Just like in the first game, the bonfires in Dark Souls 2 act as a checkpoints for your progress. Should you die during combat, you'll find yourself resurrected at the last bonfire you kindled or rested at, albeit with the loss of any souls you were carrying at the time. You can also teleport between bonfires if you fancy a little fast-travel, or use them to light torches if you need to light up a gloomy passage.
Here's an at-a-glance guide to all of the bonfires available in Dark Souls 2, and where you can find each one.
Aldia's Keep bonfires
You'll find this bonfire in a shack near the entrance to the area.
The Ritual Site bonfire can be found tucked away in the bookcase that connects the study with the acidic area that reduces your item durability.
Belfry Luna bonfires
Once you've killed the Belfry Gargoyles, go down the stairs in the belfry opposite. You'll find the bonfire right in front of the door when you reach the bottom.
Belfry Sol bonfires
Belfry Sol Approach
After killing the Smelter Demon, make your way into the next large room in Iron Keep. As soon as you enter, take the door over on your left, then climb the ladder inside to get to the bonfire.
Black Gulch bonfires
Black Gulch Mouth
As soon as you arrive in the Black Gulch, simply stick to the left-hand wall and you'll eventually find yourself in a cave which contains the bonfire.
After you've killed the pair of massive cave worms, stick to the right-hand section of the area until you come to a narrow pathway. Follow this path all the way along until you come to a small room that contains the bonfire.
Brightstone Cove Tseldora bonfires
Once you've given the Prowling Magus a sincere thrashing, take a look just outside the chapel to find this bonfire.
Lower Brightstone Cove
Leave Chapel Threshold and go into the town of Brightstone Cove. From here, take the zip-lines and then enter the hallway. Now cross the room with a gap in the floor, then climb down the ladder until you're on the ground floor. You'll be able to see the bonfire clearly when you arrive.
Royal Army Campsite
If you're coming from the Doors of Pharros, look inside the tents that are near your entrance point to find this region's third bonfire.
Cathedral of Blue bonfires
The Blue Cathedral
You'll be able to access The Blue Cathedral bonfire after you've killed Old Dragonslayer. You'll find it downstairs after the fight, and right next to Blue Sentinel Targray.
Doors of Pharros bonfires
You'll find this next bonfire just after you arrive in Doors of Pharros, in a room behind the Mammoth Soldier.
Go through the Rat King's room, then climb up the ladder in the next room along. Enter the next room you come to on the second floor, then take a left and go through the opening to find the Ordeal's End bonfire.
Drangleic Castle bonfires
Central Castle Drangleic
Once you've finished the fight with the Dragonriders you'll be able to find this new bonfire in the hallway across from where you entered the battle area.
Go past the cursing picture of Nashandra and then head up two flights of stairs. Enter the small area where the Royal Swordsman is, then climb down the next ladder you come to and come all the way around to the other side of the floor. Expose the hidden wall to gain access to the bonfire.
As soon as you arrive in Drangleic Castle, go up the stairs on your right, through the door you come to, then take the right-hand door out of this new room. Climb down the ladder you see, walk through the pair of blue doors, and you'll soon see the King's Gate bonfire.
Under Castle Drangleic
Start at the King's Gate bonfire, then head towards the rear door and kill the Stone Spearman blocking the path. Enter the room, then fall down through the hole in the floor to find the new bonfire.
Dragon Aerie bonfire
As soon as you arrive in Dragon Aerie, take the left-hand path to find the bonfire on the other side of a bridge.
Dragon Shrine bonfire
As soon as you've crossed the bridge in this region, light the bonfire that's straight ahead of you.
Earthen Peak bonfires
Central Earthen Peak
As the name suggests, you'll find this Earthen Peak bonfire approximately halfway through your journey through the region, just behind a misty door that's being guarded by some Manikins.
Lower Earthen Peak
This very easy to find bonfire is located just after the fight against the Covetous Demon. Simple leave the boss room, keep walking forwards, and you really can't miss it.
Upper Earthen Peak
This final Earthen Peak bonfire is located behind a hidden wall that's just above the entrance to the Mytha fight. To get to it, head up the stairs nearby, turn right when you reach the top, and then interact with the wall that's next to the poisonous urns.
Forest of Fallen Giants bonfires
The Cardinal Tower bonfire can be found by entering the ruined fortress by the Heide Knight, then going upstairs until you're out on the roof. Kill the nearby enemies, then go up the ladder and through the massive doors in the tower on your right. You should now be able to see the bonfire, as well as Merchant Hag Melentia.
Assuming you have the Soldier Key on you, climb down the ladder by the Cardinal Tower bonfire, then make your way towards where the misty gate was. Go inside the room, take a right and then go through the door. Walk down the hall, killing any enemies you encounter, then go through the next door. You'll now have to pass through a rather decrepit structure, before you arrive at the next bonfire outside.
The Crestfallen's Retreat
When you exit the Majula cave, take a stroll down the nearby hill and then cross the river. You'll find the bonfire in an open patch of ground up ahead.
The Place Unbeknownst
Once you have the King's Ring, head down the ladder by the Cardinal Tower bonfire and then go over the bridge that's being guarded by a Hollow Soldier. When you get to the other side, use your key on the door, then take a left when you've passed through it. Walk towards the big door with your ring equipped and you'll be able to go inside and light the bonfire.
Grave of Saints bonfires
When you enter the Grave of Saints, you'll be able to find the Grave Entrance bonfire on the second floor, at the top of the ladder nearest to you.
Harval's Resting Place
Once you've arrived at the Grave of Saints via the Deep Pit, you'll be able to find this bonfire in a cave just a little way away from where you enter.
Harvest Valley bonfires
You'll find this bonfire near the entrance to the Harvest Valley region. Head to the cave that's just on the other side of a pool of poisonous liquid.
This bonfire is located in a small cave at the end of a tunnel that starts just after a fight against a pack of Undead Laborers and Mounted Overseers.
Heide's Tower of Flame bonfires
As you approach Heide's Tower of Flame from Majula, take a right when you reach the entrance to the new region. You'll find the bonfire by an Old Knight at the bottom of a set of crumbling stairs.
Tower of Flame
You'll find the second Tower of Flame bonfire just above the Dragonrider, but you won't be able to make use of it until the boss has been defeated.
Huntsman's Copse bonfires
When you arrive in Huntsman's Copse, you'll find this bonfire in a clearing that's over on your left.
At one point in this region you'll have to clear a pack of enemies from a gloomy, dark structure. Once you've finished fighting them, head towards the bridge, pass under it, and then climb down the ladder. You'll find the bonfire in a little room down here.
Make your way into Huntsman's Copse via the Bridge Approach, and keep heading towards the raised bridge. You'll find the bonfire on the other side, but you'll need to have the Undead Lockaway Key to unlock the hut that contains it.
Iron Keep bonfires
Make your way through Iron Keep, towards the location of the Old Iron King. When you reach a room that has spiky walls and a fire device in the middle of it, head up the ladder and you'll eventually come to the Eygil's Idol bonfire.
Once you've killed the Smelter Demon, you'll find this next bonfire in a small room, just up some stairs on the opposite side from the boss area entrance.
As soon as you arrive in Iron Keep via the Earthen Peak lift, go down the stairs to the left of the bridge - the bonfire's at the very bottom.
Lost Bastille bonfires
Exile Holding Cells
Leave the Servant's Quarter bonfire room and head over the planks. Now take a right and enter the tower. Go all the way along the battlements and then jump down off the roof. Go through the doorless entrance, then smash up the wooden planks that are covering a hole in the wall. Go through the gap, take the next door on your left, then go up the ladder. When you reach the top, go right until you come to the bonfire room.
Make your way from the first bonfire and head over to where Lucatiel of Mirrah is located. Leave the tower from the second exit, passing stray dogs and jailers. When you come to a staircase with a barrel at the top, push the barrel to smash up the wall at the bottom. You can now access the bonfire.
Once you've killed the Ruin Sentinels, head up the nearby stairs. Walk down the corridor, past all the cells, and you'll eventually find this bonfire on the far left.
Simply unpetrify Straid with a Fragrant Branch of Yore to gain access to the bonfire just behind him.
The Tower Apart
You'll find this bonfire the moment you arrive in the Lost Bastille via Forest of Fallen Giants. It's located in the starting room.
The Far Fire
You'll find this bonfire after passing through the broken archway in town, then heading all the way over to your right.
No-Man's Wharf bonfires
Unseen Path to Heide
There's only one bonfire to track down in No-Man's Wharf, and you'll find it by entering the cave as you leave Heide's Tower of Flame.
Shaded Woods bonfires
You'll find the Old Akelarre bonfire in a room left of the stairs, accessible after you've activated the lever previously blocked by Rosabeth of Melfia.
Ruined Fork Road
Just follow the path from the first Shaded Woods bonfire and you'll have no trouble finding the second bonfire.
Take the right-most door from the Ruined Fork Road, and stick to the left-hand wall when the mist arrives. Keep moving and you'll eventually come to the Head of Vengarl, then a staircase. The bonfire can be found at the very top of these stairs.
Shrine of Amana bonfires
After passing through the first misty gate, keep running straight through the ruins until you come to this bonfire.
Rhoy's Resting Place
If you want to unlock this bonfire, you'll first need to kill the pack of Archdrake Priests and Priestesses guarding the misty gate. Go through the gate when they're dead and you'll be at the bonfire.
Rise of the Dead
You'll only be able to access this bonfire after killing the Demon of Song. Once you've done so, simply head to the right of the path towards the Undead Crypt.
Tower of Prayer
You can find the Tower of Prayer bonfire by finishing the fight with the Looking Glass Knight. Take the lift all the way down after killing him and you can't miss it.
Sinner's Rise bonfire
There's only one bonfire in Sinner's Rise. To find it, simply make your way through the opening section of this region, and keep your eyes peeled for a ladder on your right. Head up it to light the bonfire.
The Gutter bonfires
You'll find this bonfire just before the group of platforms and ladders that take you into the Black Gulch region.
As soon as you arrive on the poisonous statue ledge in the Gutter, drop down on to the structure just below you. When you get to the very end of this section, you'll see the next bonfire on a platform ahead of you.
Things Betwixt bonfire
Fire Keepers' Dwelling
Head through the gap in the rocks, then make you way over the wooden bridge until you find yourself in a house. When the cut-scene finishes, simply exit the house from the opposite side to find the bonfire.
Undead Crypt bonfires
Undead Crypt Entrance
You'll find this bonfire in the room that contains a load of ancient headstones. Take a left when you enter the room.
When you've cleared the first foggy gate, go to the very end of the hall and then take a left.
Undead Purgatory bonfire
As soon as you've finished the fight with the Executioner's Chariot, head up the stairs and go beyond the gate lever to find this next bonfire.
We've got guides to all of the Dark Souls 2 boss fights. Head back to the first page of this guide to find them.