Co-op is an important component of the online interaction available in Dark Souls 2. Other human players and a few specific NPCs can be summoned for cooperative play. A host can summon a maximum of two friendly phantoms from either white or gold summon signs. These signs are placed by other players using a White Sign Soapstone or Small White Sign Soapstone.
Co-op Goals and Rewards
After being summoned, players can fulfill their duty by helping the host defeat a boss, or by simply surviving long enough before the session times out.
Summoned players will receive a reduced amount of souls from slain enemies, and occasional item drops like Lifegems, regardless if the session ends in success. These rewards are not taken away from the host and are generated for the co-op phantoms. The following rewards are also obtained for completing a successful session:
- Regaining human status and max HP if hollowed
- 1x Token of Fidelity is rewarded to a player summoned through the White Sign Soapstone (when not belonging to the Heirs of the Sun covenant)
- 1x Sunlight Medal is rewarded to all members of the party when a player belonging to the Heirs of the Sun covenant is summoned through the White Sign Soapstone
- 1x Smooth & Silky Stone is rewarded to a player summoned through the Small White Sign Soapstone
Reduced Soul Rewards
During co-op, both the host and phantom(s) receive less souls from bosses. The following amounts are obtained, regardless of the number of phantoms summoned:
- The Host receives 75% of what the boss normally drops
- A Phantom receives 25% of what the boss normally drops
Regular enemies drop 100% of their normal soul amount for both host and summoned phantoms.
Co-op Time Limit
Dark Souls 2 introduces a time limit on summons, meaning a phantom can no longer remain in a host's world indefinitely. Further testing is required to be certain of the exact time limits, which is reduced as more enemies are defeated. A phantom's body will darken as they get closer to the end of their available summon time.
- The regular White Sign Soapstone allows for a longer period of summoning, and is typically recommended for those who prefer to play through an area and help defeat a boss
- The Small White Sign Soapstone allows for a shorter period of summoning, which is typically recommended for helping with either the area or the boss, but not both
One unique aspect to the Small White Sign Soapstone is that it allows hosts to find and summon their signs in areas where the boss has already been defeated. Where the goal in previous Souls games was to primarily help hosts defeat bosses, players using the small soapstone may opt to briefly assist hosts that are farming enemies in areas they've already cleared.
Soul Memory Ranges
Matchmaking in Dark Souls 2 is based purely on Soul Memory ranges. This means that two players can pair if they're close enough to each other in Soul Memory, regardless of their level. The Name-Engraved Ring expands the viable range.
See Online Matchmaking for more information.