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Parry King: 10 Tips For Parrying Effectively In Dark Souls 3
The critical characteristic of every Souls game is that they are incredibly complicated. So, anyone who's trying to play through the game needs to understand the basics of not only the combat but things like inventory and upgrade planning and management. Similar to the lore of Dark Souls, almost everything in the game is interconnected. Be it weaponry, attacks, or the parry system.h other.
RELATED: 10 Most Powerful Weapons In Dark Souls 3
While in other games, a press of a button means an instant attack or block. In Dark Souls 3, it means a whole lot more, especially if we talk about the parry system and everything that goes into parrying effectively.
10 Know Partial Parry
The first thing that anyone who is playing Dark Souls 3 needs to understand is that there are two main ways of defending. One is a full parry, and the other is a partial parry.
This essentially means something in-between a complete and no parry. Every perfect parry is done within a few animation frames, every attempt before that timeframe makes it a partial parry. Doing this results in taking less damage compared to no parry. This is decently useful to lure in enemies during intense boss battles.
9 Carry Less Weight
It has been established that all aspects of Dark Souls 3relate to each other. This means that parrying isn't just directly connected to pressing a button, but it also depends on the kind of shield a player is holding, their stamina, and the overall equipment load.
The total weight impacts the way a character moves, and, while it does not directly change parrying, lightweight equipment will always provide more room for parrying because the weight affects the stamina.
8 Bare Hands & Caestus
Tere is a way one can improve the chances of parrying, and it involves using an item such as Caestus or going in barehanded. In both cases, opportunities for parrying an attack will grow. So, for people who dare to forgo using a shield, this is a great way to experience the game.
On top of that, if the player is fast enough, numerous techniques can be mixed with this for a fantastic outcome. This, however, isn't recommended for beginners or those without a fairly extensive amount of experience.
7 Maintain Stamina
Another big tip to keep the parrying game on the top is understanding how stamina works. Everything is connected in the world of Dark Souls, so using techniques and parrying will require the right amount of stamina. This means a failed attempt to parry can result in the loss of an insane amount of stamina.
RELATED: Dark Souls: The 5 Best Armor Sets In The Game (& The 5 Worst)
To mitigate the inherent risk of parrying, go into combat with a ring that boosts stamina or an item that slows down the stamina consumption. Just remember that parrying can take lots of practice and shouldn't be relied on all the time.
6 Do Not Spam Buttons
The biggest tip for parrying, and something that will almost always guarantee a higher scope of succeeding in Dark Souls 3, is playing with patience. There are plenty of games on the market that will allow players to press buttons and achieve an outcome mindlessly, but Dark Souls is not one of those games. It is as hardcore as it gets, and this means spamming a button in hopes that parrying will automatically happen will almost always result in imminent death. So, calm down and take it slow. Use lock-on and slowly defeat one enemy at a time.
5 Judge Latency During PVP
As if the regular game isn't hard enough, the PVP in Dark Souls 3 takes it to another level. One can not expect to win each game without understanding things like what kind of character they're facing and what abilities he or she possesses.
But, that is not it, while in a regular game it may be a lot easier to understand the timing, in PVP, it means that there will be latency timing, as well. The best way to check latency and understand the delay is to throw a knife at the opponent and listen for the sound of impact. The more the delay, the higher the latency.
4 Timings For Different Weapon Types
Almost every weapon in Dark Souls can be viable, but they all come with their own unique learning curves. This means learning how to use a sword is different from learning how to use a spear.
Similarly, defending each weapon also has a learning curve. Most unique weapons in the game have separate parry timings. So, it is imperative to understand what and when one must parry to defend themselves successfully.
3 Swap Items During Riposte Animation
Every time a character successfully parry and riposte, there will be an animation that plays that knocks the enemies out. As cool as this animation maybe, the best way to use this time is to switch gear or change items. The usefulness of this tip is for the players who've mastered the basic parry system to the point that they can now exploit every bit of it.
RELATED: 10 Most Powerful Weapons In Dark Souls
Speed will be a factor here, as the players will have to access inventory and swap items before the animation ends. But it is possible and beneficial, especially versus players.
2 Use Items After Parry Animation
At times, it may be necessary to swap weapons to better engage an enemy or invading player. However, doing this is often time-consuming and dangerous.
Fortunately, parrying can help out in these situations. Players desperate to swap weapons out without leaving themselves defenseless may want to parry first. This will stun their opponent briefly, offering a small window in which the player may change their weapon.
1 Attacks That Can Not Be Parried
This is the final tip for survival and understanding the parry system. Dark Souls is a game that does not provide a tutorial at every stage. When a player boots up the game, the very first level has some important control messages, but the rest just depends on the exploration and self-learning. This is why it is essential to understand that if the game says press L2 to parry, it doesn't mean that every attack can be repelled. There are plenty of attacks in the game that can not be parried, and learning what can and can't be parried is vital to success.
NEXT: Dark Souls 3 Walkthrough - Boss Guides, Tips, & Help
The new trailer for WB Montreal's Gotham Knights features a more focused look at The Court of Owls, the game's main antagonists.
Read NextAbout The Author
Ashish Walia is a writer, animator, designer, and, most importantly, a gamer. He's a part of Valnet, Inc, writing for TheGamer.com and GameRant.com. He's a Bachelor of Arts and is very keen on doing anything and everything that piques his interest. One of those interests just happens to be drawing oddball comics on his Instagram @toonacious. Rumor has it, he thinks about video games more than he breaths.
If you’re tired of seeing the game over screen regularly, learning to effectively parry and riposte in Dark Souls 3 could end up saving you a lot of time. Dark Souls 3 is too hard to be doing the same fight repeatedly, so mastering the parry is essential to dominating the game and getting all the achievements.
All you need to parry is a shield or weapon with the parry ability and the timing to hit the R2 button right as the enemy attacks. Once the enemy staggers, a quick tap of R1 will land a crippling riposte.
However, executing the process can be easier said than done, and figuring out the right timing for every enemy’s attack is half the battle. Now let’s get into the details so you can become the parry king and start making one of the most challenging games of all time look effortless.
Since you know the basics of parrying, it’s also essential to understand why it’s such a decisive move that every Dark Souls 3 player needs to master to survive. A properly executed parry will block all damage and leave space for a riposte. Ripostes are great because you will be completely immune to damage and stuns during the animation on top of doing critical damage.
If you mistime your parry a bit, you will perform what is called a partial parry. When this happens, you will take a bit less damage and avoid being stunned by the attack, but you will also lose a chunk of stamina.
It’s essential to learn the proper timing for parrying, but you also can’t rely solely on your ability. There are many attacks in the game that is impossible to parry, so knowing your opponent is crucial. If you walk around spamming the parry button, you won’t be successful so try to parry sparingly.
The best Dark Souls players will integrate parrying into their bag of tricks but understand it is not a leading source for doing damage. Since parrying is all about timing, it can also be an issue when playing online dealing with latency issues.
A decent way to test if parrying will be possible while playing online is to equip a throwing knife. You will then want to throw the knife at your opponent and listen for when it hits. If the visuals match up well with the knife hitting’s sound effect, you probably have a good enough connection to parry.
There are many items in the game you can use for parrying beyond just shields. You can also parry with weapons, bare fists, or any shield with the shield icon next to them. Using different tools can change how you parry, so learning the deeper mechanics of parrying can save you some scars as you know a new timing.
Parrying Mechanics In-Depth
The first thing any master of parrying will ask you is, what do you know about frames? Frames are essentially the moment-by-moment snapshots of your character as they execute a move. There are three parrying frames you will want to keep in mind as you progress through the game.
The Start-Up Frames are always the beginning of the parry animation. If you are in this frame as an attack is hitting, your parry will be unsuccessful. However, you can still achieve a partial parry for reduced damage and stamina hit.
Next are the Active Frames, which are what you are aiming to achieve. Suppose the enemy hits you during the active frames. In that case, your parry will be successful, staggering the enemy and opening up for a quick riposte.
Finally, you have the Recovery Frames during this portion of your parry, you will be unable to perform any actions. This is your most vulnerable period where you will be open to attacks.
Each parrying tool draws from different frame data tiers that alter your timing for executing the perfect party. These tiers are, for the most part, determined by the weapon class. This makes it so even tools like parrying daggers and parrying shields can feel different from using equally long active frame periods.
Regardless of which tool you are using, every parrying item in the game has the same sweet spot for timing, even as their parrying abilities extend slightly longer in either direction. If you can master the sweet spot, it won’t matter what tool you are using to parry.
Katana’s can only parry within the sweet spot, so mastering that execution will translate to every other item in the game.
Figuring Out How to Parry Different Attacks
Now we will head into how to determine when to parry across the many different attacks you’ll see in the game. Before we get started, however, these tactics won’t work as well for charged heavy attacks. For these kinds of attacks, the timing will largely hinge on how long the attack is charged.
Running attacks are the most common from enemies as they rush in to close distance. If your opponent uses a Dagger or a Long Sword, you want to start your parry as their hand starts to rise on the right side of their body. If they are using Gotthard Twinswords, you then want to parry as the left-hand start to rise.
Claymore wielders come at you with a spinning motion where you will want to start your parry right as the spin is ending. The blade should still be behind the opponent right before they whip it around. For a Great Sword with its overhead arching attack, you will want to start your parry when the blade is fully arched back.
Scimitars use a quick stabbing motion that can be difficult to time, instead of watching the blade start your parry when the attacker hunches over. The same technique can be used when facing Sellsword Twin blades.
The Exile Greatsword is similar to the normal Great Sword parry, but the attack won’t arch back as far, so it is quicker. For an enemy with an Estoc, they will point the blade at you before hopping into a lunge. Start your parry as they point the tip at you before the hop.
Washing Pole’s are long but still have a quick animation. You will want to begin your parry here as soon as the blade starts to move. When facing a Hand Axe or Great Axe, you can keep the same principles as the Great Swords, starting your parry when the attack is fully arched back.
This is the most common attack style you will see as the same method carries over to the Drang Hammers and Large Club. With the Large Club, you will want to parry as the weapon is almost entirely arched back.
For the Saint Bident with its lunging spear attacks, you will want to parry when the spear moves to the side. The Drang Twinspears are slightly different as you will want to wait until both spears are on the attacker’s left side.
The Lothric Knight Long Spear is a bit unique as one of the few weapons you will want to parry right as the tip is about to hit you. Meanwhile, the Red Hilted Halberd returns to the overarching style, except you will want to parry right as the halberd starts to rise.
Great Scythes are another weapon that arches back and returns to parrying when the attack is fully arched back. Claws also arch in a way, but what you are looking for is when the left-hand claw moves to the right.
Parrying Rolling Attacks
Some enemies use rolling attacks though they aren’t as tricky as running attacks due to much less variety. You will only need to learn two proper timings for rolling attacks for the most part.
Against a fast-rolling attack, you will want to parry the moment the roll is ending. For slower attacks with most weapons, you will want to start your parry as the opponent gets back to their feet.
Claws are one of the few exceptions as enemies will use a double roll attack. When faced with this, you will need to start your parrying in the middle of the second roll.
Watch out for Gotthard Twinswords or Drang Twinspears, as these weapons have swift rolling attacks. For these, you will want to parry during the middle of the roll.
Just Getting Started
With this guide, you should quickly learn how to parry the many different attacks in the game. We are only brushing the surface as there are also Weapon Arts and many other mechanics like spell parrying to learn.
To master the art of the parry, you will have to familiarize yourself with the different stances and the ways they alter an attack animation. However, with quick fingers, reflexes, and attentive eyes, you will be destroying the forces of darkness in no time.
If you are a Dark Souls 3 fanatic, you would be looking for ways to subdue your enemies and progress in the game. You can use parry shields to attack your enemies and move forward in the game. The best Parry Shield counters an enemy’s melee attack using a parry-enabled weapon such as Farron Greatsword.
The parry can stun an enemy for a follow-up attack when vulnerable, leading to instability damage. Read on to learn more about how to utilize the Parry Shield against your enemy during an attack.
Using a Parry Shield
Partial Parry shields work when the parry connects with a recovery frame and an un-parryable attack. An attack cannot be deflected, and won’t make you stagger, and might reduce the damage based on the parry tool used. Sometimes a partial parry can happen on a successful parry.
On the other hand, spell parries deflect spell attacks from the enemy when correctly timed. However, deflected spell parries might not damage the enemies, but they put the enemy in a vulnerable position. You should be keen on using spells as they might not always work effectively. However, a spell parry like Farron Flashsword can be parried depending on the parry tool when the staff is parried; using the parry can damage the enemy leading to riposte.
Many shields that can parry in Dark Souls 3 include the buckler, red and white shield, target and sunset shield, Crimson Parma, Sacred Bloom Shield, Dragon Shield and Knight shield, etc.
- Weapons Which Can Parry In Dark Souls 3
Many weapons can parry in Dark Souls 3, and they include katana, Cestus, Claw, Crow Talons, Farron Greatsword, Parrying dagger, shotel sword, etc.
Many bosses are parryable in Dark Souls 3, including Iudex Gundyr, Abyss Watchers, Crystal Sage, Deacons of the deep, sister friede, etc.
Many unparryable attacks exist in the Dark Souls 3 and might not interfere with the best parry shields. Some of these unparryable attacks include the Lion stance, stomp, spin splash, flame of Lorain, demonic flare, earthen wrath, falling bolt, breathe fire onislayer, etc.
You should not waste your parry weapons counter-attacking these unparryable attacks. Instead, you can dodge them and plan for the subsequent attacks, which are parriable.
Related: Best Armor In Dark Soul 2
Benefits of Parrying
The buckler shield has a damage reduction of 67% with an attribute bonus of 7%, and the Caduceus round shield has a damage reduction of 69% and an attribute bonus of 10%. On the other hand, Crimson Parma has a damage reduction of 69% and attribute reduction of 7%, while the leather shield has a 69% damage control and 7% attribute control.
The parry fist has eight startup frames, eight active frames, forty-two recovery frames, and 60 parry tools. Curved swords have nine startups, eight active frames, and thirty-eight recovery, which amount to fifty-eight parry tools.
Rapier has twelve startup frames, six active frames and thirty-six recovery frames, which amount to fifty-four parry tools.
Katana had sixteen startup frames, eight active frames, and thirty recovery frames which amount to fifty-six parry tools. Standard shields have twelve startup frames, four active frames, and thirty-six recovery farms which amount to fifty-two parry tools.
More: Best Weapons In Dark Soul 2
How to Obtain the Parry Shields
Playing Dark souls 3 might be intense and complicated, and different moves make it easy to obtain thebest parry shield in the game. At the beginning of the game, you will find parry shields on your left hand.
You can utilize them immediately to block attacks from the enemy. Although knowing how to use the parries might be complicated, you can learn and master as you play the game in the first instance.
You can start with a shield or dagger on the equipment screen, all the arrows might not parry, and when you click on the item, it shows whether it will parry or not. Even if you use your weapon art skills on an item that does not parry, it will not affect you. However, if it parries, you should feel free to equip it for combat against the enemy.
To use the parry on the game, you hit the left trigger on your device, and it will make the parry character swing in the air in the preferred direction. However, you should ensure you are facing the enemy you should parry to hit them effectively.
You can use the lock system to aim well and begin to time the parry to avoid missing the target.
Parrying too late might lead to severe blows, which might take time to heal, and you should be at the proper distance to avoid damage, and you should aim at using the shield at the right time when the enemy throws an attack.
If you parry the attack appropriately, the enemy will be standing in the field, and it is the perfect opportunity to perform an attack that will subdue their strength.
Dark souls allow you to be aggressive when playing with an opponent, and it is wise to know if all the characters you use to subdue the enemy can parry. You can obtain the best parry shields in the game by checking the characters and choosing those which can parry.
Some defense weapons might not parry, and no altered skills you employ in the game can damage the enemy. When parrying, you should aim at the enemy’s face; you can dodge the attacks during an attack and finally replace it with parrying.
Additional Tips for Parrying
Parrying is core when playing Dark Souls 3 as it prevents blows from an enemy; however, you might not know how to use it to your advantage as a first-time player. First, you should know the attacks you can counter with parrying from those you cannot parry.
Moreover, not all weapons in Dark Souls 3 are parry-able, and you should be knowledgeable on the parrying tools and how to obtain them in the game. Finally, you can counter and dodge blows from the enemy with the best parry shields as you get acquainted with the right timing that damages the enemy.
You can play aggressively with Dark Souls 3, and when parrying, you can aim at the enemy’s face to damage your opponent effectively.
Parry weapons ds3
Parry is a Skill in Dark Souls 3 that allows you to deflect most melee attacks if timed properly, leaving your opponent in a vulnerable state and allowing you to follow up with a Riposte for incredible damage. The exact timing varies depending on the parrying tool being used and the opponent's weapon, but in general, you want to initiate a Parry just before the opponent's attack would hit you.
Shields That Can Parry
Weapons That Can Parry
Notes & Information
- Jumping/Plunging attacks performed by players cannot be parried under any circumstances.
- When two-handed, R1 and R2 attacks from Ultra Greatswords, Greataxes, and Great Hammers cannot be parried.
- Two-handed rolling and running R1 attacks from these weapons can still be parried.
- The Pickaxe can still be parried, even when two-handed
- Curved Greatsword R2 attacks cannot be parried.
- Whips cannot be parried in any way.
- The Parrying Dagger is the only dagger that allows you to parry while in either hand.
- The weapons with shortest wind up before parry frames are active are fist weapons and your bare hands. Bare-handed parries can only be used when the player has no weapons equipped in either hand.
- Katanas have the smallest window of active parry frames out of any parrying tool
- Fist weapons have a small number of instability frames after their parry frame window ends, causing you to take extra damage from attacks if you parry too early.
- When parrying with a shield, there is a small window of time before and after the active parry frames, during which you will still be partially protected from attacks that hit your shield. If you are hit by an attack during this window, you will suffer damage and stamina loss as if you had blocked the attack normally, but you will not be staggered. This is often referred to as a Partial Parry. These can also be achieved if an attack that cannot be parried - such as a projectile - hits your shield during either this window or the active parry frames.
- It is possible to parry an attack that hits you from behind, but the timing and positioning required to do so is far more precise.
The wiki has the full list of equipment that allows you to parry.
These are mostly shields, and any dual weapon, but the parry mechanic only works with the left hand. Any shield that has the Parry skill is indicated by this icon - a small circular icon in the bottom corner:
The only exceptions to this rule are the Parrying dagger, The Farron Greatsword, and most Katanas.
- The Farron Gratsword is a Dual weapon, that is accompanied by a dagger. With the Dagger equipped, you can use the Parry ability.
- Most Katanas have a "hold" skill, which has the Parry ability.
- The Parrying Dagger has a skill that allows you to Parry in either hand.
There are also a few shields that don't let you parry, since they have a different "skill" attached to them, but some shields have no skill, they simply allow you to use the skill of the weapon in your right hand, without having to two-hand it first.
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