When playing the game, the player may be invaded if certain parameters are met. While invaded by characters or other players, Fog Doors appear in the general area and it becomes impossible to exit the game through the in-game menu.
Invaders are still mortal to environmental hazards and it is possible to bait a Player Invader towards the Hellkite Bridge and have the Drake incinerate the Invader with its initial fly-by attack. Also, Invaders are not immune to the lava in Lost Izalith or the poison swamps in Blighttown and players can lure Invaders into these hazards to kill them slowly.
If using an Eye Orb to invade, the player may use the eye orb again to cancel their invasion. Once the process of invading another world is initiated, as signalled by the message "Invading another world," it cannot be cancelled with the exception of dying or exiting the game.
While exploring in human form, there are certain areas of the game that will trigger an invasion by a character Black Phantom, otherwise known as Red Phantoms. These Black Phantoms will drop some combination of souls, humanity, and items, if applicable. These encounters will not occur while in Hollowed form, and will no longer trigger once the area boss is killed. Some NPC Invaders have a non-phantom version of themselves somewhere in the game world.
If playing Online while exploring in non-hollow form, the world may be invaded by another player.
- When invading, the player can invade anyone of a higher level than them (a lv 5 player can invade a lv 500 player). When invading a player of lower level there is a minimum level one can invade to prevent high level players from invading very low level players. The minimum level one can invade is 10 levels below his own minus an additional 10% of his/her own level (a lv 100 can invade no one below lv 80, a lv 50 can invade no one below lv 35). However, it is also possible to get invaded by a player that is of a lower soul level, but with much better gear (people transfer powerful gear to lower level characters just for this purpose).
- After each PvP-battle, a global, invisible clock starts counting down from around 10 minutes. That clock prevents one from being invaded again until it runs out, unless one uses the Dried Finger, which resets the clock to 0.
- If one is killed by an invading player, it is possible to use an Indictment to list them as a sinner, which will then cause that player to be targeted by the Blade of the Darkmoon covenant.
Players may only invade one's world while playing online. NPC, or character Invaders always trigger when exploring in a certain area, and their name will exactly match their non-phantom version from the game world. Character Invaders can also invade even when playing offline. Character Invaders will attack on sight, and not stop attacking at any point until either the Player or the Invader is dead. That is to say, character Invaders will not make any gestures or stand still during their invasion. Any invader not listed below is a player invader.
Locations of character invaders
Paladin Leeroy: After the last bonfire, and before Gravelord Nito. Triggered when walking into the cave area. Drops the hammer Grant and the shield Sanctus. The golden fog gates have to be down in order to trigger this spawn.
Kirk, Knight of Thorns: Invades on the ledge right before the Capra Demon congregation. May drop Barbed Straight Sword and/or Spiked Shield. Kirk does not invade here if the Lordvessel has not been placed yet.