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Soul Farming is the term used to describe the pursuit of souls to the purpose of increasing one's level or acquiring more items. You may also be interested in Titanite Farming.
With the limited enemy respawn (12), you may find yourself in need of souls and not sure where to get them. Below are some tips on places where soul farming is possible and how to maximize results.
There are a couple of places in DS2 where there is an infinite number of enemy re-spawns where a player can level-up easily, well, with a lot of patience that is.
One location is The Undead Crypt - Undead Ditch bonfire area, and another is Castle Drangleic - King's Gate bonfire area..

Undead Crypt

The Undead Ditch Method - Unlimited Souls + Faintstones & Darknight Stones:

  • Location 1: (Fastest Method - no bonfires needed)
What to do:
  1. Arm yourself with your longest weapon that can do a one-shot kill to the mages which appear from the tombs here. Bring 2 weapons if possible, or a repair spell.
  2. Enter the large hall just before the Royal Aegis Fog Gate
  3. Walk up to the tomb after the first lit tomb on your left & wait for the bell to ring.
  4. The mage should appear in the tomb in front of you. From the front of your tomb, Jump strike and one-shot kill him from the maximum distance you are able, before he notices you.
  5. Immediately walk back to your original location before other mages see you, and wait about 8 seconds for him to respawn, then repeat.
  6. Wait until you are finished before picking up the pile of stones he's dropped. If you attempt to pick them up or linger too near the spot they are dropped, another mage will spot you, and you will have to take time out to kill him.
Each mage nets you over 1200 souls, one mage per 10 seconds = over 7,000 souls per minute, = over 400,000 souls per hour

  • Location 2: (Much Slower and more dangerous):
  1. Go to the infinite-respawning ghost near the ladder, try to go behind its tablet and the infinitely respawning mummy will get stuck trying to walk past the other rocks. Try to bring a weapon that can kill the ghost in one hit. Just stand near its spawn point and it will infinitely spawn. NOTE: He won't get stuck for long, as he can break the tombs and clear a path for himself).

Drangleic Castle

The King's Gate Method - Requires resting at bonfires, slower than first method above:

What to do
  1. Arm yourself right - I found that the enemies here are weak to Hammer / Strike type weapons so equip them up and bash away! :D It's also good to equip a shield, preferably a 100% physical one like most greatshields.
  2. Take out one stone knight at a time - There are two types of stone knights in the room, one wields a spear (2-handed) and the other a spear and shield wielding dude. there are a total of 12 in the room, a pair per door. The trick is to kill them one at a time so try to lure them to the bonfire hallway where they can't enter for some reason. The 2-handed spear knight is weaker so try to kill him first. Kill them near the door they were guarding and it'll open up revealing a sentinel inside.
  3. Clear out all sentinels - after beating the sentinels eleven times they won't re-spawn anymore. There are 5 sentinels, so you'll be able to kill them a total of 55 times before having to use an ascetic. Each sentinel nets 2,500 souls on bonfire intensity 1 and 10,000 on bonfire intensity 8. Killing until their respawns are depleted will therefore net you 137,500 souls on intensity 1 and 550,000 souls on intensity 8+.
  4. Here now is the trick I found. Once all enemy re-spawns are depleted, you would be left with 6 stone knights. 1 guarding each door in the room. And as what the subject states, they have an infinite re-spawn count! Well, sometimes they disappear but just teleport to another place (I usually go to Majula to level up by then :P ) then return and viola! They're back once more for the killing!

Each knight nets about 420 souls so x6 gets you around 2,520 souls per run. So patience is really the key. Run to the room, then wack them while they're still re-animating then run back to the bonfire to re-spawn then once more. I've gotten 500k for 2 hours and counting so far. The stone knights also drop Stone Soldier Spear, Llwellyn Shield, and Titanite Slabs as well.
Hope this info helps new and old players alike. Good luck and happy farming!

Forest of the Fallen Giants

Soul + Twinkling Titanite / The Giant Lord Method (Infinite Bonfire Ascetic)

From this thread
Recommended Stats
FTH Build | Hex Build
END 30 | END 25
ATN 13 | ATN 30
ADP 25 | ADP 25
FTH 50 | INT 30
-------- | FTH 30

Equipment
Right Hand:
Lightning Dragon Chime +5 (FTH) | Dark Caitha's Chime +5 (Hex)
Head: Nahr Alma Hood (+2.5% Souls) / Tseldora Hat / Warlock Mask
Chest: Nahr Alma Robes (+10% Souls) / Tseldora Cloth
Hands: Jester's Gloves (+10% Souls)
Legs: Tseldora Trousers (+5% Souls)

Rings
1.) Third Dragon Ring (FTH) | Abyss Seal (Hex)
2.) Clear Bluestone Ring +2
3.) Covetous Silver Serpent Ring +2
4.) Ring of Life Protection / Northern Ritual Band +2 (dependant on skill comfort)

Spell Attunement:
FTH Build | Hex Build
1.) Soul Geyser* | 1.) Great Lightning Spear* | 1.)Great Resonant Soul
2.)Great Lightning Spear

INT Build | Hex Build
1.) Dark Hail
2.) Great Resonant Soul
*With only 1 Attunement Slot you can use Northern Ritual Band+2 and/or combination of amber herbs to give yourself enough casts to down the Giant Lord. It takes 15 casts of Great Lightning Spear with 50 FTH and a +5 Lightning Dragon Chime to kill him at Intensity 8. Of course this is just what I prefer.
Great Resonant Soul does better damage than Dark Hail, only taking 9 casts to take down the Giant Lord at NG, while also only requiring 1 ATN slot. However, using GRS spends souls upon casting, so only use if there isn't a better magic option. Great Resonant Soul is not recommended for Soul Farming (Then why is this here? This is literally a page on soul farming), only if you wish to progress through to the end game and will only kill the giant Lord once.. otherwise, don't use hexes which cost souls..
NOTE: 7 casts of Soul Geyser from Magic Staff of Wisdom +5 will kill him. I have 99 in all 4 scalable stats though, 50 or more in the rest. Soul Geyser is the fastest way to kill him, but it requires more slots, though, so reallocate if you are serious about farming souls here
Strategy 1=:
You must have at least 1 Bonfire Ascetic to start this process.
At the Place Unbeknownst Bonfire in Forest of the Fallen Giants, Burn the Ascetic and run into the Memory of Jeigh. Run into the Fog Wall and sprint to the left and claim your Bonfire Ascetic x1. Run down the stairs towards the ballistas on the wall. (Sometimes a Giant will be running up the stairs at you, you can run and jump off the edge to escape this scenario)
Continue running and jump over the small rock in-between the ballistas, rolling into the wooden barrels setting yourself up to be next to the wall as the fire rains down and the statue head kills the smaller giants / soldiers for +~28k souls.
Start walking towards the Giant Lord and as soon as your Stamina recharges start running. He will see you and start an overhead smash attack. Just as you reach the stairs on the left of his area, Roll and you should dodge the attack as long as you were full speed running by the time he notices you. You can see from his shadow and war cry the cue to roll.
From this point Lock on to his head quickly and cast GLS or GRS. Get up to the plateau area and stand in the middle. From this point it is just recognizing the cue for the overhead smash attack or the horizontal swipe attack. The smash has a huge buildup window and is easily roll dodged to the left or right. The target lock seems to be as soon as his sword starts to strike downwards. With a small amount of practice this is incredibly easy to dodge and provides a window for 2 casts of your spell of choice before he strikes again.
*You will notice the best window to cast twice is if he decides to "shuffle around" after an attack. Sometimes he will attack twice in quick succession by not moving at all after an attack. If you don't see a shuffle, then it's better to wait and only cast once. This is what will kill you most often.
Every 2 or 3 cycles you will need to only cast once to prevent going into negative stamina.
NOTE: The Slumbering Dragon Crest Shield together with the Chloranthy+2 Ring, the Clear Bluestone Ring, and the Third Dragon Ring can allow 3 casts of GLS, and 2 during recovery periods, with proper Attunement Level for Higher cast Speed
The horizontal swipe is easy to dodge too, a slightly shorter cue but still can see it coming a mile away, just roll backwards as soon as he swings and you will dodge it. Sometimes rolling isn't required based on where he is relative to the plateau. Better safe then sorry though. NOTE: you can roll either left or right over the sword to avoid it without problem, as well.
15 Casts of GLS or 9 casts of GRS (or 7 casts of Soul Geyser) will down him and by then the fire should clean up any other giants lingering around and you can collect 507,000 souls, Ring of Giant's +2 x1, and Soul of the Giant Lord x1. Collect Fire Seed x1 on the plateau and Divine Blessing x1 off on the back wall a little ways away. Exit the memory, and fall down the broken staircase for Twinkling titanite x2 and Aged Feather back to the Bonfire. At this point you can either,
A.) Burn the Ascetic you got and rinse and repeat. Each attempt should take 5 minutes or less. Allowing for 20 kills per hour (I averaged 19 though due to having to wait for fires sometimes.)
or
B.) Memory of Vammar
Warp to the Cardinal Tower Bonfire in the Forest of Fallen Giants. Run out the Broken Wall Shortcut to the left and down the ladder. Run into the alcove opposite the cracked wall with the baslista trap in it and you will find the memory of Vammar to enter at the end of the hallway.
Entering the memory run forward until you meet Captain Drummond, and directly across from him is a chest with Smooth & Silky Stone x5 and Petrified Something x1. Entering the next room will provoke a giant to break through the wall and charge at you. A properly timed roll will get you past this giant.
Manage your stamina well and run out the hole in the wall and dodge roll around the 2 giants in the field. Approach the next area and climb the somewhat hidden ladder on the right to get to the roof. *quickly* run across the roof and drop down, running into the tower directly in front of you.
Inside this tower is a ladder you can climb to get onto the roof the Pyromancy Giants were on. There is a Bonfire Ascetic x1 on this roof. Back down in the tower, exit and slightly to the right is some Rouge Water you can grab before exiting. There are a few Soul of a Hero and some equipment you can get too, but probably isn't worth it at this point. Continue on to...
C.) Memory of Orro
From exiting Memory of Vammar, run back the way you came, and continue to the right, past an Old Ironclad Knight. Exit the hallway to the right and run through the Soldier's Door, up the stairs and to the left. Run through the old Boss room of the Pursuer and at the end you will find Memory of Orro.
Entering the memory run forward and exit to the right of NPC Benhart of Jugo. Enter the courtyard quickly because it is chaotic out there and the Giants & Archers will 2 shot you on Intensity 8.
Run to the right immediately and you will see a Soul Vessel x1 on the ground in the corner. At this point you can Aged Feather back to the bonfire or risk your life continuing.
I recommend the former but opposite your current position is a Soul of a Great Hero x1 and a ladder that leads up to Soul of a Proud Knight x1 and a drop off to the roof where Wilted Dusk Herb x3. Be very quick around the archers in this area or take the time to dispatch them.
From this point return to Benhart and run upstairs to the left. Quickly run around to the right and up the stairs to the roof. Mind your stamina and run to the back left corner of the roof where you can cut the support on the crane to lower a platform.
Drop to the lowered platform and jump into the hole in the wall and quickly open a chest for Bonfire Ascetic x3. Run and jump out the window back onto the roof with Wilted Dusk Herb x3 and Aged Feather your arse out of there!
Warp back to The Place Unbeknownst Bonfire in the Forest of The Fallen Giants and burn an Ascetic to start all over again.
__
Soul Farming Breakdown: (at Bonfire intensity 8 and beyond)
~2000 each from random soldiers
14,600 per smaller giant
507,000 from Giant Lord
~538,200 per run
Items:
Twinkling titanite x2
Divine Blessing x1
Bonfire Ascetic x1
Fire Seed x1
Ring of Giant's +2 x1
Giant Lord's Soul x1

Including Optional Steps B&C
Soul Vessel x1
Wilted Dusk Herb x3
Smooth and Silky Stone x5
Petrified Something x1
Soul of a Great Hero x1
Soul of a Proud Knight x1
Bonfire Ascetic x4
Rouge Water x1
*Giant Lord's Soul is 25,000 per soul crunch
19 kills in 1hr = 10,225,800 base + 475,000 from soul crunch

Totals
10,700,800 souls per hour
38 Twinkling titanite
19 Divine Blessings
19 Fire Seeds sold for 800 souls per = 15,200
19 Rings of a Giant+2 sold for 1850 souls per = 35,150
50,350 souls from selling items

Soul Grand Total after Selling excess items:
10,751,150 Souls Per Hour
Hope this helps someone who didn't know how to do this.
NOTE FOR MELEE CHARACTERS:the easiest way to farm the giant as a melee character is to just hug the back of his left leg,strike after every one of his attacks.there are only two attacks you need to be worried about:first,is his stomp attack wich you can easily roll away from and the second attack is when you are circling too slowly and you are in range of his right side,he will try to attack you with his sword backwards.to dodge this attack simply run to the left side of his left foot.
NOTE: A good loop for those with maxed Bonfire Ascetics or who don't need to farm them is to kill the giant Lord at Jeigh and pick up the Ascetic & Twinkling Titanite, then transport to Vammar and pick up the Smooth & Silky Stones & Petrified Something only, then return to Jeigh & Burn the Ascetic. Your Soul Farming will be much more productive, and you will pick up alot of Petrified Dragon Bones from trading your stones & somethings.
NOTE: If the risk of losing souls troubles you, try using multiple Ring of Life Protection. Using 2 or 3 and repairing them is simple and only costs 6000 (for 2) or 9000 (for 3). (Use only 1 per death!)


    • Anonymous

      31 Mar 2017 23:35  

      At least 800k/hr at the Grand Cathedral (before you kill the boss.) Have two Loyce knights fight off the Charred Loyce knights while you help. It helps to summon two NPC phantoms if you're overwhelmed. Right before the boss shows up banish your phantoms and use an Aged Feather and repeat. One run is less than 5minutes and will net you around 100k.

      • Anonymous

        10 Jan 2017 04:25  

        Guys... Just go to the iron keep. On bonfire intensity 2 with full soul absorption gear, i run about 60-80 thousand souls per run in the section from the first bonfire to the second bonfire. And the enemies are a joke with a greatshield/great hammer build.

        • Anonymous

          things got changed or bug?29 Aug 2016 10:57  

          the twinkling titanite down the broken stairs directly to the bonfire does not seem to respawn after using a bonfire ascetic. Is that a bug on my side or did this get patched? If this got PATCHED I would like to know if the souls aquired through killing the boss got changed too. Can anyone confirm this?

          • Anonymous

            Easy Souls and a Good Chance to not dying29 Aug 2016 10:57  

            A good spot to farm is in the iron keep, go to the bonfire just before the Old Iron King and use a bonfire ascetic and there will be the iron Clad dark spirt at the bottom of the latter(if your at the bonfire room) the quickest method to kill him is to get him up the ladder and hit him off the edge (best weapon to use is the Ivory King greatsword, which I can do easily 3300 damage in total) and repeat till his dead, after that rest at the bonfire and go to the boss, wear anything to increase the souls and kill the boss, he'll give you about 200,000 souls on the 6th gameplay on the area, if you beat the boss 2 times you'll have 4 mil + the souls 2 mil and that should take 30 mins to do the fight 20 times if your fast and use poison... The next best spot is the Ivory King boss fight, use anything to increase the amount of souls and kill all the loyce until the second loyce closes the second gate then return to the bonfire and repeat the process. You'll earn ruffly 4000+ per kill and this is an unlimited source also if you collect the armour pieces you can sell them to Galvin for souls... They are my favourite ways to farm souls

            • Anonymous

              New Strategy29 Aug 2016 10:57  

              Also, you can burn in Straid's Cell a lot of Ascetics Bonfire. The Undead Citizens will stay neutral until you attack them, one by one. In a Bonfire at Intensity 5, with Tseldora Set and Covetous Silver Serpent Ring +1, I receive 1163 souls for each Undead Citizen killed. Also, you can One Hit Kill them, since their HP is low than 250-255. <br/> <br/>For example: My Winged Spear+10 deals above 300 of Damage. Each Undead takes me 3-4 secs, so, in 20-25 seconds, you'll receive 5815 souls. This, in a Bonfire Lvl 5. It will scales more and more.

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