Disclaimer* This post is still under work by the author.
Hello everybody ,
If you are a new For Honor player or just someone who is curious about the game, this is your one stop shop for general questions. The open beta starts on the 9th so get everyone you know to come and play!
So for newcomers, what exactly is For Honor? Think Dark Souls combat meets Chivalry meets Soul Caliber. Add it all together and you get a 3rd person melee combat game with multiple classes and a at first confusing combat system , but within an hour or so becomes incredibly simple to understand.
Here is a comprehensive beginner's guide for everyone who is new:
Combat Terminology Used
LA: Light Attack
HA: Heavy Attack
GB: Guard break allows you to stun your opponent if it lands. Pressing GB again + a direction will throw your opponent in that direction.
Attack Indicator/ Guard Indicator: Shows what your and your enemy's current guard and attack directions are. Red indicates an enemy's attack is incoming and when it starts to flash the attack is just about to land. The flash also serves to indicate window of opportunity when you can parry and deflect the incoming attack.
Parry: Heavy attack when attack indicator flashes to, well, parry an enemy's attack. This often can lead to a free attack as seen in the gif.
Deflect: Assassin class unique trait that allows you to dodge into a direction of an incoming attack and causes you to not take damage. Many assassins have attacks that can be performed after successful deflect as seen in the video.
Execute: Finishing blow by execution leads to execute prompt
Dodge: Roll or sidestep in any direction that will allow you to avoid incoming attacks, but you can still be hit during the animation if you are in range.
Stamina: The green bar underneath your HP (white bar adjacent to your character). When it is green you are good to go. When it is white you are fatigued and attack much slower. You can defend normally while fatigued with no penalty. If you are thrown while fatigued you will fall to the ground and be vulnerable to any attack.
Hyper-Armor: Some characters can finish an attack while taking damage, while usually taking damage interrupts your characters current action. Fighting games traditionally call this hyper-armor.
Dry: Reference to attacking without setting up your opponent first via GB or other opening. Ex. don't attack dry at 1hp.
->: Symbol meaning combo progression, LA->HA means light attack immediately followed by HA .
Attack Chain: A string of attacks that make up a combo and is a built in move for a playable class. *Can only be performed while holding your guard up.
Factions and the Faction War
There are 3 factions: Knights, Samurai, and Vikings. Picking one over the other offers NO in-game advantages, or disadvantages, nor does it affect your ability to play a class or play with others. It is simply for the season long meta-game of the faction war. Every time you play a match, win or lose (winning gives your chosen faction more points), you gain war assets which are points to be applied to the world map to help your faction conquer territories. After a set interval, the game updates the world map checking which faction is winning in each territory (basically which faction has the most points in that area). You can choose to deploy your war assets to a specific location, or not pick at all which will deploy them equally across your entire factions territory as a defense against people who will try to take the territory. An extremely simple game mechanic that is presented a bit confusingly in-game, use it or don't, you will always help your faction simply by playing.
There are 3 at this time. Duel (1v1), Brawl (2v2), and Dominion (3v3). The first two modes are self explanatory, you simply fight to the death. 2v2's are a little wonky simply because half the community believes in fighting with honor and not ganging up to create a 2v1, while the other half believes all is fair in love and war. My rule of thumb is fight with honor until they break the unspoken code. But to each their own.
Dominion is very unique compared to the other 2 modes. It allows feats (explained below), gear stats, is 4v4, has NPC infantry men who hold the front lines, and has 3 points to contest that you must attack and defend. Once one side reaches 1000 points, the other team will start to 'break', meaning if they die during this time they do not get to respawn. See strategy below for more info.
Steel, Salvage, and Customization.
Steel (looks like 3 discs stacked on top of each other) is your in game currency to be used to recruit other playable classes, 1/2 of the required materials to upgrade armor, and what is used to buy what are essentially loot crates that hold random gear of varying quality. Salvage (symbolized by an anvil) comes from destroying gear and is needed as the second component to upgrade already owned gear. You cannot create gear at this time. Customization options in the game are great, aside from having 3 different aesthetic loadouts for neutral, attacking, and defending teams, gear carries stats to be applied in Dominion games.
Feats, Renown, Executions, Gear Stats, and Reputation/ Class levels
Feats are unique skills that every class may only use in Dominion (or any custom game modes if allowed by host, as well as gear stats.) Each class gets 4 feat slots to equip, usually the feat gets better the later it is available. There are 3 feats for every 4 tiers of the feat slots, and are unlocked by leveling up the class (which is simply done by playing the game as that class). These skills range from throwing down smoke bombs, calling in a hail of arrows, or even a catapult strike. However you have to gain "renown" to use them in Dominion. Renown is gained every time you accomplish certain goals in Dominion such as killing enemies, executing foes, capturing points, killing enemy infantry men, etc. The faster you gain renown the faster you gain your feats!
Executions are an amazing gameplay mechanic that adds complexity and visual flair to the game. Besides looking badass, executing an enemy prevents them from being revived by their allies. Death by execution also adds a respawn delay, and restores a chunk of health to the executor. There is a risk however, the execution animation are long and leave you wide open to attack as you cannot cancel them yourself once initiated. If interrupted before finished, the enemy you were about to execute may be revived by his allies.
To perform an execution, deal the finishing blow to an enemy with a heavy attack, then press one of the 2 on screen prompts for 1 of 2 executions. I believe you must hold the guard button the entire time until you start the execution or else your character might release your enemy, preventing an execution.
IMPORTANT You CAN and SHOULD interrupt an enemy's execution animation by hitting them in any way as this will cause the enemy's target to simply enter the "downed-but-not-necessarily-dead" state. You can then revive your fallen friend normally.
Gear Stats are qualities found in your gear that your class is equipped with. The quality rating of the gear is simplistically represented by a numeric system, 1 is the lowest and higher numbers are better. They range from boosting attack power, defense, health regained by executions, stamina regeneration, and much much more. However it is impossible to have completely maxed out stats in every stat as every piece of gear has 1 or more stats that are decreased for every stat increased. Thus if you were to attempt to collect gear with high stats that covered each other weaknesses, you'd probably just end up with a neutral stat balanced character. This is a wise move on the dev's part as it would make some monstrously overpowered players in Dominion and reward pay to win and those who can play much longer than the time constrained. As mentioned earlier you can upgrade gear stats to increase their existing benefits, but it also decreases the traits they take away from. Upgrade wisely so you don't accidentally trade all your damage for some sprint speed, you coward.
Reputation/ Class Level is a sort of prestige system to reward players favoring certain classes over others. By reaching level 20 with a class for the first time you get reputation 1 which unlocks more cosmetic options available only to those who have reached that reputation level. Higher class levels unlock other feats and cosmetic options like color variations and emblems for armor. But there is a key mechanic here not easily observed at first: the higher level you are with a class, the higher level gear you will obtain from opening crates. Thus it may not be worth opening crates during your first 10 levels, as the gear obtained there is extremely underwhelming compared to gear obtained nearer level 20. Higher level gear is denoted with purple font, the highest I've seen so far has been level 14 gear (not class level, gear level).
So you've played the game, understand all the above game features, but are still getting your ass handed to you by those pesky Nobushis and Warlords eh? Here I will explain all the combat details and tricks I know of to help you out, after all knowing is half the battle.
The fuel for all your actions besides sprinting and holding block (unless it is a special defensive stance unique to that class). It is the green meter under your white HP bar. While it regenerates quickly, be careful to not expend it all at once as it causes you to be fatigued (stamina bar will turn white) greatly slowing all your offensive actions. You can still attack while fatigued, defend normally, but sprint much slower than normal. You must wait until it fully replenishes before you are not fatigued again.
Light - Fast attack, use it to interrupt heavy attacks or GBs.
Heavy - Slow attack, use it when you have an opening to inflict massive damage. Can be cancelled during the attack animation windup by pressing the 3 o'clock position button on your xbox or playstation controller. IDK what the key is on PC. Sorry. This is called a feint and is useful for changing the direction of an attack or just NOPE'ING away.
A wide coverage attack that hits a large area in front of you at the cost of a huge chunk of stamina. Press light+heavy attack to use. Good for clearing waves of infantry, or fending off multiple attackers. Spamming it is not recommended.
Combo aka Chain - Sometimes you will play against classes ex. berserker who can unleash a string of attacks from different directions. You cannot change an attack's direction mid swing, but you CAN change the direction of the next attack provided the attacks are a part of a combo chain. Example combo: Base combo = 3x light attacks. To change direction from all one direction, have 1st LA go any direction, then change guard direction to right + 2nd LA button to swing from right, finish with 3rd LA + holding up with guard direction to overhead swing last.
Guard Break or "GB" - Single hit from a GB stuns your opponent allowing a free hit, second use on an enemy you have just GB'd + a direction will throw them in that direction. Use it to reposition, or throw an enemy into an environmental hazard (off a cliff, into fire, into spikes) for EZ win. Almost all, if not all, classes can get a guaranteed heavy off a guard break so you can easily setup an execute prompt. The direction you swing from is very important here, as many classes swing their weapon at different speeds depending on your guard stance. If you could not land a heavy from the top after a GB, try a different direction next time.
!Important! Certain attacks have an orange crest with an arrow inside it, accompanied by a flaming visual effect . These are unblockable but can be parried. They can also be interrupted, usually, when you hit an opponent before they land their unblockable attack. However there are certain unblockable attacks that cannot be parried like Warlord's headbutt and Nobushi's kick. Roll away or use your class's fastest attack (ex. Warden's zone attack) to stop your enemy mid-attack. If they are in revenge mode you gotta dodge.
Ahh the single most important skill in not dying. This is also known as locking on, as holding guard will lock onto the closest enemy in front of you. Holding the guard button allows you to block, but you MUST choose a block direction (left, overhead, and right) and you must also make sure you match the guard direction or else you will take an incoming attack even with a block held up. You can tell what direction an incoming attack is coming when the guard indicator on your screen turns red.
Example: If I attack left, your left guard indicator will turn red, then flash*(see Parry) just before it connects, and you must block left anytime before it lands.
Every character except assassins can block indefinitely, while assassins can only hold block (not to be confused with holding up guard mode) in a single direction until you automatically drop your block. Quick Tip : if playing assassins, cycle through block stances to refresh the timer, this can be done in the blink of an eye to reset the block timer in a pinch. You can see how much longer you can block for by the block indicator draining on your screen.
Random people in the beta asked me all the time, "Dandy how does one parry as well as you?" To which I say "git gud kek". In all seriousness though, parrying is very easy and only requires some fine motor skills. When someone attacks you, your guard indicator will flash* and you must heavy attack in the direction of the flashing indicator. Example I do an overhead attack, you see the guard indicator representing overhead attacks (up) turn red, then flash-press heavy attack plus up when it flashes- and congratulations you have just parried an attack. Parries work for all attacks that give you an attack indicator, so no, you can't parry a guard break.
Parrying Guard Breaks
Well I kinda lied. The correct term is "tech" if you are a fighting game veteran. In this instance it means canceling an enemy's GB by tapping (or spamming if you wanna be extra safe) your guard break button when the enemy tries to GB you. Incoming enemy GB's are indicated by a red shield symbol with a crack in the center that appears on their chest right when they GB. When you see the red shield, hit that GB button!
Deflects are unique to assassins. When playing as one, tap the dodge button (roll button, 1-tap is a swift step in the direction you choose, 2-taps is a roll aka evade in chosen direction) into the direction of the incoming attack to take NO DAMAGE and reposition yourself at the same time. To my knowledge all assassins have a move to deflect then attack immediately, so use it to get free hits while dodging incoming attacks.
Call it OP, unfair, a lifesaver, it is in the game and you'd best learn to use it. As you perform defensive actions like blocking, or even take damage, your revenge meter will build up. Once full hit the revenge button while in guard mode to activate revenge mode. Your character will do a short animation during which all attackers who land a hit on you will literally be knocked to the ground in awe of your awesome might. This is the Dev's single resource to balance a 2, 3, or 4v1 scenario. During revenge mode your attacks don't get interrupted, you get have unlimited stamina, and best of all you get a shield roughly equivalent to half of your max HP. This could let you live long enough to clutch, so use wisely. There is no limit to how many times you can revenge in a single spawn, and you can actually revenge mode nearly back to back if you build the meter fast enough. Note, the meter does NOT build when revenge mode is active, c'mon that would be just ridiculous...
It is a simple combat system, really. Only 3 types of attacks exist, but can be used in combination for deadly mix-ups.
!IMPORTANT! Each class has unique moves as well that I won't get into, look at the in-game moveset for each class to see what they can do. If you have a specific question on a character's moveset, post below!
You've finally made it here, so I will reward you with the secrets to becoming a Faction Hero. you must do:
A 10KM Run (6.2 miles)
Repeat 7 days a week. Next you must read the next section.
Philosophy to keep in mind
- Never allow your opponent the ability to predict your next move.
- Strength in numbers, follow your team if they do not follow you.
- To retreat and heal is more efficient than to die and live again
- While kills are important, the absence of an enemy is just as effective.
- He who draws first blood is usually the victor, as this is usually an indicator of the more confident player, one to exploit a weakness first, and most importantly one who did not make the first mistake.
- Watch out for that drop you idiot.
Lastly, up until you lose the game, you're winning. Alternatively, as said by LoL's TheOddOne: " [It] isn't about outplaying your enemy, it's about waiting for them to outplay themselves".
General Dueling, Specific Strategies, Enemy playstyles, & Classes (Applies mostly to 1v1s, as anything involving more people produces the randomness we call online gaming and is completely unpredictable.)
Here is how I approach every fight:
Take in your surroundings. What environmental hazards are nearby? Cliffs, edges, drops, flames, spikes, walls, all are potential threats or weapons to be utilized. If playing outside of 1v1, pay VERY close attention to where your allies and enemies' allies are, as one could save your life or end it just as quickly.
Know your enemy's class. Use your mind palace to recall ancient knowledge about the strengths and weaknesses of your enemy. This can be done alternatively by playing other classes enough to get know their moveset. While not required it helps A LOT. You don't need to master every class, just be aware of their unique tricks and playstyles. This will allow you to not be surprised by an enemy's moves and prevent "BUT I BLOCKED THAT" moments. Playing against many different foes can also teach you this if you are lazy or don't feel like playing those inferior classes, which reminds me of a certain one-trick-kensei I know...
Now that you understand what you are up against, rush into battle and smack that fool!! Nope, if you agreed with what you just read, I most likely parried you and landed a free heavy on you just now. There is nothing wrong with sprinting to close distance, but never open with a a super telegraphed attack against a smart opponent. I will usually go for a low risk attack or play defensively to suss out my opponent.
Example: Get within striking distance and put up your guard. For an aggressive start try a simple light attack or guard break and see how they react. If they just block and are content, they are most likely a defensive player. If however they initiate the fight or aggressively counter-attack, they are most likely an aggressive player. ONE IS NOT BETTER THAN THE OTHER. It is up to you to find your most comfortable playstyle and play accordingly. Disclaimer - always remember that your enemy can and will adapt alongside you, don't rely on your opponent always going for that obvious overhead swing he loves so much when you are at 1hp. He may just change it up to fool you at your most vulnerable moment.
Fighting against passive players -
yawn I hate these guys, always running, never initiating the fight, only reacting to your actions. I say fine, you'll need to save that energy anyways to climb out of the dumpster I'm about to put you in. To avoid a snore fest and a stalemate, make like a WW2 medic and apply pressure. Remember to remind your teammates if your opponent is running from you, because there is a very high chance that that fleeing Peacekeeper is going to reinforce her ally. Constantly position the enemy between YOU and an ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARD. This can even be something as mundane as a wall. Being cornered in this game sucks, as being thrown into one will daze you just like a GB. If they try to step around you, bully the shit out of them and mirror their step. Basically be that creepy guy at the club who doesn't let the single girl past him in the hallway. Once they are cornered throw out some attacks and GBs and ALWAYS keep your attack pattern diverse and constantly changing. Unless they are a quantum computer sent back in time to assblast you, they can't possibly predict everything you try.
Use quick and light attacks to push through their attempted guard breaks, constantly GB them or toss them into the wall behind them, parry their counter attacks. Use feints on your heavy to bait a parry then follow with a quick attack in another direction. They will have the disadvantage of being forced to react to you and not know what to expect, resulting in slower reflexes and the mind game of being trapped like a rat. Be careful about draining all your stamina as this lets them take the offensive lead. Never attack while exhausted when your enemy is not.
Defending against aggressive players -
My favorite foe, as most people leave themselves wide open and come at you like a damn ape . Counter attacking is huge, master the parry and if you are an assassin, the deflect as well. DO NOT get cornered, as having room to maneuver is your best friend against someone who likes to spam attacks. Learn your classes moves that relate to defense, for example the Orochi can step sideways to deflect an incoming attack and then instantly light attack instantly for a free hit. Train your reaction time to read the incoming attack quickly to set up the right defense, and be wary about unblockables (can still parry them as long as it isn't a GB type). If they make the mistake of becoming exhausted do not heedlessly attack as they can defend without any consequences from being fatigued. If they are fatigued, try to get a throw in or knock them into a wall as this will push them to the ground leaving them defenseless.
This section will be split into a separate post for each class. I will need the most help on this section from the community so everyone please feel free to contribute!!
Classes - How to play them, how to beat them
The classes I know best are Berserker (Main and my favorite atm), Warlord, Warden, and Peacekeeper. I prefer fast characters because speed OP.
Keywords: Assassin, dueler, ganker, counter-attacker, objective taker.
Hajimemashite, fellow Nihonjin. Ahh my first class, and definitely one of the most commonly picked classes in the game. Orochi excels in le duels but is miserable when outnumbered. I think the Orochi is a fine pick in any lineup as he has serious DPS even without the nifty bleed mechanic other assassins wield.
Playing the Orochi
Be sneaky, be fast. As soon as the map loads mash that sprint key/button and go for the nearest objective. You don't want to rush B, the middle point in every dominion map, as he is no good at holding the front line. Coming in late to the party has a few benefits: mindgames the enemy into wondering where you are, allows you to sneak around and either [A] hit 'em from behind or [B] go for a fast take of their home point. Just make sure you aren't sneaking so often the game is basically a 3v4 and your team is trying to replace you with a Bot. Eventually there will be a time when you must fight, and luckily for you a good Orochi can pretty much solo kill any class in the game.
Security against defeat implies defensive tactics; ability to defeat the enemy means taking the offensive.
While an Orochi's true strength may lay in counter-attacks, do not be afraid to pressure the enemy. In fact one of the best ways to fluster your opponent is to attack with such fervor and uncertainty that he forgets the very basics of dueling and is little more than a practice dummy. The more experienced your opponent, the craftier you will have to become. To do so you must ingrain the wide variety of tools in the Orochi's moveset so that you have an answer to any attack your enemy may throw at you, and to also wield an effective attack no matter what defense the enemy may raise up.
Attack Chains (combos) and Unique Moves
Triple LA Overhead: With the first two LA overhead attacks, the 2nd hit to be guaranteed, provided that the 1st hit landed. Do not go for the last hit as by this time your enemy can block it. This 1-2 hit is a really reliable source of quick damage, and should be one of your primary offensive attacks. Never launch into it dry as it's an easy block. As this is a multi-hit combo that is listed in the Orochi's moveset, you can change the direction of your attacks in between strikes. You can, for example, strike left, high, and right for the 3 strikes or just attack left for all 3 strikes.
Sidestep/ Deflect->LA: Wait for an opponent to commit into an attack, then simply sidestep or dash forward+LA for a free hit. A successful deflect produces a special unblockable attack with either LA or HA, though the HA can be dodged.
Above->GB->2x Overhead LA: An extremely deadly combo that will chunk anyone by ~1/3 to nearly 1/2 of their HP. This combo relies on the enemy not teching your GB in between the 2 stringed combos.
Backstep Bait: while in guard mode, move backwards and go into overhead block stance + HA to take a full step back and do a downward strike. This single move does a large amount of damage and is perfect for dodging an attack and getting a free hit in. Performing it dry is a bad idea as it leaves you wide open if you miss.
Dash slash (in-game it is called Storm Rush): Dash backwards and immediately hold or press HA to enter a stance that you control the release of. When you release HA you will dash forward several steps and perform a sideways attack. Very good for closing distance and strike on an unsuspecting enemy, or a fleeing enemy. Once again, it is a bad idea to initiate dry on an opponent who is looking at you, but you can actually cancel this attack midway using the feint button. Use this to bait.
Need Some Help?
As a beginner, the best way to learn is to play with a focus on your mistakes. Remember, 99% of every death is your fault. However that isn't to say you can't get help! PM me if you want to improve your dueling skills or need advice on how to play specific scenarios. We can setup a private game to hone your skills and find mistakes in your play. Or just shoot the shit.