This guide is intended for Xbox players and is a WIP. I still need to add binds to this guide for now I just pasted my PC guide here minus the images.
Hello. I just felt like making a updated guide for combat for both new and veteran players! Hopefully this helps some people. I have seen a lot of people asking how stuff works in the game and have seen people say they don’t see the “depth”, but there is more to it when you learn the mechanics fully, which I will explain to the best of my ability. Over the course of the Alpha, popular “patterns” have been developed by higher tier players. I will explain what these are throughout the guide. Enjoy!
The Melee Slasher Genre
Unlike a FPS, melee combat puts you right in front of your enemy and is all based around reading attacks, keeping initiative, and punishing your opponents for making a mistake. Melee combat can be daunting at first for sure, but once you understand the flow and how mechanics are applied and when to use the mechanics, you will shine and things will start to click. Knowing when you have initiative (right to attack) is key to success. You will find these things makes more sense as you gain experience within the game. Timing is key. Attacking without a reason to attack (gambling), you can develop bad habits and sometimes come out fine and other times not. That is why it is crucial to learn the mechanics fully.
Common Melee Game Terms,
Windup is the very start of the animation when beginning an attacking. It is the act of essentially pulling back your weapon before it enters releases. In this phase attacks can be feinted or canceled.
Release starts right after windup ends and means you cannot feint or cancel your attack, you are fully committed at this point.
When you have the right to attack (after you riposte or counter for example). A good easy example is after you stun with kick, you unarguably have the right to attack and have full initiative.
attacking regardless of whether you have the initiative to do so (after you have been blocked by your opponent). Or attacking and having no clue if your attack will land first or not. It’s like flipping a coin hoping your side will win.
Defense is key for offense. Keep this in mind, especially when 1vXing (fighting multiple opponents by yourself). Defensive options include parrying, dodging, footwork, and ducking.
Held Parry - Its uses and Disadvantages
Parry (RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON) is a big part of melee games. It’s how you react to being attacked and make a move off of being defensive. Holding parry in Chivalry 2 slowly drains stamina in addition to the stamina drained from the attack you parry, and is a reason most players don’t understand how they are getting disarmed rather quickly. Parry should be used very rarely and is a situational option. The only times you should hold parry is in certain encounters that happen in a 1vx. For example, you are outnumbered three to one and multiple attacks come in at the same time. You can’t really counter all of them (countering being a separate mechanic) so your only option is to hold parry and try and find an opening to riposte, (attacking at the same time you block) or counter an attack and continue trying to gain initiative. So keep in mind that just parrying and holding block will end up to you getting disarmed. Manage your stamina!
Dodging is another situational defensive option preformed by pressing space while using A,S and D on your keyboard. (A) being left dodge (S) being backwards (D) being right. Waiting till the last second to preform dodge can lead to a free hit on the opponent with a faster weapon with most stabs. A lot of players might think dodge is not very good, but as I have stated, its situational. You can dodge a tackle or sprint attack and attempt to punish your opponent’s miss. And very rarely, but sometimes, you can escape a 1vX by dodging backwards into your team. It is also another good anti kick tool; say you see a kick, forget to attack it, and are worried what to do. Just dodge backwards and attempt a punish on the kick miss.
No matter what type of situation you find yourself in, movement will always be the deciding factor (WASD) to success for winning against all odds. Footwork can be used defensively and offensively, running at your opponent or running away. You should, in a 1vX, always try and be on the outskirts of an engagement. If you are caught in the middle and are surrounded by foes, the chance of making it out are little to none even if you are a very skilled fighter. Footwork is basically another mechanic that you should be using. If you simply feel overwhelmed or think you are about to be surrounded, simply back off. There’s no need to put yourself in a losing position. Run away by sprinting and doing a 180 to check your back while maintaining momentum. While these are decent suggestions I have wrote, they are not the say all be all. Footwork is something you yourself develop, not someone else. It comes down to your play style, what weapon you’re using, and how you like to play. There are too many variables for me to tell you how to footwork. Its a “feel” thing. But a general understanding of what to do really comes down to experience in a lot of different situations. One example that I pulled from another really good player is: In a 2v1, you being the 1, your goal should be to keep one of your opponents between you and the other opponent so the one in the back has less time or opportunity to hit you. This just creates more distance from fighting multiple opponents at the same time. With this being said though there are times where you would want to take two on at the same time to get rid of them quickly. As I said you really have to just play the game and sync yourself with the footwork.
Yes ducking (CTRL) is an actual mechanic. It even has its own animation! This is very risky and should be used in desperate situations, for example getting disarmed and being left with only fist. I often find myself surviving a 1vX longer if I simply incorporate ducking while attacking. Sometimes enemies attacks will just simply fly over your head, potentially saving yourself from damage or death. It is also not a bad idea to include ducking into your counter attempts. If they miss then you have a chance to pull of a successful duck/attack. There really isn’t a reason NOT to duck in a 1vX as they can really come in handy.
Offense is obviously the way you get rid of opponents and ultimately win a fight. There are many different offensive mechanics to use such as ripostes, counters, jabs, kicks, specials, tackles, and sprint attacks.
First off, we have Slash: (LEFT MOUSE BUTTON). Slash is a horizontal attack that can hit multiple opponents with ease and is very effective in a 1vX.
Second we have Overhead: (SCROLL WHEEL DOWN). Overhead looks exactly how it sounds. It does more damage than a slash but is harder to use and doesn’t do as well against multiple opponents.
Third is Stab: (SCROLL WHEEL UP). Stab is very good for attacking around teammates and they are typically the speediest attack on the battlefield.
Alternative Attacks: (HOLD ALT) You can flip attack or feint side by doing this.
Keep in mind that wildly swinging around isn’t as effective as you would imagine. If you miss, there is a recovery time, so try not to swing when there is no reason to.
Riposte is where you block and attack at the same time, performing a separate animation that is faster than just blocking and waiting to attack. These are good to use if you don’t feel comfortable with countering everything your opponent throws at you. And sometimes it’s better to use in a 1vX rather than a counter if you are not confident enough you will counter right. They also have another benefit to using them. When you are in the early stage of performing the riposte there is a feature called “auto parry”. It blocks incoming attacks in a very short window after you initiate the riposte. This can be very helpful if multiple attacks are coming in and there is no way to react to all of them landing at the same time.
Combos are performed by continuing to attack back to back. You can change what the next attack is going to be by inputting it at the end of your weapon’s release. These are good for mixing up what your attacks look like (often leading to your opponent getting confused and attempting counter the wrong direction) and sending out a faster one like stab for example. You can also combo into a heavy attack. Attacks that are blocked by your foe can also be comboed and is safe to do so if your opponent doesn’t react to your attack. Keep in mind that comboing off a block can be very risky against fast weapons.
Counters are performed by holding block then attacking at the attack type before it hits you. For example, if you want to counter an overhead, it doesn’t matter if its left or right, just wait until it’s close and send an overhead out of held parry to counter it. There are a couple ways to tell if you countered: blue sparks, unique sound, and watching the stamina bar. Counters are the centralizing mechanic of the game because they give a decant amount of STAMINA which will keep you going in a 1vX or 1v1. Countering in 1 versus many can be hard to understand at first. You really have to know when to initiate one and when to just riposte. If you find yourself losing stam very quickly, incorporate counters into your fights. I pretty much go for counters as much as possible, so I’m never really low on stamina. You can counter multiple attacks by successfully countering then feinting (“morphing”) into another attack which will counter a second time if matched correctly. This can be very powerful and change the outcome of a 1vX. If you were to fight multiple people without ever countering, you will just end up getting disarmed, so use counters!
There are a lot of ways to bait counters, examples below.
Feints are extremely useful to bait a counter out from one direction while you’re already attacking from the other. The way to perform feints is starting an attack then switching it to another. For example, if I want to feint an overhead into a slash, I would input overhead (Mouse wheel down) then, before the attack is out of windup phase, switch it to a slash (Left mouse button). This will assure a hit if they go for counter. All attacks by default start from one side. To change sides, hold (ALT) while attacking.
Same thing as feint example above but out of a counter. These can be used in different ways: one to bait counter and another to help you read your opponent’s counter feints. Here is an example of “counter feint matching” as I call it. PLAYER 1 sends out a slash. PLAYER 2 counters the slash and feints his counter into an overhead. PLAYER 1 initially saw the slash, so he attempted to counter it. Then, he saw it get feinted into an overhead, so he also feints into an overhead, resulting in a successful counter for PLAYER 1. So basically, you can use this to help read counters and exchange counters back and forth for a while. You will eventually need to mix it up. Heavy is one example of a great mix up below.
Heavies, (performed by Holding LMB for slash or for overhead and stab, initiate the stab or overhead then hold left mouse button.) have some very unique and useful perks attached to them. They allow Hitstop weapons, (Weapons that are blunt, and normally stop on light attack hits.) to pass through enemies enabling you to hit multiple foes with one swing. They also do more damage and drain more stamina than a light attack. Disadvantages of using heavies is you are locked in once you charge a heavy, which takes a while, and you can be flinched like with every other attack. Heavies are one of the best baits for counters. They draw a counter attempt out because windup is so long, resulting in a high damaging hit for you. Combine these with drags, and you can bait out some of the best counter players.
Drags are preformed by turning you camera away from the enemy as you swing. A common misconception is that they are useless in Chiv 2. They are actually very good and have a place in this game. You can make your attack land really late if done right with a heavy. This baits counters even more than a normal heavy attack, which is a good way to mix up the flow of a fight. They are even effective against a player that rarely counters as it makes the attack so delayed your opponent might panic and make a mistake while waiting for it to hit.
Accels are performed by turning the camera into the enemy and is best used with movement keys to create an even faster attack. These have their place in the game as well. You can sometimes force a riposte instead of a counter because, if done right, your opponent will not have enough time to counter the accelerated attack. These are also good to use in 1vX to accel into someones attack or to try and throw your opponents guard off with a speedy attack.
Specials (perform by hitting Q) are a high damaging and stamina draining attack that cannot be countered, only riposted or parried. They have a really long unique windup and release animation with a strict turn cap, (They are hard to turn while using.) It is best to use these when you are team fighting another player or if you get behind someone with a lot of hp. As I said, they are not counterable, so one of the best options is to dodge the special then punish the miss. These are another good option to throw into someone who counters a lot. They will either mistake it as a regular attack, or they will be forced to parry it. Try not to miss though; the recovery time is long!
Tackles (perform by sprinting then hitting F) are a very powerful mechanic and are easy to use. They send your opponent flying to the ground, scrambling to get up. You can land one hit maybe even two with a faster weapon on them before they can even recover. Even if you block a tackle you will be stunned for a brief amount of time, so the best counter to tackle is to try and dodge it or run away. Blocking it obviously isn’t a bad option if its just a 1v1 because you will recover quick enough to parry the follow up. You can roll while on the ground when hit by a tackle by using movement keys+space bar if you get knocked down by a tackle. I would recommend always dodging either to left or right as soon as possible as there is a chance they may straight up whiff their swing. I find it easiest to consistently hit a tackled opponent with a standard slash.
Sprint attacks (sprint then hit Q) lunges you forward keeping the speed you have gained and grants you an attack that does a lot damage and only can be blocked and riposted. Best used against an opponent not facing you because you can either dodge it or stab at it and land a hit before they can pull of the sprint attack. These are very effective against everyone, especially archers. If you miss there is a decent recovery time.
Jabs (performed by hitting R) are meant to be initiative gainers. They all do a baseline damage of about 10 and come out pretty fast. The top uses for jabs are to stop heavy attacks, stop specials, and interrupt combos. You can also counter into a jab, which can throw your enemy off big time, especially if they are anticipating a normal attack to come out and a fast one comes out instead. Jabs are very useful in 1vX as well to stop one opponent from comboing or heavying and target switching off that to another enemy.
Kicks are used to break held parry and are performed by hitting F. If you notice someone holding parry a lot, simply kick them and they will be stuck stunned, resulting in a free hit for you. Kicks do NOT stun you if you are hit by one when not parrying. When you are fighting someone who is trying to kick you, just attack their kick attempt and you will hit them, or you can dodge away or even jab. Anything that doesn’t involve blocking is a counter to kick.
Cancels are performed by hitting (V). Cancels stop your attack either out of a combo or a normal attack. The most common use I have found is to stop your combo or standard attack from hitting a teammate. Haven’t really seen them be useful against an opponent yet and don’t think they serve a purpose other than what I have already stated.
Target switching, like footwork, is not necessarily a “mechanic”, but nevertheless I felt it very important to add it to this guide as I feel it is extremely important to the genre in general. Target switching has no button you press like drags or accels, but is performed by camera movement. For example, you riposte or counter off an enemy. What are your options? You can either just return the attack to the person who originally fed it to you, or you can “target switch” (move your camera) to the guy next to the one that fed the attack. This can be used to high effect and can be a deciding factor in winning a 1vX. There are different options tied to the original example above. You could have faked a target switch by moving your camera to the opponent next to the one that fed the attack then moving back to him. This could easily confuse enemies expecting a standard switch. You could also counter/riposte the original, move your camera to the guy beside him, then feint into an attack that will hit the original feeder. This might sound confusing but in practice is a very simple concept. Just be sure to experiment with them yourself!
Combat in this game can be very deep and intriguing when all of these mechanics are applied and used correctly. Countering multiple attacks and then finishing the remaining enemies off with a heavy can be very satisfying and rewarding and is something anyone can do with practice and time in the title. This game revolves around more mechanics than your standard accel and drag mix up I’m sure many of you are familiar with and can be a very refreshing take on melee combat. I hope at least a few players learned something and are eager to test out the new combat of Chivalry 2. Thanks for your time!
If you have any suggestions or questions feel free to DM me on Discord!