon boss' death)

This is where things start to get tricky. To even gain access to the Archdragon Peak, you'll need to beat Oceiros and grab the 'Path of the Dragon' gesture from the room behind his arena - then, return to the damaged dragon statue near the Irithyll Dungeon shortcut. Use the gesture next to the statue, and you'll be whisked away to the Archdragon Peak.

Sadly, it only gets tougher from there: the first bonfire in the Archdragon Peak sits behind a number of high-level enemies, most of whom have long-range attacks. If you can push forward to the gate of the castle, you'll find the bonfire nearby - and, thankfully, the boss isn't much further. Just run straight through the main gate, and you'll find the Ancient Wyvern.

Nameless King

Location:
• Archdragon Peak

Requirements to unlock:
• Defeat the Ancient Wyvern

Transposing rewards:
• Storm Curved Sword
• Dragonslayer Swordspear

Usually, Dark Souls III will force players to run from the bonfire back to the boss arena after death. It's clearly a conscious design decision, one that helps reinforce the idea that death is a penalty and should be avoided as much as possible.

That's what makes the proximity between the Nameless King and the bell tower bonfire so noteworthy: From Software knew that players would be dying dozens of times, and the only way to make sure that they'd actually keep on trying was if the bonfire was right next to the boss' arena.

Seriously - the belltower bonfire is probably less than a hundred feet from the entrance to the Nameless King fight. Granted, you'll have to fight your way through the Archdragon Peak to get there, but at least the trip from the bonfire to the boss is short.

There you have it - all of Dark Souls III's optional boss fights. Of course, if you're having trouble getting through all of the mandatory fights, make sure to check out our boss guides for both Iudex Gundyr, Vordt of the Boreal Valley and the game's final boss!

For more on Dark Souls III, make sure to check out our ever-growing coverage hub.

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