Incredible Dark Souls mod gives the beloved classic a pixel art 'demaster,' and I'm in love

Pixel Souls Demastered
(Image credit: thegreatgramcracker on Nexus Mods)

What you need to know

  • FromSoftware's legendary 2011 action RPG Dark Souls is often considered one of the best games ever, and a remastered version was released in 2018 on Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, and PC.
  • Modder @Greatgramcrackr has created a project called "Pixel Souls Demastered" for the PC version of Dark Souls: Remastered that gives its graphics a pixel art appearance, while also reducing model and audio quality for a distinct retro feel.
  • The project is similar to Bloodborne PSX, a fan-made "demake" of FromSoftware's 2015 PlayStation exclusive that came out early in 2022.
  • @Greatgramcrackr hopes to add 8-bit remixes of Dark Souls music tracks to the mod in the future, and may even "demaster" other FromSoftware titles as well.

When the Bloodborne PSX "demake" of the critically acclaimed PlayStation exclusive released in early 2022, it was an instant hit. Fans were enamored by its old-school PS1-era graphics and retro versions of the Bloodborne's music and sound effects — and now, something similar has released for Dark Souls, another of FromSoftware's beloved action RPGs.

That project is Pixel Souls Demastered, an extensive mod for the PC version of Dark Souls: Remastered that gives every in-game texture, visual effect, icon, and font a pixel art-style appearance, while also reducing the fidelity of every character and equipment model and lowering the quality of all audio. The result is an delightfully nostalgic reimagining of Lordran that offers a glimpse at what the original Dark Souls might have looked and sounded like if it released a few console generations earlier. You can watch the official trailer for the project below.

While the mod is out and fully playable now, creator @Greatgramcrackr has plans to expand on it in the future. Another version with a "more restricted color palette" is on the way, and @Greatgramcrackr is interested in adding 8-bit remixes of Dark Souls music tracks in updates, too (remixes for the Firelink Shrine and Gwyn, Lord of Cinder themes are already included, thanks to contributions from YouTuber illusory wall).

If there's enough interest in the mod, @Greatgramcrackr says they'll even consider making something similar for other FromSoftware games like Elden Ring or Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Should this happen, a poll will be held so that fans can vote which game they'd like to see demastered next. Make sure you follow @Greatgramcrackr on X (formerly Twitter) for updates — they also have a Kofi page, should you wish to donate.

You can download the mod on the Pixel Souls Demastered Nexus Mods page. Make sure you read through the installation instructions carefully, and note that while the mod does work with multiplayer, @Greatgramcrackr warns that you'll likely get banned if you try to play online with it. Connect to FromSoftware's servers at your own risk.

Dark Souls: Remastered itself is available on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One consoles, PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PC. While you'll need the PC version in order to enjoy this mod specifically, it's a landmark action RPG that gamers on every platform should play.

Dark Souls: Remastered

Dark Souls: Remastered

Experience the legendary ARPG that put FromSoftware on the map, now with modern optimizations, password multiplayer support, high-res visuals, and more. If you get the PC version of the game, you can then use Pixel Souls Demastered to downgrade everything to a pixel art style for a distinct retro feel!

See at: Steam (GMG) | Amazon (Xbox)

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.