Effective Combat Tips for Tears of the Kingdom
Combat in the early game of Tears of the Kingdom can be a challenge. Between the issues of weapon durability and simply learning the controls, getting down the correct timing for parries and learning boss mechanics can be a lot to deal with all at once . Our Combat Guide for Tears of the Kingdom will go over the basics of controls for easy reference, as well as include some helpful tips and tricks to give you an edge against your foes.
Combat Guide for Controls
|Normal Attack||Y Button|
|Continuous Attack||Y Button multiple times|
|Dash Attack||Y Button during Dash|
|Jump Attack||Jump and press the Y Button|
|Dodge||Hold ZL Button and press X|
|Rotating Slash||Turn Left Stick and press the Y Button|
|Rush Attack||Dodge and press the Y Button|
|Throw Weapon||Hold R Button|
|Arrow Shot||Hold ZR Button|
|Hold Shield||ZL Button|
|Perfect Guard||ZL Button and press the A Button|
|Shield Surf||ZL Button + A Button + X Button|
|Side Jump||ZL Button + Left Stick (Move Horizontally) + X Button|
The ZL button causes Link to hold his shield in the guard position, but it also locks him onto the enemy’s position. This is essential, because when you press the Y button to attack he won’t be swinging at the wind. It also locks the camera onto the enemy, keeping them in sight so you don’t loose track of them off screen.
Holding down that ZL button has yet another benefit: The Perfect Guard. This will take a bit of practice to get the timing down, but you can practice with basic enemies and move up from there. The way it works is this: if you have your shield up watch for an enemy attack. Press the A button at just proper moment to match the enemy’s swing and the result will cause a ‘Parry Attack’ to occur.
This is a great way to both avoid the incoming hit, and deal some extra damage at the same time!
Dodge and Counter Attacks
You can ‘jump’ or dodge while holding the ZL button in combat by pressing the X button. As you practice and gain experience, work on watching your enemy’s moves. If they’re are swinging their weapon overhead in an arc down on top of your head, dodge right or left. If they’re swinging across horizontally in front, dodge backwards.
Additionally, if you dodge just the right moment, it will create a slow effect and give you a chance to perform a Rush Attack by pressing the Y button.
Combat Tips and Tricks
Setting yourself up for success is especially important when going up against Overworld or Dungeon bosses. Equipment is important. For example, going up against a fire enemy? Throw on at least one piece of Flamebreaker armor to give you some heat/fire resistance.
Do the opposite with your weapons. For that same fire enemy, attach a piece of Ice Fruit to an arrow before shooting it. Fuse your weapon with a piece of Sapphire to give it an extra edge of cold.
And don’t forget consumables! There is a vast wealth of recipes in the game, and lots of different ingredients to use which when combined can create all kinds of effects. Heat resistance, speed boosts, stamina boots, attack increase and more.
Are you the type of player who likes to face an enemy head-on, who YOLOs straight into the fray with sword swinging? That might not always been the best strategy.
Stealthstrikes, as they are called in Tears of the Kingdom, are when you hit an enemy while they are unaware of you from stealth. The best way to execute this is to press down on the L Stick to put Link in a crouch. Start from outside the enemy’s aggro radius and slowly creep up behind them.
Now, if the enemy isn’t moving around much and you think you can get right up behind them for a sword strike, that’s great. But the easier way is to get close enough for an arrow hit. Aim carefully for a headshot and before the enemy knows what hit them, you will have taken a serious dent out of their HP bar!
Dodge, Dodge, Dodge
We mentioned how to execute this maneuver above, but wanted to make a special point of it here, too.
There are a lot of movements in Tears of the Kingdom that eat away at Link’s stamina wheel. Climbing, gliding, swimming, sprinting. But not dodging.
You can freely dodge again and again and again, as many times as you need to in a fight. If you feel like that’s just avoiding combat, don’t stress about it. Using dodge not only will avoid attacks, it gives you time. Time to breathe, to take stock, and watch the boss. You’ll start to learn its moveset and you can practice timing your dodges so you get a chance at a Rush Attack.
Generally speaking, every enemy or boss you encounter is going to have a set, repeatable rotation of attacks. Usually a couple of basic attacks, maybe a charged type of attack, and one major, powerful attack. These attacks may look random at first, but actually follow a fairly predictable pattern.
A boss fight will usually start out with a couple of different basic attacks. Maybe an extra large, overhead swing or some other type of charged attack you definitely can’t block and requires a dodge. As you whittle down it’s health, eventually another deadly attack with be introduced. Unless you are at a stage where you have an abnormal level of hearts, this attack is likely to be a one-shot kill.
Don’t get discouraged if you die several times. Keep at it, keep your eye on the boss by holding ZL and you’ll start to anticipate what move the boss is going to make next, making it more easy for you to counter it.
In all seriousness, if your Link is walking around Hyrule with nothing but four hearts, a pot lid shield, and a long stick it’s probably best not to get too close to some of the hulking beasts guarding bridges or hilltops. Preferably, try to simply avoid their notice completely. If you really must get past them, give them a wide berth if Link is on foot or bring your horse to a gallop if mounted.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you’re not going to fell that Hinox your first day in Hyrule, either. Mark that beast’s location on your map and plan to come back when you’ve had more practice and gotten better equipment!
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