In Dark Souls 2 for PS4; When this happens, not only have they lost all their souls, but they are no longer human and their maximum hit points have been decreased. The player can retrieve their lost souls at the location they died, but must do so before dying again, otherwise all souls accumulated up to that point will be permanently lost. As souls are accumulated, the player has the choice to either trade them in to increase one of more than a dozen attributes to increase the maximum amount of damage taken, or vitality to increase the amount of equipment one can carry without impairing movement, or to use them to purchase items. A third option, as one progresses in the game, is to use souls to upgrade weapons and armor.
The end of each section of gameplay consists of battling a boss which, once defeated can be consumed for a large numbers of souls or traded for certain pieces of equipment. After defeating a boss, the player may use a bonfire ascetic to re-spawn the boss. However, this will increase the difficulty of the area as well as include new enemies which appear as red spirits. When human, the player can also summon other players into their "world" in a form of multiplayer; players can either be summoned to cooperate on an area or boss, or for player versus player play by either invading other players' games, or by leaving a dark spirit summoning sign. There are specific areas set aside for dueling, with neither player being penalized for defeat.
Enemies do not re-spawn indefinitely; after they are defeated a set number of times, they disappear for the remainder of the current play-through. They can be returned using a Bonfire Ascetic, at the cost of permanently increasing the difficulty of that area. While this makes certain areas easier to traverse if the player dies many times, it also makes farming upgrade materials and equipment more difficult. The other major difference is the player's maximum HP is reduced upon each death, until their maximum HP reaches 50% of the full health bar. This can only be overcome by a player regaining their humanity or through the use of the Ring of Binding, which limits health reduction to 75% rather than 50%.